Customer Reviews


19 Reviews
5 star:
 (16)
4 star:
 (2)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Seminal Work on the Early/Gordon Expedition
Very few events in United States history have assumed such a legendary status as the Battle of Gettysburg. As a Licensed Battlefield Guide at Gettysburg, I see this intense interest on a daily basis. One of the most difficult things to portray to the average visitor, and even to those who consider themselves to be dedicated students of the battle, is the scope of the...
Published on August 30, 2009 by John Krepps

versus
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Covers A Mostly Forgotten Aspect Of The Gettysburg Campaign, But..
Mingus' work fills a long standing gap in the history of the Gettysburg campaign. It is a fascinating story (and all the details are here!), and should have garnered coverage long before now. The book covers the movements of Jubal Early's Confederate division, in particular John B. Gordon's Brigade, as they move across south central Pennsylvania in June 1863 to...
Published on May 18, 2011 by D. Hennett


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Seminal Work on the Early/Gordon Expedition, August 30, 2009
By 
Very few events in United States history have assumed such a legendary status as the Battle of Gettysburg. As a Licensed Battlefield Guide at Gettysburg, I see this intense interest on a daily basis. One of the most difficult things to portray to the average visitor, and even to those who consider themselves to be dedicated students of the battle, is the scope of the campaign and its troop movements. In central Maryland and south-central Pennsylvania one would be hard pressed to find a Civil War-era road that was not used by troops during the 1863 campaign. This is just one of the many aspects in which this book by Scott Mingus succeeds admirably. Readers will not only gain a specific knowledge of the roads used by the troops associated with the Early/Gordon expedition, but also the immense scale of the Pennsylvania Campaign and the tremendous impact of these events.
The book begins by offering an excellent overview of the political and military situation in 1863. The reader gains a clear concept of the strategic and operational objectives behind Gen. Robert E. Lee's movement into Pennsylvania. Background information is also provided concerning the regiments of Gordon's Brigade and their commanding officers. When necessary, information is given on other units pertinent to the story.
Mr. Mingus does an admirable job at portraying how ill-prepared Pennsylvania was for the invasion. By late June 1863 the physical and psychological effects of the Confederate expedition were in full force. The reader comes away with a palpable feel of the frenzy involved as citizens, military leaders, and state and federal politicians responded to the emergency; the telegraph lines buzzed with a constant flurry of messages - many accurate, many others rumor - throughout south central Pennsylvania. One also gains a great sense of the pandemonium in cities like Harrisburg as masses of citizens clogged the roads in an attempt to flee from the advancing foe. But the writer does not neglect the smaller towns and less populated areas of the region. In fact, one of the book's strengths is its coverage of how the events impacted citizens in the many smaller villages of York County, especially the farmers of the region. With the exception of the African-American population, these farmers had (arguably) the most to lose of any segment of the Northern population. Mr. Mingus uses human interest stories and civilian damage claims well in illustrating this aspect. These vignettes add admirable depth and specifics concerning not only the losses sustained by the citizens, but also serve to delineate the specific roads used by the troops throughout the expedition. The book also takes an in-depth look at the attitudes of Pennsylvanians toward the invading Confederates along with the revealing thoughts expressed by the Southern soldiers toward their Northern "hosts".
The book provides excellent coverage of the skirmishes between Confederate forces and various Pennsylvania militia units. But while this book is indeed military history, it is also much more. It will be of great interest to not only students of the Civil War, but also to anyone with a particular interest in the history of the lower Susquehanna Valley region. There is significant information concerning the social history of the area, particularly the towns of Wrightsville and Columbia. I particularly liked the section concerning the history and logistics of the Wrightsville-Columbia Bridge; the reader learns just how important and involved this massive structure was in the economic, political, and social history of the entire mid-atlantic region.
Possibly the best thing about this book is that it was written by a man who has an in-depth knowledge of the terrain and roads of York County. This book was clearly a labor of love on the part of Mr. Mingus; many years of excellent research went into its production. The Gordon expedition is one helluva story, and Scott gives it full justice. This book should be read by everyone with an interest in the Gettysburg Campaign or the history of the Susquehanna Valley region. But I also highly recommend it to any reader who wants to delve into a fascinating story which is told extremely well.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Doug Rogers' Review: Outstanding description of the Gordon Expedition on many levels, March 20, 2009
In the new book, Flames Beyond Gettysburg, Scott L. Mingus, Sr. weaves an intriguing story of the events leading up to the famous battle of Gettysburg. Scott captures the reader's attention as only he can tell it by not just stating the facts of what happened but by describing events through the eyes of the leaders and soldiers of both sides. The difficulties of Union command and control when dealing with militia is described in detail. As well, one can visualize the civilians' of Pennsylvania apprehension as rumors of White's "Comanches" terrorizing the country-side filtered into the city. The specter of the actual native American Comanches just a few decades earlier driving out Texas settlers in the same way they had prevented the Spanish from settling Colorado and Texas territories could not be far from these Pennsylvanians' consciousness. This foreboding was only matched by the high anxiety of Gordon's troops filing into York. Scott's research lays out for the reader the physical and social risks and sacrifice of Pennsylvania defenders as well as their actions of self preservation and attempts at saving hard earned wealth. He swings between Union and Confederate perspectives and describes events never imagined by this generation since the period of hostilities on United States soil almost a century and a half ago. The struggles of the Columbia-Wrightsville bridge exemplify our country working its way toward industrialization and expansion of continental trade at the outbreak of the War Between the States. The book is replete with first hand impressions of people who experienced Gordon's expedition. It was hard to put down this excellent book once begun.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Covers A Mostly Forgotten Aspect Of The Gettysburg Campaign, But.., May 18, 2011
By 
D. Hennett (Virginia Beach, VA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Flames Beyond Gettysburg: The Confederate Expedition to the Susquehanna River, June 1863 (Paperback)
Mingus' work fills a long standing gap in the history of the Gettysburg campaign. It is a fascinating story (and all the details are here!), and should have garnered coverage long before now. The book covers the movements of Jubal Early's Confederate division, in particular John B. Gordon's Brigade, as they move across south central Pennsylvania in June 1863 to ultimately reach the farthest penetration into Pennsylvania at the Susquehanna River. It's also the story of the confused, sometimes inept, but brave efforts of scattered militia forces and ordinary citizens to try and slow down the veteran Confederates. Ultimate success was achieved when Gordon was thwarted at Wrightsville by the destruction of the vital bridge there, eliminating any chances of capturing Harrisburg. The book features a great epilogue and a real plus is the section on driving directions to all the key locations.

I give the author high credit for an outstandingly researched and well written work. However, I had a few disappointments. A key aspect of this story were the individual experiences and reactions of miltiamen and citizens as the war was suddenly thrust upon them. While key, the author seemed intent on relating every single instance of a horse being confiscated, Confederate soldiers asking or taking food from farmers, fence rails being destroyed, etc. This is very repetitive and greatly bogs down an otherwise great narrative. A few examples sprinkled throughout at key times would have been adequate to give the reader the appropriate flavor. Largely missing from the work was the placement of Early's and Gordon's movements in the context of the overall movements of the rest of Lee's army, how they fit into his overall strategy and aims, and how those aims may have shifted in response to circumstance. At times, it seems as if Gordon is invading Pennsylvania on his own. Likewise on the Union side, it would have been nice to have more on how the frantic militia efforts fit in with the overall Union reaction to the invasion (what's going on with the Army of the Potomac is largely missing). More overall context would have made this a stronger work.

Overall, there are more positives here, and the book is well worth the read to learn about this fascinating story.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent history of a little known campaign, March 29, 2009
This review is for the Savas Beatie edition of this book.
Histories of the Gettysburg Campaign dismiss The Pennsylvanian response with no more than a page. The hapless state militia breaks at the first rumor of an attack, dropping all government issued equipment in their haste to run away. The Army of Northern Virginia's veterans make jokes about the militia's lack of performance while reequipping themselves at U.S. Government expense. Somehow, the local militia manages to burn the critical bridge over the Susquehanna River stopping the Army of Northern Virginia from capturing the state capitol. This piece of almost mindless good luck saves the Lincoln administration from a major embarrassment and contributes to the South's defeat. During the Battle of Gettysburg, only one man, John Burns, stepped forward to fight for his home.
The question is how do you turn 120 odd words into book of over 300 pages? More important, can you make that book a marketable product that people will want to buy? First, any book that is part of The Discovering Civil War America Series, merits consideration. This outstanding series of histories on the Civil War are informative, fun to read and inexpensive. This is a Gettysburg book and any Civil War person will automatically look at a book on Gettysburg. The opening paragraph is only half in jest. I have read a few books on Gettysburg but never read much more than a page on this operation. You might stop in York to look at the tablets saying Early took the town in 1863. Maybe you stop in some of the small towns on the way to the park from York. However very few of us know much about this area and we really want to get on the battlefield.
Scott Mingus Sr. makes an important addition to the story of Gettysburg by filling a void that we were unaware of by replacing our comfortable assumptions with a detailed study of the action from June 26 to 30, 1863. This is a rich layered story with unexpected complications. The first 90 pages set the stage as the author starts the invasion of 1863. While some of this is familiar territory, the focus moves us toward Pennsylvania and the state's building response. The balance of the book moves us from Gettysburg on June 26 to the Susquehanna River and back to Gettysburg on July 1.
This is a complex story. Jubal Early has overall control of the Confederate forces. He orders John B. Gordon to capture the bridge, giving him Elijah White's cavalry to help. However, they have conflicting orders and priorities that cause delays and steal time from what should be an all out drive. The Copperheads in the area add a layer of complexity and divided loyalties. At the same time, they are jubilant but cautious worried that the Confederates will not stay. Copperhead or Unionist the residents need to protect their property from the Rebels. Horses, mules, chickens, hams, milk, honey, butter, clothing, tools an endless list of items disappear. One of the richest parts of the story is the efforts of the farmers and businessmen to protect valuables during the invasion. Towns in Early's path must make hard decisions. How do they react to the invasion? Do they want to see their town turned into a battleground? Will the Rebels burn the town and sack the banks? How much tribute will be levied and how will they pay? York's answers to these questions created problems and generated questions about the leader's actions for years. Then we have to consider the militia. Again, reality is not the simple story we are accustomed to hearing. The militia is a combination of young and old, black and white, convalescing soldiers and discharged men that saw service earlier in the war. Some are brave and make an effort to fight. Some provide valuable service as scouts and guides. Many have not had a week of training or loaded their rifle until they get into battle. The fights are very well done. We understand the tactical situation, what is at stake for both sides even as the author walks us through a series of small actions. There are about six major skirmishes and the small battle at Wrightsville where the militia faces veterans. Needless to say, things do not go well for the militia but they make a real effort and they suffer for it. A major item is the bridge. The author's description of the bridge and the economic life of the area is vivid powerful and compelling. He breathes life into historical facts recreating the area's turnpikes, railroads, cannels, factories and farms. We understand how these items feed into and depend on a covered wooden bridge over a mile long. The bridge is not static but a central character that is as important as any. The burning of the bridge and the impact on the towns is a very good read and one that you will want to do in one sitting.
Driving tours! This book has six of them, with detailed directions and pictures. These add a great deal of value and another dimension to our knowledge. With book in hand, you will be able to stand where the story took place, making that magical connection to history that moves us from facts to fun.
A 30 page Epilogue tells us about the people after 1863, converting names into people with a life after the event. An excellent series of original maps by cartographer Steven Stanley complement period maps placing us in the story. Well-placed illustrations show us the people and places involved. The original Ironclad edition has received the full Savas Beatie work up. New material, maps and editing make this a new book, well worth having. A larger page, smaller margins and a standard print format cut the 600+ pages almost in half without any loss of material.
This is an excellent book on an unknown subject. The author writes well, telling the story in an informative but entertaining way.
I asked two questions earlier: "how do you turn 120 odd words into book of over 300 pages?" and "can you make that book a marketable product that people will want to buy?" My answer is Yes, Scott Mingus Sr. can turn my 120 odd words into a very readable 300+-page book. Yes, this is a marketable product that Civil War fans will want to buy.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Getting There, July 12, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
For all that has been written on the Battle of Gettysburg, there were two aspects that have gotten short shrift; what happened just before the battle and what happened just after the battle. Eric Wittenburg, et al., in "one Continuous Fight," recently addressed the "after" part with a thoroughness (and readability) that should satisfy all but the most obdurate nit pickers. Scott Mingus has now provided a good start on addressing the "before" part. The focus of "Flames Beyond Gettysburg" is generally on the doings of Gen John Gorden and Col. Lige White, but there is also a good deal of insight into the reaction of Pennsylvania citizens to Lee's invasion. Mingus is worth reading if for no other reason than to understand why Henry Heth opened the Battle of Gettysburg against Lee's order, thinking he was only facing militia. If I had a suggestion, it would be that Scott Mingus build on what he has already begun, and address the "before" Gettysburg history with the thoroughness that Wittenburg addressed the "after" Gettysburg part. (Wittenburg's "Plenty of Blame to Go Around" does a first-rate job of addressing what JEB Stuart was doing during the battle.)

If the Battle of Gettysburg is considered a jewel of the Civil War, like all jewels, it needs a good setting to be properly appreciated. That settin is finally getting built.

Lexman
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Flames Beyond Gettysburg, July 13, 2009
By 
JaMK (New Jersey) - See all my reviews
Scott Mingus' new book, Flames Beyond Gettysburg, is an excellent read and a solid work of history which sheds light on an often under-emphasized aspect of the Gettysburg campaign. Through Gettysburg and York to the Wrightsville-Columbia bridge, the reader marches with Gordon's Brigade--before the Battle of Gettysburg--to one of the most important strategic objectives of the entire campaign. In what must have been an exhaustive amount of research, Mingus balances the narrative by documenting the experiences of scores of south-central Pennsylvania residents, both Copperhead and Unionist, black and white, as well as, the efforts of the raw Pennsylvania militia to thwart the Confederate veterans prior to their world-famous encounter with the Army of the Potomac at Gettysburg. A welcome addition to the library of any American Civil War enthusiast.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Unknown Part of a Famous Battle No Longer, August 15, 2010
While being one of the most well known battles of all time the battle of Gettysburg is also one of the most complex and difficult to understand. The battle has been written to death in many people's mind and each minute of action seems to have been dissected. A seldom discussed aspect however is what took place in Pennsylvania in the days leading up to the famous battle. Author Scott L. Mingus, Sr. has given us a thoroughly researched and highly readable treatment of the actions that took place near Gettysburg just before the fateful battle.

The main thrust of this massive work is Brig. General John B. Gordon's brigade and their attempt to follow orders and secure the Columbia-Wrightsville Bridge for use by the entire division of Jubal Early's division. Gordon led his troops from Waynesboro through Gettysburg to York and ultimately controlling the town of Wrightsville. Ultimately the Confederates failed in their mission to secure the bridge due to the actions of Union troops led by Col. Jacob Frick and Major Granville Haller. The combination of Frick and Haller's actions plus the Confederates being recalled to the Gettysburg area by Gen. Robert E. Lee helped save the area east of Gettysburg and possibly other areas of Pennsylvania east of the Susquehanna River.

While there are military aspects to the book Mingus has also written a book dealing with how this aspect of war affected the civilian population. Considerable time is spent outlining how locals worked to move personal property east ahead of the coming storm. Livestock was especially important and moving animals away from oncoming troops occupied much of the locals time. Whether they were hidden in houses or moved east the value of animals is shown through these efforts. Also shown is that Confederates, even though in hostile territory, were not universally despised. There were civilians willing to provide food and shelter. Of course all was not rosy for non-combatants. Despite being told that private property was not to be harmed or destroyed this was not always the case. Shopkeepers were given worthless Confederate money in exchange for goods. Many citizens lost animals, crops, and prized possessions. Houses considered abandonded were many times ransacked by troops who felt they were getting revenge for actions by Union troops in the South. This isn't to say all was bad as the Confederates did work to help save the town of Wrightsville by forming a bucket brigade in an effort to prevent the town from burning due to embers from the burning bridge.

Mingus has written an important book on an overlooked part of the Gettysburg campaign. This is a long book but do not be intimidated by size. The type is large and easily readable. If set in standard type the work would be shorter. Also included in the page count are 6 driving tours. For anybody looking to further their knowledge on Gordon's path these are vital and will provide much more insight. For those interested in further research there is a large section of end notes and an ample bibliography. Also a plus is the price. At less than $25 this is a bargain. My understanding is the book has sold out from the publisher and that Mr. Mingus is working on an updated edition to include many firsthand accounts he has located since the original publication. These can only make an excellent book even better. A must read for any body interested in the Battle of Gettysburg and certainly one that anybody interested in the Civil War in general should own.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The battle nobody seems to talk about, June 17, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Some historical research on regional railroads during the Civil War led me to this book; it well exceeded my expectations as a very good read and not a cold history journal. It was very much inclusive of an open viewpoint and civilian perspective.

While not a Civil War "fan" or "historian", I've always been astounded by the decision of Lee and Picket for the full out assault on union forces at Gettysburg; and this is from a Pennsylvanian. Only when I read the accounts of the Gordon expedition on the prior weeks - and how they rolled over the local Militia forces over and over with well-coordinated and disciplined attacks - could I understand how the Confederacy could have convinced themselves that given a full-force assault in Gettysburg they could likely break the morale of the Union defenders there too. After all, that strategy had been working all week. This book gave me a much better understanding on how Gettysburg developed; up until this point the entire battle was somewhat inexplicable let alone why the Confederacy conducted it the way they did.

Highly recommended. I never knew how close Harrisburg came to being invaded - they were just one day short and a rainfall of being captured by the Confederacy.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A history lesson, March 31, 2012
By 
Cliff (Pennsylvania, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Flames Beyond Gettysburg: The Confederate Expedition to the Susquehanna River, June 1863 (Paperback)
I have to start by saying I am not an avid reader and most definitely not a writer. Many people know something about the Battle of Gettysburg and many believe that "the high water mark" is as far north as Confederate forces ever got. "Flames Beyond Gettysburg" lets readers learn how far north in Pennsylvania the forces got. It makes you think about what could have happened if the Confederate force had gotten across the Susquehanna River and how much of Wrightsville would have been destroyed if the Rebels had not helped combat the fires that started because of the bridge fire. I found this to be a very interesting and easy to read history lesson. I'm sure you will find this interesting and informative book also.
Cliff Herbster (Quarryville, PA)
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Great Title, March 28, 2012
This review is from: Flames Beyond Gettysburg: The Confederate Expedition to the Susquehanna River, June 1863 (Paperback)
In an area scarcely covered in Civil War literature, Scott Mingus' history is the foremost authority on York County's involvement in the Gettysburg Campaign. This is a must-have for any student of the battle of Gettysburg. You can read a lot about Culp's Hill and Little round top all you want, but you'll never find this info in any other book. This is a superb edition to any bookshelf.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Flames Beyond Gettysburg: The Confederate Expedition to the Susquehanna River, June 1863
$18.95 $11.79
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.