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Gettysburg July 1 Paperback – June 17, 2003

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Editorial Reviews


"Martin's Gettysburg, July 1 is now the standard source for the first day's fight." -- Civil War Regiments

"One of the most definitive accounts on the fury of America's most famous battle." -- Civil War News 5/20/04

About the Author

Dr. David G. Martin has written numerous books of military history including The Vicksburg Campaign, The Shiloh Campaign, The Philadelphia Campaign, and Confederate Monuments at Gettysburg.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 736 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press; Reprint edition (June 19, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0306812401
  • ISBN-13: 978-0306812408
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,296,205 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By B. Morris on March 5, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First off, when you get this book, make sure it's the revised edition. Amazon only carries the revised one now so if you order through them you'll be sure to get it. It has eliminated the errors in the first edition that previous reviews make mention of.

As far as the book itself, I have read a lot of Gettysburg books and this one ranks up there with the very best such as Harry Phanz's book on the second day. It is an incredibly detailed account of the event of the 1st day.

There are two things about this book that most impressed me. First is the way Martin approached the battle itself. Rather than cover the entire battlefield together in one timeline, he approaches sections of the battle separately. It's almost like the book is a series of smaller books. He will take a brigade such as Cutler's Brigade and concentrate on them rather than try and insert into that narrative what was going on on other parts of the field. Then he will back up and cover in detail other regiments or Brigades that were going on simultaneously that are connected to the previous section and so on.

The result is he'll do Cutler's Brigade and then back up a bit and cover the 6th Wisconsin and how they connected to what was happening and then Stones Brigade. It allows the reader not to be overwhelmed with to many units at one time and develope a clear view about how it all fits together.

The second thing is Martin goes into details on certain controversies. Rather than say "this is definitely what happened" he will explain that there were alternate views of the same thing and then explain why he believes one has more merit than the other.

The only criticism I have of this book are the maps.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Weegee on December 23, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is soooooo good. I read Pfanz Day One and Martin's July 1st back to back, and without a doubt, Martin gets the nod. Pfanz book is wonderful, don't get me wrong, but it reads too matter of factly and there weren't as many of the analytical remarks I was expecting. However, Martin provides many more details, but also a lot of the analytical questions and answers that makes reading about the battles interesting.

Maps are excellent and numerous. As usual, a few more wouldn't have hurt, but I'm happy with the ones they had.

I read the "revised" version so I had no troubles with the editorial mistakes like some others. Just make sure you get the revised copy.

The flow of battle is a little tricky to handle because you have multiple troop movements, engagements, important orders going on at the same exact time. Martin's style is to stick with one "action" all the way through. For instance, the action at Barlow's Knoll leads to Kryz's moving in reenforcements, which leads to Union retreat on the right, which leads to Coster's stand, etc. Then he goes back and handles the entire action of Pender's action which was happening at about the same time. I prefer the style that jumps around from section to section so you can read the actions in a chronological order, but Martin handles his style quite well.

Simiply put, the amount of research, details, and nuggets of info (i.e. stories of valor, etc.) are excellent and well worth the price, and make an excellent addition to your civil war book shelf and most certainly your GB collection. This book is for the more advanced student, so beginners are better off starting with an entire campaign or battle book (like Trudeau or Sears) before tackling the micro study.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Robin Friedman HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 28, 2004
Format: Paperback
The battle of Gettysburg (July 1 -- 3, 1863) continues to fascinate scholarly and lay readers alike. The battle can be explored from innumerable perspectives and with a greater or lesser degree of depth depending upon the interests of the reader.

David Martin's study, "Gettysburg, July 1" is a thorough, detailed study of the first day of the battle, of the events leading up to it, and of the impact of the first day's fight on the remainder of the contest. The book examines day 1 of Gettysburg on the macro and micro levels. Martin discusses the strategies of the Army of the Potomac and the Army of Northern Virginia after they stumbled into each other on July 1. But in addition to command decisions, Martin gives great attention to the battle on the division and regimental levels. He also painstakingly describes and analyzes many anecdotes, legends, and accounts of individual soldiers. The detail may make it difficult for the reader to separate the important from the secondary, and it makes the account repetitious at times.

Together with his account, Martin offers his own assessment of the course of the battle and of the decisions of the commanders. At times he falls into speculation and into "what-ifs", but he is clear to indicate to the reader when he is doing so. Martin is critical of the Union 11th Corps, of Union Generals Howard and Slocum, of Confederate commander Robert E. Lee and of Confederate Third Corps commander A.P. Hill. He praises the Union First Corps and Generals Meade, Hancock,Reynolds Doubleday, and Buford. His analyses flow well if slowly from his factual presentation. Martin treats his subject with seriousness and respect.
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