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Gettysburg July 1 Paperback – June 17, 2003
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is the most well documented book I ever read. Martin did a great job and his narrative didn't bore you, you wanted to read more, at least I did. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Gary Rembisz
Stick with Harry Pfanz if you want an easy to read, very detailed and better mapped book about the first day. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Amazon Customer
I have read many articles, books, and visited the battlefield many times. This is one of my favorites for sure! The detail that Martin presents is fantastic. Read morePublished on September 5, 2013 by michael ondrusek
Simply put, I consider David G. Martin's book a masterpiece of Civil War literature. I thought long and hard about using the term masterpiece, but I honestly believe that this... Read morePublished on August 21, 2013 by Patrick L. Reeder
Not an easy book to read. With most CW books by the time I have read about 1/4 of the way through I sense a flow of words. I never got there with this book. Read morePublished on March 20, 2012 by jbw29NC
THIS IS ONE OF THE WORST BOOKS I HAVE EVER READ. GOOD DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGHTING BUT FROM TOO MUCH OF A UNION PERSPECTIVE. Read morePublished on May 16, 2010 by Robert Edward Dukes
This book gives a very thorough breakdown of the many events on July 1st. Very good as a resource for fleshing out any generic overview with nitty-gritty details. Read morePublished on June 13, 2009 by Anthony Patrick
As mentioned...get the latest edition you can find.
Martin writes a wonderful book. With Pfanz in hand, you will have Day One covered. Read more