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Morning at Willoughby Run: July 1, 1863 Revised Edition

5 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0939631742
ISBN-10: 0939631741
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Pubns; Revised edition (January 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0939631741
  • ISBN-13: 978-0939631742
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,522,367 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
In Morning at Willoughby Run, Richard Shue provides an in-depth look at the opening combat of the battle that came to be known as Gettysburg. With energetic prose, Shue leads the reader from the banks of the Rappahanock River to the meandering rivulet of Willoughby Run, just west of Gettysburg. His story, while very focused, flows very well, and keeps the reader's attention despite his attention to detail, which in other works has led to monotony. It seems that most treatises on the battle of Gettysburg glaze over the first day's fight, especially the opening action. Yet this action was critical in determining where the great contest would occur. Shue brings to light this importance in an intriguing way by showing the inaugural action to be the result of particular personalities, rather than great, uncontrollable events. The main characters in the developing drama are Buford, Reynolds, and Heth. To some degree, the aggressive spirit of all three men led directly to the conflict west of Gettysburg. Showing that personality shapes warfare, particularly here at Gettysburg was refreshing, and differentiates Shue's volume from other accounts of the first day, such as Coddington's, which takes a Risk-like* view of war. While the entire book was very readable, the most interesting part came at the end when Shue discusses some of the major controversies surrounding the opening engagements. Somewhat separated from the rest of the book, this one chapter allowed Shue to express his opinions, outside of the regular narrative. This was a pleasant surprise as he provides strong evidence for his assertions, and makes the reader believe his point of view-something that only analytical writing can accomplish-a very nice addition to the book.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
Richard S. Shue has given me the exact information I was looking for. I have studied the Civil War for some time now and continually get duped into buying books that I could write myself. This book explains Bufords actions to the letter, and gives a great description of the Iron Brigade, Archer, Doubleday, and Heth. If you are tired of hearing the name Chamberlain get this book.
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Format: Paperback
This is a wonderfully detailed rendering of the first day at Gettysburg--July 1, 1863. But the book doesn't start on the morning of July 1st. There is nice context of events leading to the battle, including John Reynolds turning down command of the Army of the Potomac, Lee's division of his forces into three corps after Stonewall Jackson's death, running skirmished taking place in late June (e.g., Confederates against poorly trained Union militia), and so on. The materials provide good context for the actual fighting on July 1st.

The tale of John Buford's cavalry arriving on the last day of June, their stare down with Pettigrew's brigade (which withdrew before any conflict ensued), setting up their positions for the next morning, when everyone knew that Confederate forces would be coming down "that road" (the Chambersburg Pike). There is an interesting discussion of General Pettigrew trying to convince Generals Hill and Heth that there were Union regulars at Gettysburg. His fellow officers pooh poohed his concerns and chose to march on the village the next morning.

Then, the battle begins. Buford's cavalry are heavily pressed, Then, Reynolds and his corps come up and the sanguinary struggle commenced, a classic "meeting engagement." The book describes in considerable detail the ebb and flow of battle, with the Union forces finally breaking. The afternoon concludes with General Hancock (in concert with General Howard) establishing order in the Union ranks.

The book is enhanced with many maps, showing nicely the specifics of various parts of the fighting on the first day. Also, there are quite a few photographs that provide a sense of the terrain. The book concludes by noting what happened afterwards to some of the key figures at Gettysburg.

All in all, a fine book on the first day. . . .
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By hodge on August 26, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Simply a must read for any serious student of the battle. The fighting in the morning, especially of Buford's cavalry, and Wadsworth's division has always been my favorite part of the battle, and that is addressed in spades with this work.
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