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Pickett's Charge: The History and Legacy of the Civil War's Most Famous Assault [Kindle Edition]

Charles River Editors
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)

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Book Description

*Includes maps of the battle, pictures of the battlefield, and pictures of the important generals.
*Includes descriptions of Pickett's Charge written by George Pickett, James Longstreet, Porter Alexander, and some soldiers who made the charge.
*Explains Lee's strategy, Longstreet's argument, and an analysis of what went right and wrong.
*Explains the legacy of Pickett's Charge and how it got its famous name.
*Includes a Bibliography for further reading.
*Includes a Table of Contents.

Despite the fact that the Civil War began over 150 years ago, it remains one of the most widely discussed topics in America today, with Americans arguing over its causes, reenacting its famous battles, and debating which general was better than others. Americans continue to be fascinated by the Civil War icons who made the difference between victory and defeat in the war's great battles.

The most famous attack of the Civil War was also one of its most fateful and fatal. Pickett’s Charge, the climactic assault on the final day of the Battle of Gettysburg, has become the American version of the Charge of the Light Brigade, and it is one of the most famous events of the entire Civil War.
Having been unable to break the Army of the Potomac’s lines on the left and right flank during Day 2 of the Battle of Gettysburg, Confederate Army of Northern Virginia commander Robert E. Lee decided to make a thrust at the center of the Union’s line with about 15,000 men spread out over three divisions. The charge required marching across an open field for about a mile, with the Union artillery holding high ground on all sides of the incoming Confederates.

Though it is now known as Pickett’s Charge, named after division commander George Pickett, the assignment for the charge was given to General James Longstreet, whose 1st Corps included Pickett’s division. Longstreet had serious misgivings about Lee’s plan and tried futilely to talk him out of it. Longstreet later wrote that he said to his commander, “General Lee, I have been a soldier all my life. It is my opinion that no fifteen thousand men ever arrayed for battle can take that position.”

Aware of the insanity of sending 15,000 men hurtling into all the Union artillery, Lee planned to use the Confederate artillery to try to knock out the Union artillery ahead of time. Although old friend William Pendleton was the artillery chief, the artillery cannonade would be supervised by Edward Porter Alexander, Longstreet’s chief artillerist, who would have to give the go-ahead to the charging infantry because they were falling under Longstreet’s command. Alexander later noted that Longstreet was so disturbed and dejected about ordering the attack that at one point he tried to make Alexander order the infantry forward, essentially doing Longstreet’s dirty work for him.

Unfortunately for Porter Alexander and the Confederates, the sheer number of cannons belched so much smoke that they had trouble gauging how effective the shells were. As it turned out, most of the artillery was overshooting the target, landing in the rear of the Union line. Reluctant to order the charge, Longstreet commanded Porter Alexander to order the timing for the charge. As Longstreet and Alexander anticipated, the charge was an utter disaster, incurring a nearly 50% casualty rate and failing to break the Union line.

Pickett’s Charge: The History and Legacy of the Civil War’s Most Famous Assault profiles the history, context, and command decisions that all culminated in the most famous charge in American history. It also includes analysis of what went right and wrong, as well as what the major participants wrote about the charge. Along with maps and pictures of important people and places, you will learn about Pickett’s Charge like you never have before, in no time at all.


Product Details

  • File Size: 1135 KB
  • Print Length: 92 pages
  • Publisher: Charles River Editors (November 25, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00ADC8L0Q
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #57,226 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An easy but informative read January 19, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a concise treatment of the Chancellorsville and Gettysburg campaigns, but even if the reader knows very little about the subject here he or she will come away from the book with a good understanding of what happened and why. I especially liked the discussions in chapters 7 and 8 about why Meade did not pursue Lee's army after the battle and the roles played by key actors in determining why Gettysburg turned out the way it did. The comments of Porter Alexander in chapter 8 about Lee's choice of tactics on July 3 provide a perspective from the artillerist's point of view.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another look at Pickett December 13, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
More revealing information about a great Civil War battle and the leaders behind the fight. Excellent reading for Civil War buffs!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My take September 21, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Great read. but two things.
It did not identify whether Generals or troops were on which side, Omitted a reference to Chamberlain (MOH awardee) and the defense of little round top.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read of America's Bloodiest Battle! September 2, 2013
By Solo
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The folks at Charles RIver Editors have produced another great account of history as it really happened. Rather than the dull accounts of history we're used to in textbooks, Charles River Editors give the most fact-based accounts based on actual eyewitnesses. This history tells gives a different, more detailed account of one of the turning points in American history. Gives details rarely found in other tellings often found on tv and in action movies. As history buffs often find, the real stories make for a much better read than the dime novels and flashy accounts on tv and in movies.

I have many Charles Rivers Editors editions in my personal collection and they are always the first things I recommend to anyone who wants to know the real story behind legendary people and historical events. They never disappoint. They all read more like exciting novels than what we normally consider "history".
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Glad it was free March 22, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I believe the title of this book was "Pickett's Charge," not an overall quick synopsis of "The Battle of Gettsyburg." Perhaps I was wrong. Instead of focusing on Pickett, this book seems more directed towards Longstreet and his inactions during the battle.

Pros: Good maps and letters from the participants.

Cons: The make-up of the book is terrible. Too many fillers from past works and repeated phrases by the narrator. We are never told how the battle truly affected Pickett after the war, but we go on and on about Longstreet, Lee, A.P.Hill and others on how the battle was viewed by them years later.

Overall, this is a second rate work. Very disappointed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars bob September 6, 2014
By Bob
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
One sentence near the end summed up my entire impression of the work. Not sure of the exact wording or location, but referenced a letter written by Lincoln to Meade after the battle. It indicates that Lincoln never sent the letter and that Meade "never read it during his lifetime". From this one must assume that Meade read it in death. Good trick! Houdini would be proud.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Insightful September 21, 2013
By Skip B.
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a good book to read as it provides some details often overlooked by other accounts of Pickett's charge. It enhanced my understanding of the charge, added some players, and provided background that may identify the cause of this disastrous military tactic. I enjoyed the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A riveting personal account August 6, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Here is history in the voice of those who made it, even the arguments, bravado and tragic separations of old friends on opposing sides.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Gettysburg, the high water mark for the South.
An extremely intimate look into the pivotal battle of the Civil War. After Gettysburg, the South could no longer defeat the North militarily. Read more
Published 1 month ago by pwzf4nxz
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
all books are good
Published 1 month ago by Donald L Gleim
5.0 out of 5 stars Great reading.
Excellent writing! Reads like a novel. Pretty well tells what everyone was doing during the battle and lets you draw your own conclusions as to who was at fault.
Published 2 months ago by Wayne A. Lawson
3.0 out of 5 stars Pickett's Charge
This was a good read. How ever it needed more detail on the battles. I love history and this gave some insight into the greatest battle of the Civil War.
Published 3 months ago by Jeffery L. Kyle
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Just Pickett
Lots of new (for me) information. Background and personalities. The Charge plus events leading up to and following the Confederate march into history.
Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
2.0 out of 5 stars SUPERFICIAL LOOK AT GETTYSBURG
Actually a 2 star might be too high of a rating. This book is merely a SUPERFICIAL summary of Pickett' s Charge. Read more
Published 7 months ago by HF
4.0 out of 5 stars Picketers charge
I enjoy reading and studying the civil war. This book is an excellent lesson on one of the biggest and most fateful battles of the war.
Published 8 months ago by Kerri Justus
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read.
Interesting read how the Confederate strategy was not followed and led to a disastrous loss. Gettysburg, the movie, seemed to follow this book.
Published 9 months ago by John E. Oczepek
4.0 out of 5 stars Pitcher's Charge: The History and Legacy...
This was a very interesting view of the ill-fated battle at Gettysburg called Pickett's Charge. I have been to this battle site and read several depictions of Pickett's Charge,but... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Diana Greenwell
4.0 out of 5 stars Informative
This book is a very informative followup to other books about he battle of Gettysburg . Books sch as Killer Angels.
Published 13 months ago by AL Pardo
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Charles River Editors is a digital publishing company that creates compelling, educational content. In addition to publishing original titles, we help clients create traditional and media-enhanced books.


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