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Those Damned Black Hats! The Iron Brigade in the Gettysburg Campaign Hardcover – September 30, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
I was on a recent business trip and a colleague, who is not a history fan, asked if I had any books to help her read herself to sleep. I had just finished this tale of the Iron Brigade, and offered it to her. The next morning she complained that it did not help her to sleep; instead she was drawn by the individual stories of the men of the Iron Brigade.
So if you are a Civil War devotee, or just fascinated by the real stories of young men in a time of change, I would highly recommend this book.
Recollections taken from letters written by survivors of the Brigade help to recount the story of the brigade's gallant actions in the fields and wood lots west of Gettysburg on July 1st, as well as their minor contributions on the 2nd and 3rd on Culp's Hill. Many wartime photos of Iron Brigade soldiers and maps of the troops' positions help tell the story.
Interestingly, Herdegen includes a few chapters that deal with the brigade's actions during Grant's push into Virginia in 1864. I wasn't expecting this, as the book was to deal with the Gettysburg campaign only, so I thought. But these sections work seamlessly with the main focus of the book, as it helps the reader to follow the men who fought at Gettysburg through to the conclusion of the war.
The final chapters deal with the various Iron Brigade veterans associations and their reunions and meetings with former Confederate foes during visits to the field in their final years. I found these accounts very interesting indeed... and rather touching.
A fine addition to the library of all who are interested in The Iron Brigade and The Gettysburg Campaign in general.
This is a story about people under unique circumstances during a unique time and their ability to rise to the occasion. It is not a story of massive, impersonal armies moving here and there, it is a story about what people experienced for a few hot days in July in a place they never heard of before.
This is not your average military history - it is better. Herdegen adds to the story of the Iron Brigade by using newly discovered primary documents - letters, diaries and more to deftly to create an eminently readable mix of social and military history done as no one else can.
These are the stories of raw young men, far from home, doing their duty as only the young men of that era could.
If you are just discovering this Union Brigade, you'll find a wealth of information in these pages. If you are not new to this Brigade and think you know all the stories - you'll enjoy this book, too. It brings all the well known stories, plus new ones, into one volume of easy reading. I, for one, am glad that Lance has given us a before, during and after look at this Western Brigade at Gettysburg, as their "history" is fascinating and bears repeating. The tales from the soldier reunions after the war gives a more complete picture of these men from the West who fought in the East.
This new book will be a welcome addition to anyone's Iron Brigade or Gettysburg library.
"If it was the `Ragged Assed 2nd' and `Calico 6th,' the 7th Wisconsin became the `Huckleberries.' One officer recalled that they were always talking about `pies and things to eat,' while the men of the 19th Indiana were simply `old Posey County' or `Swamp Hogs, Number 19' . . . the infantry volunteers and regulars serving with Battery B of the 4th U.S. Artillery became the `One hundred forty thieves' for their admired ability to carry foraged goods on their limbers and caissons. When the 24th Michigan was added to the Western Brigade in 1862, the Wolverines became `the featherbeds' because they were slow to enlist and brought so many creature comforts from back home."
I highly recommend this book to all Iron Brigade aficionados, those especially interested in the activities of the Army of the Potomac's First Corps at Gettysburg and Civil War historians in general.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
read the book found it to be an easy read great history of Wis in the civil warPublished 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
Another outstanding book about the Civil War Iron Brigade by Lance Herdegen. Great read.Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
After reading it on the beach, I felt there should be a better book to discuss the actually battle. The maps helped,but the back and forth of battle, then description of soldiers'... Read morePublished 5 months ago by nicholas tsamparlis
Very pleased with recent purchase! Bought as used, received as possibly new. Will by from seller again! Thank you!! Buzz G.Published 10 months ago by Basil Gugliotta
Mr. Herdegen proves once again why he is the authority on those western boys with their prairie swagger. Read morePublished 23 months ago by peen
Highly recommend! Enjoyed thoroughly & in every detail. Quite a tribute to this gallant brigade & a treasured addition to my
Civil War library.
Historian Lance Herdegen has written an outstanding account of the famous Iron Brigade and their actions during the Battle of Gettysburg from July 1st to July 3rd, 1863. Read morePublished on November 30, 2013 by Joe Owen
His clever intellect allows the reader to be fully invested in the history of the Civil War and the infamous Iron Brigade!Published on September 6, 2013 by jill butterfield