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Devil's Den: A History and Guide 1 Ed Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1577470175
ISBN-10: 1577470176
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 159 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Pubns; 1 Ed edition (September 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1577470176
  • ISBN-13: 978-1577470175
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 8.8 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #755,788 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As far as the history and accounts brought by these authors, this is an excellent chronicle of Devil's Den. I love Garry and Tim and can't wait to see their "Gettysburg Battlewalks" on PCN. (Pennsylvania Cable Network). Their knowledge of Gettysburg is unmatched, but I also can't get passed the fact that the reprinted quality of most photos is just awful as stated in a previous review. They're printed on the worst paper possible for photos and there is no detail in most. It's impossible to find any of the markings or other small details provided by the authors in the descriptions. I guess by trying to keep down the cost, they sacrificed the photo quality. I'm an amateur photographer and even though most of these photos are very old, there is photo editing software that could greatly improve the resolution of these photos in order to better display them on this type of paper... It's a shame. Otherwise I'd give it 5 Stars easily... I agree with the other reviewer... I'd buy this book again for better quailty photos.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The only other book dedicated exclusively to the fighting at Devil's Den, on Day 2 on the southern flank of both the Union and Confederate lines is Charles Boyd's book, "Devil's Den," however Boyd's book is in fact a history of the 44th Alabama Infantry. Adelman and Smith overcome that book's narrow focus by dealing with the battle from hour to hour, all along Houck's Ridge, The Devil's Den, The Wheatfield, the Slaughter Pen, and Little Round Top. The book is organized into a Pre-Battle History, The Battle for Devil's Den, and a Post Battle History. And since Smith and Adelman are Licensed Battlefield Guides at Gettysburg National Military Park, they finish up with a walking tour of the areas described in the book.

The action pits Ward's Brigade and Smith's 4th New York Artillery against Benning's and Laws' Brigades. The authors follow the actions of the individual regiments involved in the fighting, with particular attention to the leadership and valor on both sides. They rely principally on primary sources, such as the letters of veterans, military archives, and the text of speeches. For some reason they also include some spurious stories which they point out are not true, but which have become part of the Gettysburg lore.

This was a most remarkable engagement. General Sickles had at least exceeded his orders (and probably entirely disregarded them) in advancing down from Cemetery Ridge to occupy the more vulnerable Houck's Ridge. The placement of Smith's artillery (putting aside the controversy over their precise placement) was reckless and unwarranted. Artillery has no place out in front of infantry, and it is axiomatic that the determined charges of the Alabamans and Texans would eventually overtake Smith's artillery (Parrott Rifles).
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Format: Paperback
The Battle of Gettysburg has probably had more books written on every conceivable aspect than any other Civil War battle. As would be expected some are of more value than others. In Devil's Den: A History and Guide authors Garry Adelman and Timothy Smith, both Licensed Battlefield Guides at Gettysburg National Military Park, have written what while probably not the last word could conceivably be called the best work dealing not just with the battle that took place at Devil's Den but the actual location itself.

In a brief 131 pages of text the authors cover four major themes: pre-battle history, the battle for Devil's Den, post-battle history, and a suggestion for touring the Den. The battle and post-battle are of course the large portion of the book.

The first section briefly deals with pre-war history of the area. The authors get right to the point by debunking the myth that the area was created by Ice Age glacial activity. Rather, the rock formation is part of an outcropping of diabase sill, a sheet of igneous rock. The formation was formed over 180 million years ago. Also discussed is the importance of the area before the war. Did you know the name Devil's Den is actually a post war moniker? Read about the history of the name in the first chapter.

The second chapter is the longest in the book and deals with the actual second day of the Battle of Gettysburg. The chapter starts off with a much needed introduction to the various regiments and brigades that fought over the rocky area. The back and forth battle for this piece of terrain is covered in depth and is helped along by close to a dozen maps drawn by Garry Adelman.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The historical work is right up to par. There are things in this book that I was not aware of, and that was a real treat.

However. The reproduction of the photos in the book are really of poor quality. In some cases, to the point of being ridiculous. Old period photos and recent ones. Both are very poor in quality. I am no printing expert, but I would say that the paper is fine for printing text but of too poor a quality for pictures.

The problem does not fall on the originals. I am familiar with them all.

There should be a reprinting of the book. Even though I have purchased one already, I would purchase another that was printed on a quality parer.

If you don't care about the pictures, no problem. It's a piece great work.
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