- Hardcover: 432 pages
- Publisher: Savas Beatie; 1st edition (June 29, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1932714642
- ISBN-13: 978-1932714647
- Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 64 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,148,411 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Sickles at Gettysburg: The Controversial Civil War General Who Committed Murder, Abandoned Little Round Top, and Declared Himself the Hero of Gettysburg Hardcover – June 29, 2009
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"…solidly researched and well presented…clear and easy to follow…highly recommended…for those who appreciate the combination of top-notch biography and military history." (Journal of America's Military Past)
“…delves into the history of this unusual historical figure who got away with murder, gained command of an army without military experience, and turned heads during an era. An intriguing look at a strange case in US history, “Sickles at Gettysburg” is not to be missed.” (The Midwest Book review)
About the Author
James A. Hessler works in the financial services industry and is a Licensed Battlefield Guide at Gettysburg National Military Park. He has taught Sickles and Gettysburg-related courses for Harrisburg Area Community College and the Gettysburg Foundation. In addition to writing articles for publication, Hessler speaks regularly at Civil War Round Tables.
Top customer reviews
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While I understand the author is somewhat of a Sickles "fan" - holding a birthday party for him every year and sporting a life sized Sickles cut out - he approaches the story from a fact-based perspective, allowing the reader to decide whether or not Sickles is the scoundrel that many modern accounts of Gettysburg make him out to be. What seems to be often overlooked in many of these accounts is that Sickles got some positive reviews from his contemporaries, and he did many things with Veterans Associations PLUS was the Congressman who spearheaded legislation to establish the Gettysburg Military Park, something that is not mentioned in the usual Gettysburg narrative.
Hessler keeps the story real and interesting, and in closing shares with the reader other perspectives shared by authors of books on Sickles and on the Battle of Gettysburg, so we can understand that earlier accounts favored the general more than more modern renderings. It's a valid point. Does author bias interfere with our interpretation of history????
But at any rate, it's a book that every Gettysburg fanatic should read for a number of reasons. Sickles is a man who is worth a second look beyond these modern perceptions.
Although Major General Dan Sickles has been presented as the reason the Union Army did not crush Lee, Longstreet and the Confederate forces massed in Gettysburg on July 2nd (the second day of three that made up the Battle of Gettysburg. The author provides plenty of plenty of evidence both ways explaining why the 3rd Corps, Sickles Corps was stretched too thinly to prevent a surprise attack by Longstreet and his Confederate Corps on the Unions left flank. It is an interesting study in which, I believe Sickles became the scapegoat because he was not a United States Military Academy graduate. He was a "amateur soldier".
Dan Sickles certainly was no saint, in fact he was as crooked a politician as Tammany Hall politics produced but I do feel that when in command of soldiers in battle, he was the type of commander that men will follow. Did he make mistakes, yes but he seemed to correct them as best he could on to the fly.
This book is a very involved study, I found myself confused at times with all of the conflicting data. For a student of a more in-depth look or especially for a student of Gettysburg, I believe this is a must read.