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Showing 1-3 of 3 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 6 reviews
on September 19, 2009
On July 2, the Confederates launched attacks that included the Union's southern flank. The fighting around Little Round Top, the anchor of that flank, was fierce. The Union defenders included the 20th Maine led by Joshua Chamberlain. They held their line and the Conferates did not renew their attacks. As time passed, public awareness of this successful defense grew: the loss of Little Round Top would have meant defeat.

But was that true? Adelman's book is a well thought out assessment. He considers the Conferates' desire to win this ground, their ability to hold it if won, and how much damage they might have inflicted from it upon the Union line. He also traces how and why it became such an icon in the collective memory of the battle.

Agree or not, this is a great read.
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on February 22, 2013
With so much being written about Gettysburg in general and Little Round Top in particular it's good to see a work that seriously examines the "what if" question. "What if" the Confederates had captured Little Round Top? Could they have held or exploited the position? Not to take anything away from the gallant men who defended the position, but the fall of Little Round Top would not have meant Southern victory in the Civil War as some have suggested. Well worth reading!
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on July 17, 2013
This slightly cynical, somewhat smug thesis tries to show that the key battle for Little Round Top achieved grand mythological status as time progressed but that neither the Union left and center positions, the Battle of Gettysburg itself nor the war for Union itself was really in much danger from a Confederate victory there on the rocky hill. One wonders then, why the Rebs fought so hard to capture it (and nearly did, twice!) Moderately well researched, a bit uneven in its presentation, the author's conclusions amount to an alternate reality that some of the actual participants in the battle, Yank and Reb, could not see. Nor can most historians. What he regards as a steadily growing mythos is in fact the increased understanding, over time, of that key struggle and its prime importance. I say prime importance because it, along with the successful Union defense of Culp's Hill and the Cemetery Ridge section of III Corps, decided the Battle of Gettysburg, not Pickett's Charge which was always doomed to fail. (I maintain that Pickett's charge decided nothing, nothing except the final casualty count. That assault only served to alert Lee, finally, that he had lost the battle. But he had in fact lost it the day before on Little Round Top.) The author's too narrow focus ignores some critical issues like combatant psychology and the political realities of the time and treats the battle as mostly a numbers game, e.g., the greater numbers will win. He avers that if the Confederates had taken the hill they never could have kept it because they would have been vastly outnumbered by Union reinforcements. I say tell all the former commanders of the Army of the Potomac that the Rebs under Lee could not win a thing because they were outnumbered! Serious students of the war and of the battle may want to read this but can disregard its conclusions.
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