Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Fog of Gettysburg: The Myth and Mysteries of a Battle

by Kenneth L. Allers Jr.

From the publisher:
Pennsylvanians have a saying: "America was born in Philadelphia and saved at Gettysburg." In this way they acknowledge that Gettysburg was the defining battle of the Civil War.

Many books have covered the battle of Gettysburg as whole--fiction and nonfiction. And even more have looked at the action in particular areas of the battlefield, at certain aspects of the conflict, or at the actions of various units or individuals. Until now no book has focused on the confusion of the battle and the many unanswered questions that continue to this day.

The Fog of Gettysburg covers the myths, misunderstandings, and mysteries of the battle, the episodes that still provoke questions about what happened or why. Now readers will have a place to go to look for the answers to such questions as:

Were the people of Gettysburg unaware that a battle was brewing, or were they awaiting it?

Was George Sandoe the first casualty of Gettysburg?

Was Jennie Wade a Southern sympathizer?

Why did the war start west of town instead of elsewhere?

Was John F. Reynolds killed by a sharpshooter or by friendly fire?

What were Robert E. Lee's exact orders to Jeb Stuart?

Who gave the order to attack at sunrise on July 1?

Did Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain win Gettysburg on July 2?

Who ordered the flank attack on July 3?

How did George A. Custer defeat Stuart?

How many people actually died?

How many civilians were killed?

Who buried the Confederates?

The Fog of Gettysburg is divided into five sections, each with approximately ten episodes, covering the period leading up to the battle, the three days of battle (July 1-3, 1864), and the period following the battle. Containing four maps and more than twenty-five photographs, the book is a valuable resource for anyone who is fascinated by the issues about Gettysburg that continue to this day.

Ken Allers Jr. is a member of the Association of Licensed Battlefield Guides to Gettysburg. He lives in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.