The New Gettysburg Campaign Handbook: June 9-July 14, 1863---Facts, Photos and Artwork for Readers of All Ages, J.David Petruzzi and Steven Stanley, Savas Beatie Publishing, 184 pp., numerous color and b/w photographs, 28 color maps, $18.95.
Without a doubt, Savas Beatie LLC, kept to its high standard of quality with its offering The New Gettysburg Campaign Handbook: June 9-July 14, 1863---Facts, Photos and Artwork for Readers of All Ages. By condensing and reorganizing the prize winning The Complete Gettysburg Guide and adding some new information, J.David Petruzzi and Steven Stanley have created a book that is for readers of all ages. Even pre-readers will be entertained by using the book as a picture album. Having taught all grades from kindergarten through 12, with the exception of sixth grade, and by having raised five children, I could almost guarantee it. Any adult who is willing to have a small child sit on their lap and read to them and talk about the pictures, will be able to tell stories from this book.
Also, anyone who is looking for their first book on the Battle of Gettysburg, would do well to start with The New Gettysburg Handbook. Lists of facts, questions with answers, black and white and color photographs, sketches and classic watercolor paintings are on every page. For the the authors offer the distance away from the battlefield on the evening of June 30, the organization of the armies, and photographs of the noteworthy commanders and men in the ranks. The weather conditions are briefly discussed as are the role of the civilians in the battle. Controversies, myths, misconceptions about the campaign and battle are addressed. Forty-one notable qoutations are listed, the Confederates are list in red and the Federals are listed in blue. The battle covers 75 of the books 189 pages. Two pages offer and discuss the Gettysburg Address.
For visitors to the national battlefield park there is a list of webstites. Helpful for readers is a list of books organized in 19 categories. The organization of the armies [order of battle] is presented which makes the book handy for touring the battlefield and reading the monuments. More than likely, first time visitors leaving the national park's bookstore will have The New Gettysburg Campaign Handbook: June 9-July 14, 1863---Facts, Photos and Artwork for Readers of All Ages in hand.
There a few segments of the campaign that were missing from The Complete Gettysburg Guide that are also missing from The New Gettysburg Campaign Handbook. More attention than a single line should be used for the June 30 cavalry battle at Hanover. Imagine if Confederate horsemen were travelling west on the Hanover-Gettysburg Road on July 1. Also, the July 2 evening counter assault of Pennsylvania Reserve Division troops from the north slope of Little Round Top through Plum Run and to the east side of the Wheatfield should have been noted. After the July 3 Grand Assault, the Pennsylvania Reserve brigades again assaulted the Wheatfield and captured Georgia troops with their colors. The assault occurred along with Farnesworth's cavalry charge toward the Slyder Farm and Merrit's cavalry charge northward on the Emmittsburg Road. The cavalry charges are discussed and maps are presented; but the Pennsylvania Reserves assault is not mentioned and has no map. Though constrained by the 184 page limit adding a map and a caption would have been possible. Also, a brief history of the National Cemetery and the birth and growth of the Gettysburg National Military Park is not found between the covers.
These omissions do not detract from The New Gettysburg Campaign Handbook: June 9-July 14, 1863---Facts, Photos and Artwork for Readers of All Ages. It is an enjoyable and informative handbook for all readers and travelers to the battlefield. All the Civil War national parks would be well served by the attention of Petruzzi and Stanley.