Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Booknotes: "Double Canister at Ten Yards"

New Arrival:
"Double Canister at Ten Yards": The Federal Artillery and the Repulse of Pickett's Charge, July 3, 1863 by David L. Schultz (Savas Beatie, 2017).

At this point, I don't think anyone who has seriously studied Pickett's Charge doubts the key role played by long and short ranged Union artillery fire in beating back the Confederate assault, but others go even further. The following passage from this study's description— "(t)he war witnessed many large scale assaults and artillery bombardments, but no example of defensive gunnery was more destructive than the ring of direct frontal and full-flank enfilading fire Hunt’s batteries unleashed upon Lee’s assaulting columns. The iron rain broke and drove back the massed attack within a short time, leaving a fraction of the attacking force to cross the Emmitsburg Road to scale the deadly Ridge."— certainly seems to place author David Schultz among those believing that the charge was already essentially broken by the time the front ranks passed over the Emmitsburg Road.

In “Double Canister at Ten Yards”, Schultz "uses official reports, letters, diaries, and other accounts to meticulously explain how Hunt and his officers and men worked tirelessly that night and well into July 3 to organize a lethal package of orchestrated destruction to greet Lee’s vaunted infantry..." It was so effective that "no example of defensive gunnery was more destructive than the ring of direct frontal and full-flank enfilading fire Hunt’s batteries unleashed upon Lee’s assaulting columns."

This title was initially published back in 1995 by Rank & File Publications, but I don't have a copy of that first edition for any kind of then-and-now comparison. Beyond obvious reformatting (this volume has the familiar and appealing SB look and feel), I don't know what, if any, material was added beyond a foreword. Neither the new foreword nor the introduction note changes between editions. The former does mention that Schultz is working on an exhaustive study of Union artillery over the entire Gettysburg Campaign. So this is a taste of much more to come.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this, Drew.

    This edition has corrected factual mistakes in the first, and has been expanded with additional information, better notes, and more and better maps (and photos).

    It is an entirely new publication. Anyone who liked the first one will enjoy very much this one.

    ReplyDelete

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