Sunday, August 3, 2014

Gettysburg, July 2: The Ebb and Flow of Battle

Gettysburg attracts a level of detail fanaticism that inspires mockery and envy in equal measure. In Gettysburg, July 2: The Ebb and Flow of Battle author James Woods (probably not the actor) attempts a herculean task, that of tracking in apparently extremely minute time increments the movements of every regiment and artillery battery over an entire 24 hour period of the battle. I don't have a copy of the book so I have no idea how successful Woods's effort turned out to be, but if the author's reach truly doesn't exceed his grasp that would be quite a unique achievement.


  1. It is a must have for Day 2 addicts. You may not agree with every single one of his interpretations, but long-time GB Mag subscribers know Jim Woods, and how very meticulous he has been in his research. This book is a monster, and will become scarce in the very same manner that Imhof and Laino became scarce. My advice is to grab one while you can. You will not be disappointed.

    1. The price is more than reasonable, too.

    2. I used to say that some people are so taken with the battle of Gettysburg that I could see the day when someone would write a book about the first hour of the first day of the battle, the second hour, the third hour, ad infinitum.

      Good grief, perhaps I wasn't too far off. Who needs that kind of detail?

    3. It may seem like too much about one engagement, but I have two reasons for wanting to read such a book: first, interest in the Gettysburg campaign itself (most interesting to me after Chickamauga, Antietam,& Vicksburg); second, I enjoy examining the fruits of detailed, almost obsessive research into CW battles, the kind of which I'd never be capable. That's why Lanny Smith's two volumes on Stones River are sitting on my shelf.

      Joel Manuel
      Baton Rouge


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