Friday, October 7, 2022

Booknotes: “If We Are Striking for Pennsylvania”, Vol. 1

New Arrival:
“If We Are Striking for Pennsylvania” - The Army of Northern Virginia and the Army of the Potomac March to Gettysburg, Volume 1: June 3–21, 1863 by Scott L. Mingus, Sr. and Eric J. Wittenberg (Savas Beatie, 2022)

The road to Gettysburg has been addressed through a multitude of scholarly and popular works, but Scott Mingus and Eric Wittenberg's “If We Are Striking for Pennsylvania” - The Army of Northern Virginia and the Army of the Potomac March to Gettysburg, Volume 1: June 3–21, 1863 opens a two-volume history poised to surpass all others in detail level and interpretive range. Their study "is one of the first to integrate the military, media, political, social, economic, and civilian perspectives with rank-and-file accounts from the soldiers of both armies as they inexorably march toward their destiny at Gettysburg."

Of course, the period covered in Vol. 1 was eventful in many ways, including heavy fighting. Among the June battles covered in the book's daily chapters are Brandy Station, Second Winchester, Aldie, and Middleburg. As Jennifer Murray notes in her foreword, the authors significantly "widen lens of the theater of operations," exploring the integrated roles of other military commands in the region. She also praises the book for offering insights into "the interplay of military operations and politics" and for illuminating the campaign's considerable impact on the civilians living in its path.

In constructing their exhaustive pre-Gettysburg narrative (Vol. 1 alone runs over 400 pages), the authors "mined hundreds of primary accounts, newspapers, and other sources." A multitude of photographs and other illustrations enhance the reading experience, and the volume's collection of 31 original maps meticulously trace the overall progress of the campaign as well as detail battlefield action.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this mention of our new book! Much appreciated. We are quite pleased with the early success of Volume 1 and look forward to the publication in 2023 of Volume 2.

    ReplyDelete

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