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The Gettysburg Campaign: A Study in Command [Paperback]

Edwin B. Coddington
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 928 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; 1st Touchstone Ed edition (1 Mar 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684845695
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684845692
  • Product Dimensions: 20.2 x 13.9 x 4.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 530,779 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


An analysis of the crucial leadership decisions during the Battle of Gettysburg emphasizing the positive military achievements of General Meade. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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First Sentence
Federal generals, especially those operating between Washington, D. C., and Richmond, Virginia, was proving even more frustrating and humiliating. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply the Best 10 Jun 1998
By A Customer
It is with sadness that we must recognize that we can never thank Professor Coddington properly for giving us the standard treatment of our country's greatest battle. The Pennsylvania Historian did not live to see his masterwork published and so did not offer us the opportunity to offer our congratulations and appreciation. Histories of Gettysburg are in long supply - but have no doubt, Coddington's effort stands alone, ahead of the others. Every detail of the Campaign, from its beginning to its end on the south shores of the Potomac in Virginia, is thoroughly researched, analyzed and presented in a clear, concise, convincing fashion. Over two hundred pages of reference notes are included to lead the student wherever he may be interested to go. Coddington, being a Pennsylvanian, may be accused of some northern bias (especially in defending the reputation of Meade, a fellow Pennsylvanian) but any subjectivity is slight and detracts in no way from the value of the treatise as a whole. Any significant discussion concerning tactics and strategy of the Battle of Gettysburg should start with a firm foundation in Coddington. Other than the Official Records, this is the reference point for that great, terrible battle. If you really want to understand this battle in detail, study Coddington and then take the U. S. Army War College Guide to the battlefield to walk the grounds yourself.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
The events leading up to the battle of Gettysburg, and the battle itself, stand as one of the most significant points in American history. This narrative covers events several months prior to the battle, with a comparatively brief description of the battle itself. The strength of the book is clearly in the campaign itself, with ample reflection on the motives and causes leading to the conflict. The author skillfully overlays the campaign against the political backdrop of the period, and seems to relate many of the command decisions to Presidental authority. While the author presents little novel information, he has done a masterful job of progessively focusing the reader on the causes of the campaign, the difficulties faced by each of the commanders, the onset of the battle, and the aftermath. The book is impeccably referenced and researched, and stands as a indispensible resource for all interested in the Civil War. This book will appeal to anyone who is serious in their study of Gettysburg.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent. Detailed with excellent narrative 9 Feb 1998
By A Customer
Great. The treatment of the battle is exhaustive, but his account of the situation and movements before the battle make the Gettysburg story fresh again. Knowing the before allows one to properly understand and judge July 1-3 1863 and its aftermath. By the way, the Gettysburg park licensed guides say that this is the one book they consider the foundation of their knowledge and essential to passing their licensing exam.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best book ever about battle of Gettysburg 2 Sep 1997
By A Customer
Exhaustively researched, simply the best book in existence today about the Gettysburg campaign.
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Coddington has become the standard comprehensive work on the battle. There are far, far better accounts, but they focus on specific events or aspects, Pfanz' works come to mind. This is the standard Yankee mythological version, ironically based on the "Lost Cause" proponents' vision of the battle. The most important events of the battle were the second day attacks, and, though disjointed, these attacks broke the Yankee line. Had the successes been followed up, history might be written with a different accent. Coddington dismisses the successes of the 2nd Day and focusses on the myth of "Pickett's Charge" as the decisive event. It was hardly Pickett's, as the minority of the troops were his, and it was foolish and futile, something the Virginia mythologists are loathe to admit. The War was neither lost nor won at Gettysburg, but the Yankees could take comfort in the fact that they, for once, did not run, and that the ANV,for once, was not invincible. Any Southerner whose family was in the path of the Yankee Vandals as they invaded The South is permitted a wry chuckle as Coddington rises to high dudgeon over Confederate depradations. Why, the Confederates even burnt fence rails and tore up railroad tracks. Unfortunately, this is the only comprehensive report of the battle. A serious researcher would use many other sources.
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