The Graphic History of Gettysburg
The Battle of Gettysburg is one of the most studied and storied battles in American history for good reason. This decisive engagement sealed the North’s eventual victory, while giving the South a tragic ending worthy of high Gothic romance. Vansant tells the story clearly in both words and pictures, beginning with the strategy behind the Confederate invasion of Pennsylvania and ending with Lincoln’s famed Address. The graphic format works quite well in explaining the battle; on any given page we may find a brief dialogue between officers, an overhead block-and-arrow view of the tactical situation, and finally the bloody scene that results when one of those arrows meets a well-entrenched opponent. Equipment and uniforms in their myriad regimental variations come off quite well, with few obvious errors–most glaringly, a flintlock musket referenced in the text above a clear image of a percussion weapon. This may not be the right book for hardcore Civil War buffs, but for the rest of us it’s a fun read and a useful reference. Recommended as a starting point for the curious, or as an interesting new format for those already familiar with the battle.