2nd Day of Gettysburg

Today is the 2nd day of the Battle of Gettysburg. It's one of the most important battles in American history and I wonder how many college freshmen can remember or even know anything about the largest battle ever fought in North America. 50,000 Americans became casualties over three days of intense combat that was the high water mark of the Army of Northern Virginia.

The 2nd day of battle ended with the climatic fighting around the Little Round Top between the 20th Maine and 15th Alabama regiments.

Chamberlain's Charge from Mort Kunstler

I still remember my last trip to Gettysburg when I was able to smoke a cigar with my friend and fellow Civil War buff at the Little Round Top memorial marker and discuss the battle. Someday I hope to get back there and see how much things have changed.

Some suggested reading on Gettysburg:

Steven Sears has written an excellent one volume history of the battle. A really good overall history and sequel to Sears' books on Antietam, Chancellorsville and the Seven Days.

Henry Pfanz has written the classic account of the 2nd day's fighting.

Finally, a little different book. Gary Gallagher's collection of essay's on combat leadership during the battle.

And finally, two works of fiction. Michael Sharra's Killer Angels is the classic novel of Gettysburg and is still timeless.

Newt Gingrich's alternate history Civil War trilogy begins with Gettysburg, which is a very intriguing look at the potential outcome if Lee had made some different choice. The entire trilogy is highly recommended.