Eyewitness to Gettysburg (National Geographic Shorts)
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Author James Robertson, one of America's most respected Civil War scholars and storytellers whose weekly talks about little-known people and events of the Civil War aired for 15 years on National Public Radio, brings history to life here in a collection of unexpected and true stories revealing the events that took place as great events unfolded. He explores such gripping subjects as the post-battle horrors of the wounded, the destruction of Robert E. Lee's aura of invincibility, and the invention of a new way to remove the wounded from the battlefield. In addition, an introductory overview of the Civil War traces the major events of the conflict year by year.
Painstakingly researched and deeply personal, this ebook offers a unique reading experience for the millions of Civil War buffs and all those interested in the previously untold stories behind this great chapter in America's past.
as a commander by repeatedly defeating armies larger and better equipped than his own. He could not hope to perform such feats much longer, however, if his army grew much weaker. Losses to desertion and disease were mounting, and his men were so malnourished he was not sure how much more he could ask of them. “I fear they will be unable to endure the hardships of the approaching campaign,” he wrote in late March. “Symptoms of scurvy are appearing among them, and, to supply the place of
will risk the dictatorship.” Lincoln urged Hooker to be prudent without losing his combativeness: “Beware of rashness, but with energy, and sleepless vigilance, go forward, and give us victories.” Hooker treasured the letter and said appreciatively of Lincoln, “He talks to me like a father.” Far from rushing into battle, he recognized that his troops were in no condition to fight and set about improving their living conditions and raising morale. He overhauled the army’s supply system and issued
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25 miles to the west, and would not do battle today. Ewell’s corps was closer, about a half day’s march north of Gettysburg, and would join Heth’s division and other elements of A. P. Hill’s corps that afternoon in fighting that spread like wildfire. Although Lee’s subordinates exceeded his orders in sparking this conflagration, their actions were in keeping with the aggressive spirit of their commander and the army he forged. The Yanks they collided with were equally combative and determined to
and literally charged the goal,” one Confederate recalled. As Sickles fell back with his troops, he was severely wounded in the leg, and General Hancock took charge of what remained of his corps. Hancock then launched a counterattack in which Barksdale fell mortally wounded. “Tell my wife I am shot, but we fought like hell,” he told a surgeon before dying. Meade, meanwhile, remained at his headquarters near Cemetery Ridge and funneled reinforcements to Hancock, who made good use of them. No