Petruzzi, J. David and Steven Stanley. NEW GETTYSBURG CAMPAIGN HANDBOOK, THE: Facts, Photos, and Artwork for Readers of All Ages, June 9 - July 14, 1863 (Savas Beatie Handbook). Savas Beatie, El Dorado Hills, CA. 2011. 184 pages. Maps, color and b/w photos. ISBN 978611210781, $18.95.
The dynamic duo who brought us COMPLETE GETTYSBURG GUIDE: Walking and Driving Tours of the Battlefield, Town, Cemeteries, Field Hospital Sites, and other Topics of Historical Interest (see my review here) have returned with yet another must have for those interested in Gettysburg.
Hundreds of thousands of pages have been written about the battle of Gettysburg with more being churned out each year. With that in mind you may find yourself wondering what makes this book different and why should I shell out my $20 for it. Let the authors themselves tell you why: "To the best of our knowledge a book like this--with its varied stories, facts, statistics photos, illustrations, original maps, and so much more did not exist."
This is a perfect book for an introduction to the battle no matter the age of the reader. Included within its pages are five distinct sections: Did You Know, Gettysburg Voices, the Gettysburg Campaign, Images of Gettysburg, and Gettysburg Today. While each serve as a great introduction to this complex battle there is information for those more advanced as well. Are you interested in the weather conditions during the battle? You will find it here. Did any soldiers who fought here win the Medal of Honor? Check and find out. Would you like a good basic introduction to the battle without the time commitment of Coddington, Trudeau, or Sears? This book will serve you well. Want to learn of current resources that will help in planning a trip? Let the experts show you where to begin. Did I mention a thirty plus page Order of Battle? See I told you there was something for the advanced student!
The book is nice sized and as expected from Savas Beatie it's a beaut! Printed on a nice glossy paper that is toned to make it look antique the book is loaded with period and modern photos. No fewer than two dozen maps created by Civil War Trust cartographer Steven Stanley adorn the pages and help bring the action in the text to life.
This is the type of book that can make planning a family vacation fun for everybody. There's good solid information that parents can use and the book can easily be shared with kids to help build their interest. Coupled with Petruzzi and Stanley's earlier book these should lead anybody to a full trip or give them a great start toward learning about the complex battle that took place in a small Pennsylvania town when Confederate soldiers went looking for shoes. Or did they? Read the book to find out!
I also recommend checking out the official website for The Complete Gettysburg Guide. There is a wealth of information
Thank you to my good friends at Savas Beatie for kindly supplying a complimentary review copy.