Bringing the Battlefield to Life

The Gettysbyrg CampaignClick here to view

“About 250 feet in advance of his line on the left the 13th Vermont had thrown up a breastwork on a low rocky knoll which was covered with bushes and trees. The 14th Vermont held a similar position to the left of the 13th, but on lower ground.” >More

The Gettysburg Bibliophile

In his introduction to Virtual Gettysburg, guide and collector Gary Kross states, "There are over 5,000 books, pamphlets and articles about the Battle of Gettysburg. Even if you could find it all, even if you could afford it all, you couldn't live long enough to read it all." That's the bad news. The good news is that the pace of Gettysburg scholarship and publication has never been faster.

In the years directly following the Battle of Gettysburg, the nation was too busy licking its wounds and grappling with reconstruction to think about writing or reading about the war. There were exceptions, but for the most part people wanted to think of other things. With the approach of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the battle, however, that all changed.

Interestingly, most of the first writings about the battle, specifically, and the war, generally, took place in the form of magazine articles. In the eighteen-eighties it became common place for surviving veterans to refight the Civil War with pen and paper. Century Magazine published an incredible run of fascinating articles between 1884 and 1887 which was later re-released as the multi-volume Battles and Leaders of the Civil War.

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Additional Resources

  • Bookfinder
    This web site lets users view the collections of over 40,000 sellers of new, used, rare, and out of print books. Many rare and obscure Gettysburg books can be found here. Now if they could only get the site to smell like dusty old books.
  • Huntington Library
    Who would've guessed that one of the best collections of Lincolniana and Gettysburg materials is hidden in the quiet bedroom community of Pasadena, California. It takes some doing to get reading privileges but for the serious scholar this is the place.
  • Thomas Publications
    If you are wondering where all of those special interest books about Gettysburg have been coming from, this is the place. Home of William Frassanito, Gregory Coco, Timothy Smith, Kathy Georg Harrison, Jay Jorgensen, the list goes on.
  • Butternut and Blue
    Featuring a new web site, this bookseller has a catalog that contains an entire section on the battle of Gettysburg. They sell new books and used. They can be reached at 410-256-9220.
  • Olde Soldier Books
    This place used to be the world's largest Civil War bookstore with over 13,000 rare and out of print titles. Last time I looked their web site was in pretty bad shape, but it is still worth giving them a call to find those hard to find books - 434-591-0884.
  • Morningside Books
    As if publishing Gettysburg Magazine wasn't enough, this company is responsible for making the works of John Badger Bachelder available to the masses. You can buy copies of his history and his papers. They even sell full-size copies of his map sets.
  • Battlefield Guide Reading List
    The Association of Licensed Battlefield Guides is made up of more than a hundred Civil War historians and experts on the battle of Gettysburg. Their web site has lots of great information. Make sure you visit this site before you take the guide test!
  • Gettysburg Bibliography
    Sauers, Richard Allen. The Gettysburg Campaign June 3 - August 1, 1863: A Comprehensive Selectively Annotated Bibliography, 1982. Recently updated. Now includes Virtual Gettysburg. Thanks to Jim McLean for a great job.

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