Battle of Gettysburg Field Guide

The Battle of Gettysburg ended on this day, July 3, in 1863, marking the end of three intense and devastating days of battle. Considered to be one of the most important battles during the Civil War, it was a turning point for the Union army and prompted President Lincoln to make his famous Gettysburg Address.

Reardon & Vossler: Field Guide to Gettysburg: Experiencing the Battlefield through Its History, Places, and PeopleGettysburg National Military Park is now a popular spot for visitors to learn more about the battle and to honor the legacy of those who fought. If you’re planning a trip this summer, check out their Living History Programs and Junior Ranger activities for kids. Another great resource is A Field Guide to Gettysburg, Second Edition. Put this on the top of your must-bring list!

This second, updated edition of the acclaimed A Field Guide to Gettysburg will lead visitors to every important site across the battlefield and also give them ways to envision the action and empathize with the soldiers involved and the local people into whose lives and lands the battle intruded. Ideal for carrying on trips through the park as well as for the armchair historian, this book includes comprehensive maps and deft descriptions of the action that situate visitors in time and place. Crisp narratives introduce key figures and events, and eye-opening vignettes help readers more fully comprehend the import of what happened and why. A wide variety of contemporary and postwar source materials offer colorful stories and present interesting interpretations that have shaped—or reshaped—our understanding of Gettysburg today.

Both Carol Reardon and Tom Vossler are themselves experienced guides who understand what visitors to Gettysburg are interested in, but they also bring the unique perspectives of a scholar and a former army officer. Divided into three day-long tours, this newly improved and expanded edition offers important historical background and context for the reader while providing answers to six key questions: What happened here? Who fought here? Who commanded here? Who fell here? Who lived here? And what did the participants have to say about it later?

With new stops, maps, and illustrations, the second edition of A Field Guide to Gettysburg remains the most comprehensive guide to the events and history of this pivotal battle of the Civil War.

For more reading on the Battle of Gettysburg and its significance in the Civil War, check out our previous blog posts by UNC Press authors and their books.