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I liked the book, I really did. But... Ok, here's the deal, I'm an old hand at wargaming, and I recognize when circumstances are changed to ensure an ending, and that is the case here. This isn't so much a "what if" novel as it is a "let's force a Lee victory since he is our favorite general of all time" story. Lee was one of the greats. I agree. But then the authors go on to make certain of the outcome. For example, Berdan's brigade of Sharpshooters was described as experienced, seasoned veterans. Yet they fell to pieces when their leader was wounded. None of the other officers thought that it would be a good idea to finish their mission which was to recon the enemy's strength. If they had it would have changed the course of this "What if" battle. Another instance, the only non-combatant in all of Pennsylvania (a Union state) who thought it would be important to alert the Federals of the Confederate move away from Gettysburg was a pre-teen that nobody in the Federal army would take seriously, except the guy who gets shot a minute later. On the other hand, the Confederates get a number of intelligence reports from adult males who they believe instantly. This in the border state of Maryland where no one knows anyone else's allegiance. The book would have been better written by a neutral party rather than a Lee worshiper.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful
This was an outstanding read, including Newt's introduction explaining the concept of "active history" versus fantasy. If you are not thoroughly familiar with the events surrounding the Battle of Gettysburg, I strongly recommend you first read Michael Shaara's The Killer Angels first. The Shaara and Gingrich stories make a wonderful combination when read in sequence!
12 of 13 people found this review helpful