Eric Wittenberg wrote: From your post, it sounds like we accomplished what we set out to do. You're absolutely correct that our intent was to cover the Army of the Potomac and in particular, Meade's decision-making processes, in detail. We also believe that our treatment is much more tactical than Brown's book, and we've got much more detail on the fighting that took place along the way.
That book represents 15 years of my research into some very obscure sources and a LOT of time spent on the ground.
I hope that you enjoy it and that you see a different merit to it than what you found in Kent's book.
Don't worry one bit that I will be disappointed. I have reached the point in the book at which Kilpatrick's Third Cavalry Division and Huey's brigade are bearing down on Monterey Pass. So far every page has been fascinating.
It would be terrific if I could just sit and read the book from cover to cover without stopping. What gives the book so much life is all the first person accounts from everyone including the lowest foot soldier to the highest ranking officer and civilians.
Though I've reached only page 55, it is apparent that much more attention is given to the Army of the Potomac and Meade's intentions after July 3rd. Brown touches on that somewhat, but I was never really clear on why the Union behaved as it did. But Brown's concentration was on Lee.
When I was a kid, I lived in Chambersburg. My dad used to take us for long rides that covered much, though not all, of the terrain in your book. For that reason alone the book has very special meaning for me as does anything about Gettysburg. I am particularly pleased that the retreat is finally getting the close scrutiny it deserves. Reading this book causes a kind of nostalgia for me.
The GPS and odometer tours are a great addition and should become an important part of books on campaigns and battles. Maybe some of the better known older Civil War books, if they are republished and revised could add such tours too. Of course, such tours require great expense, intensive investigation and much time to do well. All that sis evident in your book. (I was a bit envious. I was thinking how much fun it would have been to be a mosquito or fly buzzing along as you all did the GPS tour research while I watched from nearby.)
Enjoy the driving trous.
And yes, we had an absolute blast putting them together.