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About this Book
“Stand to It and Give Them Hell” chronicles the Gettysburg fighting from Cemetery Ridge to Little Round Top on July 2, 1863, through the letters, memoirs, diaries, and postwar recollections of the men from both armies who struggled to control that “hallowed ground.”
John Michael Priest, dubbed the “Ernie Pyle” of the Civil War soldier, wrote this book to help readers understand and experience, as closely as possible through the written word, the stress and terror of that fateful day in Pennsylvania. Readers will gain a deeper appreciation of the personal sacrifice made that awful day by privates and generals alike. This invaluable method uses their own words to paint a rich tapestry of their personal courage and cowardice, and their failures and triumphs.
Nearly 60 detailed maps, mostly on the regimental level, illustrate the tremendous troop congestion in the Wheatfield, the Peach Orchard, and Devil’s Den. They accurately establish, by regiment or by company, the extent of the Federal skirmish line from Ziegler’s Grove to the Slyder farm and portray the final Confederate push against the Codori farm and the center of Cemetery Ridge, which three Confederate divisions in what is popularly known as Pickett’s Charge would unsuccessfully attack on the final day of fighting.
This is a book about combat as seen through the eyes of those who waged it. There is no glamour here, and no adventure. Nor are there accusations, confessions, or second-guessing from the comfort of an easy chair. Instead, “Stand to It and Give Them Hell” offers the brutal, heart-wrenching story of a slice of America’s greatest battle as described by those who marched, fought, bled, and died there. This is their story, and it is one you will long remember.