"If We Are Striking for Pennsylvania": The Army of Northern Virginia’s and Army of the Potomac’s March to Gettysburg Volume 1: June 3-22, 1863

$34.95
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Author/Editor:
Scott L. Mingus Sr. and Eric J. Wittenberg
Pub Date:
June 2022
ISBN:
978-1-61121-584-7
eISBN:
978-1-61121-585-4
Binding:
Hardcover, 6 x 9
Specs:
20 maps, 50 images, 432 pp.
Signed bookplates:
Available.

About the Book

Scott L. Mingus Sr. and Eric J. Wittenberg, the authors of more than forty Civil War books, have once again teamed up to present a history of the opening moves of the Gettysburg Campaign in the two-volume study “If We Are Striking for Pennsylvania”: The Army of Northern Virginia’s and Army of the Potomac’s March to Gettysburg. This compelling study is one of the first to integrate the military, media, political, social, economic, and civilian perspectives with rank-and-file accounts from the soldiers of both armies as they inexorably march toward their destiny at Gettysburg. This first installment covers June 3-22, 1863, while the second, spanning June 22-30, completes the march and carries the armies to the eve of the fighting.

Gen. Robert E. Lee began moving his victorious Army of Northern Virginia from the Old Dominion into Pennsylvania on June 3, 1863. Lee believed his army needed to win a major victory on Northern soil if the South was to have a chance to win the war. Transferring the fighting out of war-torn Virginia would allow the state time to heal while he supplied his army from untapped farms and stores in Maryland and the Keystone State. Lee had also convinced Pres. Jefferson Davis that his offensive would interfere with the Union effort to take Vicksburg in Mississippi. The bold movement would trigger extensive cavalry fighting and a major battle at Winchester before culminating in the bloody three-day battle at Gettysburg.

As the Virginia army moved north, the Army of the Potomac responded by protecting the vital roads to Washington, D.C., in case Lee turned to threaten the capital. Opposing presidents Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis, meanwhile, kept a close watch on the latest and often conflicting military intelligence gathered in the field. Throughout northern Virginia, central Maryland, and south-central Pennsylvania, meanwhile, civilians and soldiers alike struggled with the reality of a mobile campaign and the massive logistical needs of the armies. Thousands left written accounts of the passage of the long martial columns.

Mingus and Wittenberg mined hundreds of primary accounts, newspapers, and other sources to produce this powerful and gripping account. As readers will quickly learn, much of it is glossed over in other studies of the campaign, a campaign which cannot be fully understood without a firm appreciation of what the armies did on their way to the small crossroads town in Pennsylvania.








 

 

 

 

 

Scott Mingus, a scientist and consultant in the global pulp & paper industry and holds patents in self-adhesive postage stamps and bar code labels. The Ohio native has written 19 Civil War and Underground Railroad books. His biography Confederate General William “Extra Billy” Smith won multiple awards, including the Dr. James I. Robertson, Jr. Literary Award for Confederate history. Scott has also written articles for many publications including Gettysburg Magazine. Eric J. Wittenberg is an accomplished American Civil War cavalry historian and author. The Ohio attorney has authored nearly two dozen books on various Civil War subjects, with particular focus on cavalry operations, as well as three dozen articles in popular magazines such as North & South, Blue&Gray, America’s Civil War, and Gettysburg Magazine. His first book, Gettysburg’s Forgotten Cavalry Actions, won the prestigious 1998 Bachelder-Coddington Literary Award. His 2014 “The Devil’s to Pay”: John Buford at Gettysburg. A History and Walking Tour, was awarded the Gettysburg Civil War Roundtable’s 2015 Book Award. Wittenberg speaks widely, leads tours of various battlefields, and is an active preservationist. He lives in Columbus with his wife Susan and their beloved dogs.