"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:
November 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 is a retired scientist and executive in the global pulp & paper industry. The Ohio native was part of the research team that developed the first commercially successful self-adhesive U.S. postage stamps and he was a pioneer in bar code labels. He has written 27 Civil War and Underground Railroad books and numerous articles for Gettysburg Magazine and other historical journals. He has appeared on C-SPAN, C-SPAN3, PCN, and other TV networks. Mingus writes a blog on the Civil War history of York County, PA, where he lives (www.yorkblog.com/cannonball). He has written six scenario books for miniature wargaming. A great-great-grandfather was a 15-year-old musician and rifleman in the 51st Ohio in the Western Theater, and a great-grandfather was in the 183rd Ohio during the 1865 Carolinas Campaign. Other family members fought at Antietam and Gettysburg in the 7th West Virginia of the Army of the Potomac. 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.