"Over a Wide Hot...Crimson Plain": The Struggle for the Bliss Farm at Gettysburg, July 2nd and 3rd, 1863 (PB)

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Elwood Christ
Pub Date:
June 2023
Trade paper
New Foreword by J. Hessler, photos, maps, 240 pp.


CLICK HERE to read James Hessler's new Foreword exclusive to this edition.

Few visitors to the Gettysburg battlefield take note of the peculiar grassy rise in the fields southeast of the town between Seminary and Cemetery ridges. It was there that the Bliss home and barn once stood, between the lines in a no-man’s-land during the largest battle of the Civil War. The 60-acre farm witnessed back-and-forth bloody clashes that began on the morning of July 2, 1863, as a fitful episode between skirmishers and ended in a small but important combat all its own. The fight played an oversized role in the overall battle and directly impacted the massive rolling Confederate assault later that afternoon.

In a bit more than 24 hours, the back-and-forth Bliss farm combat would attract at least 10 Union and Confederate regiments, draw heavy artillery fire, disrupt the seemingly unstoppable Confederate assault moving northward against Cemetery Ridge, and kill and wound hundreds of men. This study is based on official records, letters, diaries, and other unpublished archival sources. A new foreword by award-winning author and Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide James Hessler opens this facsimile edition, which originally appeared to great acclaim in a small print run in 1994.

Elwood Christ’s extraordinary “Over a Wide, Hot . . . Crimson Plain”: The Struggle for the Bliss Farm at Gettysburg, July 2nd and 3rd, 1863 remains the only book ever published on the subject.



“This book remains the most extensive and in-depth treatment of the Bliss farm fighting to date, and any future attempt to replicate it will only be parroting Christ’s work.” — James A. Hessler, award-winning author




Elwood “Woody” Christ spent many of his 60 years in his beloved Gettysburg, where he passed away in 2014. He was a 1975 graduate of Gettysburg College, a well-known local historian, and a Licensed Battlefield Guide at Gettysburg National Military Park. Woody served as Assistant Director of the Adams County Historical Society for many years. “Over a Wide, Hot . . . Crimson Plain”: The Struggle for the Bliss Farm at Gettysburg was his only book.