Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Book Review #12 "The Myth of Little Round Top" by Garry E. Adelman

Since my Gettysburg trip is still in the recent past I figured that my next book review should focus on a Gettysburg book. Remember reading your history and learning that if the Confederate army had succeeded in carrying Little Round Top then they would have won the battle? Author Garry E. Adelman states that this version of history is false and he wrote a 100 page book to discuss his views and thesis.

If i revealed Alderman's viewpoints then it would ruin the book for you so instead I will focus on what you get with the book which is modestly prices at $12.95. Adelman incudes three appendix which will be my focal point here. The first appendix is the sterotypical Order of Battle for both sides during the battle. That is usually in every Gettysburg book so I will not speak anymore of it. The second appendix includes the casuality list for those regiments who were engaged at Little Round Top on July 2, 1863. Incuded are the number engaged, killed, wounded, missing, totals, and % Lost.

The third appendix is awesome. Standing alone the third appendix is worth the purchase if you are interested in this part of the battle. In this appendix, Alderman lists the major primary and secondary sources in what he calls a "historiography of Little Round Top". This includes a chart of one hundred or so sources written about the struggle for that rocky hill to show how the views of Little Round Top has changed over the years. The list is chronologically through time, by type of source the manner of importance placed upon Little Round Top by the author. You can see how each source explains the importance of Little Round Top. Its great stuff and should you get the opportunity to purchase this book it is highly recommended.

As a final note, his reasoning for the myth is broken in chapter one with a history of fight for Little Round Top, the second chapter explores the Legend of Little Round Top and how it grew ove the course of the latter part of the 1800's and the early 1900's. The final chapter deals with the military analysis of Little Round Top and what would or could have happened if the Confederates had taken that hill. the answer to that question might surprise you. If you get a chance purchase Garry E. Adelman's "The Myth of Little Round Top".

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