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Hallowed Ground: A Walk At Gettysburg by James M. McPherson

As [Union General Joshua Lawrence] Chamberlain later wrote ... "my thought was running deep.... Desperate as the chances were, there was nothing for it but to take the offensive. I stepped to the colors. The men turned toward me. One word was enough,-- 'BAYONET!' It caught like fire, and swept along the ranks." With a wild yell, the survivors of this two-hour firefight, led by their multilingual fighting professor, lurched downhill in a bayonet charge against shocked Alabamians.

from pages 81-82, Hallowed Ground

Chamberlain's words at the dedication of his regiment's monument at Gettysburg:

"In great deeds, something abides. On great fields something stays. Forms change and pass; bodies disappear, but spirits linger, to consecrate the ground for the vision-place of souls. And reverent men and women from afar, and generations that know us not and that we know not of, heart-drawn to see where and by whom great things were suffered and done for them..."

from page 84, Hallowed Ground

It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us--that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion--that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain--that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom--and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

from President Lincoln's Address at Gettysburg on November 19, 1863, reprinted on page 140, Hallowed Ground

Family is coming from out-of-state to visit for a couple weeks as they do nearly every summer, and one of the day long excursions we are planning for this year is to the historic battlefields of Gettysburg. In anticipation of this trip I decided to read up on the battle that took place there over a century ago.

Hallowed Ground: A Walk At Gettysburg is written by James M. McPherson, a Princeton professor who has led many a tour of Gettysburg's battlefields. The author's introduction begins by pointing out that the battle's importance in military history is studied both here and abroad. McPherson then takes us on a walking tour of Gettysburg where 165,000 Union and Confederate soldiers met in a bloody battle on July 1-3, 1863 that became the turning point for Union victory and preservation of the nation. It is a detailed, fascinating and gripping account of the battle couched in the context of a walking tour. McPherson also takes care to dispel several popular myths related to the battle and sheds light on the heroic actions and courage of the men who fought there for their respective causes.

I highly recommend you check out this book. It is available upon request from Lebanon, Myerstown and Richland Community Libraries.

--Reviewed by Ms. Angie


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