Sickles at Gettysburg: The Controversial Civil War General Who Committed Murder, Abandoned Little Round Top, and Declared Himself the Hero of Gettysburg

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Casemate Publishers, Mar 1, 2010 - History - 504 pages
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Sickles at Gettysburg: The Controversial Civil War General Who Committed Murder, Abandoned Little Round Top, and Declared Himself the Hero of Gettysburg, by licensed battlefield guide James Hessler, is the most deeply-researched, full-length biography to appear on this remarkable American icon. And it is long overdue.

No individual who fought at Gettysburg was more controversial, both personally and professionally, than Major General Daniel E. Sickles. By 1863, Sickles was notorious as a disgraced former Congressman who murdered his wife's lover on the streets of Washington and used America's first temporary insanity defense to escape justice. With his political career in ruins, Sickles used his connections with President Lincoln to obtain a prominent command in the Army of the Potomac's Third Corps--despite having no military experience. At Gettysburg, he openly disobeyed orders in one of the most controversial decisions in military history.

No single action dictated the battlefield strategies of George Meade and Robert E. Lee more than Sickles' unauthorized advance to the Peach Orchard, and the mythic defense of Little Round Top might have occurred quite differently were it not for General Sickles. Fighting heroically, Sickles lost his leg on the field and thereafter worked to remove General Meade from command of the army. Sickles spent the remainder of his checkered life declaring himself the true hero of Gettysburg.

Although he nearly lost the battle, Sickles was one of the earliest guardians of the battlefield when he returned to Congress, created Gettysburg National Military Park, and helped preserve the field for future generations. But Dan Sickles was never far from scandal. He was eventually removed from the New York Monument Commission and nearly went to jail for misappropriation of funds.

Hessler's book is a balanced and entertaining account of Sickles' colorful life. Civil War enthusiasts who want to understand General Sickles' scandalous life, Gettysburg's battlefield strategies, the in-fighting within the Army of the Potomac, and the development of today's National Park will find Sickles at Gettysburg a must-read.

About the Author: James A. Hessler works in the financial services industry and is a Licensed Battlefield Guide at Gettysburg National Military Park. He has taught Sickles and Gettysburg-related courses for Harrisburg Area Community College and the Gettysburg Foundation. In addition to writing articles for publication, Hessler speaks regularly at Civil War Round Tables. A native of Buffalo, NY, he resides in Gettysburg with his wife and children.

FINALIST, 2009, ARMY HISTORICAL FOUNDATION DISTINGUISHED BOOK AWARD

WINNER, 2009, THE BACHELDER-CODDINGTON LITERARY AWARD, GIVEN BY THE ROBERT E. LEE CIVIL WAR ROUND TABLE OF CENTRAL NEW JERSEY

WINNER, 2009, GETTYSBURG ROUND TABLE'S DISTINGUISHED BOOK AWARD
 

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Required reading for Gettysburg

User Review  - James Durney - Borders

If this were fiction, I would say the author’s main character is not credible. It would be impossible for one man to have so many escapades and not be publically ruined. However, this is not a work of ... Read full review

Contents

Murder
1
The Making of a First Class Soldier
21
I Think it is a Retreat
49
No One Ever Received a More Important Command
69
The Third Corps Marches in the Right Direction
83
In Some Doubt as to Where He Should Go
101
No Relation to the General Line of Battle
121
Isnt Your Line Too Much Extended?
143
He has Redeemed his Reputation Fully
235
Subsequent Events Proved My Judgment Correct
257
My Only Motive is to Vindicate History
281
Spoil a Rotten Egg
301
Some Strange Perversion of History
315
The Civil War is Only a Memory
359
That Damn Fool Sickles
389
Notes
407

The Key of the Battleground
161
Gross Neglect or Unaccountable Stupidity
179
The Line Before You Must Be Broken
193
Let Me Die on the Field
213
Bibliography
461
Index
471
Gettysburg July 2 147
480
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

James A. Hessler works in the financial services industry and is a Licensed Battlefield Guide at Gettysburg National Military Park. He has taught Sickles and Gettysburg-related courses for Harrisburg Area Community College and the Gettysburg Foundation. In addition to writing articles for publication, Hessler speaks regularly at Civil War Round Tables. A native of Buffalo, NY, he resides in Gettysburg with his wife and children.

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