Sickles at Gettysburg: The Controversial Civil War General Who Committed Murder, Abandoned Little Round Top, and Declared Himself the Hero of Gettysburg
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
What people are saying - Write a review
Required reading for GettysburgUser 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
I Think it is a Retreat
No One Ever Received a More Important Command
The Third Corps Marches in the Right Direction
In Some Doubt as to Where He Should Go
No Relation to the General Line of Battle
Isnt Your Line Too Much Extended?
He has Redeemed his Reputation Fully
Subsequent Events Proved My Judgment Correct
My Only Motive is to Vindicate History
Spoil a Rotten Egg
Some Strange Perversion of History
The Civil War is Only a Memory
That Damn Fool Sickles
Other editions - View all
advance Andrew Atkinson Humphreys army’s artillery attack Auxiliary State Monument Bachelder Papers Barksdale’s battery Battle of Gettysburg battlefield Battles and Leaders Berdan Birney’s brigade Butterfield Captain Cemetery Hill Cemetery Ridge Chancellorsville Colonel Confederate corps commanders Dan Sickles Dan’s David Bell Birney David Birney defense Devil’s division Emmitsburg Road enemy enemy’s Excelsior Federal Fifth Corps fight Fredericksburg front George Meade Gettysburg Campaign Gettysburg Compiler Gettysburg Day GNMP Graham guns Hancock headquarters Henry Tremain Historicus Hooker Howard Humphreys Hunt Hyde Ibid Imhof infantry Jackson’s James Longstreet John July Kershaw Ladd left flank Letters Lincoln Little Round Top Longstreet March McLaws Meade’s military move officer orders Peach Orchard Pfanz Pinchon position Potomac rear regiments retreat Reynolds Second Corps Second Day Sherfy Sickles the Incredible soldier Styple Swanberg Sykes Taneytown Third Corps told Trobriand troops Union Generals Speak veterans Washington Wheatfield William Hobart Royce wounded wrote York Auxiliary