Book Review: Fight Like the Devil: The First Day at Gettysburg, July 1, 1863


by Chris Mackowski, Daniel T. Davis, & Kristopher D. White

El Dorado Hills: Savas Beatie, 2015. Pp. xxii, 170. Illus., maps, appends., notes, biblio., index. $14.95 paper. ISBN: 1611212278

An Analytical Look at the First Act at Gettysburg

The authors, who have about a dozen books and many articles to their credit, give us an excellent analytical overview of the first day at Gettysburg, by itself one of the dozen or so largest battles of the war.

They opening with a short introduction to set the battle within the framework of the war. They then examine the principal events of the day’s fighting, often citing eye witness accounts. This is a fast paced treatment, as the authors cut back and forth to cover events on different parts of the field as viewed by men from the opposing sides, in a more or less chronological fashion.

They authors provide a good deal of analysis of critical incidents, and some particularly contentious or interesting subjects, such as Jeb Stuart’s meanderings during the battle, the Union’s “Pipe Creek” plan, Dick Ewell’s decision to not attack Cemetery Hill, the generalship of John Reynolds, and more, are covered in a series of appendices, some written by “guest” specialists.

Well illustrated and with a good order of battle, Fight Like the Devil, a volume in the Savas “Emerging Civil War” series, can be read with profit by the novice student of the Civil War or by the professional historian.

Note: Fight Like the Devil is also available as an eBook, ISBN 978-1-61121-224-2


Reviewer: A. A. Nofi, Review Editor   

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