Silent Sentinels: A Reference Guide to the Artillery at Gettysburg Hardcover – Sep 2 2005
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About the Author
George W. Newton is a native of Baltimore and a 1973 graduate of McMurry University in Abilene, Texas. A veteran of the United States Air Force, Newton served in Vietnam War and is a retired executive from the insurance industry. He lives with his wife of 33 years near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and is a Licensed Battlefield Guide at the Gettysburg National Military Park.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
It is first and foremost a great introduction to the field artillery of the Civil War. It contains an excellent, concise guide to how the big guns were operated and used. You can find everything in that short chapter from the location of the lunette to the invention of the three-inch ordinance rifle.
Next, the author tells how the artillery arm was organized in both the federal armies and the Confederacy. This is not an organization table. Rather he starts with the manpower requirements of an individual battery, then he goes on to the organization of the artillery arms of the Armies of the Potomac and of Northern Virginia. Before giving us a tour of Gettysburg today, the author gives us a lesson on loading and firing these old muzzle loaders, complete with tables showing ranges of fire for the principal types of guns used in July 1863.
Where Mr. Newton does us the greatest favor is in Chapter 6, where he gives an excellent guide for a driving tour of the artillery still on display on the Gettysburg Battlefield. (Many of the guns shipped there were, according to the author, melted down to make many of the bronze equestrian statues visitors have admired for decades). He adds to his narrative numerous useful appendices that detail with which larger units each battery was assigned, which states provided which batteries, and setting out the official reports of the principal artillery commanders involved at the battle. If you don't know how Civil War field artillery worked, and you want to, this would be the first book I would recommend.
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