Hey JD, Charlie, Gunnrunner, et al...Gosh I'm having a hard time reading Pfanz ...the second day has taken about a week and Meade & Co. just woke up!...Is it just me or did others have a hard time? It seems every paragraph I have to refer to one of (my own) maps...Coddington was a Dr. Seuse compared to this...yikes! AAROGON
Having only read Pfanz, day-1 I can only comment on that. For years I heard what a great authority he was and his books were the bible on Gettysburg. What depressed me was his use of must have,could have ,should have probably and most likely. Day-1 is his version, regardless of what the particapants wrote. Hence the reason I haven't read day-2
Yeah, I found Day 2 very hard going as well. Had to keep referring to Coddington and various maps as I went along to get myself back on track. A lot of good information there, but best read and analysed a bit at a time. Still tryin to psyche myself up to tackle Day1:-)
Yessiree, they are doozies! The footnotes alone will spin the eyes! I found Pfanz to be rather hard on the commanders, and I found the same as y'all... it helped to refer to my own maps and keep in my head other sources that I've read. Regardless of what I read, though, I still don't understand the actions on Culp's Hill!! :-) Fortunately, we have a tour for that scheduled for the Muster!
J.D. Is there room for a short talk or tour of Stones brigade (and my beloved 143PA) at the fall muster? I cant help but plug my favorite regiment. Gunrunner
Correct me if I'm wrong, but as far as I know, Pfanz hasn't written a book on Day 1 (yet), were you referring to Martin's Day 1? Frankly I found Martin's Day 1, and both of Pfanz's books - Day 2 and Culps Hill- Cemetery Hill to be pretty slow reading. Coddington I found to be actually enjoyable, Foote's Star's in their Courses was so easy to read it was almost like a novel, Same with Stewart's Pickett's Charge.
I hadn't caught that... I guess he did mean Martin's July 1. Gunrunner, we should be able to find time for it... could you lead it? I can fit it in on Friday or Sunday... let me know! Thanks!
Boy is pFanz a tough read! Actually I found Glenn Tucker a better read even then Coddington. But I along with most of you that Coddingon is probably the best on GB..
I did like Stars in their course, leaving out the repeating carbine issue of course :-)
So its a consesus at least here that PFanz and Martin are tough reads..
Don't get me wrong, they're both excellent studies of the battle, it's just that there's SOOOO much detail that I know I found myself a bit overwhelmed, even somewhat lost at times.
Hmmm Must be me. I really do like both of Pfanz's books. I read Coddington's book and I sort of blow through it not concentrating enough and miss stuff. But with Pfanz and Martin's book too I read a paragraph look at the map try to go over that part of the field in my mind. Then I push on to the next fight. Ive been over the L.R.T., Wheat field, Peach orchard line so many times that I did not need to go over to much in Pfanz 1st book. Only Humphrey's division, 12 corps reinforcements, and some of Caldwell's division movements confused me.(Caldwell sweeps the field is my favorate part of the book). The second book is the one I like the best. Ive taken it to the field on three times to go over something I did not grasp. The Pardee field on Culps hill I always was alittle lost on. The attacks down in the Spangler's Spring area by the 27 Indiana and the 2nd Mass men. The one I reread and go stomping about tring to get a grasp of it the Hays, Avery attack on on East Cemetery Hill. Ive gone over that twice while there and I plan on doing it again. As for Martin's book I have the first copy so I have to look for mistakes. I walked the 11th corps line of retreat through town once but I still do not have that good of a grasp on that. (Maybe the stop for a couple quick ones was not so hot an idea?) I know that not everybody can go to the field once or twice a year so maybe this clouds my judgement. Time to stop :Old Juan
Pfanz is not an easy read, as we all seem to agree. However, the man knows the ground! He has not written a flowing narrative, but an extremely detailed analysis of the movements of the various components of the two armies on July 2d. I guess I would say you might as well not try to read Pfanz until you are really hooked. Then, take it slow, keep your favorite maps handy, and for goodness' sake read the footnotes! And, AAROGON, while Pfanz isn't exactly an "I couldn't put it down" kind of book, I frequently find myself re-reading parts of this book. There's an awful lot of information there! If you stick with it, you will know a lot more about the second day of the battle than you did when you began reading the book.