As Confederate forces groped their way through the mountain passes, a chance encounter with Federal cavalry on the outskirts of a small Pennsylvania crossroads town triggered a series of events that quickly escalated beyond Lee’s—or anyone’s—control. Waves of soldiers materialized on both sides in a constantly shifting jigsaw of combat. “You will have to fight like the devil . . .” one Union cavalryman predicted.
The costliest battle in the history of the North American continent had begun.
July 1, 1863 remains the most overlooked phase of the battle of Gettysburg, yet it set the stage for all the fateful events that followed.
Bringing decades of familiarity to the discussion, historians Chris Mackowski, Kristopher D. White, and Daniel T. Davis, in their engaging style, recount the action of that first day of battle and explore the profound implications in Fight Like the Devil.
About the Authors: Chris Mackowski and Kristopher D. White are cofounders of Emerging Civil War and Daniel T. Davis is chief historian. Between them, they have authored more than a dozen books and have penned articles for Civil War Times, America’s Civil War, Hallowed Ground, and Blue & Gray. Chris is a writing professor at St. Bonaventure University in Allegany, NY, and historian-in-residence at Stevenson Ridge, a historic property on the Spotsylvania battlefield. Daniel is a graduate of Longwood University with a B.A. in public history and has worked as a historian at Appomattox Court House National Historic Site. Kris is a historian for the Penn-Trafford Recreation Board and a continuing education instructor for the Community College of Allegheny County near Pittsburgh; he is also a former Licensed Battlefield Guide. All have worked as historians at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. Read their blog at www.emergingcivilwar.com.
"The book also benefits from looking at the events of the first day of the battle as being important in their own right, and not simply as the build-up to the more famous struggles of the second and third days. The text is supported by good clear maps, and by an impressive selection of contemporary and near contemporary photographs, which give a good feel for how the battlefield looked at the time, before it became a vast battlefield park." ~History of War