Sunday, January 25, 2009

Foreword to "Complete Gettysburg Guide"

This past week, popular Gettysburg National Military Park Ranger-Historian Eric A. Campbell sent in the Foreword to the new book by me and Steve Stanley, The Complete Gettysburg Guide. I've known Eric for many years, and have taken several tours by him as well as spent some quality time on the field with him. When I approached publisher Ted Savas with the idea for this book early last year, I already had one guy in mind for the Foreword, and that was Eric.

I always enjoy being around Eric. He's one of the most knowledgeable folks I've ever known, and I respect him greatly. Plus, being out on the field with him is always a great time - he's very animated when speaking and his passion gets contagious among the group he's talking with. I recall several years back taking a tour of Bigelow's 9th Mass Battery at Gettysburg on July 2 with him, and how much respect I gained for Bigelow and his gunners that day, all because of the way Eric presented the tour. At the time, Eric had just come out with his book, A Grand Terrible Dramma, containing the letters and sketches of battery member Charles Wellington Reed.

After reviewing the book's manuscript and most of the page images (the book is designed by co-author Steve, who also took all the modern photographs and created all of the maps), Eric wrote a wonderful Foreword. Steve and I are very honored by Eric's kind words and support for the book. Here are a few snippets from it:

The Gettysburg battlefield is truly a national treasure that is not only
sacred ground, but also contains thousands of sites and stories that can
literally take a lifetime to explore and learn. The main thing any visitor needs
to begin this journey is time. The second most important need is a good source
of knowledge to provide the necessary background and information to get started
and point the visitor in the right direction. In my opinion, The Complete
Gettysburg Guide by J. David Petruzzi and Steven Stanley provides that necessary
knowledge and direction in a way that no other book has yet accomplished.

This guide not only provides an overview of the main Gettysburg
battlefield, but includes background information on the Gettysburg Campaign,
explaining not only how the armies arrived at Gettysburg, but why—thus properly
placing the battle within the context of the entire war... I am confident that
all readers—from well-informed “students” of the battle to novices and those
just beginning their tramps over the fields of Gettysburg—will find this book
educational, constantly useful, and endlessly interesting. It is perfectly
suited for long use, over and over again, for each future return visit to
Gettysburg... Together, the text and maps contained in this work create
one of the most useful and comprehensive guides of America’s largest and
bloodiest battlefield available today, and I believe will remain so for some
time to come.

Thanks, Eric - we're so glad you are part of this work, and we hope all students of, and visitors to the field find it useful.

Release date: May 15, 2009


  1. J.D,

    Eric is the most energetic guide I have ever had the pleasure of roaming the field with, having him pen the forward to your book is outstanding. Anxiously waiting for the release.


  2. He is indeed! That's why I've long enjoyed being around him and listening to him. You can tell he is one of those passionate historians that you just want to listen to all day, and he's a fountain of information. Steve and I couldn't be happier that he enjoyed the book and agreed to be part of it. Way cool.

  3. Savas showed me some of the interior pages. I begged for more, but he said . . .no. I think the Gettysburg community in particular, and the CW community in general will be blown away by this book, JD. It is really lovely. And the maps are firstrate.

    Loved your other two books on the ride and post-battle, too.