Book Review: Gettysburg in Color: Volume 2: The Wheatfield to Falling Waters

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by Patrick Brennan and Dylan Brennan.

El Dorado Hills, Ca.: Savas Beatie, 2023. Pp. vi, 224. Illus., maps, notes, biblio, index. $37.50. ISBN: 1611216583

Images of the Gettysburg Campaign from July 2nd through the 16th

This is the second of a two volume work on the Gettysburg campaign* by Patrick Brennan and his daughter Dylan Brennan, making extensive use of hundreds of images of soldiers, places, battles, and more.

The images are all in color. Black and white originals, whether photographs or engravings, have been electronically rendered into color, and are supplemented by many paintings reproduced in their original colors. This rather "invigorates" our mental image of the events, suggesting a more realistic idea of how people, places, and events actually looked, in contrast to our perception of the war in black and white. Every page has one or more images, and often clear, well-constructed maps, that provide close ups of many moments of the events during the Gettysburg Campaign from the second day of the battle, July 2nd, in the Wheatfield through the end of Lee’s Retreat, at Falling Waters on July 16th.

One of the most interesting parts of the book is the discussion of how it came to be, as a sort of Brennan family project, involving not just Patrick and Dylan, but others as well. Some family members collected images from Google Earth Pro, digitizing them to remove modern intrusions, while others navigated the complex world of digital rights, designed the look of the maps, and carefully critiqued every image to draw what might be learned from it. Then, “the Brennans used an artificial intelligence based computerized color identifier to determine the precise color of uniforms, flesh, hair, equipment, terrain, houses, and much more”, all wrapped up in a well-researched seventy thousand-word account of the Gettysburg Campaign. Offering a new way to learn about the battle of Gettysburg, their two books will likely be useful for visitors to the battlefield, or anyone seeking to learn more about the events.

This reviewer was thrilled and amazed by the inventiveness, audacity, and dedication that went into this work, and recommends it highly. 

* For a review of, Gettysburg in Color: Volume 1, Brandy Station to the Peach Orchard, see http://www.strategypage.com/bookreviews/2465

 

Our Reviewer: David Marshall has been a high school American history teacher in the Miami-Dade School district for more than three decades. A life-long Civil War enthusiast, David is president of the Miami Civil War Round Table Book Club. In addition to numerous reviews in Civil War News and other publications, he has given presentations to Civil War Round Tables on Joshua Chamberlain, Ulysses S. Grant, Abraham Lincoln, the Battle of Gettysburg, and the common soldier. His most recent previous reviews here include Lieutenant General James Longstreet, Count the Dead, All Roads Led To Gettysburg, Unhappy Catastrophes, The Heart of Hell, The Whartons' War, Gettysburg’s Southern Front , Civil War Monuments and Memorials, The Tale Untwisted, The Confederate Military Forces in the Trans-Mississippi West, The Civilian War, The Carnage was Fearful, The Civil Wars of Joseph E. Johnston, Confederate States Army, Vol. I, Navigating Liberty: Black Refugees and Antislavery Reformers in the Civil War South, Gettysburg In Color, Vol 1, "The Bullets Flew Like Hail", , John Brown's Raid, Searching For Irvin McDowell, A House Built by Slaves, They Came Only To Die, and General Grant and the Verdict of History.

 

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Note: Gettysburg in Color, Volume 2 is also available in e-editions.

 

StrategyPage reviews are published in cooperation with The New York Military Affairs Symposium

www.nymas.org

Reviewer: David Marshall   


Buy it at Amazon.com

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