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CWT Book Review: Gettysburg’s Forgotten Cavalry

By Jon Guttman
8/1/2017 • Civil War Times Magazine

Gettysburg’s Forgotten Cavalry Actions, Farnsworth’s Charge, South Cavalry Field, and the Battle of Fairfield, July 3, 1863

Eric J. Wittenberg; Savas Beatie

Originally published in 1998, Eric J. Wittenberg’s first book won the Bachelder– Coddington Literary Award for that year. It is now available from another publisher with a major upgrade, thanks to a wealth of newly discovered information as well as illustrations, largely in the wake of changes made to the Gettysburg battlefield itself. He has somewhat altered his conclusions regarding three overlooked cavalry actions fought on the main battle’s peripheries on the third day—all of which represented opportunities to hinder or even rout the Army of Northern Virginia, whose performance was undone by poor judgment, planning and coordination. But Wittenberg also points out that those encounters, in which three troopers earned the Medal of Honor, and the men who died in them, still have not received the onsite recognition they deserve. He also laments the fact that Brig. Gen. Elon J. Farnsworth, the only Union general to be killed behind enemy lines, is also the only Union general without a monument at Gettysburg…pending future notice.

 

Originally published in the June 2012 issue of Civil War Times. To subscribe, click here.

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