This is a good reference book for someone who is really interested in the study of Civil War battles.
I'm a new Civil War buff and was really looking forward to reading this book on the honorable hero General Chamberlain. However, I was disappointed.
The book is NOT a true autobiography. It is a collection of writings [magazine articles] and/or speeches he gave after the war. Nothing "wrong" with that...just FYI.
I have realized that I do NOT like the minutia of battle. And that is this. Way too many details of someone moving left, then right ... It reads more textbook-y than flow-y novel.
Even the highpoint of the book...the reason most poeple want to read about Chamberlain...20th Maine's heroic defense of Little Round Top...is unsatisfying.
To me, it's NOT clear who's idea it was to order the charge [if Melcher hadn't come up to mention it, would Chamberlain had thought of it?] and while he did yell "Bayonet", he never said "Forward".
I completely agree with this review by Mark on Amazon:
"For a man who was present at a number of important and exciting events in US history and an authentic American hero, his narrative is plodding and dull. His battle descriptions and his attention to minor troop movements are confusing and essentially unreadable. The maps he provides are completely inadequate in providing a better understanding what took place. The maps can be excused by the fact that they are provided with 19th century technology, his muddled writing style cant be. If you're looking for an enjoyable reading experience that will help you learn more about Chamberlain, I suggest you look elsewhere."
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