Posts tagged ‘Carol Reardon’

A Gettysburg Battlefield Guide with a Penn State Connection

19780807835258About 10 minutes after I returned home from last year’s Alumni Association’s Civil War Study Tour to Gettysburg, I began suggesting to my husband how nice it would be to return. “You’d love it!” I said. (Read: “I really want to go back, and I don’t think you’ll hate it. You did minor in history.”)

We’ve not made it there yet, but he did promise. I’m confident that when our schedules line up for a weekend away and the crowds dissipate after the 150th anniversary of the battle, July 1-3, it’ll happen. (Although there are cool programs for the anniversary; check them out here.)

When we go, we’re going to take a new book by Penn State professor Carol Reardon and retired Army colonel Tom Vossler: A Field Guide to Gettysburg: Experiencing the battlefield through its history, places, and people. Reardon, George Winfree professor of American history, is probably best known for her book on Pickett’s Charge (which is on my reading list), and she’s led tons of Gettysburg tours. So has Vosser, who’s a licensed battlefield guide and former director of the U.S. Army Military History Institute.

I’ve been reading the book off and on over the past couple of weeks, and even with my limited Gettysburg experience, I can tell it’s really useful. It’s divided into 35 stops (the official auto tour has 16), and for each stop, Reardon and Vossler answer six questions: What happened here? Who fought here? Who commanded here? Who fell here? Who lived here? What did they say about it later?

Their philosophy, articulated on page 7, comes across on every page: “The best way to explore Gettysburg’s rich battle history is to spend time out on the battlefield itself.”

Absolutely. That’s why as much as I’m enjoying my Civil War-heavy summer reading, I can’t wait to go back to Gettysburg and walk it again.

Lori Shontz, senior editor

June 21, 2013 at 4:00 pm Leave a comment

It’s Been a Busy Morning for Civil War Buffs

Gettysburg TourGrowing up, my brother was the ultimate war buff. Though his interests have since fluctuated (guitar, outdoor sports, astronomy, back to guitar), he once collected trivia as if World War II and Vietnam were favorite bands or NFL teams, rattling off the number of casualties in the Battle of Gettysburg—51,112—like a football score. Despite his enthusiasm, I was never quite able to understand the allure. It seems, however, plenty of Penn Staters do understand.

At 8 a.m. this morning, tickets for the Alumni Association’s 19th Annual Battlefield Study Tour in Gettysburg on Sept. 22-25 went on sale. Less than ten minutes later, the event had sold out.

Granted, tickets were first made available to those who’ve attended previous tours (the Association led groups through Manassas and Vicksburg in (more…)

July 15, 2011 at 2:19 pm Leave a comment

Praise for Carol Reardon’s Book

While trolling around the Internet recently, I came across a blog for amateur Civil War historians with a great name –The Order of Civil War Obsessively Compulsed, or TOCWOC. As a summer project, the bloggers wrote about their favorite books about the Battle of Gettysburg and compiled the overall top 10.

Checking in at No. 7 was Pickett’s Charge in History and Memory by Carol Reardon, Penn State professor of military history. The book, which was published in 1997, examined why and how the Battle of Gettysburg and Pickett’s Charge, in particular, became known as the turning points of the war. The Atlantic Monthly called it “a splendidly lively study of the manipulation, not necessarily deliberate or malign, of public opinion.”

So if you’re looking for some non-fluffy summer reading, this might fit the bill. I just added it to my own “books to read” list.

Lori Shontz, senior editor

July 21, 2009 at 5:53 pm 1 comment


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