Pickett’s Charge-The Last Attack at Gettysburg

- Nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in History, 2002

- Winner of the James I. Robertson Literary Prize for Confederate History, 2002

- A Selection of the Military Book Club

- A Selection of the History Book Club


To order, go to: http://uncpress.unc.edu/books/T-5760.html


 "...tactical history has rarely been done as well. Not only is the writing clear, direct, and vivid, but Hess unerringly keeps the reader focused on the factors that enabled Pickett’s Charge to get as far as it did and those that led to its failure." -- Mark Grimsley, author of The Hard Hand of War


"This is old-fashioned military history at its best. In Pickett's Charge, Earl J. Hess has secured a legendary status, like the charge itself, for being the definitive biographer of the Civil War's most famous combat experience." -- Stephen D. Engle, author of Don Carlos Buell


"Given the volume of publications on Gettysburg, it is difficult to write something that is fresh and original on the battle. Earl Hess has succeeded in doing this. I have no doubt that this work will take its place as the new standard on Pickett’s Charge." -- D. Scott Hartwig, Historian at Gettysburg National Military Park


"Hess brings an impressive outpouring of new and old sources to bear in a strong narrative of the attack and its repulse that is rich in detail, quotes and personal accounts, with excellent accompanying maps and photographs. He caps it off with an epilogue of thoughtful armchair quarterbacking about what went wrong, what went right, what might have been and what it all meant that helps us make sense of the charge." -- John C. Waugh, author of The Class of 1846



With this book, Hess sweeps away the accumulated myths about Pickett’s Charge to provide the definitive history of the engagement. He explores why the assault took place, how it was organized, what mistakes were made in launching or repelling it, and what it really meant for the final outcome of the Civil War.


Drawing on exhaustive research, especially in unpublished personal accounts, Hess creates a moving narrative of the attack from both Union and Confederate perspectives. He examines the history of the units involved, their state of readiness, how they maneuvered under fire, and what the men who marched in the ranks thought about their participation in the assault. Ultimately, Hess explains, such an approach reveals Pickett’s Charge as both a case study in how soldiers deal with combat and a dramatic episode of heroism, failure, and fate on the battlefield.



Published By:

The University of North Carolina Press

P.O. Box 2288

Chapel Hill, NC 27515-2288



Full List of Books by Dr. Earl J. Hess

Author Bio