Pennsylvania Civil War Trails: The Guide to Battle Sites, Monuments, Museums and Towns
By Tom Huntington
Illustrated, bibliography, index, softcover, 150 pp., 2007. Stackpole Books, 5067 Ritter Rd., Mechanicsburg, PA 17055, $14.95 plus shipping.
Reviewer: Blake Magner
Blake A. Magner is the Book Review Editor of Civil War News. He makes his living as an editor, writer, cartographer and photographer of Civil War history. He is author of At Peace With Honor: The Civil War Burials of Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Starting in Franklin County, Pennsylvania author Tom Huntington follows the roads traveled by the Army of Northern Virginia and Army of the Potomac during the Gettysburg Campaign. Despite this campaign being the major focus, the Chambersburg Raid of 1864 is also touched upon. Towns covered include Greencastle, Chambersburg, Shippensburg, Carlisle, Harrisburg, York, Wrightsville, Hanover and Gettysburg.
The major focus of the book is on the civilians and how the campaign affected them, although fighting at Chambersburg, Wrightsville, Hanover and Gettysburg (with some smaller actions) is also described. Army and local commanders are also discussed.
Each town's importance during the Gettysburg Campaign is explained; in addition, places of more modern interest are included. Sidebars give the reader information on what to see in each community, ranging from museums to ice cream parlors and include addresses and Web sites.
The Gettysburg chapter contains a fair number of typos and historical errors. Whether or not the rest of the volume contains such errors is difficult to determine as the book contains no footnotes or endnotes which could have been used to check the author's research. This omission also reduces the book's usefulness as a research tool.
All in all, however, Huntington writes well and tells a nice story. Experts on the battle and campaign will pick up on the mistakes and readers new to the subject will still get an interesting and, for the most part, informative read.