In this Book

Pale Horse At Plum Run
buy this book Buy This Book in Print
summary
The smoke had just cleared from the last volley of musketry at Gettysburg. Nearly 70 percent of the First Minnesota regiment lay dead or dying on the field--one of the greatest losses of any unit engaged in the Civil War. Pale Horse at Plum Run is the study of this single regiment at this crucial moment in American history. Through painstaking research of firsthand accounts, eyewitness reports, and official records, Brian Leehan constructs a narrative remarkable for its attention to detail and careful reportage. Word of the First's heroic act at Gettysburg quickly spread along Union lines and back to Minnesota. Their stand late on July 2, 1863, stopped a furious rebel assault and saved the day for the Union. Emerging from the chaos of battle, however, firsthand reports contradicted each other. Confused officers and frightened soldiers told very different stories of the day's hearsay and camp gossip for their sources of information. All of this leaves the historical investigator to ask, what really happened that day at Plum Run? In order to answer that question, Leehan performs superlative historical detective work. By focusing on the men themselves--and their accounts of the engagement--he weaves together a narrative of the First's action on July 2 and 3. Those who escaped the scythe of battle the first day lived to play a pivotal role the next in rebuffing the most famous infantry assault in American military history, Pickett's Charge. By tracking the movements of individual soldiers over the field of battle, Leehan reconstructs in amazing detail the story of this remarkable band of soldiers. In his investigation of the battle Leehan raises important questions about how we can really know the truth about the past. In cogent appended essays, the author muses on the lack of standardized timekeeping in the mid-nineteenth century, on the nature of Civil War weaponry, and on the emergence of a heroic mythology after the war.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. restricted access Download |
  1. Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
  2. restricted access Download |
  1. Contents
  2. restricted access Download |
  1. Preface: “That these dead shall not have died in vain”
  2. pp. ix-xvi
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xvii-xx
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 1. I had been sleeping with a dead man
  2. pp. 3-13
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 2. The morning of a better hope
  2. pp. 14-27
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 3. The best we had in the shop
  2. pp. 28-37
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 4. What meaner place could man be put in?
  2. pp. 38-50
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 5. My God, are these all the men we have here?
  2. pp. 51-55
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 6. Behold! A Pale Horse
  2. pp. 56-76
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 7. Dead men and horses lying all around me
  2. pp. 77-81
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 8. We just rushed in like wild beasts
  2. pp. 82-98
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 9. The funeral of our regiment
  2. pp. 99-123
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Epilogue
  2. pp. 124-140
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Appendix 1. A question of time
  2. pp. 141-143
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Appendix 2. The tools of death
  2. pp. 144-151
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Appendix 3. The mythology of the First Minnesota
  2. pp. 152-168
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Appendix 4. casualties
  2. pp. 169-188
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 189-197
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Notes
  2. pp. 198-234
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Index
  2. pp. 235-243
  3. restricted access Download |
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.