Wayne Vansant’s latest graphic history concentrates on the major military events leading up to and including the turning point of the American Civil War, the Battle of Gettysburg. As with his previous book Normandy, Vasant presents a detailed, balanced account accompanied by 400 vivid color illustrations in a 96 page graphic novel format.
The brutality of American fighting American in the downhill bayonet charge at Little Round Top, Devil’s Den, the Wheat Field, Peach Orchard and the infantry assault known as Pickett’s Charge at Cemetery Ridge on the final day of the battle on July 3, 1863 is told with a descriptive, historically accurate narrative with artwork that illustrates the grim reality of death on the battlefield.
Key figures such as Medal of Honor recipient Brigadier General Joshua Chamberlain, Confederate Army General Robert E. Lee, Confederate General James Longstreet and victorious Union General George Meade are highlighted by accomplished writer and artist Vasant. Maps of key battle plans on both sides add to the interest and President Abraham Lincoln’s famous Gettysburg Address speech serves as a fitting conclusion.
This book will be of interest to anyone seeking a greater understanding of the Battle of Gettysburg and also serves as an excellent introduction for youngsters with its mix of historical text and graphic imagery. Vansant uses a scratchy ink line and sketchy style to convey action in an effective manner.
One is left with the impression that the outcome and history of the United States could have taken a different route had General Lee taken the advice of General Longstreet not to attack from Culp’s Hill on that fateful final day at Gettysburg.
Available March 2013 in softcover and as an e-book by Zenith Press. Thanks to Nichole Schiele at Quayside Publications.
Review copyright Paul Green 2013.