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 Posted: Wed Sep 10th, 2008 03:52 pm
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bschulte
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Donald W. McLaughlin. Crossroads of the Conflict: Defining Hours for the Blue and Gray: A Guide to the Monuments of Gettysburg. Denver, CO: Outskirts Press, Inc. (June 2, 2008). 376 pages, numerous maps, index. ISBN: 978-1432722876 $34.95 (Paperback).

Don McLaughlin’s years spent as a Licensed Battlefield Guide at Gettysburg from 1983 to 1997 along with nearly 10 years of research have culminated in this posthumously published work covering every single Gettysburg monument.  Presented in chronological order and accompanied by numerous hand-drawn maps, Crossroads of the Conflict is an ideal traveling companion for those looking for specific monuments on the Gettysburg battlefield.

McLaughlin’s book provides a brief summary for each of the 1300+ monuments and 400+ pieces of artillery which blanket the battlefield.  The author provides the numerical designation of regiments and batteries, how they fit within the Brigade-Division-Corps structure of their army, nicknames, and whatever description of the unit’s activity on the battlefield was included on each monument.

The maps detail exactly where on the field of battle these multitudes of monuments are located.  I appreciated the attention to detail, but I would have liked these better had the maps been drawn to scale.  In any case, the sheer number of maps, a must in a book covering this topic, was definitely appreciated.

This self-published effort through Outskirts Press does have some noticeable spelling and grammatical errors, but not enough to detract from the overall value of the book.

In order to truly appreciate the usefulness of this book, we need to look at the background of its author, the late Don McLaughlin.  Mr. McLaughlin loved Gettysburg so much he actually moved there to be closer to the battlefield!  According to the book’s introduction, he spent nearly 10 years chronicling these monuments to the men who fought there.  McLaughlin used his research in his work as a Licensed Battlefield Guide for 14 years.  If anyone knows about the monuments contained within the Park boundaries at Gettysburg, the author does.

If you are at all interested in the Battle of Gettysburg, are a battlefield tramper, or are looking to visit Gettysburg in the future, Crossroads of the Conflict is a must have first rate reference work and a unique tribute from family to a man who loved history.

Thanks goes to Judy McLaughlin of Delanson Publishing.

Note: Civil War Librarian had some information on Crossroads of the Conflict not too long ago.  Look for several more posts here on TOCWOC, including a look at some sample maps and an interview with Don McLaughlin’s daughters about their publishing efforts.

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Read more Civil War Book Reviews at TOCWOC!



 Posted: Wed Sep 10th, 2008 06:54 pm
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Doc C
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Got the book a couple of months ago. Have been using it to study for the upcoming LBFG exam Dec 6th. What I've been doing is reading Coddington, i.e. his chapters on each day, then switch to Pfanz's book on that particular day. Hopefully after 4 readings of the Coddington book and 3 of all of Pfanz's books it will help. With McLaughlins' and Gottfried's books it's starting to take shape. Another good book is Hawthorne's - Gettysburg : Stories of Men and Monuments, which has some good details of some of the main monuments. Unfortunately it doesn't include all of the monuments. Gottfried's book on the corps/divisions/brigades at GB is a nice reference, however in my rough poll of the guides, it's 50-50 whether or not his 3 books are of any value (like the brigades book, map book is helpful, haven't purchased his volume on artillery). Haven't studied this much since I took my medical specialty boards.

Doc C

Last edited on Wed Sep 10th, 2008 06:56 pm by Doc C



 Posted: Wed Sep 10th, 2008 06:59 pm
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bschulte
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Doc C.,

Thanks for the comments. I was curious as to what LBG's or future LBG's thought of Mr. McLaughlin's work. I've got Coddington, the Pfanz books, Martin's book on Day 1, the Gallagher essay books, and too many more to mention. I like the brigades book and maps book as well. I'm using those, along with Tagg's book on the Leaders of Gettysburg for an upcoming project. Do you subscribe to Gettysburg Magazine? I recently picked up the entire set but I haven't had a chance to dive in just yet.



 Posted: Wed Sep 10th, 2008 08:28 pm
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Doc C
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Received the 2 bound volumes in August. Excellent!!!!!!!! magazine. No ads, great articles, photos. Another good resource for my studies. Thinking of submitting an article on my cw ancestors (38) who fought there.

Doc C



 Posted: Thu Sep 11th, 2008 03:51 pm
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David White
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Doc:

Don't forget their maps too, they are very excellent and in the spirit of Gottlieb.



 Posted: Thu Sep 11th, 2008 06:15 pm
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Doc C
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David

If you're referring to the magazines maps, then I agree. After seeing them, I begain questioning the accuracy of some of Gotfrieds maps.

Doc C



 Posted: Thu Sep 11th, 2008 07:32 pm
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ole
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If you're referring to the magazines maps, then I agree. After seeing them, I begain questioning the accuracy of some of Gotfrieds maps.

Have seen some recent criticizms of Gottfried's Maps. I'll have to dig out Bachelder's and others and compare them. (Of course, you have a good idea of how long that will take. Meanwhile, I get: "Will you get this stuff off the floor and the kitchen table and when are you going to pick apples, get the trim back up on your windows, clean up your room and fix that drain?")

Our treasured newbies: It really doesn't get any better.

ole



 Posted: Fri Sep 12th, 2008 03:03 pm
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David White
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Ole:

Here I'll give you the kind of nagging you want to hear:

"When are you going to lie down on the couch and turn that TV on, isn't there a game or something on? Why don't you have a cold one on the end table too? If there is not a game on, would you please just pick up a good Civil War book and start reading. I swear, sometimes you are just too productive."



 Posted: Fri Sep 12th, 2008 06:47 pm
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ole
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Well, David, I will daydream about that scenario. (Wnen sleeping, it would be a nightmare.)

ole



 Posted: Mon Nov 3rd, 2008 11:02 am
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gettysburgerrn
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Gettysburg Magazine is a first rate resource...I highly recommend a subscription for anyone interested in the Gettysburg campaign. The map as well as the articles are first rate. For maps I also recommend John Imhoff's book on day 2 : "Gettysburg Day Two a study in maps" if you can find it..

ken



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