“Sickles is as dividing a figure in Civil War history as there is. In his masterful work . . . Hessler . . . puts him out there with all his wrinkles” (Confederate Book Review).
Winner of the Robert E. Lee Civil War Roundtable of Central New Jersey’s Bachelder-Coddington Literary Award
Winner of the Gettysburg Civil War Roundtable’s Distinguished Book Award
By licensed battlefield guide James Hessler, this is the most deeply-researched, full-length biography to appear on this remarkable American icon. No individual who fought at Gettysburg was more controversial, both personally and professionally, than Major General Daniel E. Sickles. By 1863, Sickles was notorious as a disgraced former Congressman who murdered his wife’s lover on the streets of Washington and used America’s first temporary insanity defense to escape justice. With his political career in ruins, Sickles used his connections with President Lincoln to obtain a prominent command in the Army of the Potomac’s 3rd Corps—despite having no military experience. At Gettysburg, he openly disobeyed orders in one of the most controversial decisions in military history.
Hessler’s critically acclaimed biography is a balanced and entertaining account of Sickles colorful life. Civil War enthusiasts who want to understand General Sickles’ scandalous life, Gettysburg’s battlefield strategies, the in-fighting within the Army of the Potomac, and the development of today’s National Park will find Sickles at Gettysburg a must-read.
“The few other Sickles biographies available will now take a back seat to Hessler’s powerful and evocative study of the man, the general, and the legacy of the Gettysburg battlefield that old Dan left America. I highly recommend this book.”—J. David Petruzzi, coauthor of Plenty of Blame to Go Around: Jeb Stuart’s Controversial Ride to Gettysburg