It was the common soldiers who did most of the
fighting and dying in the campaign and battle of Gettysburg, but they
relied upon their leaders, from lieutenants to presidents, for
motivation, inspiration and direction. They also relied upon those
leaders to take care of them, and to preserve them from harm's way
Nowhere is leadership put to a more severe test than
in time of war, when lives hang in the balance of every decision. The
national leader must inspire the home front to maintain the struggle,
while the regimental commander must motivate his men to risk their lives
in furtherance of the cause. Gettysburg tested the leadership of these
men as no other campaign of the war to that point had. How those
leaders met that test and dealt with the challenges the campaign and
battle presented to them is a subject that still has relevance today.
While weapons have changed the face of warfare, the characteristics of
good leadership have not.
The Gettysburg National Military Park 2002 Seminar
probed the critical role of leadership in the campaign and battle. The
papers of this seminar range from a study of the successes and failures
of Lincoln’s leadership in the campaign to the impact of the leadership
of a 21 year old New Hampshire colonel who led his men through the
bloody fighting in the Peach Orchard on July 2. These papers provide
insight into both how the leaders at Gettysburg developed as well as how
they performed when put to the test.
A special thanks goes to Evangelina Rubalcava, for
her hard work in handling all the logistics that made the seminar
happen, to Scott Hartwig, for his work in putting this book together,
Chris Little, for her editorial skills, and to John Heiser, who produced
the excellent maps that accompany the text.
Gettysburg National Military Park