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The Struggle for the Bliss Farm at Gettysburg, July 2nd and 3rd, 1863 (Paperback)

World History > The Americas > USA

Imprint: Savas Beatie
Pages: 240
ISBN: 9781611216257
Published: 15th July 2023



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Few visitors to the Gettysburg battlefield take note of the peculiar grassy rise in the fields southeast of the town between Seminary and Cemetery ridges. It was there that the Bliss home once stood, between the lines in a no-man’s-land during the largest battle ever fought on the American continent. The 60-acre Bliss farm was scene of a brutal back-and-forth clash that began as a fitful episode between lines of skirmishers and ended in a small but important battle all its own. The fight for the possession of this small piece of ground played an oversized role in the battle and directly impacted the rolling Confederate assault on July 2, 1863. Elwood Christ’s extraordinary The Struggle for the Bliss Farm at Gettysburg, July 2nd and 3rd, 1863 remains the only book ever published on the subject.


During the morning hours of July 2, 1863, opposing skirmish lines advanced and retreated for hours north of the farm before Confederates finally moved into the Bliss buildings and used them as a sniper’s nest to pick off enemy troops. Union Gen. Alexander Hays dispatched troops to clear them out and the fighting escalated. Within hours a large Confederate division under Gen Richard Anderson was deployed along Seminary Ridge. Posey’s Mississippi brigade, directly west of the farm, assumed an increasingly large role in clearing it of enemy troops. The vortex that was the Bliss farm began pulling in troops from both sides. In a bit more than 24 hours, the back-and-forth fighting would attract at least 10 Union and Confederate regiments, draw heavy artillery fire, disrupt the seemingly unstoppable Confederate assault moving northward against Cemetery Ridge, and kill and wound hundreds of men.


The late Elwood Christ based his book on official records, letters, diaries, and other unpublished archival sources. It first appeared to great acclaim in a small print run in 1998. Its return to the general book trade in this facsimile reprint edition, together with a new Foreword by award-winning author and Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide James Hessler, makes it a study every student of the Civil War, and especially of the Gettysburg Campaign, will want to own.

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