Cover image for The most glorious fourth : Vicksburg and Gettysburg, July 4, 1863
The most glorious fourth : Vicksburg and Gettysburg, July 4, 1863
Schultz, Duane P.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Norton, [2002]

Physical Description:
447 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, portraits, plans ; 25 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E475.27 .S38 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
E475.27 .S38 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



The story of the Independence Day that turned the tide of the Civil War. July 4, 1863, was a glorious day for the Union cause. It saw the surrender of Vicksburg and the retreat of General Lee's Army of Northern Virginia after a crushing defeat at Gettysburg. In interweaving the narratives of these two storied battles, Duane Schultz has presented a compelling blow-by-blow account of what is arguably the most pivotal point of the entire conflict. All the players are brought to life here, whether it is Lincoln agonizing in the telegraph office while he waits for news from Generals Grant and Meade, General Pete Longstreet trying to cajole Lee into revising his plan of attack, or the women of the towns of Vicksburg and Gettysburg coming under fire and tending to the legions of wounded. We see a nation in the midst of its greatest convulsion, and we see that, while the "Glorious Fourth" dashed the greatest hopes of the Confederacy, the war was far from over.

Author Notes

Duane Schultz lives in Clearwater, Florida.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Few days were more critical to the Union effort during the Civil War than July 4, 1863. On this pivotal date, Vicksburg was surrendered by Confederate troops, and Lee's Army of Northern Virginia retreated from Gettysburg. Gaining both a geographical advantage by assuming control of the Mississippi River and a strategic edge by placing the withdrawing Confederacy on the defensive, the Union developed the momentum it refused to relinquish during the remaining years of the war. Schultz sets the stage for the two conflicts by introducing the major players and providing an overview of the days preceding the most climactic and dramatic Fourth of July in American history. Personal observations and reflections culled from diaries and letters lend an immediacy and an intimacy to this riveting Civil War chronicle. --Margaret Flanagan

Publisher's Weekly Review

Danger junkies rejoice! The Perfect Storm king returns with no, not a new booklength narrative, but a collection of previously published magazine articles. Junger spent the last few years documenting some of the world's toughest places: Afghanistan, Sierra Leone and the former Yugoslavia, as well as nonmilitary hot spots like American wildfires. His reporting on wartime atrocities for Vanity Fair is well known, and his wilderness stories for adventure magazines like Outside and Men's Health have brought him an enormous extra-book readership. Junger's newest can be considered a sort of early Greatest Hits volume, wherein Junger's disaster-zone reporting will whet the appetites of risk voyeurs everywhere. Consider his interview with Afghan guerrilla leader Ahmad Shah Massoud ("After we'd spent half an hour ducking the shells, the commander said he'd just received word that Taliban troops were preparing to attack the position, and it might be better if we weren't around for it"), or his Kosovo klatch with Serbian paramilitaries ("The men grinned broadly at us. One of them wasn't holding a gun in his hands. He was holding a huge double-bladed ax."). But Junger is more than a dispassionate adventure-monger; he is an observer awed by the courage of "people confronting situations that could easily destroy them." Whether describing the trials of airborne forest firefighters or the occupational hazards of old-fashioned harpoon-and-rope whale hunting, Junger challenges readers to reconsider their fondness for ease: "Life in modern society is designed to eliminate as many unforeseen events as possible, and as inviting as that seems, it leaves us hopelessly underutilized. And that is where the idea of `adventure' comes in." (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Perhaps one reason the American Civil War continues to hold such attention among readers and publishers is that people like to hear the same stories again and again, rehash the same debates, ask the same questions, and offer the same answers. That, at least, must be the rationale behind this book, which shuffles over well-traveled ground in contrasting the surrender of Vicksburg and retreat from Gettysburg, each on July 4, 1863; Schultz (The Dahlgren Affair), who has written skillfully on more neglected topics, is reduced to stitching together a series of well-known stories while introducing more than a few factual errors (such as confusing divisions and corps). There's precious little evidence of research into sources not readily available at a good public library, some of the repeated stories (notably Grant's being drunk at Vicksburg) have long since been discredited, and Schultz's forays into more recent scholarship are rather limited, although at least he incorporates the experience of civilians in his narrative. However, only those who value completeness in their Civil War collections will miss not having this volume on their shelves, although it may delight someone who has not read anything on the Civil War. Not recommended. Brooks D. Simpson, Arizona State Univ., Tempe (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Chapter 1 What Will the Country Say?p. 3
Chapter 2 And Then Came Warp. 16
Chapter 3 Robert Was Always Goodp. 41
Chapter 4 The Gibraltar of the Westp. 67
Chapter 5 How Very Sad This Lifep. 97
Chapter 6 The Suspense Was Dreadfulp. 134
Chapter 7 To Find and Fight the Enemyp. 169
Chapter 8 We Need Help Nowp. 199
Chapter 9 The Blood Stood in Puddlesp. 232
Chapter 10 The Slaughter Will Be Terriblep. 269
Chapter 11 For God's Sake, Come Quick!p. 295
Chapter 12 They've Broke All to Hell!p. 318
Chapter 13 The Most Glorious Fourthp. 348
Chapter 14 A Strange and Blighted Landp. 374
Chapter Notesp. 409
Bibliographyp. 433
Indexp. 441