In Twilight at Little Round Top, originally published in hardback in 2005 by John Wiley and Sons, Glenn W. LaFantasie tells the story of the important turning point of the Battle of Gettysburg that occurred at Little Round Top.
When the battle began, there were no Federal regiments on or even near the hill - just a few signalmen and such. When this was noticed by a Federal general, regiments were dispatched to hold the hill. The most famous regiment is the 20th Maine, commanded by Colonel Joshua L. Chamberlain, because Chamberlain wrote and spoke about his and his regimentís actions. Other nearby regiments were involved, but their efforts in the battle have not been written about as much as the Maine regiment. Had the Confederates succeeded in taking the hill, they might have had a better chance against the Federals, who may have lost their nerve and retreated once again. The Federal troops on Little Round Top managed to repulse attack after attack by the Confederates who, courageous in their efforts, gave their all for their cause, trying to dislodge the Federals troops from Little Round Top. In the end, the Union was victorious.
Glenn LaFantasie found rare and unused sources as well as other known sources in presenting the story of Little Round Top from both sides of the battle. There are black-and-white photos, sketches, and maps, as well as endnotes, an extensive bibliography, and an index. Twilight at Little Round Top is well researched and the story told so well that the readerís attention holds fast throughout the book; this is no dry academic history textbook, but a delight to read. Civil War enthusiasts will enjoy it, especially those interested in the Battle of Gettysburg.
Glenn W. LaFantasie is the Richard Frockt Family Professor of Civil War History and director of the Center for the study of the Civil War in the West at Western Kentucky University. He is the author of the forthcoming book Gettysburg Heroes: Perfect Soldiers, Hallowed Ground (May 2008), Gettysburg Requiem: The Life and Lost Causes of Confederate Colonel William C. Oates (2007) and other books and articles.