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The Living and the Dead

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Kent Gramm. Photographs by Chris Heisey


E-book (Other formats: Hardcover)
92 illustrations


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Table of Contents

Table of Contents

About the Book

In Gettysburg: The Living and the Dead, writer Kent Gramm and photographer Chris Heisey tell the famous battle’s story through the eyes of those who lived and died there. Unlike histories that simply recount the three furious days in July 1863, this book transports readers onto the battlefield and into the event’s historical echoes, making for a delightful, immersive experience.
Creative nonfiction, fiction, dramatic dialogue, and poetry combine with full-color photographs to convey the essential reality of the famous battlefield as a place both terrible and beautiful. The living and the dead contained here include Confederates and Yankees, soldiers and civilians, male and female, young and old. Visitors to the battlefield after 1863, both well known and obscure, provide the voices of the living. They include a female admiral in the U.S. Navy and a man from rural Virginia who visits the battlefield as a way of working through the death of his son in Iraq. The ghostly voices of the dead include actual participants in the battle, like a fiery colonel and a girl in Confederate uniform, as well as their representatives, such as a grieving widow who has come to seek her husband.   
Utilizing light as a central motif and fourscore and seven voices to evoke how Gettysburg continues to draw visitors and resound throughout history, alternately wounding and stitching the lives it touches, Gramm’s words and Heisey’s photographs meld for a historical experience unlike any other. Gettysburg: The Living and the Dead offers a panoramic view wherein the battle and battlefield of Gettysburg are seen through the eyes of those who lived through it and died on it as well as those who have sought meaning at the site ever since. 


Kent Gramm is an adjunct professor of English at Gettysburg College. His prior works include November: Lincoln’s Elegy at GettysburgGettysburg: A Meditation on War and ValuesSomebody’s Darling: Essays on the Civil War, and two poetry collectionsHe edited Battle: The Nature and Consequences of Civil War Combat. His play Lincoln Lives was performed in Baton Rouge as part of Louisiana’s Lincoln Bicentennial Inauguration.
Chris Heisey has won awards for his photography and has published popular Civil War calendars. He contributed photographs to In the Footsteps of Grant and Lee: The Wilderness through Cold Harbor with text by Gordon Rhea and to Gettysburg: This Hallowed Ground with text by Kent Gramm. 


"The best aspect of Gettysburg: The Living and the Dead is the bravery of the author to tell his stories and poems through a broad range of voices. Both Union and Confederate soldiers are portrayed, sometimes with sympathy towards their enemies, often with the passions and hatreds of the war on full display."—H-Net Reviews

"This volume deftly combines commentary with memorable images to transport readers onto the battlefield and into the event's historical echoes, making for a delightful, immersive experience."—James A Cox, Midwest Book Review

“The rich trove of insightful prose and lyric poetry vignettes in Gettysburg: The Living and the Dead are evidence that Kent Gramm’s sensibility, intellect, and style have produced the masterwork of one of our finest writers. And Chris Heisey’s ninety-one distinctive photographs provide imaginative perspectives on the battlefield that inspire me to say they are among the finest of the thousands of such photographs I have seen.”—David Madden, author of Sharpshooter: A Novel of the Civil War

“This is an exquisite, original, evocative book. Writer Gramm and photographer Heisey have joined in a luminous alliance of word and picture to celebrate and commemorate people and places of Gettysburg. Their collaboration elegantly fuses the voices and tones of fourscore and seven speakers, past and present, with the shadings and colors of battlefield images made in all weathers and seasons, at all times of day. Lincoln spoke of consecration far above our poor power to add or detract. But this book is a powerful monument to the devotion he urged.”—Stephen Cushman, author of Belligerent Muse: Five Northern Writers and How They Shaped Our Understanding of the Civil War
“Gettysburg—the place and the battle—is offered here in a kind of fifth dimension, a remarkable assembly of haunts, gripping and moving, that is very hard to put down.”—Stephen W. Sears, author of Gettysburg
“Gramm and Heisey have collaborated to produce a moving, thought-provoking, and fascinating literary and photographic narrative destined to enthrall not only readers already interested in the American Civil War but the general public as well. This original presentation is a masterpiece of creative writing merged with equally creative photography. Hats off to Gramm and Heisey for opening our eyes to new ways of thinking about a topic that many readers mistakenly believed had already been thoroughly explored.”—Gordon C. Rhea, author of On to Petersburg: Grant and Lee, June 415, 1864

“Gramm and Heisey succeed in producing a work that is emotionally diverse and illustrates their love and sensitivity for the battlefield and all who feel connected to that hallowed space.”—Eric P. Totten, H-War, H-Net Reviews