This gripping narrative is an in-depth study of the valiant men of General John Caldwell’s Union Division during the Gettysburg Campaign. Caldwell’s Division made a desperate stand against a tough and determined Confederate force in farmer George Rose's nearly 20-acre Wheatfield. Ready for harvest, the infamous Wheatfield would change hands nearly six times in the span of two hours of fighting on July 2, becoming a trampled, bloody, no-man's land for thousands of wounded soldiers.
Smith examines the lives of the Union soldiers in the ranks—as well as leaders Cross, Kelly, Zook, Brooke, and Caldwell himself. From Colonel Edward Cross’s black bandana, to the famed Irish Brigade's charge on Stoney Hill, to a lone young man from Washington County whose grave is marked in stone nearby, James Smith’s Storming the Wheatfield goes deep into the lives the soldiers, evoking a personal connection with the troops. Smith painstakingly contacted nearly one hundred descendants of Caldwell's soldiers, producing one of the most extensively researched narratives to date.