A famous American writer's experiences of the Civil WarThe title of this book, of course, refers to the men of the United States who rallied to their nation's flag and the cause of the maintenance of the union between all the states at the first trumpet call to arms in 1861. The dissatisfaction of the eleven Southern states which would form the Confederacy burst into violence in April of that year with the attack on Fort Sumter and these first shots heralded four years of appalling bloodshed and acrimony before the United States of America could once again be declared a whole nation. This is not a general history of the war, it is, in the person of Charles Carleton Coffin, an account of personal experiences by an expert observer who is now regarded as one of the most important journalists the American nation has ever produced-Coffin was also a fine author and accomplished politician. The term 'embedded correspondent' has become a familiar term to describe newsmen who accompany an army in the field. The nineteenth century was however a golden age of special correspondents, of various nations, who joined fighting forces at the sharp end of conflict all over the globe and not a few of them-as they do to this day-paid the ultimate price for their dogged persistence in placing the facts before the public. Coffin was determined to experience the Civil War at close quarters and in this substantial book he takes us on campaign, from the intimacy of the march and the camp, among ordinary men and officers-and close by the commanders of the Union Army, as momentous events unfolded and important decisions were made. All first hand accounts are invaluable source works irrespective of the skill in penmanship of their authors. They record events and the exploits of individuals long gone and are, quite simply, the lifeblood of history. Nevertheless, when history is seen by a keen eye and related by those with a vivid turn of phrase and command of language it is at its best. Coffin was such an observer, he experienced the war in full measure at Bull Run, the Tennessee Campaign, Pittsburg Landing, the invasion of Maryland and Kentucky, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Petersburg and the fall of Richmond and witnessed many other momentous events on land and afloat. Available in softcover and hardback with dustjacket.
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