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Hard Marching Every Day: The Civil War…

Hard Marching Every Day: The Civil War Letters of Private Wilbur Fisk,… (1983)

by Wilbur Fisk

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Enjoyed the personal narrative of a soldier who wrote letters to his hometown newspaper of the experiences and thoughts of the infantry soldier as the war progressed. New info to me in this book: how the soldiers built shelters as they moved from place to place, their rations and other food sources, the routine of picketing, the role of skirmishing in many battles. ( )
  CarolynsCatalog | Mar 22, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0700605290, Hardcover)

As a war correspondent, Wilbur Fisk was an amateur, yet his letters to the Montpelier Green Mountain Freeman comprise one of the finest collections of Civil War letters in existence. "Literary gems," historian Herman Hattaway calls them. "In fact, they are so good that it would be believable that some expert novelist had created them."

But Fisk was no novelist. He was a rural school teacher from Vermont, primarily self-educated, who enlisted in the Union Army simply because he believed he would regret it later if he didn't.

Unlike professional war correspondents, Private Fisk had no access to rank or headquarters. Instead, he wrote of life as a private--as one of the foot soldiers who slept in the mud and obeyed orders no matter how incomprehensible.

Between December 11, 1861, and July 26, 1865, Fisk wrote nearly 100 letters from the battlefield. At the beginning of the war he was exuberant and eager for contact with the enemy. Two years later, Fisk was disillusioned and war weary. "The rebel dead and ours lay thickly together, their thirst for blood forever quenched. Their bodies were swollen, black, and hideously unnatural. They eyes glared from their sockets, their tongues protruded from their mouths, and in almost every case, clots of blood and mangled flesh showed how they had died, and rendered a sight ghastly beyond description. I thought I had become hardened to almost anything, but I cannot say I ever wish to see another sight like that I saw on the battle-field of Gettysburg."

Fisk wrote as eloquently on the moral and political issues behind the war as he did on the everyday hardships of life in the Army of the Potomac. He saw the war as a question of right and wrong and he continued to believe that it had to be fought, even after he was well acquainted with its horror and pointlessness.

This book is part of the Modern War Studies series.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:45 -0400)

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