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Reluctant Witnesses: Children's Voices from…
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Reluctant Witnesses: Children's Voices from the Civil War

by Emmy E. Werner

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We experience the American Civil War by not only reading descriptions of battles, but also through firsthand accounts of children, preteen and younger. This account of many of the major battles and besieged cities gives us better insights into the brutality and even compassion of the American Civil War. From the caves and cellars of Vicksburg under seige, the assault, burning and occupation of Atlanta, the bloody battles of Bull Run, Antietam and Gettysburg and many other important places and events, we gain some amazing insights. The resilience and courage shown by children in the roles of soldiers, drummer boys, residents of cities under attack and witnesses of battles, is fascinating and amazing. In the epilogue, the author compares these experiences to contemporary examples of children at war. The author's style and skill at bringing the Civil War to life and the fascinating descriptions by the children make this one of my favorite books, likely deserving of rereading. ( )
  jwood652 | Oct 21, 2015 |
We experience the American Civil War by not only reading descriptions of battles, but also through firsthand accounts of children, preteen and younger. This account of many of the major battles and besieged cities gives us better insights into the brutality and even compassion of the American Civil War. From the caves and cellars of Vicksburg under seige, the assault, burning and occupation of Atlanta, the bloody battles of Bull Run, Antietam and Gettysburg and many other important places and events, we gain some amazing insights. The resilience and courage shown by children in the roles of soldiers, drummer boys, residents of cities under attack and witnesses of battles, is fascinating and amazing. In the epilogue, the author compares these experiences to contemporary examples of children at war. The author's style and skill at bringing the Civil War to life and the fascinating descriptions by the children make this one of my favorite books, likely deserving of rereading. ( )
  jwood652 | Oct 21, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0813328233, Paperback)

Between 250,000 and 500,000 boy soldiers fought in the U.S. Civil War. Many more children were exposed to the war’s ravages in their home towns—in Atlanta, Baton Rouge, Columbia, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, Harper’s Ferry, Richmond, and Vicksburg—and during Sherman’s March to the Sea. Based on eyewitness accounts of 120 children, ages four to sixteen, Reluctant Witnesses tells their story of the war: their experience of the hardships they endured and how they managed to cope. Their voices speak of courage and despair, of horror and heroism, and of the bonds of family and community and the powers of faith that helped them survive. Their diaries, letters, and reminiscences are a testimony to the astonishing resiliency in the face of great adversity and their extraordinary capacity to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives. Like children of contemporary wars, these children from the Union and the Confederacy speak to us across centuries without hate but with the stubborn hope that peace might prevail in the end.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:03:23 -0400)

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"Between 250,000 and 500,000 boy soldiers fought in the U.S. Civil War. Many more children were exposed to the war's ravages in their home towns - in Atlanta, Baton Rouge, Columbia, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, Harper's Ferry, Richmond, and Vicksburg - and during Sherman's March to the Sea. Based on eyewitness accounts of 120 children, ages four to sixteen, Reluctant Witnesses tells their story of the war: their experience of the hardships they endured and how they managed to cope. Their voices speak of courage and despair, of horror and heroism, and of the bonds of family and community and the powers of faith that helped them survive. Their diaries, letters, and reminiscences are a testimony to their astonishing resiliency in the face of great adversity and their extraordinary capacity to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives. Like children of contemporary wars, these children from the Civil War speak to us across centuries not with hate, but with the stubborn hope that peace might prevail in the end."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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