The American Civil War, like many wars, has been romanticized endlessly in books and on film. For those observers who view from such safe and secure distances, the everyday toils and the absolute horrors of battle and death may become somewhat sanitized. Charles Carleton Coffin, Civil War correspondent to the Boston Journal witnessed firsthand the gruesome nature of war and the very real impact it has on young lives. Of this horror, Coffin writes:
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
In other posts, we've dscussed the dangers related to carrying the regimental colors into battle. It took special person to fill the color bearer's shoes.
In his Reminiscneces of the Civil War, General John Brown Gordon describes in vivid detail a color bearer's courage and determination despite horrific injuries. Brown writes:
Saturday, February 14, 2009
The story of John Burns, "citizen soldier" of the Battle of Gettysburg, is such a compelling one that it was even the subject of a poem by Bret Harte. The Pennsylvania Board of Commissioners on Gettysburg Monuments was so impressed with Burns's heroics that they saw fit to commission a monument of him on the Gettysburg battlefield (pictured here). Over the years some have come to doubt the actual role Burns played in the battle. Was the story of the old volunteer fact or fiction? Here, in A Califonia Tramp, and Later Footprints, author Thaddeus Stevens Kenerdine believes the latter as he quotes Sergeant George Eustis of the 2nd Wisconsin. Eustis states: