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Title In their letters, in their words : Illinois Civil War soldiers write home / edited by Mark Flotow
Published Carbondale : Southern Illinois University Press, [2019]


Description 1 online resource (xiii, 302 pages) : illustrations, maps
Contents A lifeline of letters -- Illinois citizens become soldiers -- Camp life and bonding with the boys -- Soldiering -- Managing affairs from afar -- Seeing the elephant -- Southern culture through northern eyes -- Officers, generals, and "old Abe" -- Debility and diseases -- Writing the indescribable as prisoners of war -- Soldiers no more -- Appendix A: Soldiers' brief biographies -- Appendix B: Chronology of the Civil War -- Appendix C: Quoted soldiers, by county of origin
Summary A vital lifeline to home during the Civil War, the letters of soldiers to their families and friends remain a treasure for those seeking to connect with and understand the most turbulent period of American history. Rather than focus on the experiences of a few witnesses, this impressively researched book documents 165 Illinois Civil War soldiers' and sailors' lives through the lens of their personal letters. Editor Mark Flotow chose a variety of letter writers who hailed from counties throughout the state, served in different branches of the military at different ranks, and represented the gamut of social experiences and war outcomes. Flotow provides extensive quotations from the letters. By allowing the soldiers to speak for themselves, he captures what mattered most to them. Illinois soldiers wrote about their reasons for enlisting; the nature of training and duties; necessities like eating, sleeping, marching, and making the best of often harsh and chaotic circumstances; Southern culture; slavery; their opinions of commanding officers and the president; disease, medicine, and hospitals; their prisoner-of-war experiences; and the ways they left the army. Through letters from afar, many soldiers sought to manage their homes and farms, while some single men attempted to woo their sweethearts. Flotow includes brief biographies for each soldier quoted in the book, weaves historical context and analysis with the letters, and organizes them by topic. Thus, intimate details cited in individual letters reveal their significance for those who lived and shaped this tumultuous era. The result is not only insightful history but also compelling reading
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index
Notes Print version record
Subject Soldiers -- Illinois -- Correspondence
United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Personal narratives.
Illinois -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Personal narratives
United States
Genre/Form History
Personal correspondence
Personal narratives
Personal narratives.
Récits personnels.
Form Electronic book
Author Flotow, Mark, 1955- editor.
ISBN 9780809337644
Other Titles Illinois Civil War soldiers write home