Courage under fire : profiles in bravery from the battlefields of the Civil War

by Sword, Wiley.

Format: Print Book 2007
Availability: Available at 2 Libraries 2 of 2 copies
Available (2)
Location Collection Call #
Andrew Carnegie Free Library Civil War 973.78 SWORD
Location  Andrew Carnegie Free Library
Collection  Civil War
Call Number  973.78 SWORD
Upper St. Clair Township Library Storage 973.74 SWO
Location  Upper St. Clair Township Library
Collection  Storage
Call Number  973.74 SWO
Through diaries and letter written on the battlefield, in camps, and on the deathbeds of soldiers from north and south, Wiley Sword, writes about more than the Civil War. He writes of the complex working of a soldier's mind coming to grips with life and death in a time when his country was at war with itself. On Aug. 3, 1864, Illinois Lieutenant Frank Curtiss was ordered by his commander to take the 127th Illinois Infantry into a charge of the fortified Rebel lines.  He knew certain death was in store for him and his men.  He also knew little tactical superiority would be gained for lives lost and refused to do it.  Confederate Brigadier General Patrick Cleburne, one of the South's greatest military tacticians, left diaries showing he was striving to refine his methods to save lives while winning battles.  And then there is the Rhode Island Regiment's Major Sullivan Ballou who, in 1861 on the eve of the battle of Bull Run whowrote of courage and dedication to his cause. Wiley Sword constructs a picture of the military mind that still resonates in today's  wars.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Compared to most wars of the twentieth century, the casualty rates during the Civil War were appalling. The accuracy of the rifled musket turned many frontal assaults into virtual suicide missions, as witnessed at Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, and countless other charges. As men revealed in their diaries and letters, the spectre of death rarely left their minds. Yet ordinary soldiers, North and South, endured and fought on. Sword, the author of several works on the Civil War, offers numerous profiles of men who stayed in the fray and stood their ground repeatedly, despite experiencing constant fear, even terror. Among the moving stories told here is that of a young Confederate spy who defiantly faced execution, a Pennsylvania colonel who choked back his fears and stood firm during the massive artillery barrage on the final day at Gettysburg, and an Illinois lieutenant, mortally wounded, who dictated a last letter to his wife filled with hope for his country. Sword also provides interesting ruminations on the nature of courage and its companion, cowardice. A fine addition to Civil War collections.--Freeman, Jay Copyright 2007 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Popular historian Sword (Southern Invincibility) offers up much more than a series of sketches of heroic battlefield action in this free-ranging examination of moral and physical courage on both sides in the Civil War. Grounded in deep respect for the inner vision and strength required to exert "moral courage" in battles where hundreds of lives could be lost or saved with a single decision, these brief, fast-moving chapters present snapshots of many characters, primarily officers. Seen in action on the field of battle, their selflessness and physical courage under fire are evident. Sword also offers analyses of important strategic and battlefield decisions by the war's top leaders. Sword praises Abraham Lincoln, Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant, but has harsh words for Confederate generals P.G.T. Beauregard and Braxton Bragg and especially for Jefferson Davis over their lack of "moral courage" during a time of war. Davis's self-righteousness and hubris, Sword contends, "perhaps contributed the most to the ultimate defeat of the Confederacy." (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects United States. -- Army -- Military life -- History -- 19th century.
Confederate States of America. -- Army -- Military life.
Soldiers -- United States -- Psychology -- History -- 19th century.
Soldiers -- Confederate States of America -- Psychology.
Courage -- United States -- Case studies.
Courage -- Confederate States of America -- Case studies.
Soldiers -- United States -- Biography.
Soldiers -- Confederate States of America -- Biography.
United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Personal narratives.
United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Psychological aspects.
Publisher New York :St. Martin's Press,2007
Edition 1st ed.
Language English
Description xv, 318 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, portraits ; 25 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages [295]-302) and indexes.
ISBN 9780312367411
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