front cover of A Lakota War Book from the Little Bighorn
A Lakota War Book from the Little Bighorn
The Pictographic "Autobiography of Half Moon"
Castle McLaughlin
Harvard University Press, 2013

Houghton Library and Harvard’s Peabody Museum Press collaborated on the publication of this fourth volume in the Houghton Library Studies series, an innovative cultural analysis of the extraordinary composite document known as “The Pictographic Autobiography of Half Moon, an Unkpapa Sioux Chief.” At its core is a nineteenth-century ledger book of drawings by Lakota Sioux warriors found in 1876 in a funerary tipi on the Little Bighorn battlefield after Custer’s defeat. Journalist Phocion Howard later added an illustrated introduction and had it bound into the beautiful manuscript that is reproduced in complete color facsimile here.

Howard attributed all seventy-seven Native drawings to a “chief” named Half Moon, but anthropologist Castle McLaughlin demonstrates that these dramatic scenes, mostly of war exploits, were drawn by at least six different warrior-artists. Their vivid first-person depictions make up a rare Native American record of historic events that likely occurred between 1866 and 1868 during Red Cloud’s War along the Bozeman Trail.

McLaughlin probes the complex life history of this unique artifact of cross-cultural engagement, uncovering its origins, ownership, and cultural and historic significance, and compares it with other early ledger books. Examining how allied Lakota and Cheyenne warriors valued these graphic records of warfare as both objects and images, she introduces the concept of “war books”—documents that were captured and altered by Native warrior-artists to appropriate the strategic power of Euroamerican literacy.

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Lala's Story
A Memoir of the Holocaust
Lala Fishman
Northwestern University Press, 1997
Winner of 1998 Carl Sandburg Award

Born into a middle-class Jewish family in 1932, Lala Weintraub grew up in Lvov, Poland. When the Nazis came, Lala—who had blond hair and blue eyes—survived by convincing them she was a Christian. This book tells her remarkable story. Fiercely determined and greatly aided by her Aryan looks, she managed to convince everyone—German soldiers, interrogators, fellow Poles—that she was a Polish gentile. Within a year after the Germans captured Lvov, many of Lala's family members were missing and presumed dead.

Lala's Story follows her as she moves from town to town, driven by her fear of being discovered. More than a story of survival, this is the story of a young girl's resolute struggle to defy, resist, and ultimately defeat the evil forces pursuing her.
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The Last Consolation Vanished
The Testimony of a Sonderkommando in Auschwitz
Zalmen Gradowski
University of Chicago Press, 2022
A unique and haunting first-person Holocaust account by Zalmen Gradowski, a Sonderkommando prisoner killed in Auschwitz.

On October 7, 1944, a group of Jewish prisoners in Auschwitz obtained explosives and rebelled against their Nazi murderers. It was a desperate uprising that was defeated by the end of the day. More than four hundred prisoners were killed. Filling a gap in history, The Last Consolation Vanished is the first complete English translation and critical edition of one prisoner’s powerful account of life and death in Auschwitz, written in Yiddish and buried in the ashes near Crematorium III.
 
Zalmen Gradowski was in the Sonderkommando (special squad) at Auschwitz, a Jewish prisoner given the unthinkable task of ushering Jewish deportees into the gas chambers, removing their bodies, salvaging any valuables, transporting their corpses to the crematoria, and destroying all evidence of their murders. Sonderkommandos were forcibly recruited by SS soldiers; when they discovered the horror of their assignment, some of them committed suicide or tried to induce the SS to kill them. Despite their impossible situation, many Sonderkommandos chose to resist in two interlaced ways: planning an uprising and testifying. Gradowski did both, by helping to lead a rebellion and by documenting his experiences. Within 120 scrawled notebook pages, his accounts describe the process of the Holocaust, the relentless brutality of the Nazi regime, the assassination of Czech Jews, the relationships among the community of men forced to assist in this nightmare, and the unbearable separation and death of entire families, including his own. Amid daily unimaginable atrocities, he somehow wrote pages that were literary, sometimes even lyrical—hidden where and when one would least expect to find them.
 
The October 7th rebellion was completely crushed and Gradowski was killed in the process, but his testimony lives on. His extraordinary and moving account, accompanied by a foreword and afterword by Philippe Mesnard and Arnold I. Davidson, is a voice speaking to us from the past on behalf of millions who were silenced. Their story must be shared.
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Last Days of Theresienstadt
Eva Noack-Mosse; Translated by Skye Doney and Biruté Ciplijauskaité
University of Wisconsin Press, 2018
In February of 1945, during the final months of the Third Reich, Eva Noack-Mosse was deported to the Nazi concentration camp of Theresienstadt. A trained journalist and expert typist, she was put to work in the Central Evidence office of the camp, compiling endless lists—inmates arriving, inmates deported, possessions confiscated from inmates, and all the obsessive details required by the SS. With access to camp records, she also recorded statistics and her own observations in a secret diary.

Noack-Mosse's aim in documenting the horrors of daily life within Theresienstadt was to ensure that such a catastrophe could never be repeated. She also gathered from surviving inmates information about earlier events within the walled fortress, witnessed the defeat and departure of the Nazis, saw the arrival of the International Red Cross and the Soviet Army takeover of the camp and town, assisted in administration of the camp's closure, and aided displaced persons in discovering the fates of their family and friends. After the war ended, and she returned home, Noack-Mosse cross-referenced her data with that of others to provide evidence of Nazi crimes. At least 35,000 people died at Theresienstadt and another 90,000 were sent on to death camps.
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The Last Eyewitnesses
Children of the Holocaust Speak
Wiktoria Sliwowska
Northwestern University Press, 1998
These testimonies, submitted by individual authors and not originally intended for publication, were assembled as a historical record by the Association of the Children of the Holocaust in Poland. While evil and brutal anti-Semitism are described, the accounts also reveal the great risks taken by courageous individuals in order to save Jewish children.
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The Last Eyewitnesses, Volume 2
The Children of the Holocaust Speak
Jakub Gutenbaum and Agnieszka Latala
Northwestern University Press, 2005
The memoirs of Jews who were children during the Nazi occupation of Poland

This book serves as a memorial to loved ones who do not even have a grave, as well as a tribute to those who risked their lives and families to save a Jewish child. A wide variety of experiences during the Nazi occupation of Poland are related with wrenching simplicity and candor, experiences that illustrate horrors and deprivation, but also present examples of courage and compassion.

These recollections-whether of hiding in forests or camouflaged bunkers, fighting with groups of partisans, enduring the horrors of concentration camps, or living in fear under disguised identities-serve as eloquent testimony to the depth, diversity, and richness of humanity under siege and offer a powerful lesson for future generations. Written by people who remained in Poland after the war, these accounts convey a great immediacy; the authors are not removed from the environment in which these experiences took place. The psychological impact on these child survivors and the difficulties they encountered even after the war are very poignant. The passing years have brought urgency to the publication of these stories, as those who wrote them are the last surviving eyewitnesses of these tumultuous events.
 
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Last to Leave the Field
The Life and Letters of First Sergeant Ambrose Henry Hayward, 28th Pennsylvania Volunteers
Timothy J. Orr
University of Tennessee Press, 2011

Revealing the mind-set of a soldier seared by the horrors of combat even as he kept faith in his cause, Last to Leave the Field showcases the private letters of Ambrose Henry Hayward, a Massachusetts native who served in the 28th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry.

Hayward’s service, which began with his enlistment in the summer of 1861 and ended three years later following his mortal wounding at the Battle of Pine Knob in Georgia, took him through a variety of campaigns in both the Eastern and Western theaters of the war. He saw action in five states, participating in the battles of Antietam, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg as well as in the Chattanooga and Atlanta campaigns. Through his letters to his parents and siblings, we observe the early idealism of the young recruit, and then, as one friend after another died beside him, we witness how the war gradually hardened him. Yet, despite the increasing brutality of what would become America’s costliest conflict, Hayward continually reaffirmed his faith in the Union cause, reenlisting for service late in 1863.

Hayward’s correspondence takes us through many of the war’s most significant developments,
including the collapse of slavery and the enforcement of Union policy toward Southern civilians. Also revealed are Hayward’s feelings about Confederates, his assessments of Union political and military leadership, and his attitudes toward desertion, conscription, forced marches, drilling, fighting, bravery, cowardice, and comradeship.

Ultimately, Hayward’s letters reveal the emotions—occasionally guarded but more often expressed with striking candor—of a soldier who at every battle resolved to be, as one comrade described him, “the first to spring forward and the last to leave the field.”

Timothy J. Orr is an assistant professor of military history at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia.

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Lavender Fields
Black Women Experiencing Fear, Agency, and Hope in the Time of COVID-19
Edited by Julia S. Jordan-Zachery
University of Arizona Press, 2023
Lavender Fields uses autoethnography to explore how Black girls and women are living with and through COVID-19. It centers their pain, joys, and imaginations for a more just future as we confront all the inequalities that COVID-19 exposes.

Black women and girls in the United States are among the hardest hit by the pandemic in terms of illnesses, deaths, evictions, and increasing economic inequality. Riffing off Alice Walker’s telling of her search for Zora Neal Hurston, the authors of these essays and reflections offer raw tellings of Black girls’ and women’s experiences written in real time, as some of the contributors battled COVID-19 themselves.

The essays center Black girls and women and their testimonies in hopes of moving them from the margin to the center. With a diversity of voices and ages, this volume taps into the Black feminine interior, that place where Audre Lorde tells us that feelings lie, to access knowledge—generational, past, and contemporary—to explore how Black women navigate COVID-19. Using womanism and spirituality, among other modalities, the authors explore deep feelings, advancing Black feminist theorizing on Black feminist praxis and methodology.

In centering the stories of Black girls and women’s experiences with COVID-19, this work brings much-needed justice and equity to conversations about the pandemic. Just as Walker worked diligently to find Hurston, Lavender Fields attempts to “find” Black women amid all we are experiencing, ensuring visibility and attention.

Contributors
Tamaya Bailey
reelaviolette botts-ward
Kyrah K. Brown
Brianna Y. Clark
Kenyatta Dawson
LeConté J. Dill
Maryam O. Funmilayo
Brandie Green
Courtney Jackson
Sara Jean-Francois
Julia S. Jordan-Zachery
Angela K. Lewis-Maddox
Annet Matebwe
Mbali Mazibuko
Radscheda Nobles
Nimot Ogunfemi
J. Mercy Okaalet
Chizoba Uzoamaka Okoroma
Peace Ossom-Williamson
Elizabeth Peart
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A Leaf of Voices
Stories of the American Civil War in the Words of Those Who Lived and Died, 1861-65
Jennifer McSpadden
Indiana Historical Society Press, 2014
During the American Civil the Wabash Intelligencer and the Wabash Plain Dealer frequently printed letters from Wabash County men serving in the Union army. The letter writers are a remarkable cast of characters: young and old, soldiers, doctors, ministers, officers, enlisted men, newspaper men, and a fifteen-year-old printers’ devil who enlisted as a drummer boy. These are not stories of generals or battle strategies; they are the stories of the ordinary soldiers and their everyday lives. They describe long tiring marches across state after state, crossing almost impossible terrain, facing shortages of rations and supplies, enduring extremes of weather where they froze one day and sweltered the next, and encountering guerrillas that harried the wagon trains. The correspondents wrote of walking over the bodies of fallen comrades and foes alike, of mules and their wagons sinking into muddy roads that became like quicksand, of shipwrecks, and of former slaves.
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Lee and Jackson's Bloody Twelfth
The Letters of Irby Goodwin Scott, First Lieutenant, Company G, Putnam Light Infantry, Twelfth Georgia Volunteer Infantry
Johnnie Perry Pearson
University of Tennessee Press, 2010

Offering a fascinating look at an ordinary soldier's struggle to survive not only the horrors of combat but also the unrelenting hardship of camp life, Lee and Jackson's Bloody Twelfth brings together for the first time the extant correspondence of Confederate lieutenant Irby Goodwin Scott, who served in the hard-fighting Twelfth Georgia Infantry.

The collection begins with Scott's first letter home from Richmond, Virginia, in June 1861, and ends with his last letter to his father in February 1865. Scott miraculously completed the journey from naïve recruit to hardened veteran while seeing action in many of the Eastern Theater's most important campaigns: the Shenandoah Valley, the Peninsula, Second Manassas, and Gettysburg. His writings brim with vivid descriptions of the men's activities in camp, on the march, and in battle. Particularly revelatory are the details the letters provide about the relationship between Scott and his two African American body servants, whom he wrote about with great affection. And in addition to maps, photographs, and a roster of Scott's unit, the book also features an insightful introduction by editor Johnnie Perry Pearson, who highlights the key themes found throughout the correspondence.

By illuminating in depth how one young Confederate stood up to the physical and emotional duress of war, the book stands as a poignant tribute to the ways in which all ordinary Civil War soldiers, whether fighting for the South or the North, sacrificed, suffered, and endured.

Johnnie Perry Pearson is a retired state service officer formerly with the North Carolina Division of Veteran Affairs. He served as an infantry platoon sergeant during the Vietnam War and lives in Hickory, North Carolina.

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Lee's Last Casualty
The Life and Letters of Sgt. Robert W. Parker, Second Virginia Cavalry
Catherine M. Wright
University of Tennessee Press, 2008
The letters assembled in this extraordinarily rich collection were written by Robert W. Parker, an enlisted Confederate cavalryman who is thought to have been the last man killed in action in the Army of Northern Virginia during the Civil War. He is representative of the Confederate Everyman: a modest farmer in the antebellum years, his patriotic fervor spurred him at the beginning of the war to enlist in the Confederate Army, in which he served until his death during the last charge at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865.

Parker fought in most of the major campaigns in Virginia, including the 1862 Valley Campaign, the 1862 Peninsula Campaign, the 1863 Maryland Campaign, and the 1864 Overland Campaign. In letters to his wife Rebecca back home in Bedford County, Virginia, Parker described his life as an enlisted soldier in the Second Regiment Virginia Cavalry. His letters reveal how local communities worked together to provide the necessary stuff of war to soldiers, from food and clothing to moral support. They also show the importance of correspondence and religion in sustaining Confederate morale and nationalism.

Catherine Wright provides a valuable introduction that illuminates not only these particular letters but also the many roles of correspondence during the Civil War. She points out how women-in this case, Parker's wife and his mother-made sure that men in the ranks understood that more than politics or manly honor was at stake in fighting the Yankees. Parker believed that the war was a supreme test in which God would look deep into the souls of Northerners and Southerners. His private beliefs informed his public views on how Southerners should act as citizens of a Confederate nation. People of all classes, Parker reasoned, had to give themselves to country and to God if Southern armies were to succeed on the battlefield. Parker's steadfastness was surely due in part to the words of his family, who instilled in him “just cause” to continue fighting.

Anyone with an interest in how a typical soldier experienced the Civil War will find these letters both absorbing and enlightening.
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Letter to My Children
From Romania to America via Auschwitz
Rudolph Tessler
University of Missouri Press, 1999

"Sixty-seven members of my family—my mother, her father, my three sisters, three of my brothers, aunts, uncles, and cousins—were murdered at Auschwitz."

As Rudolph Tessler's mother stepped from the train in Auschwitz, shortly before she was sent to the gas chamber, she heard "Hello, Esther." In a polite tone, a young German SS officer greeted her as he would any old friend. His family lived down the road from the Tessler family in Viseu, their hometown in northern Romania. They, like the rest of the town, admired Esther for her wonderful cooking, particularly the delicious cakes she brought them each Christmas. Now he ushered her and six of her children to their deaths.

Throughout Letter to My Children, Tessler offers vivid glimpses of the senselessness that surrounded him during World War II. Of the thousands packed in trains and transported from Viseu to Auschwitz, just a small group survived to see liberation. Among the survivors were Tessler, his father, and two of his brothers. This is the amazing story of their experiences as Hasidic Jews caught in the chaos and terror of the Holocaust.

Tessler's upbringing had emphasized community and family devotion—traits not forgotten in the concentration camps, where he and his family members often rescued one another from certain death. Few fathers and sons survived the concentration camps together. In spite of the odds, Tessler and his brother Buroch managed to stick together, sharing their father's labor assignments to protect him from death, preserving not only their family bond but also their spirituality. Tessler's father, always a source of strength and guidance to his family, provided counsel to many prisoners in the camp and eventually assumed the role of rabbi.

Despite an environment in which their captors tried to reduce them to animals, Tessler's remaining family and seven other Jews from Viseu made a special effort to observe their faith. Bending rules in ways that risked their lives, they worked together to smuggle wheat, grind it into flour, and bake matzos to distribute for Passover. The group also secretly gathered to pray on the eve of Rosh Hashanah. These religious observances offered some comfort in the camp.

In addition to vividly portraying the daily struggles of camp life, Letter to My Children follows Tessler beyond liberation, recounting his days as a displaced person struggling for a new life in the midst of the devastation of postwar Europe, as an American immigrant striving to rebuild his family and succeed in business, and as a philanthropist for education and health care. Recalling the age-old way of life in Viseu that was erased by the Holocaust, this inspiring story conveys the hope, determination, and perseverance that made Tessler a survivor.

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Letters Home to Sarah
The Civil War Letters of Guy C. Taylor, Thirty-Sixth Wisconsin Volunteers
Guy C. Taylor; Edited by Kevin L. Alderson and Patsy Alderson; Introduction by Kathryn Shively Meier
University of Wisconsin Press, 2012
Forgotten for more than a century in an old cardboard box, these are the letters of Guy Carlton Taylor, a farmer who served in the Thirty-Sixth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment in the American Civil War. From March 23, 1864, to July 14, 1865, Taylor wrote 165 letters home to his wife Sarah and their son Charley.
    From the initial mustering and training of his regiment at Camp Randall in Wisconsin, through the siege of Petersburg in Virginia, General Lee’s surrender at Appomattox, and the postwar Grand Review of the Armies parade in Washington, D.C., Taylor conveys in vivid detail his own experiences and emotions and shows himself a keen observer of all that is passing around him. While at war, he contracts measles, pneumonia, and malaria, and he writes about the hospitals, treatments, and sanitary conditions that he and his comrades endured during the war. Amidst the descriptions of soldiering, Taylor’s letters to Sarah are threaded with the concerns of a young married couple separated by war but still coping together with childrearing and financial matters. The letters show, too, Taylor’s transformation from a lonely and somewhat disgruntled infantryman to a thoughtful commentator on the greater ideals of the war.
    This remarkable trove of letters, which had been left in the attic of Taylor’s former home in Cashton, Wisconsin, was discovered by local historian Kevin Alderson at a household auction. Recognizing them for the treasure they are, Alderson bought the letters and, aided by his wife Patsy, painstakingly transcribed the letters and researched Taylor’s story in Wisconsin and at historical sites of the Civil War. The Aldersons’ preface and notes are augmented by an introduction by Civil War historian Kathryn Shively Meier, and the book includes photographs, maps, and illustrations related to Guy Taylor’s life and letters.
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Life of Ma-ka-tai-me-she-kia-kiak, or Black Hawk
An Autobiography
Michael A. Lofaro
University of Tennessee Press, 2021

Originally published in 1833, the autobiography of the Sauk war chief Black Hawk was the first memoir written by a Native American who was actively resisting US Indian removal policy. Donald Jackson edited the first scholarly version of this work—Black Hawk: An Autobiography—in 1955. Since then, the Life has become a classic and seminal text in the fields of Native American literature and studies, American history, literature, autobiography, and cultural studies.

This edition of Black Hawk’s 1833 autobiography includes explanatory, historical, and textual notes that significantly enrich the understanding of Black Hawk’s memoir, his life, and the Black Hawk War of 1832. The notes and a chronology make this key Native American text available to scholars in several new ways. Likewise, in its preface and critical essay, this edition moves beyond Jackson’s historical work to incorporate insights from numerous other disciplines that have since engaged the text. These investigations reflect the new developments in scholarship since 1955, suggest future possibilities for the crosscultural study of Black Hawk’s Life, and examine the continuity of his autobiography within Native American and other life-story traditions. This volume also includes the biographical continuation of Black Hawk’s Life—recounting subsequent events in his life until his death in 1838—written by J. B. Patterson for his 1882 reissued and expanded edition of the original autobiography.

Scholars of Native American literature and history and settler colonialism will find much to engage them in this remarkable new edition.

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Like Grass before the Scythe
The Life and Death of Sgt. William Remmel 121st New York Infantry
William Remmel
University of Alabama Press, 2007
Uncommonly articulate letters from a young German-American soldier with the Union forces
 
Sergeant William Remmel was a German immigrant who had settled with his parents and family in far upstate New York. His letters collected in Like Grass before the Scythe cover more than two full years of his service and provide details on military and social history in the eastern theater of operations and on the experience of the home front in upstate New York among a largely immigrant, working-class family and community.
 
Remmel wrote in English and apparently his parents responded in German. In addition to the important material on an immigrant family’s experience, Remmel also deals with the question of slavery, illness and hospital care (when he was wounded), the problem of hard war/total war, as well as the campaigns of Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, and the Shenandoah Valley in 1864.
 
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Lincoln's White House Secretary
The Adventurous Life of William O.Stoddard
Edited by Harold Holzer
Southern Illinois University Press, 2007
William Osborn Stoddard, Lincoln’s “third secretary” who worked alongside John G. Nicolay and John Hay in the White House from 1861 to 1865, completed his autobiography in 1907, one of more than one hundred books he wrote. An abridged version was published by his son in 1955 as “Lincoln’s Third Secretary: The Memoirs of William O. Stoddard.”  In this new, edited version, Lincoln’s White House Secretary: The Adventurous Life of William O. Stoddard, Harold Holzer provides an introduction, afterword, and annotations and includes comments by Stoddard’s granddaughter, Eleanor Stoddard. The elegantly written volume gives readers a window into the politics, life, and culture of the mid-nineteenth century.
 
Stoddard’s bracing writing, eye for detail, and ear for conversation bring a novelistic excitement to a story of childhood observations, young friendships, hardscrabble frontier farming, early hints of the slavery crisis, the workings of the Lincoln administration, and the strange course of war and reunion in the southwest. More than a clerk, Stoddard was an adventurous explorer of American life, a farmer, editor, soldier, and politician.
Enhanced by seventeen illustrations, this narrative sympathetically draws the reader into the life and times of Lincoln’s third secretary, adding to our understanding of the events and the larger-than-life figures that shaped history.
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Little Hawk and the Lone Wolf
A Memoir
Raymond Kaquatosh
Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2014
“Little Hawk” was born Raymond Kaquatosh in 1924 on Wisconsin’s Menominee Reservation. The son of a medicine woman, Ray spent his Depression-era boyhood immersed in the beauty of the natural world and the traditions of his tribe and his family.
After his father’s death, eight-year-old Ray was sent to an Indian boarding school in Keshena. There he experienced isolation and despair, but also comfort and kindness. Upon his return home, Ray remained a lonely boy in a full house until he met and befriended a lone timber wolf. The unusual bond they formed would last through both their lifetimes. As Ray grew into a young man, he left the reservation more frequently. Yet whenever he returned—from school and work, from service in the Marines, and finally from postwar Wausau with his future wife—the wolf waited.
In this rare first-person narrative of a Menominee Indian’s coming of age, Raymond Kaquatosh shares a story that is wise and irreverent, often funny, and in the end, deeply moving. 
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Little to Eat and Thin Mud to Drink
Letters, Diaries, and Memoirs from the Red River Campaigns, 1863–1864
Gary D. Joiner
University of Tennessee Press, 2007
Little to Eat and Thin Mud to Drink does more than just document the history of the Trans-Mississippi conflict of the Civil War. It goes much deeper, offering a profound, extended look into the innermost thoughts of the soldiers and civilians who experienced the events that took place in Louisiana, Texas, and Arkansas. Gleaning from a rich body of rare journals, diaries, and letters, this groundbreaking book demonstrates the significant impact that military operations in this region had on the local population in years between 1863 and 1865.

Readers will be introduced to the many different individuals who were touched by the campaign, both Confederate and Union. Ably edited by Joiner, a leading expert on the Trans-Mississippi conflict, and others, some of these manuscripts are witty, others somber, some written by Harvard- and Yale-educated aristocrats, others by barely literate farmers. All profoundly reflect their feelings regarding the extraordinary circumstances and events they witnessed.

In Little to Eat and Thin Mud to Drink, readers will have access to the diary of James A. Jarratt, a Confederate sergeant whose cogent narratives dispute commonly held views of the Battle of Mansfield. Representing a much different point of view is the diary of Private Julius Knapp, whose lengthy diary sheds light on the life of a Northern soldier fighting in the ill-fated Union march through Louisiana in 1864. A rare glimpse into the diary of a Southern woman is offered through the fascinating and melancholy musings of plantation belle Sidney Harding. Readers will also encounter the private letters of a French prince turned Confederate officer; of Elizabeth Jane Samford Fullilove, the angst-ridden wife of a Confederate soldier; and many others.

These first-person narratives vividly bring to life the individuals who lived through this important, but often neglected, period in Civil War history. Little to Eat and Thin Mud to Drink will engross anyone interested in exploring the human side of the Civil War.

Gary Joiner is an assistant professor of history at Louisiana State University in Shreveport and the director of the Red River Regional Studies Center at LSUS. His books include One Damn Blunder from Beginning to End: The Red River Campaign of 1864 and Union Failure in the West and Through the Howling Wilderness: The 1864 Red River Campaign and Union Failure in the West. He is also the coeditor, with Marilyn S. Joiner and Clifton D. Cardin, of another volume in the Voices of the Civil War series, No Pardons to Ask, nor Apologies to Make: The Journal of William Henry King, Gray's 28th Louisiana Infantry Battalion.
 
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Lost in Transition
Removing, Resettling, and Renewing Appalachia
Aaron D. Purcell
University of Tennessee Press, 2021

In Lost in Transition: Removing, Resettling, and Renewing Appalachia, Aaron D. Purcell presents a thematic and chronological exploration of twentieth-century removal and resettlement projects across southern Appalachia. The book shares complex stories of loss and recollection that have grown and evolved over time.

This edited volume contains seven case studies of public land removal actions in Virginia, Kentucky, the Carolinas, and Tennessee from the 1930s through the 1960s. Some of the removals include the Tennessee Valley Authority and the Norris Basin, Shenandoah National Park and the New River, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and the Keowee-Toxaway Project in northwestern South Carolina. Each essay asks key questions: How did governmental entities throughout the twentieth century deal with land acquisition and removal of families and communities? What do the oral histories of the families and communities, particularly from different generations, tell us about the legacies of these removals? This collection reveals confrontations between past and present, federal agencies and citizens, and the original accounts of removal and resettlement and contemporary interpretations. The result is a blending of practical historical concerns with contemporary nostalgia and romanticism, which often deepen the complexity of Appalachian cultural life.

Lost in Transition provides a nuanced and insightful study of removal and resettlement projects that applies critical analysis of fact, mythology, and storytelling. It illustrates the important role of place in southern Appalachian history. This collection is a helpful resource to anthropologists, folklorists, and Appalachian studies scholars, and a powerful volume of stories for all readers who reflect upon the importance of place and home.

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Love amid the Turmoil
The Civil War Letters of William and Mary Vermilion
Donald C. Elder, III
University of Iowa Press, 2003

William Vermilion (1830-1894) served as a captain in Company F of the 36th Iowa Infantry from October 1862 until September 1865. Although he was a physician in Iconium in south central Iowa at the start of the war, after it ended he became a noted lawyer in nearby Centerville; he was also a state senator from 1869 to 1872. Mary Vermilion (1831-1883) was a schoolteacher who grew up in Indiana; she and William married in 1858. In this volume historian Donald Elder provides a careful selection from the hundreds of supportive, informative, and heart-wrenching letters that they wrote each other during the war—the most complete collection of letters exchanged between a husband and a wife during the Civil War.

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Loyalty on the Frontier
Sketches of Union Men of the South-West with Incidents and Adventures in Rebellion on the Border
A.W. Bishop
University of Arkansas Press, 2003

First published in 1863, this book has the immediacy, passion, and intimacy of its wartime context. It tells the remarkable story of Albert Webb Bishop, a New York lawyer turned Union soldier, who in 1862 accepted a commission as lieutenant colonel in a regiment of Ozark mountaineers. While maintaining Union control of northwest Arkansas, he collected stories of the social coercion, political secession, and brutal terrorism that scarred the region.

His larger goal, however, was to popularize and inspire sympathy for the South’s Unionists and to chronicle the triumph of Unionism in a Confederate state. His account points to the complex and divisive nature of Confederate society and in doing so provides a perspective that has long been absent from discussions of the Civil War

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