Hastings experienced the rural and small town side of an event that touched all who weathered it—the economic crash of 1929 and its 10-year aftermath.
The author grew up in Marion, Illinois, entering the first grade in 1930, the start of the Great Depression. This book, which recalls memorable episodes in the life of that boy, is a sequel to the popular ANickel’s Worth of Skim Milk.
What Hastings experienced as a child was typical of depression-era life. Those who were young then can relive lost youth in Hastings’ books. And there were moments worth reliving: Hastings tells of “laughter and love and tears in the midst of hunger and cold and deprivation.” Those too young to have experienced the economic devastation can see those hard days through the eyes of a trained storyteller reporting from the point of view of a child.
From the shooting of an unarmed prisoner at Montgomery, Alabama, to a successful escape from Belle Isle, from the swelling floodwaters overtaking Cahaba Prison to the inferno that finally engulfed Andersonville, A Perfect Picture of Hell is a collection of harrowing narratives by soldiers from the 12th Iowa Infantry who survived imprisonment in the South during the Civil War.
Editors Ted Genoways and Hugh Genoways have collected the soldiers' startling accounts from diaries, letters, speeches, newspaper articles, and remembrances. Arranged chronologically, the eyewitness descriptions of the battles of Shiloh, Corinth, Jackson, and Tupelo, together with accompanying accounts of nearly every famous Confederate prison, create a shared vision
Contributors. Chen Yingzhen, Chungmoo Choi, Vicente M. Diaz, Arif Dirlik, T. Fujitani, Ishihara Masaie, Lamont Lindstrom, George Lipsitz, Marita Sturken, Toyonaga Keisaburo, Utsumi Aiko, Morio Watanabe, Geoffrey M. White, Diana Wong, Daqing Yang, Lisa Yoneyama
John Hill Brinton (1832–1907) met, observed, and commented on practically the entire hierarchy of the Union army; serving as medical director for Ulysses S. Grant, he came into contact with Philip H. Sheridan, John C. Frémont, Henry W. Halleck, William A. Hammond, D. C. Buell, John A. Rawlins, James Birdseye McPherson, C. F. Smith, John A. McClernand, William S. Rosecrans, and his first cousin George Brinton McClellan. John Y. Simon points out in his foreword that Brinton was one of the first to write about a relatively obscure Grant early in the war:
"Brinton found a quiet and unassuming man smoking a pipe—he could not yet afford cigars— and soon recognized a commander with mysterious strength of intellect and character."
Positioned perfectly to observe the luminaries of the military, Brinton also occupied a unique perspective from which to comment on the wretched state of health and medicine in the Union army and on the questionable quality of medical training he found among surgeons. With both A.B. and A.M. degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and postgraduate training in Paris and Vienna at a time when most medical schools required only a grammar school education, Brinton was exceptional among Civil War doctors. He found, as John S. Haller, Jr., notes in his preface, "the quality of candidates for surgeon’s appointments was meager at best." As president of the Medical Examining Board, Brinton had to lower his standards at the insistence of Secretary of War Edwin Stanton. Haller points out that one "self-educated candidate for an appointment as brigade surgeon explained to the board that he could do ‘almost anything, from scalping an Indian, up and down.’" Brinton assigned this singular candidate to duty in Kansas "where Brinton hoped he would do the least amount of damage." Throughout the war, the dearth of qualified surgeons created problems.
Brinton’s memoirs reveal a remarkable Civil War surgeon, a witness to conditions in Cairo, the Battle of Belmont, and the Siege of Fort Donelson who encountered almost every Union military leader of note.
Brinton wrote his memoirs for the edification of his family, not for public consumption. Yet he was, as Haller notes, a "keen observer of character." And with the exception of Brinton’s acceptance of late nineteenth-century gossip favorable to his cousin General McClellan, Simon finds the memoirs "remarkable for accuracy and frankness." His portrait of Grant is vivid, and his comments on the state of medicine during the war help explain, in Haller’s terms, why the "Civil War was such a medical and human tragedy."
“Leaps straight onto the roster of essential reading for anyone even vaguely interested in Grant and the Civil War.”—Ron Chernow, author of Grant“Provides leadership lessons that can be obtained nowhere else… Ulysses Grant in his Memoirs gives us a unique glimpse of someone who found that the habit of reflection could serve as a force multiplier for leadership.”—Thomas E. Ricks, Foreign PolicyUlysses S. Grant’s memoirs, sold door-to-door by former Union soldiers, were once as ubiquitous in American households as the Bible. Mark Twain and Henry James hailed them as great literature, and countless presidents credit Grant with influencing their own writing. This is the first comprehensively annotated edition of Grant’s memoirs, clarifying the great military leader’s thoughts on his life and times through the end of the Civil War and offering his invaluable perspective on battlefield decision making. With annotations compiled by the editors of the Ulysses S. Grant Association’s Presidential Library, this definitive edition enriches our understanding of the pre-war years, the war with Mexico, and the Civil War. Grant provides essential insight into how rigorously these events tested America’s democratic institutions and the cohesion of its social order.“What gives this peculiarly reticent book its power? Above all, authenticity… Grant’s style is strikingly modern in its economy.”—T. J. Stiles, New York Times“It’s been said that if you’re going to pick up one memoir of the Civil War, Grant’s is the one to read. Similarly, if you’re going to purchase one of the several annotated editions of his memoirs, this is the collection to own, read, and reread.”—Library Journal
In the fall of 1861, fifty-one-year-old Rev. Francis Springer enlisted in the Union army. The following spring, Springer, a friend and one-time neighbor to Abraham Lincoln, rode away with the 10th Illinois Cavalry. A witness to the Battle of Prairie Grove (December 1862), Springer was later named post chaplain at Fort Smith, where, in additon to preaching and ministering to the troops, he was placed in charge of refugees—widows, orphans, and contrabands—the displaced victims of virulent guerrilla warfare in Northwest Arkansas. Springer also wrote articles and columns in the Fort Smith New Era under the pseudonym, “Thrifton.” Springer’s honest appraisals of life in the Army of the Frontier make for fascinating reading, and his unique perspective as moralist, educator, and journalist provide new insight into the Civil War and how it was fought in the West. The book includes several never-before published photographs and appendixes which feature accounts of six military executions that Springer participated in as a Union Army chaplain, the hitherto unpublished last letters home of two rebel soldiers condemned and executed at Fort Smith, as well as a eulogy for Abraham Lincoln.
The Preacher’s Tale includes several never before published photographs, and appendixes that contain accounts of six military executions that Springer participated in as a Union Army chaplain, the last letters home of two rebel soldiers condemned and executed at Fort Smith, as well as a eulogy written for Abraham Lincoln.
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