Three Years in the Army of the Cumberland: The Letters and Diary of Major James A. Connolly

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Indiana University Press, 1987 - Biography & Autobiography - 399 pages

"... offers an unsurpassed chronicle of the war in the West." —Register of the Kentucky Historical Society

"This eyewitness account brings a better understanding to a conflict that brought a nation to its knees." —Historical Media Review

"... an exceptional Civil War narrative. It has value for the military and literary historian." —War, Literature, and the Arts

The letters and diary of Major James Austin Connolly, 123rd Illinois Infantry, constitute an unsurpassed record of Civil War campaigning in the West. Connolly had a flair for narrative, an eye for people and places, and a smooth and facile style. His accounts offer a realistic picture of day-to-day soldiering in the Civil War—of rough, spare living in the field, of boredom and fun in camp, of seemingly aimless scouts, and of the high excitement of battle.

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This book is in my personal collection. My great-grandfather was the soldier captured on page 80. He had been wounded previously at the Battle of Perryville. Then captured (on page 80); later paroled and returned to the regiment when it was in Georgia. (Pvt. Isaac J. Pugh, Co. B)
As a child I played with his Spencer rifle. My one regret in life, so far, is that we gave that rifle to a relative when we left Chicago and it has vanished.
I treasure the book as a very readable account of the war in the west. It's an easy read for anyone interested in the civil war.
 

Contents

Initiation
15
Minor Actions
32
To Tullahoma
74
Chickamaugaand Stalemate
143
A Period of Preparing
165
The Atlanta Campaign
231
Chasing Hood
266
The March to the Sea
303
Through the Carolinas
376
Index
392
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About the author (1987)

PAUL ANGLE was Director and Secretary of the Chicago Historical Society. He was author of many books, including Mary Lincoln, Wife and Widow (with Carl Sandburg), Here I Have Lived: A History of Lincoln's Springfield, A Shelf of Lincoln's Books, and The Lincoln Reader.

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