They Who Fought Here by Bell Irvin Wiley and Hirst D. Milhollen (1959, Hardcover)

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They Who Fought Here
Text by Bell Irvin Wiley
Illustrations Selected by Hirst D. Milhollen
Publisher:  Bonanza Books
Copyright:  1959

"I was scared it would be over before I could get in," wrote a Confederate private, aged 17, to his older brother in September, 1861, as an explanation of why he was where he was.

"Could you have my body embalmed and sent home?  I lost my money on the field," whispered Captain Billings of the Twentieth Maine, mortally wounded at Gettysburg, to a member of the Christian Commission.

In between these statements, one in its high youth, the other wrung out of agony, lies all of what happened to the fighting soldier on both sides in the Civil War.  This is how it might have happened to you or me.

What was it like to enlist, to march, to fight and perhaps to die?  Bell Wiley has written the text out of his unique familiarity with contemporary diaries and letters.  Hirst Milhollen has searched for and found in public and private collections, in libraries, museums and historical societies, both North and South, the pictures to embellish the text.  Here the reader will find the immediate details of life during the Civil War -- the size of a Minie ball, the original color of Confederate trousers, the prescribed ration on both sides, the weight and length of the Springfield rifled musket, the consistency of hardtack, the importance of the paymaster, the feeling of going into action, what it meant to be wounded.

Here is a book to place on the same honored shelf with Divided We Fought, a book which owes its appearance to the same reverent curiosity which inspired that volume, a book which in both text and illustrations is an enduring monument to the fighting soldier on both sides.

Condition:  Used.  Hardcover.  Dust cover is darkened from age and shows edge wear and tear.  Dust cover flaps and pages are discolored and darkening from age.  Previous owner's name and date are written on the front endpaper.  There's a copy of General Sherman's map folded and tucked inside the cover and front endpaper.

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