Good Union Soldier's Memoir?

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Drew

Major
Joined
Oct 22, 2012
Messages
7,854
I'd like to read a memoir from the perspective of a Union soldier. I don't want a General's take or anything dour or righteous.

Has the Forum got a bead on something that just shows what it was like for a man in the ranks?

Thanks in advance.
 

Bruce Vail

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Jul 8, 2015
Messages
4,087
I'd like to read a memoir from the perspective of a Union soldier. I don't want a General's take or anything dour or righteous.

Has the Forum got a bead on something that just shows what it was like for a man in the ranks?

Thanks in advance.
Are you interested in a memoir from an enlisted man in the infantry? Or an officer's viewpoint?
 
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Bruce Vail

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I'm OK with a line officer's viewpoint - just want to avoid agenda-driven memoirs from Generals. Thanks.
I don't speak from a broad experience of reading many of these books, but I quite liked Campaigning with Grant by Horace Porter (1898).

Porter was a senior aide-de-camp to Grant in the last year of the war and was an unabashed admirer. It may be too Union-centric for you, but I found it intelligent and illuminating.

I lost my copy a couple of years back, so I can't provide any detail right now. Wiki's bio offers the essentials:

 

AUG

Major
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Nov 20, 2012
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Location
Texas
The Young Volunteer by Joseph E. Crowell is pretty good. He served as an enlisted man in the 13th New Jersey Infantry in the AoP. He doesn't see constant action but he describes the everyday life of the average Union soldier from his eye view, without getting too much into the grand strategical outlook on things. His writing style is very readable and he mixes in a lot of good and often humorous personal stories to boot.

It can be read online here: https://archive.org/stream/youngvolunteerre00crow#page/n3/mode/2up
 
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