Books: From Innocence To Knowledge

VOICES OF THE CIVIL WAR

by RICHARD WHEELER

492 pages. Crowell. $14.95.

The war began in cavalier fantasy, an almost adolescent innocence. A crowd in upstate New York sang its husbands and sons off to battle: "It is sweet, it is sweet for one's country to die!" Congressmen brought carriages of champagne to the first Battle of Bull Run. But, in the siege caves of Vicksburg and the trenches of Cold Harbor, Americans were spectacularly shorn of innocence. Excerpts from their writings over those four years, skillfully linked together in this book, not only tell the story of the war but reflect the...

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