Hard Marching Every Day: The Civil War Letters of Private Wilbur Fisk, 1861-1865

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University Press of Kansas, 1983 - Biography & Autobiography - 383 pages
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As a war correspondent, Wilbur Fisk was an amateur, yet his letters to the Montpelier Green Mountain Freeman comprise one of the finest collections of Civil War letters in existence. But Fisk was no novelist. He was a rural school teacher from Vermont, primarily self-educated, who enlisted in the Union Army simply because he believed he would regret it later if he didn't. Unlike professional war correspondents, Private Fisk had no access to rank or headquarters. Instead, he wrote of life as a private--as one of the foot soldiers who slept in the mud and obeyed orders no matter how incomprehensible. Between December 11, 1861, and July 26, 1865, Fisk wrote nearly 100 letters from the battlefield. At the beginning of the war he was exuberant and eager for contact with the enemy. Two years later, Fisk was disillusioned and war weary. Fisk wrote as eloquently on the moral and political issues behind the war as he did on the everyday hardships of life in the Army of the Potomac. He saw the war as a question of right and wrong and he continued to believe that it had to be fought, even after he was well acquainted with its horror and pointlessness.

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