The Story of a Common Soldier of Army Life in the Civil War, 1861-1865

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Franklin Hudson Publishing Company, 1920 - United States - 278 pages
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I downloaded this book for my Kindle with no previous knowledge of its merits. I began reading what turned out to be a most inspirational story written by what should have been a leading American author. The story has several humorous "laugh out loud" reflections, and leaves the reader with a feeling of having experienced a small chapter of an unsung hero's life. The true grit, honesty and quality of a past American life shines throughout this story and gave me a feeling of regret of integrity lost. I would have certainly marched behind Leander Stillwell in any conflict great or small.  

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Page 144 - That shadowed o'er their road. Their vaward scouts no tidings bring, Can rouse no lurking foe, Nor spy a trace of living thing, Save when they...
Page 276 - And Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spake unto the men; and Eliab's anger was kindled against David, and he said, Why earnest thou down hither? and with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know thy pride, and the naughtiness of thine heart; for thou art come down that thou mightest see the battle.
Page 44 - dressed on" the colors, ordered arms, and stood awaiting the attack. By this time the roar on the right had become terrific. The Rebel army was unfolding its front, and the battle was steadily advancing in our direction. We could begin to see the blue rings of smoke curling upward among the trees off to the right, and the pungent smell of burning gun powder filled the air.
Page 42 - The boys were scattered around the company streets and in front of the company parade grounds, engaged in polishing and brightening their muskets, and brushing up and cleaning their shoes, jackets, trousers, and clothing generally. It was a most beautiful morning. The sun was shining brightly through the trees, and there was not a cloud in the sky. It really seemed like Sunday in the country at home. During week days there was a continual stream of army wagons going to and from the landing, and the...
Page 42 - Those heavy booms then came thicker and faster, and just a few seconds after we heard that first dull, ominous growl off to the southwest came a low, sullen, continuous roar. There was no mistaking that sound. That was not a squad of pickets emptying their guns on being relieved from duty; it was the continuous roll of thousands of muskets, and told us that a battle was on.
Page 52 - I did not, on hearing this, throw my cap into the air and yell. That would have given those Indiana fellows a chance to chaff and guy me, and possibly make sarcastic remarks, which I did not care to provoke. I gave one big, gasping swallow and stood still, but the blood thumped in the veins of my throat and my heart fairly pounded against my little infantry jacket in the joyous rapture of this glorious intelligence.
Page 45 - A long, brown line; with muskets at a right-shoulder-shift, in excellent order, right through the woods they came. We began firing at once. From one end of the regiment to the other leaped a sheet of red flame, and the roar that went up from the edge of that old field doubtless advised General Prentiss of the fact that the rebels had at last struck the extreme left of his line. We had fired but two or three rounds when, for some reason— I never knew what— we were ordered to fall back across the...
Page 39 - ... in southern Illinois) about the last of February, 1862. We were sent to Benton Barracks, near St. Louis, and remained there drilling (when the weather would permit) until March 25th. We left on that day for the front. It was a cloudy, drizzly, and most gloomy day, as we marched through the streets of St. Louis down to the levee, to embark on a transport that was to take us to our destination. The city was enveloped in that pall of coal smoke for which St. Louis is celebrated. It hung heavy and...
Page 48 - ... holding the line." Here we stayed until our last cartridge was shot away. We were then relieved by another regiment. We filled our cartridge boxes again and went back to the support of our battery. The boys laid down and talked in low tones. Many of our comrades alive and well an hour ago, we had left dead on that bloody ridge. And still the battle raged. From right to left, everywhere, it was one never-ending, terrible roar, with no prospect of stopping. Somewhere between 4 and 5 o'clock, as...
Page 48 - He went by us in a gallop, riding between us and the battery, at the head of his staff. The battery was then hotly engaged ; shot and shell were whizzing overhead, and cutting off the limbs of trees, but Grant rode through the storm with perfect indifference, seemingly paying no more attention to the missiles than if they had been paper wads.

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