Beyond the Battlefield: The Ordinary Life and Extraordinary Times of the Civil War Soldier
David Madden (Editor)
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DescriptionIn a fascinating contribution to the field of Civil War history, this book goes to the camps -- where, perhaps ingloriously, soldiers spent most of their time -- to reveal what went on during the downtime. Much like What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew, which examined the daily minutiae of Victorian England, Beyond the Battlefield shows Union and Confederate soldiers who scrounged for food, made their own liquor, and killed time in spitting contests.Since actual combat was sporadic, Civil War soldiers spent their days battling the invisible enemies of sickness, loneliness, depression, and boredom. As Madden shows, food and clothing were minimal and sanitation primitive. Necessary distractions from such conditions came in the form of music, writing, and sports; in fact, the ascendance of football can be traced to officers' desire to condition troops to face the enemy at close range -- across what we now call the line of scrimmage.Full of excerpts from the letters, memoirs, and diaries of soldiers, Beyond the Battlefield is a unique glimpse at the practical realities of the Civil War camp -- the perfect companion to any volume of Civil War history.
Simon & Schuster
26 April 2000
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