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Fighting for Liberty and Right: The Civil War Diary of William Bluffton Miller, 1st Sergeant, Company K, 75th Indiana Volunteer Infantry (Voices Of The Civil War) 1st Edition

5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1572333291
ISBN-10: 1572333294
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Editorial Reviews

Book Description

In the summer of 1862, carpenter William Bluffton Miller left his wife and infant sonand enlisted in Company K, 75th Indiana Volunteer Infantry Regiment. He began adetailed diary that for three years would record his daily activities as well as his thoughts and observations on his own experiences and the larger issues of the divisive war. Amidst the hard marching, gnawing hunger, loneliness, and personal loss, Miller and his fellow soldiers experienced the thrill of victory and the solace found in the camaraderie of the unit.Miller's varied experiences offer valuable insights into a number of aspects of theCivil War. He began his service as a hospital steward in Gallatin, Tennessee, and hevividly depicts the heart-wrenching efforts of doctors, nurses, and fellow soldiers to save and comfort the ill and wounded. In his later service, Miller records the horrific sights from some of the war's bloodiest battlefields, including Chickamaugua, where he was wounded. Upon his recovery, Miller returned to duty as a general?s orderly during the Atlanta campaign and later participated in Sherman?s March to the Sea and campaignthrough the Carolinas.Of equal interest are Miller's political observations and personal experiences. The diary shows how Miller's ideas about the war, particularly the issue of slavery, changed during the conflict. Democratic and Copperhead sympathy in the North actually strengthened his commitment to the Union effort, and Miller grew from a man who espoused the racial prejudices of his time into an antislavery advocate. Taken as a whole, Fighting for Liberty and Right is a glimpse of the daily trials of the common soldier in a divided country and a compelling portrait of a man who valued freedom for himself and for all his countrymen.Jeffrey L. Patrick is park librarian at Wilson's Creek National Battlefield in Republic, Missouri. He is the editor of Three Years with Wallace's Zouaves: The Civil War Memoirs of Thomas Wise Durham, and his articles have appeared in such publications as the Register of the Kentucky Historical Society, Indiana Magazine of History, Missouri Historical Review, and New Jersey History.

About the Author

Jeffrey L. Patrick is park librarian at Wilson's Creek National Battlefield in Republic, Missouri. He is the editor of Three Years with Wallace's Zouaves: The Civil War Memoirs of Thomas Wise Durham, and his articles have appeared in such publications as the Register of the Kentucky Historical Society, Indiana Magazine of History, Missouri Historical Review, and New Jersey History.
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Product Details

  • Series: Voices Of The Civil War
  • Hardcover: 376 pages
  • Publisher: Univ Tennessee Press; 1 edition (August 28, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1572333294
  • ISBN-13: 978-1572333291
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,308,364 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Not another historic fiction tale of what it MIGHT have been like to fight in the Civil War. This IS a daily accounting covering nearly 3 years in the life of one man and the men who fought along side and across no-man's-land. You see into the heart of a common soldier, not from the glorified officers view, but directly through the pen of a small town boy who loved his country and was willing to sacrifice his life if necessary.

In 1862, Miller left behind family and enlisted for 3 years into Co.K, 75th Indiana volunteer Infantry Regiment. He soon began his routine of writing something every day, and the record shows not only some major battles, a play by play from Miller's vantage point, or involvement point. Also the routine of waiting on the next advance, of searching for the next meal, or the every day want of receiving mail.

Miller was wounded in Chickamaugua, nearly loosing one or both legs. As a result the book/diary also gives us a glimpse of the activity in hospitals, and burial sites. He made a crutch and released himself back to the front when it looked as though he would be sent home. Eventually he became a clerk, using his ability to write, and his inability to march well, to advantage. The book's advantage is the firsthand look and knowledge he had while serving at the command post.

It was interesting to see Miller's prejudices change through the soldiering years. At the end, he was even able to express sympathy for Rebel soldiers returning to a war-devastated homeland. This single soldier's account is likely similar to many soldiers who never kept records, and many who did not quite make it alive through the war's duration.
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Format: Hardcover
I may be partial to this book as William Bluffton Miller is a distant cousin who lived in the community that I grew up in, but the daily diary entries and the editor's added historical sources added after diary accounts makes this book a wonderful reference of what it was like to not only be part of the Civil War, but what life was like for the citizens of the country.
A great memoir for anyone interested in the time period. Many of my ancestors from differing bloodlines were Civil War soldiers and one of my great great great grandfathers died of yellow fever while in Missouri. He has a gravestone in Wells County Indiana, but unsure if his actual body is there or back in Missouri. Relatives had a short period of time to buy a ticket for a train ride to claim the dead body and collect by train. Otherwise, it would be buried onsite to avoid the spread of disease and control health conditions. Something that I had never considered. Per the book, often times families did not have the money to take a train to the location and pay to have it transported back home.
I highly recommend this book!
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Fighting for Liberty and Right: The Civil War Diary of William Bluffton Miller, 1st Sergeant, Company K, 75th Indiana Volunteer Infantry (Voices Of The Civil War)
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