These letters are a major find. There are, of course, thousands of letters that have found their way into print. But these are some of the best I have seen. --Keith Poulter, Publisher, North and South Magazine
As I read through "No Freedom Shrieker" there is something on each page that causes me to gulp and sends a chill up my spine. Charlie's letters are a great discovery and Katie's work is a major contribution to Civil War history. --Bill Jaker, Producer & Host OFF THE PAGE, WSKG Public Radio, Binghamton, New York
Frankly, I thought the book would be a bore when I saw it was composed primarily of letters written by a Union soldier. I have read several of this type and found them most uninteresting. The letters were boring and then the author would attempt to explain to the readers what they should be thinking. Not this one.
After a few short introductory chapters she then let the letters speak for themselves, with some end notes at the close of each chapter. It was interesting to observe the change in the thinking of the soldier as time went by. He became quite articulate. --Bill Douglas, 82 year old history enthusiast
So, I have read about the first 60 pages of the book since pulling it out of mail box at 4 this afternoon. I have scanned some of the letters, because I am impatient. I must tell you that it is eerie how similar Charlie's communication with his wife is to my husband's communications to me during his time at boot camp, when letters were our only source of communication for 4 months. Even the letter from his son. I cherish this book. --Annie Gasway, Williamsburg, VA
The terror of combat, the inescapable filth of camp, the endless marches, and the demonic noises of battle composed the heavy sediment of Civil War soldiering. For most men it weighed so heavily upon them that they buried their thoughts, finding their experiences to be incommunicable.
Charles Biddlecom was an amazing exception among his peers, as he never allowed his thoughts to settle permanently in the recesses of his mind. His letters crack open the ground level of war, in all of its brutal violence, its despair, and its idealism.
Thanks to the superb editorship of Katherine Aldridge, we have have access to an incredible soldier who did not write what others wanted to read, but what he thought they had to see in order to understand the ugly business of war. --Peter S. Carmichael, Robert C. Fluhrer Professor of Civil War Studies and Director, Civil War Institute Gettysburg College