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No Freedom Shrieker: The Civil War Letters of Union Soldier Charles Freeman Biddlecom, 147th Regiment, New York State Volunteer Army Paperback – December 5, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-0983043676 ISBN-10: 0983043671 Edition: First

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No Freedom Shrieker: The Civil War Letters of Union Soldier Charles Freeman Biddlecom, 147th Regiment, New York State Volunteer Army + Embattled Courage: The Experience of Combat in the American Civil War
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 292 pages
  • Publisher: Paramount Market Publishing, Inc.; First edition (December 5, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0983043671
  • ISBN-13: 978-0983043676
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #583,396 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

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

About the Author

Katie Aldridge is a marathoner, elite class, and first-time author. She lives with her family on an historic farm in Upstate New York where she is still sorting through the box of letters and working on her next book.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Army Wife on January 17, 2012
Format: Paperback
In all honesty, I expected this book to be dry. Instead I am attached to the letter writer, Charlie, and don't want to put this book down. Not only does Charlie remind me of Clint Eastwood in Grand Torino, but much of his commentary echos that of today's soldiers. As an Army Wife I can put myself in Esther's place quite easily. Much of what Charlie observes in his soldiering, I have heard from my own husband. I love that Katherine Aldridge allows Charlie's letters to stand on their own, they tell his story. It allows the reader to truly become embedded in Charlie's plight. It is an pleasurable read. I plan on sending it in Care Packages to friends on deployment, as Charlie discusses many things I know a soldier feels in the field but doesn't speak of. I hope he can be a good field buddy. I am not sure what I'll do once I finish it. I'll miss Charlie.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Chris on June 14, 2012
Format: Paperback
Such a good read! It was fascinating to become "involved" in Charlie's letters and life as a soldier during this time in American history. The inside perspective was so intriguing to me, and gave me such a new perspective on the war. My only understanding of the Civil War was from what history lessons have taught me, and my understanding of war (and the politics of war) is from my own experiences of service. Charlie's letters gave me chills at times. He could have just as easily been a bunk mate of mine in Somalia, as much as a soldier in the Civil War. The dates and "causes" may change, but the human aspect really never does. Thank you so very much for the time and effort you put into having this book published. I can't really express what your giving Charlie's words life again was worth to me, so I can only say thank you.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Coreen Steinbach on August 22, 2012
Format: Paperback
Katherine Aldridge has breathed life into Civil War soldier, Charles Biddlecom. And in so doing we, the readers, are educated, humbled, moved, horrified, fascinated.
I realized early on in this book that I, in fact, knew very little about the real Civil War. Charlie's letters opened my mind and heart to the deeper reality of this war. Through his words - often eloquent, sometimes funny, always evocative - I learned of the boredom, the uncertainty, the frustration, the patriotism, the suffering and the longing of the soldier of his time. And by doing so, Charlie teaches us that these emotions and experiences are timeless and universal for all who go to war.
Katherine Aldridge's treatment of this material is masterful. Her respect and affection for Charlie span the chasm of time. Her book is simply a must read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Maxwell444 on September 25, 2012
Format: Paperback
Too often collections of letters focus on those that describe overviews of major events, and ignore the routine and the mundane. Not so here. The "routine and mundane" are brought vividly to life in a way that truly makes the reader look at an already fascinating chapter of our nation's history in a new light.

As a Living History reenactor, this book has proven an invaluable resource to me, and I highly recommend it to all reenactors, Civil War buffs, and indeed any student of American History. I believe students of Psychology would also benefit from this book, as it gives remarkable insight into the relationship between events (minor and major) and the mind of the individual.

Though most of the letters included are from Charlie Biddlecom to his wife, the inclusion of occasional letters to/ from friends and relatives remind us that while the soldiers' lives where occupied with things military, life went on in the civilian world with it's own unique set of struggles.
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