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The Little War of Private Post: The Spanish-American War Seen Up Close Paperback – April 1, 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Bison Books (April 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803287577
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803287570
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,381,429 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"This posthumous publication on the War with Spain is a generally straightforward, often amusing, frequently colorful, and occasionally gripping narrative of a New York artist-volunteer who landed with the Fifth Army Corps at Siboney, rushed to aid the Rough Riders at Las Guásimas, fought through the horrors of Bloody Ford and Hell’s Pocket, participated in the siege of Santiago, and survived the fever-ridden aftermath at Montauk Point."—Military Affairs
(Military Affairs)

"Well written and witty."—The NYMAS Review
(The NYMAS Review)

About the Author

Graham A. Cosmas is chief of the General History Branch at the U.S. Army Center of Military History. He is the author of An Army for Empire: The United States Army in the Spanish-American War.
 
Mary Lou Gjernes is chief of the Collections Branch at the U.S. Army Center of Military History.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ironmike on March 29, 2000
Format: Paperback
A classic story of one man's experiences during the short, but brutal war in Cuba. Private Post details his everyday struggles to keep his health, his sanity and his life intact. Amazing information on small details of what life was like in the army at the time. The heat, bad food, military blunders, inept commanders, cunning Spanish foes, the wounded, sickness and victories are explained in Mr. Post's basic and direct style. A must read for any fan of this conflict that allows the reader to suffer along with the soldiers wearing wool tunics and armed with weapons that were outdated. A classic. Check it out.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jon M. Statler on November 9, 2006
Format: Paperback
The Little War of Private Post is undoubtedly a classic in the genre of "American Memoirs of the Common Soldier". Common in this case is most uncommon as Charles Post recounts his days with the N.Y. 71st infantry during the Spanish American War. His account of the experience of combat rings true, but truer yet, an unfliching look, sometimes poignant, sometimes hilarious, of his experiences as a citizen soldier in the Spanish American War. From the incompetence of the high command to the inadaquacies of the supply chain, Post leaves no doubt in our mind as to the idiocy of going to war in haste to serve the popular will, a timely reminder for our present situation. His descriptions of the food, the living conditions, (especially aboard the transport ships), the lack of unified command strikes one as curiously contemporary in light of the more than 100 years separation. Post went on to live a varied and adventurous life, his war time sketches and paintings have a very vivid impact onto our black and white images of the Spanish American War. They can be found in larger size in Living Color in older issues of American Heritage, February 1957 as I recall, where I first saw his art as a boy. A lively and entertaining account of a now forgotten era, highly reccomended by this old reader.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By PATRICK J. MCKENNA on January 4, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is the real deal. It's a story Spanish-American War from a real participant's view, instead of some long-winded pseudo-intellectual pedagogue.

Unlike the more famous [and high ranking] participants, such as Theodore Roosevelt and George Dewey, who wrote about their exploits, Charles Johnson Post was a private. He was a combat veteran who successfully dodged Spanish bullets and survived the Cuban campaign only to nearly die in the horrific quarentine camp which awaited the returning soldiers.

Not only did Mr. Post write a great story, but illustrated the scenes of the war.

My reason for not rating this a 5 is that there were not enough of Mr.Post's artwork and for printing copies of his water colors in B&W!
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Format: Paperback
I first read this book in 1961 when it was published by Signet in a mass market edition when I was at university. I have found it so valuable that it is still in my collection.
As a long time "grunt" historian of the life and times of the common soldier I have had occasion to refer to this time and again for details of clothing and equipment. Post was an illustrator for a New York paper and went to war carrying his sketchbook as a member of a New York National Guard unit still equipped with Indian War vintage single shot "trapdoor" Springfield rifles firing black powder whose smoke revealed their firing positions to the Spaniards concealed with smokeless firing Mauser rifles.
A less grim story is that the box knapsacks carried by the troops were admirably suited to carry bottles of whiskey in the blanket rolls and demijohns in the compartments along with a pair of spare socks and some toiletries.
Seldom was an amphibious campaign more mismanaged or carried out but this is not the place for that discussion.
This war was the last gasp of that primitive nineteenth century organization dominated by the technical bureaus and in which the Commanding General of the Army commanded only his own personal retainers in peace time. The main result of this war was the establishment of a proper general staff for planning and training on the European model.
The commentator, Graham A. Cosmas, is a long time specialist in the history of the Indian fighting army.
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