- Paperback: 292 pages
- Publisher: Paramount Market Publishing, Inc.; First edition (December 5, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0983043671
- ISBN-13: 978-0983043676
- Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #689,813 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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No Freedom Shrieker: The Civil War Letters of Union Soldier Charles Freeman Biddlecom, 147th Regiment, New York State Volunteer Army First Edition
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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
From the Inside Flap
Among the piles of knickknacks, haystacks, dust, and debris abandoned in her historic barn, Katie Aldridge discovered a box containing the Civil War letters of Charles Freeman Biddlecom. Painstakingly transcribing and lightly editing more than 100 letters written by the soldier to his wife during his service. Ms. Aldridge resurrected the voice of the Civil War combat soldier. The tone and character of "Charlie's" account of the war compelled Ms. Aldridge to find out more. From letters written throughout Grant's Overland Campaign the reader gains an insider's view of the war: fear, hunger, sickness, longing and concern for those left behind, and detailed insights about the political climate. Composed from a perspective forged in an upstate New York community closely linked to the abolitionist cause, woman's suffrage, and the Quaker philosophy, in No Freedom Shrieker, the reader will learn how Charlie's background shaped his actions and views of the war. ,
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Top customer reviews
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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.
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.