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Service With the Sixth Wisconsin Volunteers 0th Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0890290798
ISBN-10: 0890290792
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 367 pages
  • Publisher: Morningside Bookshop (June 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0890290792
  • ISBN-13: 978-0890290798
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 6.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,765,503 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Eric Jones on March 17, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Rufus Dawes writes of his service as an officer of the Iron Brigade's 6th Wisconsin Volunteers from it's formation until his resignation in 1864. Dawes was continuously present in the field almost every day from the day he enlisted, and wrote to his wife even several times a week, yet the book fills a mere 318 pages. His work is based primarily on this large collection of letters his wife had kept throughout the war.

His retrospective reminiscences are interjected only to give us the larger context, and sometimes he quotes the Official Army Reports when helpful. Not only is Dawes a good writer, but because he rose to command the 6th Wisconsin Regiment, he was cognizant of both the big picture and the immediate details of soldier life.

Dawes is an eloquent and sensitive writer. Through Dawes' letters we can feel the stresses and tensions of army life. As a junior officer, Dawes notes his concerns over the seniority among Captains in the Regiment as his primary concern. By 1864, this has shifted to the simple desire to spend time away from the incessant bullets, death and discomforts of war. Dawes' passages on the 1864 Campaign really expresses how different the war became and how really weary the veterans had become. Dawes himself, an exuberant and optimistic spirit always, had become truly weary of war by 1864.

To have tramped with Dawes all over Virginia, to Antietam and Gettysburg and through the Wilderness is an unforgettable experience. I highly recommend this book for the general reader. Of all the first person accounts I have read by Iron Brigade soldiers, this is the easiest to read and follow, and is richly rewarding.
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The best way to learn about the war isn't from historians, it's from the people who actually fought it. Rufus Dawes' writings are fascinating and I highly recommend this book. I've visited a lot of the battlefields and could visualize them while reading his accounts of what happened and found myself getting goosebumps several times. Great book!
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As advertised.
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