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TO RESCUE MY NATIVE LAND: THE CIVIL WAR LETTERS OF WILLIAM T. SHEPHERD  Edited by Kurt H. Hackemer

TO RESCUE MY NATIVE LAND: THE CIVIL WAR LETTERS OF WILLIAM T. SHEPHERD Edited by Kurt H. Hackemer

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  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: The University of Tennessee Press
  • Publication Date: 2005
  • ISBN:  9781572334427

The salary of a private in the army is $12, monthly and fed & uniformed. I know it is a hard life, but anything for my Native Land, wrote William T. Shepherd, a Wisconsin native enlisted in Battery B of the First Illinois Light Artillery.

During his three years in the Western theater, Shepherd served as both an artilleryman and a clerk in several ordnance offices, all the while carefully recording his experiences  in letters to his family. A keen chronicler of camp life and the vicissitudes of soldiering, Shepherd wrote extremely detailed and enlightening battle accounts. Highly educated compared with many other soldiers of his rank, Shepherd expresses the life of the common combatant in an unusually articulate way.

To Rescue My Native Land traces the evolution of a young recruit to veteran artilleryman and administrative operative and provides a unique look at the behind-the-scenes operations of several of the Civil War's most important engagements.