Hardtack and Coffee, or The Unwritten Story of Army Life (Collector's Library of the Civil War)

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9780809442089: Hardtack and Coffee, or The Unwritten Story of Army Life (Collector's Library of the Civil War)

This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1887 Excerpt: ...unmindful that they must first go to school and learn the art of war from its very beginnings, and right at that point their sorrows began. I think the greatest cross they bore consisted in being compelled to settle down in home camp, as some regiments did for months, waiting to be sent off. Here they were in sight of home in many cases, yet outside of its comforts to a large extent; soldiers, yet out of danger; bidding their friends a tender adieu to-day, because they are to leave them--perhaps forever--to-morrow. But the morrow comes, and finds them still in camp. Yes, there were soldiers who bade their friends a long good-by in the morning, and started for camp expecting that very noon or afternoon to leave for the tented field, but who at night returned again to spend a few hours more at the homestead, as the departure of the regiment had been unexpectedly deferred. The soldiers underwent a great deal of wear and tear from false alarms of this kind, owing to various reasons. Sometimes the regiment failed to depart because it was not full; sometimes it was awaiting its field officers; sometimes complete equipments were not to be had; sometimes it was delayed to join an expedition not yet ready; and thus, in one way or other, the men and their friends were kept long on the tiptoe of expectation. Whenever a rumor became prevalent that the regiment was surely going to leave on a certain day near at hand, straightway there was an exodus from camp for home, some obtaining a furlough, but more going without one, to take another touching leave all around, for the dozenth time perhaps. Many of those who lived too far away to be sure of returning in time, remained in camp, and telegraphed friends to meet them at some large centre, as they passed through on the sp...

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From the Back Cover:

Most histories of the Civil War focus on battles and top brass. Hardtack and Coffee is one of the few to give a vivid, detailed picture of what ordinary soldiers endured every day--in camp, on the march, at the edge of a booming, smoking hell.

About the Author:

John D. Billings was born in Canton, MA in 1842. In 1862, he enlisted in the 10th Massachusetts Artillery and mustered out in 1865.

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