Soldier Boy: The Civil War Letters of Charles O. Musser, 29th Iowa

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9780877455233: Soldier Boy: The Civil War Letters of Charles O. Musser, 29th Iowa
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Blood and anger, bragging and pain, are all part of this young Iowa soldier's vigorous words about war and soldiering. A twenty year old farmer from Council Bluffs, Charles O. Musser was one of 76,000 Iowans who enlisted to wear the blue uniform. He was a prolific writer, penning at least 130 letters home during his term of service with the 29th Iowa Volunteer Infantry.
Soldier Boy makes a significant contribution to the literature of the common soldier of the Civil War. Moreover, it takes a rare look at the Trans-Mississippi theater, which has traditionally been undervalued by historians. Early in the war, the cream of the Confederacy's manpower in the region left to join the fray east of the Mississippi. The Union troops in the Trans-Mississippi theater were chronically hampered by supply shortages, reflecting the low priority that Washington assigned them. Large scale, pitched battles were rare, small unit actions and hit and run raids being the order of the day. Still, hard fighting and real dying took place.
Musser was present in the midst of the action on Independence Day, 1863, and lived to graphically describe one of the bloodiest Civil War battles west of the Mississippi, when a federal garrison repeatedly turned back Confederate attempts to capture Helena, Arkansas. He survived his baptism by fire at Helena and served ably for the balance of the war, holding the rank of sergeant when mustered out.

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"The letters of Charles O. Musser shed welcome light on the experience of federal service west of the Mississippi River." - Gary W. Gallagher "Soldier Boy contains many valuable insights into the Civil War in the West, gives a realistic picture of life and death among the so-called common soldiers of that conflict, and does these things in a roughhewn but frank and colorful fashion that makes for enjoyable reading. This is a splendid addition to the literature of the Civil War produced by the men who fought it." - Albert Castel, author, Decision in the West: The Atlanta Campaign of 1864"

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9781587296581: Soldier Boy: The Civil War Letters of Charles O. Musser, 29th Iowa

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ISBN 10:  1587296586 ISBN 13:  9781587296581
Publisher: University Of Iowa Press, 2008
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