Letters from the Iron Brigade: George W. Partridge, Jr. 1839-1863 / Civil War Letters to His Sisters

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9781878208477: Letters from the Iron Brigade: George W. Partridge, Jr. 1839-1863 / Civil War Letters to His Sisters

These are the letters of George Washington Partridge, Jr., who enlisted in the Union Army in August, 1861, in the Seventh Wisconsin Volunteers, fought in the Iron Brigade, a Western brigade in the Army of the Potomac, and was killed at Gettysburg in the first day's fighting, July 1, 1863, at age 23. The letters are to his sisters in Erie, Pennsylvania, and in Waukegan, Illinois. Partridge fought in the Iron Brigade from its beginning until its end, from Gainesville, the Second Battle of Bull Run, South Mountain, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, until Gettysburg, and wrote to his sisters about all but the last.

He writes about life in camp, picket duty, learning courage, discipline, burying the dead, marches, battle, and sometimes boredom, progressing from an eagerness to fight to wishing the war were over, and doing his best by fighting hard to make it so. His letters are direct, colloquial, honest, with little sentimentality and no religiosity. They show his growth in character and an affecting dignity we all would like to share.

I am a native of Erie, Pennsylvania, where George Washington Partridge, Jr. was born more than a century and a half ago. He was my great-great uncle. His letters have come down through four generations and are published here for the first time. I have provided their historical frame, their place in the Civil War, and more particularly, their sequence in the actions of the Iron Brigade.

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From the Inside Flap:

These are the private letters of a Civil War soldier, a member of a distinguished Western regiment and brigade, the Seventh Wisconsin Volunteers of the storied Iron Brigade. The soldier was killed on July 1, 1863, at Gettysburg, but his surviving letters provide an intimate and informative picture of Civil War Soldiering. They ARE history. --ALAN T. NOLAN

About the Author:

I was born in Erie, Pennsylvania, but have spent most of my life in Cleveland, Ohio. I went to Harvard College, and have a degree in music from The Harvard University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Among my teachers at Harvard were Richard Ellmann, I. A. Richards, Irving Fine, and Walter Piston. While at Harvard I was a jazz musician, playing in Boston and in Cambridge. For 29 years I was President of Stanley Air Tools, Division of The Stanley Works, first designing the tools, then starting the business. I have also written Basic Music Theory, A CD-ROM on the Art of Hearing Music, in Basic English, covering the principles of Melody, Harmony, Counterpoint, Sonority, Form, Rhythm and Meter, and Value, with many musical examples, and requiring only a love of music to learn.

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Whitehouse, Hugh
Published by Emmis Pr, Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.A. (1994)
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