They All Wore a Star, Robert Miller
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Robert Miller

They All Wore a Star

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Many soldiers of a Civil War brigade tell of their first battle. “We remember the silent movement of the line through the woods, the ringing cheer for Indiana, the sweep across the field, the odor of resin as the canister burst above us, the sand thrown in our faces by the shot that struck before us, the rush through the thicket, the dash into the redoubt, the breastworks in rear deserted by the flying enemy, the agonizing cry to our men behind to stop firing on us, the determined feeling as we lay on the ground and clung to the captured lunette, while bullets from front and rear, from right and left, pattered like hail on the leaves by our side” That, from Samuel Merrill, introduces a tapestry woven from tales of the participants—in their own words—from enlistment through hard marches chasing a Confederate army in Kentucky, longing for home and family while enduring nights of fear and cold in lonely outposts guarding a railroad in Tennessee, left out of big battles but learning to depend on each other for survival and comradery, then marching to Chattanooga for sham battles and endless drills until Sherman’s three armies started south on the campaign to capture Atlanta, knowing hard battles ahead would be death for some. It came in an assault on a battery at Resaca, Georgia, led by Joseph Hooker’s officers coveting gold stars and yearning for glory, a confused assault showing “how little a sham battle is like a real one.” This book, through their stories, follows the author’s great, great grandfather, with the 129th Illinois Infantry, to his end in that assault. Sewn to their caps was the emblem of Hooker’s 20th Corps, a cloth star, worn with patriotic valor at Resaca.
770 printed pages
Original publication
2018

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