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Wisconsin Civil War Soldiers Write Home


Soldiers relax around the Army Post Office at the quarters of the Chief Ambulance Officer, 9th Army Corps, August 1864, Petersburg, Virginia
WHI 10893

A new book by the Wisconsin Historical Society brings to life the heroism and heartache of the Civil War through the eyes and pens of those who fought in it. 'This Wicked Rebellion: Wisconsin Civil War Soldiers Write Home,' edited by John Zimm, draws from the more than 11,000 letters in the Wisconsin Historical Society's Civil War collection to paint a unique and intimate portrait of the men and women who took part in the War for the Union. From impressions of Army life and the South to the soldiers' conflicting feelings about slavery and the war, soldiers' letters tell the story of the war and follow Wisconsinites as they sign up or get drafted, endure drill and picket duty, and get their first experiences of battle.

The cover of "This Wicked Rebellion: Wisconsin Civil War Soldiers Write Home"
Michael Edmonds, deputy director of the Wisconsin Historical Society's Division of Library-Archives where the vast Civil War collection is housed, wrote the book's foreward. "This book is about people," he writes, "… not just about them, but by them. Here are the voices of everyday Wisconsin people who lived and died during the Civil War, brought to life in their personal letters."

About the Authors

John Zimm, the book's editor, received a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has worked for the Wisconsin Historical Society Press since 2002. His articles for the "Wisconsin Magazine of History" include "On to Montezuma's Halls: The Story of Alexander Conze" and "Wisconsin's Historic Windmills." John lives in Waunakee with his wife Nicole and son Danny.

Michael Edmonds is deputy director of the Wisconsin Historical Society's Division of Library-Archives. A member of the staff since 1982, he leads the effort to digitize manuscripts and rare books for the Wisconsin Historical Society website. His 2009 book on Paul Bunyan, "Out of the Northwoods," won the Wayland D. Hand Prize from the American Folklore Society.

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:: Posted October 3, 2012

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