This Wicked Rebellion: Wisconsin Civil War Soldiers Write Home

By John Zimm (Editor), Foreword by Michael Edmonds

Hardcover: $22.95

ISBN: 978-0-87020-504-0

240 pages, 33 b/w photos and illus., 6 x 9 E-book edition available


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Over one hundred fifty years after it began, the Civil War still fascinates us - the vast armies marching to war, iconic leaders like Abraham Lincoln and Robert E. Lee, the drama of a nation divided. But the Civil War was also about individuals, the hundreds of thousands of ordinary men and boys who fought and died on either side and the families and friends left at home.

"This Wicked Rebellion: Wisconsin Civil War Soldiers Write Home" tells this other side of the story. Drawing from more than 11,000 letters in the Wisconsin Historical Society's Civil War collection, it gives a unique and intimate glimpse of the men and women who took part in the War for the Union. Follow Wisconsin soldiers as they sign up or get drafted, endure drill and picket duty, and get their first experiences of battle. Join them as they fight desperation and fear, encounter the brutality of slavery, and struggle with the reasons for war.

From impressions of army life and the South to the hardships of disease and battle, these letters tell the story of the war through the eyes and pens of those who fought in it. "This Wicked Rebellion" brings to life the heroism and heartache, mayhem and misery of the Civil War and the powerful role Wisconsin played in it.

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John Zimm received a BA 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, Wisconsin, with his wife, Nicole, and son, Danny.

Michael Edmonds is deputy director of the Wisconsin Historical Society's 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: The Many Lives of Paul Bunyan, won the Wayland D. Hand Prize from the American Folklore Society. He is also the editor of Society Press books Tools for Teaching the History of Civil Rights in Milwaukee and the Nation, Risking Everything: A Freedom Summer Reader, and Warriors, Saints, and Scoundrels: Brief Portraits of Real People Who Shaped Wisconsin