The Boys' War: Confederate and Union Soldiers Talk About the Civil War

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Overview

First-hand accounts that include diary entries and personal letters describe the experiences of boys, sixteen years old or younger, who fought in the Civil War.

Includes diary entries, personal letters, and archival photographs to describe the experiences of boys, sixteen years old or younger, who fought in the Civil War.

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Overview

First-hand accounts that include diary entries and personal letters describe the experiences of boys, sixteen years old or younger, who fought in the Civil War.

Includes diary entries, personal letters, and archival photographs to describe the experiences of boys, sixteen years old or younger, who fought in the Civil War.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"An excellent selection of sepia-toned contemporary photographs augment the text of this informative, moving work." School Library Journal, Starred
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Readers of Russell Freedman's Newbery-winning Lincoln: A Photobiography , viewers of the recent PBS Civil War documentary series and even Nintendo-addicted preteens will find themselves immediately caught up in this dramatic and at times tragic book. Murphy's exemplary narrative history of the Civil War focuses on the contribution of boys--some as young as nine, many not yet teens. He skillfully interweaves excerpts from the diaries and letters of countless young men who, either seeking escape from the drudgery of farm work or embracing fantasies of glory, participated in America's most brutal and bloody war. Handsomely produced, the book does not shrink from presenting the stark images of youngsters killed or mutilated in battle. The extensive use of contemporary archival photos reinforces the power of the understated text. Ages 9-14. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Beverly Kobrin
It has been estimated that between 10 and 20 percent of all soldiers in the Civil War were under 16 years of age - some 250,000 to 420,000 of them. In his remarkable account, Mr. Murphy traces the war's progress from the youngsters' perspectives, interweaving his narrative with excerpts from their diaries, letters, and journal. The eager enlistees' evolution to disillusioned, battle-scarred, and weary survivors is powerfully dramatized by the stark, sepia photographs, particularly those of battlefields littered with the dead. This is an invaluable resource for any discussion of war - today's of yesterdays'.
School Library Journal
Gr 6 Up-- Making extensive use of the actual words--culled from diaries, journals, memoirs, and letters--of boys who served in the Union and Confederate armies as fighting soldiers as well as drummers, buglers, and telegraphers, Murphy describes the beginnings of the Civil War and goes on to delineate the military role of the underage soldiers and their life in the camps and field bivouacs. Also included is a description of the boys' return home and the effects upon them of their wartime experiences. Boys 16 years and younger, Murphy states, made up perhaps as much as 10-20 percent of the total number of soldiers who served in the Civil War. Little did these boys realize that they would become like young Pvt. Henry Graves, who was able to `` `look on the carcass of a man with pretty much such feeling as I would do were it a horse or hog.' '' Private Henry and his contemporaries were direct and simple in their observations and possessed, says Murphy, ``an eye for everyday details.'' Their accounts bring to life, as no other versions can, the Civil War and all of its glories and horrors. An excellent selection of more than 45 sepia-toned contemporary photographs augment the text of this informative, moving work. --David A. Lindsey, Lakewood Junior/Senior High School, WA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780899198934
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 10/22/1990
  • Pages: 128
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.38 (w) x 10.36 (h) x 0.57 (d)

Meet the Author

Jim Murphy is the author of An American Plague , which received the Sibert Medal and a Newbery Honor and was selected as a National Book Award finalist. His Clarion titles include The Boys' War and other award-winning nonfiction as well as a picture book, Fergus and the Night-Demon . He lives in Maplewood, New Jersey, with his family. For more information visit www.jimmurphybooks.com.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

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3 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 21, 2009

    OK

    I had to read this book for summer reading. Its intresting,but its not realy what I'm into so I didn't really like it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2003

    Wondeful book!!!

    I thought that this book was exceptionally outstanding. As it stated some of the horiffic times that these men and very young boys had to go through to fight for thier land.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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