Junius and Albert's Adventures in the Confederacy: A Civil War Odyssey

Junius and Albert's Adventures in the Confederacy: A Civil War Odyssey

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by Peter Carlson
     
 

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The thrilling true story of a pair of reporters swept up in the Civil War, captured, and thrown into jail, and their attempt to escape and return home to file their own extraordinary story.

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Overview

The thrilling true story of a pair of reporters swept up in the Civil War, captured, and thrown into jail, and their attempt to escape and return home to file their own extraordinary story.

Editorial Reviews

The Washington Post - Tony Horwitz
…Carlson's book unspools like a buddy flick: Two larkish fellows embark on a trip that goes desperately wrong and often veers into farce…the exquisite plot is only one of the joys of reading this book. As a veteran journalist…Carlson captures the competitive yet collegial world of reporters in the field and their tortured relationship with distant editors. He also has an ear for quotes and an eye for detail, and shares with the Bohemian Brigade a keen sense of the ridiculous.
Publishers Weekly
Modern journalists scrambling to file before deadline have nothing on Junius Browne and Albert Richardson. While working as Civil War correspondents for Horace Greeley’s New York Tribune, the duo were captured during the Battle of Vicksburg and spent 20 months in Confederate prisons before escaping behind Union lines. Like the late conflict photographers Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros, who lived with close colleagues in a Brooklyn apartment dubbed “the kibbutz,” the sardonic Junius and gregarious Albert had their own clique of battle-minded journos known as the “Bohemian Brigade,” and though they were determined “to extract as much fun as possible from the grim business of war,” the pair’s luck ran out while trying to avoid the danger of blazing cannon by floating atop hay bales down the Mississippi. Former Washington Post reporter Carlson (K Blows Top) relates their ensuing odyssey in lively detail, from stints in multiple prisons, to an encounter with a certified pirate, a secret society called the “Heroes of America,” and an escape and flight over snowy mountains. Civil War buffs and historians of journalism will revel in this thrilling tale of two raucous, self-described “knights of the quill.” 2 photos & 2 maps. Agent: Scott Mendel, Mendel Media Group. (May 28)
Kirkus Reviews
A rollicking story of imprisonment and escape during the Civil War seems a stretch, but journalist Carlson accomplished a similar feat with a Soviet premier in K Blows Top: A Cold War Comic Interlude Starring Nikita Khrushchev, America's Most Unlikely Tourist (2009), and this is another entertaining, occasionally gruesome account. The author describes how New York Tribune reporters Junius Brown and Albert Richardson covered the war for two years until Confederate artillery sunk their boat as they tried to sail past Vicksburg, Miss., to join Gen. Grant's forces in May 1863. Confederate troops rescued the survivors. As civilians, they were paroled in Vicksburg until Confederate officials, knowing the two worked for the abolitionist newspaper, reconsidered. Protesting loudly, they traveled with other POWs by train across the South to Richmond to spend nine months in the notorious Libby and Castle Thunder prisons, furiously pulling strings for their release, sharing the soldiers' experiences but shielded from serious privation by an apparently steady source of money. In February 1864, they were sent to the far worse Salisbury camp in North Carolina, where they watched with horror as Union prisoners, with no shelter and little food, died by the thousands. Finally escaping in December, they walked more than 300 miles, hungry and freezing, through snowy mountains to Northern lines in Tennessee, aided by a surprisingly large number of Union sympathizers, black and white. Being journalists, they had plenty to say about their exploits. Carlson has taken full advantage of abundant material to deliver a vivid chronicle of two working Civil War reporters and their spectacular odyssey.
From the Publisher
“Carlson works with wonderful efficiency, describing the political and social environment. . . . Compact and vivid as readers are escorted to the hell both men endured.”
BookPage

“Narrator Danny Campbell’s affability and expressiveness engage the listener in the story, which he moves through with perfect pacing.”
AudioFile

BookPage
“Plenty of nonfiction narratives claim to read like novels; this one actually does.”
Boston Globe

Jen's Book Thoughts
“Possesses the juiciness of a beach read. . . . Carlson works with wonderful efficiency, describing the political and social environment both men faced but never losing sight of the story and its momentum.”
BookPage

The Washington Post
“A rollicking story of imprisonment and escape. . . . Carlson has taken full advantage of abundant material to deliver a vivid chronicle of two working Civil War reporters and their spectacular odyssey.”
Kirkus Review

The Boston Globe
“I found the factoids that pepper the story to be as fascinating as the overall story of Junius and Albert. . . . Campbell never minimizes these little gems in his narration. They may only be a sentence or a phrase of mention, but Campbell’s awareness of them helps to leave a lasting impression on the listener.”
Jen’s Book Thoughts

American History
“Unspools like a buddy flick. . . . Carlson’s story has so many twists, right up to the last page.”
Washington Post

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781610391542
Publisher:
PublicAffairs
Publication date:
05/28/2013
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.20(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
James M. McPherson, author of Battle Cry of Freedom“This absorbing story of two Northern war reporters who were captured by the Confederates at Vicksburg, imprisoned for nineteen months, and escaped two hundred miles to Union lines demonstrates that for the Civil War, truth is indeed more thrilling than fiction.  The accounts of the essential help the escapees received from slaves and Southern white Unionists provides key insights on Southern society.”

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