The Last Full Measure: The Life and Death of the First Minnesota Volunteers

The Last Full Measure: The Life and Death of the First Minnesota Volunteers

4.7 7
by Richard Moe
     
 

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"As the first troops offered to President Abraham Lincoln after the fall of Fort Sumter, the brave men of the First Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment fought in virtually every major battle of the eastern theater during the first three years of the Civil War. From Bull Run to Antietam to Fredericksburg to their famed suicide charge at Gettysburg, these stalwart…  See more details below

Overview

"As the first troops offered to President Abraham Lincoln after the fall of Fort Sumter, the brave men of the First Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment fought in virtually every major battle of the eastern theater during the first three years of the Civil War. From Bull Run to Antietam to Fredericksburg to their famed suicide charge at Gettysburg, these stalwart soldiers defended the Union and helped change the course of the war and their country's history." "Drawing on personal letters, diaries, and recollections, author Richard Moe tells a dramatic and unforgettable true story that follows the members of the First Minnesota from their early days as raw recruits through their seasoning under fire and by hardship. Of the thousand who had responded to the call to enlist in 1861, only a handful survived the war unscathed. Their voices, and those of their fallen comrades, enhance a narrative that recreates the glory and despair of a nation's tragic struggle."--BOOK JACKET.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Moe, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, expertly chronicles a company of Union soldiers who led the charge on Gettysburg. ( June )
Library Journal
The First Minnesota Volunteers were among the earliest groups to volunteer for service during the Civil War. The unit was usually on the front line for every major battle and paid the extreme sacrifice, especially at the Battle of Gettysburg. This is a skillful portrait of the trials and tribulations of those volunteers during the first three years of the war. Moe, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, uses the letters, diaries, and personal narratives of the unit's soldiers to create an excellent eyewitness account of battles from Bull Run to Gettysburg with the Army of the Potomac. The author creates a graphic picture of the horrors and sufferings that were endured during battle as well as life in the camps between battles. This account will rank among the best regimental histories of the Civil War. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 1/93.-- W. Walter Wicker, Louisiana Tech Univ., Ruston
Kirkus Reviews
One of the few first-rate small-unit histories of the Civil War, expertly conceived and gracefully written by the president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The rule in modern Civil War studies seems to be that the more "micro" the focus, the duller the book. Moe's tale of one of the first volunteer regiments to enlist after the fall of Fort Sumter is a happy exception, a worthy companion to John Pullen's The Twentieth Maine (1980) and Warren Wilkinson's Mother, May You Never See the Sights I Have Seen (1991). Fresh from the farms, small settlements, and logging camps of a western frontier unknown to most of the Army of the Potomac, most of the Minnesotans who responded to the federal government's initial attempt to augment its small regular army had never seen a big city or a black American: The war proved a profound learning experience—and not merely in the school of combat. At first, the Minnesotans were afraid that they would have to sit out the war on Indian patrol, but then—even before they received regular uniforms—they were brought east to add to the Union corpses at First Bull Run. During that disastrous reversal, they stood as long as any federal troops, and their toughness was exhibited again and again on the Peninsula and at Antietam, Fredericksburg, and, finally, Gettysburg (where one of the two brothers Moe follows through the book was killed). In addition to battle history, we learn how enlisted men felt about long months on picket duty; what they ate (when they did eat); and how they related to the civilian population. Moe makes judicious use of the period's ubiquitous diaries and letters, as well as fascinating columns sent home tolocal newspapers by soldier- correspondents writing under pen names like "Raisins" and "Shingles." A seamless narrative of Civil War sights, sounds, and emotions that deserves the warmest reception. (Photographs—not seen)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780873514064
Publisher:
Minnesota Historical Society Press
Publication date:
04/28/2001
Pages:
367
Sales rank:
655,130
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)

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