The Memoirs of Charles Henry Veil: A Soldier's Recollections of the Civil War and the Arizona Territory

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A cavalry officer's revealing recollections of the Civil War and the wild and woolly early days of the Arizona Territory, The Memoirs of Charles Henry Veil is an authentic eyewitness account of the War Between the States and the American West, all told with wit and charm and full of historical surprises. Charles Henry Veil, born in 1842 near Johnstown, Pennsylvania, joined the Union army, where he served as orderly to General John Reynolds. He was the only eyewitness to the untimely death at Gettysburg of General...
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1993-11-02 Hardcover New NEW. First edition. NO remainder markings. A brand new book perfect inside and out. In a nice dj as well.

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1st Edition, Fine-/Fine 3/8" red line across top page ends near spine, o.w. clean, tight & bright. No ink names, tears, chips, foxing etc. Price unclipped. ISBN 0517594633

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Overview

A cavalry officer's revealing recollections of the Civil War and the wild and woolly early days of the Arizona Territory, The Memoirs of Charles Henry Veil is an authentic eyewitness account of the War Between the States and the American West, all told with wit and charm and full of historical surprises. Charles Henry Veil, born in 1842 near Johnstown, Pennsylvania, joined the Union army, where he served as orderly to General John Reynolds. He was the only eyewitness to the untimely death at Gettysburg of General Reynolds, the highest-ranking Union officer killed on the battlefield. Receiving an officer's commission in the 1st Cavalry as thanks for rescuing Reynolds's body, Veil served throughout the rest of the war with the likes of Sheridan and Custer, and he tells of a gruesome encounter with Mosby's raiders. Veil was then posted to Arizona Territory, based near Phoenix, "for service in subduing the Apache Indians." His story is full of Indians, outlaws, settlers, ranchers, swindlers, and deserters. Veil's life in the West had all the ingredients of a Ned Buntline dime novel. Defending himself, he once killed two deserters with a single pistol shot. Unarmed, he faced down an angry desperado by shaming him for being drunk. Veil provides a rare first-person description of a meeting with famed Apache leader Cochise. He offers a hilarious account of his brief but disastrous attempt at hog farming. And he brings home the danger of those times by describing several instances where he missed by mere moments being the victim of Indian ambushes. Veil's recollections are peppered throughout with the fascinating details of everyday life in mid-nineteenth-century America that only an eyewitness could provide.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Charles Veil, a Pennsylvanian, joined the Union army in 1861. At Gettysburg he recovered the body of General John Reynolds, and Reynolds's grateful family secured him a regular commission in the 1st U.S. Cavalry. Veil (1842-1910) compiled a distinguished combat record, finishing the war as a brevet major. His narrative, effectively edited by Viola, a historian with the Smithsonian Institution, presents life in the Army of the Potomac from the unusual perspective of someone who was both an infantryman and a trooper. The text is also significant for its insight into the Civil War's impact on citizen-soldiers. Not all wished to return to the humdrum ways of peace. Not all were able to. Veil chose to make the army his career. Assigned to Arizona, he spent more time pursuing deserters than fighting Apaches. He spent even more time facing inquiries and court-martials on charges ranging from consorting with loose women to misusing government funds. In 1870 he was dismissed from the service--a victim as much of post-traumatic stress disorder as of any character flaws. (Nov.)
Library Journal
Well documented and authentic, these memoirs provide a detailed, anecdotal account of a soldier's life during the Civil War and in the post-Civil War West. Born in 1842, Veil served in the Union Army during the Civil War and later went on to serve in the Arizona territory. He remained in Arizona until 1891, even after his military career ended, then returned to Pennsylvania, where he died in 1910. Veil provides a firsthand account of his association with generals Sheridan and Custer, dealings with the Apache Indians, encounters with Indian atrocities, and tracking of army deserters. Viola, a historian of the West and author of After Columbus (Crown, 1990), has turned Veil's rambling reminiscences into a readable adventure. A useful addition, especially for collections on the American West.-- Terri P. Summey, Emporia State Univ., Kan.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780517594636
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 11/2/1993
  • Series: Library of the American West
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Pages: 194

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