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Touched with Fire: Five Presidents and the Civil War Battles That Made Them

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"In our youth our hearts were touched with fire."

So said Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., the future Supreme Court justice, about his fellow veterans of the Civil War. The 1860s were a time much like the 1940s, when a generation of idealistic young Americans answered their country 's call, and many made the supreme sacrifice to preserve freedom and liberty for all. And among the two million "boys in blue " were five soldiers whose wartime heroics would take them into national ...

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Trade paperback. Pristine, Unread, Gift Quality. "American History and Political Philosophy 20140927" Stored in sealed plastic protection. No pricing stickers. No remainder mark. ... No previous owner's markings. In the event of a problem we guarantee full refund. 2005. Trade paperback. Read more Show Less

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2005-01-02 Paperback First Edition New 2003 First Edition Paperback, w/full number line. As new, mint condition. From The Civil War Book Shop-As close as your computer; as ... dependable as old Abe. Read more Show Less

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Overview

"In our youth our hearts were touched with fire."

So said Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., the future Supreme Court justice, about his fellow veterans of the Civil War. The 1860s were a time much like the 1940s, when a generation of idealistic young Americans answered their country 's call, and many made the supreme sacrifice to preserve freedom and liberty for all. And among the two million "boys in blue " were five soldiers whose wartime heroics would take them into national politics -a ride that would lead, in time, to the White House.

In Touched with Fire, James M. Perry reintroduces us to these five men -Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. "Ruddy" Hayes, James A. "Jamie " Garfield, Benjamin "Little Ben " Harrison, and William "Mack " McKinley -who rose to the pinnacle of American life but are now largely forgotten. Drawing on diaries, letters, and other first-hand accounts, Perry recreates the battles that brought them fame and extols the courage that made them extraordinary leaders, especially under fire. The Civil War was their finest hour, and their stories form a vivid reminder of what a truly great generation can accomplish.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781586482909
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs
  • Publication date: 1/1/2005
  • Pages: 335
  • Product dimensions: 5.72 (w) x 8.86 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Meet the Author

James M. Perry began his journalism career at Leatherneck Magazine, and then worked for thirty-five years covering politics for the National Observer and The Wall Street Journal. He is the author of five previous books, most recently A Bohemian Brigade, about the reporters who covered the Civil War, and in 1997 he was awarded the National Press Club's Fourth Estate Award for a distinguished career in journalism.

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Read an Excerpt

Touched with Fire

Five Presidents and the Civil War Battles That Made Them
By James M. Perry

PublicAffairs

Copyright © 2005 James M. Perry
All right reserved.

ISBN: 1586482904

Chapter One

Lincoln's first call for ninety-day volunteers had been enthusiastically received in Indiana. But when Lincoln called for 300,000 volunteers on July 1, 1862, to serve for three years, Hoosiers were slow to respond. Eight days later, on July 9, Benjamin Harrison and his friend and law partner, Will Wallace, called on Governor Oliver Perry Morton, one of the great northern war governors, to discuss some routine political matters. They found the governor deeply distressed. He walked them across the reception room to a window, through which they could see a number of healthy young men working on the construction of a new building. How could that be, the governor asked, "when the country itself is in danger of destruction?"

Morton told his two visitors that there had been almost no response in Indiana to Lincoln's call for volunteers. "The people do not seem to realize the necessities of the situation," he said. "Something must be done to break the spirit of apathy and indifference which now prevails."

Harrison figured Morton was hinting that maybe he should be the one to get things moving. "Governor," he said, "if I can be of any service, I will go." Morton quickly proposed that Harrison raise a regiment in and around Indianapolis and then let someone else take it into the field. After all, the governor said, Harrison held an important statewide office, supreme court reporter. But Harrison was canny enough to know this wouldn't do. He couldn't enlist 1,000 men for a war in which many of them might be killed, and then step aside for another man to lead them.

Harrison, truly a modest man, told the governor he wasn't at all sure he was competent to lead a regiment into battle. Morton accepted that. He commissioned Harrison a second lieutenant on the spot and instructed him to begin raising a regiment. As they walked down the capitol steps, Harrison signed up Wallace as his first recruit in what would come to be the 70th Indiana Volunteers. After that, he bought a military cap, hired a fife and a drum player, and hung an American flag outside the window of his law office. It was only then that he went home and told his wife that he had decided to recruit a regiment and go to war.

Continues...


Excerpted from Touched with Fire by James M. Perry Copyright © 2005 by James M. Perry. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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