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Children's LiteratureAn introductory timeline outlines the war from South Carolina's secession in 1860 to surrender at Greensboro in 1865. One striking aspect of Langellier's text is the diverse background of Union recruits. Many different ethnic groups joined the conflict. Black-and-white photos and illustrations with commentary include people of color in uniform. The descriptions of soldier life describe relentless drills, inedible rations, and disease. On one campaign, a father knowingly ordered the death of his Confederate son. As the conflict continued longer than expected, infantry ranks grew thin and the relative merits of a draft vs. volunteer army became clear. Conscription resulted in the execution of nearly 300 murderers and deserters during a period when patriotic ten-year-old boys volunteered for service. Originally published in Oxford, England, the United States edition is one of "A Soldier's Life Series." It is a graphic reference on the plight of foot soldiers. 2003 (orig. 2001), Raintree/Reed Elsevier, Ages 12 up.
— Tina Dybvik