Though many Union soldiers wrote about their experiences in the American Civil War, few had the vantage point of William Horton Kimball, a member of the First Michigan Engineers and Mechanics. As a military engineer, Kimball spent most of his time behind the major lines of conflict and often worked among civilians who sympathized with the enemy. In Among the Enemy: A Michigan Soldier's Civil War Journal, author Mark Hoffman presents Kimball's journal as a unique window into wartime experience.
Kimball was a prolific writer, and his journal is full of detailed accounts of expeditions into a hostile countryside, the bitter war against guerillas, and of the civilians caught in the middle of a traditional war waged with nontraditional means. He comments freely and openly on the strengths and weaknesses of his officers and comrades caught up in the same war. At the same time, Kimball provides moving accounts of when the Engineers were thrown into the line of battle at Perryville and Lavergne and proved themselves as soldiers capable of traditional combat. Through Kimball's account, readers can chart the important evolution of Union war policy regarding occupied populations, as well as how the American views of warfare broke down when combat moved from battlefield to countryside and soldiers in the rear became important targets for enemy action. Civil War historian Mark Hoffman introduces Kimball's writings and provides some background on Kimball's life as a soldier. He accompanies the journal entries with illustrations and maps.
Kimball's account reminds readers that there was a time when Americans who honored the same founders and national holidays were seeking to kill each other in a bitter war behind the lines of traditional armies. Readers interested in military history and the Civil War will enjoy the inside perspective of Among the Enemy.
About the Author
Mark Hoffman is a lifelong student of the Civil War. He previously wrote the award-winning My Brave Mechanics: The First Michigan Engineers and Their Civil War (Wayne State University Press, 2007).
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations ix
List of Maps xi
1 Off to War: September 22-December 15, 1861 5
2 Kentucky: December 16, 1861-February 27, 1862 21
3 Nashville to Corinth: March 1-May 30, 1862 37
4 Bushwhackers and Railroads: June 1-September 29, 1862 47
5 "My Brave Mechanics": October 1-December 29, 1862 63
6 Lavergne: December 30-March 19, 1863 75
7 Fortress Rosecrans: March 20-June 28, 1863 87
8 Middle Tennessee: June 29-November 4, 1863 97
9 The Nashville and Northwestern: November 9, 1863-March 12, 1864 109
10 Railroad Blockhouses: March 13-June 27, 1864 121
11 Supplying Sherman's Army: June 28-September 24, 1864 133
12 Discharge and Home: September 25-November 17, 1864 141
Appendix: Kimball's Comrades 153
Bibliographic Essay 159
Index of Names and Places 161
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
MY 2 X GREAT GRANDFATHER WAS A MICHIGAN SOLDIER IN THIS REGIMENT. HE WAS IN COMPANY C AND THIS BOOK HAS HELPED ME RELATE TO HIS CIVIL WAR EXPERIENCES. I'M RECOMMENDING INTERESTED FAMILY MEMBERS, READ THIS BOOK. MAYBE THE DIARY IS NOT THAT RIVETING, BUT I HAVE GOTTEN AN IDEA WHAT MY ANCESTOR WENT THRU IN SERVICE TO HIS ADOPTED COUNTY.