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Michael J. Martin's A History of the 4th Wisconsin Infantry and Cavalry in the Civil War is a deeply researched and vividly written study of an unheralded Federal combat regiment. Few of the thousands of regiments raised to fight the American Civil War experienced the remarkably diverse history of this little-known organization. The Wisconsin Badgers began the war as foot soldiers in the summer of 1861 as the 4th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. After service in Maryland guarding railroads, the men sailed to the Gulf of Mexico to join Maj. Gen. Benjamin Butler's expedition to capture the South's most important city: New Orleans.
General Halbert Eleazer Paine, commanding officer of the 4th Wisconsin Regiment of Volunteers, took part in most of the significant military actions in the lower Mississippi Valley during the Civil War. Nearly forty years after the conflict's end, Paine -- a former schoolteacher and attorney who would become a three-term congressman -- penned recollections of his wartime exploits, including his involvement in the Vicksburg campaign, the operations that resulted in the capture of New Orleans, the Battle of Baton Rouge, the Bayou Teche offensive, and the siege of Port Hudson. Now available for the first time, A Wisconsin Yankee in Confederate Bayou Country provides Paine's reflections and offer his excellent eyewitness account of the complexities of war. Paine describes in detail the antiguerrilla operations he coordinated in southern Louisiana and Mississippi and his role in the defense of Washington, D.C., where he commanded a portion of the line during Confederate General Jubal Early's 1864 movement against the city. His experiences shed light on the daily struggle of the common solider and on the political and legal debates that dominated the times. In one striking episode, he describes his arrest for refusing to return to their masters fugitive slaves who entered his lines. He discusses the occupation of New Orleans and the relations between Federal soldiers and local slaves and provides definitive commentary on dramatic incidents such as the burning of Baton Rouge and the destruction of the ironclad ram C.S.S. Arkansas. A departure from most accounts by Union army veterans, Paine's story includes less celebration of the grand cause and greater analysis of the motives for his actions -- and their inherent contradictions. He sympathized with the many "contrabands" he encountered, for example, yet he callously dismissed a reliable servant for suggesting that the rebels fought well. Despite expressing kind feelings toward certain southern families, Paine all but condoned his troops' "excessive looting" of local homes and businesses, which he viewed as acceptable retribution for those who resisted Federal authority. After the war, Paine also served as commissioner of patents, championing innovations such as the introduction of typewriters into the Federal bureaucracy. With a useful introduction and annotations by noted historian Samuel C. Hyde, Jr., A Wisconsin Yankee in Confederate Bayou Country reveals many of the subtle advantages enjoyed by the troops in blue, as well as the attitudes that led to behavior that left a violent legacy for generations.
A two volume set which provides researchers with more than 70,000 links to every conceivable genealogical resource on the Internet.
In the first comprehensive treatment of the subject, Stephen Z. Starr covers in three volumes the dramatic story of the Union cavalry. In this first volume he presents briefly the story of the United States cavalry prior to the Civil War, describing how the Union cavalry was raised, organized, equipped, and trained, and offering detailed descriptions of the campaigns and battles in which the cavalry engaged -- the Peninsula, Shenandoah Valley/Second Bull Run, Lee's invasion of Maryland, Kelly's Ford, Stoneman's May 1863 Raid, Brandy Station (Fleetwood), Aldie-Middleburg-Upperville, and Gettysburg. Starr focuses on the officers and men of the Union cavalry -- who they were; how they lived, fought, behaved; what they thought. Starr tells their story -- drawn from regimental records and histories, memoirs, letters, diaries, and reminiscences -- whenever possible in the words of the troopers themselves.

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