Clarion Books/Houghton Mifflin: NY, 1990.
Jim Murphy describes the American Civil War through the eyes of youth soldiers using excerpts of first hand accounts. The excitement and adventure that the boys expected upon enlisting is depicted as well as the dreariness and deprivation of the camps and horrors of the war. Not only does the book accurately depict the Civil War, including pictures from it, but also war in general. The realities of war as described ought to be emphasized more in school studies, including the involvement of children and civilians, since they are standard in all wars, not anomalies. The Civil War is the best example Americans have of what war is really like, and if it were truly taught, it would serve as an indication of why our country ought to be trying more seriously to avoid war. War does, in fact, devastate the region it is being waged in, always.
The Civil War was the last war in which large numbers of young American boys were involved, because rule changes were made soon after. Historians of the time, however, largely ignored the part underage boys played. This concept has been portrayed in many children's novels, such as The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane and Charley Skedaddle by Patricia Beatty.
related-United States history, personal narratives from the American Civil War, children as soldiers, recruiting, enlistment, battles, prisons and mobile hospitals, lack of supplies, disease
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