The Boys' War: Confederate and Union Soldiers Talk About the Civil War

The Boys' War:  Confederate and Union Soldiers Talk About the Civil War

First-hand accounts that include diary entries and personal letters describe the experiences of boys, sixteen years old or younger, who fought in the Civil War.--from the publisher


We all know about the famous generals and the major battles of the Civil War. But for the soldiers who actually fought, the war was all too real. It was especially traumatic for the thousands of soldiers who ranged in age from 10 to 15. Some young soldiers joined the fray to escape the boredom of farm work or to "set the South straight". Many of them kept diaries and wrote letters home. Through their eyes, we see what life was like on the edge of chaos. Some of their writing describes the gruesome details of forced marches and deaths on the battlefield. Balanced with anecdotes of practical jokes they played on one another and interesting people they met, their stories touch our minds and hearts.

These everyday details of the war, told in the straightforward language of the young, provide a moving, unforgettable history lesson.--from the publisher


What was it like to be a twelve to sixteen-year old boy fighting in the American Civil War?  Taken from the diaries, journals, memoirs and letters of soldiers on both the Confederate and Union sides of the war, this is a powerful collection of first hand accounts of the lives of the young soldiers.  In the midst of battles they served as drummers, telegraphers, buglers and as fighting soldiers.

What did the experience mean to their lives not only during the war itself but beyond into the years after the war was over and these young warriors returned home to civilian life?  Boys made up 10-20% of the fighting forces on the Civil War battlefields.    These are their words.

128 pages   978-0395664124  Ages 12 and up

Recommended by:  Barb Langridge,

Book Pairing: Pair this book with Bull Run by Paul Fleischman (contributed by Tricia-Stohr Hunt)

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