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Army Life in a Black Regiment (1870)

af Thomas Wentworth Higginson

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Serier: Collector's Library of the Civil War

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277171,420 (3.97)8
A stirring account of wartime experiences from the leader of the first regiment of emancipated slaves Thomas Wentworth Higginson, a Unitarian minister, was a fervent member of new England's abolitionist movement, an active participant in the Underground Railroad, and part of a group that supplied material aid to John Brown before his ill-fated raid on Harpers Ferry. When the Civil War broke out, Higginson was commissioned as a colonel of the black troops training in the Sea Islands off the coast of the Carolinas. Shaped by American Romanticism and imbued with Higginson's interest in both man and nature, Army Life in a Black Regiment ranges from detailed reports on daily life to a vivid description of the author's near escape from cannon fire, to sketches that conjure up the beauty and mystery of the Sea Islands. This edition also features a selection of Higginson's essays, including "Nat Turner's Insurrection" and "Emily Dickinson's Letters." For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.… (mere)

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I was very surprised by this book. In regards to subject matter, I found the majority of it to be what I expected, but a bulk of it surprisingly unexpected.

For starters I hoped for more detail about the regiment and the soldiers it was comprised of. While the first several chapters and the last were very explanatory and informative, I wished for more. In some respect, I had also desired more "army" stories; the sense I garnered from the narratives was of little actual battlefield occupation and more guard duty and a handful of excursions into enemy territory. Granted, they might not have had much opportunity to skirmish in high-profile battles, but I was not upset with the essays included in the book.

What was, by far the most surprising, was the author's style. Forget the hard-boiled, gruff General Patton persona, Mr. Higginson's pen flows freely amongst the prose. Chapter Six, A Night in the Water, was an ethereal venture recounting a nighttime swim. Lost in the heady and verbose detail of a foray across a river to evaluate enemy lines, he writes in a vaguely sensual manner. Much of his writing is at times, dare I say, effeminate.

In the beginning of the book he denotes himself to be a philanthropist; I am not sure if that had a different connotation in the 1860's but he tempers his admiration for the Freeman soldiers as he brags about them. I think he is simply working to dispel the myths of the age about the brutish Negros and their uncivilized way. He is careful not to make them sound without human flaws and less than desirable qualities, but stresses they are admirable and worthy to share in the franchise of human society. ( )
  HistReader | Mar 22, 2012 |
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Thomas Wentworth Higginsonprimær forfatteralle udgaverberegnet
Edström, Cilla IngvarOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Franklin, John HopeIntroduktionmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Younger, Karen FisherIntroduktionmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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These pages record some of the adventures of the First South Carolina Volunteers, the first slave regiment mustered into the service of the United States during the late Civil War.
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A stirring account of wartime experiences from the leader of the first regiment of emancipated slaves Thomas Wentworth Higginson, a Unitarian minister, was a fervent member of new England's abolitionist movement, an active participant in the Underground Railroad, and part of a group that supplied material aid to John Brown before his ill-fated raid on Harpers Ferry. When the Civil War broke out, Higginson was commissioned as a colonel of the black troops training in the Sea Islands off the coast of the Carolinas. Shaped by American Romanticism and imbued with Higginson's interest in both man and nature, Army Life in a Black Regiment ranges from detailed reports on daily life to a vivid description of the author's near escape from cannon fire, to sketches that conjure up the beauty and mystery of the Sea Islands. This edition also features a selection of Higginson's essays, including "Nat Turner's Insurrection" and "Emily Dickinson's Letters." For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

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