The Musick of the Mocking Birds, the Roar of the Cannon: The Civil War Diary and Letters of William Winters

Synopsis

William Winters was unlike most of the young soldiers who answered the Union's appeal for men in 1861 and 1862. He was different from many of his comrades in age and point of view, and his war service was also out of the ordinary.

The last great surge of popular voluntary enlistment swept up Winters, a thirty-two-year-old saddle and harness maker and father of three from Indiana. Like so many others in the Civil War, Winters was a prolific correspondent, and through his letters we have a record of some lesser-known campaigns. Winters served in the siege of Vicksburg and in the Red River Campaign, frequently as a nurse, a role that emphasized for him the darker side of the war. These letters and journal entries show a sensitive man who reflects upon both the loveliness of the southern locales in which he found himself and the hideousness of war.