Hardtack and Coffee: The Unwritten Story of Army Life

Hardtack and Coffee: The Unwritten Story of Army Life

Hardtack and Coffee: The Unwritten Story of Army Life

Hardtack and Coffee: The Unwritten Story of Army Life

Excerpt

Most selections made for The Lakeside Classics in the past have fallen into the category of Western Americana. As previously pointed out in these prefaces, however, the publishers have never confined themselves to any period or place in the history of our country. This volume represents one of the occasional departures from what may have seemed at times an established Western pattern.

Christmas in 1860 arrived while a momentous storm was gathering over the nation. Historic forces were racing toward an inevitable clash that was to produce the most critical and dramatic episode in the history of the United States. The American Civil War was a revolutionary movement -- but one with a difference. For, while revolutions usually turn class against class, this one embroiled crosssections of the same people: brother against brother, and even father against son.

Such a conflict could not fail to bring forth an enormous literature. Next year, which marks the centennial of the War's beginning, will no doubt bring further acceleration of publication and republication of Civil War literature. We considered this an appropriate time to include in The Lakeside Classics a too-little-known volume dealing with the intensely human daily life of the common soldier in the Union Army, a book that may well serve as a . . .

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