Ranks and Columns: Armed Forces Newspapers in American Wars

By Alfred Emile Cornebise | Go to book overview

3 Civil War Soldier Papers

The Latest by Telegraph: " Richmond has just been taken. It was done at just 2:30 o'clock this p.m. . . . by a photographer, from the hill just west of the city. The picture is said to be a good one."

-- Illustrated News, Lebanon, Missouri, June 28, 1861.

"'Eternal Vigilance is the Price of Liberty,' and Ten Cents a Copy For Our Paper." So one Civil War troop paper simultaneously set forth a serious and a lighter tone characteristic of many of them.1 And they were numerous. Almost three hundred titles have been located. Some of the papers were published for a few issues only; others lasted for years. Both the Union forces and the Confederates produced troop papers, though the Northerners did so in far greater numbers and varieties, leading the South by a ratio of about four to one. One of the reasons was that the Rebel soldier was fighting on his own ground and had a sympathetic press near at hand. Also, if he wanted to launch a troop paper, he could not normally take over a civilian paper as the spoils of war as could his Union counterpart, though abandoned printing establishments were sometimes used.2 Virginia and Missouri produced the largest numbers of troop papers, with about thirty each. Tennessee and Louisiana followed with about sixteen papers apiece. They issued forth from many places: army hospitals, camp tents, wrecked or commandeered civilian press offices, military prisons, and a few examples aboard ships. A few of the papers followed their soldier readership in their preambulations for months on end. Some were edited and printed by the men themselves; others were published by civilians for the benefit of the troops. Others were edited by clergymen, as would frequently be done in later wars, or were published by religious denominations. However, the papers were often

-23-

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Ranks and Columns: Armed Forces Newspapers in American Wars
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Illustrations vii
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • 1 - Beginnings: The Revolutionary War and Beyond 1
  • 2 - The Mexican War: 1846-1848 7
  • 3 - Civil War Soldier Papers 23
  • 4 - The Maturing of the Military Press, 1865-1917 51
  • 5 - World War I: Ground Forces Papers 65
  • 6 - World War I: Air Service Papers 101
  • 7 - World War Ii: The Early Years 111
  • 8 - World War Ii: The Later Years and Beyond 135
  • 9 - After World War II 159
  • Notes 169
  • Selected Bibliography 193
  • Index 199
  • About the Author 219
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