Leaves from the Diary of an Army Surgeon (Civil War) (Paperback)... Cover Art

Leaves from the Diary of an Army Surgeon (Civil War) (Paperback)

By: Thomas Ellis (Author)

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: INTRODUCTION, A Nation that for many years has enjoyed the blessings of peace, and whose standing army, if it deserved that name, was scarcely sufficient to protect its frontier from intrusion, and keep in check the uncivilized tribes of Indians forming a part, though a troublesome element, of its population, could not be expected to possess the martial spirit, or knowledge of the profession of arms, rendered necessary to grapple with and subdue a rebellion or civil war of that magnitude which sprang into existence in 1861, by the secession of the slave-owning States of the South, the first overt act of which was the bombardment and reduction of Fort Sumter, in April of that year. Nor could it, with justice, be supposed that the machinery found sufficient for the management and direction of a few thousand troops, or the officials having its direction and government in their charge, and who for years had trodden in the beaten path of routine and old fogyism, would prove capable of organizing and equipping the vast army, recruited from an agricultural and commercial population, which was created on the call of the nation''s chief magistrate ; many of whom were actuated by patriotism, but not a few responded from that necessity or want of employment which the interruptions of trade and total stagnation of commercial enterprise, through the war, had produced; others, influenced by less worthy motives, adopted the lifeof a soldier more from the facilities it was supposed to afford them to lead a life of idleness or dishonesty, than from the desire to aid their country in its hour of trying darkness, and the government in its often well-meant but imbecile efforts to crush the gigantic struggle that threatened the disruption of this vast and hitherto prosperous republic. Nor was the la...

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