The folks at LitFire Publishing and I will be bringing to you a series of articles about a part of the American Civil War that most people know little about, its youngest participants, the boys of the Civil War. Today’s article, “In Their Own Words”, introduces you to some of the real boys who were in the war and some aspects of the war as they wrote about it in their journals, diaries, and letters. This is followed by a two-part article about the history of the history of the boys. The second part is followed by an extensive bibliography which will be mentioned in other articles along the way. A two-part article about death and the drummer boys is next. An article about powder monkeys follows. That is followed by nine articles that profile individual boys from the war. The sixteenth week will begin two short series about my Civil War historic fiction and the history within.
These works are written from the point of view of two boy soldiers. The most recently published and first to be discussed is Blake’s Story, Revenge and Forgiveness, 2nd edition, published in full color. Blake Bradford’s father is killed in the Battle of Shiloh. The boy is devastated and determines to run away to the war to find the soldier who killed his father and kill that soldier. A short series of articles will examine the history on which the story is built and through which Blake’s journey passes. The regiments and their histories involved in the story are real. The events did happen.
The second book, originally published in black and white and in the process of being revised in its own 2nd edition in full color, is Journey Into Darkness, a story in four parts. Duane Kinkade is a ten-year-old farm boy outside Benton, Arkansas, when the war comes. His father leaves for the war in the spring of 1861. Duane’s journey covers four years from the departure of his father to his own departure the following spring at age eleven in search of his father through two and a half years of battlefield experience to his final return home. This final short series of articles will examine the history on which Duane’s story is built. Once again, those who journey with Duane will live the real history of his experience.
J. Arthur Moore, author and retired teacher