"[War] has its fascinations, as drunkenness, licentiousness, murder, journalism, and the stage have theirs. What is War, after all, but scientific assassination, throat-gutting by rule, causing misery and vice, and pain and death by prescribed forms? It is a palpable anachronism, and yet it continues..." We are fortunate to have this remarkable book by famous jounalist Junius Henri Browne, a special war correspondent for the New York Tribune who not only reported from the field in the Civil War but spent time as a captive of the Rebels.
A literate, witty, urbane man with a coterie of fellow correspondents at his side (whom he called the Bohemians), Browne witnessed all the horror and carnage of the American Civil War. He was at Fort Donelson, Shiloh, Vicksburg and more. As in wars today, some of his fellow reporters were among the casualties.
He also wrote of the humorous, the ironic, and the ridiculous side of the conflict.
On May 3, 1863, while dodging the shore batteries during the siege of Vicksburg, Browne and his friends were captured by Confederate soldiers. For more than two years, he endured all the deprivations of horribly inadequate prisoner camps, all the while plotting escape.
In exciting, witty prose, Browne has left us an account of the war like no other, written shortly after his escape and repatriation to the North in 1865. At the end of the conflict, he adds his thoughts on the future. An opponent of slavery, he says:
"Nothing, however, let me remark, seems more inconsistent and irrational than the supposition that the negroes, who have for generations raised the products of the South, while enslaved, will be unable to do so when emancipated."
For the first time, this long out-of-print book is available in an affordable, well-formatted edition for e-readers and smartphones.
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