Synopses & Reviews
Holmes's wartime letters and diary entries have attracted students of war as well as biographers of Holmes as rare glimpses into the mind and heart of a soldier who withstood the great slaughter.
Here is a book that will profoundly interest not only the large and growing public who want to know all about one of the greatest Americans, but also all who are concerned with Civil War military history. The volume is made up of all of the Civil War letters to his parents that Justice Holmes possessed and the complete text of the only Civil War diary that was found among his personal papers. The letters cover the period from May, 1861, to July, 1864, when Holmes participated in the Battle of Ball's Bluff, the Peninsula Campaign, 1st and 2nd Fredericksburg, and Antietam, and the period of his service as aide-de-camp to General Horatio Wright. The diary is principally concerned with the Wilderness Campaign, the Battle of Spottsylvania, and the assault on Petersburg in May and June of 1864. An unpublished portrait of Holmes as a young man and Holmes's own sketches and maps are among the many illustrations.
Holmes's diary and letters convey the fervor, enthusiasm, and boredom of all young men at war and gives not only a detailed account of events that are still the subject of considerable interest, but a vivid impression of the convictions which led the youth of 1861 to go to war. For the large American audience of Holmes's admirers the volume will bring fresh understanding of the roots of his philosophy and feeling and insights into his relationship with his family and friends.