Emma Randolph, a young woman not yet twenty, wrote poignant letters to her distant cousin, Private Walter G. Dunn of the 11th New Jersey Infantry, as he lay in a crowded, filthy hospital ward in Baltimore after being carried from the battle of Chancellorsville. There, barely recovered, he aided overworked surgeons when the Gettysburg wounded poured into the city, and regularly took up his pen to relay everyday events.
Emma replied in kind. At home, men were torn by guilt, women lost in grief, and a presidential election loomed. But there were also church picnics, strawberry festivals, ice cream socials and trips to the ocean. This was the American Civil War for many who lived it--overwhelming, and ultimately tragic--viewed through the eyes of a courageous youth and an unforgettable young woman.
1998, Judith A. Bailey and Robert I. Cottom, Ed., 259 pages, paperback