Sunday, May 13, 2007

Book Review

I mentioned early in the year that I was trying to read 10 books this year. Well I just finished my third so I'm on average to do 6.5 books. I better get on the ball, but the latest book is what I want to talk about.

Four weeks ago The Wife and I were walking around the Triangle Mall when we past a Borders Books. Just in passing she asked if I wanted a new book. I was not liking the one I was reading and pretty much had not read in three weeks. I say now, but something was telling to do it. We go inside and I was looking for another sports, but I meandered into the Civil War section and found Testament: A Soldier's Story of the Civil War. It's the story of Benjamin Webb Baker, a soldier with the Illinois 25th. He was just a normal farm boy who was against slavery in the new territories and saw a need to serve when the south left the Union.

The interesting thing is that during the entire time he was in the War he was really only in 4 major battles (Pea Ridge, Perryville and Stones River and part of Sherman's March to the Atlanta). The Union Army mostly chased Braxton Bragg around Tennessee and waisted time and men. The Army of the Cumberland just marched and changed leaders constantly.

It was interesting to hear how he dealt with the march and what he thought about the war. The most compelling part of the book was after his brother joined the army and saw his first action at Perryville and was killed. His letter home was heart wrenching. He actually found (his brother) John's body on the field of battle and helped bury him. His letter's home changed from that point on, he seemed more lonesome and sad. Then at Stones River he was injured. He had a bullet lodged in in left shoulder. It took a few months to heal, but he kept telling his mother that he would be better within a month. After that he did not want to go to the front and wanted the war over. It was also at this time that some of the northerners were starting to rally against the war and were tying to cause problems with the draft and with anyone who supported the troops.

Truthfully, I saw a lot of similarities from what was happening in the 1860s to now. I'm not for the war, but I want our troops to be safe and come home as soon as they can and hopefully get Iraq to some what of a sable ground. Do I know how that will happen no, but I can wish. The country was torn and just like now people are trying every means they can to create chaos and want this war to be over. A lot of the people then and now voted for action, but once things started getting real bad changed their minds and wanted it over at all cost.

Overall I loved this book, it only took me three and a half weeks to read which for me is very fast. If you like to read about the Civil War or want to see how things truthfully do not change read this book.

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