"For anyone interested in viewing America's traumatic Civil War from the perspective of ordinary individuals who found themselves in the Union and Confederate armies, Robert E. Bonner's The Soldier's Pen: Firsthand Impressions of the Civil War will be a very rewarding experience. This expertly edited collection of letters and drawings mailed to the families and friends of sixteen 'typical' but quite diverse citizen-soldiers conveys a deeply human dimension to America's most dehumanizing war." --David Brion Davis, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and author of Inhuman Bondage: The Rise and Fall of Slavery in the New World
"Walt Whitman once said of the Civil War that 'The real war will never get in the books.' But the real war does get into this book, in the form of letters and diaries written by sixteen enlisted men, Union and Confederate, who tell it like it was."
--James McPherson, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Battle Cry of Freedom
"Robert E. Bonner has not only found some of the most riveting, impassioned, humorous, and powerful Civil War letters and journals ever written, he has brilliantly woven them together so that the overall collection reads like a first-rate work of literature. The Soldier's Pen
is a masterpiece of scholarship and, without question, one of the most extraordinary anthologies of Civil War correspondence I have ever read." --Andrew Carroll, editor of The New York Times bestselling WAR LETTERS