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Drawing from the more than 10, documents housed in the privately held Gilder Lehrman Collection, Robert E. Bonner has movingly reconstructed the experiences of sixteen Civil War soldiers, using their own accounts to knit together a ground-level view of the entire conflict.

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The immediacy of diaries and the intimacy of letters to loved ones accompany the humor of an anonymous cartoonist from Massachusetts, the vivid paintings of Private Henry Berckhoff. All reproduced for the first time in The Soldier's Pen, the documents and images that Bonner weaves together, providing context and explanation as required, powerfully re-create the day-to-day lives of the soldiers who fought and died for Union and Confederacy.

Not since the publication of Robert Sneden's paintings and papers in Eye of the Storm has a collection of original Civil War documents so evocatively captured the war.


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    This one, however, is different because it draws heavily on unpublished writings from the Gilder Lehrman Collection in New York City, and because Bonner stresses the perspective of war letters, diaries, and related writings as legitimate forms of literature. Thus, Bonner "has successfully accomplished a distinctive and significant approach to the writings of Civil War soldiers," according to Russert, while also providing "the reader with a riveting and perceptive survey of Civil War soldiers' expressions.

    Cobb, review of Colors and Blood, p. Harvey, review of Colors and Blood, p. Woodworth, review of The Soldier's Pen, p. Smith, review of Colors and Blood, p.

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    Rable, review of Colors and Blood, p. Cite this article Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography. October 31,