Pieces of the Civil War:  The Yankee, The Rebel, and The Lighter Sides.  (363 pg. Perfect bound).  ISBN: 1-884778-65-8.  LOC:99-62326. Published by Old Mountain Press, $15.25 plus $2.00   P & H plus (if sent to an NC address) 6% NC sales tax of $0.92.  (Total cost per copy: $18.17).   Send check or money order to Bobby W. Brendell, 180 Caribou Lane, Carthage, NC 28327.  E-mail the author at brendell at ac.net 

his book contains a detailed listing of Footnotes and Quotation Sources with an extensive Index.  It is an effort on the part of the author to present some aspects of the American Civil War from a viewpoint stated by Bruce Catton: "To tell the story of the Civil War, by itself, is not enough.  It is not sufficient to speak only of the military campaigns, but also of the things that happened behind the lines." The book is not a history of the Civil War from Fort Sumter to Appomattox.  It is not even a detailed account of the subjects included, nor does it delve deeply into causes and effects.  Simply, through a broad strokes approach, it attempts to offer some insight into what various aspects of the war was all about.  With the use of several anecdotes, and a large number of quotations from the war's combatants and non-combatants, hopefully a richer, more informative account of the experiences and specific events of the war  have been "brought to life." 
Pieces of the Civil War
I. American Civil War Facts, Figures and Trivia: Far from being just a "bunch" of facts, figures and trivia, this section to a large degree touches on almost all aspects of the American Civil War. The many and varied "pieces" of information presented here certainly could "whet one's appetite" for further reading and study of one of America's most pivotal and tragic events. 

II. The Battle of Big Bethel: Featuring North Carolina's "Bethel" Regiment: The Battle of Big Bethel, generally considered the first land battle of the Civil War, sent a message to the Yankees. Newspaper headlines of the day could have been as follows: June, 1861 - Richmond, Va.: Yankees Routed at Big Bethel! Young North Carolinian the First Slain as Rebels Demonstrate Their Refusal to "Roll Over and Play Dead." Extended War Looms on the Horizon!  

III. The Battle of Seven Pines/Fair Oaks: This section briefly discusses the background, the battle, and the results and consequences of the Battle of Seven Pines/Fair Oaks. A newspaper headline following the battle might have read as follows: June, 1862 - Richmond, Va.: Stray Bullet Incapacitates Johnston as Yankees and Rebels Battle to Bloody Draw at Seven Pines and Fair Oaks. Lee Assumes Command of "Army of Northern Virginia." Takes Offensive.  

IV. American Civil War Camp Life: This section might best be summarized by a statement a soldier wrote to his wife: "Soldiering is 99% boredom and 1% sheer terror." A war correspondent of the day could have written: Any Camp, USA or CSA - 1861-1865: A Civil War General Declares "Camp Soldiering" is Making his Troops "Worthless and Lazy, a Result More Disastrous than a Dozen Battles." 

V. South Mountain: Prelude to Antietam: Desperately needing a victory, President Lincoln sends George B. McCellan in pursuit of Robert E. Lee who has invaded Maryland in the area of South Mountain in September of 1862. Just past the middle of that month, a newspaper headline could have been as follows: September, 1862 - Washington, D. C.: Found Package of Rebel Cigars Leads McCellan Through South Mountain to Antietam Creek. Lee Forced Out of Maryland. President Lincoln Issues Proclamation.  

VI. American Civil War Revolution: Blacks in Blue: Frederick Douglass: "Once let the black man get upon his person the brass letters, 'U.S.,' let him get an eagle on his button and a musket on his shoulder and bullets in his pocket, there is no power on earth that can deny that he has earned the right to citizenship." A possible newspaper headline of the day: May, 1863 - Washington, D. C.: Major Charles W. Foster to Head up New Government Bureau, the Bureau of United States Colored Troops.  

VII. Charleston, 1863: Never Say "Uncle": Bruce Catton: "Morris Island looked much like any other unused part of the South Carolina coast: . . . Nobody in the Civil War would have paid the least attention to Morris Island except for two facts: the main ship channel to Charleston ran parallel to its length a mile off shore, and the northern tip of the island was less than a mile from Fort Sumter." A possible newspaper headline could have been: July, 1863 - Charleston, S. C.: Yankees, led by the Colored Troops of the 54th Massachusetts, Repulsed at Fort Wagner. Col. Robert G. Shaw Among Hundreds Slain!  

VIII. American Civil War Prisons/Prisoners: This section briefly discusses four Civil War prisons - two in the South (Andersonville and Florence Stockade) and two in the North (Elmira and Alton). Also included is a brief look at the 37th Iowa Infantry Regiment, a unique unit often referred to as the "Graybeards." 

IX. A Few More Bits and Pieces of the American Civil War: This section is composed of three subsections. A newspaper headline for the subsection entitled Chickamauga: Battle Won! War Lost? might have read as follows: Sept., 1863 - Knoxville, Tenn.: Yankees Beaten, but not Defeated at Chickamauga. Grant, Moving Eastward, Secures Tennessee. Sherman Moves Southward. 

Subsection B, They Called Him "Uncle Billy," takes a brief look at William T. Sherman's "March to the Sea." A headline might have stated the following: Fall, 1864 - Atlanta, Ga.: Sherman Addresses City Leaders: "War is Cruelty and You Cannot Refine it." Yankee Army Begins March to the Sea! 

Subsection C, American Civil War Poems and Songs, is composed of a selected collection of Civil War poems and/or songs. The author has made it a point to include at least one poem or song related to each section of the book except Section I. A newspaper headline of the day could have been as follows: "Goober Peas," by A. Pindar, Esq. and P. Nutt, Esq., Becomes No. 1 Among American Civil War Songs. 


About the Author

Bobby W. Brendell, born and reared in Boone, NC, graduated from Appalachian High School in 1956. He attended Wake Forest College in 1956 - 1957, the first year it moved to Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Realizing that he wanted to become a teacher and coach, the next year he returned to Boone and enrolled in what is now Appalachian State University. Upon graduation in 1961 with a BS degree in science and physical education, he taught and coached for two years in Chatham, Va. Bob returned to the Tarheel State in the summer of 1963 as a Science teacher and coach at Aberdeen High School in Aberdeen. In 1969 he joined the teaching and coaching staff of the newly consolidated Pinecrest High School in Southern Pines, NC. While teaching physics and physical science at Pinecrest, he received two National Science Foundation grants, one at Auburn University in physics and the other at Appalachian State University in chemistry. Later on, Bob completed a Masters Degree program at ASU in Public School Administration and became a public school administrator. He served as Assistant Principal of Southern Pines Middle School for one year (1972-1973) and returned to Pinecrest High School in the summer of 1973 as Associate Principal. He served in this position for 19 years before taking his retirement in the summer of 1992. Bob is currently enjoying his retirement as a full-time resident of Carthage, NC. 

Pieces of the Civil War is Bob's second book. In 1994 he wrote a short documentary entitled A History of Carthage Schools. Bob is a fairly avid collector of certain vintage post cards - especially those of historical significance related to Moore and Watauga Counties, North Carolina. 

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