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November 18 , 2010

From The Cannon’s Mouth: The Civil War Letters Of General Alpheus S. Williams


A candidate for the title of “unsung hero” among the Union generals of the Civil War, Alpheus Williams, “Old Pap” to his men, wrote as frequently as he could to his family in Detroit of his successes, achievements and battles during that terrible period of strife. In this engaging collection of his correspondence he recounts the part he played in the battles both East and West at Second Bull Run, Antietam, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Atlanta and the Savannah campaign. A kind hearted man, he was deeply affected by the hardships suffered by the common soldiers under his command who he treated with great care and often sorrow at the awful casualties they suffered.
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“Superb war letters. . . . Old ‘Pap’ Williams possessed an unconscious literary flair that gives simple style and force to his letters. . . . Milo Quaife has added annotation that will enlighten the casual reader and satisfy the scholar.”—New York Times Book Review

“Civil War scholars are always grateful for a volume of letters written by a high-ranking officer who held important commands in pivotal engagements. . . . A superior collection. . . . Especially useful to students of the war are his keen, detailed accounts of Antietam, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg.”—American Historical Review
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