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All for the Union: The Civil War Diary & Letters of Elisha Hunt Rhodes
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All for the Union: The Civil War Diary & Letters of Elisha Hunt Rhodes

4.1 of 5 stars 4.10  ·  rating details  ·  387 ratings  ·  16 reviews
All for the Union is the eloquent and moving diary of Elisha Hunt Rhodes, who enlisted into the Union Army as a private in 1861 and left it four years later as a 23-year-old lieutenant colonel after fighting hard and honorably in battles from Bull Run to Appomattox. Anyone who heard these diaries excerpted on the PBS-TV series The Civil War will recognize his accounts of t ...more
Paperback, 270 pages
Published July 28th 1992 by Vintage (first published March 13th 1991)
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Elisha Hunt Rhodes is an interesting character. He was pretty much everywhere in the eastern part of the war. Bull Run, Antietam (though he only saw it, did not fight), Gettysburg, Petersburg, the Shenandoah campaign, the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Seven Pines, Appomattox Court House. And while he started as a private, he ended the war commanding his regiment as a full Colonel. At 23 years old.

This is an engaging book, edited originally by Rhodes himself. You learn a good deal about daily army li
Victor Davis
Rhodes is a charming model citizen and soldier. He captures the war experience better than some literary figures with his modesty, faith, and writing ability. I can see why he featured so highly in PBS' narrative research, and why this diary has become so important in the Civil War annals. One thing I didn't get out of this book, that I was hoping to, was some exposition about the cause of the north. Rhodes uses phrases like "it is all for the Union" and "a belief that our cause will prevail" wi ...more
Steven Peterson
We have works on the Civil War written by generals (e.g., the memoirs of Ulysses Grant and James Longstreet) and other officers (E. P. Alexander, Moxley Sorrell). However, equally valuable is the view from the bottom, by the foot soldiers. From the Confederate side, the paradigm example is Sam Watkins, "Company Aytch". From the Union side, Elisha Hunt Rhodes fills the bill. He rose through the ranks, and his diaries and letters provide a first-hand, ground-level view of the war in the east. As t ...more
Joyce Lagow
Hunt, born in Pawtuxet, Rhode Island, enlisted as a 19 year old private in June, 1861. He served for four years in the 2nd Rhode Island Volunteers, finishing the war as lieutenant colonel, commanding the regiment. The book is a collection of his diary and letters, combined into one easily readable volume. It's notable mainly for views of the every day soldier in the Civil War--on saving the Union, freeing the slaves, the secession, and religious expression (and its lack) in his regiment and amon ...more
Shellys♥ Journal
Civil War Diary: "All for the Union" by Elisha Hunt Rhodes This book is the diary of Elisha Hunt Rhodes of the 2nd Rhode Island Volunteers which served during the Civil War. Rhodes keep a diary of his activities and movements and also shares some letters which he sent. The book gives the idea of life in the Union Army. Rhodes moves up through the ranks to Colonel in his time and serves from Bull Run to Appomattox court house.I read this book to my boys as a "read aloud" to accompany our studies ...more
Chris Wolfington
This book is not a regular memoir, but a journal; it contains the dated entries of Elisha Hunt Rhodes, who served in the Army of the Potomac during the Civil War.

The journal format has its strengths and weaknesses; it can get dry at times, but the major events of the book shine with the vigor of fresh experience and memory. It's also interesting how Rhodes was promoted throughout the war, so we seem him go from fighting in the ranks, to eventually commanding a regiment of infantry.
Willa Grant
Nov 26, 2008 Willa Grant rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: civil war history buffs
If you watched the Civil War series on PBS you heard quite a few quotes from Elisha Hunt Rhodes & they sounded good but if you read his diary he seems like a priggish, pain in the ass prude. It is a good history lesson,but I found the author to be completely unsympathetic & uninteresting.
Good diary of one young man's war experience, written from the perspective on a soldier who rose through the ranks and participated in many of the major battles including Gettsyburg. It gives more perspective on the mundane day to day activities of the soldiers.
Good first person account of serving for Rhode Island. The author's writings were featured in Mr. Burn's documentary. I wish there were more details but eh, if I were trying to survive from 1861-5 I might be a little terse as well.
Great civil war account. If you watched Ken Burns series, this was extensively quoted.
Chris Pahud
Will be reading for upcoming course on the Civil War
One of the best Journals from the war.
Civil War diary of a soldier from RI.
Classic and insightful
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