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Testament: A Soldier's Story of the Civil War
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Testament: A Soldier's Story of the Civil War

3.42  ·  Rating Details ·  62 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
The story of the author's great-grandfather's Civil War experience, based on a remarkable set of newly discoverd letters—a powerful, moving addition to the firsthand soldiers' accounts of the Civil War.

Dear Mother,
I was very glad to hear from home this morning. It is the first time since I left Otterville. We marched from Sedalia 120 miles....I almost feel anxious to be i
Paperback, 277 pages
Published August 2nd 2004 by Simon & Schuster (first published November 1st 2003)
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Paul Haspel
Jul 25, 2011 Paul Haspel rated it really liked it
Benson Bobrick's Testament does a very good job of foregrounding the ordinary combat soldier's experience of the Civil War. Bobrick achieves this goal by centering his narrative around the Civil War letters of Benjamin W. "Webb" Baker of the 25th Illinois Infantry. Baker, whose letters appear as an appendix at the conclusion of the book, wrote letters home that cover the period from August 1861 to June 1864 -- or, in other words, from very near the beginning to reasonably near the end of the Civ ...more
James (JD) Dittes
Nov 20, 2015 James (JD) Dittes rated it really liked it
Shelves: tennessee, 2015
I bought the book because I knew it featured a Union soldier's service in Tennessee, my home state. I wasn't disappointed.

Webb Baker's story doesn't begin with the attack on Fort Sumter. It actually begins with his being a witness to one of the Lincoln-Douglas debates in 1858. His home county in central Illinois was a battleground between the pro-Lincoln north of the state and the pro-Douglas south. He signs up for the army immediately, a Lincoln-man first--only later will his opinions on slaver
Robert Bentley
Jul 18, 2013 Robert Bentley rated it it was amazing
This book is written by my second cousin about our Great Grandfather who fought for Illinois in the Civil War. Bobrick masterfully intertwines Webb's was letters to tell the story of the War from the perspective of an infantry soldier who fight in many important battles while sustaining injuries throughout.
Jun 24, 2013 Lee rated it really liked it
The author used letters sent home during the Civil War by a young Union soldier from Southern Illinois and mixed them with the young man's infantry unit's history. It made a for a great read of history in the Civil War West and I felt the style really made the history come alive. Definitely a good read.
Mar 07, 2008 Ellis rated it really liked it
This book had a very brief, but good, history of proceedings in the US before and at the end of the Civil War, but the bulk of the book was made up of the letters from one Union soldier to his mother. It was really interesting to get such a personal view of the war.
Jan 20, 2009 Connie rated it liked it
Bobrick is a fine writer and did a great job of combining his great-grandfather's letters from the war with his own narrative. Webb Baker was a fine, patriotic and tough soldier, the kind that sacrificed and served unselfishly and for whom we should be ever grateful.
Russell L
A short book with a personal account of the Civil War by a soldier from Illinois.
Nicole Sunderlin
Jan 13, 2013 Nicole Sunderlin rated it liked it
The parts that the Soldier wrote are good, I dislike the prose of the "author".
Mar 11, 2010 Andrei rated it liked it
Fascinating to read actual 'letters home' during this period of American struggle. Get a clear picture on one man's views on what America was fighting for.
Theo Logos
Webb Baker's letters provide a "man in the ranks" view of some of the Union's western armies, and Bobrick provides a thumbnail sketch of the war to put the letters in context.
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Benson Bobrick earned his doctorate from Columbia University and is the author of several critically acclaimed works. In 2002, he received the Literature Award of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. He and his wife, Hilary, live in Vermont.
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