A Thousand May Fall: Life, Death, and Survival in the Union Army

Brian Matthew Jordan. Liveright, $28.95 (320p) ISBN 978-1-63149-514-4
Historian Jordan (Marching Home) delivers a captivating chronicle of the 107th Ohio Volunteer Infantry during and after the Civil War. Composed mainly of German immigrants living in Ohio, the 107th was the target of Stonewall Jackson’s furious attack at the Battle of Chancellorsville in May 1863. Two months later, the 107th was “thrashed” at the Battle of Gettysburg. For these two disastrous encounters, the regiment was vilified by the northern press. Jordan portrays Ohio as a hotbed of antiwar sentiment; details how one private in the 107th won the Medal of Honor; and recounts the lengths veterans went to in order to secure pensions and medical benefits for themselves and their loved ones. Annual reunions brought emotional relief to the 107th’s survivors, Jordan writes, and produced two regimental histories that served to fend off criticism of the Union Army’s ethnically German soldiers in the years after the war. Jordan profiles his characters with precision, revealing the deep emotional and physical scars they carried back from the conflict. This meticulous and engrossing history brings the Civil War to vivid life. (Jan.)
Reviewed on : 11/03/2020
Release date: 01/26/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
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