Praise for A Civil War Captain and His Lady
"In the Civil War literature, there's no shortage of published correspondence between Civil War soldiers and their sweethearts or wives, but the letters in A Civil War Captain and His Lady are more revealing than the typical collection making its way into print these days. The value of the book is enhanced significantly by editor Gene Barr's supporting research and writing, and those readers with a special interest in the 17th Illinois will be well rewarded."
- Civil War Books and Authors
"Impressively well researched, written, organized and presented."
- Midwest Book Review
"A delightful read on many levels."
- Emerging Civil War
"Barr has done an excellent job editing and transcribing these letters while maintaining the original content. Maps and photographs bring Josiah's and Jennie's world alive to today's readers."
- Civil War News
"Walt Whitman famously wrote that 'the real war will never get into the books,' but we can get close to the 'real war' by reading and learning from those who lived it. Gene Barr's engaging and revealing collection of letters from Lincoln country directly links the battlefield with the home front. In the letters the personal became the political, as the captain and his lady share their wants and worries about the war and their own lives with ever greater intimacy, poignancy, and even practicality. One of the beauties of this fine collection is that it provides the give-and-take of a developing courtship and understandings between a soldier ever more caught up in war's terrors and a loved one at home ever more unsure of war's human costs. The focus here is also on the war's Western Theater, which has been so much less studied and appreciated. The result is a book that brings the "real" war into view in ways readers will not forget."
– Randall M. Miller, professor of history, St. Joseph’s University and editor of Lincoln & Leadership
"In this rare and remarkable collection of letters readers come to know two young lovers brought together and then separated by the exigencies of war. From their values and social customs to their spirituality and politics that divided the nation, communities, and even families, these letters provide us with a more comprehensive view of the fabric of everyday life in Civil War America and the yearning of soldiers and civilians for the return to a normalcy they all knew would be different when the guns fell silent. Coupled with expert annotation and rich narrative that place the letters in context, this work makes for a unique, enlightening, and most delightful read."
– Terrence J. Winschel, Historian (ret.), Vicksburg National Military Park and author of Triumph & Defeat: The Vicksburg Campaign, volumes I and II
"Gene Barr has produced a fascinating new book grounded upon a unique (and large) collection of letters and several previously unpublished sources including Frank Peats' commentary on Fort Donelson and Senator Lindsay's notes on the Vicksburg Campaign. The plot line is interesting, the dialogue crisp, and we meet the real Captain Josiah Moore, his love Jennie, and many of the brave men of the 17th Illinois Infantry. It is an important slice of the war readers rarely catch a glimpse of, let alone understand."
– Scott Mingus, author (with Eric J. Wittenberg) of The Second Battle of Winchester
"Gene Barr has done students of the Civil War a great service in editing A Civil War Captain and His Lady. These letters reveal not only life at the front, but challenges at home for families of servicemen. This volume is a welcome addition to our understanding of the war as a whole."
– Wayne E. Motts, author (with James A. Hessler and Steven A. Stanley) of Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg