Tuesday, June 03, 2008

New---Surgeon In The Army of the Potomac

A Surgeon in the Army of the Potomac: Civil War America Through The Experience Of A Young Canadian Doctor, Francis M. Wafer, M.D., Cheryl A. Wells, ed., McGill-Queens University Press, 8 drawings, 2 maps, appendix, notes, bibliography, index, 225 pp., $29.95.

Lured across the border by promises of opportunity and adventure, Francis M. Wafer - a young student from Queen's Medical College in Kingston - joined the Union's army of the Potomac as an assistant surgeon. From the battle of the Wilderness to the closing campaigns, Wafer was both participant and chronicler of the American Civil War.

Cheryl Wells provides an edited and fully annotated collection of Wafer's diary entries during the war, his letters home, and the memoirs he wrote after returning to Canada. Wafer's writings are a fascinating and deeply personal account of the actions, duties, feelings, and perceptions of a noncombatant who experienced the thick of battle and its grave consequences.

The only substantial account by a Canadian Civil War soldier who returned to Canada, A Surgeon in the Army of the Potomac fills a critical gap in American Civil War historiography and will have broad appeal among scholars and enthusiasts. Cheryl A. Wells is associate professor, history, University of Wyoming, and the author of Civil War Time: Temporality and Identity in America, 1861-1865.

Table of Contents
Illustrations xi
Acknowledgments xiii
Civil War Timeline xv
Introduction xxiii
1 Joining the Army of the Potomac 3
2 The Spring Campaigns of 1863 16
3 The Gettysburg Campaign 30
4 After Gettysburg 59
5 Campaigns of 1864 91
6 Letters from Petersburg and Hatcher’s Run 122
Epilogue 137
Appendix 149
Dramatis Personae 159
Notes 177
Bibliography 197
Index 215

Review quotes
"The detail provided by Wafer in his travels and work is absolutely fascinating ... the flavour of melancholy, fear, and "gallows humour" among the troops in the camp, the sounds and spectacle of retreat, the terror of battle ..." Greg Marquis, University of New Brunswick, Saint John, Canada

Text Source: http://mqup.mcgill.ca/book.php?bookid=2225

CWL: Certainly worth an examination. I'll request it through inter-library loan and post a review in August.

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