Wednesday, July 28, 2010

New---155th Pennsylvania Lieutenant's Letters Home

Letters From The Storm: The Intimate Civil War Letters of Lt. J.A.H. Foster, 155th Pennsylvania Volunteers, Linda Foster Arden, edited by Dr. Walter L. Powell, Mechling Books,365 pages commentary, illustrations, photographs, index, paperback,$29.95

Arden offers 101 letters written by Lieutenant Foster, Company K, 155th Pennsylvania to Mary Jane Foster, his wife; the documents are separated by Arden's comments regarding the events and situations described in the letters. Complaints regarding campaigns and camp life with descriptions of individual soldiers and unit combat are a focus of the letters. Additionally Lieutenant Foster addresses his loneliness, intimate fantasies and apprehensions about his spouses faithfullness.

The campaigns and combat of Antietam, Fredericksburg, Kelly's Ford, Brandy Station, Gettysburg, Bristoe Station, the Wilderness and Cold Harbor are described. Pontoon bridges new corps flags are described and drawn. Colorful language regarding personalities and events is not absent from the letters.

The 155th Pennsylvania Volunteers' Company K was formed in Kittanning in 1862, from recruits in Armstrong and surrounding counties. The 155th Pennsylvania Volunteers during their first years the regiment wore the regulation uniform of the Union Army. In 1863 they, along with the 140th New York, received Zouave uniforms. Unlike the 140th New York, the 155th Pennsylvania received a Zouave uniform never before created. Their uniform consisted of a dark blue Zouave jacket with not red but yellow trimming, a dark blue Zouave vest with yellow trimming, a red Zouave sash with a yellow trimming, dark blue Zouave pantaloons, and a red Zouave fez with a yellow trimming and a blue tazzle. The 155th Pennsylvania along with the 140th New York, and the 146th New York became the "Zouave Brigade" in the Army of the Potomac.

Mechling Books has also published The 155th PA Volunteer Zouaves, Co. K.'s history.

Text Source: Mechling Books and Wikipedia

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