A Swallow Press Book
“James Fritsch has written more than simply a regimental history of the 29th Ohio Infantry. Through his skill as a writer and researcher he breathes life into these young men from Ohio and we feel their hopes and joys, fear and suffering, through four years of war as if we were one of them. This is history at its best.”
D. Scott Hartwig, historian, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
“This book is an excellent reminder that the Civil War was an extraordinary national struggle but…was also an individual struggle for men in the ranks and those left at home.”
“The reader who buys this book will be rewarded with a wealth of information that sheds light not only on the experiences of the 29th Ohio but likely applies in many respects to Federal infantry units across the board. This up-close examination of a Civil War regiment is strongly recommended.”
Civil War News
“The detail (in The Untried Life) is fascinating. At times so plentiful the book feels like a real-time march, these particulars ultimately give the story its unexpectedly emotional resonance. A meticulous, human-scale history that lends new immediacy to events of 150 years ago, The Untried Life rewards the reader who sticks with it.”
The Plain Dealer
Told in unflinching detail, this is the story of the Twenty-Ninth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, also known as the Giddings Regiment or the Abolition Regiment, after its founder, radical abolitionist Congressman J. R. Giddings. The men who enlisted in the Twenty-Ninth OVI were, according to its lore, handpicked to ensure each was as pure in his antislavery beliefs as its founder. Whether these soldiers would fight harder than other soldiers, and whether the people of their hometowns would remain devoted to the ideals of the regiment, were questions that could only be tested by the experiment of war.
The Untried Life is the story of these men from their very first regimental formation in a county fairground to the devastation of Gettysburg and the march to Atlanta and back again, enduring disease and Confederate prisons. It brings to vivid life the comradeship and loneliness that pervaded their days on the march. Dozens of unforgettable characters emerge, animated by their own letters and diaries: Corporal Nathan Parmenter, whose modest upbringing belies the eloquence of his writings; Colonel Lewis Buckley, one of the Twenty-Ninth’s most charismatic officers; and Chaplain Lyman Ames, whose care of the sick and wounded challenged his spiritual beliefs.
The Untried Life shows how the common soldier lived—his entertainments, methods of cooking, medical treatment, and struggle to maintain family connections—and separates the facts from the mythology created in the decades after the war.
James T. Fritsch devoted fifteen years to researching the story of the Twenty-Ninth Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He lives in Scottsdale, Arizona. More info →
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William McKnight was a member of the Seventh Ohio Volunteer Cavalry from September 1862 until his death in June of 1864. During his time of service, McKnight penned dozens of emotion-filled letters, primarily to his wife, Samaria, revealing the struggles of an entire family both before and during the war.This
A unique collection of more than 150 letters written to an Ohio serviceman during the American Civil War offers glimpses of women’s lives as they waited, worked, and wrote from the Ohio home front.
In 1860, Ohio was among the most influential states in the nation. As the third-most-populous state and the largest in the middle west, it embraced those elements that were in concert-but also at odds-in American society during the Civil War era. Ohio’s War uses documents from that vibrant and tumultuous time to reveal how Ohio’s soldiers and civilians experienced the Civil War.
When his captain was killed during the Battle of Perryville, John Calvin Hartzell was made commander of Company H, 105th Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He led his men during the Battle of Chickamauga, the siege of Chattanooga, and the Battle of Missionary Ridge.
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