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EXTRACTS FROM THE PRESS:
There is not an old soldier in the country who will not find this one of the most companionable and delightful of books. The narrative is nowhere wearisome, every page being vivid with exciting incidents and deeds of daring and heroism. A brilliant career is certainly open to this newest of the stories of the war.
The soldier and the citizen alike turn to the battles as concentrating the issues and the glories. This story of the great combats and the lesser skirmishes is told in simple, direct, and intelligent terms, with sufficient detail to bring out the points of interest, but not so minute as to be wearisome, or blur the leading features.
In “Battles for the Union,” Captain Willard Glazier has added to the reputation he has already won as an entertaining writer on subjects connected with the rebellion. The present volume, devoting especial space to each battle of the trying times of the civil war, will be found especially interesting to those who were participants in these battles, or who were friends of these participants.
Captain Glazier of “Prison Pen” fame, the author of “Three Years in the Federal Cavalry,” has in his new book, “Battles for the Union,” in concise, simple, and yet interesting style, told the story of the struggles, suffering, successes, and reverses of the Union armies during the rebellion. The book will constitute a most valuable addition to the literature of the times, and will be read with interest by all.
Captain Glazier has attained immense popularity in the field of war literature. His “Capture, Prison Pen, and Escape” has sold to the extent of more than 400,000 copies, while his “Three Years in the Federal Cavalry” is still in brisk demand, with 160,000 copies already from the press. His new work—“Battles for the Union”—is profusely illustrated, and will be assured of a sale flilly as large as any of his books have attained.
The writer of this work will be remembered as one of the most promising students in the State Normal School in this city, at the outbreak of the rebellion. He immediately left school, enlisted for the war, and fought bravely for his imperiled country during the struggle. He is a graphic narrator, recounting the stirring scenes with the vigor and freshness of intense sympathy, aided by freedom and vivacity of expression. A more desirable history of the nation’s battles has not been published—indeed, none of the narratives include them all in so compact, convenient, readable, and reasonable a form.
Captain Glazier wields a graphic pen. His descriptions are vivid. In the statement of facts he is painstaking, and conscientious. Forty-four battles are described. It constitutes a very readable history of the war. The writer has the vivacity which is so essential in the composition of such a book as this. One is often thrilled as the panorama of war passes before the mind.
This book is like a kaleidoscope, with the prominent battles for the Union constituting its shifting scenes. You have only to turn the wheel and Antie-tam’s field is again red with patriot blood, or the rivulet of Bull Run swells to a crimson river. The object of painting a battle scene with pen and ink is to make it like a picture, and that object has been accomplished in this work. Sheridan’s steed, “as black as the steeds of night,” again dashes against the retreating wave at Cedar Creek and hurls it back to victory, and Kilpatrick, Custer, and Bayard renew the brilliant actions which covered their names with glory. The style of the book is lucid, and the narrative full of interest to the end. If the remarkable sale of the “Prison-Pen” establishes a precedent in this young author’s experience of book-making, we predict for “Battles for the Union” an unparalleled success.
The Soldier-Author wields the pen with surpassing facility, and his descriptions, abounding in life and interest, are not extended or tedious, but give just about what one wants to know of those terribly grand scenes. To those who fought for the Union, whether they were immediately connected with any of the scenes described in the book or not, there must be a peculiar Interest; for the incidents of those bloody contests are fast fading from the memory of most of us who lived in their midst. And were it not for such works as this of Willard Glazier to revivificate our memory of them, they would soon be gone from us for ever. The work is not a ponderous history, heavy with details of minor events, but full of the momentous incidents of a struggle, the memory of which our brave soldiers love to dwell upon.
An attractive volume entitled “Battles for the Union” has just been issued from the pen of the soldier author, Captain Willard Glazier, whose “Three Years in the Federal Cavalry” met with such a favorable reception a short time ago. Captain Glazier’s latest work is decidedly his best. It tells the story of the Nation’s struggle in a graphic, thrilling style that makes the heart throb and the blood tingle, as though the scenes which he depicts were passing before the eye of the reader. The author aims more at a vigorous than a polished style, and infuses into every battle-scene which he depicts his own soldier spirit. The work treats essentially, as its name indicates, of the battles for the Union, the author being evidently at his best in describing a bristling cavalry charge, or telling of the fiery, furious rain of bomb-shells. Notwithstanding its vigorous warlike character, there is a thread of romance running throughout the work that elevates it above the coarse level of scenes of carnage, as depicted by some writers, and wins the attention of the reader from, the opening to the closing chapter.
Captain Glazier’s works are growing more and more popular every day. Their delineations of military life, constantly varying scenes, and deeply interesting stories combine to place their writer in the front rank of American authors.
St. Catharines (Ontario) News.
Several works have already been published having reference to the history of the war, but they are unlike the present publication in many respects, and the citizen as well as soldier have decided in favor of “Battles for the Union.”
The book will be found not only entertaining in the highest degree, but very instructive, especially in this day of discussion and criticism of some of the Nation’s great actors in her terrible but glorious drama of carnage. No work on the rebellion has yet been written that affords so much valuable information in so few pages, and certainly none of deeper interest.
Willard Glazier was himself a soldier, and held the rank of captain in the great army of the Union, was captured by the enemy at New Baltimore, Va., in the autumn of 1863, and evidently knows whereof he writes. His style is clear and forcible, his descriptions vivid and picturesque, and altogether the book is one which will interest all classes of readers.
We referred a day or two since to “Battles for the Union,” but not to that extent which its merits demanded. An intimate acquaintance with its pages develops a merit and fund of genuine information relative to the more stirring scenes of the late war not discovered by a casual look. As its name indicates, the book has to do with the battles of the war. The task evidently was undertaken conscientiously; it is certainly carried through faithfully and entertainingly. From Sumter to the surrender, its pages are bright, sparkling, and full of the deepest interest. Much is told about the war that cannot be found elsewhere. The writer has the tact to deal with the little details of the conflict, which in the aggregate made up the glorious results. The author, Willard Glazier, was a good soldier; he moreover wields a graceful pen.
South Bend Tribune.
Dear as are the details of camp life and marching to the veteran, he is often surprised to mark how their little incidents pale when compared with the interest which invests the battles in which he fought, perhaps bled, for the sacred cause of freedom. However interesting soldier life may have been at the time, after the lapse of years it appears but a dull routine, a dark background, against which the encounters stand out in bold colors, presenting a grand record of the soldier’s services and sacrifices. And not the soldier alone feels this; his friends and descendants share this interest in the battles of the great war. It therefore becomes necessary that a well written account of the principal struggles be in every household. We have never seen a book that so completely supplies this universal need as Captain Glazier’s “Battles for the Union.”
Detroit Free Press.
This is pre-eminently a popular history of the war, or, in other words, a history which presents the more important phases of the rebellion to the reader in a way that saves him the trouble of winnowing the wheat from the chaff. It consists virtually of a series of pictures,—each picture representing one well-defined battle. In forty-four chapters we have an account of nearly every battle of the war, written in a graphic style and liberally sprinkled with exciting anecdote, and illustrated by numerous engravings.
The graphic story which Captain Glazier told of his own personal experience in “Capture, Prison-Pen, and Escape” undoubtedly secured for him a large circle of readers, who will cheerfully take “on trust” whatever he may write, and accept his “Battles for the Union” as a valuable addition to the history of the late rebellion. It is written in an attractive style, and contains an interesting and vivid description of some of the stubbornly contested battles of the war, besides a great many entertaining incidents and reminiscences of the camp, the march, and the skirmish line. The descriptions of Winchester, Chickamauga, and Cedar Creek will be found peculiarly thrilling.
Willard Glazier was among the first who, at the commencement of the war for the Union, enlisted from Troy. He bore himself with true gallantry, and was captured in the engagement at New Baltimore, in the autumn of 1863. He regained in Libby for several months. After his escape he was promoted to a captaincy, and served till the war ended. Of late years he has published several works of army experiences, which are written with vividness and with a dramatic power worthy of the best writers. He has just completed a new work, which will probably have a larger sale than any of its predecessors. It is entitled “Battles for the Union,” and gives in vigorous language and graphic an account of every engagement from Fort Sumter to and including the surrender of the last rebel army. The personal part which the author bore in many of the battles, and his facilities for observation and retentive powers, enabled him to make the work reliable and interesting.
The voice of war is still; no more across our streets hang flaunting banners; the march of armed troops that spoke of death and woke the slumbers of the night is heard no more, save in the holiday pomp of untried youth or the yearly muster of a veteran soldiery. Now smile the fields where armies bled and evening drums were wont to beat their last tattoo to dying ears. The fight is done, and away in the far horizon the glorious days are waxing dim. Even now it is the bearded men who speak of Gettysburg, and children clasp the knees that marched to Chancellorsville. Year after year our soldiers meet to talk of glory, and year by year their ranks grow thinner, older, grayer; and by and by, when the hand of Time has imperceptibly brought the inevitable shadow of forgetfulness, a few old men will answer to their names, and the deeds of the heroes who fought for the Union will sleep with-those of their brothers who fell at Bunker Hill. In the busy world men have little time to fight their battles o’er again. Life is earnest; living, an ever present and stem reality. Histories of the war and the various battles are generally either too long or beyond the reach of the average reader. We therefore accept the admirably condensed little work of the gallant soldier whose portrait adorns this volume,—a handsome portrait it is, too,—with pride and pleasure. It is such a history as every soldier and every man who has a pride in his country should wish to possess. Captain Glazier was no carpet knight. He shared the glories of the Harris Light Cavalry in camp and field, earning his promotion from the non-oommissioned ranks to the command for which he was so admirably fitted. There is the scent of powder in what he writes, the vivid reality of sight and understanding. We are particularly charmed with his etyle, which is plain, blunt, direct, and free from strain or affectation. He describes the fights as they were fought; individual deeds of bravery as they were performed; the march and its trials; the defeat and its causes; the victory and its effects. With the ardor of a young patriot, and the generous admiration of a good soldier, he feels as great a pride in the successes of a rival corps as in his own. Nor is this an unworthy feature of his work, because the army was full of little, and sometimes not particularly friendly, rivalries—corps of corps, brigade of brigade, regiment of regiment, man of man. Cavalry men have a traditional contempt for infantry men; and although our cavalry, through the very nature of the battle grounds, were scarcely permitted the honor of that constant meeting with the enemy which fell to the lot of the infantry, they were not at all times willing to admit that any difference existed as regards the record of killed and wounded, or the greater frequency of exposure to danger. Willard Glazier’s letters, in which every battle may be regarded as a separate picture, are quite as good as the boasted descriptions by the London Times and Daily News correspondents of the Prussian war. They read like a grand panoramic picture of gallant deeds and warlike pageantries. If the author occasionally covers up a clear defeat, excusing it with graceful art; if he feels disposed to overestimate a slight advantage, and to claim a victory where the battle was evidently drawn, he errs upon the side of love for the boys in blue and pride in the flag under which he fought. The work is divided into forty-four chapters, each containing a different battle, commencing with Fort Sumter and ending with the surrender. We confidently recommend these graphic and life-like pictures to the notice of our readers. They are thrilling as the sound of the trumpet, and soul-inspiring as the songs of Ossian.
The great charm which this book possesses, in all probability, arises out of the author’s keen appreciation and understanding of human nature. He realizes that after the lapse of the years which have intervened between the war of the rebellion and the present time, the true soldier considers quiet camp life, and the monotonous march of but little importance in comparison to his cervices upon the battle field, and consequently, eagerly turns to any recount of struggles and victories on the field of carnage in which he participated. Humorous, spicy, and even pathetic incidents of the camp and march are always interesting, calling forth laughter and tears by turns, whiling away many an hour, recalling the old times and old comrades, and lingering on in the memories of old soldiers to the end of their lives. But what are they in comparison to the incidents of the battle-field? Camp life fades from the recollection of the warrior at the remembrance of the hour when he stood among sheets of flame, shattered forests, crashing shells, bristling bayonets, and thundering artillery, dead to fear, and fighting like a demon to stem the tide of battle. Our soldier-author know s this, and although his work comprises many very entertaining incidents and reminiscences of the camp, the march, and the skirmish line, and embraces a glowing record of the privations, heroic deeds, and glorious triumphs of the soldiers of the Republic, still it is in reality a description of many of the most stubbornly contested battles in the war of the great rebellion. Willard Glazier’s power as a descriptive writer is well known from his previous works, which met with a universal welcome, and yet that he had much literary strength in reserve is apparent in his last publication, “Battles for the Union.” In it his delineations of scenes of strife bespeak an enthusiasm and an ability for portrayal almost incomprehensible. Indeed, so vivid, so thrilling, so heartfelt are his descriptions that the reader is brought into the conflict, and cheers with the triumphant or bows with the vanquished. Not only into every battle scene which he depicts does the writer infuse his own soldier spirit, but into the hearts of all who are so fortunate as to peruse his work. In every conflict described, one sees the two great armies facing each other in their strength, and ready for one fierce convulsive contest; one hears the deafening shouts as they sweep down upon each other, and the tremendous salute from the terrific artillery which causes the earth to shake and the waters to tremble, and the hissing and crashing of the fiery, murderous shells; one can see the thousands of men surging and seething and falling beneath the rain of bullets, one can hear the maddening yell of triumph of the victorious army when the enemy breaks and flies with demoniac curses and cries. The portrayal too of the first night after a battle is also very vigorous and fine. Very feelingly depicted are the men in their death struggles begging for a cup of water; shivering under the knife of the surgeon as he amputates their mangled limbs; or praying, perhaps, that they may see their native hills once more. An unusually exciting and interesting account is that of the naval conflict between the Merrimac and Monitor. In “Battles for the Union” every man who participated in the rebellion can live over again the days of his soldier life; can fight side by side with his old comrades; can charge again at the command of his old commander. And here it may be Btated that the way in which the old familiar names ring out throughout the book is truly inspiring. Without doubt the work will be warmly greeted by one and all, but more especially will it be welcomed by the thousands of isolated farm-houses scattered all over the land, from whence went out a son to fight for his country. It will make delightful reading for the long winter evenings so soon to be here. Moreover, it is a book that will not grow old. It will not change like the majority of books, with the fashion. Its subject is one that cannot be encroached upon.
Our Fireside Friend,.Chicago.
The tempest of civil war is now long past. The tumult of the tented field is already almost forgotten, and the bitterness of sectional feeling which caused the open strife between the two divisions of our country, and which excited passions kept alive long after the clamor of actual war had ceased, is now rapidly dying away. The fearful time of bloodshed, of wounds and death, of desolated homes, of heartbroken mothers and wives, is now in the minds of men only a painful dream, but dimly remembered; on the pages of books and newspapers it is but a chapter of history. Now, the literature called out by the war, which, a few years ago, awakened such intense sectional and party enthusiasm, is interesting only as history, is criticised as history, and valued only as it contributes to the tale of the life of a nation, a life full of blunders, of errors may be, but tending ever outward and upward from them. The book before us is, we think, a worthy contribution to this history. Its scope as given on its title-page is the “Description of many of the most stubbornly contested battles in the late war, together with incidents and reminiscences of the camp, the march, and the skirmish line, embracing also a record of the privations, heroic deeds, and glorious triumphs of the soldiers of the Republic.” This scope is a wide one, and if it be somewhat imperfectly filled out, this is really no more than might have been expected of the attempt to compass so much in a volume of 407 pages. But the purpose of the volume is a praiseworthy one, and this is, even in the limited space alloted it, very fairly carried out. In the history of any war the great battles stand forth as important and salient points. On their issue the story of the war and the history of all the nations involved will turn. The fault of most war histories is that they are two voluminous, and dwell too much upon incidental details of camp and march, or upon matters of strategy that really lie outside of the tale of actual strife. The author of this book has therefore taken forty-four of what have seemed to him the most important of the conflicts in the late war, and by giving full and accurate details of their strategic plan, and the success of its working, has endeavored, and with good success we think, to make a book which shall have a peculiar value as a book of reference with regard to these battles. This task has been accomplished, too, with most commendable skill in the working. The style in which it is written is excellent, being clear and graphic. The author, himself a soldier, writes of the exciting contests and the perils of the brave men who took part in them, with the ardor of a genuine participant. The scenes of the bloody field are each so vividly described, that we seem in reading to see the whole contest of the four years of strife as in a panorama, and there is not a chapter which is not intensely interesting from its opening to its close. The matter we also judge to be thoroughly accurate and reliable, being fully in harmony with the best authorities that have written about the war. There is much matter that has the air of newness to us, in the line of incident. This we are disposed to accept as also accurate upon the worthy reputation of the author, and feel inclined, because of the pleasure its perusal has given us, to recommend the book very warmly to others.
The author of this volume wore the blue uniform during the late war of the rebellion, and had an experience both on the battle-field and as a prisoner in the hands of the enemy. Since the restoration of peace, he has occupied himself with the relation, in a series of volumes, of the history of the war in its various phases. This latest of his books contains a description of some forty-four of the sternest battles fought for the integrity of the Union.
New York Tribune.
Willard Glazier is an easy and graceful writer, and holds the attention of the reader throughout the entire work, depicting scenes on the battle-field with such earnestness and force as to lead one in imagination into the midst of the fiercest conflicts, where such deeds of patriotism and bravery were enacted as to thrill the very soul.
Wilkes Barre Record of the Times.
Captain Glazier’s preceding works have gained him a wide fame, and in the present volume he has certainly lost none of the vigor, strength, and power which characterizes his former writings. His style is easy and natural, and yet thrilling and graphic in the extreme. As he writes he witnesses again the scenes through which he passed during the rebellion, and his facile pen at once, and with peculiar fidelity, transfers the mental picture to the page before him. It is a wonderful power, and one which few men possess, to be able to carry with them through life the scenes of former years, and reproduce them at will for the pleasure of their readers. Captain Glazier demonstrates this fine gift with admirable force, and the fascinating pages before us are a moving, breathing panorama of the battles for the Union.
It is meet that every loyal citizen should preserve green in his memory the battles by which our place among the nations was maintained, and we know of no work more admirably adapted for this, or more deeply interesting in its contents, than “Battles for the Union.” It contains lively and graphic sketches of all the great battles of the late civil conflict, and in this respect fills a place in American history occupied by Professor Creasy’s “Fifteen Battles of the World,” in general history, fn addition to this is other most interesting matter, incidents and reminiscences of the camp, march, and skirmish line, and a very full record of the privations, heroic deeds, and glorious triumphs of the soldiers of the Republic. It is fully illustrated, handsomely bound, and is, all in all, a volume that would be read with the deepest interest in every household throughout the Union.
Often as the story of the battles in defense of the Union may be told it will never grow stale and tiresome so long as those who took part in the struggle, or the relatives of those who fought and died in it, still survive. Even when these have passed away the tale will not grow old, for the next generation will be interested in the details of a contest that has no parallel in modem times. Such books as Captain Glazier’s “Battles for the Union,” therefore, will be eagerly sought after, for there can be read the story of the great contest in its heroic features, apart from the less attractive, though perhaps not less important, account of the political and cabinet movements that influenced to a great extent the movements in the field. “Battles for the Union” gives in its forty-four chapters graphic descriptions of as many separate actions, beginning with the bombardment of Fort Sumter and ending with the surrender at Appomattox Court-House, and the emtry into Richmond. The story of each battle is so clearly and succinctly told as to attract the attention of the reader and impress the incidents on his memory.
This is a soldier’s account of battles in which the author participated, and will be found of special interest to all survivors of those memorable conflicts. Captain Glazier’s descriptive power is very graphic, and his works are growing more and more popular every day. Their delineation of military life, constantly varying scenes, and deeply interesting incidents, have given the Soldier-Author a front rank among those who have undertaken to describe the great conflict.
Captain Glazier has given his attention, in forty-four chapters, to that number of the. most important and exciting conflicts of the war, including many that are memorable, and will always remain so, for their magnitude,—Antietam, Chickamauga, Malvern Hill, Gettysburg, Vicksburg, etc., and others that are notable for some of the accompanying circumstances, such as Olustee, where the colored boys poured out their blood; Bull Run, whose disasters gave an awakening shock to the nation; Big Bethel, Ball’s Bluff, Wilson’s Creek, and Chantilly, on whose sad fields successively fell the brilliant Winthrop, the heroic Baker, the intrepid Lyon, and the chivalrous Kearney. The encounter between the Merrimac and Monitor forms an exciting chapter, as the recital of that historic event must always do, and in general, the descriptions throughout the volume are spirited and interesting.
A history of early struggle when it is crowned with success, is always one of the most interesting chapters in human experience. The life of Willard Glazier, the soldier-author, illustrates this sentiment. It is a record of difficulties surmounted, of obstacles overcome, of early struggle and present success. He is now extensively known to the country as a writer of war-books, and “Battles for the Union” is one of the series. He began life as a boy-trapper along the banks of the wild Oswegatchie river in St. Lawrence County. In this way he obtained his first money, and was enabled to pay his tuition at a select school. An education so hardly earned was put to good use, and he was afterwards a popular school-master at Schodack Center and Scott’s Corners, in Rensselaer county. He attended the State Normal School in Albany, and one day ran away from school to look at the body of the dead Ellsworth lying in state at the capitol. His patriotism was not of the boisterous kind, but it flowed still and deep and was none the less true. He enlisted from Troy, under Colonel Clarence Buell in the “Harris Light Cavalry,” and served three years when he was taken prisoner. Then follows a sickening history of southern prison life, interspersed with such brutalities as befitted a Turner within the walls of Libby. The story of his escape is thrilling in the extreme, and partakes largely of the dramatic. He reached the Union lines at last more dead than alive, after twenty-eight nights of weary travel through the cypress swamps of South Carolina and Georgia.
Albany Evening Journal.
As Captain Glazier began his literary career in Albany, a glance at some of the stirring incidents of his varied life cannot be otherwise than of general interest. He seems to have been forced by stress of circumstances from boyhood up, to push against the tide. When about fourteen years old, in order to obtain means to pay his way at school, he became a trapper along the wikls of the Oswegatchie in St. Lawrence County—the net proceeds of his labor bringing him enough to accomplish his purpose. Later, he managed to secure sufficient means by teaching to carry him through a term of the Normal School here in Albany. In partnership with another boy—both very poor—he emulated the example of Ben. Franklin by boarding himself in the most frugal manner. He was a member of the Normal School at the breaking out of the rebellion, and, as with thousands of others, the war changed the whole course of his life. He belonged to the company of Ellsworth Avengers organized here, and in August, 1861, left school and enlisted with Col. Clarence Buell at Troy, as a member of the Harris Light Cavalry. His term of service lasted until 1863, when he was taken prisoner, and for over a year suffered the untold horrors of Southern Prison life. His escape was well-nigh miraculous. For twenty-eight days he traveled with bleeding feet through the woods and broken country by night, sleeping in some negro hut or place of concealment during the day. He succeeded at last in reaching our lines, and it was such a day as he never forgot. He afterwards embodied his experiences in the “Prison-Pen,” the first edition of which was published by Joel Munsell, of this city. Here, also, he received the name of the “Soldier-Author,” which has clung to him through all his literary experience. The “Prison-Pen” had the almost unprecedented sale of 400,000 copies, and “Three Years in the Federal Cavalry” was its immediate successor. We understand he has accumulated a good sized fortune in the sale of his various works, and assuredly such untiring industry and perseverance deserves to be crowned with the most bountiful success.