Well happy with My Position bargains a first-person account of military existence throughout the Civil War’s Peninsula crusade and conflict of Fredericksburg. Spencer Bonsall, who joined the 81st Pennsylvania Infantry as a health facility steward, stored a magazine from March 1862 till March 1863, whilst he all at once ceased writing. Editors Michael A. Flannery and Katherine H. Oomens position his reports within the context of the sphere of Civil warfare drugs and proceed his tale in an epilogue.
educated as a druggist while he used to be in his early twenties, Bonsall traveled the area, spent 8 years on a tea plantation in India, and settled in Philadelphia, the place he labored within the urban surveyor’s workplace. yet in March 1862, whilst he used to be in his mid-forties, the trap of serving his nation at the battlefield led Bonsall to affix the 81st Pennsylvania Infantry as a sanatorium steward.
Bonsall loved his existence with the Union military firstly, evaluating bivouacking within the woods to in simple terms picnicking on a grand scale. “We are approximately as jolly a collection of outdated bachelors as are available in Virginia,” Bonsall wrote. yet his first style of the aftermath of conflict at reasonable Oaks and the Seven Days’ Battles in Virginia replaced his brain in regards to the joys of soldiering—though he by no means misplaced his zeal for the Union cause.
Bonsall information the camp lifetime of a soldier from firsthand adventure, outlines the engagements of the 81st, and strains the conflict of Fredericksburg and the Peninsula crusade. He files evidence no longer to be had somewhere else approximately camp stipulations, attitudes towards Union generals and accomplice squaddies, and troop movements.
From the tip of June to past due October 1862, Bonsall’s disease stored him from writing in his magazine. He picked up the list back in December 1862, ahead of the conflict of Fredericksburg, Virginia, during which the Union suffered a amazing 10,200 casualties and the 81st Pennsylvania misplaced greater than part its males. He vividly describes the bloody aftermath. Bonsall’s horse was once shot out from beneath him on the conflict of Gettysburg, injuring him heavily and finishing his army occupation. even though he used to be indexed as “sick in medical institution” at the regiment’s muster rolls, he used to be classified a deserter within the U.S. military files. certainly, after restoration from his accidents, Bonsall walked clear of the military to renew existence in Philadelphia together with his spouse and child.
Published for the 1st time, Bonsall’s magazine deals an surprisingly own glimpse into the situations and causes of a guy bodily ruined via the conflict. Seventeen illustrations, together with a few drawn through Bonsall himself, aid carry this narrative to life.