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Soldiers generally win battles; generals get credit for them… Napoleon Bonaparte

Group portrait showing brevetted Brigadier General Napoleon Bonaparte McLaughlen (seated second from right, with double row of buttons on jacket) and other soldiers in front of tent. A black man is sitting at far left with a small dog.

Group portrait showing breveted Brigadier General Napoleon Bonaparte McLaughlen (seated second from right, with double row of buttons on jacket) and other soldiers in front of tent. A black man is sitting at far left with a small dog.

Mother, may you never see the sights I have seen: the Fifty-seventh Massachusetts Veteran Volunteers in the Army of the Potomac, 1864-1865 New York: Harper & Row, c 1990 Warren Wilkinson United States. Army. Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, 57th (1864-1865) History Hardcover. xix, 665 p.: ill.; 25 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. 643-649) and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

Timoth H. O'Sullivan who created a photographic record of much of the Overland Campaign.

Timothy H. O’Sullivan who created a photographic record of much of the Overland Campaign.

Mother, May You Never See the Sights I Have Seen, in the same vein as the classic The Twentieth Maine, is a gutsy, candid, meticu­lously researched look at the day-to-day ex­istence of a single Federal regiment in the final year of the Civil War.

Fredericksburg, Va. Burial of unoin soldiers. Photograph from the main eastern theater of war, Grant's Wilderness Campaign, May-June 1864.

Fredericksburg, Va. Burial of union soldiers. Photograph from the main eastern theater of war, Grant’s Wilderness Campaign, May-June 1864.

The regiment, the Fifty-seventh Massa­chusetts Veteran Volunteers, was recruited in Fitchburg and Worcester in the winter of 1864. when the Civil War had lost its glam­our. It was composed of farmers, mechanics, and laborers from New England and Can­ada; Irish immigrants; veterans of earlier campaigns; bounty jumpers (mostly vet­erans who deserted at the first opportunity after receiving their re-enlistment bonus); and green youngsters.

Cold Harbor, Va. African Americans collecting bones of soldiers killed in the battle. Photograph from the main eastern theater of war, Grant's Wilderness Campaign, May-June 1864.

Cold Harbor, Va. blacks collecting bones of soldiers killed in the battle. Photograph from the main eastern theater of war, Grant’s Wilderness Campaign, May-June 1864.

It was led by a Har­vard Brahmin with a wooden leg (the result of an earlier wound). The 57th was destined for hell, and hell is where it went in the aw­ful slaughter of the Wilderness campaign, Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor, and the siege of Petersburg (including the battles of the Cra­ter and Fort Stedman). There is considera­ble evidence that before the fighting ended the 57th suffered the highest percentage of killed and mortally wounded of any Union regiment in the war.

Hospital at Fredericksburg, Va., May 1864. Photograph shows soldiers outside a brick hospital building in Fredericksburg, Virginia, recovering from wounds received during the battles in the "Wilderness campaign."

Hospital at Fredericksburg, Va., May 1864. Photograph shows soldiers outside a brick hospital building in Fredericksburg, Virginia, recovering from wounds received during the battles in the “Wilderness campaign.”

Quoting extensively from the diaries and letters of the men who were there, Mother, May You Never See the Sights I Have Seen is a detailed, harrowing, no-holds-barred ac­count of their experiences—the fatigue, the terror, the horror, the boredom, the gal­lantry, the cowardice.

The battle of the Wilderness Va. May 5th & 6th 1864

The battle of the Wilderness Va. May 5th & 6th 1864

Special features include an appendix with brief profiles of every one of the more than one thousand members of the regiment, and a large selection of period photos, many pre­viously unpublished.

Battle of the Wilderness - Desperate fight on the Orange C.H. Plank Road, near Todd's Tavern, May 6th, 1864

Battle of the Wilderness – Desperate fight on the Orange C.H. Plank Road, near Todd’s Tavern, May 6th, 1864

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