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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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one of the more than one thousand members of the regiment, and a large selection of period photos, many previously unpublished.