Hard Dying Men


The Story of General W. H. L. Wallace, General T.E.G. Ransom, and Their Old Eleventh Illinois Infantry in the American Civil War (1861-1865)  

Although this new work does discuss the role of the Eleventh in the various battles of the Civil War, the emphasis is on the human element of the war: how the soldiers felt, acted, and lived. The narrative allows us to follow the lives of these men, many of whom nobly leapt at the chance to defend their country, only to later learn the cost when they saw death on the battlefield for the first time. As the story of the Eleventh unfolds, we see them progress from raw recruits in their first skirmish to hardened veterans, enduring both the physical and mental hardships of battle. The soldiers themselves provide us with compelling accounts of the uncertainties of war through their correspondence. The induction of Negroes into the Union Army brought mixed feelings to the soldiers of the Eleventh, which would later turn to respect when the timely intervention of Black Union troops at Yazoo City, Mississippi, prevented the imminent surrender of the Eleventh. The evolution of several other battles in which the Eleventh Illinois Infantry participated, such as Ft. Donelson, Shiloh, Vicksburg, and the siege of Mobile, are described in detail. The work also highlights the careers of two Federal officers who rose to fame in the Eleventh: Brigadier General W. H. L. Wallace and Major General T. E. G. Ransom. Extensive footnotes provide additional commentary to the narrative. Several photographs and illustrations are published for the first time in this book.

Jim Huffstodt 

(1991), 2007, 5½x8½, paper, index, 364 pp.

ISBN: 9781556135101