Warriors for the Working Day: A Narrative Built of Letters from the Civil War


Letters written by members of the Potter family of upstate New York reveal the human element of the American Civil War often lost by other chronicles. The letters capture the growing turmoil which preceded the war, the strife of four years of war, and the post-war period. When two sons leave New York to join the Union forces, we see the war unfold through their eyes, and see how both the soldiers and their families cope with indefinite, suspenseful separation. Although the narrative focuses on Stanley, the Potter's second-oldest son, many of the other family members have a voice in this narrative; from them we can observe how the family relationships can change when one son doesn't return from a battle, and how they deal with his loss; how they react to the news that the war has ended; and how their lives evolve after the war.

The editor accompanies the text with brief explanations to fill in the gaps left by the letters, and to give a historical overview of the events they describe. A family tree, descriptions of the characters in the book, and a collection of family photographs add depth to the narrative of the Potter family.

Brian Dooley

1991, 5½x8½, paper, indices, 105 pp.

ISBN: 9781556134685