by Thomas P. LowryQuite a fascinating look at the private lives of American soldiers during the Civil War.It doesn't surprise me that the descendents of these soldiers did their best to expurgate the papers of these all-too-human men and women, so the record left behind of such subjects is rather sparse.Dr Lowry does an excellent job of piecing together the bits he was able to research into an intriguing peek into such personal matters.
That said, I found it difficult to get through the chapters on swearing and on rape.It wasn't so much that I found either chapter to be particularly distasteful, since Dr Lowry treats this book as a volume of scholarly work, not something to titillate.The problem is both chapters are mainly just lists of offenses and their punishments, both of which are incredibly repetitive.Generally swearing, especially at one's superior officer, earned one a year or more of hard labor with a ball and chain attached to one leg.Rape generally got the perpetrator shot or hung within days of committing the offense.
I found quite interesting the chapter on prostitution, mainly for its description of both Nashville and Memphis, which undertook to regulate and license the industry.With regular health examinations of prostitutes and treatment of infected soldiers, the rate of sexually transmitted disease dropped.In fact, Dr Lowry notes that "It is a tribute to Dr Fletcher's efforts that of the first 999 men admitted [to the Soldier's Syphilitic Hospital], only 30 had contracted their disease in Nashville."
I would warn the reader against the photos in the middle of the book.There are a couple of salacious prints, but several more photos of men in the later stages of syphilis, which is really not a pretty sight.
|Title||Story the Soldiers Wouldn't Tell|
|eBook format||Hardcover, (torrent)|
|Author||Thomas P. Lowry|
|File size||3.9 Mb|
|Book rating||4.49 (150 votes)