“In her hour of sore distress and peril”

The Civil War Diaries of John P. Reynolds, Eighth Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry

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About the Book

John Perkins Reynolds, a member of the “Salem Zouaves” (Company I, Eighth Massachusetts Infantry), left behind a unique record of one company’s service during the early months of the Civil War. His diary documents his company’s hourly activities each day, forming a rare chronicle of a Union “three-month” unit. Reynolds was a talented and perceptive writer, and he meticulously recorded details about many events.
The early mobilization of Union volunteers, Northern and border state support for the war effort, the movement of troops to defend Washington, D.C., from an expected Confederate attack, the “rescue” of the U.S.S. Constitution, raids on secessionist farms in Maryland, and life in the troubled city of Baltimore are just a few of the topics highlighted in his diary.
Reynolds included many insightful details about soldier life and material culture during the period. Army discipline, religious practices, soldier-civilian encounters, training, rations, humor and numerous other aspects of the soldier’s existence were deemed noteworthy.

About the Author(s)

Jeffrey L. Patrick is the editor or author of several books and numerous articles on American military history. He lives and works for the National Park Service at Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield in Republic, Missouri.

Bibliographic Details

John P. Reynolds
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 300
Bibliographic Info: 39 photos, 3 maps, appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2013
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7599-5
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0582-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments vi

Preface 1

Introduction 5

John Perkins Reynolds, Jr.: A Biographical Sketch 47

Arthur Forrester Devereaux: A Biographical Sketch 49

1. Off to War 51

2. New York and Philadelphia 57

3. Old Ironsides 62

4. Return to New York 76

5. Washington 87

6. Relay House 100

7. Baltimore 172

8. The Return Home 228

Appendix: Letters of “G.W.B.” (George W. Batchelder) 243

Notes 261

Bibliography 285

Index 289

Book Reviews & Awards

“strongly recommended”—Civil War News.