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Book details
  • Genre:HISTORY
  • SubGenre:United States / 19th Century
  • Language:English
  • Pages:370
  • Format:Paperback
  • eBook ISBN:9781667838892
  • Paperback ISBN:9781667838885

“Captain Cook”

Pvt. Edwin A. Loosley of the 81st Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment

by Karen D. Drickamer and Lee C. Drickamer

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"Captain Cook" offers a fascinating look into life during America's most uncertain years. The book is comprised of a series of letters and diary entries from Edwin A. Loosley, a soldier in the American Civil War. Materials are arranged chronologically into chapters covering specific time intervals that correspond to sets of events during his three years of service. This is a must-have companion for history enthusiasts and those with an interest in the complexities of American history. Loosley served with the 81st Illinois Volunteer Infantry and spent his entire three-year enlistment in the Western Theater. He covers battles in Mississippi, Tennessee, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Missouri. Among these are Vicksburg, Nashville, and Mobile. His literacy and observational skills make his descriptions of both camp life and battlefield engagements useful and engaging.
The book consists of a lengthy series of letters and a diary started midway through the American Civil War. Opening with an introduction to Edwin's life, the book dives into the letters he sent to his wife, Ann, who lived in DuQuoin, Illinois. Edwin was both the cook for the regimental officers and a regular soldier during military action. The correspondence covers all aspects of his life as a solider and the events in which his Illinois Regiment were involved. For the last portion of the war, Edwin also kept a diary of brief notes. In his letters, he intersperses commentary on life in general and also addresses issues concerning his home life, wife, and children. The main portions of his letters deal with two topics, the camp life experienced by soldiers, and the various engagements in which he and his regiment participated. An epilogue gives a brief synopsis of Edwin's life and career after the Civil War. Many locations and battles are covered throughout this compelling book. The story begins with enlistment and early training. This is followed by service in western Tennessee and Mississippi. Major coverage begins with the events at Vicksburg in 1863, and continues with the Red River Campaign, travels to Missouri, then battles at Nashville and Mobile. Edwin was wounded northeast of Mobile and, after spending time in a field hospital in Louisiana, he travels north to Chicago, is discharged, and goes home to southern Illinois.
About the author
Karen D. Drickamer is excited to bring readers her debut book, "Captain Cook". Her passion for writing and history were the driving forces behind this thoroughly researched book. She spent her career first In the Archives at the Morris Library at Southern Illinois University and then nearly 20 years as Head of the Archives and Special Collections at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania. Lee C. Drickamer is happy to bring this original material, contained in these Civil War letters, to publication so that they may be used as a resource for scholars as well as those interested in the Civil War. He is a biologist who picked up history as a special interest. He has published on American history, academic history, and the history of the study of animal behavior.
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