RIDE TO WAR by Henry R. Pyne


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Earl Schenck Miers has provided an excellent introduction and editorial notes for this reissue of A History of the First New Jersey Cavalry which first appeared in 1871. Pyne, a man of humor and perception, without bias or bigotry, served with the New Jersey Cavalry as chaplain from 1861 to 1864. The regiment, first known as Halsted's Horse, was led by a fantastic colonel under whom it ""learned to fight anywhere and under almost anybody who commanded in the Virginia theatre of operations"". With battles the chaplain author is less concerned than with people and the minor details of war. He writes of sweating soldiers and tired horses, farm housewives, prisoners, flirtatious girls, and the ""Incredible General Pope"" and ""Joe"" Hooker. Some of the horrors of war, never over-played, are also included- mud and rain; foundering supply wagons; the drama and terror of a cavalry rout; the ""wearisome"" night marches. Both exciting and matter-of-fact, this record of life in a Civil War cavalry regiment has an enduring local and historical appeal and is essential to any comprehensive Civil War collection.

Publisher: Rutgers University Press