VERMONT GENERAL by Otto- Ed. Eisenschiml


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Edited by an authority on the Civil War, this book is a collection of letters (1862-1865) from a young Northern officer, Edward Hastings Ripley, to and from his family in Rutland, Vt., a three, four and five-way correspondence, all members of the large and prosperous Ripley family having been copious letter-writers. Born in Rutland in 1839 one of seven children with a father interested in banks and marble quarries, young Ripley enlisted for the North in March, 1862, in answer to Lincoln's call for volunteers; one of his brothers, William, to whom many of his letters are addressed, had already been invalided home for wounds received in the War. Stationed first in Virginia, Ripley was captured at Harper's Ferry and paroled to Camp Douglas, Chicago; returned to active service he took part in many engagements and at 25, as General Ripley, was the first Union officer to enter Richmond after its capitulation; for two weeks he was virtual ruler of the city, his account of the occupation of Richmond being by far the most valuable part of the book. Pleasantly readable, depicting the life of a personable young officer in the War and the life of his family at home, this book, of no vast historical importance, should appeal to Vermonters, devotees of Civil War correspondence, and to students of the less stringent side of the War; more critical readers may doubt that certain of the letters are the ""literary gems"" the editor terms them.

Publisher: Devin-Adair