The McCartys lay bare an improbable story of war, fortitude and survival during a little-known chapter of the American Civil War.
The Chatfield Story is a remarkable personal biography that sheds light on the inner workings of one lone Union private, but also illuminates the psyche of an entire generation. Authors McCarty meticulously annotate each letter and diary entry while providing background narrative before and after, so the reader has the fullest possible understanding of the history, events and the subject in question. Fortified with wartime maps, topographical charts and generous appendices, readers are fully armed and ready to take on this formidable lesson in human endurance, grit and determination. The book is the rare intimate biography that is historically compelling and dramatically satisfying. The story begins with Edward’s birth in Middlefield Township, Ohio, in 1842 and ends 24 years later at the close of the Civil War, following Chatfield through the Western Theater –Cairo, Memphis, Oxford, Holly Springs, Chickasaw Bayou, Arkansas Post, DeSoto Point, Vicksburg, Corinth and other key battlegrounds. Well-known in Colorado, the Chatfield story has now come into the zeitgeist through the impeccable efforts of the authors, who have painstakingly researched and documented not only one man’s life, but also the coming-of-age of a nation during its darkest hour. Chatfield’s letters and diary punctuate a lively and dynamic telling of history that is as much an American story as it is a personal memoir. But the real value of this work is that it teaches U.S. history in an accessible, engrossing way. It delivers an entertaining, educational and wholly enjoyable excursion through our shared past and one remarkable life.
Easy to read, faultlessly researched and masterfully written.