Diary of a Yankee Engineer: The Civil War Diary of John Henry Westervelt by Anita PalladinoDiary of a Yankee Engineer: The Civil War Diary of John Henry Westervelt by Anita Palladino

Diary of a Yankee Engineer: The Civil War Diary of John Henry Westervelt

byAnita Palladino, John H. Westervelt

Hardcover | January 1, 1996

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On September 8, 1962, John H. Westervelt enlisted as a private into the 1st New York Volunteer Engineer Corps. That same year, he shipped out of New York on the "Star of the South" to South Carolina to fight for the North in the Civil War. The following April, he began a journal for his 13-year-old son Frazee so that his child could know of his experiences in the war.

Sixty-two years later, John Westervelt's journal - 68 entries written on tattered, yellow pages, a record of "such things as may come under [his] personal observation" - was found in the trash outside his former home now West Farms. In early 1995, his drawings, meant to accompany the written journal, were discovered in the West Point Special Collections Archives. The two have been reunited in Diary of a Yankee Engineer.

Westervelt's words, intended not for the history books but for the education of his young son, present a more humble vision of military life and of the North's struggle in the Civil War, than the often told sagas of glory. The journal gives us a rare look at the soldier's life of relentless tedium, the fatiguing fight of brother against brother - of pestilence and illness, giving us a "truer, if not beautiful" picture of war. This is the story of an ordinary man in an extraordinary time - a man who merely lived as he though right and who died in consequence.

Anita Palladino's introduction provides us with a brief history of the man and the events of his life. By salvaging John Westervelt's journal and reuniting its text with its art, Ms. Palladino has unearthed a rare, firsthand look at the men behind the war of Rebellion.

Anita Palladino is the director of the Paramus Catholic High School Library and is member of the Historical Society of Rockland County.
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Title:Diary of a Yankee Engineer: The Civil War Diary of John Henry WesterveltFormat:HardcoverDimensions:265 pagesPublished:January 1, 1996Publisher:Fordham University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0823217248

ISBN - 13:9780823217243

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From Our Editors

On September 8, 1862, John H. Westervelt enlisted as a private in the 1st New York Volunteer Engineer Corps. That same year, Westervelt shipped out of New York aboard the Star of the South to South Carolina to join the Union campaign near Charleston. In April of 1863, he began a journal for his thirteen-year-old son Frazee. One hundred and thirty-one years later, John Westervelt's journal - 68 entries written on a series of tattered yellow pages, a record of "such things as may come under my personal observations" - was found in the trash outside his former home in West Farms, New York. Soon after, his drawings, meant to accompany the journal, were discovered in the West Point Special Collections Archives. The journal and the drawings have been reunited at last in Diary of a Yankee Engineer, giving a poignant, first-hand view of a soldier's experiences during the War of the Rebellion. Westervelt's words, not intended for the history books but for the education of his young son, present an authentic and rare look at the soldier's life. This is the story of an ordin

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