Friday, June 11, 2010

Love amid the Turmoil -- A Good Read!

Love amid the Turmoil
The Civil War Letters of William and Mary Vermilion
Edited by Donald C. Elder III
[Iowa City, IA: University of Iowa Press, 2003]
  William Vermilion (1830-1894) served as a captain in Company F of the 36th Iowa Infantry from October 1862 until September 1865. Although he was a physician in south central Iowa [in Iconium, Appanoose County] at the start of the war, after it ended he became a noted lawyer; he was also a state senator from 1869 to 1872. Mary Vermilion (1831-1883) was a schoolteacher who grew up in Indiana; she and William married in 1858. In this volume historian Donald Elder provides a careful selection from the hundred of supportive, informative, and heart-warming letters they wrote each other during the war.  
  Donald Elder is professor of history and chair of the department at Eastern New Mexico University in Portales.

  "What a find! This remarkable cache of Civil War letters reveals a companionate marriage of two literate, caring individuals who explore the meaning of their love and the meaning of the war that has separated them. Well illustrated and well documented, the book's pages take the reader from honesty and sensitivity to disappointment and despair. Elder proves that historical documents can be more compelling than fiction."
  --Glenda Riley, Alexander M. Bracken Professor, Ball State University

  "[These letters] make up the most complete husband-wife collection from the Civil War--most wives' letters were lost in the course of marches and battles."
  --Washington Post Magazine 
  The above material appears on the back cover of Love amid the Turmoil.

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