Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A Surgeon in the Army of the Potomac

by Francis M. Wafer, Cheryl A. Wells editor

A fascinating glimpse into the world of Civil War America through the experience of a young Canadian surgeon.

Lured across the border by promises of opportunity and adventure, Francis M. Wafer - a young student from Queen's Medical College in Kingston - joined the Union's army of the Potomac as an assistant surgeon. From the battle of the Wilderness to the closing campaigns, Wafer was both participant and chronicler of the American Civil War.

Cheryl Wells provides an edited and fully annotated collection of Wafer's diary entries during the war, his letters home, and the memoirs he wrote after returning to Canada. Wafer's writings are a fascinating and deeply personal account of the actions, duties, feelings, and perceptions of a noncombatant who experienced the thick of battle and its grave consequences.

The only substantial account by a Canadian Civil War soldier who returned to Canada, A Surgeon in the Army of the Potomac fills a critical gap in American Civil War historiography and will have broad appeal among scholars and enthusiasts.

"The detail provided by Wafer in his travels and work is absolutely fascinating ... the flavour of melancholy, fear, and "gallows humour" among the troops in the camp, the sounds and spectacle of retreat, the terror of battle ..." Greg Marquis, University of New Brunswick, Saint John

Cheryl A. Wells is associate professor, history, University of Wyoming, and the author of Civil War Time: Identity and Experience in America, 1861-1865.

From CWBN:
The exact day of release for this May title is unknown.