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Catherine Treadgold
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Army of the Potomac a Finalist in the 2013 Next Generation Indie Book Awards
Army of the Potomac, Prof. Emeritus Peter G. Beidler’s slice of history from the American Civil War as revealed in the letters of his great grandfather, is a finalist in the military category of the 2013 Next Generation Indie Book Awards.

BriefingWire.com, 6/07/2013 - Prof. Emeritus Peter G. Beidler’s slice of history from the American Civil War, as revealed in the letters of his great grandfather, William Cross Hazelton, is a finalist in the military category of the 2013 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. Army of the Potomac: The Civil War Letters of William Cross Hazelton of the Eighth Illinois Cavalry Regiment ($13.95, 242 pages, Trade Paperback IBSN: 978-1-60381-001-2) is an absorbing mix of love letters, historical context, and photographs featuring a man of compassion, humor, and startlingly contemporary moral sensibilities.

The Kindle version will available for free on Amazon from July 1-5, to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. Hazelton was present at the battle, which is considered to be the most important engagement of the Civil War, and gave a report in his letters.

On July 11, 1863, Hazelton wrote to his fiancée, Fannie: “You have perhaps heard that our Cavalry have been doing a little fighting lately, or if you have not heard of it, then I have it to tell, that for the last six or eight days we have done little else than fight and skirmish with the enemy.”

William Cross Hazelton spent four years as a brave and devoted member of the Union cavalry in the Civil War. During that time he corresponded with Fannie Morrill, the young woman who would become his fiancée and eventually his wife. His letters describe the life of an Illinois volunteer in the Army of the Potomac, the military unit that fought Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia in most of the big battles of the Civil War: Williamsburg, Richmond, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg.

Hazelton describes the battles from the viewpoint of an ordinary cavalryman slogging through the mud, following erratic orders, surviving for days on enemy turf eating nothing but hardtack, and wondering why the Union army, though superior in numbers and supplies, kept losing battles. After Lee surrendered and Lincoln was assassinated, Hazelton became part of the cavalry posse that chased John Wilkes Booth across the Potomac. His letters breathe new life into a war so devastating that it still scars the American psyche, while exhibiting a moral perspective far ahead of its time.

Says Beidler, “I never met my mother’s grandfather, so I was thrilled to discover that the family still had copies of his Civil War letters. William Cross Hazelton signed up as soon as Lincoln’s call for volunteers went out, and he stayed in to the bitter end.”

PETER G. BEIDLER, retired professor of English at Lehigh University and the great-grandson of William Cross Hazelton, has painstakingly researched the historical background of Hazelton’s letters to clarify now-obscure references and explain what Hazelton left out in order to shield his future wife. BEIDLER has published many books and articles and won several teaching awards. Several books that Beidler either wrote or edited are published by Coffeetown Press.

Army of the Potomac is available in Kindle and 6x9 trade paperback editions on Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, Amazon.fr and Amazon Japan. It can also be purchased online on BN.com. Bookstores and libraries can order through info@coffeetownpress.com, Ingram, and Baker & Taylor.

ABOUT Coffeetown Press—Based in Seattle, Washington, Coffeetown Press has been publishing the finest fiction and nonfiction since 2005.

 
 
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