A tribute to Private Ralph Terry and the 24th Michigan Infantry Regiment. Reviewed in the United States on August 25, 2014
J. Michael Joslin has written a lively story based on his great-great-grandfather Ralph Terry and his history of being a soldier in the 24th Michigan Infantry which was part of the famed Iron Brigade in the Civil War. As a tribute to Ralph Terry, Mr. Joslin’s book is part novel and part regimental history of the 24th Michigan and their involvement in numerous battles in the Army of The Potomac.
Ralph Terry is a farmer from rural Michigan with a young expectant wife and lives a quiet and peaceful life surrounded by family and friends. Hearing the news reports of the local men joining the Union Army, Ralph is compelled to join and fight for the Union and is also worried about leaving his wife and later on, his young son to fight. In this good read, Ralph becomes a “mule team” driver to support the troops, and later on, participates as an infantry soldier and fights in numerous battles including Gettysburg where as a part of the Iron Brigade is in the thick of battle. Ralph has a definite “adventure” during his time in the 24th from being a mule-driver, to encountering numerous enemy soldiers where Ralph finds he has much in common with the “ordinary” Rebel soldiers, he soon learns that war is brutal and bloody, and it leaves a lasting impression on him and his friends from home who are also in the regiment. He writes numerous letters to his wife and reflects on what he has seen and learned about war, and soldiering.
Mr. Joslin in this great read also weaves in the history of the regiment and the great men who fought in it. It is a combination that leaves the reader not only learning more about the actual experiences of Private Terry, but also the history of the 24th Michigan Infantry, who participated in most of the battles of the Army of the Potomac. Private Terry participated in many of the battles the regiment fought in, he also caught Malaria which left him in the hospital for many months during the war. Private Terry survived the war but some of his friends did not. He was a brave soldier, and Mr. Joslin gives him a great tribute by writing this great read. This is a novel-regimental history book that I recommend for anyone who wants to know more about what a common soldier of the Iron Brigade went thru during the Civil War, and it is also a great regimental history of the 24th Michigan and is a recommended read for anyone who wants to know more about the 24th Michigan Infantry Regiment and the Iron Brigade. A GREAT READ! Joe Owen.
A tragic tale of a war’s destruction on the human body and soul. Reviewed in the United States on September 11, 2019
I love reading historical fiction and waiting and waiting and waiting while reading a fantastic story to see if the hero survives and returns to his family…or succumbs to the brutal elements, the enemy, or both. Amateur historian and author J. Michael Joslin delivers all of this and more! But, you’ll need to read the book in order to see if there’s a happy ending…or not. 😉 Angela.
An interesting read I’ve been told. Reviewed in the United States on September 13, 2019
Father in law is both a Civil War buff and from Southwest Michigan so I thought it would make a nice gift. I was not wrong. He enjoyed it and said he learned a few new facts as well. D. Homan.
Hello Mike: Your book is one of the best on the common soldier in the Civil War, covering enlistment, training, campaigning, battle, prison, and of course, the voyage on the Sultana. I was glad to be a small part of your writing experience. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the life of a Civil War soldier and the experiences of some of the men on the steamboat Sultana. Gene Salecker
Thank you for that, it means a lot to me.
When I discovered a comment from you, it only showed about half of the first sentence because I had to give approval before they published it. I am still learning this website business so I had to figure out where to go in order to approve your comment.
I sent emails to the Sultana Museum, to Jonathan Matthews at Cahaba, and to the Andersonville gift shop. I have yet to hear from the first two, but I did hear from Andersonville. The problem here is that the gift shop is apparently run by americannationalparks.org. They have a bunch of forms that I would be required to fill out before they even give me approval. Frankly, I am a somewhat intelligent man but, a lot of what they ask I don’t understand at all. I think I may pass on that one.