In this powerful and moving memoir, Robert Beecham tells of his Civil War experiences, both as an enlisted man in the fabled Iron Brigade of the Army of the Potomac and as an officer commanding a newly raised African-American unit. Written in 1902, Beecham recounts his war experiences with a keen eye toward the daily life of the soldier, the suffering and brutality of war, and the remarkable acts of valor, by soldiers both black and white, that punctuated the grind of long campaigns. As If It Were Glory is an unforgettable account of the Civil War, unclouded by sentimentality and insistent that the nation remain true to the cause for which it fought.
Michael E. Stevens is state historic preservation officer at the Wisconsin Historical Society. He has written and edited several books on common men and women during war including: Letters From the Front, 1898-1945, Women Remember the War, 1941-1945, Remembering the Holocaust, and Voices from Vietnam.
Foreword Introduction Chapter 1: "As if it were glory and not years of bitter war": Bull Run and a Winter of Idleness: May 1861-April 1862 Chapter 2: "I was pretty sick": Surviving the Military Hospitals: April 1862-December 1862 Chapter 3: "A campaign of adventure": From the Mud March to Chancellorsville: January 1863-June 1863 Chapter 4: "We were all boys then": The First Day at Gettysburg: July 1, 1863 Chapter 5: "The living prepared for the morrow": The Second Day at Gettysburg: July 2, 1863 Chapter 6: "Into the fiercest hell of battle": The Third Day at Gettysburg: July 3, 1863 Chapter 7: "The scenes I witnessed there": Life in a Southern Prison Camp: July-August 1863 Chapter 8: "My first promotion": Becoming an Officer with the U.S. Colored Troops: August-December 1863 Chapter 9: "Soldiers till the last man falls": With the Twenty-third U.S. Colored Troops: January-June 1864 Chapter 10: "We'll show the world today that colored troops are soldiers": The Battle of the Crater: June-July 1864 Chapter 11: "We were a sorry-looking set": Prisoner of War Again: July 1864-March 1865 Chapter 12: "The paths and the vocations of peace": March-June 1865