Herman Melville’s Battle-Pieces Annotated by Lisa Shea
by Lisa Shea
While Herman Melville is best known for his epic novel Moby-Dick, in 1861 the American Civil War began. Melville had years of experience sailing on whaling ships and immediately went to enlist in the Navy. He was chagrined when he was turned down for health reasons. He would be forced to sit out this important war. So, instead, he turned to recording his thoughts on it in poetry.