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“When 1 enlisted Sept 1, 1864, I was 20 years old. Weighed 125 lbs., was small for my age. In fact thru my school years the boy's called me "Banty". I was 5 ft 8 inches tall, but in the great need of the government at that time, they were not inclined to be very particular, would accept anyone who could carry a gun. I would have enlisted sooner but for father’s illness, & subsequent paralysis. …Lincoln had just called for 500,000 men & my towns quota was 40 men which would take nearly every available man, for it had answered several large calls before. Several of our citizens had fled to Canada to avoid the draft & they remained there till the close of the war.”
Transcribed from the original documents of Sinclair Smith, “Memoirs of a Civil War Soldier” immerses you in the times and language—the family farm and early schools in Pennsylvania, enlisting during a “call” in 1864 at the age of 20, recovering from wounds in Washington at the end of the war, and life after returning home. Smith memoir exposes drunken officers, the hardships of war, and the battle for survival.
Novice and expert alike will find the unedited writings of this Tioga County, Pennsylvania boy fascinating and insightful.