Bouquets from the Cannon's Mouth: Soldiering with the Eighth Regiment of the Pennsylvania Reserves

Robert E. Eberly Jr.

  • Bouquets from the Cannon's Mouth: Soldiering with the Eighth Regiment of the Pennsylvania Reserves

The Story of a Civil War Band of Brothers

"With patriotic motives burning high within me, I with many thousands of my country's sons, donned the blue of a soldier boy with a faint conception of the hardship, danger and exposure we were to endure, but with a rugged and unfaltering determination to sustain our beloved country in its struggle...." —George Darby, upon enlisting in the Fayette Guards April 22, 1861

Organized in the spring of 1861, the Pennsylvania Reserves became one of the storied divisions in the Army of the Potomac. From the Seven Days Battles through Grant's Overland Campaign, the Reserves participated in every major campaign in the Eastern Theater of the war. Glory came at a terrible cost, however, as the Keystone Staters suffered grievous losses at Gaines's Mill, Antietam, and Fredericksburg. Focusing on five young volunteers who served with the Reserves' Eighth Regiment, Bouquets from the Cannon's Mouth tells the story of the regiment and the legendary division it belonged to. Drawing upon numerous letters, diaries, and other personal accounts, Eberly immerses the reader in the heartbreak of the American Civil War and brings to life the camaraderie of a nineteenth-century band of brothers. Of the five volunteers who form the focus of the story, one lost a leg at Antietam, one died in a Confederate prison at Salisbury, North Carolina, and the three who survived the war were so broken by their experience as prisoners of war it took them years to recover. Incorporating two rare prison diaries, one never before published, as well as ten maps, six appendices, and numerous photographs, Bouquets from the Cannon's Mouth, as Edwin C. Bearss notes in his foreword, is for those "who savor the soldiers' story."

“Robert Eberly’s Bouquets from the Cannon’s Mouth is a masterpiece of microcosmic history. It tells much of the story of the Civil War in the East through the very vivid accounts of five common soldiers from the 8th Pennsylvania Reserves. There has been a dearth of published information on the battle record of the 8th Reserves. Eberly has successfully filled that void with this book. Bouquets from the Cannon’s Mouth is combat history at its best!”

Ted Alexander, Historian and Author

“This is a work guaranteed to please both general reader and serious historian. Bob Eberly has combed through mounds of source material related to the 8th Pennsylvania Reserves and culled the most vivid testimony. Then he does what few authors dare: he steps aside and lets the men speak for themselves. Intensely interesting, artfully constructed, and highly valuable, this history of an important regiment is an elegant and eloquent portrait of common men caught in an uncommon war.”

John Hennessy, Author, Return to Bull Run: The Campaign and Battle of Second Manassas

“Thumbs up to Robert Eberly’s Bouquets from the Cannon’s Mouth: Soldiering with the Eighth Regiment of the Pennsylvania Reserves. This collection of remarkable first-hand accounts, tied together with Mr. Eberly’s insightful and well-researched narrative, underscores the human side of our nation’s bloodiest conflict. Told primarily through the letters and jottings of five youthful volunteers from the Keystone State, Bouquets from the Cannon’s Mouth brings home to the reader the horror, boredom, and humor of life on the front. This fine work ranks among the best and most readable of the regimental studies to appear in recent years. I found the personal narratives so engaging that I read the book from beginning to end at one sitting.”

Gordon C. Rhea, Author, The Battle of the Wilderness, May 5–6, 1864; Carrying the Flag: The Story of Private Charles Whilden, the Confederacy’s Most Unlikely Hero

Author Robert E. Eberly Jr.
Pages 396
Images 46
Maps 10
Bibliography Yes
Index Yes
  • $34.95

Tags: 9781572493735, Robert E. Eberly Jr.