My Brave Boys
"My Brave Boys: To War with Colonel Cross and the Fighting Fifth," by Mike Pride and Mark Travis.
Two thousand regiments fought in Union armies during the Civil War. None -- not one -- suffered more deaths in battle than the Fifth New Hampshire Volunteers.
At the center of this regiment's searing experience is Colonel Edward Cross, a journalist and adventurer who infused the Fifth with his formidable personality. Mike Pride and Mark Travis spent eight years digging for the story of Cross and his men in letters, diaries, memoirs, official records, and newspaper accounts.
The result is a military history unfolded in human terms, as the men themselves experienced it.
As Walter Holden, a longtime student of the Fifth, writes in his foreword: "The reader will see how an outstanding regiment was formed and outfitted, how the men camped and marched, how they reacted to battle. Here are the deft personal touches that bring events to life. Here are the heroics but also the gripes and backbiting, the conflicts between leaders and the subjugation of the individual for the success of the group." This is a book for any Civil War buff or student of history, but it will be of particular interest in the state that produced this extraordinary regiment long ago.
357 pages, with 17 maps and figures, 30 photos.