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128 When the time came to consider reenlistment,James was influenced by at least two,and perhaps three,reasons not to renew his commitment to the army.First and foremost, Jenny was pressuring him to return home. Second, his arm was not up for the rigors of continued service. A third likely factor—though he did not comment upon it—is the fact that he was surrounded by friends and respected peers who had no intention of staying in the army. Strikingly, the desire to reenlist was all but nonexistent in the 11th Michigan Infantry. More than half of all Union soldiers eligible for the veteran reenlistment bounty and furlough took advantage of the offer, yet in the 11th Michigan, a mere fifteen soldiersfollowedsuit.Bywayof comparison,morethanone-thirdof Michigan’s infantry regiments achieved the 75 percent reenlistment rate required to retain a unit’s identity.Of all the individuals in the 11th Michigan mentioned by name in this book, only Byron Liddle opted for veteran reenlistment.1 Ulysses S. Grant had been summoned out east, promoted to lieutenant general, and appointed to overall command of the United States armies. He attached himself to the Army of the Potomac, and William Tecumseh Sherman was assigned Grant’s former command in the West, placing Thomas and the Army of the Cumberland under his orders. Grant and Sherman would synchronize their 1864 campaigns, denying the primary Confederate armies any opportunity to reinforce each other. C h a p t e r 6 The Cannons ’ Deep Roar April 1864–December 1865 R I think I have done my duty, and further than that I will not go. The Cannons’ Deep Roar · 129 130 · Conspicuous Gallantry —————— Graysville, Georgia, April 12, 1864 My dear Jenny, This has been a rainy, drizzling, and disagreeable day. At early dawn the sky was clear, but before 9 o’clock the bright sun was overshadowed and the rain quietly falling, but what care I for the rain. I had enough to keep me busy. I have been issuing clothing to the companies. Once a month this issuing has to be gone through with. The companies make their estimates for the month to the regimental Q.M. He makes a requisition on the brigade Q.M. for the articles required, and thus you see the way the companies are supplied. I am in hopes that the fair weather will make more activity in our armies. I do not think that we shall make a movement far south from this quarter. True, there are troops coming in, but not an army large enough to fight on the offensive.2 If a movement is made on the Potomac we shall probably hold our line here, and may advance as far south as Dalton. I cannot but hope Jenny that the war will be ended the coming summer. Now, dear Jenny, I will answer the question you asked of me at home, whether I intended reenlisting in theArmy.I can say Jenny that I shall not stay longer than my period of enlistment, which expires the 24th day of August 1864. Now that is plainly answered, is it not? I am pleased to hear that you have engaged the school in your district,if you are bent on teaching the coming summer.It would be so lonely for your Mother to have you away. I received yours dated the 27th of March.You mention your father’s being at home and his intending to get his leave of absence extended. I hope he may.’Tis sweet to linger with friends. You ask me, Jenny, if my arm does not get weary writing.Yes, when I have much of it to do; but then I think it gains strength. I was very busy for nearly 3 weeks after I returned, but am not having much to do at present. My health is very good, and I think I shall soon feel like myself again. I have not heard from home since leaving. I am in doubt in regard to the reason. In the first letter you said sister was unwell, and the second, said she was getting better. ’Tis getting late dear Jenny, and I must say goodnight. James. April 13th. Yesterday ’twas cold and rainy, but today the bright sun is with us, and the gentle breezes that come to us remind us that the beautiful summer is at hand. I have just returned from the depot. Have been there for the purpose of...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9781631011382
Related ISBN
9781606352434
MARC Record
OCLC
927384734
Pages
288
Launched on MUSE
2016-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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