A native of Warren County, Iowa, Cyrus F. Boyd served a year and a half as an orderly sergeant with the Fifteenth Iowa Infantry before becoming first lieutenant in Company B of the Thirty-fourth Iowa Infantry. Before his promotion, he was an intermediary between privates and company officers, a position that offered him unique opportunities to observe the attitudes and activities of both the unit leaders and their men. In this diary, the outspoken Boyd frankly expresses his opinions of his comrades and his commanders, candidly depicts camp life, and intricately details the gory events on the battlefield. Although not always pleasant reading, Boyd’s journal is a vibrant, honest chronicle of one man’s experiences in the bloody conflict.
“There is much to learn from and enjoy about this short but rich account. Boyd fully revealed the sordid reality and the tender moments of his army service.”—Earl J. Hess, from his Introduction
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