Editor: Gordon Armstrong
ISBN 978-1-58939-767-5 (softcover)
John Cheney was a well educated businessman living in Dixon, Illinois. In 1862 he raised an artillery company-Battery F, 1st Illinois Light Artillery-and served as its captain. Battery F fought in the Western Theatre in the Army of the Tennessee (Gens. Grant and Sherman). This volume draws on 318 entries from Cheney's Civil War diary and 100 letters he wrote home to his wife, plus additional documents, photos, and material relating to his life before, during and after the war. Cheney's letters and diary entries have a warmth and intimacy that is unusual in writing of that time. John Cheney served out a strong sense of duty to the country that had provided him with security and opportunity. Over time he developed health problems that tested that sense of duty. Cheney was entirely absorbed in his activities when in combat or advancing on Confederate troops. During times of inactivity he suffered boredom and experienced loneliness being separated from his wife and two children. During the Atlanta campaign, his 11-year-old son Royce accompanied him. Cheney was an ordinary man doing his best in the extraordinary occurrences of war.
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