? Huddersfield Town Hall: Huddersfield Military Society meeting on Wednesday, 7.30pm with John Spencer on Johnny Reb and Billy Yank
, soldiers of the American Civil War MUSIC?
His views had in part been shaped by popular histories like Alexander Hunter's 1905 novel Johnny Reb and Billy Yank
, which tells the story from the point of view of the average soldier.
A professionally trained historian with a doctorate from Yale, Wiley (1906-80) later wrote a companion volume, The Life of Billy Yank
(1952), which is substantively a better book.
Army Quartermaster Corps issued rations of "coffee essence," a goop of concentrated coffee, sugar and milk, to which all Billy Yank
need do was to add a spoonful to a cup of water to make "instant coffee." What it made was instant dissolved goop.
Bobbs-Merrill, 1943 and The Life of Billy Yank
: The Common Soldier of the Union.
Thus, if captured again by Billy Yank
, they faced the death penalty.
Veterans returning from the war wrote their memoirs well into the early twentieth century when Bell Wiley's landmark studies, The Life of Billy Yank
and The Life of Johnny Reb, appeared.
But, as Wiley concluded, "the similarities of Billy Yank
and Johnny Reb far outweighed their differences.
431; Bell Irvin Wiley, "Billy Yank
and Abraham Lincoln," Abraham Lincoln Quarterly 6 (1950): 103-20.
He won Grammys for "The Battle of New Orleans," "Wilderness Road," "Songs of Billy Yank
and Johnny Reb" and "Tennessee Stud," which was a big hit for Eddy Arnold.
On the contrary, McPherson maintains, Billy Yank
and Johnny Reb tended to be politically aware and to possess strong convictions and patriotic motivations, a contention he supports with quotations and evaluations drawn from thousands of their letters and hundreds of their diaries.
Proving the latter, which impressed even bookish boys who excelled studying history, was the fact that it took more than twice as many Billy Yanks
to beat Johnny Reb--and four years to do it.