Looking for more from Sean McLachlan? He also hangs out on the Midlist Writer blog, where he talks about writing, adventure travel, caving, and everything else he gets up to. He also reproduces all the posts from Civil War Horror, so drop on by!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Civil War Photo Friday: All Quiet on the Potomac

OK, so it's an engraving and not a photo. Sue me. I like the image, though. It's an illustration from a book of war lyrics, this one illustrating 'All Quiet along the Potomac'. Here we have a sleepy Union soldier nodding off in the moonlight. There hasn't been a peep from the Rebs for days.

But wait, what's that behind him? They say war is long stretches of boredom interrupted by moments of extreme terror. I think this guy is about to experience a sudden shift from one to the other.

Skirmishes probably killed more troops in the Civil War than the big battles. They were a constant fact of life for an army on campaign, and even when in winter quarters an army could expect probes and patrols at the edges of their protected territory that would lead to casualties. As this guy is about to learn, there's no such thing as an insignificant skirmish.

Check the original page of this old book for a grim little poem.


  1. "They say war is long stretches of boredom interrupted by moments of extreme terror."
    Oh my! That's so true and so frightening.
    Great post! :-)


Got something to say? Feel free! No anonymous comments allowed, though. Too many spammers and haters on the Internet.