The Muddy Road to Glory

The Muddy Road to Glory

By: Stephen W. Meader Complete Authored Works
Published by: Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc
Publication Date: 1963

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Sixteen-year-old Ben Everett, working on the family farm near Skowhegan, Maine, had been anxious to enlist ever since President Lincoln had first called for volunteers. His chance came unexpectedly when a recruiting sergeant arrived in the village, and in February of 1863, Ben, eager and excited, started on his way to join the famed Twentieth Maine regiment at the Army of the Potomac.

At Stoneman's Switch, General Hooker's winter encampment, Ben quickly learned to drill in the Virginia mud and to use his rifle. The coming of spring brought with it the harsh realities of war—exhausting marches in unbearable heat, uncertain rations, and the cold sweat of first battle—as the Army of the Potomac pounded after General Lee up into Maryland and Pennsylvania, to face him, finally, at Gettysburg.

Through ignominious defeats and hard-won, bitter victories, Ben fought with his comrades at Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor, and in the Wilderness skirmishes, until he was captured and sent to the infamous prison camp on Belle Isle, near Richmond. Ben's eventual escape to fight again with his regiment until Lee's final surrender at Appomattox is the climax of a dramatic story of courage and daring, told with remarkable authenticity of detail. Boys everywhere will agree that one of their favorite authors is at his superlative best in this book based on the actual day-to-day history of the Twentieth Maine, a regiment with a distinguished Civil War record.

From the dust jacket

In this story I have tried to picture the everyday life of a young Union soldier in the Civil War; his adventures, his sufferings, and his growth from a callow boy to full manhood.

Ben Everett was just one of the many thousands of lads who volunteered at sixteen or even earlier and went through the horrors of those years that tore the nation apart a century ago.

I am deeply indebted to a good friend, John J. Pullen, whose book, The Twentieth Maine, is not only an accurate historical account of a great regiment but a wonderfully readable story, as well. This book, together with the works of Bruce Catton, McKinlay Kantor, and other authorities on the Civil War, has given me invaluable background material for The Muddy Road to Glory.

I sincerely hope that young people who read my story will be moved to explore other books about this fascinating period in America's history and perhaps to visit some of the scores of battlefields where brave men from the North and South gave their lives for what they believed.

S. W. M.

From the Foreword

The Muddy Road to Glory Reprint

The Muddy Road to Glory        
Reprinted in 2006 by Southern Skies
Available formats: Hardcover, Paperback
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