Chapter One: Virginia Is a Hard Road
March opens with lines from a letter written by John March, a forty-year-old company chaplain for the Union army, on October 21, 1861, to his wife, Marmee, and to his daughters, after the Battle of Ball’s Bluff in Virginia. March is exhausted but has promised to write her everyday. He admits that although he misses her comforting hand, he does not want her there, and he will not write her the truth about the war.
March watches the burial party collect bodies, claiming, “I had no orders, and so placed myself...
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