Voices from the Past: A "Plucky" Young Soldier

Posted: 10/10/2011
Author: Terry Johnston

Good morning!  The Civil War Monitor has added a new section to The Front Line: Quotables.  Each Monday, we will share a Voice from Past to help you learn more about the Civil War...from the men and women who actually lived it.

Our first quote comes from an April 30, 1861 letter to the editor of the (Rochester, NY) Democrat and American.

Plucky. —A young man came into the city yesterday, with a well filled carpet bag, from York, Livingston County, on foot. He wanted to enlist, and was told he was too short, not being more than four feet in height. He responded that he was taller than his father, and that he did not know as it made any difference as to the heighth when a person wanted to fight for his country. His parents were Irish, and when they came to this country they supposed they were coming to a land of liberty, and he was bound to fight for liberty. His stern determination won the commendation of those who listened to him, and he was directed to a recruiting office. Such boys will make plucky soldiers.


Source: Quoted in R.L. and Tammany Murray, eds., Letters from the Front: New Yorkers at First Bull Run.
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The Front Line is our communal blog featuring the latest in Civil War news, research, analysis, and events from a network of scholars.

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