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The Civil War Center Presents: Ambrose Bierce Narratives

by Ambrose Bierce (read by John Stewart)

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Ambrose Bierce, a native Ohioan, enlisted into Federal service in April 1861. The experience of war ignited a flame of passion within the 19 year old soldier, as he witnessed several of the Civil War’s bloodiest affairs. From Shiloh to Stones River, Chickamauga to the Atlanta Campaign, 2nd Lieutenant Bierce, serving under Brigadier General William B. Hazen, observed the horrors of war – scenes later recounted in his various writings. Despite incurring a head wound near Kennesaw Mountain in June 1864, Bierce returned to action, as Federal troops fought the Confederate Army of Tennessee at Franklin and Nashville in late 1864. Bierce continued to suffer from his wound, and received a medical discharge in early 1865, when he sheathed his sword in favor of the pen, and embarked upon a long and distinguished writing career. Through a cooperative agreement between the Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park and Kennesaw State University’s Center for the Study of the Civil War Era, three of Bierce’s narratives appear here. As you listen to each, think back to the middle portion of the nineteenth century, imagine yourself a young soldier, many miles from home, suffering amid the hardships of weather, short rations, and the constant threat of wounding or death. Each of these stories, as narrated by Kennesaw State student-intern John Stewart, enables one to vividly relive the lingering horrors of battle.