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As Wolves upon a Sheep Fold: The Civil War Letters of Ohio Surgeon William S. Newton by Aaron Purcell

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Dr. Newton was a surgeon in the Union Army from 1862 until 1865 during the Civil War primarily in West Virginia and adjoining Virginia. The title of this book comes from how he described Confederate John Hunt Morgan’s Rangers who captured him in 1864 near Dublin, Virginia. Newton joined the Union Army in Ironton, Ohio, and died in 1882 in Gallipolis, both towns across the Ohio River from West Virginia. His letters to his wife and children and a local newspaper provide an in-depth view of what the Preface describes as “the realities of war, such as the boredom of camp life, details of battles, and observations on human behavior . . .[he also] covered his living quarters, race relations, the extent of southern sentiment in occupied spaces during and after the war, transportation and communications and the comfort of a good meal.” The author, Aaron Purcell, directs Special Collections and University Archives at Virginia Tech. In this capacity, in 2017, Purcell acquired the Newton Papers at auction. He is the author of more than ten previous non-fiction books.

Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 2022. 338 pages with a Foreword by Michael P. Gray, figures, a map, Appendix, Notes, Bibliography, and Index.  Hardback with pictorial cover.