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Dear Courier: The Civil War Correspondence of Editor Melvin Dwinell edited by Ford Risley

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The Courier in the title of this book is the name of the Rome, Georgia, newspaper that Vermont native, Melvin Dwinell (1825-1887) purchased in 1853, after moving south to teach school two years earlier. In April of 1861 Dwinell began serving in the Confederate Army only to return to Rome in October 1863 after being wounded in Gettysburg, whereupon he was selected to represent Rome in Georgia’s Confederate legislature until the war ended in 1864. This book consists of Dwinell’s dispatches from the war zone to his paper back in Georgia throughout his term of army service with the 8th Georgia in General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia.  Editor Ford Risley adds very useful chapter introductions, annotations, and an Epilogue that together provide important context to the dispatches. “Dwinnell’s extensive, well-written, and detailed letters are some of the best I’ve seen from a soldier correspondent. This volume will have wide appeal to readers interested in the campaigns of Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia.”—Keith S. Bohannon. This is Ford Risley’s third book about journalism surrounding the Civil War. He teaches communications at Pennsylvania State University.

Knoxville: The University of Tennessee Press, 2018. 338 pages with an Index, Bibliography, Notes, photos and other illustrations, and a Foreword by Michael P. Gray.  Hardback with pictorial cover.