Ritchie, David F.; Ritchie, Norman L. (Editor); Mason, V. Peter V.R.; Edmonston, Nellie K.
Title Four Years in the First New York Light Artillery: The Papers of David F. Ritchie
Binding Trade Paperback
Book Condition Fine
Edition 2nd Printing
Publisher Schroeder Publications 2012
1889246611 / 9781889246611
Seller ID 1874766
2nd printing. An exceptional copy. 2012 Trade Paperback. x, 257 pp., 4-page terminal publisher ad. Because David F. Ritchie was a war correspondent as well as a combatant, his articles to the Utica Morning Herald and his letters home carried detailed descriptions and penetrating analyses of his war experiences. His use of the written language and his powers of observation were exceptional. Richie s report of the fighting at Seven Pines, for example, is one of the best in the annals of Civil War artillery. As an intimate of a number of Washington, DC, notables (e.g. Congressman Roscoe Conkling of Utica), he traveled in the whirlwind of society of Washington during his brief stays in camp nearby, and offered extensive insight into the social and cultural history of the Capital during the war years. No less compelling are his observations of the civilian population of Virginia from bewildered, suddenly freed slaves to wives of the absent plantation owners. Politically astute and broadly read, Ritchie often struggled with the conflict between duty to country, reinforced by a consummate abhorrence of the Copperheads and frustration at the slow workings of the military and political prosecution of the war. His analyses of McClellan and Grant are direct and convincing. Born in 1840, Ritchie enlisted in April 1861. He served briefly with the 14th New York Infantry, then received a commission in Battery A, (the Empire Battery) of the 1st New York Light Artillery. He rose to Captain in command of Battery C and was brevetted major for gallantry at Petersburg. He also fought in the Peninsular Campaign, at Seven Pines (Fair Oaks), Spotsylvania, the North Anna, Cold Harbor, and Peeble's Farm. Following the war Ritchie settled in Saratoga Springs, NY, where he died in 1899.