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A Haunting Photograph and the Search to Uncover the Life and Family of a Young Man Lost to War

 

The Boy Soldier
Edwin Jemison and the Story Behind the Most Remarkable Portrait of the Civil War
Alexandra Filipowski and Hugh T. Harrington

$26.00 Cloth

  • 176 pages
  • 6 x 9.25
  • 28 b/w illus.
  • American History
  • World Rights

About this Book

“In this remarkable blend of archival research, genealogy, and military history, Alexandra Filipowski and Hugh T. Harrington give life and breath to the Civil War’s most haunting portrait. This is a gilt-framed gem of a book.”—Russell S. Bonds, author of War Like the Thunderbolt: The Battle and Burning of Atlanta

Since its first publication over fifty years ago, the image of Private Edwin F. Jemison has attracted widespread attention from those interested in the Civil War and other wars. His likeness has been compared to that of the Mona Lisa, and it rivals Abraham Lincoln as being one of the Civil War’s most recognized photographs. Despite the great interest in the photograph almost nothing has been known of the young man himself, and misinformation about him has circulated since he was properly identified twenty years ago. The authors have spent decades researching the story behind the photograph seeking primary sources, including material from Jemison’s family, for accurate details of his life. The result is The Boy Soldier: Edwin Jemison and the Story Behind the Most Remarkable Portrait of the Civil War, the only biography of this young Confederate soldier. We first encounter Eddie as he travels from Louisiana in 1857 to stay with relatives and attend school in Georgia. In the spring of 1861, after Louisiana had seceded from the Union, Eddie enlists in the Confederate army. A little over a week after enlistment, and with minimal training, he is sent to Virginia to fight in the greatest struggle this nation has ever endured. Over 150 years later the intrigue around his photograph is matched by the very peculiar accounts of his death, as well as the controversy of his burial location. The authors examine both issues to complete the story of the young soldier’s life and death.

ALEXANDRA FILIPOWSKI studied history at Trinity College, Dublin, and Hunter College, City University of New York. Her published works have appeared in America’s Civil War and Georgia Backroads.

HUGH T. HARRINGTON is an independent researcher and author whose books include Civil War Milledgeville. His articles have appeared in Journal of Military History, Georgia Historical Quarterly, America’s Civil War, Southern Campaigns of the American Revolution and others.

 

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