Cover image for "In the country of the enemy" : the Civil War reports of a Massachusetts corporal
"In the country of the enemy" : the Civil War reports of a Massachusetts corporal
Haines, Zenas T., 1830-1900.
Publication Information:
Gainesville : University Press of Florida, [1999]

Physical Description:
xvi, 215 pages : illustrations, map ; 24 cm.
General Note:
Articles written by newspaperman Zenas T. Haines under the pseudonym "Corporal" which were first published in the Boston Herald and subsequently published in book form.

Originally published: Letters from the Forty-fourth Regiment M.V.M.A. Boston : Printed at the Herald Job Office, 1863.
Personal Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E524 .H35 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



"Anyone interested in the Civil War along the eastern seaboard--and most especially North Carolina--will applaud the availability of a scholarly, well-edited edition of the Haines book."--Daniel Sutherland, University of Arkansas

"The most comprehensive account by a private soldier of the 1862-1863 campaigns in North Carolina."-- Civil War Books: A Critical Bibliography

Last printed by the , Boston Herald in 1863, Corporal Zenas T. Haines's dispatches from the Civil War in eastern North Carolina provide a lively, detailed account of the history of a Massachusetts regiment operating in the hostile southern coastal lowlands during the winter of 1862-63. In reports originally prepared for the Herald , Haines follows the organization, training, occupation, and combat service of the 44th Massachusetts from recruitment to mustering out.

Observing these citizen soldiers with a journalist's eye for detail and color, Haines describes their motivation, experience in combat, diversions in camp, and perspectives on and reactions to the people and countryside of the Confederate home front through which they passed. Especially valuable are their remarks about slaves (including those enlisting in the African Brigade) and their strong sentiments in support of emancipation and the recruitment of blacks in the Federal army.

Haines's reports are important for their on-the-spot history of the entire life span of a regiment of novitiate urban soldiers and their critical role in defeating the Confederate army's effort to drive Union forces from eastern North Carolina. William C. Harris's introduction places these reports in the broader context of the nine-month troops raised by the War Department and provides additional background on the individual men of the 44th Massachusetts, their purposes in joining the regiment, and the history of the war in eastern North Carolina.

Virtually unknown by Civil War students and aficionados, Haines's reports expand our knowledge of Union soldiers during the Civil War and provide new insights both on the middle-class urban men who volunteered for service and on the region of the Confederacy in which they operated.

William C. Harris, professor of history at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, is the author of seven books on Civil War and Reconstruction topics, including With Charity for All: Lincoln and the Restoration of the Union , which was a recipient of the 1998 Lincoln Prize for Civil War scholarship.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Harris (North Carolina State Univ.) has edited newspaperman Corporal Zenas T. Haines's 1862-63 reports to the Boston Herald of his service in the 44th Massachusetts Volunteer Militia. Consisting of educated Bostonians, the regiment, according to Harris, "represented a community gone to war." Haines wrote that their first night in barracks "was exceedingly jolly" and that they received an ovation on their return from the war. Between those times, the 44th experienced a variety of activities, including training at Readville, an uncomfortable sea voyage to New Bern, two combat operations in eastern North Carolina, and provost-guard duty. Haines made interesting comments about Southerners (the women look "secesh daggers at us"), about the life of soldiers, and about the merit of urban volunteers. He observed that some black troops "lie behind the breastworks with a spelling book in one hand and a musket in the other." Harris provides a helpful introduction, but the book needs more notes and a clear map of North Carolina. Highly recommended for those interested in accounts by enlisted men and the war in North Carolina. General readers; undergraduates and above. G. T. Edwards; Whitman College