Cover image for Three years with the 92d Illinois : the Civil War diary of John M. King
Three years with the 92d Illinois : the Civil War diary of John M. King
King, John M. (John McCandish), 1840-
First edition.
Publication Information:
Mechanicsburg, Pa. : Stackpole Books, 1999.
Physical Description:
ix, 262 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E505.5 92ND .K56 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
E505.5 92ND .K56 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



This unusually detailed and literate diary, written by a soldier who was later to become a newspaperman, records his personal experience of the latter part of the Civil War. King discusses his enlistment, the drunkenness and incompetence of some of his commanding officers, disparities between treatm

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Civil War diaries are sprouting like rhubarb these days. This one is highly worthwhile. King, the son of a farmer, enlisted in the newly formed 92d Illinois Volunteer Infantry in late summer of 1862 and served to the end of the war. His diary covers his service through the 1864 Atlanta Campaign and reflects postwar polishing for publication in the newspaper he edited. It is an admirable document of the Union infantryman's life, complete with good and bad officers, just and unjust punishments, rations and clothing that were frequently a greater menace than Confederate bullets, and much else. Much of King's combat experience, including the nightmarish Battle of Chickamauga, was with Col. J. G. Wilder's famous mounted brigade, which was armed with Spencer repeating rifles. King also adds to our knowledge of certain higher-ranking officers: Gordon Granger comes across as a self-indulgent martinet, and George "Pap" Thomas' reputation is burnished even brighter than before. A fit recruit to the ranks of Civil War collections. --Roland Green

Library Journal Review

King became a corporal in the 92nd Illinois, which began as a Union infantry unit and was later converted to mounted infantry and equipped with Spencer rifles, making it one of the best-armed units in the army. A trained journalist, King wrote his diary as a reporter would, with attention to time and place and great detail about life in combat for the Union soldier. Officers, he said, were no better than buck privates and often much worse when they assigned men in their commands to dangerous and unnecessary tasks. Disease and infections were common problems in the army, and King experienced his share. Swedberg, a newspaper journalist and author of In Enemy Hands: Personal Accounts of Those Taken Prisoner in World War II (Stackpole, 1998), does a thorough job of providing the reader with background information throughout the diary. Readers with little more than a basic knowledge of the Civil War can read this with a reasonably clear understanding. Highly recommended for both academic and public libraries.√ĄGrant A. Fredericksen, Illinois Prairie Dist. P.L., Metamora (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.