Soldier's journal sheds light on Civil War conflicts

Capital News Service
LANSING – William Horton Kimball’s Civil War experience lacked the eloquent congressional debate or the grand-scale carnage of the award-winning movie “Lincoln.”

Rather, Kimball’s Civil War — carefully recorded in a handwritten journal — reflected the on-the-ground vantage point of a Michigan soldier who confronted Confederate guerillas and hostile Southern sympathizers. A new book, “Among the Enemy: A Michigan Soldier’s Civil War Journal” (Wayne State University Press, $24.95) tells the story in Kimball’s own words of three years in uniform far from the family farm in Spring Arbor Township, west of Jackson. The journal was found in the Detroit Public Library’s Burton Historical Collection. The conflict was 5 months old when the 18-year-old enlisted in the First Michigan Engineers and Mechanics in September 1861. The book’s editor, Mark Hoffman, has researched the regiment for more than 20 years.