Red Diamond Regiment: The 17th Maine Infantry, 1862-1865
White Mane Pub., 1996 - 438 pages
The 17th Maine Infantry served with the Army of the Potomac from Fredericksburg to Appomattox, suffering more casualties than any other Maine regiment, even though other regiments garnered more contemporary fame. After first serving in the defences of Washington, the regiment fought at Fredericksburg and wintered in Virginia. The army again turned south towards Chancellorsville, where Stonewall Jackson's attack on the XI Corps cut the regiment off. After heavy combat, forty members of the 17th received the Kearny Medal, described as a "cross of valor", recognizing the regiment's bravery there. Marching rapidly northward, the 17th withstood Hood's onslaught at Gettysburg on July 2, 1863. The Wilderness, Spotsylvania, and the struggle for Petersburg followed. This comprehensive history goes beyond that combat to show the soldiers' everyday life, their relationships to their home front state, and how their bravery and suffering related to the larger Civil War. Indeed, this history is a good introduction to the Civil War soldier.