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Written by one of the Union army's most celebrated officers, The Passing of the Armies offers a remarkable first-hand account of the final campaign of the Army of the Potomac. In his gripping memoir, first published in 1915, General Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain presents a highly literate, clear-eyed description of the momentous events that occurred during the last weeks of the American Civil War. He offers an assessment of the military situation in the eastern theater during these final, hard-fought days; a description of the surrender by the Army of Northern Virginia at an Appomattox farm; and the multitude of emotions felt by soldiers after the disbandment of the Union army following its last review. Chamberlain also recounts the logistical challenges facing his Fifth Corps as it moved toward Appomattox ("The roads [have been] reduced to a hopeless pudding."). He relates the decision making at the top of the chain of command ("General Grant had experienced a change of mind-a complete and decided one"). He conveys the stark terror and disastrous confusion of battle ("General Sheridan was by my side in a moment, very angry. 'You are firing into my cavalry!, he exclaims."). After witnessing the Army of Northern Virginia's formal surrender, Chamberlain writes with compassion about the fate awaiting the Confederate troops now that the war is over ("Then, their ranks broken, the bonds that bound them fused away by forces stronger than fire, they are free at last to go where they will; to find their homes, now most likely stricken, despoiled by war.") Well-deserving of its place as a key document in American military history, and crafted with true literary skill, The Passing of the Armies is a must read for Civil War buffs and anyone interested in the history of warfare.