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In the Summer of 1861, as the armies gather North and South for the coming struggle, you have been given command of a brigade of volunteers. Perhaps you got the job through your political connections in your home state or in the national government. Perhaps your credentials from West Point or your service in the Mexican War resulted in this appointment. Perhaps you were simply the right man at the right time. Very soon, you and your green troops will be tested.

As time goes by your units will suffer losses and shrink in size. New units will join your command. Older units, though smaller, will become more experienced and effective, although perhaps also less eager to get into harm’s way. The army will change, reform, and evolve, and you will adapt to those changes. You, too, will change. You will gain experience that has practical application. You will be promoted. You may soon command a division, or perhaps eventually even an army corps. And God forbid, you might be wounded.

But all of that lies ahead. Right now you must concentrate on the mission before you: getting your little brigade through its baptism of fire, and winning glory for yourself, your men, and your cause.



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