• This Will Make a Man of Me: The Life and Letters of a Teenage Officer in the Civil War
edited by James M. Scythes (Lehigh Univ Pr, 2016).
At seventeen years of age, infantry Second Lieutenant Thomas James Howell of the 3rd New Jersey was an uncommonly young Civil War officer. Unfortunately, like many of his comrades, Howell's life was a tragically brief one, coming to a grisly end during the Battle of Gaines's Mill. "Featuring sixty-five letters that Howell wrote home to his family, this book describes soldier life in the Army of the Potomac during the spring and summer of 1862, focusing on Howell’s experiences during Major General George B. McClellan’s Peninsula Campaign."
The material is extensively annotated by editor James Scythes, who also contributes a substantial general introduction, as well as lengthy introductory narratives to Parts I and II of the book and a concluding essay. Numerous maps and photographs are also included. Beyond the novelty of the subject's extreme youth, it looks like the material might also (as already mentioned above) prove quite useful to Peninsula Campaign students.