From Schoolboy to Soldier: The Correspondence
and Journals of Edward Stanley Abbot 1853-1863
by Quincy S. Abbot

"I think it is a glorious thing when one has a chance to be a hero."

Stanley Abbot led a short life, but not without conviction. The efforts of Q. Abbot to compile a treasure trove of letters and journal entries, set to paper in the 19th century by Stanley's own hand, successfully reveals the hopes and aspirations of a young man growing up in turbulent times. Torn between the love for his country and his personal dreams, he chose to place his intentions of being a writer second to that of a patriot. Enlisting as a Private in the United States Infantry in 1862, Stanley set out to help preserve a nation from repeating the history of Europe, centuries of bloody battles. His thoughts and experiences are as meaningful today as they were almost a hundred and fifty years ago, bringing us face to face with the hard choices that many were forced to make during the Civil War.

Young Stanley revealed his dream of one day being a serious writer in a letter to his sister Emmy, stating that he had strong inclinations to share with the world what he felt in his heart. Stanley's story has a truly universal appeal, a poignant reminder of our own untainted youthfulness. Q. Abbot connected all of the facts and emotions of a life cut short by carefully stringing together Stanley's own words. Stanley died in the infamous battle of Gettysburg along with thousands of other soldiers, but thanks to Q. Abbot, he will not be forgotten. It is breathtaking to realize that Stanley made the ultimate sacrifice eighty-seven years after his great grand-uncle Nathan Hale had also so bravely given his life for his country. There may be no greater way of honoring Stanley's life as an American hero than giving the world the written words that he so generously left behind.

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