Donagh Bracken served in the United States Army. He
is a civil war historian, publisher and the author of Words of War: The Civil War Battle Reportage of the New
York Times and the Charleston Mercury and What the Historians Say Actually Happened.
According to the book description, “as
the divided nation threw its sons into civil war, the home front demanded to know what was happening. Newspapers, North and
South, responded by sending special war correspondents into the battlefront with the armies and navies of the Union and Confederacy.
They reported what they saw and, in many instances, what they wanted to see. Thus was born American journalism as we know
it today. In the North, The New York Times' correspondents accompanied the armies of Grant, Sherman, McClellan and other
general officers and admirals in the Eastern and Western Theaters. The writings of Times correspondents Franc Wilkie, L.L.Crounse
and many others set the structural standard for American war correspondence as we know it today. In the South, newspapers
wrote with greater passion. Chief among the passion providers was the Charleston Mercury, the spark plug for Southern secession
and the arch opposite of The New York Times. The writings of Robert Barnwell Rhett. Sr. and Jr. and George William Bagby writing
as Hermes, brought a blood rush to their readers as they bore their witness to the Civil War. Placed in juxtaposition, the
two newspapers capture not only the flavor of the time but also the fever of war. The modern reader can see, as each paper
reports the same battle, how political belief alters the view of reality.”