"In our youth our hearts were touched with fire. "So said Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. , the future Supreme Court justice, about his fellow veterans of the Civil War. The 1860s were a time much like the 1940s, when a generation of idealistic young Americans answered their country's call, and many made the supreme sacrifice to create freedom and liberty for all. Among the two million "boys in blue" were five soldiers whose wartime heroics would take them into national politics-a ride that would lead, in time, to the White House. In Touched with Fire, James M. Perry delivers "vivid and readable"(Civil War News) portraits of these five men-Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. "Ruddy" Hayes, James A. "Jamie" Garfield, Benjamin "Little Ben" Harrison, and William "Mack" McKinley-at a time when their lives were being lived at the highest pitch. Drawing on diaries, letters, and other first-hand accounts, Perry recreates the battles that brought them fame, extols the courage that made them extraordinary leaders, and reminds us what a generation can accomplish when it answers the call.
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