Ambrose Bierce Civil War

the AMBROSE BIERCE site


_______________________________________
CIVIL WAR BIERCE
_______________________________________




AMBROSE BIERCE AND THE CIVIL WAR

Bierce, a member of the Ninth Regiment, Indiana Volunteers, during the Civil War, won the temporary rank of major by the war's end. He was seriously wounded during the battle of Kennesaw Mountain, Georgia. He also fought at Philippi, Girard Hill, Shiloh, Stones River, Cornith, Missionary Ridge, and Pickett's Mill. His Civil War adventures resulted in the finest, some say the only, fiction to emerge from the Civil War -- and all of it remains in print.

After the war, Bierce served as a Treasury agent in Alabama. Hoping to win an officer's commission in the peacetime army, Bierce accompanied his former commanding officer, General William Hazen, as an engineering attache and mapmaker on an expedition through Indian territory. In San Francisco, Bierce's application for captaincy denied, he took a job as night watchman at the U.S. Branch Mint and turned to writing. Many of his finest Civil War stories were published by the San Francisco Examiner, and included in his brilliant 1891 collection, Tales of Soldiers and Civilians, retitled in Britain as In the Midst of Life.


Lt. A.G. Bierce, age 21
1862


Artist Tom Redman based his
portrait on photo to left




"THE UNENDING WAR OF AMBROSE BIERCE"
Sam Davis, creator of the American history podcast Inward Empire, has released an extended episode about Ambrose Bierce, which focuses on his war stories and his place in the Civil War's national memory. Listen HERE [or via iTunes as "Inward Empire."]

____________

CHICKAMAUGA

Chickamauga. Click picture to view more Bierce art by Tom Redman

Above. Bierce fought at the battle of Chickamauga in Georgia, September 1863. Many years later he wrote one of his most compelling Civil War stories, Chickamauga. It's about an innocent child who stumbles into unspeakable horror during the battle.

COLLECTION OF BIERCE CIVIL WAR BOOKS

from left to right:
  • Shadows of Blue & Gray: The Civil War Writings of Ambrose Bierce. Tom Doherty Books 2002
  • Civil War Stories of Ambrose Bierce. Paintings by Chester Arnold. Kelly's Cove Press 2011
  • The Devil's Topographer: Ambrose Bierce and the American Civil War Story by David M. Owens, University of Tennessee Press 2006
  • The Collected Civil War Stories of Ambrose Bierce. Barnes & Noble Books 2007
  • The Civil War Stories of Ambrose Bierce. University of Nebraska Press 1970
  • Ambrose Bierce's Civilians and Soldiers in Context by Donald T. Blume. Kent State University Press 2004
  • NOT SHOWN. Ambrose Bierce and the Period of Honorable Strife: The Civil War and the Emergence of an American Writer by Christopher Coleman. University of Tennessee Press. [not yet issued]


  • BIERCE & INDIANA'S 9th REGIMENT
    Wikipedia. Includes accounts of battles at Shiloh and Kennesaw Mountain, where Bierce performed heroically. HERE


    Cenotaph honoring Bierce at Oakwood Cemetery, Warsaw,
    Kosciusko County, Indiana. The location of his actual remains are unknown.


    KENNESAW MOUNTAIN, GEORGIA
    Photo of Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield by Don Swaim
    Bierce was wounded in the head at the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain, Georgia, near Atlanta, by a Confederate sniper on June 23, 1864. He was evacuated to a military hospital in Chattanooga, and did not return to his brigade until the following September.


    BIERCE IN THE WAR

  • Ambrose Bierce at Shiloh. Bierce fought in the great Civil War battle on April 6-7, 1862, and wrote about it in his famous essay "What I Saw at Shiloh." David Kuroski visited the former battleground in April 2012 and produced this homage: YouTube

  • Life on the Battlefield. Bierce's famous war story "Chickamauga" as allegory. By Carol Emberton, The New York Times. HERE

  • Ambrose Bierce's Civil War. Excellent account of Bierce's military career by Jim McWilliams, professor of English, Dickinson State University. Part of The New York Times' Disunion series. Read here

  • Many of Bierce's Civil War stories posted at Classic Reader

  • Bierce's Collected Works, including his Civil War writing, available at Project Gutenberg


  • BIERCE WAR STORIES IN TENNESSEE
    Theatrical Performance by the Roxy Regional Theater
    Civil War Stories, based on the writing of Ambrose Bierce, was an original production of the Roxy Regional Theater in Clarksville, Tennessee, running from March 29-April 6, 2013. Adapted and directed by John McDonald, with original music composed by Colin Ryan. It marked the third production in the Roxy's four-part series commemorating the sesquicentennial of the Civil War. More information HERE.

    ______________________


    TWO FILMS BASED ON BIERCE WAR STORIES


    Produced and directed by Don Maxwell, with Campbell Scott as Bierce, Ambrose Bierce: Civil War Stories made its screen debut in Kansas City on September 8, 2006. Its DVD release was November 7, 2006. Independently produced in Kansas City as a trilogy, the film includes a truncated version of Michigan filmmaker's Brian James Egan's "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge," which is integrated seamlessly into the Maxwell film[see below]. For details about Maxwell's film with additional pictures, go to: Market Wire.

    click to enlarge
    ______________________

    Col 1
    click for info about film

    First screened before a small audience in Lynchburg, VA, this film based on the Ambrose Bierce Civil War masterpiece formally premiered at the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor in 2003. NOTE: Now part of the film trilogy Ambrose Bierce: Civil War Stories, although truncated. [see above].

    Read the original version of An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridgea psychological drama of a man who sees his life flash before him as Union troops hang him as a spy from a railroad bridge.



    The October 2005 issue of Civil War Times features two pieces by Bierce, one fiction,
    the other non-fiction, plus an article on Bierce's Civil War years by Allen Guelzo


    Bierce in middle age and as an older man remembering
    the battles of the Civil War. Painting by Tom Redman.

    BIERCE ON FAILED FLAG AMENDMENT
    Col 2

    It's clear what Ambrose Bierce would have thought of 2006's right-wing pandering to weaken America's Bill of Rights by some congressional politicians, who attempted to enact a constitutional amendment banning flag desecration. Old Glory may be a symbol for many, but Bierce had little use for symbols. Of symbols he wrote: “Something that is supposed to typlify or stand for something else.” He defined the flag as: “A colored rag borne above troops and hoisted on forts and ships.”




    Top of Page



    click to buy

    click to buy

    click to buy