The Martyr

wd:Q16966061

Battle-Pieces and Aspects of the War (1866) is the first book of poetry published by the American author Herman Melville. The volume is dedicated "To the Memory of the Three Hundred Thousand Who in the War For the Maintenance of the Union Fell Devotedly Under the Flag of Their Country" and its 72 poems deal with the battles and personalities of the American Civil War and their aftermath. Also included are Notes and a Supplement in prose in which Melville sets forth his thoughts on how the Post-war Reconstruction should be carried out. Critics at the time were at best respectful and often sharply critical of Melville's unorthodox style. The book had sold only 486 copies by 1868 and recovered barely half of its publications costs. Not until the latter half of the twentieth century did Battle-Pieces become regarded as one of the most important group of poems on the Civil War.
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