On the Skirmish Line Behind a Friendly Tree
The Civil War Memoirs of William Royal Oake

  • Edited by Stacy Dale Allen.

    The American Civil War was slightly more than a year old, already having lasted longer than most had anticipated, when an eighteen-year-old named William Royal Oake left his family's farm in Charlotte, Iowa, to join the Union forces.

    He fought in a total of twenty major battles, was captured and incarcerated as a prisoner of war, and was wounded during his long odyssey as a soldier.

    In the winter of his sixty-ninth year, Oake wrote a detailed and thoughtful memoir of his years at war, from the moment he told his parents he had joined the army until the day the campaign-hardened soldier walked back to the farm and into their grateful arms.

    Discovered 80 years after his death, this remarkable memoir brings to light the inner thoughts and experiences of an engaging storyteller.

400 pages, 6'' x 9'', 25 b/w photos, index, appendix, 20 softcovers per case, perfect bound

ISBN 10: 1-56037-322-9
ISBN 13: 978-1-56037-322-3

March 2006





On the Skirmish Line Behind a Friendly Tree
The Civil War Memoirs of William Royal Oake

On the Skirmish Line Behind a Friendly Tree align=

 align= A native ''jayhawker'' and graduate of the University of Kansas, Stacy Dale Allen is a twenty-year veteran of the United States National Park Service. Currently Chief Park Ranger at Shiloh National Military Park, Stacy manages interpretation, law enforcement, resource management, and historic preservatoin programs at the famous West Tennessee Civil War site, which also stewards prehistoric cultural resources associated with Shiloh Indian Mounds National Historic Landmark and a new National Civil War Interpretive Center located in Corinth, Mississippi.

Author of numerous articles on the Civil War, Stacy has prominent contributions in seven book and served as researcher/preparer on several National Park Service historic resource studies and management documents.

Praise for On the Skirmish Line Behind a Friendly Tree: The Civil War Memoirs of William Royal Oake

''A gem of a memoir! On the Skirmish Line is one of the very best postwar recollections. William Royal Oake, a volunteer from Iowa, vividly portrays the incredible range of experiences and emotions that marked his three years as a private soldier in the Union army, including especially memorable depictions of combat. The thorough and informative notes are an added bonus.''
-William Cooper, Boyd Professor, Louisiana State University

''William Royal Oake spins an uncommonly good yarn to detail his experiences as a soldier in the 26th Iowa Infrantry. A veteran of more than twenty battles, engagements, and sieges, his story will enthrall and captivate students of the Civil War, particularly those interested in the Western Theater. Readers will especially enjoy the sparkling manner and style in which editor Stacy Allen introduces Royal and the expert annotation he provides.''
-Terrence J. Winschel, historian, Vicksburg National military Park

''William Royal Oake wrote one of the best Union soldier memoirs available today. He speaks of many things that elucidate the experience of soldiering in the Civil War, and writes with an engaging frankness that makes one care about what happened to him. Carefully annotated by Stacy Allen, Oake's memoirs demonstrate how the men of the 15th Corps became such good campaigners and superb fighters. He recorded their self-sacrifice, pride, and achievements with loving care.''
-Earl J. Hess, Lincoln Memorial University

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