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Old 01-06-2011, 12:34 AM   #1
AlexBell
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Bierce, Ambrose: Chickamauga. v1 6 January 2011

Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce 1842 - after December 26, 1913 was an American editorialist, journalist, short story writer, fabulist, and satirist.

He enlisted as a private at the beginning of the American Civil War, and re-enlisted as a sergeant. He fought in some of the most famous and horrific battles of the Civil War, including Shiloh, Corinth, Stones River, Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, and Franklin. He was commissioned second lieutenant in 1862, and first lieutenant after Stones River in 1863. He suffered a severe head wound at Kennesaw Mountain in June 1864, and though he returned to the army in September his illness forced him to leave the army in January 1965.

Today, he is best known for his short stories, including Chickamauga, An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, and Killed at Resaca which deal with his experiences in the Civil War, and his satirical lexicon, The Devil's Dictionary. The sardonic view of human nature that informed his work - along with his vehemence as a critic, with his motto 'nothing matters' - earned him the nickname 'Bitter Bierce'. A biographer, who had probably never seen nor experienced a bullet wound, wrote 'War was the making of Bierce as a man and a writer. [From his grim experience, he became] truly capable of transferring the bloody, headless bodies and boar-eaten corpses of the battlefield onto paper.' It is more likely that Bierce suffered from what we would nowadays call Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

The date of his death is unknown, as he disappeared without trace while in Mexico during their civil war.

Chickamauga, like his other Civil War stories, ignores the pomp and false glory of war and shows war making in its true light: full of injustice, cruelty, suffering, misery, degradation, and shame.

Regards, Alex
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