Wartime Reminiscences: The Story of William R. Tanner’s Civil War Service

A great veterans story, that proves the timelessness and commonality that is the experience of war.

The Gettysburg Compiler

By: Brianna Kirk, ’15

Veteran war stories are some of the most fascinating windows into the past that students of history can experience. With World War II veteran numbers quickly diminishing and the risk of these accounts of history being lost, the importance of collecting and passing on veteran stories to future generations is vital. Such was the case with those who fought in the Civil War. As the twentieth century approached, droves of veterans began disappearing from the pages of history. The need for those veteran stories from America’s bloodiest war to be recorded and published became not only important to the veterans themselves but also to students like myself who have a genuine interest in studying how the Civil War was remembered by its soldiers.

Tucked away in a seldom visited corner of Musselman Library’s Special Collections Archive is William R. Tanner’s story. Tanner was a Civil War…

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