"From Broomsticks to Battlefields" Tells of PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injury in the Civil War Biography of a Vicksburg and Corinth Veteran

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In From Broomsticks to Battlefields, Author Bill Speer has used Henry Clay Robinett’s life to shed light upon several aspects of the American experience and society in the mid-nineteenth century that have not yet been fully explored.

From Broomsticks to Battlefields gives us a little more insight into the extent to which the horrors of war affect the personality.

Henry Clay Robinett, a graduate of Delaware Military College, distinguished himself with valor during two Civil War battles – the defense of “Battery Robinett” during the Battle of Corinth (October 3-4, 1862), where he was wounded with a musket ball that creased his scalp, and later during the siege of Vicksburg. While honorable, Robinett’s service seems little different from that of any other young man, North or South, who went off to war in 1861. At a glance, Robinett, who emerged from the war as a Major, would hardly seem a likely subject for a biography.

In "From Broomsticks to Battlefields," Bill Speer has used Robinett’s life to shed light upon several aspects of the American experience and society in the mid-nineteenth century that have not yet been fully explored, namely the treatment of TBI and PTSD sufferers.

Unlike many who returned to civilian life after the war, Robinett pursued a career in the Regular Army. That career, however, was marred by increasingly erratic behavior that ended in his suicide just three years after the war - the result of complex psychological problems that are carefully discussed in the book. From Broomsticks to Battlefields gives us a little more insight into the extent to which the horrors of war affect the personality and reminds us that historians and psychologists have barely begun to study the question of post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury among Civil War veterans.

Through the years, Delaware Military Academy transformed numerous times, evolving into Pennsylvania Military Academy, Pennsylvania Military College, PMC Colleges, Widener College, and finally Widener University. Bill is a 1972 graduate of Pennsylvania Military College.

"From Broomsticks to Battlefields" is now available from Deeds Publishing at http://www.deedspublishing.com.

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Jan Babcock
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