Straight Talk From Camp Humbug

A soldier’s timeless meditation on the frustrations of military life

In the autumn of 1856, 1st Lt. Orlando Bolivar Willcox was dispatched with his regiment to the malaria-infested swamps of Florida to participate in the Third Seminole War. Willcox, an 1847 West Point graduate, had previously seen service in Mexico and on the Great Plains and would one day establish an outstanding record of service as a Union general in the Civil War. Yet it was the eight long months he spent in Florida that proved the most trying service of his career.

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