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The California Column created Civil War history as it marched across Arizona and into New Mexico, conquering both. Still, it never really had its spokesman until High-Lonesome Books decided to publish Sergeant George Hand's Diary. In graphic, soldier terms it records the day-to-day brutal, disgusting, often humorous and always riveting, saga of the life, times, dreams and nightmares of a Union man and a toiling, misfit army. -- Leon C. Metz
The California Volunteers played a pivotal role in New Mexico and Arizona during the Civil War. George Hand's observations are both sprightly and historically valuable. This is an important contribution to both the history and the literature of the American Southwest. -- Robert M. Utley