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Mike Pride to present book at Peterborough Historical Society

Historian and journalist Mike Pride will present a talk on his new book, “Our War: Days and Events in the Fight for the Union,” on Wednesday at 7 p.m at the Peterborough Historical Society. Pride is editor emeritus of the Concord Monitor, where he ran the newsroom for 30 years. He has co-authored several books, including “My Brave Boys,” a history of Colonel Edward E. Cross and the Fifth New Hampshire Volunteers.

In his new book, Pride tells 50 stories giving voice to New Hampshire soldiers and civilians of the Civil War era. As one story leads to another, the war takes on a life of its own, unfolding as men and women lived it from the heady days of 1861 to the hard-won victory of 1865.

Of particular interest to readers in Peterborough will be the chapter on the sinking of the West Point. Katie Cummings and Sophia Scott, whose names grace the plaque on the town’s Civil War monument, were among the 76 people who drowned after the ship collided with a larger vessel. Pride has dug deep to try to solve the mysteries surrounding the tragedy.

Ken Burns, filmmaker who created “The Civil War” for PBS, saluted “Our War” in these words: “Once again Mike Pride has brought the past alive with this insightful and moving reminder that the best history is more often than not a bottom-up history. We see a ‘universe of battle’ through the eyes of people who might have been our great-grandfathers. This is history firing on all cylinders.”

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