A Grim Civil War Tale of a Father and Son that Starts in Buffalo

They lie in rest at Forest Lawn Cemetery, a father and a son, a storyteller and a soldier, both legends of the Civil War’s most legendary battle. Now, though, the story of Sam Wilkeson and his son Bayard’s death at Gettysburg has been told in more detail than ever before – all because a Washington reporter between jobs decided to tell it.

Read more in the Buffalo News.

Chuck Raasch on C-SPAN

In an appearance broadcast on C-SPAN, Chuck Raasch talked about his book “Imperfect Union: A Father’s Search for His Son in the Aftermath of the Battle of Gettysburg.”

Raasch is interviewed by National Press Club President Tommy Burr.

View the C-SPAN video here.

Imperfect Union: Tops in Its Category on Amazon

My great friends, John Runyan and Ruth Kane, hosted a book event for me on Capitol Hill last night. I had a great time talking about why I think one of the main points of “Imperfect Union” is worth pondering in our age. I focused on its examination on mythologizing in war, and our need for heroes. Some great questions from attendees.


I look forward to continuing the conversation with the folks who were there.

Also, proud to note that my book is now listed as a best seller in its category on Amazon.

A Wilkeson Descendant Weighs in on Imperfect Union

By Chuck Raasch

One of the great things about researching and writing this book is the contact I have made with Ray Wilkeson, a great-great grandson of Samuel H. Wilkeson, Bayard Wilkeson’s cousin. Samuel H. served in the famous cavalry regiment, “Scott’s 900,” which guarded the capital and served as an escort guard and protector for President Lincoln late in the war. Samuel H. Wilkeson was a prolific letter writer, very expressive and honest in his writing.

It was a privilege to help bring him to life to his descendants, like Ray, and a reminder to me, and I hope you, that history lives, and is not just a collection of random, long-ago events. And, finally, as I write in the book, that the aftermath of war is forever.

Ray Wilkeson wrote a review of “Imperfect Union” on Amazon. “As a descendant/member of the Wilkeson family that helped found the city of Buffalo NY, I looked forward with great anticipation to reading this book. And it certainly did not disappoint.” Read the rest of Wilkeson’s review here.

Washington Times Review of Imperfect Union

The ghastliness of Gettysburg, the culminating battle of the Civil War, has been reduced to the ultimate horror of a 19-year-old soldier dying in a “puddle of his own blood” in this stark and wrenching war book.
In the course of more than 300 harrowing pages Chuck Raasch writes this nonfiction account of those who fought and died and those who wrote about the conflict.

Read more of Muriel Dobbin’s review in the Washington Times.

Post-Dispatch reporter’s new book on Gettysburg goes beyond battlefield

screen-shot-2016-09-30-at-3-00-41-pmPost-Dispatch’s Washington correspondent Chuck Raasch joins “Inside the Post-Dispatch” hostesses Sam Liss and Leah Thorsen to discuss his book being released on October 1st. ‘Imperfect Union: A Father’s Search for His Son in the Aftermath of the Battle of Gettysburg’ tells the story of a New York Times reporter’s search for his soldier son while shouldering the responsibility of covering the Civil War, and explores journalism at the time as well as the poor medical care soldiers often received.

CLICK HERE to hear the whole interview.

USA Today names Imperfect Union New and Noteworthy

screenshot-2016-09-22-at-10-45-47-pmWhat it’s about: Recounts story of New York Times correspondent Sam Wilkeson, who wrote a famous dispatch from Gettysburg after learning that his son, a Union lieutenant, had died in the battle.

The buzz: Comes with a recommendation from Ken Burns (The Civil War): “An important book, one that contains both an aerial and intimate view of the human cost of the greatest battle ever fought in North America.”


CLICK HERE to read the full article.