Rough Enough by Richard H. McBee Jr.

I am happy to introduce an excellent book by author and fellow WordPresser Richard H. McBee

“Rough Enough.” You can go visit him and find out even more about this book


At the tender age of 17, Richard Clow leaves to fight in the Civil War. In Rough Enough, read his actual letters home as Clow tells of the bloody battles of Petersburg and Lee’s retreat to Appomattox Court House. Upon returning home, Clow is unable to readjust to civilian life, reenlists and ultimately fights against Sitting Bull’s Sioux.

But the stress of war and life as a soldier are almost too much for him to handle. Clow struggles with battles and constant death. He begins to show symptoms of the frontier disorder known as “Soldier’s Heart.”

Is he tough enough for war? Can he handle going back to civilian life after fighting when he leaves the army? His personal diary describes travel with trader Charles Larpenteur. He befriends the influential Deadwood miner, William Story. Can he find love and success on the frontier?–Description from

You can find this book available here

  • File Size: 1209 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Publisher: American Book Publishing (February 21, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BJQMU70

My thoughts on this book:

I love history and all things Civil War, so naturally this book piqued my interest. Once I began reading, I was absolutely fascinated by the tale of this young man (Richard Clow’s) life and experiences.

While I have read quite a few books that had to do with this era and the lives of individual men, none have touched me quite the way this one did. What was different about this book, was that not only do you get to relive a period of important American history through this man’s letters and thoughts during the actual war, but it goes on to describe his life after release. You get a clear picture of what day to day life was like for soldiers dealing with the after effects and trauma of war and a feeling of the restlessness that Richard Clow experienced when he tried to return to a civilian life.

I was particularly interested in the section of the book that told the story of Mr. Clow’s adventures in South Dakota. I have family that lives in Deadwood, Pierre, and Spearfish, South Dakota and the mining history has always been of interest to me. This book was the first opportunity I have ever had to really experience what the venture must have been like in those days.

The descriptions Richard H. McBee Jr. uses throughout his book are wonderful and his background information on his ancestor fill in the gaps in the letters wonderfully. He has done an excellent job researching this material and painting a more complete and fulfilling picture for his audience to enjoy. The portion of this book that tells how life really was for these young soldiers rekindled my desire to know more about the truth Vs. The myth of the Civil War and has prompted me to do further research. The author has included many photos and leads for his readers to follow so that they are able to gain further knowledge on this subject.

Some of the other exciting parts of this book for me were the interactions between the soldiers and the Indians, the level of excitement Richard Clow felt during his first battle and the way the author described the naivety and innocence of the young men who had not yet seen the battlefield.

If you have a basic knowledge and would like to learn more, or if you are simply interested in history, this is a perfect book to both entertain and educate yourself with.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

15 thoughts on “Rough Enough by Richard H. McBee Jr.”

  1. Ionia, I am absolutely thrilled with your comments. I hope you will be able to place a short version of this on the Amazon reviews of the book for me. I look forward to reading your other comments of other books. You have a real gift.
    Sincerely, Rick McBee


    1. Richard, it is already posted to Amazon and to goodreads. I did notice that on goodreads they don’t have a cover uploaded yet and the description says the author was Richard H. Clow instead of your name. I really enjoyed reading your book as it kept me entertained on a rather lengthy car ride yesterday. Thank you so much, I have also shared the link on Twitter. If there is anything else I can do let me know, I would love people to know about this book!


  2. Ionia, It looks great on Amazon as well. Thanks a million. Rick McBee

    On Sat, Mar 2, 2013 at 11:45 AM, readfulthingsblog wrote:

    > ** > ioniamartin posted: “I am happy to introduce an excellent book by > author and fellow WordPresser, “Rough Enough.” You can go visit him and > find out even more about this book at > At the tend”


  3. Ionia, definitely one to add to my to be read list! I love Civil War history and I grew up in the south (TN to be exact). Thanks for another great review and book tip.


    1. What I loved about this particular book was that it didn’t stop where most books stop, where the war had ended. This man truly led a very interesting life. Thank you Sherrey!


  4. This review struck a chord with me as I’ve just finished transcribing my father-in-law’s memoirs of his days as an officer in the Cavalry during World War II–back when there were still horses! I only wish he had finished the story before his death in 1979.

    After he died my husband and his half-brother (“M”) found that Dad had saved every single letter from his first wife (mother of “M”) written during their long separation in the war. We read a few of them, and they moved us to tears, reading of their longing for each other. To my absolute horror, “M’s” wife made him burn the letters. “M” did not remember his mother because she was killed in a car accident, driving to be reunited with her husband, when “M” was only 18 months old. I couldn’t believe that anyone could fail to see that Dad had kept those letters for a reason–so his son and future grandchildren could know their mother and grandmother.

    A year or two ago “M” sent me a box of family papers that he had kept since his father died in 1979. To my astonishment, I found a stack of 33 letters that Dad had written to his wife during the war. I don’t know how they escaped being burned; they were in a different box, I guess. I’m almost done transcribing these letters, and I intend to make them into a book to give to “M” (since they reveal a lot about his father along with glimpses of his mother and his infant self) and to my husband since they tell more about his father’s life in the Army.

    Thankfully many people from Revolutionary & Civil War times kept their letters and diaries so that we, today, can glimpse the world back then through their eyes. I imagine my short-sighted sister-in-law would be furious if I tried to publish Dad’s letters so I’ll limit the copies of my book to family members, but at least they will get to know more about their courageous and honorable father and grandfather.

    Sorry about this loooong comment! You really did strike a chord!


    1. Don’t apologize. That is great that at least some of the family history survived through letters. This period has always interested me. My family doesn’t have much in the way of momentos from days gone by, but I always love hearing about the stories of others. I would love to read your book when it is finished.


    1. It is amazing how the sense of entitlement has changed the modern world isn’t it? There is a portion of this book that talks about the soldiers not even having a blanket to sleep with, and my kids whine over not having the latest video game:)


  5. My son told me about this book yesterday and I’m eager to get a copy. My great grandfather was George Wyman Clow(e). As far as I can figure he was Richard’s brother. Georges wife was Hannah Wiswall Waldron.


Comments are closed.