Living Hell: The Dark Side of the Civil War It show the actual absolute brutality of the war, on the march, the battlefield and the hospital tents. Living Hell, Chapter One: Gone for a Soldier Bucking and gagging or crucifixion on a spare artillery wheel appear to be harsh punishments, but were common for serious military offenses such as theft, drunkenness, or rank insubordination. Regular officers, in particular, used severe measures, including flogging and execution, to control ill-disciplined citizen soldiers. These sketches are by Charles Reed, a Civil War veteran; they appeared in Hard Tack and Coffee: The Unwritten Story of Army Life , an 1887 memoir written by John D. Billings of the 10th Massachusetts Volunteer Artillery. Although a Congressional Medal of Honor winner, Billings didnâ€™ t flinch from confronting the dark side of soldiering. I talk more about punishments and adjustment to army life in the first chapter of Living Hell.