"Civil War" Memoirs, Recollections & First Person Narratives
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by General Edward Porter Alexander
"Georgia native and West Point graduate Alexander was involved in nearly all of the significant battles in the Eastern theater of the Civil War and came into frequent contact with the highest command of the Army of Northern Virginia, including Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and James Longstreet. His perspective on such personalities and on the events unfolding around him is a most valuable one. Alexander's memoirs lay virtually untouched for some eight decades until rescued by Gallagher, who has done a splendid job of editing: unobtrusive; the annotation not merely a rehash of that which can be readily found in other Civil War sources. An excellent index and illustrations and maps from the original manuscript complement the text. Recommended for Civil War and military history collections. History Book Club selection". -- Jason H. Silverman, Winthrop Coll., Rock Hill, S.C., Library Journal
by General James Longstreet
Longstreet's memoirs reflect the combative style of the old soldier. Their tremendous historical interest lies as much in the insight they afford into the general's mind and character as in the factual account of the progress of the war.
by General John B. Gordon
This is one of the liveliest, most detailed, and most compelling first-person accounts of the War from perspective of a Confederate officer. A native of Upson County, Georgia, Gordon was a true citizen soldier who entered the service as a captain and left it at war's end as a general. A blend of the romantic & the bloody, the dramatic & the dreadful, this book vividly conveys the valor, stamina, & accomplishments of a beloved Southern figure.
by General Joseph E. Johnston
Engaged in much debate over the causes of the Confederate defeat, General Johnston wrote Narrative of Military Operations which was highly critical of the Confederacy's President and many of his fellow generals. Nevins calls this book "one of the earliest Confederate reminiscences; strongly partisan, anti-Davis, and defensive in tome.." Best read in conjunction with General Hood's Advance & Retreat...
by General Richard Taylor
General Richard Taylor's recollections focus on his service in the Valley of Virginia under Stonewall Jackson and later as commander of the department of Alabama, Mississippi, and East Louisiana. In recounting his personal experiences, General Taylor produced a masterful history of the War, with special attention to the often neglected western theatre. Taylor first served under Stonewall Jackson, whose methods he later adapted in defeating Banks in his Red River Campaign. A brilliant commander and an astute observer, Taylor's severe judgments of high officers, North and South, and his comments about Reconstruction are particularly valuable.
by General Jubal Anderson Early
Originally released in 1866, General Early's is the first personal account published by a major Civil War figure on either side. Early anticipated arguments that later Southern writers would make regarding Lee's and Grant's generalships, the reasons for Confederate defeat, and the conduct of Union forces in Southern states. Early’s memoir helped shape the ways in which white Southerners wrote about and understood the Confederacy.
by General John Bell Hood
"Hood's memoirs... reflects the scars Hood carried away from the war... Advance and Retreat offers insights into important personalities and campaigns and remains an essential title on the military history of the Civil War." --Gary W. Gallagher, professor of history at the University of Virginia.
by General Basil Wilson Duke
"Duke, in his fascinating Reminiscences, has provided a glimpse of Civil War campaigning with Morgan’s Raiders, of the character and leadership of a number of prominent Confederate generals, and of a Southerner’s perception of the pre-war South and of reconstruction. The reader of this volume will gain a greater appreciation of the human element of leadership in conflict and will enjoy reading this colourful anecdotal account as much as Duke seemingly enjoyed writing it." -- Lt Col Harold E. Raugh, Jr., United States Army.
by Heros von Borcke
Von Borcke's memoirs are set apart from other such documents by their author's unabashed enthusiasm for the art of civilized warfare, and by his uniquely European, and aristocratic, outlook on the American Civil War.
"...Von Borcke's book is one that no student of Confederate history will forget. Sword clash and bugles blow on every page of it." -- Douglas S. Freeman, author of "R. E. Lee"
by Lieutenant Colonel W.W. Blackford, C.S.A.
Characterized by precision of statement and clarity of detail, W.W. Blackford's memoir of his service in the Civil War is one of the most valuable to come out of Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. It also provides a critically important perspective on one of the Best-known Confederate cavalrymen, Major General J.E.B. Stuart.
"Every line of this narrative... has the "feel" of the cavalry... Authenticity is stamped on each paragraph." - Douglas S. Freeman, author of "R. E. Lee" and "Lee's Lieutenants"
by Colonel John S. Mosby
The story of the activity of this flamboyant commander and his men from his own perspective.
"No other figure of the Civil War became during his lifetime such a storybook legend as Colonel John Singleton Mosby, the audacious and resourceful Confederate soldier who, operating in sight of the Capitol dome with a handful of undisciplined guerrillas, performed prodigies in breaking up Union communications and capturing or putting to flight detachments of Union troops that were often far larger than his own."--Edmund Wilson, Patriotic Gore
"Since the close of the war, I have come to know Colonel Mosby personally, and somewhat intimately. . . .There were probably but few men in the South who could have commanded successfully a separate detachment, in the rear of an opposing army and so near the border of hostilities, as long as he did without losing his entire command."--Ulysses S. Grant
by Lt. Col. Arthur James Lyon Fremantle
"Since 1863 Three Months in the Southern States has enjoyed a reputation as one of the finest of Civil War books." - Richard Harwell
"Fremantle's book remains a superior source on the Confederacy." - Gary W. Gallagher, author of "Antietam", "Chancellorsville" and "The Confederate War"
by Walter Herron Taylor, James I. Robertson,Jr.
Walter Taylor was from "first to last the closest" of all staff officers to General Robert E. Lee, and his intimate relationship with his commander gives Taylor's writings signal importance in any study of Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia. More than anyone in the Confederate Armies, Taylor knew the effective strength of Lee's forces in all engagements. He wrote dispatches for Lee and often carried messages in person to corps and division commanders. He greeted all persons who came to see Lee, and usually decided whether they would be announced to the General. When the Confederate army was disbanded, all staff officers bade farewell to Lee except Taylor, who rode back with him to Richmond, and Taylor devoted a considerable portion of his postwar years to settling controversies relative to the Army of Northern Virginia. Rarely are his conclusions disputed, because he possessed a memory known to be coherent and accurate. He became in effect "an unofficial court of last resort" in the arguments that abounded in the half-century after Appomattox. A recognized classic, Four Years with General Lee first appeared in 1877 and was a collector's item by the turn of the century. For many years a standard authority on confederate history, it is the source for dozens of incidents that have now become a part of every biography of Lee.
by William A. Fletcher
"Gives the best account I know of the Confederate soldier's combination of seemingly irreconcilable characteristics... In his devotion to the truth, mainly by limiting his narrative to what he saw with his own eyes, Bill Fletcher has left us an account of the conflict worthy of space on the shelf next to Sam Watkins..." - Shelby Foote
"A wonderful book - hypnotically honest, compellingly credible, subtly ironic..." - H.W. Brands, Professor of History, Texas A&M University.
by Samuel R. Watkins
Co. Aytch is the work of a natural storyteller who balances the horror of war with an irrepressible sense of humor and a sharp eye for the lighter side of battle. Among Civil War memoirs, it is considered a classic -- a living testament to one man's enduring humanity, courage, and wisdom in the midst of death and destruction.
"Company Aytch is one of my favorite Civil War books, ever."--Ken Burns
by Ned Bradford (Editor)
This is a reprint of the Dutton edition of 1956. These pieces, selected from the four volume work by Johnson and Buel (1887-88), give a coherent view of the Civil War. First-hand testimonials from officers, soldiers, and civilians involved in America's bloodiest conflict, accompanied by black and white line drawings, etchings, and maps. Covers battles from Manassas and Gettysburg to the surrender at Appomattox, with words from Lee, Grant, Sherman as well as lesser known participants such as medics and nurses.