Company Aytch, a memoir written by Sam Watkins, tells the personal tale of a lowly private fighting four long years in the American Civil War. Watkins was from Columbia, Tennessee, and was a part of Company H, 1st Tennessee Infantry. He recounts his military career in chronological order, from before the Battle of Shiloh in 1862 to the day the Confederacy surrendered at Nashville in 1865. Watkins is a humble writer, often reminds the reader that he is not aiming to provide a comprehensive account of the entire war, but rather a collection of personal stories. Military history books often recount the lives of generals and of great strategies, but this book insists that history should not exclude the common men who filled the ranks of the military.
In “Company Aytch,” Sam R. Watkins first wrote this book to describe his experience at the Battle of Franklin, Tennessee, in 1864. As a soldier in Company H of the First Tennessee Volunteer Infantry Regiment, CSA, Watkins witnessed the panorama of war in grand scale as he marched and fought with the hard luck Confederate Army of Tennessee across the Western Theater. His honest, vivid, and dramatic memoir, published in the 1880s, is a classic that conveys the horrors, humor, and realism of the Civil War, and the firsthand experience of being in this war
The Civil War is a harsh part of American history but the life of the soldiers was a real struggle. Most people know that the soldiers had a miserable life but it was far worse than people assume. Weapons weren’t easy to use, training was like starting from scratch and the camp life was miserable. Whether is was the North or the South, life wasn’t easy. Therefore, during the Civil War, the soldiers continued the courageous and daring fight in spite of poorly constructed weapons, labored training, and dreadful living conditions.
James M. McPherson sets out to discover what motivated the Confederate and Union soldiers to continue fighting in the Civil War in his book What They Fought For. McPherson analyses nearly a thousand letters, journals, and diary of Union and Confederate soldiers to determine what urged them to fight is this defining American Conflict. McPherson reads and groups together the common thoughts of the everyday soldier, from their letters and journals that none of which had been subjected to any sort of censorship, in that time period. He then generalizes the motivations that they used to fight for their country. Whether it be for slavery or for the Union, the author views both sides of the fighting to analysis their ideological issues, how deep their belief coursed through their veins to continue fighting, and how the soldiers held their convictions close to heart in the time of war.
This Republic of Suffering: Death and The American Civil War exposes a different perspective of the Civil War that is sparsely discussed and challenges the reader to broaden their views and beliefs of the war. Author, Drew Gilpin Faust, conducted nine chapters, or the new and transformed ars moriendi, primarily focusing on the past and present of the Civil War and its soldiers.
For Cause and Comrades is a book written by James McPherson, with the help of diaries and letters written by soldiers from the Confederate and Union forces, he is able to formally detail accounts on why men fought in the civil war. Consequently, McPherson is able to shed light on the mentality and motives that soldiers possessed that made them fight in the war. Although we will never truly know why soldiers fought in the civil war, this book most definitely gives readers evidence that soldiers had certain values and morals that gave them reason to fight.
The American Civil War was a military conflict between the United States of America (the Union), and 11 secessionist Southern states, organized as the Confederate States of America (the Confederacy). It was the culmination of four decades of intense sectional conflict and it reflected deep-seated economic, social, and political differences between the North and the South. Many books have been written on this “first modern war” describing how over 620,000 men were killed. Jeff Shaara goes deeper and explores the personal conflicts of four historical figures, two from the South and two from North: General Lee, General Jackson, Colonel Chamberlain, and Hancock.
Split by different cultures that stemmed from the Union and Confederacy, the United States was forced to resolve such issues with a Civil War. The nineteenth century US Civil War was a battle for power and slave rights. Favoring a stronger federal government, the Union disagreed with the Confederacy’s view on slave rights and economical style. Seeing as their economy and infrastructure was heavily based on agriculture, the Confederacy would take the most impact from an abolishment of slavery and stronger federal government. These two issues alone led to the most deadliest US war to date. Often identified as “the young soldier”, Henry Fleming enlists into the army with a very romanticized view of the battlefield. Within the first three days of battle, Henry’s characterization of a courageous and brave soldier changes dramatically.
History is usually written by the victors of war. The Civil War is no different. We often hear stories about the famous Iron Brigade and its tenacious fighting ability or of the “fighting” 69th Irish Regiment of New York but many historians have overlooked the epic sacrifices Southern soldiers endured. Sure, everyone has heard of Robert E. Lee or “Stonewall” Jackson, but the men under their command are the reasons for their fame. Many times, the men from a certain geographical region are grouped together, whose combined regiments formed brigades. This paper is a tribute to the men of North Carolina who, gave their lives fighting for the Confederate cause; with a focus on the 28th Regiment of North
In his biography, Sherman: A Soldier’s Passion for Order, John F. Marszalek explores what he believes to be William Tecumseh Sherman’s intentions for his behavior during his life time. A professor at Mississippi State University and author of several more books about the Civil War, Marszalek claims Sherman’s actions during the Civil War were a direct result of his need for social order and organization, asserting that he is one of the best military leaders of his era.
Some historians believed that most of Civil War soldiers were unaware of why they were fighting. However, it has been found that in soldiers ' letters and diaries that soldiers did have a sense of the ideological ideas that caused the war. Troops on both sides of the war were very aware of the issues that were at stake, and it concerned them greatly. This was a civil war that would define the fate of a nation or even two. This war would shape American society and each person in it. "Civil War soldiers lived in the world’s most politicized and democratic country in the mid-nineteenth century. They had come of age in the 1850s when highly charged partisan and ideological debates consumed the American polity”. (pg 92) Men enlisted in the war for not only patriotic reasons but also ideological; these beliefs did not vanish after becoming a soldier. “The spread-eagle speeches they heard at recruiting rallies merely reinforced the ideas they had absorbed from the political culture in which they had grown up. And their army experiences reinforced these ideas even more powerfully.” (pg 92) Men not only heard the speeches but also read what was printed in
The reason for writing this book from McPherson’s point of view was because out of all the material out there about President Lincoln the vast majority of it is about other topics besides his role as Commander in Chief. McPherson believes that this is surely unthinkable due to the sheer amount of time and energy Lincoln had to put into being the commander of our army throughout the four long years the Civil War reigned. This book, in the eyes of James McPherson, is a long overdue explanation of Lincoln in his main role as Commander in Chief. He tells of numerous occasions when Lincoln must make important decisions that could make or break the union army. These
“Battle Cry of Freedom; The Civil War Era id a work of such vast scope necessarily emphasizes synthesis at the expense of theme. If there is a unifying idea in the book, it is McPherson 's acknowledged emphasis on “the multiple meanings of
One of the most prominent armies of the civil war the Army of Northern Virginia is one of the most commonly analyzed aspects of the confederacy. In J. Tracy Power’s Lee’s Miserables, Power evaluates the mindset of the soldiers by following their correspondence to family members as well as their use of diaries. The book is designed to demonstrate the psychological changes of the soldiers from The Battles of the Wilderness and Spotsylvania to the eventual surrender of the army at Appomattox. Power effectively describes the spectrum of physiological states exhibited by the soldier while maintaining a theme of respect for the generalship of Robert E. Lee. While the work exhibits countless examples that become repetitive, the sentiments of the