Valleys of the Shadow is the previously unpublished account of Captain Reuben Clark's first-hand experiences as a Confederate officer, a prisoner of war, and a postwar civilian living in a conquered state. Captain Clark was a twenty-seven-year-old Knoxville businessman when the first shots of the Civil War were fired in 1861. Like many southern ...
Valleys of the Shadow is the previously unpublished account of Captain Reuben Clark's first-hand experiences as a Confederate officer, a prisoner of war, and a postwar civilian living in a conquered state. Captain Clark was a twenty-seven-year-old Knoxville businessman when the first shots of the Civil War were fired in 1861. Like many southern gentlemen Clark was opposed to secession but could not desert his family and friends. Although he enlisted as a lieutenant in the Confederacy's Third Tennessee Infantry Regiment, he spent most of his service in the Fifty-ninth Tennessee Mounted Infantry. Clark first experienced war when he arrived at Manassas just after the battle, spending his first night as a soldier among the dead and dying. His recollections of these horrors and of the battles and skirmishes that followed provide a wealth of previously undocumented information about his regiment's activities. They also offer valuable analyses of battles from a participant's point of view and discuss the irony many soldiers felt when combat pitted them against men they had known before the war in business, politics, and society. Captured after the battle of Morristown in the fall of 1864, Clark was jailed in Knoxville, then under Federal control. His account of the eight months he spent as a prisoner - his harsh treatment, a near-fatal illness, the false accusations of traitorous activities - offer a detailed description of the physical and legal battles of a Confederate prisoner of war fighting to obtain his freedom. Clark's postwar experiences relate his struggles as a former Rebel living in a conquered state, reflecting the deeply divided loyalties of East Tennessee that continued for yearsafter the war's end. This first book in a new series entitled Voices of the Civil War presents the story of a man who remained aware of his kinship with those he was forced to call his enemies. Written a quarter-century after the war began, Clark's memories vividly bring to life
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