This is a memoir written by a Confederate veteran of the Civil War. From the foreword: " I HAVE set down in the pages that follow some of my experiences and observations during my service with the Army of Northern Virginia, first as a private soldier, then as a staff officer, and finally as a chaplain in the field. I served in the ranks under Gen. ...
This is a memoir written by a Confederate veteran of the Civil War. From the foreword: " I HAVE set down in the pages that follow some of my experiences and observations during my service with the Army of Northern Virginia, first as a private soldier, then as a staff officer, and finally as a chaplain in the field. I served in the ranks under Gen. Jos. E. Johnston and Gen. Thos. J. Jackson; as a staff officer under Brigadier-Gen. Geo. H. Steuart in the army of Gen. R. E. Lee; and as a chaplain in the Second Virginia Cavalry under Col. Thos. T. Munford, in the brigade of Gen. Fitzhugh Lee. It has not been my purpose to write a history of the campaigns in which I took so humble a part, but simply to present a few pen and ink sketches of the life and experience of a Confederate soldier, in the hope that I may thereby contribute in some small degree to a better understanding of the spirit of the epoch--both of the soldiers who fought the battles, and of the people on whose behalf they dared and suffered what they did. In telling this plain and unvarnished story I have been aided by the diary, or rather the diaries, which I kept during the war, and from which I have freely quoted, just as they were written, without recasting the sentences, or improving the style, or toning down the sentiments they contain. The thoughts and the opinions expressed, and the often crude form in which they are cast, are just those of a young soldier, jotted down on the march, or by the camp-fire, or in the quiescent intervals of battle, without any thought that they would ever be put into print. This I have done believing that I would thus best attain my object, --to show the mind and the life of the Confederate soldier as they were while the struggle was going on. But there was a hiatus in my material. My diary for the larger part of one of the four years of the war was lost, and therefore I have omitted those months from my narrative. I have also tried to give the point of view of the young men of the South in espousing the cause of the Confederacy, and to remove some misapprehensions still entertained in regard to the motives which animated the men who followed the banner of the Southern Cross. In connection with the Gettysburg campaign, I have undertaken to discuss the much mooted question of the action of Gen. J. E. B. Stuart, with the cavalry under his command. This I have felt constrained to do because of the view (erroneous, as I believe) presented by Col. John S. Mosby in his recent book on the subject."
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