Synopses & Reviews
The recent rediscovery of Rebel Private: Front and Rear
, effectively lost for decades, marks an authentic publishing event in the literature of the Civil War. A rare insight into the conflict from the point of view of a Confederate army enlisted man, this compelling memoir has been hailed by historians as a classic and indispensible key to understanding the Southern perspective. Margaret Mitchell even described it as her single most valuable source of research for Gone With the Wind
This stunning document is the work of a common foot soldier blessed with extraordinary perception and articulateness. After joining the famed Texas Brigade under Stonewall Jackson. Private William A. Fletcher saw action at Second Manassas, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, Channcellorsville, and Chickamauga. He was wounded several times and escaped from a moving Union prison train before the South's surrender. In 1907, he published this powerfully evocative account of his exploits, a volume of frank, detailed recollections that spares none of the horror, courage, or absurdity of war. But a fire destroyed all but a few copies before they could be distributed. One copy, however, did make its way to the Library of Congress, where it was eventually discovered. Today, this colorful work has become the voice of the Civil War front-line grunt, speaking to the modern reader with the intensity of personal experience and a vividness of detail that gives it a riveting you-are-there quality.
"A neat tale of suspense
an admirable piece of Americana."
"Gives the best account I know of.
This Confederate Soldier shows his devotion to the truth by limiting his narrative to what he saw with his own eyes."
"He was the G.I. Joe of the confederate amy.
He wrote so honestly, casually, and dramatically that no one who pretends to understand the Irresponsible Conflict can neglect reading this book."
Private William A. Fletcher fought with the famed Texas Brigade at Gettysburg, Chancellorsville, Second Manassas, and Chickamauga. In 1907, he published this fascinating account of his exploits, but a fire destroyed all but a few copies before they could be distributed. One copy, however, did make its way to the Library of Congress. Now this rare glimpse of the war from a grunt's perspective is available to the general reader.
About the Author
Richard Wheeler, an ex-marine, is the author of sixteen other books of military history, eleven of which deal with different Civil War campaigns and battles, including Voices of the Civil War, winner of the New York City Civil War Round Table's Fletcher Pratt Award. Wheeler is also the author of Voices of 1776: The Story of the American Revolution in the Words of Those Who Were There (Meridian). He lives in Pine Grove, Pennsylvania.
Table of Contents
INTRODUCTION by Richard Wheeler
EXPERIENCES AND OBSERVATIONS FROM THE EARLY FIFTIES AND THROUGH THE CIVIL WAR
GENERAL JACKSON'S FLANKING GENERAL McCLELLAN AND SEVEN DAYS' BATTLE BEFORE RICHMOND, VIRGINIA
BATTLE OF SECOND MANASSAS
BATTLE OF FREDERICKSBURG, VIRGINIA
BATTLE OF GETTYSBURG, PENNSYLVANIA
BATTLE OF CHICKAMAUGA
CAPTURE AND ESCAPE
SURRENDER AND RETURN HOME
AFTERWORD by Vallie Fletcher Taylor