Civil War studies normally focus on military battles, campaigns, generals and politicians, with the common Confederate soldiers and Southern civilians receiving only token mention. Using personal accounts from more than two hundred forty soldiers, farmers, clerks, nurses, sailors, farm girls, merchants, surgeons, chaplains and wives, author Jeff Toalson has created a compilation that is remarkable in its simplicity and stunning in its scope.
These soldiers and civilians wrote remarkable letters and kept astonishing diaries and journals. They discuss disease, slavery, inflation, religion, desertion, blockade running, and their never-ending hope that the war would end before their loved ones died. A major portion of these documents were unpublished and were made available by the Brewer Library of the United Daughters of the Confederacy.
With this, his third significant contribution to Civil War literature, Jeff Toalson joins the select company of Thomas W. Cutrer and Bell I. Wiley as historians who have devoted their body of work to preserving the 'voices' of common Confederate soldiers and civilians.
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February 18, 2012
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