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A Soldier's Story of His Regiment (61st Georgia) and Incidentally of the Lawton-

George W. Nichols

Publication Year: 2011

“George W. Nichols’s aptly titled Soldier’s Story is one of the classic narratives of frontline infantry service in the Army of Northern Virginia. Nichols’s 61st Georgia fought in the renowned brigade commanded in turn by General Alexander r. Lawton, General John B. Gordon, and General Clement A. Evans. Nichols framed his account without sentimental hindsight; in addition to reporting great battles and dramatic moments, he told the story of two cousins killing each other in a quarrel about cooking duties and described maggot-infested corpses around Spotsylvania’s Bloody Angle. An annotated roster of the 61st supplies details about Nichols’s fellow veterans, some of which are not available anywhere else. Years of exhaustive research have made Professor K. S. Bohannon of the University of West Georgia the nonpareil leading authority on Georgia’s Civil War troops. Bohannon’s introduction adduces strong new evidence about George Nichols and his book. A thorough index also makes the work more accessible than earlier editions.”—Robert K. Krick, author of The Smoothbore Volley That Doomed the Confederacy: The Death of Stonewall Jackson and Other Chapters on the Army of Northern Virginia

Published by: The University of Alabama Press

Series: Seeing the Elephant

Cover Page

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p. 1-1

Title Page

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pp. 2-5


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pp. v-vi

List of Illustrations

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pp. vii-viii

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Series Editor’s Preface

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pp. ix-x

“I have read a great many histories of the war,” George W. Nichols wrote at the beginning of his memoir, “but have never read one that was correct.” His aptly titled A Soldier’s Story of His Regiment (61st Georgia) and Incidentally of the Lawton-Gordon-Evans Brigade Army, Northern Virginia set about telling his own story as accurately as possible. ...

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Introductory Preface

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pp. xi-xiv

I wrote a part of it in 1887 and had it published in the Pioneer and Eagle, a newspaper, then published in Bulloch county, Ga. After its publication I was complimented highly by all of my oId company, and at the request of my own children I have rewritten and enlarged it, and decided to publish it. ...

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What Others Say of the Book

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pp. xv-xviii

"The book of which Mr. G. W. Nichols, of Georgia, is The author, is a simple recital of facts connected with our great civil war as those facts came under his own observation while serving as a private soldier in the armies of the Southern Confederacy. ...

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General A. R. Lawton Biographical Sketch

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pp. xix-xx

General A. R. Lawton was a South Carolinian by birth, a graduate of West Point and served in the First Regiment of United States Artillery for eighteen months on the frontier of the British Provinces. Resigning, he became a lawyer, graduated at Harvard Law School, and settled in Savannah, Georgia. ...

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pp. 1-12

In his classic bibliography, In Tall Cotton: The 200 Most Important Confederate Books for the Reader, Researcher, and Collector, Richard B. Harwell wrote that A Soldier’s Story of His Regiment (61st Georgia) and Incidentally of the Lawton-Gordon-Evans Brigade Army, Northern Virginia was primitive in its style, “but lively and refreshing.” ...

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Chapter 1

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pp. 13-36

The Thirteenth Georgia Regiment was formed and mustered into the Confederate service about the 8th of July, 1861, at Griffin, Ga., with Walter Ector elected colonel; Marcellus Douglas, lieutenant-colonel, and J. M. Smith, major. ...

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Chapter 2

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pp. 36-46

The brigade being formed, we were ordered to Richmond, Virginia. The brigade was composed principally of young men and was nearly 7,000 strong, and was the flower of Georgia, and, I suppose, did as much hard and effectual service as was done in the war, and, I suppose, had as fine commanders. ...

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Chapter 3

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pp. 46-57

After the Seven Days' Battle we rested a few days, then Jackson's corps was ordered to Gordonsville, Va., and camped around Gordonsville, Orange C. H. and Liberty Mills to watch a new army, made up and styled "The Army of Virginia," which was composed of four Union forces, ...

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Chapter 4

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pp. 58-63

Jackson's corps was stationed near Whitepost, Berryville and Front Royal. We rested here, reorganized and recruited up the best we could. There had been a great many officers killed, wounded and resigned. Lieutenant S. H. Kennedy was promoted to captain soon after the Seven-day's battle before Richmond. ...

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Chapter 5

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pp. 63-76

On the morning of the 28th of June, I and a great many others of my company, regiment and brigade, left the army at Gaines' Mill, very sick, and were sent to Richmond to the hospitals for treatment. It was only nine miles, but it took a great many of us two days to get there. We were so sick. ...

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Chapter 6

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pp. 77-86

In the winter of 1862 and 1863 our brigade was transferred from General Ewell's division to General Jubal A. Early's division and was composed of Lawton's Georgia brigade, Hays' Louisiana brigade, Pegram's Virginia brigade and Hoke's North Carolina brigade. ...

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Chapter 7

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pp. 87-111

In the "Lowell Institute" course of lectures in Boston last winter (this lecture was delivered in 1885—Author.) the following lecture was delivered by Colonel Theodore A. Dodge, author of the admirable book on Chancellorsville, which we had occasion to notice so favorably. ...

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Chapter 8

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pp. 112-124

We remained in our old camps a few days and moved out about half a mile to a new camp in a pleasant oak grove, where we had nothing to do but drill and a little picket and guard duty, until about the first of June. ...

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Chapter 9

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pp. 125-132

We privates could not hear anything about the Yankees. It seemed for a long time like we had either killed them all or had left them on the north side of the Potomac. We afterwards found out that this was not the case. ...

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Chapter 10

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pp. 132-140

January, 1864, came in fair and warm for Virginia. On the morning of January 4th we heard firing at the picket post at Morton' Ford about five miles from our camps. We hurriedly fell in line and double-quicked (ran) most of the way. Gordon's Brigade was the first troops to get there, but Gordon himself was not present. ...

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Chapter 11

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pp. 140-149

On May 3rd we noticed that couriers were riding around, sometimes in quite a hurry. We felt sure that something was on the verge of happening. On the 4th we had to prepare two day's rations, and could hear cannonading down the river about Germania ford. ...

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Chapter 12

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pp. 149-160

On the 8th of May Ewell's corps was ordered from the extreme left to the extreme right of Lee's army, and on down to near Spotsylvania C. H. A part arrived on the evening of :May 9th. General Grant was trying to swing his immense army around Lee's right flank. We ran a few cavalry back and reconnoitered. ...

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Chapter 13

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pp. 161-169

After resting a few days General Grant started on a flank movement, but we cut him off at North Anna river and Hanover Junction and fortified. Grant did not try to move us, but he tested the strength of some parts of Lee's lines. A heavy skirmish battle was in our front. ...

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Chapter 14

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pp. 169-182

On the morning of the 28th of June, 1864, we started down the valley by the way of Harrisburg, Va., New Market, Mount Jackson, Woodstock, Fisher's Hill, Strasburg, Middletown and arrived at Winchester on the 2nd of July. At Middletown the Yankees had burned a great many houses that were owned by the best Southerners, among them the city ministers. ...

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Chapter 15

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pp. 182-193

On the morning of the 19th of Septtember, 1864, we started very early to fall back to Stephenson's Depot, where the rest of. General Early's command was. We marched several miles with quick-step and began to see that something was wrong, for we would march a short piece and stop. ...

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Chapter 16

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pp. 193-204

About the 5th of October Early was reinforced by General Kershaw's division, from Richmond, consisting of about 3,000 infantry and a brigade of cavalry. This made our command about as strong as it was before the disasters at Winchester and Fisher's Hill. ...

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Chapter 17

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pp. 205-228

We camped twelve miles south of Petersburg. We had to build better winter quarters than we had ever built. We were building chimneys on Christmas day. We had about completed our winter quarters and finished cleaning up our camps by New Year's day, 1865. ...

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Chapter 18

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pp. 229-292

My Dear Sir and Old Comrade—Yours to hand, asking me for my prison life, which I will try to give you. I know I call not recollect everything that happened in the prison that might interest you or the readers of your history; but I will do the best I can, and will tell the truth. ...


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pp. 293-309

E-ISBN-13: 9780817385231
E-ISBN-10: 0817385231
Print-ISBN-13: 9780817356460
Print-ISBN-10: 0817356460

Page Count: 329
Illustrations: 9 illustrations
Publication Year: 2011

Series Title: Seeing the Elephant