The University of Alabama Press

Seeing the Elephant

Robert K. Krick and Gary Gallagher

Published by: The University of Alabama Press


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Seeing the Elephant


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Memoirs of the Civil War

Between the Northern and Southern Sections of the United States of America 1861 to 1865

“William Wilson Chamberlaine’s Memoirs of the Civil War, though relatively little known because of its rarity in the original edition, contains much valuable information and engaging narrative passages. A Virginian whose Confederate career included service in an infantry regiment early in the war, Chamberlaine’s most important military service was as a staff officer attached to Brigadier General Reuben Lindsay Walker, who commanded the Third Corps artillery in the Army of Northern Virginia. His book includes excellent material on the duties of staff officers, operation of Confederate conscription, and the role of artillery in Lee’s campaigns. He is especially eloquent and revealing about a number of famous battles: the Seven Days; Antietam, where Chamberlaine distinguished himself and was wounded; and the Wilderness, where he had a memorable encounter with Lee.

            “Never before reprinted, Memoirs of the Civil War benefits greatly from a perceptive introduction by Robert E. L. Krick. Its intrinsic merits should earn attention from readers interested in the storied operations of the Army of Northern Virginia.”

—From the Preface by Gary W. Gallagher

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Recollections of War Times

By An Old Veteran while under Stonewall Jackson and Lieutenant General James Longstreet

William A. McClendon, with an introduction by Keith S. Bohannon

Recollections of War Times is a dramatically improved edition of William A. “Gus” McClendon’s memoir of his service in the 15th Alabama Infantry. It has long been recognized among the rarest books by any veteran of the Army of Northern Virginia.


Keith Bohannon has conducted relentless research that uncovered a gratifying array of new information about McClendon, as well as new photographs. The introduction based on that research might be a model for the genre, full of details acquired from arcane sources that throw new light on the subject. Bohannon's new exhaustive index also makes McClendon's memoir notably more accessible.

"Gus" McClendon joined the 15th Alabama Infantry Regiment, and served in many of the Eastern Theater engagements. More than fifty years later, he sent down his reminiscences, still an unreconstructed Southern patriot, although able to look back with some amusement on his younger self.

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Seven Months in the Rebel States During the North American War, 1863

Captain Justus Scheibert, with a new introduction by Robert K. Krick

Captain Scheibert’s book was available only in German until W. S. Hoole edited the present version.

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A Soldier's Story of His Regiment (61st Georgia)

George W. Nichols

“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

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The South As It Is


John Richard Dennett, with a new introduction by Caroline E. Janney

This classic report originally appeared as a series of articles in the Nation between July 8, 1865, and April 11, 1866. Dennett traveled in seven states—Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi—at the very beginning of Reconstruction. His remarkably prophetic account of the recently defeated South is a major source for the history of this transition.

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Tried Men and True, or Union Life in Dixie

Thomas J. Cypert, edited and with an introduction by Margaret M. Storey

Tried Men and True, or Union Life in Dixie highlights in emotional detail the local tensions between Unionists and Confederates in the Civil War South and offers a rare first-person account of the guerrilla war that devastated Western Tennessee.

Thomas Jefferson Cypert (1827-1918) was a staunch Union man of Wayne County, Tennessee. In 1863, he helped organize the Second Tennessee Mounted Infantry, a regiment of loyalist Southerners enlisted to combat Confederate cavalry in West Tennessee and Northern Alabama. Tried Men and True is Cypert’s memoir of his time as Captain of Company A, including his capture by Confederate cavalry and subsequent daring escape, in which he was aided by local Union sympathizers and slaves.
After the Civil War, Cypert served two terms in the Tennessee State Senate, one of them during the heated first years of Reconstruction, when Tennessee disenfranchised former rebels and attempted to establish Unionist Republican rule in the state. Cypert clearly wrote his memoir to defend Unionism, condemn secession and rebellion, and support loyalists’ claims for post-war power through an account of their wartime sacrifices. Never before published, the manuscript has been preserved in nearly perfect condition by Cypert’s descendants over the generations. This book is a remarkable and engagingly written account of resistance to the Confederacy by a group of southwestern Tennessee loyalists.




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