- Cry Heart: Personal Experiences of the War Between the States, From the Confederate Soldiers on the Line, the Officers, and the Civilians Who Lived It! (review)
- Civil War History
- The Kent State University Press
- Volume 44, Number 4, December 1998
- pp. 314-315
- View Citation
- Additional Information
314CIVIL WAR HISTORY in his own backyard workshop. He died in the winter of 1 862 after being horribly mangled in an accidental explosion. Forty-five workers—all but two of them women—died in a similar explosion at the Confederate States Laboratory. The youngest was nine; many were only twelve; the oldest was sixty-seven. Ashes ofGlory presents many such stories. The book's chief strength is, in fact, the wealth of anecdotal detail. Also of note is its attention to the contributions women made to the city's wartime history. The young refugee Constance Cary, African American spy Mary Elizabeth Bowser, war widow and Treasury clerk Malvina Black Gist, nurse Phoebe Yates Pember, and scores of others are present. Ashes ofGlory is thus an excellent read and a worthy study with substantial new material. There is but one disappointment. Still absent is much detail about Richmond's slaves and free blacks. The city's population in 1 860 was nearly 40 percent black and, while the influx of soldiers, politicians, and white laborers grew rapidly after secession, the city's African American community remained a substantial portion of the whole throughout the war years. That remarkable wartime story remains to be told in the detail it deserves. Edward D. C. Campbell Jr. The Library of Virginia Cry Heart: Personal Experiences ofthe War Between the States, From the Confederate Soldiers on the Line, the Officers, and the Civilians Who Lived It! Compiled by Lee Jacobs. (Camden S.C.: John Culler & Sons, 1995. Pp. 424. $29.95.) This volume is a compilation of remembrances of Southerners who lived during the Civil War era. The author contends that modem Southerners do not realize the sacrifices and the heroism of their ancestors in the war. He has collected over one hundred short accounts of various experiences of Southerners during the war, including many common soldiers and civilians, some junior officers, and a few senior officers. The authors deal with such topics as the harshness of camp life, the fear of combat, and the bitterness of defeat in these accounts. Most of the accounts are postwar. Jacobs includes two sections of photographs within the text and an appendix that lists the Confederate dead from his home in Rowan County, North Carolina. Collections of soldier and civilian remembrances such as Cry Heart have led to a greater appreciation of the contribution of the average soldier and civilian. The appeal of Cry Heart could have been broadened by several relatively minor organizational changes. The accounts do not follow a pattern. A chronological , geographical, or topical grouping would have given the accounts more cohesion and a greater impact on the reader. Another suggestion deals with providing readers with a biographical sketch of the authors of the account and some editorial analysis of the account. For example, compare J. Coleman Anderson's criticism of Longstreet's tardiness at Gettysburg (23-26) with book reviews315 Longstreet's version of the story. Also, compare accounts written during the war to those written after the war for subtle changes in attitudes. Afinal suggestion would be to include a more complete bibliography and an index. Some of the accounts are fascinating, and readers who would like to follow up on the story have no easy way of finding the material. Still, Cry Heart tells a story that will interest Civil War buffs, especially Southerners. The story ofthe average soldier and the typical civilian in America's greatest war deserves more attention. Hopefully more works such as Cry Heart will follow and meet this need. Mr. Jacobs has done a fine job in collecting this account, and I enjoyed reading Cry Heart despite my desire for some organizational changes. I can recommend this book to anyone interest in the Confederate war experience. Damon Eubank Cambellsville University Portraits of Conflict: A Photographic History ofNorth Carolina in the Civil War. By Richard B. McCaslin. Foreword by Bobby Roberts and Carl Moneyhon. (Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 1997. Pp. xi, 392. $75.00.) The early photographers of North Carolina were a collection of small businessmen who tried to earn a living taking photographs through a variety of means but were only partly successful. They moved about...