The Confederate Reader

The Confederate Reader

The Confederate Reader

The Confederate Reader

Excerpt

This is The Confederate Reader. This is the story of the Confederacy as the Confederates themselves (and a few foreign sympathizers with the Confederates) wrote it for one another. It is a roughly chronological selection from the writings of the times, the writings that were, theoretically at least, available to the Confederate reading public. It does not exhaust the aspects of Confederate life, but it touches on most of them. It does not attempt to give an over-all military history of the war, but there is a generous sampling of battle reports and general orders. Rather, it fills in the picture of Confederate life from a variety of sources (sources which were nearly always heavily influenced by the military, though not directly military) -- from sermons, songs, humorous sketches, novels, prison narratives, travel observations. These are the living artifacts of the life of a Southerner of the sixties, as important to the historian as the treasured guns of Confederates and Federals are important to the student of ordnance. Ink and paper survive with a peculiar freshness, and the words of the Confederates re-create their own era with an immediacy and truth that . . .

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