Academic journal article Military Review

Under the Southern Cross: Soldier Life with Gordon Bradwell and the Army of Northern Virginia / This Cruel War: The Civil War Letters of Grant and Malinda Taylor

Academic journal article Military Review

Under the Southern Cross: Soldier Life with Gordon Bradwell and the Army of Northern Virginia / This Cruel War: The Civil War Letters of Grant and Malinda Taylor

Article excerpt

UNDER THE SOUTHERN CROSS: Soldier Life with Gordon Bradwell and the Army of Northern Virginia, Pharris DeLoach Johnson, ed., Mercer University Press, Macon, GA, 1999, 271 pages, $32.95.

THIS CRUEL WAR: The Civil War Letters of Grant and Malinda Taylor, Ann K. Blomquist and Robert A. Taylor, eds., Mercer University Press, Macon, GA, 2000, 348 pages, $32.95.

Under the Southern Cross is a compilation of Private Gordon Bradwell's recollections of the Civil War, which he wrote more than 40 years afterward for Confederate Veteran Magazine. This Cruel War is a collection of the wartime letters written by Grant Taylor and his wife Malinda. Together, these books provide insight into the thoughts, motivations, and range of emotions that affected the daily lives of private soldiers during the Civil War.

Bradwell and Taylor were the sons of small slaveholders, but neither owned slaves. Both were infantry privates who were still in the service at the end of the war, although Taylor was absent without leave (AWOL) and making his way back to his unit when the war ended. Both were deeply religious.

The men had striking differences, however. Bradwell volunteered for the 31 st Georgia Infantry at the start of the war. Taylor waited until the passage of the Confederate conscription act in 1862 to enlist in the 40th Alabama Infantry. Bradwell was a veteran of the more prestigious and generally more successful Army of Northern Virginia (ANV). …

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