Academic journal article Military Review

LEE'S TAR HEELS: The Pettigrew-Kirkland-MacRae Brigade

Academic journal article Military Review

LEE'S TAR HEELS: The Pettigrew-Kirkland-MacRae Brigade

Article excerpt

LEE'S TAR HEELS: The Pettigrew-Kirkland-MacRae Brigade, Earl J. Hess, The University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, 2002, 437 pages, $39.95.

In presenting the most comprehensive account of one of the Confederacy's most celebrated and successful units, Earl J. Hess draws on published sources and unpublished diaries and letters to weave an intricate and captivating tale of life and the toils of war in the Pettigrew-Kirkland-MacRae Brigade. Hess traces the roots of the brigade, under the command of Brigadier General James Johnston Pettigrew, from the cornerstone of the 26th North Carolina to the organization of the brigade in 1862.

While many of the details of the brigade's wartime activities are readily found in secondary sources, we can draw an accurate portrait of dayto-day life only from first-person accounts. Astonishingly, some 100 such accounts exist in the form of personal letters, diaries, memoirs, and service records-an unusually large number, especially for a Confederate unit. Hess weaves his sources into a seamless storyline, following the brigade from Gettysburg to Appomattox. …

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