WILLIAM G. STEVENSON
One of the more interesting accounts of the Civil War belongs to William G. Stevenson in his Thirteen Months in the Rebel Army. A transplanted Northerner living in Arkansas, Stevenson narrowly escaped being lynched for his Yankee background by enlisting in Jeff Davis' Invincibles. By the time of Shiloh, this reluctant Johnny Reb had risen to the rank of lieutenant and aide-de-camp to Brigadier General John C. Breckenridge. Following the battle, Stevenson was able to effect an escape into Federal territory where he wrote Thirteen Months to convince the North of the deadly earnest with which the Southerners were willing to fight for their cause.
General Breckenridge, about the 1st of April, let me know that he would soon wish me to act on his staff as special aid-de-camp, and advised me to instruct the next officers in command what to do in my absence.
But, before proceeding further, let us return to the one for another, until each had sped away; and turning to me, he said, "You will act as a special aid-de-camp." This announcement I received with especial gratification, as it would relieve me of all actual fighting against the Old Flag, and give me an opportunity to see far more of the progress of the battle which was to ensue than If I were confined to the ranks. The special danger of the mission to which I was called made no impression upon me. I can not recall any time when I had a fear of falling, and I had none then. From that hour until the close of the battle on Monday I was near General Breckenridge, or conveying dispatches to others from him; hence my narrative of the scenes of the next three days will be mainly of what occurred in General Breckenridge's division, and what I saw while traversing the field of action, which I crossed and recrossed twelve times.
On Friday at eight P.M., we commenced to move toward Shiloh, in silence, and with great circumspection, the army on different, but