Reminiscences of the Civil War

By John B. Gordon | Go to book overview

CHAPTER I
MY FIRST COMMAND AND THE OUTBREAK OF THE WAR

A company of mountaineers -- Joe Brown's pikes -- The Raccoon Roughs -- The first Rebel yell -- A flag presented to the company -- Arrival at Montgomery, Alabama -- Analysis of the causes of the war -- Slavery's part in it -- Liberty in the Union of the States, and liberty in the independence of the States.

THE outbreak of war found me in the mountains of Georgia, Tennessee, and Alabama, engaged in the development of coal-mines. This does not mean that I was a citizen of three States; but it does mean that I lived so near the lines that my mines were in Georgia, my house in Alabama, and my post-office in Tennessee. The first company of soldiers, therefore, with which I entered the service was composed of stalwart mountaineers from the three States. I had been educated for the bar and for a time practised law in Atlanta. In September, 1854, I had married Miss Fanny Haralson, third daughter of General Hugh A. Haralson, of La Grange, Georgia. The wedding occurred on her seventeenth birthday and when I was but twenty-two. We had two children, both boys. The struggle between devotion to my family on the one hand and duty to my country on the other was most trying to my sensibilities. My spirit had been caught up by the flaming enthusiasm that swept like a prairie-fire through the land, and I hastened to unite with the brave men of the mountains in organizing a company of volunteers. But what

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