Tags » Common Soldier

Black Confederates: Laborers or Soldiers? (part five)

the final part in a series

In 1969, in his book The Confederate Negro, Professor James H. Brewer wrote, “Today, in a lonely unmarked grave, forgotten and unknown, lies the Confederate Negro—a casualty of history.” 1,792 more words

Common Soldier

Hood's "Miserbels"

Here’s a new take on “Lee’s Miserables.”

Recall that Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables appeared in print in 1862 and became a favorite in Lee’s army. After its translation and publication by a Richmond firm, a “soldier edition” was distributed throughout the army in the winter of 1863-64, printed on “Confederate ‘sheep’s wool paper,’” according to Maj. 402 more words

Common Soldier

Black Confederates: Laborers or Soldiers? (part three)

part three in a series

At the beginning of the Civil War, blacks tried to enlist in both armies as soldiers but were denied by both. 555 more words

Common Soldier

Victual Particulars

One of my favorite stories comes from Miller’s Photographic History, but I never knew its source.

…until recently. In The Grayjackets: and How They Lived, Fought and Died for Dixie (Richmond, 1867), by “a Confederate” I have found the yarn. 253 more words


Like Sheep

The use of cliché is prevalent in Civil War combat narratives. Every attacking force, by their description, always had to charge through “a hail of grape and canister.” This was repeated ad nauseam regardless of whether or not there was even artillery present at the assaulted point. 1,190 more words


"Their Balaklava"

There are some stories, no matter how heroic, that just do not fit into the standard interpretation of a battle.  Take, for instance, the story of the 7th Maine at Antietam.   715 more words


Had He Lived

Every Memorial Day I give a program reflecting on the soldiers killed during the Breakthrough. There are dozens of compelling stories from which to choose for the Federals, but I have only been able to identify photographs or backstories for a handful of Confederates. 544 more words