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Best Civil War book done by a participant who was NOT a commanding officer

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  • Best Civil War book done by a participant who was NOT a commanding officer

    My choice would be "Company Aytch" by Samuel Watkins. Those of you who know me realize I am no fan of Confederates, but I found this book to be superb. It was a welcome bonus that I was very familiar with much of the area in which he served.

    Regards,
    Dennis
    Last edited by D1J1; 22 Nov 19, 15:18. Reason: Modify title
    If stupid was a criminal offense Sea Lion believers would be doing life.

    Shouting out to Half Pint for bringing back the big mugs!

  • #2
    There are many excellent Civil War books not done by commanders.
    Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
      There are many excellent Civil War books not done by commanders.
      Title modified, so pick one.
      If stupid was a criminal offense Sea Lion believers would be doing life.

      Shouting out to Half Pint for bringing back the big mugs!

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by D1J1 View Post

        Title modified, so pick one.
        I would start with Cornwell's series, followed by Gingrich's and Shaara's. Although they are civilians and wrote fiction, it is actually meticulously researched "faction" based on lengthy and in-depth study.

        Then I would proceed to the professional historians such as Foote.
        Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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        • #5
          Novels...and I wouldn't waste my money on anything from Gingrich.

          Foote was also, by his own admission, a novelist and was not a professional historian.
          We are not now that strength which in old days
          Moved earth and heaven; that which we are we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts
          Made weak by time and fate but strong in will
          To strive to seek to find and not to yield.

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          • #6
            I thought the OP meant memoirs by participants in the war who were not commanding officers.

            That being the case or not, I have found some excellent memoirs done by enlisted men, such as History of the Ninth Massachusetts Battery by Levi Baker and The Cannoneer; Recollections of Service in the Army of the Potomac by Augustus Buell.

            The Ninth Massachusetts Battery was the unit committed by the corps artillery chief on 2 July to plug a hole in the Union line until the corps artillery chief could 'build' a line of artillery to fully plug the gap and stop the Confederate attack. The losses of the battery were very heavy, but it continued to serve for the rest of the war. This was the unit's first action.
            We are not now that strength which in old days
            Moved earth and heaven; that which we are we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts
            Made weak by time and fate but strong in will
            To strive to seek to find and not to yield.

            Comment


            • #7
              I enjoyed "With the 3rd Wisconsin Badgers, The Living Experience of the Civil War Through the Journals of Van R. Willard". Being from Wisconsin and having relatives who served in Wisconsin units, this book was very interesting to me. Van gives a good account of his experience during the 1862 Valley Campaign.
              "War is sorrowful, but there is one thing infinitely more horrible than the worst horrors of war, and that is the feeling that nothing is worth fighting for..."
              -- Harper's Weekly, December 31, 1864

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              • #8
                Originally posted by D1J1 View Post
                My choice would be "Company Aytch" by Samuel Watkins. Those of you who know me realize I am no fan of Confederates, but I found this book to be superb. It was a welcome bonus that I was very familiar with much of the area in which he served.

                Regards,
                Dennis
                Sam Watkins' anecdotes figured prominently in Ken Burns' PBS ACW series as well.
                "I am Groot"
                - Groot

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post

                  I would start with Cornwell's series, followed by Gingrich's and Shaara's. Although they are civilians and wrote fiction, it is actually meticulously researched "faction" based on lengthy and in-depth study.

                  Then I would proceed to the professional historians such as Foote.
                  Perhaps, but none of those PARTICIPATED in the Civil War, so they remain irrelevant for this thread.
                  If stupid was a criminal offense Sea Lion believers would be doing life.

                  Shouting out to Half Pint for bringing back the big mugs!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I would recommend One of Jackson's foot Calvary by Worsham. Another that is done by a member of Grant's staff who was an officer but not in direct charge of troops is Campaigning with Grant by Porter.
                    I would also second the book by Watson.
                    Is she crying? There's no crying in baseball.

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                    • #11
                      Thanks for some good ideas for future reading!

                      Regards,
                      Dennis
                      If stupid was a criminal offense Sea Lion believers would be doing life.

                      Shouting out to Half Pint for bringing back the big mugs!

                      Comment

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