American Civil War Fans: Some Cool Stuff

In the spirit of Project Gutenberg, UNC Chapel Hill has begun a collection of e-texts of first-hand accounts of Civil War-era Southerners.

First-Person Narratives of the American South

Among them you will find the memoirs of Jubal Early, the collected letters of George Pickett, the diary of Mary Chesnut, and a very rare bird indeed. At least, I’ve yet to see a copy of it in real life, and I have been looking.

Destruction and Reconstruction: Personal Experiences of the Late War, by Richard “Dick” Taylor. Dick Taylor was the only son of General (and President) Zachary Taylor. He was not a soldier by profession, but had studied the classical campaigns in detail, and rose quickly through the ranks of the Confederate Army. Among the units under his command were the Louisiana “Tigers,” famous both for their ferocious performance on the battlefield and their avarice off of it.

Most interesting to me, Dick Taylor has one of the more complete and cogent accounts of Jackson’s Valley Campaign. A quick perusal shows me that Douglas Southall Freeman relied very heavily on this account to piece together the definitive narrative of the Valley Campaign in vol. I of Lee’s Lieutenants.

There is a paperback version of this book in print, but I’ve never actually found one in stock, anywhere, ever (Amazon has been claiming they have one copy of it for the past three years, in case you’re interested). You can’t beat the price of this version.

Anyway, I hope some of you find something interesting in this collection.

Simply because I hate it when I post a thread and it gets left dangling, I wanted to make sure you knew that I have a buddy who is a huge Civil War buff and I forwarded your thread to him (he is SDMB uninitiated, so wouldn’t have known to look for it himself) - he is psyched.

Wow, Mary Boykin Chesnut’s diary. That rules! I’ve wanted to read it for years, but never got around to it. I think I have seen it in print before if I’m not mistaken, and I wish I could remember where. Maybe I’m just insane? Anyhow, now it looks like I don’t have to buy it, so that’s cool. Can’t wait to dig into all of that other juicy stuff, as well. It’s wonderful to have it all on one site. I just clicked on the link and I’m going to go back directly and see if they have anything on Belle Boyd too. Thank you, thank you Sofa King!!