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The Life of Johnny Reb: The Common Soldier of the Confederacy
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The Life of Johnny Reb: The Common Soldier of the Confederacy

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  639 ratings  ·  13 reviews
In this companion to The Life of Johnny Reb, Bell Irvin Wiley explores the daily lives of the men in blue who fought to save the Union. With the help of many soldiers' letters and diaries, Wiley explains who these men were and why they fought, how they reacted to combat and the strain of prolonged conflict, and what they thought about the land and the people of Dixie. This ...more
Paperback, 444 pages
Published January 1st 2008 by Louisiana State University Press (first published 1943)
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Ash
Bell Irvin Wiley was a historian but mostly he had a vested interest in the military history of this nation. He served as a historical officer during WWII. He uses the images Johnny Reb representation created by flag-wavers to contrast to the Billy Yank image created by the northern coalition during the Civil War.
Wiley dives deep into a personal historic account of the Civil War, drawing from the personal effects of the soldiers who survived and some who did not survive. His focus through his w
...more
Greg
Hard not to appreciate the level of research Wiley utilized, of firsthand accounts and letters over publications. The best book, beyond fictionalized accounts, for understanding the day to day life of the infantry soldier in the camps, and of their backgrounds. Wiley's love for his subjects, even in all their faults and diversity, comes through very clearly. Interested to see what differences, if any, are in his account of Billy Yank.
David R.
They don't write them like this any more. This 1940s classic considers the day to day lives of common soldiers of the Confederate States Army. We experience Johnny Reb's food, shelter, terrors, travails, entertainments and more. There is plenty of source text and a lot of it is heartrending. In all, a wonderful study.
Kris
Great book with amazing insight into the life of Johnny Reb.
Sean Chick
Willey is still the go to man for the life of the common soldier and you can see why. This essentially a collection of facts, anecdotes, and quotations, yet from this a portrait emerges, one that is commendable, but not without blemishes. Perhaps not the greatest read, but certainly among the best researched.
Kevin Tallon
My great-great grandfather fought in the army of northern Virginia all four years of the civil war. I read this in order to gain a greater understanding of what life would have been like for him and this book did not disappoint.
Omar
great source for discovering the southern soldier in the civil war. What they went through, thought, felt, acted, why they fought, how, and everything else dealing with the war effort and their societal and family surroundings
Doug
The camp life of Confederate soldiers during the American Civil War, including many anecdotes of how they interacted, what they did and eat, how they thought and felt, etc.
Clay Davis
I enjoyed reading about the lives of a Civil War soldier. Good detail on how they dealt with life in the army. A must read for anybody interested in the Civil War
Fredrick Danysh
Examines what the life of a common Confederate soldier would have been like. Much has been written aabout the generals but little of the men ib the ranks.
Jenny Lynn
Only for the true American Civil War nerd. Unless you really want to know what is was like...watch a John Jakes film remake.
Sue
Wealth of information, but no where NEAR as good as Co. Aytch.
Derrick
I have read this book many many times.
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Born into rural Tennessee and schooled at Asbury College (BA, 1928) and Yale University (PhD, 1933), Bell Irvin Wiley became a historical officer of the Second Army in World War II and taught history the University of Mississippi, Louisiana State University, Oxford University, and Emory University. He published groundbreaking works, such as Southern Negroes, 1861-65 (1938), was named President of ...more
More about Bell Irvin Wiley...
The Life of Billy Yank: The Common Soldier of the Union Road to Appomattox The Life of Johnny Reb and The Life of Billy Yank (Essential Classics of the Civil War) Confederate Women Embattled Confederates: An Illustrated History of Southerners at War

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