Dr.'s Reviews > Co. Aytch: A Confederate Memoir of the Civil War

Co. Aytch by Samuel Rush Watkins
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Sep 03, 09

bookshelves: civil-war

Watkins wrote this book near his death in his eighties, long after he fought with the confederate army of the tennesee through four years and all of it's major campaigns. As you read the book he continues to remind you that he is no writer and no historian and if you want the facts thats who you should talk to, this is just how he saw it.

Quickly the reader comes to see that for these very reasons this account offers something that no historian ever could. We hear about him foraging for a bite to eat as the army starves, he seems to remember the chickens he found and the girls he met more fondly than the battlefield victories he took part in. We hear about him stuck in inclimate weather with no shelter and how many find their deaths this way. In a very hokey country boy sort of way Watkins manages to magnify the civil war experience to that of the single anonymous private trudging in the ranks. Trials and tribulations that most of us would never consider come to the forefront. His recolections of combat are shocking and grotesque in their simplicity.

If you were going to read one book on the subject of the American Civil War, and one only, this would be a good one to pick up. It's short and to the point never bothering to paint the big picture but telling us more about the war than any multi-volume study has ever managed. READ IT!

(This can also be found under the title "A Sideshow of the Big Show" I think it's original title.)
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