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Rebel Private: Front and Rear

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  290 ratings  ·  36 reviews
Rare surviving journal of a foot soldier in Civil War, what the war was really like for a participant. Particularly important today with our soldiers all over the world.
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published January 15th 2004 by Emerald Ink Publishing (first published June 1907)
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3.86  · 
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 ·  290 ratings  ·  36 reviews

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Dee Arr
Mar 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, memoir
This is an interesting memoir of William Andrew Fletcher, detailing the four years he spent as a soldier of the Confederacy during the Civil War. Despite the efforts of his father, who had moved the family from Louisiana to Texas in an effort to avoid the conflict, the author left to fulfill what he felt was a duty to his country.

Mr. Fletcher fought in many of the larger battles of the war, including Second Manassas (Bull Run), Chickamauga, and Gettysburg, as well as his time trying to slow dow
Jan 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
When I first began reading this memoir I thought uh not my cup of tea. Thought this is gonna be a waste of time. But, I kept reading and reading. Halfway thru the story, it got to the point where this memoir got pretty darn good.
I finished and WOW. The AFTERWORD made it a solid 5 rating.
Great book. If you are a Civil War buff - which I am not - then get this book and look up W. A. Fletcher.
The Celtic Rebel (Richard)
Anyone who is a Civil War history buff needs to read this book. It is a wonderful record of what the average every day soldier faced. It is also a good record too of how not only the war affected the soldiers but it gives insight on how the decisions made by both the North and South affected civilians. I highly recommend this book.
Greg Woodruff
Mar 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed greatly

This book was very interesting and provided a front row view to a subject I’ve long been fascinated by. Would recommend it.
This memoir of a Confederte soldier is unique because most of the day to day writing during the Civil War was done by officers. This private fought in the midst of the battles of Manassas, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg and Chicamaunga and was seriously wounded and later captured and escaped. The beauty of this book is how articulate he was, how graphic his experience were and what it was like constantly having your face in the mud or chasing or being chased by the enemy. Mr. Fletcher later became a ...more
Bonnye Reed
Jan 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
XXX This memoir is of a Civil War Private, a Texas/Louisiana boy who served with the 5th Texas Infantry, Company "F". Written 40 years after the war, it was originally published in 1908 in Beaumont, Texas.

That said, this is an insightful look into that war through the eyes of a young man with an optimistic attitude and no expectations. It is what it is, and he records it all. Your understanding and knowledge of the Civil War is not complete until you have read this book. It is one I will keep,
David Engel
Mar 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Having studied the American Civil War for decades, I am more drawn to personal accounts these days than tactics and battle outcomes. This is an informative read told by one who observed and reported well without dressing up the stories. I really enjoyed it.
Kim Hampton
Oct 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A riveting, first-hand account of the life of an enlisted soldier for the Confederacy during the Civil War. Fletcher's stories bring to life the hardships faced by both sides, as well as the good times. It's a must-read for anyone who enjoys Civil War studies.
Jan 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The style of William Fletcher’s memoir is one of my favorites to read. It is written as a story like an old relative is telling you about their past. It is factual from this private’s eyes about what he lived, what he saw, and what he dealt with through the war. He wasn’t concerned with politics of the time so you won’t be reading any of that in this one. All Fletcher was concerned with was his duty to protect and fight for his country after invasion.

It always amazes me at the differences in th
Nov 13, 2013 rated it liked it
William Andrew Fletcher enlisted as a private in Company F, 5th Texas Infantry. Hood's Texans were some of Lee's best shock troops (breaking the Union line at Gaines Mill & leading a counterattack at the Wilderness). Written in 1908 as a self-published volume, Fletcher confined his story to what he personally witnessed. A fire destroyed most of the copies but fortunately one copy found its way into the Library of Congress. A skilled woodsman & shot, Fletcher was also something of a loose ...more
Mar 07, 2013 rated it liked it
While not as famous as Co. Aytch by Sam Watkins, Fletchers Rebel Private: Front and Rear is in my opinion better. Fletchers writing is a little less folksy and filled with tall tales than Watkins memoir, but it does still suffer from those traits to a lesser extent. The narrative can also be a bit spotty, and jump around a bit, which can make it difficult to follow at times.

Despite its faults, Rebel Private offers an interesting look into the life of an ordinary soldier in the Confederate Army.
Happened upon this book not long after finishing another first-person account of the American Civil War. That book, based on the diary and letters of a Union soldier, makes a great companion to this one. Both should be read by any modern-day fan of learning more about our nation's most turbulent time.

From a literary standpoint, Rebel Private is the better book. Written several decades after the war's conclusion, it benefits from it's design as a tale of Bill Fletcher's experience. Daniel Chisolm
Sean Mccarrey
Apr 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was an excellent book in which William Fletcher, a Confederate private during the Civil War, details the extend of his vast travels. It's rare to have an entire account of a Confederate private during the Civil War. But even more rare is the fact that Fletcher saw action in everything from Gettysburg to the harassment of the rear guard on Sherman's March and still managed to tell the nitty-gritty. Furthermore, his frank and honest tone leave little to spare (with the exception of his sexual ...more
Jul 03, 2013 rated it liked it
Fletcher served in the Confederate army through the entire war and wrote this memoir mainly for his family. Although it was written from memory 50 years after the fact, it seems fresh and told with unflinching honesty. The author does not attempt to romanticize the war or make himself a hero in it. Neither does he bear any ill will against the Union soldiers he fought in the war; he saves his wrath for the preachers and politicians who got people worked up enough to fight it. This book is vivid ...more
Sep 13, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: the-south
Authentic memoirs by a Texan who enlisted, and refused advancement, as he believed it would hamper his freedom. After participating in many battles, spending time in hospital, he returned home. He was apparently quite broad-minded for his time and part of the country. It's very interesting to read what his granddaughter writes of her memories of him, as well.

It started off well, but I got totally bogged down (and bored) in the details of each battle he was in. I am not into reading those kind of
Jan 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: civil-war-nf
Not nearly as renown as Sam Watkin's Company Aytch memoir, but definitely its' equal. Probably over regarded by me, since Fletcher served in the Texas Brigade. Totally devoid of commentary on the strategy, campaigns or "big picture" accounts, this is totally the perspective of the private during the war. What sets Fletcher's accounts apart is that he didn't seem to always have the same mindset as other Confederate soldiers and officers, but was candidly more "self preserving and self serving" in ...more
Apr 19, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My dad came across this book through a family member - the author, William Fletcher, is a distant relation of ours. That aside, this is truly an interesting and amazing read. It really does give the down and dirty side of war and how one man survived by being smart and willing to do what he had to do. I'm going to have my 13 year old son read this because I think he will enjoy it and also because it graphically describes so many hardships of war that I expect are sometimes still experienced toda ...more
A remarkable book, used as background information for GONE WITH THE WIND. This personal narrative by a surviving soldier of The Confederate Army during The Civil War has keen revelations about the reasoning behind activities on the battlefield of the day. The author had a great sense of irony and was able to uniquely convey his personal slant on the situations in which he found himself enmeshed. It's a good read, especially if your interests are The Civil War and The South of that period in gene ...more
Jun 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Was very interesting to read the account of a confederate soldier who fought in so many of the battles. The reading can get a little monotonous at times, but for the most part it flows along, but it is never a fast read. The battles aren't particularly exciting, but it was still cool because the author was a pretty daring guy and still some crazy stuff. Worth reading since there are so few accounts of a foot soldier's experience from the south.
Dec 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book has 128 pages, It has an introduction by Louis Lipsky. On the Introduction page at the bottom, Hal W. Greer, Beaumont Texas April 15, 1908.The book is William Andrew Fletcher's story of his experiences during the War of Southern Independence. William's recollection of life as a Confederate soldier are vivid, and his so great is his ability to command the imagination and give the reader a real you-are there experience. From the back of the book and I agree!
Dec 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very fine Civil War Memior.

A very fine and well written memior of the Civil war from the Southern, or should I say Texan view. Written by a Sergeant so you get a down and dirty true telling and not the war college officer political telling.

I would highly recommend this to and Civil War or American History fan.
May 18, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A classic and well written journal of a Confederate enlisted soldier during the Civil War. Of the same genre as the Sam Watkins book, but very different in style and approach. Mr Fletcher is brutally honest, more observant, more hardened, and a bit more educated than Mr Watkins. A recommended read.
Jerry Mercer
Nov 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good Historical Perspective

This is one of the few books written from a Rebel soldier's perspective. It provides considerable insight to the private's life in the Confederate army. It also gives us glimpse of several battles and the way many soldiers acted when threatened or angry.
Kim Woz
Dec 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is the first book I've read that truly speaks to the everyday life of a soldier in the Confederate Army. One often reads what life was supposedly like for the common soldier, as most stories were told from the point of view of higher ranking officers. This memoir provides in great detail the true conditions endured by the soldiers.
Apr 08, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The author relates his adventures, escapades, and hardships as a Private in the Rebel Army during The War of Northern Aggression. Well written and easy to read it gives us a sense of what the soldiers, of both sides, faced, how they thought, and why they were fighting. It is more interesting and more accurate than history text books.

This is my third reading of this book.
Avis Black
Of interest as a realistic memoir, but how many books by a sociopath do you need to read? There are plenty of other good Civil War memoirs out there by people who are decent human beings who do not pull their punches either.
Nov 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Memoirs of the civil war first hand. Very rare CSA
This book gave you the feeling that you were there with the guys. I love history and this book that was almost lost to history was a treasure that I felt privileged to read.
Fredrick Danysh
Confederate soldier William Fletcher writes his memoirs of the American Civil War. This work gives insight into the life and thoughts of a Texan in this epic struggle over states rights. The Ninth and Tenth Amendments were the real issue of the war.
Aug 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an awesome memoir of a Civil War veteran! With the exception of being a little hard to follow at times for the writers vernacular, a very enlightening telling of a man's experiences of the Civil War!!
Terry P.
Dec 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
Loved this book. Simply told by someone who could not be considered a real author, it contains what others cannot attain. Humor but also a matter-of-fact manner that can only come through one who lived it such as William A. Fletcher.
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