"The title of this book at once rivets attention and invites perusal, and that perusal does not disappoint expectation. The author was a cannoneer in the historic Rockbridge (Va.) Artillery, which made for itself, from Manassas to Appomattox, a reputation second to none in the Confederate service. No more vivid picture has been presented of the private soldier in camp, on the march, or in action. It was written evidently not with any commercial view, but was an undertaking from a conviction that its performance was a question of duty to his comrades. Its unlabored and spontaneous character adds to its value. Its detail is evidence of a living presence, intent only upon truth. It is not only carefully planned, but minutely finished. The duty has been performed faithfully and entertainingly.
We are glad these delightful pages have not been marred by discussion of the causes or conduct of the great struggle between the States. There is no theorizing or special pleading to distract our attention from the unvarnished story of the Confederate soldier.
The writer is simple, impressive, and sincere. And his memory is not less faithful. It is a striking and truthful portrayal of the times under the standard of one of the greatest generals of ancient or modern times. It is from such books that data will be gathered by the future historian for a true story of the great conflict between the States.For nearly a year (from March to November, 1862) I served in the battery with this cannoneer, and for a time we were in the same mess. Since the war I have known him intimately, and it gives me great pleasure to be able to say that there is no one who could give a more honest and truthful account of the events of our struggle from the standpoint of a private soldier. He had exceptional opportunities for observing men and events, and has taken full advantage of them."
-Robert E. Lee
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