Rebel Private: Front and Rear: Memoirs of a Confederate Soldier

The recent rediscovery of Rebel Private: Front and Rear, effectively lost for decades, marks an authentic publishing event in the literature of the Civil War. A rare insight into the conflict from the point of view of a Confederate army enlisted man, this compelling memoir has been hailed by historians as a classic and indispensible key to understanding the Southern perspective. Margaret Mitchell even described it as her single most valuable source of research for Gone With the Wind.

This stunning document is the work of a common foot soldier blessed with extraordinary perception and articulateness. After joining the famed Texas Brigade under Stonewall Jackson. Private William A. Fletcher saw action at Second Manassas, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, Channcellorsville, and Chickamauga. He was wounded several times and escaped from a moving Union prison train before the South's surrender. In 1907, he published this powerfully evocative account of his exploits, a volume of frank, detailed recollections that spares none of the horror, courage, or absurdity of war. But a fire destroyed all but a few copies before they could be distributed. One copy, however, did make its way to the Library of Congress, where it was eventually discovered. Today, this colorful work has become the voice of the Civil War front-line grunt, speaking to the modern reader with the intensity of personal experience and a vividness of detail that gives it a riveting you-are-there quality.

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