By Professor Kathleen Gorman

Johnnie Wickersham was once fourteen while he ran clear of his Missouri domestic to struggle for the Confederacy. Fifty years after the struggle, he wrote his memoir on the request of friends and family and allotted it privately in 1915. Boy Soldier of the Confederacy: The Memoir of Johnnie Wickersham offers not just a unprecedented look at the Civil conflict throughout the eyes of a kid but in addition a coming-of-age story.

Edited by means of Kathleen Gorman, the quantity provides a brand new advent and annotations that designate how the struggle was once glorified over the years, the cruel realities suppressed within the nation’s collective reminiscence. Gorman describes a guy who nostalgically recollects the boy he as soon as used to be. She continues that the older Wickersham who positioned pen to paper a long time later most probably glorified and decorated the event, accepting a elegant interpretation of his personal past.

Wickersham recounts that in his first skirmish he was once "wild with the ecstasy of all of it" and notes that he used to be "too younger to understand the danger." The memoir strains his participation in an October 1861 accomplice cost opposed to Springfield, Missouri; his struggle on the conflict of Pea Ridge in March 1862; his remain at a plantation he calls Fairyland; and the conflict of Corinth.

The quantity information Wickersham’s project as an orderly for common Sterling expense, his catch at Vicksburg in 1863, his parole, and later his provider with normal John Bell Hood for the 1864 battling round Atlanta. Wickersham additionally describes the accomplice give up in New Orleans, the reconciliation of the North and the South, and his personal go back and reunification along with his family.

While Gorman’s incisive advent and annotations enable readers to contemplate how stories might be suffering from the passage of time, Wickersham’s boy-turned-soldier story deals readers an interesting narrative, detailing the perceptions of a kid at the cusp of maturity in the course of a turbulent interval in our nation’s history.

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At break of day the dogs of war turned loose along our entire front. It was a bitter fight! Our battery was posted on a ridge, and the enemy, in two lines, charged it. The boys lay flat on the ground beside every gun. We repulsed them, and they came again. How our 38 “The First Time I Heard ‘Dixie’ ” men and horses suffered! I have always thought they would have taken a gun except for the daring of Colonel McDonald. Above the shouts of both armies (we were not much more than a hundred yards apart) and the roar of musketry and cannon, all heard his clarion voice ring out, “Advance by hand, by G—!

33 “The First Time I Heard ‘Dixie’ ” m y fir st pick et dut y I was ordered to take twelve of my Company and go on picket duty six miles down the Memphis Road. I was given the countersign with orders to let no one pass without it. About twelve o’clock I saw a great cloud of dust on the road, then saw many men, horses, and artillery approaching. I sent two of the boys back to report and ask for orders. The men wore uniforms with gold braid that glistened in the sunlight. I surely was troubled. ” On they came.

I wish I could remember that prayer. I knew how I stood but had never heard my father express himself. I knelt by his side looking up into his face, hoping, and when he prayed God to give victory to the South, I stood up and cried “Amen” so loudly it was moments before he could continue his prayer. the defe at a nd de ath of gener a l lyon Many of the men and women sat up and talked the night through—wondering who had won. Three days passed. They seemed like weeks. Finally a man came galloping into town, shouting the news that General Lyon was killed and the Yankees were defeated—most of them captured with their cannon and wagons—what was left of them would be in Lebanon in a few hours—General Price was just behind, and a battle 3 was expected every minute.

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