Finished Book #7 of 2010

Just finished Company Aytch by Samuel Watkins this morning.  It is a memoir of the civil war by a private in the Army of Tennessee.   Total of 240 pages and fairly fast and compelling reading.  It is more a series of short two or three page sketches about various battles, incidents and people.

Watkins is “a good writer for just a Private” – that sounds bad, but I guess one expects the ‘rank and file’ of the army to not be as educated or literarily (is that a word?) adept.  The book was written over 20 years after the end of the war, and Watkins continually inserts the disclaimer that he’s “just a private soldier” and to “consult the histories” for more information.

He also has a habit of describing half the people in the book as “the best soldier ever to shoulder a rifle” or “the best soldier ever to tear a cartridge”, etc., etc.  Many of the descriptions in the book are not for the faint-hearted though, as war is, indeed, hell (I believe that quotation belongs to Sherman).

Well, that’s three books on the Civil War I’ve read this year (goal of 12), so I’m actually a month ahead (!)  (I’m never ahead on my projects.)

If you want to sample this book, it is available in the public domain.  Here is a link to the book on Google Books.

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