Co. Aytch: Maury Grays, First Tennessee Regiment or A Side Show of the Big Show
By Samuel Rush Watkins
Most of the books I have read are history book and are specific to a time and location or specific to a particular battle with maps, photos, directions, and land marks. I decided to take a departure from that and settled upon the memoirs of a foot soldier in the Army of Tennessee.
This was written about 20 years after the war and you are reminded of it regularly throughout the book. He goes on to say how he is not writing a history of what happened, but is relaying the experiences and thoughts of a Private in the Confederate Army. He does a very good job of this and covers every thing from the daily life to the thrill of battle and the agony of defeat. Samuel paints a very horrific picture of the conditions they lived in and of the aftermath of battle. He served throughout the entire war and saw action in a great number of battles, including the Atlanta Campaign.
I really enjoyed this fairly quick read at only 220 pages. You can find it free online in a pdf format or on your Nook for a dollar. It is full of funny tales and interactions and heartbreaking stories from the battlefield. If you want to know what it was like for the common soldier on the front lines during the Civil War, then this is a must read book. There are a great may personal diaries and memoirs out there and I think I will be reading some more. I really enjoy the personal side of it.