Shoot low, boys; it takes two to carry one off the field.

“At four o’clock in the morning we began the march on the enemy. Each man had forty cartridges, all moving accoutrements and three days’ rations. General Johnston was cheered as he rode by our command and I remember his words as well as if they had been today, Shoot low, boys; it takes two to carry one off the field.

Pvt. William E. Bevens, 1st Arkansas

Bevins fought at the Battle of Shiloh, April 6-7, 1862

Sample CoverSuggested reading:

Bevens, William E. Reminiscences of a Private: William E. Bevens of the First Arkansas Infantry, C. S.A., intro. and ed. by Daniel L. Sutherland, Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 1992.

Book description:

Many memoirs of warfare find their way into print and onto bookshelves, but most such accounts tend to range far afield from the events that gave rise to them: fact and fiction blur, drama and grandeur replace the tedium of long marches and endless waiting, and selective memories meld with action to reshape battles. Not so with this diary. Reminiscences of a Private is a faithful and personal chronicle of William Bevens’s participation in such famous Civil War battles as Shiloh, Chickamauga, Atlanta, and Nashville. There is no supernal heroism here, no pretension, no grandiose analyses. Bevens is neither introspective nor philosophical, and he rarely dwells on the larger issues of the war. He concerns himself with what mattered to him as a common foot soldier. There are longer and fuller accounts of the war; there are few as honest or as direct as this rough journal. By confining his contributions as editor to filling gaps in Bevens’s narrative, to correcting some misspellings, and to providing dates and explanatory notes, Daniel Sutherland allows Bevens to tell his story in his own words–a remarkable story of a young Arkansan at war. His unassuming voice will speak to all readers with compelling candor.

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Learn more about the Battle of Shiloh

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