–Pvt. William E. Bevens, 1st Arkansas
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.
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.
Order it from Amazon
Learn more about the Battle of Shiloh