The life of Johnny Reb : the common soldier of the Confederacy

by Bell Irvin Wiley

Paper Book, 1978




Baton Rouge : Louisiana State University Press, 1978.


In this companion to The Life of Johnny Reb, Bell Irvin Wiley explores the daily lives of the men in blue who fought to save the Union. With the help of many soldiers' letters and diaries, Wiley explains who these men were and why they fought, how they reacted to combat and the strain of prolonged conflict, and what they thought about the land and the people of Dixie. This fascinating social history reveals that while the Yanks and the Rebs fought for very different causes, the men on both sides were very much the same. "This wonderfully interesting book is the finest memorial the Union soldier is ever likely to have.... [Wiley] has written about the Northern troops with an admirable objectivity, with sympathy and understanding and profound respect for their fighting abilities. He has also written about them with fabulous learning and considerable pace and humor.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member sergerca
Very informative look at the everyday life of the southern soldier. It's easy to get caught up in the sweeping movements of the armies and forget that the soldiers in those armies had to cope with flies, find food, write letters home, and keep warm. Relying heavily on letters home, Wiley tells a great story with tons of interesting anecdotes that you'll never find anywhere else.… (more)
LibraryThing member samfsmith
First published in 1943, this is a classic text that dispels many of the myths and legends about the soldiers of the confederacy and reveals their lives during the war as revealed by letters, journals, and primary sources of facts. Facts are good, romanticized notions of history are bad. If you are writing a historical novel dealing with the civil war, then this book is for you. If you are an interested student of history, this book is for you.… (more)


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