The Life of Johnny Reb: The Common Soldier of the Confederacy

Front Cover
LSU Press, 1943 - History - 444 pages
11 Reviews

When Bell Irvin Wiley's composite portrait of the rank-and-file Confederate soldier was published in 1943, professional historians and general readers alike greeted it enthusiastically. Over a half century later, the book still offers one of the best available accounts of the ordinary citizens who made up the Confederate army. The Life of Johnny Reb does not merely describe the battles and skirmishes fought by the Confederate foot soldier. Rather, it provides an intimate history of a soldier's daily life -- the songs he sang, the foods he ate, the hopes and fears he experienced, the reasons he fought. Wiley examined countless letters, diaries, newspaper accounts, and official records to construct this frequently poignant, sometimes humorous account of the life of Johnny Reb. In a new foreword for this updated edition, Civil War expert James I. Robertson, Jr., explores the exemplary career of Bell Irvin Wiley, who championed the common folk, whom he saw as ensnared in the great conflict of the 1860s.

"A fascinating, well-written, stimulating, and valuable book." -- Tennessee Historical Quarterly

"[Wiley] has painted with skill a picture of the life of the Confederate private... that is not only by far the most complete we have ever had but perhaps the best of its kind we ever shall have." -- Saturday Review of Literature

Bell Irvin Wiley (1906--1980) was a professor emeritus of history at Emory University and one of America's preeminent Civil War historians. He is also the author of The Life of Billy Yank and Road to Appomattox, among other books.

James I. Robertson, Jr., is Alumni Distinguished Professor of History at Virginia Tech University. He is the author of Stonewall Jackson: The Man, the Soldier, the Legend; Soldiers Blue and Gray; and The Stonewall Brigade, among other works.

  

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Review: The Life of Johnny Reb: The Common Soldier of the Confederacy

User Review  - Kris - Goodreads

Great book with amazing insight into the life of Johnny Reb. Read full review

Review: The Life of Johnny Reb: The Common Soldier of the Confederacy

User Review  - Sean Chick - Goodreads

Willey is still the go to man for the life of the common soldier and you can see why. This essentially a collection of facts, anecdotes, and quotations, yet from this a portrait emerges, one that is ... Read full review

Contents

Foreword
3
Introduction
11
Baptism of Fire
28
Confederate Works in Front of Atlanta
30
Besetting Sins
36
In Winter Quarters
59
A Tar Heels Sketch of Rebel Winter Quarters
64
A Rabbit in a Confederate Camp
97
Southern Women Making Clothes for the Soldiers
110
Dead Confederate Sharpshooter at the Devils Den Gettysburg
136
Camp Theatrical Programs
152
Prayer in Stonewall Jacksons Camp
194
The Missouri Army Argus
222
Letter Written on Captured Stationery
232
Homemade Envelope
248
Copyright

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About the author (1943)

Bell Irvin Wiley (1906--1980) was a professor emeritus of history at Emory University and one of America's preeminent Civil War historians.

James I. Robertson, Jr., is the author of many books, including the award-winning Stonewall Jackson: The Man, the Soldier, the Legend. Well known for his lectures across the country and his appearances in television documentaries, he is Alumni Distinguished Professor of History at Virginia Tech.

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