Life in Dixie During the War, 1861-1862-1863-1864-1865
One of the few narratives of life in Atlanta during the Civil War. Mercer University Press proudly revives the paperback version of this acclaimed real-life account of what the fictional Scarlett O'Hara saw. Life in Dixie During the War, first published in 1892, ranks among the best first-person accounts of the American Civil War. Mary A. H. Gay eloquently recounts her wartime experiences in Georgia and bears witness to the "suffering and struggle, defeat and despair, triumph and hope that is human history." Mary Gay was not only a chronicler, but an active participant in wartime activities; old veterans described her as "unusually brave and fearless."
While her book reads like a novel, it continues to be praised by modern scholars as an honest report of American history. James I. Robertson Jr. author of the acclaimed Stonewall Jackson: The Man, The Soldier, The Legend says: "Mary Gay'sLife in Dixie During the War is one of the few authentic personal narratives we have of life in Atlanta during the Civil War." Sam Cunningham, the founding editor and publisher of Confederate Veteran, reported that "many books have been written on the subject of the Civil War, but we doubt if any of them are of deeper interest than Life in Dixie During the War."
In 1898, the Veteran published this review: "While possessing all the charms of romance, it is a recital of facts concerning the war, which occurred in the heart of the Confederacy. Written in the first person, it has unusual vividness of style. The author's descriptions are truly remarkable. The reader seems to be living in those days and a witness to the scenes described. Historic facts are brought out regarding the siege of Atlanta which are perhaps found nowhere else. The author spared no pains in preparation of the work. Not the least of its merit is its pure English diction, with unsurpassed pathos in many of its pages. The heroism of men, the daring of boys, and the endurance of women are alike skillfully painted."
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