Lone Star Confederate: A Gallant and Good Soldier of the Fifth Texas Infantry
Texas A&M University Press, Feb 12, 2003 - Biography & Autobiography - 163 pages
Only eighteen years old when he marched off to war, young Confederate Robert Campbell already possessed the keen, perceptive eye of a seasoned journalist. After fighting with the 5th Texas Infantry Regiment in the famed Hood's Texas Brigade, Campbell recorded the first months of his service for the benefit of future generations of his family. Now editors George Skoch and Mark W. Perkins bring Campbell's riveting eyewitness accounts from the frontline to the public in Lone Star Confederate: A Gallant and Good Soldier of the 5th Texas Infantry, a lively and telling glimpse into a Johnny Reb's life.
This young Confederate's tale of battle begins with his introduction to the unit in Virginia and continues through to his furlough home after he suffers a serious battle wound at Second Manassas. Among the thousands who served in what arguably was the most renowned combat unit in the Southern army, Hood's Texas Brigade, Campbell holds the dubious distinction of being the most wounded man, sustaining six wounds during the course of the war.
Campbell praises Southern women who cared for soldiers along the railroad line from Richmond to Montgomery and recalls eating ten ears of green corn after three days of short rations and a hard day of fighting. He recounts falling asleep on picket duty despite the fear of punishment by death, and describes being under cannon fire and suffering a painful leg injury. The terrible conditions of battle—eating and sleeping too little, marching and drilling too much, cleaning weapons and standing watch in the rain and cold—are vividly real under Campbell's pen, which also praises his leaders, Lee, Jackson, and other Confederate officers.
Skoch and Perkins have supplemented the record of Campbell's wartime service with his letters written during and after the war. His remarkable firsthand account of life in the 5th Texas will find a permanent niche in the literature of the Civil War.
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