Friday, September 7, 2012

A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital is a memoir by John Beauchamp Jones

US/UK Kindle Classic

A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital is a memoir by journalist turned war clerk, John Beauchamp Jones.  (US Edition)  (£2.05 UK Edition) The book is well known as a source for Civil War Historians.  Of course it is always good when you can go to the original source, especially a diary.  I particularly enjoy diaries.  With a good diary, you meet the author, warts and all.
The book jacket is the photo for the British edition.  This is really an inexplicable choice for a book by a Confederate author.   The photo is a celebration of American independence and the Confederate States fought their war against America.  But there is no book title on the picture, so suppose it is a mismatch.  That makes me wonder about their claim, " we work hard every single day in order to convert more titles to digital format. "  But we don't judge books by their covers, especially not Kindle books!

For years the Southern Monitor, Philadelphia, whose motto was “The Union as it was, the Constitution as it is,” has foreseen and foretold the resistance of the Southern States, in the event of the success of a sectional party inimical to the institution of African slavery, upon which the welfare and existence of the Southern people seem to depend. And I must depart immediately; for I well know that the first gun fired at Fort Sumter will be the signal for an outburst of ungovernable fury, and I should be seized and thrown into prison. I must leave my family—my property—everything. My family cannot go with me—but they may follow. The storm will not break in its fury for a month or so. Only the most obnoxious persons, deemed dangerous, will be molested immediately.

Hmm, dangerous and obnoxious . . . and thoughtful:

All history shows that fighting is not only the most perilous pursuit in the world, but the hardest and the roughest work one can engage in. And many a young man bred in luxury, will be killed by exposure in the night air, lying on the damp ground, before meeting the enemy.

Too true, as deadly as that war was, fought with weapons advanced beyond tactics - so that the lines were too close and the slaughter was multiplied - yet more men died of disease than wounds.

Later he writes:

But I learn there is a panic about Williamsburg [College of William and Mary]. Several young men from that vicinity have shouldered their pens and are applying for clerkships in the departments. But most of the men of proper age in the literary institutions are volunteering in defense of their native land.

Of course he is a clerk himself! 

And most amusingly . . .

June 13th.—Only one of the Williamsburg volunteers came into the department proper; and he will make his way, for he is a flatterer. He told me he had read my “Wild Western Scenes” twice, and never was so much entertained by any other book. He went to work with hearty good-will.

I'm reading: A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital is a memoir by John Beauchamp JonesTweet this!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.