Military Memoirs of a Confederate: A Critical Narrative
First published in 1907, Military Memoirs of a Confederate is regarded by many historians as one of the most important and dispassionate first-hand general accounts of the American Civil War. Unlike some other Confederate memoirists, General Edward Porter Alexander had no use for bitter “Lost Cause” theories to explain the South’s defeat. Alexander was willing to objectively evaluate and criticize prominent Confederate officers, including Robert E. Lee. The result is a clear-eyed assessment of the long, bloody conflict that forged a nation.
The memoir opens with Alexander, recently graduated from West Point, heading to Utah to tamp down the hostile actions of Mormons who had refused to receive a territorial governor appointed by President Buchanan. A few years later, Alexander finds himself on the opposite side of a much larger rebellion—this time aligned with Confederates bent on secession from the Union. In the years that follow, he is involved in most of the major battles of the East, including Manassas, Antietam, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, and Chickamauga. Alexander describes each battle and battlefield in sharp detail.
Few wartime narratives offer the insight and objectivity of Alexander’s Military Memoirs of a Confederate . Civil war buffs and students of American history have much to learn from this superb personal narrative.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - RobertP - LibraryThing
Terrific memoir of a respected middle-ranking officer of the Army of Northern Virginia. Colonel Alexander has produced a good story, relatively balanced, of what he experienced, which was the battles ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - platodurham - LibraryThing
This is certainly the best study of the Army of Northern Virginia from the viewpoint of a participant. Unlike others, Alexander doesn't hesitate to criticize; nor does he waste time trying to defend ... Read full review