This book is a narration of his experiences as a Confederate soldier; a staff officer under JEB Stuart. Cooke makes it plain in his introduction that this is not a technical history, but a collection of his war-time experiences and observations of the important battles and officers he met. He includes amusing stories of camp-life, and exciting ventures of scouts and narrow escapes. He is a laudatory in his offerings of his comrades, and his native Virginia, but it is to be expected that a man of his time would feel patriotic fervor deeply. He brings the war to the reader as “a mighty drama, all life, passion, movement, incident, and romance–a singular mélange, wherein tears, laughter, sighs, and smiles, rapidly followed each other, communicating to the bitter and determined struggle all the profound interest of a tragedy whose scenes sweep on before the spectator to the catastrophe.” An enduring classic that those interested in the “Civil War,” will find great pleasure in reading.
About the author:
Virginian John Esten Cooke (1830-1886) was a prolific writer of histories, novels, and personal narratives. He died in mid-life typhoid fever.