By Professor Kathleen Gorman
Johnnie Wickersham was once fourteen whilst he ran clear of his Missouri domestic to struggle for the Confederacy. Fifty years after the warfare, he wrote his memoir on the request of friends and family and allotted it privately in 1915. Boy Soldier of the Confederacy: The Memoir of Johnnie Wickersham offers not just a unprecedented look at the Civil struggle during the eyes of a kid but additionally a coming-of-age story.
Edited by means of Kathleen Gorman, the amount provides a brand new advent and annotations that designate how the struggle was once glorified through the years, the tough realities suppressed within the nation’s collective reminiscence. Gorman describes a guy who nostalgically recalls the boy he as soon as used to be. She keeps that the older Wickersham who placed pen to paper many years later most probably glorified and adorned the event, accepting a refined interpretation of his personal past.
Wickersham recounts that in his first skirmish he used to be "wild with the ecstasy of all of it" and notes that he used to be "too younger to understand the danger." The memoir lines his participation in an October 1861 accomplice cost opposed to Springfield, Missouri; his struggle on the conflict of Pea Ridge in March 1862; his remain at a plantation he calls Fairyland; and the conflict of Corinth.
The quantity information Wickersham’s project as an orderly for basic Sterling fee, his trap at Vicksburg in 1863, his parole, and later his provider with common John Bell Hood for the 1864 battling round Atlanta. Wickersham additionally describes the accomplice give up in New Orleans, the reconciliation of the North and the South, and his personal go back and reunification along with his family.
While Gorman’s incisive creation and annotations let readers to contemplate how stories might be stricken by the passage of time, Wickersham’s boy-turned-soldier story deals readers a fascinating narrative, detailing the perceptions of a kid at the cusp of maturity in the course of a turbulent interval in our nation’s history.
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Extra resources for Boy Soldier of the Confederacy: The Memoir of Johnnie Wickersham
M y comm a nd We were all still Missouri State Troops. You have the paper, “The Springﬁeld Army Argus,” of that date in the ivory frame, containing the order of General Price for all boys in the army under sixteen years of age to report to Captain 14 Johnnie Wickersham, to be organized into a company. You would have been interested to see them, day after day, just as 31 “The First Time I Heard ‘Dixie’ ” soon as they received the orders (for they were read to each division) ﬂock to an old school house that was given me for company headquarters.
Every one of us was now on the top rider of the fence, cheering and yelling in our mad excitement at the gold and silver men passing on horses. Many stood up on the fence and waved and yelled as long as they were in sight. Not a soul thought of war or ﬁghting. the fight Before they had passed from view, the main body of four hundred had wheeled in our front and commenced ﬁring at us. ” Fortunately for us they were over drilled. They ﬁred by command and in platoons, raising those big revolvers over their shoulders, at the same time cocking them, and at the word “Fire,” pulled the triggers and over shot us.
Brother Dick treated me so differently, almost as an equal. Of this I think I was more proud than of anything that had happened. It seemed to me that we rode everywhere. How far or how long I do not remember, but they were happy days. Dick, with all his daring, was cautious, and many times I held his horse while he crawled up to a house for information. Finally we reached the Lebanon section of the country. How uneasy and restless I grew as I held the horses and waited the night through for Dick to return.