A Rebel's Recollections

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George Cary Eggleston was born in 1839 in Vevay, Indiana. In 1856, he inherited his mother's family plantation in Amelia County, Virginia and spent nine years there. He attended Richmond College and practiced law until the outbreak of the Civil War. Although Eggleston argued against secession, once Virginia had voted to secede, he pledged his loyalty to the Confederacy. He served with the Army of Northern Virginia, first under General J.E.B. Stuart, and later under General Fitzhugh Lee. After the war, Eggleston moved to Illinois and worked for a banking and steam boating company. He married Marion Craggs in 1868. In 1870, he joined his brother in New York and began a new career as a reporter. Eggleston later served in several editorial positions and wrote freelance articles for many periodicals. In his later years, he turned his attention to writing fiction, history and memoirs. Eggleston's second book, A Rebel's Recollections (1874), offered a Southerner's perspective on the recently concluded Civil War. By the time he wrote this personal history, Eggleston was living in New York and had little interest in promoting further cultural conflict between Southerners and Northerners. Each chapter of the book treats one aspect of life during the war. He discusses the debate about secession in Virginia, the young men who made up the army, the role of Southern women during the conflict, the Confederate army generals, and the end of the war.
 

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Page 5 - It was against the recital of an act of Parliament, rather than against any suffering under its enactments, that they took up arms. They went to war against a preamble. They fought seven years against a declaration.
Page 79 - ... namely, the impossibility of having the notes signed in the Treasury Department, as fast as they were needed. There happened, however, to be several thousand young ladies in Richmond willing to accept light and remunerative employment at their homes, and as it was really a matter of small moment whose name the notes bore, they were given out in sheets to these young ladies, who signed and returned them for a consideration. I shall not undertake to guess how many Confederate treasury notes were...
Page 116 - But it was not until General Patterson began his feint against Winchester that our colonel had full opportunity to give us his field lectures. When the advance began, and our pickets were driven in, the most natural thing to do, in our view of the situation, was to fall back upon our infantry supports at Winchester, and I remember hearing various expressions of doubt as to the colonel's sanity when, instead of falling back, he marched his handful of men right up to the advancing lines, and ordered...
Page 78 - ... but one difficulty incident to this process ; namely, the impossibility of having the notes signed in the Treasury Department, as fast as they were needed. There happened, however, to be several thousand young ladies in Richmond willing to accept light and remunerative employment at their homes, and as it was really a matter of small moment whose...
Page 37 - ... by pleading the distance from their cottages to the parade-ground. Whenever a detail was made for the purpose of cleaning the camp-ground, the men detailed regarded themselves as responsible for the proper performance of the task by their servants, and uncomplainingly took upon themselves the duty of sitting on the fence and superintending the work.
Page 147 - His face was still calm, but his carriage was no longer erect, as his soldiers had been used to see it. The trouble of those last days had already ploughed great furrows in his forehead. His eyes were red as if with weeping; his cheeks sunken and haggard; his face colorless. No one who looked upon him then, as he stood there in full view of the disastrous end, can ever forget the intense agony written upon his features. And yet he was calm, self-possessed, and deliberate.
Page 92 - Two hundred dollars," said the merchant. A five hundred dollar bill was offered, but the merchant, having no smaller bills, could not change it. " Never mind," said the cavalier, " I 'll take the boots anyhow. Keep the change ; I never let a little matter of three hundred dollars stand in the way of a trade.
Page 84 - The prices which obtained were almost fabulous, and singularly enough there seemed to be no sort of ratio existing between the values of different articles. I bought coffee at forty dollars and tea at thirty dollars a pound on the same day. My dinner at a hotel cost me twenty dollars, while five dollars gained me a seat in the dress circle of the theatre. I paid one dollar the next morning for a copy of the Examiner, but I might have got the Whig, Dispatch, Enquirer, or Sentinel, for half that sum....
Page 91 - I believe the highest price, relatively, I ever saw paid, was for a pair of boots. A cavalry officer, entering a little country store, found there one pair of boots which fitted him. He inquired the price. ' Two hundred dollars,' said the merchant. A five hundred dollar bill was offered, but the merchant having no smaller bills could not change it. ' Never mind,' said the cavalier,
Page 34 - No. even fighting now and then, in a gentlemanly way, but without a thought of allowing differences of military rank to have any influence in the matter. The theory was that the officers were the creatures of the men, chosen by election to represent their constituency in the performance of certain duties, and that only during good behavior.

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