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This book contains the letters of George Knox Miller who served as a line officer in the Confederate cavalry and participated in almost all of the major campaigns of the Army of Tennessee. He was, clearly, a very well-educated young man. Born in 1836 in Talladega, Alabama, he developed a great love for reading and the theater and set his sights upon getting an education that would lead to a career in law or medicine; meanwhile he worked as an apprentice in a painting firm to earn tuition. Miller then enrolled in the University of Virginia, where he excelled in his studies. Eloquent, bordering on the lyrical, the letters provide riveting first-hand accounts of cavalry raids, the monotony of camp life, and the horror of battlefield carnage. Miller gives detailed descriptions of military uniforms, cavalry tactics, and prison conditions. He conveys a deep commitment to the Confederacy, but he was also critical of Confederate policies that he felt hindered the army's efforts. Dispersed among these war-related topics is the story of Miller's budding relationship with Celestine "Cellie" McCann, the love of his life, whom he would eventually marry.
Together, the letters offer significant insight into the life, heart, mind, and attitudes of an intelligent, educated, young mid-19th-century white Southerner.
Richard M. McMurry is the author of several books, including John Bell Hood and the War for Southern Independence, Two Great Rebel Armies: An Essay in Confederate Military History, and Atlanta 1864: Last Chance for the Confederacy.
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- ID: 9780817315313
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