"Company Aytch" by Sam Watkins
Was in Gettysburg giving my son and nephew my "world famous" Gettysburg Battlefield tour the other day. While perusing the books at the visitor's center I found a reprint of "Company Aytch" by Sam Watkins. Fascinating reading. The Civil War from the point of view of a private. He wrote this about 15 years after the war was over and freely admits that it is not a history (history is about generals and big shots). No dates either as he could not remember them or is some cases didn't even know what date it was. A real look at war from one of the little people. Great commentary.
It is interesting.
My great great grandfather was in the first Tenn also.
I head "Company Aytch" in my Civil War History Class back in 2002. This was a wonderful read and gave us as students an inside look at the real fighting men of the Civil War. We used it as a supplementary read in that we would do the research on what happened on that day at that battlefield and tried to fit Sam Watkins and his account into the real battle.
I have an ancient worn out paperback copy that I bought as a Boy Scout while hiking at Shiloh (ca. 1980) and a newish hardback that I share with my kids. One of my all time favorite Civil War books.
Company Aytch should be standard reading along with Elisha Hunt Rhodes "All for the Union" and John Billings' "Hard Tack and Coffee."
I'll be in Columbia, TN tommorrow (Watkins hometown) and everytime I'm there I think about him and that book.