A Rebel's Recollections

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 One of the most delightful and important works in the body of American Civil War works, George Eggleston's memoir is funny, informative, bitter, and sad. Written ten years after the end of the war, he extends a hand to his former Union foes, not to excuse or define the war from the Confederate point of view, but to explain in very human terms what it meant to fight for the South.Eggleston pulled no punches in his assessments of the failings of the rebellion. He was literate, intellectual, and somehow maintained his wit throughout. 

He met some of the most important and interesting figures of the Southern cause, while casting a keen eye on the character of the common soldier. He writes wonderful anecdotes on J.E.B. Stuart, Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, Ripley and more. 

By 1905, this popular work was in its fourth edition. It continues to be well-regarded for its insightful analysis and delightfully ironic prose. 

But it's not all fun and games. Eggleston's bitterness at the Confederate failures of government, his tender appreciation of Southern womanhood during the war, and his acknowledgement of the horror and devastation wrought are all here too. 

For less than you'd spend on gas going to the library, this long out-of-print volume is available as an affordable, well-formatted book for e-readers and smartphones. 

Be sure to LOOK INSIDE by clicking the cover above or download a sample.
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Published on
Nov 20, 2014
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Biography & Autobiography / Personal Memoirs
History / Military / United States
History / United States / Civil War Period (1850-1877)
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Stephen E. Ambrose’s iconic New York Times bestseller about the ordinary men who became the World War II’s most extraordinary soldiers: Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, US Army.

They came together, citizen soldiers, in the summer of 1942, drawn to Airborne by the $50 monthly bonus and a desire to be better than the other guy. And at its peak—in Holland and the Ardennes—Easy Company was as good a rifle company as any in the world.

From the rigorous training in Georgia in 1942 to the disbanding in 1945, Stephen E. Ambrose tells the story of this remarkable company. In combat, the reward for a job well done is the next tough assignment, and as they advanced through Europe, the men of Easy kept getting the tough assignments.

They parachuted into France early D-Day morning and knocked out a battery of four 105 mm cannon looking down Utah Beach; they parachuted into Holland during the Arnhem campaign; they were the Battered Bastards of the Bastion of Bastogne, brought in to hold the line, although surrounded, in the Battle of the Bulge; and then they spearheaded the counteroffensive. Finally, they captured Hitler's Bavarian outpost, his Eagle's Nest at Berchtesgaden.

They were rough-and-ready guys, battered by the Depression, mistrustful and suspicious. They drank too much French wine, looted too many German cameras and watches, and fought too often with other GIs. But in training and combat they learned selflessness and found the closest brotherhood they ever knew. They discovered that in war, men who loved life would give their lives for them.

This is the story of the men who fought, of the martinet they hated who trained them well, and of the captain they loved who led them. E Company was a company of men who went hungry, froze, and died for each other, a company that took 150 percent casualties, a company where the Purple Heart was not a medal—it was a badge of office.
This instant New York Times bestseller—“a jaw-dropping, fast-paced account” (New York Post) recounts SEAL Team Operator Robert O’Neill’s incredible four-hundred-mission career, including the attempts to rescue “Lone Survivor” Marcus Luttrell and abducted-by-Somali-pirates Captain Richard Phillips, and which culminated in the death of the world’s most wanted terrorist—Osama bin Laden.

In The Operator, Robert O’Neill describes his idyllic childhood in Butte, Montana; his impulsive decision to join the SEALs; the arduous evaluation and training process; and the even tougher gauntlet he had to run to join the SEALs’ most elite unit. After officially becoming a SEAL, O’Neill would spend more than a decade in the most intense counterterror effort in US history. For extended periods, not a night passed without him and his small team recording multiple enemy kills—and though he was lucky enough to survive, several of the SEALs he’d trained with and fought beside never made it home.

“Impossible to put down…The Operator is unique, surprising, a kind of counternarrative, and certainly the other half of the story of one of the world’s most famous military operations…In the larger sense, this book is about…how to be human while in the very same moment dealing with death, destruction, combat” (Doug Stanton, New York Times bestselling author). O’Neill describes the nonstop action of his deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, evokes the black humor of years-long combat, brings to vivid life the lethal efficiency of the military’s most selective units, and reveals details of the most celebrated terrorist takedown in history. This is “a riveting, unvarnished, and wholly unforgettable portrait of America’s most storied commandos at war” (Joby Warrick).
"I'm tired, and the other pack mules are tired, and from the way you move I imagine that the rest of you donkeys are tired!" called out Jack Ridsdale, as the last of the mules and their drivers scrambled up the bank and gained a secure foothold on the little plateau.

"I move that we camp here for the night. All in favor say 'aye.' The motion's carried unanimously."

With that the tall boy threw off the pack that burdened his shoulders, set his gun up against a friendly tree and proceeded in other ways to relieve himself of the restraints under which he had toiled up the steep mountain side since early morning, with only now and then a minute's pause for breath.

"This is a good place to camp in," he presently added. "There's grazing for the mules, there's timber around for fire wood and I hear water trickling down from the cliff yonder. So 'Alabama,' which is Cherokee eloquence meaning 'here we rest.'"

The party consisted of five sturdy boys and a man, the Doctor, not nearly so stalwart in appearance, who seemed about twenty-eight or thirty years old. Each member of the party carried a heavy pack upon his back and each had a gun slung over his shoulder and an axe hanging by his girdle. There were four packmules heavily laden and manifestly weary with the long climb up the mountain.

As the boys were scarcely less weary than the mules they eagerly welcomed Jack Ridsdale's decision to go no farther that day, but rest where they were for the night.

"Now then," Jack resumed as soon as he got his breath again—a thing requiring some effort in the rarefied atmosphere of the high mountain peak—"we're all starved. The first thing to do is to get a fire started and get the kettle on for supper. If some of you fellows will unload the mules and get out the necessary things I'll chop some wood and we'll have a fire going in next to no time."

With that he swung his axe over his shoulder and stalked off into the nearby edge of the wood land. There with deft blows—for he was an expert with the axe—he quickly converted some fallen limbs and dead trees into a rude sort of fire wood which the other boys shouldered and carried to the glade where the Doctor had started a little fire that needed only feeding to become a great one.

During their laborious climb up the steep mountain side the party had found the early November day rather too warm for comfort; but now that the sun had sunk behind the mountain, and evening was drawing near, there was a sharp feeling of coming frost in the atmosphere, and as it would be necessary to sleep out of doors that night with no shelter but the stars, Jack continued his chopping until a great pile of dry wood lay near the fire ready for use during the night.

During the years from 1861 to 1865, one of the greatest wars in all history was fought in this country.

There were in all three million three hundred and seventy-eight thousand men engaged in the fighting of it.

There are not that many men in all the regular standing armies of Europe combined, even if we include the unpaid hordes of Turkey and the military myriads of the armed camp known to geography as Russia.

The actual fighting field of this war of ours was larger than the whole of western Europe, and all of it was trampled over and fought over by great armies.

The men killed or mortally wounded in our war numbered on the Northern side alone 110,000. The total number of deaths resulting from military operations on the Northern side alone was 350,000. The figures for the Southern side are not accessible, owing to the loss of records. But as the fighting was equally determined on both sides, and as other conditions were substantially equal, it is certain that the losses of life were relatively about the same on both sides. It is well within the facts, therefore, to say that this war of ours directly caused the death of more than half a million men. No other war in modern history has cost so many lives or half so many.

We hear much of our recent war with Spain. Let us take it as a basis of comparison. The total number of men even nominally called into the field in that war was less by nearly two to one than the deaths alone during the Confederate war. The number of men who were actually engaged in the Spanish war numbered only about one tenth as many as those who were buried as victims of the Confederate war's battle fields.

Again, the total number of men killed and wounded during the Spanish war—including every man who was touched by a bullet or scratched by a sword or bayonet thrust or hurt by a splinter at sea—was only two hundred sixty-eight. That is fewer than the number who were stricken in each of many before-breakfast skirmishes of the Confederate war, some of which were deemed too insignificant to be reported to headquarters with precision.

Looking for higher standards of comparison, we find that 43,449 men fell killed or wounded at Gettysburg alone. That is almost double the loss of the allied forces at Waterloo and probably equal to the total losses on both sides at that greatest and most decisive of European battles.

There were more than a dozen other battles of the Confederate war which in slaughter fairly deserved comparison with Waterloo. These included the Seven Days' battle before Richmond, and the battles of Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Antietam, Shiloh, Chickamauga, the Wilderness, Spottsylvania, Cold Harbor, the Second Manassas (or Bull Run), Stone River, Petersburg, Franklin, Lookout Mountain, Nashville and several others.

Still another measure of the magnitude of a war is its duration. It is duration indeed that chiefly determines the amount of human suffering caused by a war, especially to the women and children who are war's chief victims.

Measured by this test of duration the Confederate war exceeded all other recent conflicts in the magnitude of the suffering it inflicted.

Its first gun was fired at Fort Sumter in April, 1861: its last armed conflict did not occur until May, 1865. Thus for four years and a month the war endured. The Crimean war—one of the longest of nineteenth century conflicts—endured for less than half that length of time and the actual fighting of it lasted less than one fourth as long. The duration of the Confederate war was seven times as great as that of the stupendous Franco-Prussian conflict of 1870, which overthrew the second Napoleonic empire, consolidated Germany and made the republic an enduring fact in France. It was twenty-four times as long as that of the French-Austrian war, which set Italy free, or as the War of 1866 between Austria and Prussia which laid the foundations of the present German empire...
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