“[Hallock’s] editing of this book is wonderful and adds a nice narrative interlude to the letters. . . . By reading these letters you get the feeling that you have truly come to know Joshua Callaway. . . . An excellent book to read to further one’s appreciation of the life of the common Civil War soldier.”
—Civil War Courier
“A valuable addition to Confederate history. It is highly recommended.”
"With gripping clarity and insight, Callaway's Civil War letters detail a soldier's life in camp and on campaign. . . . A wonderful treasury of Civil War lore; highly recommended for libraries, historians, and Civil War buffs."
"These unusually revealing Civil War letters vividly convey the hardships of camp life, the emotional highs and lows of the battlefield, and the various attachments to home, family, and community. Callaway was an articulate and perceptive observer of the conditions and people around him. This is a rich and very readable collection, superbly edited."
—John Inscoe, author of Mountain Masters: Slavery and the Sectional Crisis in Western North Carolina
“[An] excellent and superbly edited collection . . . One of the best of the recently published collections of Civil War letters.”
“Once again the University of Georgia Press has added a gem to the ever-growing canon of American Civil War literature in offering the Joshua K. Callaway letters to the researcher, the casual reader, and the Civil War buff, all of whom will find something of interest in this volume.”
—Georgia Historical Quarterly
“The Callaway letters are particularly compelling. . . . They show how one soldier changed from a zealous Rebel to a war-hardened veteran who wanted only to return home to his loved ones. He did not return, and that makes this collection even more poignant.”
From the Kentucky Campaign to Tullahoma, Chickamauga to Missionary Ridge, junior officer Joshua K. Callaway took part in some of the most critical campaigns of the Civil War. His twice-weekly letters home, written between April 1862 and November 1863, chronicle his gradual change from an ardent Confederate soldier to a weary veteran who longs to be at home.
Callaway was a schoolteacher, husband, and father of two when he enlisted in the 28th Alabama Infantry Regiment at the age of twenty-seven. Serving with the Army of the Tennessee, he campaigned in Mississippi, Kentucky, Tennessee, and north Georgia. Along the way this perceptive observer and gifted writer wrote a continuous narrative detailing the activities, concerns, hopes, fears, discomforts, and pleasures of a Confederate soldier in the field.
Whether writing about combat, illness, encampments, or homesickness, Callaway makes even the everyday aspects of soldiering interesting. This large collection, seventy-four letters in all, is a valuable historical reference that provides new insights into life behind the front lines of the Civil War.
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