Read the Actual Details – Check Out the Confederate Military HistoryAs I continue to research the Civil War I’m continually surprised at the number of resources available. There are numerous publications written by those who fought. They are the “Official accounts” if you will, records written by the men who were there. Gathered, edited and published a century ago, yet available to the researcher today. These descriptions by the men themselves tell us so much. We can feel the struggle today just as they experienced it.
I’m not sure how I stumbled on the Confederate Military History but I’ve found it to be another great reference as I do my Civil War research. Along the same lines as the Southern Historical Papers or the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, the Confederate Military History gives us a first hand account of the war from those fighting for the Confederacy.
The Confederate Military History, published in 1899 includes 12 volumes edited by Clement A. Evans who wrote two of the volumes himself. Evans had vast first-hand experience in the war. Born and raised in Georgia he organized a company called the Bartow Guards who eventually joined the 31st Georgia Infantry and became Company E. Evans led troops through such battles as Gettysburg, the Wilderness and Spotsylvania. Evans was wounded a couple times during the war yet always came back to lead his troops. Such bravery and tenacity led to promotions and Evans was a brigadier general by the end of the war.
In 1895 Clement Evans published the Military History of Georgia which made him the obvious choice to oversee the compilation and editing of the Confederate Military History. The twelve volumes include:
Volume I – Secession and Civil History of the Confederate States
Volume II – Maryland and West Virginia
Volume III – Virginia
Volume IV – North Carolina
Volume V – South Carolina
Volume VI – Georgia
Volume VII – Alabama and Mississippi
Volume VIII – Tennessee
Volume IX – Kentucky and Missouri
Volume X – Louisiana and Arkansas
Volume XI – Texas and Florida
Volume XII – Military and Post War History
I am currently researching Co. B 11th Virginia Cavalry which was raised in Hardy County, (West) Virginia. So I chose Volume 2 and read:
“This repulse was soon afterward converted into a route by Col. Lomax’s regiment, the 11th Virginia Cavalry, which now took the road with drawn sabers, and charged down the turnpike under a fearful fire of artillery. Without this attack it is certain that our trains would have fallen into the hands of the enemy.”(1) *
(1) Evans Clement, A., Confederate Military History, Atlanta, 1892, Volume 2, Page 82, Allen County Public Library (Ft. Wayne, IN) online digital collection.