Confederate Battle Stories

In 2005, I came across Confederate Battle Stories, a collection of short fiction that is edited by Martin Greenberg, Frank McSherry, and Charles Waugh. It was published by August House Publishers in Little Rock. Included are stories by some of America’s most famous authors, such as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Thomas Wolfe, and others. McSherry’s introduction, “Always Outnumbered–Never Outfought” is a stirring one.

McSherry claims that the “warriors of the Confederacy” were tough opponents, and that “some of the generals who led them, men justly ranked by historians as military geniuses” have no equal in history. He says their “valor was unsurpassed, their devotion undying.”

McSherry provides an interesting anecdote that captures the pride and spirit of the Confederate soldier. He says that “Confederate Robert Toombs, a fire-eater of the Old South, was asked by a Union friend after the war if he had applied for the pardon offered by the United States government to former Confederates.

“Pardon for what?” Toombs snapped. “I have not pardoned you all yet.”

However, the stories are not sugar-coated Southern propaganda. These stories, as good fiction must, tell the truth, portraying the hard truths of the world the Southern soldiers lived in. I enjoyed the read, and if you like the Civil War, I think you will too.