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Civil War Talks: Further Reminiscences of George S. Bernard and His Fellow Veterans

Overview

George S. Bernard was a Petersburg lawyer and member of the 12th Virginia Infantry Regiment during the Civil War. Over the course of his life, Bernard wrote extensively about his wartime experiences and collected accounts from other veterans. In 1892, he published War Talks of Confederate Veterans, a collection of firsthand accounts focusing on the battles and campaigns of the 12th Virginia that is widely read to this day. Bernard prepared a second volume but was never able to publish it. After his death in 1912,...

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Civil War Talks: Further Reminiscences of George S. Bernard and His Fellow Veterans

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Overview

George S. Bernard was a Petersburg lawyer and member of the 12th Virginia Infantry Regiment during the Civil War. Over the course of his life, Bernard wrote extensively about his wartime experiences and collected accounts from other veterans. In 1892, he published War Talks of Confederate Veterans, a collection of firsthand accounts focusing on the battles and campaigns of the 12th Virginia that is widely read to this day. Bernard prepared a second volume but was never able to publish it. After his death in 1912, his papers became scattered or simply lost. But a series of finds, culminating with the discovery of a cache of papers in Roanoke in 2004, have made it possible to reconstruct a complete manuscript of the unpublished second volume.

The resulting book, Civil War Talks, contains speeches, letters, Bernard’s wartime diary, and other firsthand accounts of the war not only by veterans of the Confederacy, such as General William Mahone, but by Union veterans as well. Their personal stories cover the major military campaigns in Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania--Seven Pines, Malvern Hill, Gettysburg, Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Petersburg, and Appomattox. For the general reader, this volume offers evocative testimonies focusing on the experiences of individual soldiers. For scholars, it provides convenient access to many accounts that, until now, have not been widely available or have been simply unknown.

University of Virginia Press

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Editorial Reviews

Peter S. Carmichael

The release of a second volume of heretofore unpublished primary sources by Bernard serves both a scholarly and a nonprofessional audience. This superbly edited collection will become an essential volume on Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia.

A. Wilson Greene

Civil War Talks offers fresh, valuable insights into more than a dozen Civil War engagements provided by common soldiers, high-ranking officers, and civilians. This collection is an extremely valuable addition to the library of primary published Confederate narratives.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Hampton Newsome is an attorney practicing in Washington, D.C. John Horn is an attorney practicing in Illinois. John G. Selby is John R. Turbyfill Professor of History at Roanoke College and the author of Virginians at War: The Civil War Experiences of Seven Young Confederates.

University of Virginia Press

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Table of Contents

List of Maps xi

Preface xiii

Introduction xix

1 Norfolk, 1861-1862: Petersburg's Sons Go To "War 1

"Reminiscences of Norfolk, May-June 1861," by George S. Bernard 3

George S. Bernard War Narrative: June 14,1861-May 8, 1862 24

2 The Richmond Campaign of 1862 38

"War Recollections: From Drewry's Bluff to Seven Pines," by George S. Bernard 40

Statement of Alexander W. Archer 44

Statement of John E. Crow 45

Statement of George J. Rogers 52

Statement of E. Leslie Spence 56

Statement of William Mahone 58

Statement of Thomas P. Pollard 59

Statement of William E. Cameron 60

Addenda: Statement of J. Willcox Brown 69

Statement of Cullen A. Battle 72

"From Seven Pines to Malvern Hill-Battles of French's Farm, June 25,1862, and Frazier's Farm, June 30,1862," by George S. Bernard 74

Statement of E. Leslie Spence 83

"Malvern Hill: Graphic Pen Pictures of this Historic Battle," by George S. Bernard 85

Addenda: William Mahone's Account of Malvern Hill 92

Statement by Philip E Brown 94

3 The Maryland Campaign, 1861 98

"Reminiscences of the Maryland Campaign of 1862," by John T. Parham 99

4 The Gettysburg Campaign and Afterward 114

"The Gettysburg Campaign: The Narrative of a Private Soldier in the Confederate Army, Taken from His Diary and Note Book," by George S. Bernard 116

From Fredericksburg to the Valley of Virginia 116

Down the Valley and across the Potomac into Maryland 121

In Pennsylvania 127

The Battle of Gettysburg 130

The Retreat 135

"The Gettysburg Campaign," by William E. Cameron 145

George S. Bernard War Narrative: July 1863-February 1864 163

5 Life in the Army 173

"Life in the Army-The Private Soldier s Spirit," by James A. Walker 74

6 The Overland Campaign 183

"A Trooper's Reminiscences: Wilderness to Yellow Tavern," by B. B. Vaughan 184

"Confederate Cavalry at Spotsylvania," by George J. Hundley 204

George S. Bernard War Diary: March 24, 1864-June 13, 1864 207

7 The Petersburg Campaign: Initial Battles 234

"Battle of the 9th of June," by Prof. Wm. N. Carr 236

"The Defense of Petersburg," by W. H. Hood 241

George S. Bernard War Diary: June 14, r864

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