Valleys of the Shadow: The Memoir of Confederate Captain Reuben G. Clark

Valleys of the Shadow: The Memoir of Confederate Captain Reuben G. Clark

by Willene B. Clark
     
 

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Valleys of the Shadow is the previously unpublished account of Captain Reuben Clark's first-hand experiences as a Confederate officer, a prisoner of war, and a postwar civilian living in a conquered state. Captain Clark was a twenty-seven-year-old Knoxville businessman when the first shots of the Civil War were fired in 1861. Like many southern gentlemen Clark was… See more details below

Overview

Valleys of the Shadow is the previously unpublished account of Captain Reuben Clark's first-hand experiences as a Confederate officer, a prisoner of war, and a postwar civilian living in a conquered state. Captain Clark was a twenty-seven-year-old Knoxville businessman when the first shots of the Civil War were fired in 1861. Like many southern gentlemen Clark was opposed to secession but could not desert his family and friends. Although he enlisted as a lieutenant in the Confederacy's Third Tennessee Infantry Regiment, he spent most of his service in the Fifty-ninth Tennessee Mounted Infantry. Clark first experienced war when he arrived at Manassas just after the battle, spending his first night as a soldier among the dead and dying. His recollections of these horrors and of the battles and skirmishes that followed provide a wealth of previously undocumented information about his regiment's activities. They also offer valuable analyses of battles from a participant's point of view and discuss the irony many soldiers felt when combat pitted them against men they had known before the war in business, politics, and society. Captured after the battle of Morristown in the fall of 1864, Clark was jailed in Knoxville, then under Federal control. His account of the eight months he spent as a prisoner - his harsh treatment, a near-fatal illness, the false accusations of traitorous activities - offer a detailed description of the physical and legal battles of a Confederate prisoner of war fighting to obtain his freedom. Clark's postwar experiences relate his struggles as a former Rebel living in a conquered state, reflecting the deeply divided loyalties of East Tennessee that continued for years after the war's end. This first book in a new series entitled Voices of the Civil War presents the story of a man who remained aware of his kinship with those he was forced to call his enemies. Written a quarter-century after the war began, Clark's memories vividly bring to life

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Captain Clark's unpretentious memoir of his Confederate service was originally intended for his family. In a labor of love, his granddaughter has annotated and expanded his narrative to make it accessible to a larger audience. Clark's memoir provides fascinating details of his adventures in the Vicksburg and Shenandoah campaigns, but of particular interest is his account of the bitter fighting in Tennessee during the closing days of the Civil War. Clark's firsthand report illuminates the intense factional rivalries that pitted neighbors against one another in that divided state, and his own sufferings as a prisoner of war at the hands of political adversaries reveal the passions of a society at war with itself. Recommended for larger Civil War collections.-Lawrence E. Ellis, Newberry Coll., Newberry, S.C.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780870498190
Publisher:
University of Tennessee Press
Publication date:
04/04/1994
Series:
Voices of the Civil War Series
Pages:
163
Product dimensions:
6.32(w) x 9.32(h) x 0.85(d)

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