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Company Aytch Paperback – November 1, 1999
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From the Back Cover
About the Author
M. Thomas Inge is the Robert Emory Blackwell Professor of Humanities at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia, where he teaches, edits, and writes about Southern literature and culture, American humor and comic art, film and animation, Asian literature, and William Faulkner. Recent publications include Will Eisner: Conversations, Southern Frontier Humor: An Anthology, a volume in The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture: Literature, and William Faulkner: Overlook Illustrated Lives.
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Top Customer Reviews
This book is much more impressionistic than a historic telling of the facts (which Watkins reminds the reader frequently). It lays bare the attitude of a rebel private (although one suspects Watkins is much more literate and sophistocated than many of his fellows in the ranks) who endured starvation, forced marches, punishing battles and the monotony and arbitrary nature of camp life while serving a losing cause.
Watkins does an excellent job of letting the reader into his head. He reveals well the base existence and actions of ordinary soldiers who paid for the drama of the Civil War with their youth, blood and life.
A hard book to put down from start to finish, regardless of which side your ancestors fought on (or even if you didn't have ancestors who fought...) Sam's memories were used in the production of Ken Burn's documentary on the Civil War, together with Rhodes', providing the common soldier's perspective of the event.
You will understand a lot more about the real conditions of the time period after reading this insightful book!
The quality of the writing in Company Aytch varies somewhat. At times Watkins can be repetitive, especially with his overly frequent statements that he is not writing history. His often-expressed, and fully understandable, hope to meet his fallen comrades in the hereafter tends towards a clichéd vision of heaven.Read more ›
One of the remarkable things about the book is that innocent respect that Watkins keeps for the Leaders of the Confederacy, even when he expresses that they were "incompetant" (Hood and Davis). It is something that you wouldn't find in a Memoir by a Viet-Nam era veteran; even though Watkins expresses the same resentment that a soldier of that era would express against the officer corps.
Watkins also had a genuine talent for prose that comes through. this is especially evident in the way he describes the disintegration of the Army of the Tennesee at war's end.
He emerges as a complex figure. religious and respectful of death, but able to kill- in his words- like a machine.
Weakness of the book- Watkins gets names and facts confused.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
interesting book written by one of the foot soldiers in the Confederate army, not the big stories, the little day to day stories. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Amazon Customer
True Story. Sam is a real person like you and me. Not polished, yet knows some Latin. An eyewitness to the life and battles of a soldier in the Civil War. You feel his emotions. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
This book is hailed as a great book written from the everyday soldier's point of view.Published 3 months ago by Mike Golf
A really interesting read. I have always been fascinated by the civil war and have seen many documentaries and books on the subject but to actually read details of someone who was... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Richard Burton
A book written from the point of view of a private (wouldn't say ordinary he was quite the soldier) on the side of the Confederacy. Read morePublished 4 months ago by tim taylor
The writing style is difficult to read at times but this book is very helpful for an understanding of life in the Civil War for an enlisted man serving in the Western Theater.Published 4 months ago by BD