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Little to Eat and Thin Mud to Drink: Letters, Diaries, and Memoirs from the Red River Campaigns, 1863-1864 (Voices of the Civil War) Hardcover – May 10, 2007


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Little to Eat and Thin Mud to Drink: Letters, Diaries, and Memoirs from the Red River Campaigns, 1863-1864 (Voices of the Civil War) + One Damn Blunder from Beginning to End: The Red River Campaign of 1864 (The American Crisis Series: Books on the Civil War Era) + Red River Campaign: Politics and Cotton in the Civil War
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Product Details

  • Series: Voices of the Civil War
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Univ Tennessee Press; 1 edition (May 10, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1572335718
  • ISBN-13: 978-1572335714
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,644,142 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Book Description

Little to Eat and Thin Mud to Drink does more than just document the history of the Trans-Mississippi conflict of the Civil War. It goes much deeper, offering a profound, extended look into the innermost thoughts of the soldiers and civilians who experienced the events that took place in Louisiana, Texas, and Arkansas. Gleaning from a rich body of rare journals, diaries, and letters, this groundbreaking book demonstrates the significant impact that military operations in this region had on the local population in years between 1863 and 1865.

Readers will be introduced to the many different individuals who were touched by the campaign, both Confederate and Union. Ably edited by Joiner, a leading expert on the Trans-Mississippi conflict, and others, some of these manuscripts are witty, others somber, some written by Harvard- and Yale-educated aristocrats, others by barely literate farmers. All profoundly reflect their feelings regarding the extraordinary circumstances and events they witnessed.

In Little to Eat and Thin Mud to Drink, readers will have access to the diary of James A. Jarratt, a Confederate sergeant whose cogent narratives dispute commonly held views of the Battle of Mansfield. Representing a much different point of view is the diary of Private Julius Knapp, whose lengthy diary sheds light on the life of a Northern soldier fighting in the ill-fated Union march through Louisiana in 1864. A rare glimpse into the diary of a Southern woman is offered through the fascinating and melancholy musings of plantation belle Sidney Harding. Readers will also encounter the private letters of a French prince turned Confederate officer; of Elizabeth Jane Samford Fullilove, the angst-ridden wife of a Confederate soldier; and many others.

These first-person narratives vividly bring to life the individuals who lived through this important, but often neglected, period in Civil War history. Little to Eat and Thin Mud to Drink will engross anyone interested in exploring the human side of the Civil War.

Gary Joiner is an assistant professor of history at Louisiana State University in Shreveport and the director of the Red River Regional Studies Center at LSUS. His books include One Damn Blunder from Beginning to End: The Red River Campaign of 1864 and Union Failure in the West and Through the Howling Wilderness: The 1864 Red River Campaign and Union Failure in the West. He is also the coeditor, with Marilyn S. Joiner and Clifton D. Cardin, of another volume in the Voices of the Civil War series, No Pardons to Ask, nor Apologies to Make: The Journal of William Henry King, Gray's 28th Louisiana Infantry Battalion.
 

About the Author

Gary Joiner is an assistant professor of history at Louisiana State University in Shreveport and the director of the Red River Regional Studies Center at LSUS. His books include One Damn Blunder from Beginning to End: The Red River Campaign of 1864 and Union Failure in the West and Through the Howling Wilderness: The 1864 Red River Campaign and Union Failure in the West. He is also the coeditor, with Marilyn S. Joiner and Clifton D. Cardin, of another volume in the Voices of the Civil War series, No Pardons to Ask, nor Apologies to Make: The Journal of William Henry King, Gray's 28th Louisiana Infantry Battalion.

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Henry Berry on June 5, 2007
Format: Hardcover
A Union force of some 42,000 troops and over 100 vessels campaigned in areas of Louisiana, Texas, and Arkansas in an attempt to take Shreveport, LA, headquarters of the Confederate Trans-Mississippi Department. Though geographically on the periphery of the warfare and not much covered at the time by newspapers concentrating on events surrounding the Union and Confederate capitols in the East and in the upper part of the Mississippi River surrounding the strategically important cities of Chattanooga and Vicksburg, the Red River Campaigns, as they are called, brought widespread changes to this region and had adverse effects on the careers of several high-ranking officers. Against the Union force of tens of thousands, the Confederates could bring together only 25,000 men, with no more than 12,000 in action in any one engagement. With the help of an inhospitable terrain and dissensions among Union officers, and despite dissensions within their own ranks, the Confederates held off the Union army and navy. Documents from veterans associations, official reports, and diaries by soldiers of all ranks of both sides, a Frenchman who was serving in the Confederate Army, and a woman living on a plantation recreate all facets of the military, historical, and personal aspects of the Campaigns. Appendices include orders of battle for both sides and a listing of the numerous Union vessels. The volume of the publisher's Voices of the Civil War series collects and puts into perspective considerable source material on this southeastern theater of the Civil War.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ina Holland on April 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am trying to find out more of my relatives. The suffering and sacrafice that occurred during the time of and after the American Civil War shows how much a family can and will sacrifice for what they believe to be right. Heart breaking and yet rewarding to read. Thanks. Ina Holland
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