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Simple Story Of A Soldier: Life And Service in the 2d Mississippi Infantry (Alabama Fire Ant) Paperback – September 8, 2004

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"The story is doubtless the most vivid record of a Confederate soldier's life that has been or will be written. [Hankins] gives in detail the most ludicrous events vividly as if a mature, gifted writer had kept a diary at the time, and his truly 'simple story' will create sympathetic interest. It is so devoid of bitterness that a man who served on the 'other side' . . . would sympathize with him in the hardships and privations of prison life and deplore that the government he served did not when it could render more humane service to him."--Confederate Veteran, 1912

About the Author

John F. Marszalek is the retired William L. Giles Distinguished Professor at Mississippi State University and author of, among other works, Sherman: A Soldier's Passion for Order and The Petticoat Affair: Manners, Mutiny, and Sex in Andrew Jackson's White House.


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Product Details

  • Series: Alabama Fire Ant
  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Fire Ant Books; 1St Edition edition (September 8, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0817351574
  • ISBN-13: 978-0817351571
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,080,763 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Civil War Librarian on April 6, 2008
Format: Paperback
Simple Story Of A Soldier: Life And Service in the 2d Mississippi Infantry, Samuel W. Hankins, John F. Marszalek (Introduction), Fire Ant Books, an imprint of the University of Alabama Press, index, 96 pp. 2004, $12.95

In 1905, Samuel W. Hankins wrote and serialized his memoir in <em>Confederate Veteran </em>magazine. Living in a home for Confederate Veterans located in Gulfport, Mississippi, the 65-year later published his story as a pamphlet in 1912. From northeastern Mississippi, Hankins joined the Confederate army in 1861 when he had just turned 16. His father, not a supporter of secession, joined the Confederate army and ordered is son to stay with his mother. Samuel refused and father accepted him as a comrade in arms in the 2nd Mississippi regiment.

Drill was impossible for some in the 2nd Mississippi; they did not know their right from their left. Hankins describes his train ride to Virginia while riding atop the cars and his encounters with tunnels. Ordered to Jackson's small army, the 2nd Mississippi occupied Harpers Ferry, drilled, bought pieces of rope that had been used to hang John Brown and engaged in gambling. Nothing is mentioned of moving the locomotives down the Valley Pike but the soldiers' narrow eye view of the battle of Manassas is given.

Hankins neglects telling events from July 1861 to April 1862, at which point the 'war begins in earnest.' The soldiers are very soggy. One has a premonition of death. An artillery piece fires at a balloon; the ropes are cut and the balloonist falls to his death. In 1902, while in Corinth finds a former Union soldier who also witnessed the balloonist's fall. The 2nd Mississipi' place at Malvern Hill is in support of the artillery.

The battle of Sharpsburg comes and passes quickly.
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Simple Story Of A Soldier: Life And Service in the 2d Mississippi Infantry (Alabama Fire Ant)
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