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Comment: The item is fairly worn but continues to work perfectly. Signs of wear can include aesthetic issues such as scratches, dents, and worn corners. All pages and the cover are intact, but the dust cover may be missing. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting, but the text is not obscured or unreadable.
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Company Aytch Paperback – November 1, 1999

4.7 out of 5 stars 76 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"Samuel Rush Watkins was a private in the Confederate Army, a twenty-one-year-old Southerner from Tennessee who knew about war but had never experienced it firsthand."--BOOK JACKET. "With the immediacy of a dispatch from the front lines, here are Watkins' firsthand observations and recollections, from combat on the battlefields of Shiloh ("On Sunday morning, the order was given for the whole army to advance, and to attack immediately. The fire opened - a ripping, roaring boom, bang!") and Chickamauga ("We debouched through the woods, firing as we marched. The Yankee line was about two hundred yards off. In ten minutes we were face to face with the foe") to encounters with Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee, from the tedium of grueling marches to the terror of fellow soldiers' deaths, from breaking bread with a Georgia family to confronting the enemy eye to eye."--BOOK JACKET.

About the Author

Samuel Rush Watkins was a southern American and soldier in the Confederate army during the American Civil War (1861-1865) who is best-known for his memoir, Company Aytch: Or, a Side Show of the Big Show, in which he documented the events of the Civil War from a common soldier s perspective. Watkins enlisted in the Confederate Army at the outbreak of war in 1861, and participated in battles at Shiloh, Chattanooga, Chickamauga, and Jonesboro, among many others, before surrendering to General William T. Sherman in 1865. Little is known about Watkins s life after the end of the war, although he is known to have died in 1901 and was buried with full military honours.

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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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Plume; Subsequent edition (November 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452281245
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452281240
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #125,610 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Wayne A. Smith VINE VOICE on January 3, 2000
Format: Paperback
Sam Watkins writes a novel like autobiography of his years with the Army of Tennessee. His service saw the front lines of every major battle including Shiloh, Chickamagua, Chattanooga, Atlanta, Franklin and Nashville. Amazingly, this rebel came through intact and lived to vividly record his experiences.
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.
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Format: Paperback
Sam Watkins produced a series of articles for his local paper about twenty years after the War Between the States, which allowed his memory to treat the conflict with a little humor, but still captures the feelings and emotions of a combat soldier in the momentous time period between 1861 and 1865. Like Elisha Hunt Rhodes from Rhode Island, Sam incredibly lasted for the whole war, one of only about 5% of his regiment who survived the conflict! His telling of the events is laid back, honest, and treated with both respect for the dead and honor for the suvivors, and with subtle humour throughout.
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!
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Format: Paperback
I would not really recommend Company Aytch to those who are totally unfamiliar with the history of the Civil War. Watkins does not describe in detail the events of the various battles he took part in. Major battles like Shiloh and Chickamauga are covered in a few pages. Thus a reader unfamiliar with what took place might be somewhat confused regarding the overall picture, for these memoirs are not really history, or if they are history, they are history in miniature. But it is this fact which makes them so vital and so interesting. Watkins is a fine writer and he vividly describes what it was like to be a Confederate soldier. His account is frequently very funny, often moving and at times horrific. Thus he fleshes out the events which standard history books describe in general terms. Most history books would tell of which regiment attacked which at the `Dead Angle' on Kennesaw Mountain, describe how many died on each side and fit it into the account of the Rebel retreat to Atlanta, but Watkins places the reader alongside him actually fighting this vicious battle. Watkins is also very good on the topic of the daily life of the Confederate soldier, his struggle to find adequate food and clothing and the tough discipline which could see a soldier shot by his own side for a relatively minor indiscretion. Watkins describes numerous executions through the course of the book and they are harrowing.
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.
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This is a first-hand account of Civil War life and battles as exprienced by a private in the C.S.A. Army, Sam Watkins. Watkins explains throughout that he is NOT a historian nor should his writings ever be considered history. But, if you want to know what went on in the minds of those young men, then this is a must read. I bought this one after browsing through a friend's book, Company Aytch by Sam Watkins, and I recommend this one as it does contain additional writings (sketches) by Watkins as well as a glossary of definitions, which I found necessary. Thomas Ingle does not edit nor rewite Watkin's writings but simply includes additional material. Also, this edition has been fixed of all previous typos.
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If you have an interest in buying the book i would say you are probably already familiar with the Civil War, and therefore would have a bsic knowledge of the War. This book really is best for describing one person's experiences, instead (as Watkins acknowledges) of being a complete history. It is good because it captures the spirit of the southern soldier, adventerous and young and ready to fight.
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.
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