- Paperback: 136 pages
- Publisher: University of Georgia Press; Reprint edition (April 25, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0820326666
- ISBN-13: 978-0820326665
- Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.4 x 7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 8 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #868,983 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Reminiscences of My Life in Camp: An African American Woman's Civil War Memoir Paperback – April 25, 2006
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Taylor*#8217;s experiences, as Dr. Clinton explains in her typically clear and elegant language, provide interesting windows into the special burdens and opportunities afforded black women in the Civil War. An extremely well done introductory essay.(John David Smith Charles H. Stone Distinguished Professor of American History, University of North Carolina at Charlotte)
About the Author
Susie King Taylor (1848-1912) was the only African American woman to publish a memoir of her wartime experiences and the first African American to teach openly in a school for former slaves in Georgia. Catherine Clinton, an independent scholar, is currently affiliated with the Gilder Lehrman Center at Yale University. She is the author of twenty books, including Civil War Stories (Georgia) and highly praised biographies of Harriet Tubman and Fanny Kemble.
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Ms. Catherine Clinton give an introduction which is good and informative.
When comparing this to other narratives I have read about the war this one falls flat. Ms. Taylor's narrative is lacking detail and emotion. I thought I would get a better understanding about life in camp, but that was not the case. For instance Ms. Taylor writes about fleas in her tent and how she barely slept. That's great, but how did that make her feel? Did she hate camp life? Did she question what she was doing there? And to be perfectly honest I'm not quite sure what her role was. On St. Simon's Island she was teaching children but when she got to Camp Saxton I have no idea what she did. It seemed like she was wandering around with the troops. Did she cook? Clean? ???
From page 52 on Ms. Taylor explains what her life was like after the Civil War. So the pages of her explaining what life was like in camp are rather slim. With Catherine Clinton's introduction the reader only gets 52 pages of camp life(minus the first two chapters on her ancestors and childhood). This book is not 136 pages of a woman's experience during the Civil War.
Overall this was a great disappointment. I was hoping to read an engaging account of a black woman's experience but instead Ms. Taylor's explanation of the war was dry and lacked emotion. One thing I enjoyed about this book was how she observed race relations. I thought that was interesting and was the books one saving grace.