No Soap, No Pay, Diarrhea, Dysentery & Desertion

NoSoapCoverMedNo Soap, No Pay, Diarrhea, Dysentery & Desertion: A Composite Diary of the Last 16 Months of the Confederacy from 1864 to 1865

The concept of this book is so simple, yet brilliant, and the collection of quoted material is superb . . . the greatest contribution is found in the ‘voice’ that has been given to the personal memories of these 270 men and women, who lived through the darkest time in our nation’s history.”

Michael Aubrecht – book review – The Free Lance – Star

In the winter of 1864-65 a 17 year old private wrote home to his family that they “must have forgotten him or they would write oftener.”    Letters meant everything to the soldiers and to their families at home.  To really understand the conflict you need to read these letters.  It is a totally different story than the one told in the letters of generals and politicians.  Rev. Davis Wood wrote back to his son that several young misses in the neighborhood were having babies “and a Miss Gelleland, on the Cowpasture river . . . put her baby in a hollow log where it was found dead.” 

After reading the words of Davis and his son I determined to find a selection of ‘voices’ from all over the Confederacy to tell the story of 1864-65 from the bottom looking up.  It took three and a half years.  Fifty of my 270 voices have never been published.  Three women and twelve men will be your tour guides and ‘speak’ to you almost every month.  Most of their 255 companions will each tell you less than four stories each.

This book will become habit forming.  You will not be able to put it down.  It will take you places you cannot imagine and you will be drawn into the stark, sobering realities of everyday life as the Confederacy collapses.  David Barlow of Franklin, Virginia, notes that the letter, diary and journal entries from these soldiers and civilians “are sometimes Humorous, and sometimes Haunting but always Captivating.”


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