Raised and commanded by early-war veteran James Cooper Nisbet, the 66th Georgia Infantry assembled at Macon in summer 1863, suffered through a winter of discontent in Dalton, charged into enemy fire at Peach Tree Creek and Atlanta, and slogged through the rain and mud of Franklin and Nashville before surrendering. Drawing on newspapers, letters, and diaries, this book details the hard realities of service in a Civil War regiment, the often-flawed memories of Colonel Nisbet, and also plumbs census records to reconstruct the social makeup of the 66th. A sample group of more than 500 men displays the extent of poverty in the ranks, and considers how variables in a soldier's age, family status, home location, or economic background determined devotion or desertion, as well as survivors in the postwar period, amidst hard times and historical forgetfulness. This story offers not a noble epic about valiant fighting men, but rather the bloody-ground truths about the Civil War.
Publisher: Mercer University Press