by George S. Bernard
Edited by Hampton Newsome, John Horn, and John G. Selby
BTC’s Take: A collection of first person reminiscences by George S. Bernard of Petersburg, Virginia, as well as those he corresponded with. This book is essential Volume 2 of Bernard’s original War Talks of Confederate Veterans. The material for this book was collected by Bernard but was never published in his lifetime. It is particularly useful for students of the Siege of Petersburg, containing 6 chapters on events and battles from the campaign. Bernard lived in Petersburg, so he was naturally interested in the massive events engulfing his city for the last nine months of the war. This book is an indispensable tool, especially for those interested in Weisiger’s Brigade, Mahone’s Division, during the Siege of Petersburg and it’s actions throughout the war.
BTC Siege of Petersburg Book Notes:
BTC Siege of Petersburg Book Sources:
George S. Bernard was a Petersburg lawyer and member of the 12th Virginia Infantry Regiment during the Civil War. Over the course of his life, Bernard wrote extensively about his wartime experiences and collected accounts from other veterans. In 1892, he published War Talks of Confederate Veterans, a collection of firsthand accounts focusing on the battles and campaigns of the 12th Virginia that is widely read to this day. Bernard prepared a second volume but was never able to publish it. After his death in 1912, his papers became scattered or simply lost. But a series of finds, culminating with the discovery of a cache of papers in Roanoke in 2004, have made it possible to reconstruct a complete manuscript of the unpublished second volume.
The resulting book, Civil War Talks, contains speeches, letters, Bernard’s wartime diary, and other firsthand accounts of the war not only by veterans of the Confederacy, such as General William Mahone, but by Union veterans as well. Their personal stories cover the major military campaigns in Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania–Seven Pines, Malvern Hill, Gettysburg, Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Petersburg, and Appomattox. For the general reader, this volume offers evocative testimonies focusing on the experiences of individual soldiers. For scholars, it provides convenient access to many accounts that, until now, have not been widely available or have been simply unknown.
Publisher: University of Virginia Press
Release Date: June 2o12
- A Great Lost Civil War Story (UVa Press)
- Historic discovery becomes Civil War book (Roanoke Times)
- Review: “Civil War Talks” (The Back Cover Roanoke Times Book Blog)
The Siege of Petersburg Online: Beyond the Crater Pages Which Mention This Book:
- Civil War Talks: Further Reminiscences of George S. Bernard and His Fellow Veterans
- BTC Notes: Civil War Talks: Further Reminiscences of George S. Bernard and His Fellow Veterans
- Review: Civil War Talks: Further Reminiscences of George S. Bernard & His Fellow Veterans
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