Notes Concerning the Author
Carlton McCarthy (1847–1936), served as a Confederate soldier in the Richmond Howitzers. He
fought in most of the principal battles in the eastern theater during the War Between the States.
He was with the army when it was surrendered by General Robert E. Lee at Appomattox on
April 9 th , 1865. He as well served as Mayor of Richmond, Virginia from 1905 to 1908.
Mr. McCarthy’s book is an overview of the common soldier’s daily life, rituals, views, trials, and
tribulations that are often overlooked when reading histories of the period. Many histories of the
period concentrate on specific campaigns, battles or leaders of such. In this book he gives us
insight on the common soldier and from the reviewers’ modern day experiences some things are
the same even after one hundred and fifty years. He provides us this overview of the soldiers’
thoughts from entering the war, the odds the South faced, and on such things as camp life,
marching, what they did best, fighting, as well as finding their way home. He provides many
anecdotes from his experiences which go further to integrate the reader into the common
soldier’s world and in conclusion gives the background of and significance of the Army of
Northern Virginia’s battle flag. This book is worth reading due to the sharing of little-known
facets of the daily life in the Army of Northern Virginia.
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