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05.14.01 : Dawson, Francis, Reminiscences of Confederate Service 1861-1865. Baton Rouge, LSU Press: 1980.

About the Author

Dawson was an educated Englishman, who at the age of 21 set sail on a Confederate steamer and made his way to the Confederacy.  The excitement of running the blockade is recounted, as well as his attempt to serve in the Confederate Navy. The loss of New Orleans and the ship he was to have served on, led to a return to Richmond.  While awaiting a navy assignment, the spring of 1862 battles for Richmond saw Dawson attach himself to a battery, where he served gallantly. Resigning from the navy, he saw service in the artillery, where he was wounded. His capture, parole, and his later service as an ordinance officer gave him a wide range of experiences. He served on the staff of Gen. James Longstreet and later of Gen. Fitzhugh Lee, and fought in both the Eastern and Western theatres of the war. 

Our Review

Dawson relates experiences from the common soldiers in camp, to the staffs of various generals, to civilians he met.  He boarded at the same house as Miss Hettie Cary, and has interesting observations on Southern society. After the war, he went into the newspaper business in Charleston, South Carolina.  He was active in Democrat politics, and married twice. In 1867 he married Virginia Fourgeaud, who died in 1873. His wed Sarah Morgan, sister of a longtime friend, in 1874.  Sarah Dawson wrote A Confederate Girl’s Diary in 1913. Dawson’s journalism exposed some of the corruption in the Radical Republicans Reconstruction efforts in South Carolina. This book gives the reader a glimpse into the events and personalities of a pivotal time in Southern history. 



The book can be purchased through Amazon: Reminiscences of Confederate Service 1861-65