James R. Fleming’s compilations of letters, histories and other materials on Company C of the Confederate’s Ninth Tennessee Infantry is a primary source on the Civil War from a Southern or Confederate point of view by those who fought – low-ranking or plain soldiers, not the important generals or leaders of the Confederacy. The reader gets a down-to-earth view of the Civil War from ordinary people.
The histories written by members of the Company were intended for their posterity. The men who comprised this company were from western Tennessee, especially Tipton County, which is north of Memphis. Most knew each other; some were teachers and church ministers, and many of the younger men were or had been students of the older men, who were usually the officers. Some of the material for this book comes from some of Fleming’s own ancestors.
In addition to the histories of the Company, Fleming shares the correspondence of several of the members of the company and provides rosters of companies A through L of the Ninth Tennessee Infantry Regiment; the rosters include nicknames – Company C was known as The Southern Confederates while Company B was known as The Haywood Rifles. Chuck Brown contributes several easy-to-read hand-drawn maps of battlefields and Western Tennessee. Several photographs of the members of the company, flags, uniforms, grave markers, and other things connected to the company are included. Chapter ten provides the regiment’s chronology. The volume closes with endnotes, a two-and-a-half page bibliography, and an index. This is recommended to Civil War enthusiasts, especially those interested in primary sources.
James R. Fleming was awarded the Jefferson Davis medal for excellence in preservation and research of Civil War history by the United Daughters of the Confederacy. He is the author of Ninth Tennessee: A Roster (1996) and Band of Brothers: Company C, Ninth Tennessee Infantry (1996), and works as an interpretative historian for the National Park Service.