“Look yonder! There is Jackson and his brigade standing like a stone wall. Let us determine to die here and we will conquer. Rally behind them!”
With these words Gen. B. E. Bee of the Confederates States Army inspired the famous nickname for Gen. T. J. Jackson, and his brigade, at the First Battle of Bull Run: Stonewall.
Three months earlier the 2d, 4th, 5th and 27th Virginia Infantry Regiments had been brigaded together with the 33rd, in whose “A” Company John O. Casler was serving as a Private.
However, their reputation came at a cost: if there was an extra hard duty, Jackson would send in his old brigade lest he be thought of as favouring them.
Drawn from his diary at the time, Casler recounts his experiences in the ranks, from marches and looting to nail-biting escapades and the monotony of life as a prisoner of war.
Instead of a history of the war, Four Years in the Stonewall Brigade is a remarkable account of men in war, graphically bringing to light the challenges they faced on a daily basis.
Praise for Four Years in the Stonewall Brigade
“…as illustrating the daily life of a soldier in the ranks it is one of the very best publications I have read. I found it a vivid reminder of the days gone by…” — E. M. Schutte, late Sergeant Company C, 13th Massachusetts.
“Your style is clear and entertaining. It will do all the old boys of both sides good to read it.” — J. G. Winne, late 16th New York Horse Artillery.
“This is to certify that John O. Casler belonged to Company A, 33d Virginian Infantry, Stonewall Brigade. John was a good soldier, always ready and willing to perform any duty assigned him.” — W. H. Powell, Captain Company A, 33d Virginian Infantry, Stonewall Brigade.
John O. Casler (1838-1926) was an American soldier and author born in Frederick County, Virginia. While he had left the family home aged twenty one, when it seemed that war was imminent he returned and enlisted in the Confederate States Army in June 1861. Following the war he emigrated to Sherman, Texas.
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