In April 1861 war was declared between the Union and the Confederacy.
When the news came it made Fletcher nervous, as he was working but didn’t want to miss his chance to enlist; reaching an agreement, he began his journey the following day.
Two years later, on the third day at Gettysburg, Fletcher recalls how he became temporarily afflicted with a “bad case of cowardly horror” following the order to prepare to charge.
But Fletcher could also be a restless man and was brave to a fault, frequently seeking permission for dangerous raids or patrols in the lulls between battles.
Wounded on numerous occasions, Fletcher became incapacitated for further infantry service and was transferred to the cavalry, where he would serve for the rest of the war.
It was during this time that he was taken prisoner by Union troops, and Fletcher’s account of his capture, and the formation and execution of his escape plan is worthy of a classic thriller.
With its combination of straightforward prose and unexpected philosophising, Rebel Private is an arresting account of one line soldier’s experience.
William Andrew Fletcher (1839-1915) was a lumberman, scout and soldier from Louisiana. In 1856 the family moved to Texas, and five years later he enlisted in the Confederate Army. Serving throughout the Civil War, he survived and returned to Texas, where he later married and raised a family.
Praise for William A. Fletcher
“A neat tale of suspense … an admirable piece of Americana.” — Atlantic Monthly
“Gives the best account I know of.… This Confederate Soldier shows his devotion to the truth by limiting his narrative to what he saw with his own eyes.” — Shelby Foote
“He was the G.I. Joe of the confederate army.… He wrote so honestly, casually, and dramatically that no one who pretends to understand the Irresponsible Conflict can neglect reading this book.” — Houston Post
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