Friday, 1 January 2010

'Three months in the Southern States'

Electronic version here.
This is my New Years gift to you, gentle reader. It was written by a British army officer of the Coldstream Guards who was present at the battle of Gettysburg. A recent review is posted here for your information
Burlington County Times

Having received a copy of "Three Months in the Southern States," the diary of British officer Arthur Fremantle, I can heartily recommmend it for anyone interested in one of the primary sources for the American Civil War.

Fremantle was a serving officer in the British army when he went to Texas in 1863 to observe the Civil War. Fremantle, who was opposed to slavery, became a warm friend of the Confederacy and was particularly attracted to the "gallantry" of the Confederate generals.

Despite his peculiar locutions ("he was of the Hebrew persuasion," etc), Fremantle is an important source for what happened at the Battle of Gettysburg, which he witnessed in the company of Longstreet and others. His diary gives historians timelines for when various actions occurred during the critical three-day battle that resulted in 53,000 casualties and led to the final decline of Confederate hopes for victory.


Ironically, Fremantle believed the Confederacy would ultimately be victorious. How wrong he was makes his diary even more valuable.

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