City of Manassas, VA . . . As Civil War battles and casualties continued to mount in 1863, generals and politicians garnered the headlines, but it was common soldiers who might have had the most to say. Author Jeff Toalson uses their accounts for his new book, Mama, I Am Yet Still Alive, a story of life in the Confederacy at that time. His work will be the focus of a free ManassasMuseum Book Talk on March 24 at 2 p.m.
Mama, I Am Yet Still Alive is a companion volume to Toalson’s recent book No Soap, No Pay, Diarrhea, Dysentery & Desertion. Both books rely on the personal accounts of hundreds of common soldiers, farmers, clerks, surgeons, sailors, chaplains, farm girls, nurses, merchants, teachers and wives to paint a picture of life in the South.
Toalson says that these soldiers and civilians wrote remarkable letters and kept astonishing diaries and journals. They discussed disease, slavery, inflation, religion, desertion, blockade running, and their never-ending hope that the war would be over before their loved ones died. A major portion of these documents were unpublished and were made available by the Brewer Library of the United Daughters of the Confederacy.