A Soldier's Letters to Charming Nellie

Read by LibriVox Volunteers

(4 stars; 1 reviews)

Whether written in camp, in hospital, or in hospitable home, the letters tell a plain, unvarnished, and true story of the observations and experiences, the impressions and feelings, of a soldier whose only personal regret is that he could not be one of those whose paroles at Appomattox are patents incontestable that they fought for the right as they saw it, as long as there was a hope to encourage them. Though not intended as history, they are historical in the respect that they narrate actual occurrences in camp, on the march, and in the battle. The lady to whom all but the last were addressed was no more a myth from 1861 to 1865 than now, when, a gray-haired wife, mother, and grandmother, she presides with the grace and dignity of the truest womanhood over the home made for her by the gallant officer of the Tennessee Army, her first and only beloved, whom she wedded shortly after the close of the war. To her soldier correspondent she was the friend of one more than a friend. It was not until March of 1865 that they ever met. Her letters kept him so well-advised of all that was transpiring in Texas, and were so friendly, entertaining, and altogether "charming," that, without leave or license, he substituted that adjective for the conventional "Miss" to which she was entitled. (Summary by J. B. Polley) (8 hr 37 min)


Introduction 8:54 Read by Dale Latham
Early Experiences in Camp 12:57 Read by Dale Latham
Humorous Incidents 17:36 Read by Dale Latham
Around Yorktown 19:44 Read by asterix
Battle of Seven Pines 13:40 Read by asterix
Gaines' Mill 14:31 Read by asterix
Battle of Second Manassas 15:21 Read by asterix
Second Manassas, Continued 18:07 Read by asterix
Crossing Over Into Maryland 14:32 Read by asterix
Incidents at Fredericksburg 18:20 Read by Dale Latham
In and Around Richmond 25:20 Read by Dale Latham
After Chancellorsville 14:49 Read by Dale Latham
Hood's Texans in Pennsylvania 14:39 Read by Denise Nordell
Gettysburg 13:01 Read by Denise Nordell
Reminiscences of Chickamauga 12:17 Read by Denise Nordell
Forage for Hog Meat 23:33 Read by asterix
A Battle 'Above the Clouds' 18:15 Read by asterix
Strenuous Times in Tennessee 16:08 Read by asterix
The Power of the Fiddle and the Bow 16:39 Read by asterix
Some 'Escape' Stories 23:35 Read by asterix
A Flight to Arms 18:51 Read by Dale Latham
A Thirty Day Furlough 17:46 Read by Dale Latham
Texas in the Battle of the Wilderness 17:21 Read by Dale Latham
Fun in the Trenches 16:22 Read by asterix
Texans in Virginia 15:34 Read by asterix
Hot Skirmishing - Wounded 19:58 Read by asterix
Luxuriating in Feasts and Feather Beds 17:24 Read by asterix
Adventures En Route to Texas 21:11 Read by asterix
Fourth Texas at Gaines' Mill 41:01 Read by asterix


Already a Winner

(4 stars)

I'm only through chapter 5 so far, but I'm loving this already. The writer of these letters has a very dry humor. When he's describing carnage and battle (quite sanitized, since he's writing to a lady), one cannot help but laugh over some of his witticisms. Giving it 4 stars for now, but I may come back and up that when I'm finished listening. The two readers I've heard so far are great, although one of them has some fairly long pauses in strange places, which gives the recording a slightly off-kilter feel. But otherwise his reading is excellent.