"No Soap, No Pay, Diarrhea, Dysentery & Desertion" is a groundbreaking study of life during the final sixteen months of the Confederacy.
Civil War studies normally focus on military battles, campaigns, generals, and politicians, with the common Confederate soldier and Southern civilians receiving only token mention. Using personal accounts from more than two hundred seventy soldiers, farmers, clerks, surgeons, sailors, chaplains, farm girls, nurses, nuns, merchants, teachers and wives, author Jeff Toalson has created a compilation that is remarkable in its simplicity and stunning in its scope.
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. As in all wars, these are the people who suffer the most-and glory is hard to find amid lice, dysentery, starvation, and death.
A significant contribution to Civil War literature, "No Soap, No Pay, Diarrhea, Dysentery & Desertion" will open vistas to a side of the war with which most are only mildly familiar. The words of these individuals are an honest, powerful, and poetic portrayal of the war's effect on their lives.