Thursday, July 12, 2012

Coming Thursday September 6, 2012

Catherine Wright (Editor) of Lee's Last Casualty: The Life and Letters of Sgt. Robert W. Parker, Second Virginia Cavalry (Voices of the Civil War) Catherine Wright is the Former curator at the Stonewall Jackson House in Lexington, Va., she presently works as collections manager at the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond

The letters assembled in this extraordinarily rich collection were written by Robert W. Parker, an enlisted Confederate cavalryman who is thought to have been the last man killed in action in the Army of Northern Virginia during the Civil War. He is representative of the Confederate Everyman: a modest farmer in the antebellum years, his patriotic fervor spurred him at the beginning of the war to enlist in the Confederate Army, in which he served until his death during the last charge at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865. Parker fought in most of the major campaigns in Virginia, including the 1862 Valley Campaign, the 1862 Peninsula Campaign, the 1863 Maryland Campaign, and the 1864 Overland Campaign.

Catherine Wright provides a valuable introduction that illuminates not only these particular letters but also the many roles of correspondence during the Civil War. She points out how women-in this case, Parker's wife and his mother-made sure that men in the ranks understood that more than politics or manly honor was at stake in fighting the Yankees. Parker believed that the war was a supreme test in which God would look deep into the souls of Northerners and Southerners (From the Publisher)