The Ragged Rebel: A Common Soldier in W. H. Parsons' Texas Cavalry, 1861-1865, B. P. Gallaway, Abilene Christian Universityc and Leafwood Publishing, Paperback, $17.99, February 2010.
Dave Nance's personality animates this volume and makes it interesting reading. His writings display a sense of humor and a youthful longing for adventure mitigated by a growing devotion to God based on his experiences with the suffering he encountered as a soldier. Gallaway, in viewing the war through the eyes of a sensitive young man, has provided an important source in nineteenth-century social history.
Significantly, the narrative reveals the contrast between the formal accounts of the battles found in the Official Records and the vivid, sometimes exaggerated, impressions of a common soldier. This book is a valuable addition to the growing field that intertwines social and military history. Gallaway's study of Nance enhances our understanding of how the war affected the men who fought." --Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Here is the adventurous, eloquent, true story of David Carey Nance--a young Texas farmer caught up in the carnage of the Civil War as a soldier in William H. Parsons' Texas Cavalry. In presenting Nance's story, Gallaway gives not only a history of a Confederate soldier but also a personal treatise of a young man who, fired by unexpected experiences, becomes vehemently antiwar. He also sheds new light on one of the most famous mounted units in the service of the Confederacy, Parsons' Texas Cavalry Brigade, and presents a vivid picture of the Civil War as fought west of the Mississippi.
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