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A Confederate Chronicle: The Life of a Civil War Survivor

Pamela Chase Hain, «A Confederate Chronicle: The Life of a Civil War Survivor»
University of Missouri Press | ISBN: 0826215998 | 2005 | PDF | 273 pages | 1.93 MB

A "Confederate Chronicle" presents the remarkable life of Thomas L Wragg, who served in both the Confederate army and navy and endured incarceration as a prisoner of war. Pamela Chase Hain uses Wragg's letters to his family, friends, and fiancee, as well as his naval notebook and newspaper articles, to give readers insight into his life and the lives of those around him. Born into a life of wealth and privilege, Wragg left home at eighteen to join the front lines in Virginia. From there, he sent letters home describing the maneuvering of General Joseph E Johnston's army in and around Harpers Ferry and Winchester, culminating with the Battle of Bull Run. In 1862, Wragg joined the Confederate Navy and trained on the ironclad CSS Georgia before transferring to the CSS Atlanta. Hain uses the notebooks that he kept during his training to provide a rare glimpse into the naval and artillery practices at the time. These notebooks also provide evidence of a fledgling Confederate naval "school" prior to the one established on the CSS Patrick Henry. The crew of Atlanta was captured on the ship's maiden voyage, and Wragg was sent to Fort Warren Prison in Boston. Wragg's POW letters reveal the isolation and sense of abandonment the prisoners felt as they waited in hopes of an exchange. The correspondence between Wragg and his fiancee, Josie, after the war illustrates not only the mores of nineteenth-century courtship but also the difficulty of adjustment that many Confederate war veterans faced. Sadly, Wragg's life was cut short after he became a successful doctor in Quincy, Florida. Cover-up and intrigue by powerful and influential citizens prevented Wragg's wife from bringing the murderer to justice. "A Confederate Chronicle" offers an unprecedented look at how the Civil War affected the gentry class of the South.




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