He fought in nearly every large battle in the western theater of the civil war, including the battles of shiloh, perryville, stones river, corinth, chattanooga, chickamauga, missionary ridge, kennesaw mountain, atlanta, and jonesboro. Sam watkins samuel sam rush watkins june 26, 1839 july 20, 1901 was a noted confederate soldier during the american civil war. Charles mcdowell was born on june 24, 1926 in danville, kentucky, usa as charles rice mcdowell jr. In fact, i think all of the citizens of perryville were taken with a sudden still, beyond a small circle of civil war devotees, sam watkins was. Written in 1882 by private sam watkins of company h, 1st tennessee infantry. Aytch i often visit the kennesaw mountain national battlefield park.
The living soldier knows not at what moment he, too, may be called on to lay down his life on the altar of his country. H of the 1st tennessee regiment in may 1861 to fight for the confederacy. Very carefully and with terrific sensitivity, one would hope. It has become a standard read for those seeking insight on how civil war soldiers especially confederate soldiers experienced the war. H in 1861, sam watkins was one of the 7 alive when general joe johnstons army of tennessee surrendered to general william tecumseh sherman in north carolina april, 1865.
Jan 23, 2019 as much as i liked this diarist, i was pleased to meet his brother in arms, sam watkins. Samuel sam rush watkins 18391901 was a confederate soldier during the american civil war. Aytch as in h, which appeared after the war and offers an unparalleled look at the life of a rankandfile southern soldier. The park is a beautiful and magnificently wellpreserved 2,965 acre civil war battleground that played a significant role in the atlanta campaign of 1864. We felt, we still feel, the passion of life to its top.
Our camps namesake, samuel rush watkins, was born on june 26, near columbia, tennessee. November 19, 2019 provided below is an episode from my illustrated and annotated version of confederate private sam watkins s memoir, co. Sam watkins on the romney campaign emerging civil war. Still, beyond a small circle of civil war devotees, sam watkins was unknown until about 20 years ago, when ken burnss groundbreaking civil.
When the two were teenagers, their families owned adjacent farms. Chicago turabian author date citation style guide watkins, samuel r and ruth. It was first broadcast on pbs on five consecutive nights from september 23 to 28, 1990. The scv is the direct successor of the united confederate veterans, and the.
A private in company h, first tennessee infantry, sam r. His book should be read aloud as it is written in a conversational style that has to be pure sam watkins. He died on november 5, 2010 in virginia beach, virginia, usa. More than 39 million viewers tuned in to at least one episode, and viewership averaged more than 14 million viewers each evening, making it the mostwatched program ever to air on pbs. Still, beyond a small circle of civil war devotees, sam watkins was unknown until about 20 years ago, when ken burns s groundbreaking civil war series made him famous. Having a yankee reader for this southerners story, however, really detracted from the listening experience. Sam watkins received the idea to writing about this experience several years after the war. Braxton bragg was placed in command of evacuating troops and supplies from corinth, mississippi. The civil war tv miniseries 1990 cast and crew credits, including actors, actresses, directors, writers and more. Or, a side show of the big show, often heralded as one of the best primary sources about the common soldiers civil war experience.
Samuel rush sam watkins 18391901 find a grave memorial. He served as a private in company h, 1st tennessee infantry, csa, during the civil war, fighting in most of the large. Today, he is best known for his enduring memoir, co. Sam watkins was a corporal in company h, 1st tennessee infantry regiment, the maury grays. Bank of america corporation for public broadcasting. It is the first hand account of a confederate private from columbia, tennessee fighting in some of the bloodiest battles and skirmishes of the war. The name samuel rush watkins is not one you will find entered in the major encyclopedias of the south or the civil war, nor will you find it indexed in most of the extensive historical chronicles of that event in american history, his, indeed, is not the history but the quotability and engaging personality of sam watkins that has kept his. Sam watkins fought four years in the civil war battles in four states and was only one of seven that survived the war from this regiment. Samuel sam rush watkins june 26, 1839 july 20, 1902 was a noted confederate soldier during the american civil war. I do not think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday. H of the first tennessee infantry, army of northern virginia. The writings of samuel rush watkins are considered one of the best personal accounts of the civil war. June 26, 1839 july 20, 1901 was an american writer and humorist. Spearcarriers sam watkins l, southern soldier and elisha hunt rhodes, northern soldier, were unsung americans who left behind moving accounts of their exploits during the civil war.
Jun 30, 2017 sam watkins, first tennessee regiment, co. Aytch are a poem and letter from jennie, which sam read 500 times. Watkins was born on june 26, 1839, near the small middle tennessee town of columbia. But we soon found out that the glory of war was at home among the ladies and not upon the field of blood and carnage of death, where our comrades were mutilated and torn by shot and shell. He fought through the entire civil war and saw action in many battles. Although watkins was unmarried when he marched off to war, he had a sweetheart named jennie mayes who was his age. Aytch 1882, which recounts his life as a soldier in the first tennessee. Sam watkins description of standing watch tennessee 4 me. Williams who is the founding chair of the lincoln forum and president of the ulysses s. The diary of sam watkins, a confederate soldier by sam r. Sunday morning of that september day, the sun rose over the eastern hills clear and beautiful.
He refers to himself as a high private and terms his comrades webfoots for all the marching they did. Or, a side show of the big show, often heralded as one of the best primary sources about the common soldiers civil war. Only twentyone years old when the civil war broke out, watkins joined up and landed with neighborhood friends into company h, known as the maury county grays, of the first tennessee volunteer infantry. The battle of dead angle, was fought june 27th, on the kennesaw line, near marietta, georgia. In may 1861, 21 year old sam watkins of maury county, tennessee, rushed to join the army when his state left. Among those works, private sam watkins memoir, company aytch, is one of the finest written by any participant of the war. Aytch is the work of a natural storyteller who balances the horror of war with an irrepressible sense of humor and a sharp eye for the lighter side of battle. Sam watkins 1st tennessee, csa company aytch is one of the best accounts of the civil war written by an eye witness. In terms of the scope of the civil war, sam watkins is a nobody and he delights in his low station.
He served as a private in company h, 1st tennessee infantry, csa, during the civil war, fighting in most of the large battles of the western theater. Despite being written only 15 years after wars end, his prose is concise and poignent without being overwrought like some of his contemporaries. Originally, these memoirs were published serially in the columbia herald in 18811882. The lively terminology that sam watkins uses makes the stories of ordinary soldiers humorous and moving at times while still incorporating the realities from a bloody war. A ci vil war narrative is an account of the american civil war told by a common soldier, sam r. Watkins, a native of columbia, tennessee, enlisted in the spring of 1861 at the age of 21 and fought in every major battle of the army of tennessee, including shiloh. When the civil war first appeared on pbs in the fall of 1990, no onemyself includedwas at all prepared for the overwhelming national response that followed.
Confederate soldier sam watkins at the battle of franklin, tennessee 1864. Sam watkins, confederate infantry soldier in the american civil war and author of the postwar memoir. Still, beyond a small circle of civil war devotees, sam watkins was unknown until about 20 years ago, when ken burnss groundbreaking civil war series. Watkins 1839 1901 samuel sam rush watkins june 26, 1839 july 20, 1901 was a noted confederate soldier during the american civil war. Aytch is the work of a natural storyteller who balances the horror of war with an irrepressible sense of humor and a sharp eye for. He is known for his work on curb your enthusiasm 2000, the battle of local 5668 2007 and the civil war 1990. Aytch, maury grays, first tennessee regiment of the big. Jan 03, 2020 while sam watkins is best known as one of the most readable chroniclers of the war in the western theater, most folks forget his unit served with stonewall jackson during the last months of 1861 and into 1862. Mar 15, 20 the anecdote comes from watkinss memoir, co.
An overwhelming union force was slowly advancing to cut of the retreat of gen. The diary of sam watkins, a confederate soldier nashville. He fought at chicamauga and lookout mountain and atlanta and nashville and franklin, and numerous skirmishes all along. Would to god i could tear the page from these memoirs and. Sam watkins civil war history discussion american civil. The death angel gathers its last harvest american battlefield trust. Aytch, first tennessee regiment, published more than 125 years.
Aytch a side show of the big show confederate shop. Funding for the 25th anniversary presentation of the civil war was provided by bank of america, the corporation. Sam watkins of the maury greys saw a lot of fightin and dyin while serving as part of company h in the army of tennessee. Chicago turabian humanities citation style guide watkins, samuel r and ruth. Watkins in 188182 in series form in his hometown newspaper and soon thereafter in book form. More than 39 million viewers tuned in to at least one episode, and viewership averaged more than 14 million viewers each evening, making it.
The civil war is a 1990 american television documentary miniseries created by ken burns about the american civil war. It was one of the hottest and longest days of the year, and one of the most desperate and determinedly resisted battles fought during the whole war. Sam watkins, a civil war soldier, put together an incredible piece of literature dealing with his time as an infantry soldier in the civil war. Watkins was a private in company h, first tennessee regiment of the confederate army. A classic memoir of the civil war watkins, samuel r. The sons of confederate veterans is an organization preserving the history and legacy of confederate heroes, so future generations may understand the motives that galvanized the southern cause. It is a testament to one mans enduring humanity, courage, and wisdom in the midst of death and destruction. The first tennessee regiment or a side show to the big show, in his miniseries.
Despite his low rank, watkins has found immortality through his 1882 memoir company aytch. Samuel sam rush watkins june 26, 1839 july 20, 1901 was a noted confederate soldier during the american civil war. Watkins is today one of the most wellknown common soldiers in civil war history. Remembering sam watkins sons of confederate veterans.
Sam watkins was a private who served with the first tennessee regiment for the entire 4 years of the war. Of the 120 men who enlisted in company h in 1861, sam watkins was one of only seven alive when general joseph e. During his time as confederate soldier in the maury grays, company h, first tennessee volunteer regiment while fighting in the american civil warfare. It is an illustrated and annotated version of the memoirs of confederate private sam watkins, entitled co. Sam watkins and his stake in slavery random thoughts on. The book earns a 5, but i only gave the reader 3 simply because of his obviously yankee twang. The day itself seemed to have a sabbathday look about it. Sam was a soldier in h company of the first tennessee infantry regiment. Watkins quotes showing of 3 but we soon found out that the glory of war was at home among the ladies and not upon the field of blood and carnage of death, where our comrades were mutilated and torn by shot and shell. It is the living, marching, fighting, shooting soldier that has the hardships of war to carry. Fortunately, ruth hill fulton mcallister has mastered this approach in her new release of co. Sam never considered himself a hero, just a common webfoot.
His first person experience of the life of a soldier is peppered with humor and common sense and philosophy. A side show of the big show, a memoir written by private sam watkins of his experiences serving in the first tennessee regiment, company h. Sam served throughout the duration of the war, taking part in the battles of shiloh, corinth, murfreesboro, shelbyville, chattanooga, chickamauga, missionary. Sam watkins 1st tennesseeamerica has no north, no south, no east, no west. One of the best things about studying civil war history is reading the words of the men who fought the war themselves. It is the blackest page in the history of the war of the lost cause. A civil war narrative is an account of the american civil war told by a common soldier, sam r. We have shared the incommunicable experience of war. Aytch, maury grays, first tennessee regiment of the. The memoir is all his, although i added 250 annotations to provide modern context to his narrative and goodnaturedly throw the. Sam watkins wrote from his consciousness of visits to the murfreesboro and chattanooga battlefields. Recollections of the battle of perryville american. Sent to virginia early in the war, watkins and his regiment returned to tennessee in early 1862.695 883 238 466 104 157 823 551 1058 573 698 1182 142 842 425 1158 1349 1189 198 808 1479 799 154 1238 151 111 1254 329 136 166 1341 997 532 566 1440 814