Rebel Correspondent

Arba F. Shaw was a young man of eighteen when he joined the 4th Georgia Cavalry, driven by a strong sense of duty to defend the South against Union soldiers. For many Southerners, the war was seen as a threat to their way of life, and Shaw was no exception. Growing up on a farm in Georgia, he knew little beyond his immediate surroundings, but he soon found himself thrust into the horrors of war. Assigned to a picket line and forced to take crops from local farmers to feed his unit’s horses, Shaw was torn between his sense of duty to the Confederacy and his awareness of the hardship he was causing others.

Rebel Correspondent, written by Steve Procko, presents the memoirs of Arba F. Shaw, a private in the Confederate army, as told by Shaw himself in a local Georgia newspaper thirty-six years after the end of the Civil War. Procko provides detailed historical context for each of the entries, allowing readers to better understand the events that Shaw describes. For example, Procko provides a thorough description of the standard issued uniform for Confederate soldiers, accompanied by a photograph of a uniformed Confederate soldier, when Shaw enlists in the army.

Procko’s primary aim is not to take sides in the Civil War but to draw attention to the story of Arba F. Shaw, a young Georgian who joined the Confederacy at the start of the war. Although the book’s initial structure may seem disjointed, with Procko’s voice alternating with Shaw’s, readers can soon appreciate the care and effort that Procko invested in researching the lives of the people involved. For instance, when Shaw remembers seeing the woman who would eventually become his wife, Procko provides information on her background, including the number of children she had and when she passed away. Procko’s meticulous research breathes life into people who have been gone for more than a century. While Shaw’s retelling of his time in the Confederate Army may, at times may, be uneventful, Procko’s historical context is invaluable in helping readers visualize Shaw’s experiences, whether he is freezing in a snowstorm after heavy rain or desperately searching for food in a cornfield that he calls a “drive-thru.”

Overall, Rebel Correspondent is highly recommended for anyone interested in hearing the voices of the past and appreciates an author who works tirelessly to bring history back to life.

Pages: 365 | ASIN : B0983YSK9N

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The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on April 10, 2023, in Book Reviews, Four Stars and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.


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