History of Company B, (Originally Pickens Planters) Alabama 40th Infantry Regiment.
Hewitt, E. D.
Alabama 40th Infantry Regiment
From the Preface...
The following pages (except those from the diary of Sergeant Jno. H. Curry) are taken without revision or correction from the diary of Captain (afterwards Major) E. D. Willett of Company B, 40th Alabama Regiment of Volunteers of the Confederate States Army.
The sole purpose of this little book is to place in a more enduring form for the benefit of the survivors and descendants of those who constituted that Company and Regiment, that diary (now well thumb worn) which faithfully rccoids the movements, engagements and casualties of Company B, and the 40th Alabama Regiment, C. S. A. Nor is it contended that absolute verity accompanies the facts narrated. They have the advantage, however, of being written at the same time, yes, on the same day the narrated facts occurred. No matter how long the march, or how fierce the battle the author of the diary on each day recorded the doings of Company B, and the 40th Alabama on that day from the information which was then conveyed to him. Voltaire cynically wrote to a friend that "History is a parcel of tricks we play with the dead," but certainly this cannot be true of events which art; conscientiously recorded by one of the actors on the veryday of the actions. The valor, devotion, heroism, determination and self-sacrificing spirit of the Confederate soldier have sited all imperishable lustre on his name, on the South, and on the whole Nation. Company B and the 40th Alabama did their full parts in contributing to this result, for we see them in these pages with decimated ranks but undaunted spirits fighting the very last battles of the war and reporting for duty on May 5, 1805, nearly a whole month after General Lee's surrender. When we recall these things and read these pages we see how great was their sense of duty and love for Dixie, and it fills our hearts with pride to be the descendants of such a race of men.