Inside of Rebeldom

by Jabez Pugh Cannon


Inside of Rebeldom by Jabez Pugh Cannon

Subtitle: The Daily Life of a Private in the Confederate Army

Jabez served in the Alabama 27th Infantry Regiment.

From the Preface...

In offering this very plain narrative to the public I have yielded to the request of THE NATIONAL TRIBUNE and the urgent solicitation of many friends who wore the Blue. Nothing was further from my mind, when writing it, than the probability of its being put into a book, or even in print in any form, my object being merely to keep a daily record of events as they occurred to me in my humble capacity of private in the Confederate army, to give a true account of personal experiences in camp, on the march, and on the field of battle, my observations being confined almost wholly to what happened in my own company and in my immediate vicinity.

I have been assured by many who have read these reminiscences in THE NATIONAL TRIBUNE that the simplicity of my narrative, the plain, matter-of-fact details of every-day life of the soldier are its chief recommendation, and been requested by the same readers not to make any change, but to let it go into a book just as it is, so I will offer no apology for its many defects.

A large majority of my readers, perhaps, will be of those who were arrayed against me. To them I will say that I did my duty, as it appeared to me, as faithfully as it was possible for me to do, but when I accepted my parole of 12th of May, 1865, I buried all animosity, and with my comrades of the Gray rejoice that we are a reunited people and equally devoted to the same flag which floats over the teeming millions of this free and enlightened country. In a little while we shall have answered the last roll call, and our children will take our places. We of the South and of the North have taught them to love their country and defend it against every foe, as proved by the recent war with Spain, and we can rest assured that the American flag will ever have strong arms and willing hearts to uphold it.

That this narrative may be received by the survivors with the same feeling of genuine fraternity in which it is presented is the earnest desire of the author.

When the actors in a great drama are about to have the last curtain rung down, they strain every nerve to so reach the climax that the audience may go away with the scene forever stamped upon their minds, and, thus it is in this case; thirty-five years have passed away and the dust and cobwebs have so accumulated that even the names of the actors are almost obliterated, but with a supreme effort we have brushed and swept until the walls have whitened and the names of most of the members of “Scott’s Famous Cavalry,” as the Federals called them, are written herein, and, if it means for preservation, then the author, when the curtain is about to rung down, will say “this is a far, far better thing that I do than I have ever done.”

With the fervent prayer that the remnant of this grand old body of troopers will spend their remaining days in peace, plenty and happiness, these pages are sent out to act as sentinels, with the hope that they will guard well their camp against the attacks of oblivion’s relentless sword.


June 16.-Had orders to leave yesterday for the vicinity of Vicksburg, but something has caused a delay, and we are still here in a nice grove in front of Mrs. Fulton's residence. A fine rain fell to-day, and we are soaking wet. If rains continue our crops, which already promise a good harvest, will yield a bountiful supply, which will be a great blessing to the South.

Vicksburg's guns are still thundering day and night and the garrison holding their own.

June 17.-We drew clothing to-day-five pairs of cotton pants, six shirts and one pair drawers to our company of 40 men. The pants and shirts were issued to those who needed them most, and it was a hard matter to decide who were entitled to them, as all were very nearly in the same "fix." When it came to the solitary garment, all who had none at all were called into line to "draw straws" for them. Fourteen lined-up, and Dick Terrell drew the lucky straw and got the drawers.

June 18.-Had a good rest all day till 5 p. m., when we were called out on battalion drill. Everything very quiet; can't even hear the guns at Vicksburg, almost for the first time in some weeks.

June 19.-The 54th Ala. and one section of the Pointe Coupee battery ordered to Grenada and left about sunset.

June 20 and 21.-Firing at Vicksburg has been continuous the past two days, and was very heavy all last night. Learn by telegram that our forces at Port Hudson are still victorious, having repulsed the enemy many times since the siege began.

June 22.-I was summoned as a witness in the court-martial of J. C. Pruitt, of our company, who is charged with inciting mutiny while at Canton some time since. He endeavored to induce the regiment to "stack arms" till paid, but no one would join him. We are not fighting for pay, but for principle, and if the Confederacy is not able to pay us we must continue the struggle, like our Revolutionary forefathers, without pay.

June 23.-Much cooler than usual, and a very pleasant day for the division review, which took place at 3 p. m. A great many ladies were out and about 6,000 men in line. We always cheer the ladies when they come out to see us.

In camp, Mrs. Fulton's residence, June 24.-Mr. Tinnon arrived from home with clothing and letters for our company. All of us have "dressed up" in style once more, and our looks have been wonderfully improved. The ladies at home have a sewing society; make clothes, knit socks, scrape lint, and the first opportunity send them to soldiers whose people are not able to supply them. Some of us are more fortunate, our mothers and sisters being able to supply us, but oftentimes cannot get them to us, and we run short. We enjoy reading our letters, but mine brought the sad news that my dear mother has been very low for several months, with but little hope of her recovery.

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