Skip to main content

Johnny Reb and Billy Yank: Manuscript

 Collection
Identifier: MSS-4010

Scope and Contents

The collection contains the approximate 1200-page manuscript of Alexander Hunter's Johnny Reb and Billy Yank, his narrative of service in the Confederate Army, under the working title, "Four Years in the Ranks." The book was published originally by Walter Neale in 1905. Hunter explained in his preface that while thousands of soldiers on both sides of the conflict who started keeping a diary of his daily activities, very few kept them the entire time. He also said that while many officers rushed to get their memoirs into print immediately after the war, very few felt comfortable writing the exact truth without sacrificing reputations - whether it be his or his superiors'. A private, he said, who had served in the ranks could afford to tell the whole of what he endured without fear of reprisal.

Dates

  • 1905

Creator

Biographical / Historical

Alexander Hunter, son of Bushrod Washington and Mary Frances Blow Hunter, was born on June 4, 1843, in Norfolk, Virginia. He married Alice Swain on June 22, 1882, in Richmond, Virginia. after her death he married Mrs. Filah Saunders.

During the Civil War, Hunter served in two branches of the Confederate forces. First in the Seventeenth Virginia infantry, participating in the first battle of Bull Run, Chantilly, Yorktown, Seven Pines, and Frazier's Farm. He was captured and exchanged. Upon his return he participated in the second battle of Bull Run and Antietam where he was captured again. After being paroled, he joined in the fighting at Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville. After Chancellorsville, he left the infantry and joined the Black Horse Cavalry. He is captured once again, but finally (after two failed attempts) escaped to rejoin south of Winchester in the Shenandoah Valley. He participated in the rear guard action for the Army of Northern Virginia as Grant pushed toward Petersburg.

After the war, he wrote Johnny Reb and Billy Yank (published by The Neale Publishing Company, 1905); The Huntsman of the South (published by The Neale Publishing Company, 1908), and The Women of the Debatable Land (published by Cobden Publishing Company, 1912).

Hunter died on July 2, 1914, in SIlver Springs, Maryland.

Extent

0.8 Linear Feet (approx. 1200 page manuscript, partly autograph and part in hand of an amanuensis)

Language of Materials

English

Overview

Manuscript of Alexander Hunter's Johnny Reb and Billy Yank, his narrative of service in the Confederate Army, under the working title, "Four Years in the Ranks."

Provenance

purchased from Abraham Lincoln Book Shop, Inc., 2014

General

To provide faster access to our materials, this finding aid was published without formal and final review. Email us at archives@ua.edu if you find mistakes or have suggestions to make this finding aid more useful for your research.

Processed by

Martha Bace, 2014

Creator

Source

Title
Guide to the Johnny Reb and Billy Yank: Manuscript
Status
Coll Lvl Complete
Date
August 2014
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
English

Repository Details

Part of the The University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections Repository

Contact:
Box 870266
Tuscaloosa AL 35487-0266
205.348.0500