By Bobbie Swearingen Smith

The Tillman kin of Edgefield, South Carolina, is eternally associated with Palmetto country heritage, yet now not all of its individuals have not begun had their tales advised. James Adams Tillman (1842–1866) by no means had the opportunity to develop into a governor or U.S. senator like his more youthful brother "Pitchfork" Ben or a U.S. congressman like his older brother George. yet, like his extra well-known siblings, James additionally committed his existence to the provider of his group and state—a commitment that resulted in his dying on the younger age of twenty-four from accidents sustained through the Civil struggle. Overshadowed within the annals of historical past through his brothers, James has principally been unrecognized previously. Edited through Bobbie Swearingen Smith, those accumulated diary entries and relatives letters supply an important historic checklist of the Civil conflict period as skilled by way of a steadfast consultant of this admired South Carolina relations and supply significant insights into James's short lifestyles and supreme sacrifice.

At nineteen James Tillman had accomplished secondary tuition and had intentions to pursue a educating occupation while the outbreak of the Civil warfare replaced his priorities. Tillman enlisted with the Twenty-fourth South Carolina Volunteer Infantry of Edgefield and attained the rank of captain throughout the conflict. He was once in the beginning stationed alongside the coastal defenses south of Charleston and fought in either battles of Secessionville in 1862. He used to be wounded at Chickamauga in 1863, and his mom and brother Ben introduced him domestic to get well. Tillman again to responsibility and spent a lot of 1864 less than the command of common Joseph E. Johnston in Tennessee and North Carolina, chickening out from normal Sherman's enhance. on the war's finish, Tillman again domestic crestfallen and witnessed the tough onset of Reconstruction, writing in his diaries approximately these he observed as descending on South Carolina to benefit from the defeated South. In June 1866, a bit greater than a yr after his discharge, he died of problems from his wrestle wounds.

Through the combo of Tillman's diaries and letters, the trendy reader is invited to percentage in either the immediacy of his options from the warfare entrance and his contemplative expressions of these studies for his home-front viewers of family. Tillman's own narrative provides one other layer to our realizing of the ancient value of the Tillman relatives and provides a compelling firsthand account of the motivations and activities of a tender South Carolinian at battle as he struggled to discover experience in the course of unfathomable chaos.

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A Palmetto Boy: Civil War-Era Diaries and Letters of James Adams Tillman by Bobbie Swearingen Smith


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