Three Months in the Southern States

Three Months in the Southern States: April-June, 1863 by Lt. Col. Arthur James Lyon Fremantle, 3/5

Fremantle undoubtedly deserves the title “Most Hardcore Tourist” of 1863.  An Englishman living in Gibraltar, he read about the war and thought it sounded like a jolly good time to go explore the South.  During his adventures, on which he met such historical figures as Jeff Davis and Generals Lee and Longstreet, he kept a daily diary.  The result is an interesting, if not convincingly unbiased, glimpse into the world of the Confederacy.  It is remarkable that Fremantle started his journey with a pro-Union attitude, but was quickly won over by the gentlemanly behaviour of the Confederates he met and the apparent contentedness of most of the slaves.  While the account is fascinating, it is no masterpiece of literature; Fremantle’s genius is more social than literary.  Though the writing is somewhat prosaic and the vocabulary limited, it still a valuable work that startlingly humanizes some of our most historic figures and events.

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