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Saturday, February 6, 2016

Grandfather's Journal: Company B, Sixteenth Mississippi Infantry Volunteers, Harris' Brigade, Mahone's Division, Hill's Corps, A.N.V., May 27, 1861-July 15, 1865

When this book came out in 1988, it was radioactive.  All knew that it had an undefined fictional component and was unreliable.  It would not be so bad if we knew what was fiction, what was fact, but we do not.  The journal in question was admittedly minimal, much of the rest fictional.  Read the Preface.  The rest is a reconstruction.  Over the years, as print has given way to the internet, people have forgotten that this is not grandfather's journal but a reconstruction of it.  I see more and more histories, some quite good, citing this fabrication.  At best this can be called a history of Company B, 16th Mississippi Infantry.  At worst, it is a fraud.  Steer clear of it unless you are willing to take it with many grains of salt.  If the author had clearly separated the genuine from the reconstructed, matters would be different.