Civil War Diary
The Civil War
through the Eyes of Lt Col John Withers
and His Wife, Anita Dwyer Withers
(American Civil War Diaries of a Confederate Army Officer and
His Wife, a Woman in Civil War History)
by John Withers, Anita Withers, and Jennette Green
Eyewitness accounts of the American Civil War, told through the viewpoints of a Confederate husband and wife.
Providing a unique perspective on the American Civil War, this book weaves together the diaries of Lt. Col. John Withers, an Assistant Adjutant General for Jefferson Davis, and his wife, Anita Dwyer Withers. Reports of battles fought meld with domestic life in these journals, creating a multi-dimensional picture of the Withers’ lives together during the “War Between the States.” Jointly, their diaries encompass the entire length of the Civil War; from May 1860 – September 1865.
A West Point graduate, John Withers served as an officer in the U.S. Army. Anita Dwyer Withers was the daughter of a distinguished citizen of San Antonio, Texas.
In September 1860, Withers was ordered to Washington, D.C., and assigned duty as an Assistant in the Adjutant-General's office. As Anita was very close to her family in Texas, she was deeply troubled by the move. She wrote, “I regret it mightily.” In Washington, John served under General Samuel Cooper’s command until March, 1861, when he resigned his commission in the U.S. Army and came south to join the Confederate cause.
Because of the nature of his job in the Confederate capitol of Richmond, Lt. Col. Withers and his wife were closely acquainted with many of the notable figures of Civil War history, including Jefferson Davis, his wife, Varina Davis, and the Secretary of War. John and Anita recorded Civil War events as they happened, including the Seven Days Battles. Each also wrote of the more personal aspects of their lives, such as Anita’s near fatal illness and the agony of their young son’s death.
Lt. Col. John Withers and Anita were ordinary people living in extraordinary times. Their story is timeless, and well worth being remembered.
||April 12, 2011
||History, Civil War
||$15.97 print, $2.99 eBook