Worthy of the Cause for Which They Fight
The Civil War Diary of Brigadier General Daniel Harris Reynolds, 1861–1865
Edited by Robert Patrick Bender
“Historians increasingly argue that the Civil War was won/lost in the West. They will, thus, be pleased to have in print yet another source of information on this theater of war: D. H. Reynolds’s diary. It is a welcome and important publication that will find a ready audience among historians and buffs.”
—John F. Marszalek, executive director and managing editor of the Ulysses S. Grant Association, Mississippi State University.
Worthy of the Cause for Which They Fight chronicles the experiences of a
well-educated and articulate Confederate officer from Arkansas who witnessed the full evolution of the Civil War in the Trans-Mississippi
Department and western theater. Daniel Harris Reynolds, a community
leader with a thriving law practice in Chicot County, entered service in
1861 as a captain in command of Company A of the First Arkansas
Mounted Rifles. Reynolds saw action at Wilson’s Creek and Pea Ridge
before the regiment was dismounted and transferred to the Army of
Tennessee, the primary Confederate force in the western theater.
As Reynolds fought through the battles of Chickamauga, Atlanta, Nashville, and Bentonville, he consistently kept a diary in which he described the harsh realities of battle, the shifting fortunes of war, and the personal and political conflicts that characterized and sometimes divided the soldiers. The result is a significant testimonial offering valuable insights into the nature of command from the company to brigade levels, expressed by a committed Southerner coming to grips with the realities of defeat and the ultimate demoralization of surrender.
Robert Patrick Bender is a history instructor at Eastern New Mexico University–Roswell. He is the author of Like Grass before the Scythe: The
Life and Death of Sgt. William Remmel, 121st New York Infantry.