Many memoirs of the American Civil War were written, as John Gill’s was, for the eyes of family and friends only. It is our good fortune that their accounts survived.
One of the benefits of private publishing was that the author felt less necessity to censor themselves or conform their writing to prevailing sentiments. As an unreconstructed Rebel, John Gill writes of the horrors of the war, the loss of good friends, and unfortunately a longing for the days when slavery kept his world in the order in which he was accustomed. One wonders how his descendants would read this today.