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    Giddings Judson Buck Archive of Civil War Letters. Highly educated and well written, Giddings Buck was an educator, administrator, lawyer, journalist, and author. Graduating from Union University in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, in 1857, Buck taught briefly at Madison College in Tennessee, served as principal of Sumter Academy in Alabama (1857-1859), became Professor of Ancient Languages at Mississippi College (1859-1860), and acted as Principal of Salado College in Texas (1860-1861). Shortly after hostilities between the states broke out, Buck joined the Confederate States' 30th Texas Cavalry and served bravely through the end of the war.

    This interesting collection of seven lengthy manuscripts contains diary entries and letters written to Buck's sisters Mary and Mollie dating March 1863 through June 1864. (One letter may be missing a previous page, but it is hard to tell since it is written in a diary format.) Also included is an ALS by Brigadier General R.M. Gano, dated June 1, 1903, attesting to Buck's service with the 30th Texas Cavalry (also known as the 1st Texas Partisan Rangers). Containing interesting reports of camp life, stories of friends and strangers met along the way, troop movements and engagements (he specifically discusses the Battle of Poison Spring, April 1864) and family chatter, Buck's letters are witty, clever, and quite entertaining, although it is clear that he didn't care much for military life.

    In small part: "[March 2, 1863] One year ago to-day I closed up my business for the purpose of joining the army. Then every ambition and glowing anticipation was awake, hopes for my country, hopes for my own humble efforts in helping to win its freedom... And here I am now - what? A driveling private in a despicable company under an imbecile Capt & Lieuts, in a conscript regt. My! My!... [April 21, 1863] ...Well, the truth, if I must confess to myself, is, I'm getting woefully tired of living among these ruffians. Your conversation must be strictly confined to the most commonplace subjects and the most practical, everyday aspects even of those, in order to be at all understood by them, and delicacy and high toned refinement of thought is an unknown animal to them." Of being in a battle against a "negro regiment", he writes: "[April 19, 1864] Yesterday morning our brigade and a small portion of Cabbell's & Marmaduke's brigades with about 800 Indians attacked a train of about 200 wagons guarded by a battery, a negro regiment & some white troops. The fight commenced about 12 o'clock & ended about 3 o'clock. It was a hot affair and both sides fought desperately. We routed them completely, taking their whole train, their entire battery, and considerably over 100 white prisoners. Somehow or other we couldn't manage to understand the Negroes when they wanted to surrender and the ground was fairly strewn with the black rascals... Charlie and I are both unhurt."

    Also included with this archive is a typed manuscript titled "Uncle Jud's Smoker: Incidents of the Diamond Grove Fight" and a photocopy of the handwritten tale which was related by an unidentified fellow soldier and friend of Buck's, discussing Buck's actions during that skirmish. In addition, there is a second typed manuscript "Capture of Quantrell Man", made from Buck's handwritten report (location of original is unknown) about a near skirmish with Quantrill's Batallion in late 1863.

    This wonderful collection of news-filled letters and interesting tales is sure to capture the attention of every Civil War collector! Items range in condition from very good to fine.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2008
    14th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 790

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