Boy General of the 11th Alabama

John C.C. Sanders and Company C in the Civil War


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SKU: 9781476693750 Categories: ,

About the Book

In the spring of 1861, John Caldwell Calhoun Sanders, a 21-year-old cadet at the University of Alabama, helped organize a company of the 11th Alabama Volunteer Infantry. Hailing primarily from Greene County, the 109 men of Company C, “The Confederate Guards,” signed on for the duration of the war and made Sanders their first captain. They would fight in every major battle in the Eastern Theater, under Robert E. Lee.
Leading from the front, Sanders was wounded four times during the war yet rose rapidly through the ranks, becoming one of the South’s “boy generals” at 24. By Appomattox, Sanders was dead and the remaining 20 men of Company C surrendered with what was left of the once formidable Army of Northern Virginia. This is their story.

About the Author(s)

Donald W. Abel, Jr., is a retired financial industry executive living in Nashville, Tennessee. His great-great grandfather was a member of Company C.

Bibliographic Details

Donald W. Abel, Jr.
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 351
Bibliographic Info: 116 photos, 34 maps, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2023
pISBN: 978-1-4766-9375-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-5110-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction 1

One—“Alabama Fever” 7

Two—“We freely give you up” 20

Three—“The fell destroyer of armies” 35

Four—“We are driving the yanks before us like a drove of sheep” 44

Five—“Old Billy Fixin’” 83

Six—“I regard this day as the most dismal one I ever passed through” 112

Seven—“Forget not the dead, who die for us” 137

Eight—“The lamp holds out to burn” 165

Nine—“It is your duty to surrender” 180

Ten—“Divided we were terrible, united we are forever invincible” 190

Eleven—The Men of the Confederate Guards 198

Epilogue 295

Chapter Notes 299

Bibliography 317

Index 323

Book Reviews & Awards

• “Match[es], if not excel[s], the highest compliment a dedicated Civil War bibliophile can earn, ‘Your words and sentences weave history into art…’ provides a broad canvas and revealing close-up of a subject even the most resolute aficionado knows nothing about…highly recommended…Abel, Jr., not only write[s] their rarely told stories in a readable and absorbing way, but also in a realistically fresh manner to the point history and personality are vivid, alive, absorbing. The research so obviously on display on virtually every page of his scholarship commingling with fine narrative skill, deserves special praise”—ARGunners Magazine

• “Abel delivers a balanced narrative about a single company and its combat experience during America’s tumultuous internal conflict. … Abel’s study makes a solid contribution to the growing literature centered on the soldier experience during the Civil War.”—Emerging Civil War

• “I am happy to recommend Donald W. Abel Jr’s Boy General of the 11th Alabama: John C.C. Sanders and Company C in the Civil War. Abel has done a massive amount of research into the development and role that Company C played in the 11th Alabama Regiment. He has relied extensively upon the extant primary sources, some of which he personally ‘tracked down’ in his painstaking research into the lives of the men who fought in Company C. This work is a significant contribution in the continued study of the 11th Alabama Infantry, and one I can wholeheartedly recommend.”—Dr. Ron Griffin, instructor in the Ministry Training Institute, Samford University; author of The 11th Alabama Volunteer Regiment in the Civil War