By Jim Power
The author is a retired businessman and an amateur historian. While in high school he assisted his father in transcribing Civil War diaries that were later published in "A life for the Confederacy." After retiring from a business career, he has written two previous books, "And it Came to Pass", a memoir of his mother and life in rural Mississippi in the 1920s and 30s. While writing that book, he discovered that his maternal great grandfather who lived in the middle of the Confederacy remained loyal to the Union during the Civil War, leading to a second book, "A Respectable Minority in the South during the Civil War." That book concentrated on Mississippians and other southerners who did not embrace the Confederacy. In researching the last book, he learned of the 1861 diary of Thomas Binford Webber who organized a cavalry unit from Marshall County, Mississippi that became Company F of the Kentucky Second Regiment, C. S. A. The "Iron Man" tells of Webber and the men of Company F, most of whom were captured on the heroic, but unsuccessful, long "Great Raid" into Indiana and Ohio. Some escaped to fight under General Forrest at Chickamauga where they fired the first and last shots of that battle. At the end of the war remnants of the company were part of the guard for Jefferson Davis in his attempted escape. The men of his battalion called Webber the "Iron Man," a name that would not have been applied in 1861 from reading his early
diary. The "old regulars" saw action, sacrifice, and imprisonment. This is the
story of these men and their leader. "In writing this, I attempted to put myself in these soldier's shoes, remembering my service in the armored infantry in WWII, but quickly realized that these men's sufferings and difficulties far exceeded anything that I experienced. They sometimes rode horses hundreds of miles from home for twenty hours at a time for days. They were not ordinary men, nor were those days ordinary times, during and after the conflict."
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