As a writer of historical fiction, one of my favorite primary sources are letters and diaries. We can learn so much about an era through reading them. The way people talked, games they played, food they ate, issues people faced and what they thought about certain events of their times …the list could continue for pages.
Regarding Southern history, I own many such sources from my chosen era, the nineteenth century. Among them, The Civil War Diary of Clara Solomon. This diary is unique in two ways: Clara was Jewish, and she came from a middle-class family.
Another excellent source I own is The Civil War Diary of Sarah Morgan. And, if you share my interest in naval history, her brother James Morris Morgan wrote Recollections of a Rebel Reefer. He served in the Confederate Navy.
I own other published diaries and letters, too. I don’t think we can ever have enough of these memories published.
Thankfully, my late father left me written memories of his experiences in the Pacific Theater during World War Two. I also interviewed him about his wartime service before he died, which I recorded on a cassette. I realize we have lots of published memories of these veterans out there, but World War Two was the greatest conflict of the twentieth century and the greatest generation fought it. In the near future, I’ll be culling through my father’s recollections and working on his memoirs. It will require lots of work because he left me with so much, thus, I don’t have any firm date for its release yet. Though subject to change, the memoir is tentatively titled: Memoirs of a Pharmacist’s Mate in World War Two. It will be my second non-fiction book.