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Company Aytch: A Side Show of the Big Show | [Sam Watkins]

Company Aytch: A Side Show of the Big Show

This book is considered to be the best account of the Civil War ever written from the Confederate point of view. It is also the one most frequently cited by historians of the Western campaigns. Sam Watkins, a high private in the Army of Tennessee, brings a vividness and detail to his story unmatched in the genre.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Sam Watkins' lively account of being a soldier in the Confederate Army was first published in 1881 as a series of columns in his hometown newspaper in Columbia, Tennessee, and persists to this day as one of the most widely beloved accounts of a soldier's experience of the Civil War. Watkins has a keen wit and observation - as well as knack for storytelling - reminiscent of Mark Twain. Dan Calhoun's performance has a wonderfully anachronistic character, which allows the listener to feel as if it is indeed Watkins who is recounting the remarkable chronicles found in Company Aytch.

Publisher's Summary

This book is considered to be the best account of the Civil War ever written from the Confederate point of view. It is also the one most frequently cited by historians of the Western campaigns. Sam Watkins, a high private in the Army of Tennessee, brings a vividness and detail to his story unmatched in the genre.

© and (P) Jimcin; Cover design ©2004 Brian J. Killavey

What the Critics Say

"A memoir of staggering significance, wit, and beauty." (Ken Burns)

More from the same

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (84 )
5 star
 (39)
4 star
 (21)
3 star
 (15)
2 star
 (3)
1 star
 (6)
Overall
4.4 (18 )
5 star
 (13)
4 star
 (2)
3 star
 (1)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (1)
Story
3.7 (17 )
5 star
 (6)
4 star
 (5)
3 star
 (3)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (2)
Performance
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  •  
    Jan Orefield, PA, USA 01-14-05
    Jan Orefield, PA, USA 01-14-05 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
    ratings
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    1
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    "Company Aytch"

    Having read many Civil War books, this was the most eloquently written from the viewpoint of the Conderate Soldier. The reader of this book also does a great job reading. You will feel the author is speaking to you.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Glenn Assonet, MA, USA 06-18-04
    Glenn Assonet, MA, USA 06-18-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
    294
    ratings
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    198
    25
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    3
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    Overall
    "Nothing can top being there."

    I listened to this book ( same edition ) before joining Audible and was blown away by it. In fact, spotting this and many other titles that I'd paid big bucks for was the reason I joined up...But back to the book - I've read many Civil War war books and this, without a doubt, was the best. Nothing can top actually being there, and being a natural storyteller, as the author is, certainly helps. Excellent readng, as well.

    17 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ernest L. Walker Jr. Johnson City, Tennessee 04-23-12
    Ernest L. Walker Jr. Johnson City, Tennessee 04-23-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "A Private's account of the UnCivil War"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Company Aytch to be better than the print version?

    I don't know if the audio edition of Company Aytch is better than the printed version since it is out of publication and I have not read it but this is OUTSTANDING! Most accounts of the War are given by Generals or Historians and seem to be somewhat lopsided. Down to earth depictions of everyday life, as seen by the grunts that did the fighting. This audio is a winner.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The down to earth truisms that have not been brought to the forefront of history.


    Which character – as performed by Dan Calhoun – was your favorite?

    Sam Watkins


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It made me proud to be an American. To think of what our ancestors went thru to give us this great country makes me proud and grateful. Divided before, United today!


    Any additional comments?

    This and all Civil War accounts should be required reading in our schools today. Our children don't know, nor do they care why we are free. They only get the history that has been spinned to suite the victors. Americans need to be educated rather than indoctrinated.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles Stembridge Estacada, OR USA 05-28-04
    Charles Stembridge Estacada, OR USA 05-28-04 Member Since 2003

    Proteus

    HELPFUL VOTES
    51
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    692
    5
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    "A Great Book, the Wrong Reader"

    Sam Watkins' (1st Tennessee, CSA) "Company Aytch" is one of the best accounts of the Civil War written by an eye witness. Having a Yankee reader for this Southerner's story, however, really detracted from the listening experience. The book earns a '5', but I only gave the reader '3' simply because of his obviously Yankee twang. A better 'accented' reader surley should have been found.

    "Company Aytch" is considered a Classic in this genera, as well as it should be. I could not imagine a modern infantryman putting up with the privations, executions and real battle slaughter as happened during the Civil War.

    The companion book to "Company Aytch" is "All For the Union", written by Elisha Hunt Rhodes (2nd Rhode Island, USA). Between the two of these men, they served through all four years of the Civil War from 1st Manassas to Appomattax, through every major engagement between North and South, and lived to tell the tale. Neither are 'Big Bugs', as Sam Watkins puts it, just a couple of plain private soldiers (although Rhodes advanced to Lt. by the war's end, while Watkins only made it to Corporal).

    For a 'real' look at the Civil War, read BOTH of these books. Well Recommended!

    10 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Levi Moselle, ms, United States 03-31-14
    Levi Moselle, ms, United States 03-31-14 Member Since 2013

    Age 30, love history. Mostly war stuff.

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    23
    6
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good story, terrible narration."
    What would have made Company Aytch better?

    A better narrator


    Any additional comments?

    That's probably the worst narration I've ever heard, but a great story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Manchester, TN USA 07-02-13
    Amazon Customer Manchester, TN USA 07-02-13 Member Since 2011

    Baptist Bookworm

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very good story, but some nitpcks with the reading"
    What did you love best about Company Aytch?

    I love the candid writing style of this first hand account of the war. I also really enjoyed the insight into the personality and language of the writer. I personally really appreciate his view of God. He referenced him many times as "he who does all things well".


    Any additional comments?

    I do not like how Dan Calhoun continually pronounces "saw" as "soar" and "cavalry" as "calvary". It's like someone in modern times saying "nuke-you-ler" instead of "new-clear" (nuclear). It's distracting but I really enjoyed the book anyway.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Grace Massapequa, NY, USA 07-21-04
    Grace Massapequa, NY, USA 07-21-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
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    3
    3
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    0
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    Overall
    "Great book; not-so-great reader"

    I am halfway through the book and am enjoying the content very much; however, I think the reader was definitely a wrong pick! I have listened to a myriad of Audible books and have never been disappointed in a reader. His reading is very word-at-a-time choppy and it is a distraction. Perhaps a southerner would have been more appropriate. Nevertheless, I am anxious to get back to finish it.

    6 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    10-23-06
    10-23-06 Listener Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "I hung in there for Sam."

    This true account, with all its terrible battles and heart renching descriptions, is read with all the emotion of a computer drone. I think it's sad that the presentation of such an important, insightful and regional text wasn't given a more thoughtful and realistic presentation.

    4 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William Gaffney, SC, USA 09-14-05
    William Gaffney, SC, USA 09-14-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    33
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    "Company awful"

    This is suppose to be a story by a confederate enlisted soldier. Therefore it's a good bet that he's from the SOUTH!!! Where the heck is the reader from? Wisconsin? I could not stand it and quit listening about half way through. A good reader like Scott Brick can make a good story seem that much better. A bad reader can take a good story and make it a chore to listen.

    5 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marshall Hurst, TX, USA 06-21-05
    Marshall Hurst, TX, USA 06-21-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    128
    2
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    "Great book...hard to listen to."

    It is hard to say I really enjoyed the book. Although I thoroughly enjoyed the content the readers' robotic cadence and voice constantly distracted me. I different reader would have made this a much more pleasant listen.

    3 of 10 people found this review helpful
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  • David
    heswall, wirral, United Kingdom
    3/3/06
    Overall
    "War in all its detail"

    An engrossing story of pride, comradeship and the sheer futility of war.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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