When speaking about War in this blog, we mean “The Wah” of course and we call it not “the civil war” because it was uncivil, but the War Between the States, or the War of Northern aggression. I digress however. I want to talk about the book “Love and War: The Civil War Letters and Medicinal Book of Augustus V. Ball”, compiled by Anne B. Ryals and edited by Dr. Donald S. Frazier.
Dr. Ball was Anne Ryals’ great-grandfather and this book is not a typical Civil War letter collection. Bell’s circumstances and experiences allowed him to glimpse the war through two sets of eyes, that of a loving husband and also of an increasingly disillusioned physician.
Some of his recipes are the first of their kind to appear in print, and readers will be interested in learning about medicinal lore of that period. Included is an antidote to arsenic, treatment for bronchitis, whopping cough, and other unknown conditions!
Ball served with the Twenty-third Texas cavalry and later with McMahan’s Light Artillery Battery. For those interested in a personal view of the war in the Trans-Mississippi, this book is for you!