Yeoman’s in the Fork just announced they have a first edition of Private Sam Watkins’ book Company Aytch for sale ($3,000). It was inscribed by the original owner as a gift given to him by Sam Watkins. Very nice. AbeBooks has one for $2,000 but it does not have does not have an inscription of the nature that Yeoman’s does.
The first edition consisted of only 2000 and the copy soon available from Yeoman’s is one of those few. Interestingly, the second edition has considerable value on the open market as the first is so scarce and the print run appears to have been 2000 copies as well. As with all books, scarcity matters when it comes to value! ‘Co. Aytch – Maury Grays First Tennessee Regiment. Or, A Side Show of the Big Show’ is one of those classic memoirs that tells a great story from the view of the common soldier involved in the conflict. As with other wars, the American Civil War seems to have had a tremendous amount of information written and printed post-war by the upper level commanders. The tales, exercises, daily activities and moments of pleasure of the vast majority of those involved in the war were never told. This book is one that seems to sum up with tremendous ease the emotion and experience of the common confederate soldier. This is all compounded with the fact that Watkins served in nearly every battle that involved the Armies of Tennessee. ‘Co. Aytch’ is noted by many as the finest description of the Battle of Franklin and we are proud to have a copy back home!