Patrick J. Hayes
This exciting Civil War diary of a Redemptorist priest, Rev. James Sheeran, C.Ss.R., who was chaplain to the 14th Louisiana Regiment of the Confederacy, is a national treasure. Irish-born Sheeran (1817-1881) was one of only a few dozen Catholic chaplains commissioned for the Confederacy and one of only two who kept a journal. Highlighting his exploits from August 1,1862 through April 24, 1865, the journal tells of all the major events of his life in abundant detail: on the battlefield, in the hospitals, and among Catholics and Protestants whom he encountered in local towns, on the trains, and in the course of his ministrations. His ideological sympathies clearly rest with the Confederacy. The tone is forthright, even haughty, but captures in sure and steady fashion, both the personality of the man and the events to which he was a witness, especially the major battles. The journal is arguably the most unique narrative of the war written by a chaplain of any denomination and certainly is the most extensive.