Major N. F. Cheairs, a privileged and enterprising Middle Tennessee farmer, went to war with misgivings in 1861. An active Whig, he viewed Lincoln's election as revolution. Secession was equally revolutionary, however, and he voted against it in the special Tennessee referendum of February 1861. Nevertheless, when war came Cheairs sided with his neighbors and his state. He raised and equipped an infantry company and led it north to Kentucky and disaster at Fort Donelson. Two long years of imprisonment followed, broken by exchange and a chance to fight alongside his friend Nathan Bedford Forrest, only to be imprisoned again in Camp Chase, Ohio, where he barely escaped with his life. Upon his release in early 1865, Cheairs took up the figth again, joining Forrest for his last battle at Selma, Alabama. Major Cheairs writes of his war experiences in this detailed memoir, and the editor includes Cheairs' letters home from Fort Warren, Massachusetts, and Camp Chase, Ohio. Extended postwar newspaper interviews are also provided, as well as a biographical sketh of the major and the story of how this pioneer family established itself at Rippavilla in Spring Hill, Tennessee, only to confront ruin in 1865: in the war's waning days, the major was indicted for treason, and Rippavilla declared abandoned and confiscated. A feisty Southerner, Cheairs fights back, regains Rippavilla, and makes restitution for his "Confederate Sins." Cheairs's indomitable spirit comes through in every page of his writings, and this work provides an invaluable account of how a proud family endured the nation's greatest conflict.