AUTOBIOGRAPHY AND REMINISCENCES, Wiley M. Crook
The life sketch which fills, this little volume had its first impulse in the suggestion of the author’s youngest son, John W. Crook, who more than his other children, sought to know something of his father’s ancestry and his experiences in the Civil war. These reminiscences interested him in that they came first-hand, and from what he considered an authoritative source, giving him the best information as to the part his parents took in fostering the institutions and traditions of the ‘South. That these and other events of the author’s long and useful life might be handed down to posterity, the son urged they be put on written page. Hence the resolve to write a brief autobiography:
Not long after beginning the work the thought occurred that as the author had many kinsmen and friends in Tennessee and elsewhere, some of whom were his comrades in battle and from whom he had been separated since the early seventies, he would be pardoned for extending the sketch over a wider field than at first contemplated. About this time he was the recipient of a new and signal honor. The Sons of Confederate Veterans of Star City, Ark., named their camp "Camp Wiley Crook" in honor of him, thus giving rise to a decision on his part to have still more to say in regard to his military service.
The work is particularly interesting in that it has to do with the life, manner of living and vicissitudes of a Confederate soldier, who began in early youth to serve his God, his country and his fellow-man, and who in his declining years is loved and honored by all who know him. Happy am I to have had the privilege of knowing him in his home, to cross the threshold of which is to be in the midst of that splendid hospitality and gracious felicity so characteristic of the South in the olden days. His religious life is exemplary and far-reaching—a regular attendant at church service and prayer-meeting and always constant in giving his time and means to the cause of his Lord.
He is especially happy in his narrative when—as he often does—he deals with the tender attachments of the family and the homely virtues of ever-day life. His, indeed, is a life fit for emulation, and I contribute this foreword in the belief that the book will be beneficial and consoling to his family connection, and night interesting to those of his comrades and friends who may chance to peruse its pages.
RICHARD GILBERT REID.
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