Fortunes of War: The Adventures of a German Confederate

August Conrad, Robert M. Peters, Karen Stokes


This book presents the first English translation of the memoirs of August Conrad (1879), a young German immigrant who arrived in South Carolina in 1859. Two years later, as the country was plunged into war, he entered Confederate service as a soldier in the Charleston Zouave Cadets at Castle Pinckney in Charleston harbor.

After the Zouaves disbanded, he offered another valuable service to the Confederacy when he obtained an important position in one of the major blockade running firms of Charleston. At great risk, this company’s ships brought in essential military supplies and other goods, and Conrad oversaw the purchase of immense amounts of cotton to be shipped out of South Carolina and sold abroad for equally immense fortunes. He faced many challenges and dangers in his work, but his greatest ordeal occurred in 1865 when he found himself at the mercy of General Sherman’s army in Columbia, S.C.

Conrad’s memoir details his harrowing experiences during the occupation, sack, and burning of the city, and afterwards, his desperate, dangerous journey through the war-ravaged South on a mission to protect his company from catastrophic losses.

This is a true story of war, adventure, and survival that has never been fully told until now!

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Paperback ISBN: 9781947660724

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