Love and War: The Civil War Letters and Medicinal Book of Augustus V. Ball is not a typical Civil War letter collection. Ball's circumstances and experiences allowed him to glimpse the war through two sets of eyes, that of a loving husband, and of an increasingly disillusioned physician.
The inclusion of Ball's medicinal recipe book is the first of its kind to appear in print completely annotated. Readers will find themselves not only sympathetic to the struggles of one newlywed couple, but educated about the medical and herbal lore of that era.
During the war, Ball and his wife, Argent, managed to stay in contact, not only with each other, but with their various friends and family throughout the South. Ball's letters home give an account of one man's experiences in the Trans-Mississippi Theater of the Civil War with the Twenty-third Texas Cavalry, and later with McMahan's Light Artillery Battery. The mail he and his wife received from others a cross-section of the Southern experience in general.