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Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buell, Battles and Leaders of the Civil War: The Opening Battles. Volume 1., The capture of Fort Donelson. (search)
in the beginning, or worse, an assault begun without a head. Nevertheless, the whole line went forward. On a part of the hillside the trees were yet standing. The open space fell to Morrison and his 49th, and paying the penalty of the exposure, he outstripped his associates. The men fell rapidly; yet the living rushed on and up, firing as they went. The battery was the common target. Maney's gunners, in relief against the sky, were shot down in quick succession. His first lieutenant (Burns) was one of the first to suffer. His second lieutenant (Massie) was mortally wounded. Maney himself was hit; still he staid, and his guns continued their punishment; and still the farmer lads and shop boys of Illinois clung to their purpose. With marvelous audacity they pushed through the abatis and reached a point within forty yards of the rifle-pits. It actually looked as if the prize were theirs. The yell of victory was rising in their throats. Suddenly the long line of yellow breas
ness career. Once installed behind the counter he gave himself up to reading and study, depending for the practical management of the business on his partner. A more unfortunate selection than Berry could not have been found; for, while Lincoln at one end of the store was dispensing political information, Berry at the other was disposing of the firm's liquors, being the best customer for that article of merchandise himself. To put it more plainly, Lincoln's application to Shakespeare and Burns was only equalled by Berry's attention to spigot and barrel. That the latter in the end succeeded in squandering a good portion of their joint assets, besides wrecking his own health, is not to be wondered at. By the spring of 1833 they, like their predecessors, were ready to retire. Two brothers named Trent coming along, they sold to them on the liberal terms then prevalent the business and good-will; but before the latter's notes fell due, they in turn had failed and fled. The death of
ed by Poe in The Raven. On one of these occasions, at the town of Lincoln, sitting in the position described, he quoted aloud and at length the poem called Immortality. When he had finished he was questioned as to the authorship and where it could be found. He had forgotten the author, but said that to him it sounded as much like true poetry as anything he had ever heard. He was particularly pleased with the last two stanzas. Beyond a limited acquaintance with Shakespeare, Byron, and Burns, Mr. Lincoln, comparatively speaking, had no knowledge of literature. He was familiar with the Bible, and now and then evinced a fancy for some poem or short sketch to which his attention was called by some one else, or which he happened to run across in his cursory reading of books or newspapers. He never in his life sat down and read a book through, and yet he could readily quote any number of passages from the few volumes whose pages he had hastily scanned. In addition to his well-know
. The former, under date of December 6, 1866, says: Mr. Lincoln was so unlike all the men I had ever known before or seen or known since that there is no one to whom I can compare him. In all his habits of eating, sleeping, reading, conversation, and study he was, if I may so express it, regularly irregular; that is, he had no stated time for eating, no fixed time for going to bed, none for getting up. No course of reading was chalked out. He read law, history, philosophy, or poetry; Burns, Byron, Milton, or Shakespeare and the newspapers, retaining them all about as well as an ordinary man would any one of them who made only one at a time his study. I once remarked to him that his mind was a wonder to me; that impressions were easily made upon it and never effaced. No, said he, you are mistaken; I am slow to learn, and slow to forget that which I have learned. My mind is like a piece of steel — very hard to scratch anything on it, and almost impossible after you get it the
voice was musical in the extreme, and added charm to the numberless verses he had unconsciously committed to memory from his favorite poets. The fight at Coilantogle's Ford was another great favorite of his. Fitz-James's interview with Blanche of Devon before her death, and Douglas's contempt of the fickle crowd who deserted him, were two others. His recitation of I saw Duncanon's Widow stand, her husband's dirk gleamed in her hand, gave new force to the verse. He was so familiar with Burns, that at almost any part of his poems he could, when given a line, go on to repeat those contiguous to it, especially The Cotter's Saturday night, and the Advice to a young friend. In after-years Clough's Poems of patriotism were great favorites with him, and the edition we have is marked all through with passages which he admired. Milton to him was a dreadful bore, while he was very familiar with Virgil, and loved to quote from him. He read parts of Tennyson, and a little of Browning, b
n horseback, making himself a target for the enemy's shots. Color-Sergeant Smith, of the First, was wounded in the arm while bearing the flag of his regiment in front of the line. Although severely wounded, he simply changed hands and continued to bear the national emblem, waving it before the men to encourage them to press forward. Colonel Farnum, of the First, was shot in his foot, and his horse was badly wounded; but be refused to leave the field. Major Mehan, of the First, and Major Burns of the Fourth, both had horses shot from under them, the former also suffering a severe contusion by his fall. Captain Price, of the First, who was killed, was the author of the famous Homestead bill, and has a wide reputation in the country as the champion of homestead exemptions. He was a brave and gallant soldier, much beloved by his command. Lieutenant Preston, of the Fifth, who was also killed, was wounded at Chancellorsville. He had just returned to his command, his former w
t: In the town of Gettysburgh lives an old couple by the name of Burns. The old man was in the war of 1812, and is now nearly seventy yeaand wanted to know what in the world he was going to do? Ah! said Burns, I thought some of the boys might want the old gun, and I am gettin grabbing his musket he started out — the old lady hallowed to him. Burns, where are you going? Oh! says Burns, I am going out to see what Burns, I am going out to see what is going on. He immediately went to a Wisconsin regiment and asked them if they would take him in. They told him they would, and gave him thelled to fall back and leave our dead and wounded on the field, and Burns having received three wounds, was left also not being able to get atuck to his old story, and they failed to make any thing out of old Burns, and then left him for good. He says he shall always feel indebtd have made him valuable presents. Now mark the contrast between Burns, who had risked his life to save his country, and lay there on his
excellent. The whole of the 2d Corps, said to be the only corps in the army which has never to this day lost a gun or a color, was there, with one division of Franklin's corps. About four o'clock the enemy commenced his attack in large force by the Williamsburg road, which here runs nearly parallel to the railroad. The enemy's left was supported by their boasted iron-clad railroad battery, mounted, according to their newspapers, with a rifled thirty-two. The attack was gallantly met. General Burns, commanding the front line, rendered special service. The reserves were successively sent forward, and the action continued with great obstinacy till after eight in the evening, when the enemy were driven from the field and into the woods beyond, where our deployed companies, which were speedily thrown forward, found the ground thickly strewn with the bodies of the sufferers. The position we had gained in this brilliant and picturesque engagement was held till the road in the rear was
that flank, and repeat the sharp lesson of Casey's disaster. Gen. Sedgwick instantly directed Gen. Burns to deploy the 69th and 72d Pennsylvania to the right, himself holding the 71st and 106th in sufury, stampeding two or three battery teams, so that for a moment our lines seemed to waver; but Burns's calm, full-voiced order, Steady, men, steady! evoked a thundering cheer, followed by volley arther and farther; but in vain. Gens. Sumner, Sedgwick, Dana, whose horse was killed under him, Burns, and Gorman, each exerted himself to the utmost to animate and encourage their men. Dana's wing ree-fourths of a mile between Sumner and Franklin, Magruder's attack was gallantly repelled by Gen. Burns's brigade, supported by those of Brooks and Hancock, reeinforced by two lines of reserves, andkilled or wounded. The noise of this vehement struggle had brought Hooker, from our left, and Burns's brigade, and Taylor's 1st New Jersey brigade, from Slocum's division, to the aid of McCall; so
mps Sherman enters Goldsboroa Butler and Weitzel's expedition to Fort Fisher the powder Ship Porter's bombardment Butler returns to the James Grant dissatisfied expedition sent back under Terry Fort Fisher invested bombarded by the fleet the sailors' assault repulsed Gen. Ames assaults from the land side desperate fighting the Fort carried losses explosion of magazine Gen. Schofield arrives advances on Wilmington fight at town creek Fort Anderson evacuated Hoke retreats Burns vessels and stores Wilmington given up advance to Kingston Upham surprised at Southwest creek Hoke strikes out is repulsed, and retreats Schofield enters Goldsboroa. Gen. Sherman, after sending back to Chattanooga his sick and wounded, surplus guns, baggage, and the garrisons of his more northern posts in Georgia, had still under his immediate command the 14th, 15th, 17th, and 20th corps, numbering 60,000 infantry and artillery and 5,500 cavalry. Concentrating these around Rome and
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