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e require a living model, he can dress his subject at the nearest rag-shop, and I promise it will be pronounced truthful and lifelike by any who fought in 1861 and 1862. Except our arms and accoutrements, all things else were worthless. Garments were perforated in all manner of places; some had shoes; but few rejoiced in more than one suit of under clothes, which had never seen soap for months — for soap we had none. A little longer stay at Yorktown lines, and I might have exclaimed with Falstaff: There is but half a shirt in my whole company. When nearly all the troops had left, we of the honorable rear-guard received notice to pack up and prepare for departure. Having nothing to pack, it was with great facility that we formed in line and marched out of the breastworks about nine P. M., Saturday, May third. A strong picket-guard was left in front to keep up appearances ; but the enemy were as well aware as ourselves of our every movement, having made frequent ascents with thei
umbers, ammunition, medical stores and miles of wagon and ambulance trains, near six thousand stand of small arms, of the newest pattern and in best condition, fell into the hands of the half-armed rebels. These last were the real prize of the victors, putting a dozen new regiments waiting only for arms, at once on an effective war-footing. Blankets, tents and clothing were captured in bulk; nor were they to be despised by soldiers who had, left home with knapsacks as empty as those of Falstaff's heroes. But the moral effect of the victory was to elate the tone of the army far above any previous act of the war. Already prepared not to undervalue their own prowess, its ease and completeness left a universal sense of their invincibility, till the feeling became common in the ranks-and spread thence to the people — that one southern man was worth a dozen Yankees; and that if they did not come in numbers greater than five to one, the result of any conflict was assured. Everyth
Thomas C. DeLeon, Four years in Rebel capitals: an inside view of life in the southern confederacy, from birth to death., Chapter 24: echo of Seven days, North and South. (search)
er second thought, the sole reason for his advancement might seem his wonderful power as a braggart. He blustered and bragged until the North was bullied into admiration; and his sounding boasts that he had only seen the backs of his enemies, and that he had gone to look for the rebel, Jackson --were really taken to mean what they said. When Pope did at last find the rebel, Jackson, the hopeful public over the Potomac began to believe that their truculent pet might have simply paraphrased Falstaff, and cried- Lying and thieving have blown me up like a bladder! For Jackson gave the bladder a single prick, and lo! it collapsed. Resting his wearied and shattered troops only long enough to get them again into fighting trim, General Lee prepared to check the third great advance upon Manassas. Working on the inner line and being thus better able to concentrate his strength, he left only enough troops around Richmond to delay any advance of McClellan from the Peninsula; and, befor
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Army Life in a Black Regiment, Chapter 3: up the St. Mary's. (search)
every man whom he found. I watched them push off into the darkness, got the remaining force ready to land, and then paced the deck for an hour in silent watchfulness, waiting for rifle-shots. Not a sound came from the shore, save the barking of dogs and the morning crow of cocks; the time seemed interminable; but when daylight came, I landed, and found a pair of scarlet trousers pacing on their beat before every house in the village, and a small squad of prisoners, stunted and forlorn as Falstaff's ragged regiment, already in hand. I observed with delight the good demeanor of my men towards these forlorn Anglo-Saxons, and towards the more tumultuous women. Even one soldier, who threatened to throw an old termagant into the river, took care to append the courteous epithet Madam. I took a survey of the premises. The chief house, a pretty one with picturesque out-buildings, was that of Mrs. A., who owned the mills and lumber-wharves adjoining. The wealth of these wharves had no
ever having been mentioned to her; and so I concluded that, if no other objection presented itself, I would consent to waive this. All this occurred to me on hearing of her arrival in the neighborhood; for, be it remembered, I had not yet seen her, except about three years previous, as above mentioned. In a few days we had an interview; and, although I had seen her before, she did not look as my imagination had pictured her. I knew she was over-size, but she now appeared a fair match for Falstaff. I knew she was called an old maid, and I felt no doubt of the truth of at least half of the appellation; but now, when I beheld her, I could not for my life avoid thinking of my mother; and this, not from withered features, for her skin was too full of fat to permit of its contracting into wrinkles, but from her want of teeth, weather-beaten appearance in general, and from a kind of notion that ran in my head that nothing could have commenced at the size of infancy and reached her presen
d by hand as if for actual warfare. Faded and moth-eaten clothes and sashes were donned with pride by the scions of military heroes who figured in the early struggles of the republic. Drums and fifes which had been handed down through at least two or three generations played a conspicuous part in the marches that were the features of the day, the shrill notes of Hail, Columbia, Yankee Doodle, and The Star-Spangled banner stirring the latent patriotism in all hearts to the highest pitch. Falstaff's troop presented no more ludicrous spectacle than did some of these soldiers enlisted for a single day. I have vivid recollections of seeing these parades. The captains of the companies, mounted on fiery steeds unused to the sound of drum-beats and the whistling of fifes, employed desperate efforts to manage their horses as they rode up and down the crooked lines, shouting meaningless commands to the embryo soldiers. The latter, though hopelessly ignorant of tactics, were intensely in ea
Benson J. Lossing, Pictorial Field Book of the Civil War. Volume 1., Chapter 14: the great Uprising of the people. (search)
unworthy of a place in the society of Southern gentlemen ; infidels to God, religion, and morality; mercenary to the last degree, and so lacking in personal and moral courage, that one Southron could whip five of them easily, and ten of them at a pinch. The Mobile Advertiser, one of the ablest and most respectable of the Southern newspapers, held the following language:--The Northern soldiers are men who prefer enlisting to starvation; scurvy fellows from the back slums of cities, whom Falstaff would not have marched through Coventry with. But these are not soldiers — least of all to meet the hot-blooded, thoroughbred, impetuous men of the South. Trencher soldiers, who enlisted to war upon their rations, not on men. They are such as marched through Baltimore [the Massachusetts Sixth, admirably clothed, equipped, and disciplined, and composed of some of the best young men of New England], squalid, wretched, ragged, and half-naked, as the newspapers of that city report them. Fell
-the enactments of the Missouri mob — and to spill his life's blood if necessary to do it. Unluckily he did not deem it necessary to shed his blood — as the future historian and probably Calhoun's own posterity will record with regret. With Falstaff's valor and Falstaff's prudence, he kept himself distant from the battle-field — reserving his strength and ability for another day. His services to slavery, in the Lecompton Constitutional Convention, are known to every one. By adroit managemeFalstaff's prudence, he kept himself distant from the battle-field — reserving his strength and ability for another day. His services to slavery, in the Lecompton Constitutional Convention, are known to every one. By adroit management, and the skillful use of Federal money, he procured the passage of the fraudulent constitution, without a submission clause, and so arranged the subsequent proceedings to be had under the instrument, that, had it passed through Congress naked, the Legislature might have met at Fort Leavenworth and elected two pro-slavery United States senators. The political complexion of that assembly was in his own hands. The defeat of the conspiracy in Congress prevented the completion of the plot. J
The Mobile Advertiser speaks of the Northern volunteers as, men who prefer enlisting to starvation; scurvy fellows from the back slums of cities, whom Falstaff would not have marched through Coventry with; but these recruits are not soldiers — least of all the soldiers to meet the hot-blooded, thoroughbred, impetuous men of the South. Trencher soldiers, who enlisted to war upon their rations, not on men; they are such as marched through Baltimore, squalid, wretched, ragged, and half-naked, as the newspapers of that city report them. Fellows who do not know the breech of a musket from its muzzle, and had rather filch a handkerchief than fight an enemy in manly combat. Whiteslaves, peddling wretches, small-change knaves, and vagrants, the dregs and offscourings of the populace; these are the levied forces whom Lincoln suddenly arrays as candidates for the honor of being slaughtered by gentlemen — such as Mobile sent to battle. Let them come South, and we will put our negroes to t
al already have been emptied by the mob. Three men were set upon in Florence Hotel, New York, and two killed, for expressing sympathy with the South. Merchants are packing off their clerks, and it is said that several large manufactories have been stopped, with a view of forcing the operatives into the ranks of the volunteer soldiery. The Mobile Advertiser says:-- They may raise plenty of men — men who prefer enlisting to starvation, scurvy fellows from the back slums of cities, whom Falstaff would not have marched through Coventry with — but these recruits are not soldiers, least of all the soldiers to meet the hot-blooded, thoroughbred, impetuous men of the South. Trencher soldiers, who enlisted to war on their rations, not on men, they are — such as marched through Baltimore, squalid, wretched, ragged and half-naked, as the newspapers of that city report them. Fellows who do not know the breech of a musket from its muzzle, and had rather filch a handkerchief than fight an e<
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