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France (France) (search for this): chapter 3
refers to them as mercenaries, workers for pay, and they have been stigmatized as hirelings. But this is abuse, even of history. The word soldier does indeed mean the man paid for his service instead of being bound to serve by feudal obligation. This pay was in the form of the soldi (from the Latin solidus ), the real money, the piece of solid metal, represented to-day in the French sou. But no one can despise such soldiers who remember the conduct of the Swiss Guard of Louis XVI. of France, cowardly forsaken by his own; but these loyal spirits, for the manhood that was in them and not for pay, stood by him to the last living man of them, whose heroism the proud citizens of their native home have fittingly commemorated in Thorwaldson's Lion of Lucerne. And we certainly held our regulars dear, from long association, and could only speak their name with honor when we thought of the desperate charge down from the Round Tops of Gettysburg into the maelstrom of death swirling a
Rowanty Creek (Virginia, United States) (search for this): chapter 3
and Danville, leading to important connections in North Carolina; and the Petersburg and Lynchburg, known to us as the Southside, making a junction with the former at Burkeville, about fifty miles from Petersburg, as also from Richmond. On our part, as we gained ground we had unrolled a military railroad, up hill and down, without much grading, and hence exhibiting some remarkable exploits in momentum of mind and machinery. This terminated at the Vaughan Road on the north branch of Rowanty Creek. Meantime Sherman had made his masterly march from the Great River to the Sea, and the even more masterly movement north to Gouldsboro, North Carolina, where with his alert and dashing army he threatened Lee's sea communication and also the flank and rear of his position. It was a curious element in the situation that the astute Confederate General Joe Johnston should come in north of Sherman and interpose his army between Sherman's and ours. This sort of voltaic pile generated som
City Point (Virginia, United States) (search for this): chapter 3
ricken field, or left upon it-I, too, proud witness and sharer of their fate. I am not of Virginia blood; she is of mine. So ended the evening of the second day. And the army sat down to that ten months symposium, from which twenty thousand men never rose. The development of this campaign led many to compare Grant with McClellan. They marched their armies over much the same ground, with much the same result. Only McClellan was brought to Washington; Grant was permitted to remain at City Point and the Appomattox. The rumor ran that McClellan had also proposed to cut across the James and around Lee's flank. Many still believed in his soldiership, but broader elements now entered into the estimate. Something in the nature of the man and something in his environment caused his failure. With great organizing power, he failed in practical application. The realities of war seemed to daze him. He lacked dash, resolution; he hesitated to seize the golden moment, to profit by his ow
Burkeville (Virginia, United States) (search for this): chapter 3
or five miles farther westward, to near Burgess' Mill on Hatcher's Run, at the junction of the Boydton Plank Road and the White Oak Road; but these points could not be strongly held by us, and were more strongly guarded by the enemy, as almost their last avenue of sea-coast communication. Lee had two railroads: the Richmond and Danville, leading to important connections in North Carolina; and the Petersburg and Lynchburg, known to us as the Southside, making a junction with the former at Burkeville, about fifty miles from Petersburg, as also from Richmond. On our part, as we gained ground we had unrolled a military railroad, up hill and down, without much grading, and hence exhibiting some remarkable exploits in momentum of mind and machinery. This terminated at the Vaughan Road on the north branch of Rowanty Creek. Meantime Sherman had made his masterly march from the Great River to the Sea, and the even more masterly movement north to Gouldsboro, North Carolina, where with
Spottsylvania (Virginia, United States) (search for this): chapter 3
e baissee (bull-headed), zig-zag race from the Rapidan to the Appomattox; that desperate, inch-worm advance along a front of fire, with writhing recoil at every touch; that reiterated dissolving view of death and resurrection: the Wilderness, Spottsylvania, the North Anna, Cold Harbor, Petersburg; unspoken, unspeakable history. Call back that roseate May morning, all the springs of life athrill, that youthful army pressing the bridges of the Rapidan, flower of Northern homes, thousands upon ththe advantage of military discipline and acclimatization, their ponderous lines rolled on the astonished foe, with swift passages to glorious death and undying fame. Witness the action of the 1st Maine Heavy Artillery, losing in one fight at Spottsylvania 264 men, and again more than 600 in stern obedience to orders which should not have been given in the first futile charge on the lines of Petersburg. New regiments of infantry also came in, necessarily assigned to duty at the front,--high
Hatcher's Run (Ohio, United States) (search for this): chapter 3
Lee's communications and envelop his existing lines, or as the wiseacres said, to take Richmond in something like Joshua's way with Jericho,--sounding trumpets all around its walls. We had, indeed, been rehearsing for this performance from time to time all winter, and had already cut several of Lee's best communications. Our established line now extended some sixteen miles. Occasional dashes had broken in upon them for some four or five miles farther westward, to near Burgess' Mill on Hatcher's Run, at the junction of the Boydton Plank Road and the White Oak Road; but these points could not be strongly held by us, and were more strongly guarded by the enemy, as almost their last avenue of sea-coast communication. Lee had two railroads: the Richmond and Danville, leading to important connections in North Carolina; and the Petersburg and Lynchburg, known to us as the Southside, making a junction with the former at Burkeville, about fifty miles from Petersburg, as also from Richmond
Laurel Hill, Va. (Virginia, United States) (search for this): chapter 3
es the number present for duty equipped at 97,273-in remarkable agreement with the figures taken in the field. Compare the admirable showing of that clear-headed officer, General A. A. Humphreys, Virginia Campaign, Appendix, p. 409. The number of men available for battle in the Fifth Corps at the start was 25,695. The character of the fighting in this campaign may be shown, however dimly, by citing here the report of our Corps field hospital for one day only, that of the engagement at Laurel Hill, May 8, 1864: Admitted to hospital, 3001; of whom 106 were from other corps; 27 Confederates; 107 sick. Sent to the rear, 2388; fell into the hands of the enemy, 391; died in hospital, 121; left 206, of whom 126 were able to walk in the morning. Or take the totals treated in the field hospital alone for the first nine days of the campaign. Number admitted, 5257; sent to the rear, 4190; died in hospital, 179; fell into hands of the enemy, 787. Adding to this the number killed outrigh
on our right, not far away. By our action a lodgment had been effected which became the pivot of the series of undulations on the left, which after three days resulted in turning the right flank of Lee's army. We had been fighting Gracie's, Ransom's, Wallace's, and Wise's Brigades, of Johnson's Division, under command of General R. H. Anderson, numbering, as by their last morning reports, 6277 officers and men effective for the field. My own brigade in this engagement numbered less than 1700 officers and men. Mitchell's battery and Gregory's and Bartlett's regiments assisting in the final advance added to this number probably 1000 more. Their total loss in this engagement was slight in numbers. The loss in my brigade was a quarter of those in line. My fight was over, but not my responsibilities. The day and the field are ours; but what a day, and what a field! As for the day, behind the heavy brooding mists the shrouded sun was drawing down the veil which shrined it in th
after three days resulted in turning the right flank of Lee's army. We had been fighting Gracie's, Ransom's, Wallace's, and Wise's Brigades, of Johnson's Division, under command of General R. H. Anderson, numbering, as by their last morning reports, 6277 officers and men effective for the field. My own brigade in this engagement numbered less than 1700 officers and men. Mitchell's battery and Gregory's and Bartlett's regiments assisting in the final advance added to this number probably 1000 more. Their total loss in this engagement was slight in numbers. The loss in my brigade was a quarter of those in line. My fight was over, but not my responsibilities. The day and the field are ours; but what a day, and what a field! As for the day, behind the heavy brooding mists the shrouded sun was drawing down the veil which shrined it in the mausoleum of vanished but unforgotten years. And for the field: strown all over it were a hundred and fifty bodies of the enemy's dead, and
of its full ranks. The remnants of the old First Division had been consolidated into the Third Brigade, formerly my own, consisting of about 3000 men, commanded by the able General Joseph J. Bartlett of the Sixth Corps. The Second Brigade, about 1750, commanded by the experienced and conscientious Colonel Edgar M. Gregory, of the gist Pennsylvania Volunteers, Brevet Brigadier-General of Volunteers, consisted of three new regiments from New York, the 187th, the 188th, and 189th, new regiments but mostly old soldiers. My own brigade, the First, consisting of like new regiments, had about 450 short of its normal numbers, mustering 1750 men for duty. These regiments were the 198th Pennsylvania, composed of fourteen full companies, being a special command for a veteran and brave officer, Colonel Horatio G. Sickel, Brevet Brigadier-General, and the 185th New York, a noble body of men of high capability and character, and a well-disciplined regiment now commanded by Colonel Gustave Snipe
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