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Browsing named entities in Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, The Passing of the Armies: The Last Campaign of the Armies..

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July 30th (search for this): chapter 3
place whatever in governing his actions. The instinct to seek safety is overcome by the instinct of honor. There are exceptions. This is the rule and law of manhood: fearlessness in the face of all lesser issues because he has faced the greater-the commanding one. This exposition of the state of mind and body among our officers and men in the later operations along the Petersburg lines may help to find a reason for their failure. For instance, the fiasco of the mine explosion of July 30th, where well-laid plans and costly and toilsome labors were brought to shameful disaster through lack of earnest co-operation, and strange lethargy of participants. For another instance, the unexampled reverses of our renowned Second Corps at Ream's Station, August 24th, where, after every purpose and prospect of success, these veterans were quickly driven from their entrenchments, even abandoning their guns,--conduct contrary to their habit and contradictory of their character. But t
June 18th (search for this): chapter 3
ng the remainder of that year brought the total loss in the Corps up to 18,000,--this being almost a thousand more than two thirds of the bright faces that crossed the Rapidan in the starlight of that May morning, now gone down to earth, or beneath it,--and yet no end! Colonel W. H. Powell in his History of the Fifth Corps, published since the above was written, gives this total loss as 17,861. It does not appear whether he takes into account the losses of the Corps in the assault of June 18th on the salient covering the Norfolk Railroad and the Jerusalem Plank Road. Owing to the casualties among commanders, the action of that day has never been adequately reported. Colonel Powell had no data on which to base a just account of the overture of Forts Sedgwick and Mahone,--surnamed by the performers Fort Hell and Fort Damnation. Glance now at the record of the whole army. Those treated in the field hospitals up to the end of October were officially reported as numbering 57,4
October 30th (search for this): chapter 3
thus established that we had more men killed and wounded in the first six months of Grant's campaign, than Lee had at any one period of it in his whole army. The hammering business had been hard on the hammer. If these conclusions seem to rest too much on estimates (although in every case inductions from unquestioned fact), let me offer the solid testimony of General Grant in his official report of November 1, 1864. He gives the casualties in the Army of the Potomac from May 5th to October 30th as: killed 10,572; wounded, 53,975; missing, 23,858;--an aggregate of 88,405, a result far more striking than those adduced, and more than confirming the statement of our losses as by far exceeding the whole number of men in Lee's army at any time in this last campaign. Rebellion Records, Serial 67, p. 193. I offer no apology for this long survey of figures. There is abundant reason for it for the sake of fact, as well as occasion in existing sentiment. Among other interesting r
blow was well delivered; but a series of shortcomings, for which it must be said neither the men nor their immediate commanders were responsible, brought all to nought. Successive assaults on the enemy's lines were made as corps after corps extended leftward; but gallant fighting left little to show but its cost. Especially did we hold in mind the last of these made by the Fifth Corps on the second day, when an assault was ordered, by my fine veteran Brigade on the strong entrenchments at Rives' Salient commanding the important avenue of communication, the Norfolk Railroad and Jerusalem Plank Road. By this time it was too late; all Lee's army were up and entrenched. We encountered a far outnumbering force of veteran troops well entrenched and a cross-fire of twenty guns in earthworks planted with forethought and skill. Desperate valor could accomplish nothing but its own demonstration. Our veterans were hurled back over the stricken field, or left upon it-I, too, proud witness
Phil Sheridan (search for this): chapter 3
front and effect a junction with Johnston for some bold stroke. That would be a shame for us. We would far rather fight, even if unsuccessful as usual. Then we were much annoyed by rumors coming around from Washington, that Sherman was coming up with his power and prestige to take our business out of our hands and the glory of success to his army. But in the depth of our doubts and apprehension word came that Grant had brought Sherman to a conference at his headquarters, and had invited Sheridan as a participant, on the evening of March 27th, and we knew now that something was to be done on a grand scale. Soon came the thrilling General Order. It announced one more leftward movement, but it woke new courage and inspired confidence. Its very style and manner was new. It seemed to take us all into confidential relations with the commander; the whole object and plan set forth in a manner clear, circumstantial, and complete, so that each subordinate knew the part he was expected
Joe Johnston (search for this): chapter 3
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 currents of conjecture and apprehension. Disquieting rumors came across the picket lines that Johnston was coming up to strike our flank and rear, and thus between his army and Lee's we should be caught in the jaws of a leviathan. But we believed Sherman would give Johnston something else to do. We were more troubled by the rumor that Lee, presuming on our inertness, was preparing to make a masention by feints in front while he should withdraw his main army, pass around our left and join Johnston, knock Sherman out, then turn back and attend to the sick lion of the Army of the Potomac. Gra evidently anxious lest Lee should manage to get away from our front and effect a junction with Johnston for some bold stroke. That would be a shame for us. We would far rather fight, even if unsucce
allegiance to principle than even their attachment to McClellan, whose personal popularity in the army was something marvelous. The men voted overwhelmingly for Lincoln. They were unwilling that their long fight should be set down as a failure, even though thus far it seemed so. The fact that this war was in its reach of meaningsary to reverse the maxim of public law, and subordinate civil rights to military rules. Evil-minded people were trying to make our men believe that Grant and Lincoln were making this long delay in front of Petersburg in order to secure their continuance in office. But this was an outrage upon those noble characters, and an in too ready a compromise with the forces that had brought on the war, and so the winnowings of life and death must go on till the troubles be sifted to the core. Lincoln's proclamation, though looked upon by our old-school officers as unadvised and unwarranted by the Constitution, had sent thoughts wider and higher than the range
June, 1864 AD (search for this): chapter 3
pired, and they were mustered out of service with honor. It was a time when they were sorely needed; but we can scarcely blame those who thought duty did not call them to prolong their experiences. Many, however, straightway enlisted in other regiments, new or old, and thus rendered a double service-material force and inspiring example. In some instances whole regiments had reenlisted, under the old name or a new one. Such were five noble Pennsylvania regiments of my own brigade of June, 1864. Remnants of regiments also, left from casualties of the field or by term of enlistment, were consolidated into one, named and numbered by its State order. Such were the 1st Maine Veterans, made up of the 5th, 6th, and 7th, of glorious record. Others, too, had come in to replace and reinforce, with like brave spirit, and perhaps with severer test,--heavy artillery regiments, full to the maximum in numbers, from important positions in the rear, as the defenses of Washington, and not e
Field Hospitals (search for this): chapter 3
000 more lost in the various operations around Petersburg up to March 28, 1865, and counting the missing at the moderate number of 10,000 for this period, we have the aggregate of 75,000 men cut down in the Army of the Potomac to mark the character of the service and the cost of the campaign thus far. If any minds demanding exactitude are troubled at the slight discrepancies in these reports, they may find relief in a passage in the Report of Surgeon Dalton, Chief Medical Officer of Field Hospitals for this campaign. He says of his experience with the treatment of disabled men in the field: It is impossible to convey an accurate idea of the number of sick and wounded who have received attention in this hospital,--that following the army. Hundreds passed through under circumstances which rendered it impossible to register their names or even accurately estimate their numbers. So unremitting were the calls for professional duty during the first fortnight that it was impossi
May 4th, 1864 AD (search for this): chapter 3
also strengthened by visions of the lost, the places of these filled by fresh youth's vicarious offering, united as one by the comradeship of arms and strong with the contagion of soul? But perhaps this vein of emotion is tiresome. Let us seek relief in figures,--which some people regard as the only reliable facts. The number of men of all arms present for duty equipped in the Army of the Potomac at the opening of Grant's campaign, as shown by the consolidated morning reports of May 4, 1864, was 97,162. In the Annual Report of Secretary Stanton, November 22, 1865, this total is stated as 120,384. He evidently takes the number as borne upon the rolls in his office, which by no means always agrees with the field lists of those present for duty equipped, the absent on leave or detail, or otherwise, being usually at a high percentage of the total. The careful compilation of Adjutant-General Drum made from official field returns at this time gives the number present for duty e
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