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Rhett Buchanan (search for this): chapter 3
start for Quereton to-morrow. I know not whether it is true. General Smith will probably leave here for Vera Cruz on the 24th or 25th to make arrangements for the embarkation of troops. As soon as it is certain that we march out, and I make the necessary arrangements for the engineer transportation, etc., I shall endeavor to be off. I shall therefore leave everything till I see you. Several of your naval boys are here who will be obliged to cut out. Love to Sis Nannie and the boys. Rhett Buchanan and all friends are well. Very truly and affectionately, R. E. Lee. Again: Mr. Gardner and Mr. Trist depart to-morrow. I had hoped that after the President had adopted Mr. Trist's treaty, and the Senate confirmed it, they would have paid him the poor compliment of allowing him to finish it, as some compensation for all the abuse they had heaped upon him; but, I presume, it is perfectly fair, having made use of his labors and taken from him all he had earned, that he should be ki
piles were driven and cofferdams made at acute angles to the shore; nor did they understand that the flow of the waters being retarded in these angles, sediment was deposited, land made, and the river, in consequence, forced back and confined to its channels on the St. Louis side. While thus professionally engaged it occurred to him that he would like to possess a seal with the family's Coat of Arms, and he writes to an Alexandria cousin about it: St. Louis, August 20, 1838. My Dear Cassius and Cousin: I believe I once spoke to you on the subject of getting for me the Crest, Coat of Arms, etc., of the Lee family, and which, sure enough, you never did. My object in making the request is for the purpose of having a seal cut with the impression of said Coat, which I think is due from a man of my large family to his posterity, and which I have thought, perhaps foolishly enough, might as well be right as wrong. If, therefore, you can assist me in this laudable enterprise I shall b
Stonewall Jackson (search for this): chapter 3
homas Jonathan Jackson, twenty-three years old, second lieutenant of Magruder's light battery of artillery. Young in years and rank, he gave early evidence of those qualities of a soldier for which he became distinguished under the name of Stonewall Jackson. Magruder, his captain, commended him highly in his report, writing that if devotion, industry, talent, and gallantry are the highest qualities of a soldier, then Lieutenant Jackson is entitled to the distinction which their possession conLieutenant Jackson is entitled to the distinction which their possession confers. In the army also was Longstreet, lieutenant of infantry, twenty-six years old, brevetted twice and wounded at Chapultepec; and Magruder, known among his comrades as Prince John, from courtly manners, distinguished appearance, and fine conversational powers, who commanded a light battery in Pillow's division, was twice brevetted and wounded at Chapultepec. John Sedgwick was with the army, first lieutenant of artillery, a classmate of Bragg and Early and Hooker, twice brevetted; and so was
John E. Wool (search for this): chapter 3
aptain Lee on his personal staff. This officer, when Scott was assembling the army at Tampico, for the purpose of investing and capturing Vera Cruz, was with General Wool, who had been assigned the duty of invading Mexico from the north, while Taylor advanced from Matamoras, and General Kearny from New Mexico. In a letter to Lee that he had put aside that Christmas day to write to her, but just after breakfast orders were received to prepare for battle, intelligence having reached General Wool that the Mexican army was coming. The troops stood to their arms and I lay on the grass with my sorrel mare saddled by my side and telescope directed to the pirst lieutenant and captain for his bravery in battle. Irvin McDowell, who afterward became first commander of the Army of the Potomac, was aid-de-camp to General John E. Wool. George H. Thomas was second lieutenant, Third Artillery, and was brevetted three times for gallantry; Joseph Hooker was assistant adjutant general on the
s widely extended, and that the negroes, anticipating the time of rising by one week, mistaking the third Sunday for the last in the month, defeated the whole scheme and prevented much mischief. It is ascertained that they used their religious assemblies, which ought to have been devoted to better purposes, for forming and maturing their plans, and that their preachers were the leading men. A man belonging to a Mrs. Whitehead, and one of their preachers, was the chief, under the title of Major Nelson, and his first act was to kill his mistress, five children, and one grandchild. However, there are many instances of their defending their masters, and one poor fellow, from the inconsiderate and almost unwarrantable haste of the whites, was sadly rewarded. He belonged to a Mr. Blunt, and himself and two others, assisted by his master and his son, nobly fought with them against twenty of the blacks; after beating them off and running in great haste after horses for them to escape on, a
James B. Gordon (search for this): chapter 3
ineering skill. Great soldiers, like poets, are born, not made. Military training, discipline, the study of strategy, and grand tactics are powerful re-enforcements to natural genius. All the army commanders from 1861 to 1865, on either side, were West Point graduates; but many West Pointers were indifferent officers; on the other hand, others climbed high on Fame's military ladder who never attended a military school. Generals Logan and Terry on the Northern, and Generals Forrest and Gordon on the Southern side, were distinguished examples; but if to their soldierly qualifications a military education had been added, their ascent to distinction would have been greatly facilitated. Lieutenant Lee entered upon the usual life of a young officer of engineers; his chosen profession had his earnest attention, and every effort was made to acquire information. He knew his studies at West Point were only the foundation upon which to build the life edifice. Without continued applic
Mary A. R. Custis (search for this): chapter 3
ne evening when the Rev. Mr. Keith asked her, Wilt thou have this man to be thy wedded husband? or after many years had passed, and she was seated in her large armchair in Richmond, almost unable to move from chronic rheumatism, but busily engaged in knitting socks for sockless Southern soldiers. The public notice of the marriage was short: Married, June 30, 1831, at Arlington House, by the Rev. Mr. Keith, Lieutenant Robert E. Lee, of the United States Corps of Engineers, to Miss Mary A. R. Custis, only daughter of G. W. P. Custis, Esq. The modesty of the newly married couple was spared the modern newspaper notice of what the bride wore at her wedding and what she had packed in her trunks, and her presents and trousseau are in happy oblivion. Beautiful old Arlington was in all her glory that night. The stately mansion never held a happier assemblage. Its broad portico and widespread wings held out open arms, as it were, to welcome the coming guest. Its simple Doric column
Benjamin Hallowell (search for this): chapter 3
being under the tuition of Mr. Leary, who was ever after his firm friend. Later he attended the famous school of Mr. Benjamin Hallowell, in Alexandria, whose house, still standing, is yet conducted as a popular school. Ben. Hallowell was a Quaker oBen. Hallowell was a Quaker of the Quakers. His school stood high; so did he as a teacher. Brimstone castle the boys called it, on account of its color. Mr. Hallowell says that young Lee was an exemplary student, perfectly observant and respectful, and those who knew him, eitMr. Hallowell says that young Lee was an exemplary student, perfectly observant and respectful, and those who knew him, either in the charm of the domestic circle or amid the roar of battle, knew that good old Mr. Hallowell's opinion must have been correct. The time had now arrived to select a profession, and to the army his inclination pointed — a direction which pMr. Hallowell's opinion must have been correct. The time had now arrived to select a profession, and to the army his inclination pointed — a direction which probably resulted from a son's desire to follow in his father's footsteps, especially when that father had been so distinguished in the profession. He was now a modest, manly youth, in his eighteenth year, who resolved to take care of himself and re
erribly shattered, and how a large Mexican soldier, in the last agonies of death, had fallen on him; how he was attracted to the scene by the grief of a little girl; how he had the dying Mexican taken off the boy, and how grateful the little girl was. Her large black eyes, he said, were streaming with tears, her hands crossed over her breast; her hair in one long plait behind reached her waist, her shoulders and arms bare, and without stockings or shoes. Her plaintive tone of Mille gracias, Signor, as I had the dying man lifted off the boy and both carried to the hospital, still lingers in my ear. After I had broken a way through the chaparral and turned toward Cerro Gordo I mounted Creole, who stepped over the dead men with such care as if she feared to hurt them, but when I started with the dragoons in the pursuit, she was as fierce as possible, and I could hardly hold her. From Cerro Gordo to the capital of Mexico, Captain Lee at every point increased the reputation he was acqui
es murdered by them. From that point he was ordered to Washington and made assistant to the chief engineer, an agreeable change, for it brought him near the home of his wife. A fine horse carried him every morning from Arlington to his Washington office and back every evening. He loved his chosen profession, and was rising rapidly in it. Now he could combine equestrianism with engineering, and he was happy, and must have been sometimes merry, for his late lamented military secretary, General Long, narrates an incident of his inviting Captain Macomb, a brother officer, to get behind him on horseback one evening on his return to Arlington. Macomb accepted the invitation, and the two gayly rode along the great public avenue in Washington, passing by the President's house, bowing to Cabinet officers, and behaving in rather a hilarious way generally. It is difficult for a soldier of the Army of Northern Virginia to picture his commanding general in a scene such as has been described.
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