previous next


But it had lately gained as successor to Hardee in the command of his old corps a stern and dauntless soldier from the Army of Northern Virginia in D. H. Hill, whose vigor, coolness and unconquerable pertinacity in fight had already stamped him as a leader of heroic temper. Of the religious school of Stonewall Jackson, his earnest convictions. never chilled his ardor for battle, and in another age he would have been found worthy to charge with Cromwell at Dunbar, with the cry

Let God arise-let his enemies be scattered.

At Seven Pines, pressing his division, knee-deep in mud, across an open field, he had gallantly hurled Casey's division out of a formidable redoubt, and quickly turned the captured guns on its late occupants — a most exhilarating sight in war. At South Mountain, by an obstinate rear-guard fight against enormous odds he had secured and protected the concentration of Gen. Lee's army on the field of Sharpsburg. Hill was welcomed to the Army of Tennessee, for in those times there was a radiance surrounding every commander who had worthily led on any of the great days of the Army of Northern Virginia.

But he found there the equals of his late comrades. Polk, the warrior bishop, recalling some of the martial figures of the church militant of the middle ages, a man with many, but perhaps not the highest, qualities for war, Polk commanded the remaining corps, and was destined to give nine months still of his rich and stirring life to the service of his country. Cleburne, who led one of Hill's divisions, was a blunt, impassive, rather heavy man, who had served a rough apprenticeship in the ranks of the British army; but it needed only the flame of battle to kindle his dull features, to stir the depths of his strong nature, and to show forth a soldier for stoutness of heart, for stubbornness of fight, for shining valor and forgetfulness of self rarely to be matched. The other Major-Generals of the force then assembled, A. P. Stewart, Cheatham, Hindman of the infantry, and Wheeler and Forrest1 of the cavalry, were men who had won their title to command, step by step, on all the hard-fought fields of the West, and were fit leaders for the serious work in hand. There was not a holiday soldier among them. All had gained the confidence of their troops, and one at least, Forrest, had already shown such a soldier's eye, such enterprise, such intuition, such resource, such overpowering will and passionate valor as have won for him an imperishable name.

Breckinridge, statesman and soldier, Buckner, Preston and W. H. T. Walker, gallant leaders, joined the army later with their commands.

1 Forrest commanded a division, but was only a Brigadier-General at that time.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: