previous next

‘ [143] cashmere shawl. It was stolen. The men of his company afterwards presented him with two silver bowls. They shared the same fate.1’ There was no American officer of whose career such matters would be so openly affirmed.2 This was certainly a gain.

Moreover, there were in our Civil War many instances of something approaching to chivalry on both sides, as when, in the assault on Port Hudson, orders were given by Confederate officers to spare Gen. W. F. Bartlett, as the only mounted man visible among the throng of assailants ;3 or when the commander of a picket station bade his men present arms to General Meade across the river at Richmond, instead of firing upon him, when they had him absolutely in their power; or when, on the other side, General Kershaw was spared by the Union officers at Fredericksburg when he alone dared ride up to reconnoitre the enemy from a knoll which was swept by the fire of the sharpshooters of both armies.4

The gradual development of the Union cavalry, which at first was distinctly inferior to the Confederate and in the end overwhelmingly superior,5 while not at all confined to the Massachusetts regiments, yet found in them some of its best illustrations, and certainly some of its best commanders. This was due largely to the high standard set by Col. Robert Williams of the 1st Cavalry and to the distinguished qualities of Col. C. R. Lowell of the 2d Cavalry, of whom much has been elsewhere said. Colonel Williams brought upon himself some criticism by his severe winnowing of the original list of his line officers,—an act of courage to which few regimental commanders were equal. The later career of his

1 Review of Reviews, September, 1890, p. 276.

2 Foraging under Banks was for a time unchecked (Hosmer's Color-Guard, p. 103). At the outset, he allowed pillaging a week, then issued an order prohibiting it (Palfrey's Bartlett, p. 74). For Gen J. E. Johnston's view of Sherman's foragers, see Ohio Loyal Legion Sketches, I, 15. For cases of plunder among Confederates, see De Leon's Four Years in Rebel Capitals, p. 97. For claim that poison was given to Union soldiers, see Eyland's Evolution of a Life, p. 180. For occasional brutality of Union soldiers, see Hosmer's The Color-Guard, 155.

3 Palfrey's Bartlett, p. 83.

4 Both these last incidents are related by the Rev. Robert Wilson in the Charleston (S. C.) News and Courier, quoted in the Boston Transcript (July 14, 1896). The Richmond incident was told him by Colonel McCoy of Pennsylvania, a member of General Meade's staff, and present on the occasion described.

5 In Crowninshield's 1st Mass. Cavalry there is an admirable essay on the development of the Union cavalry during the war. As to the superiority of the Confederate cavalry at first, see Gordon's Brook Farm to Cedar Mountain, p. 137. the Comte de Paris (translation), I, 276, and Gen. Sheridan's Personal Memoirs, I, 354-355 For the almost annihilated condition of the Confederate cavalry at last, see Sheridan's Memoirs, I, 453-455. The latter were often mounted infantry without sabres. (De Leon's Four Years in Rebel Capitals, p. 97.) General Sheridan thinks the American use of cavalry more highly developed and efficient than the German. (Personal Memoirs, II. 450.) For special references to 1st Mass. Cavalry, see Personal Memoirs, I, 350, 364, 374, 376, 406. For his opinion of Lowell, see I, 478, 489, 497; II, 26.

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 People (automatically extracted)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
July 14th, 1896 AD (1)
September, 1890 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: