previous next


After the battle of Fredericksburg he wrote:—

You at home must suffer more from anxiety than we do from cold, exposure, and battle. It was hard for you to know that so fierce a fight was raging, and that we three were in the hottest of it. You ask me how I felt. There is intense excitement as the tide of battle ebbs and flows. If one's own party are advancing, there is a glow of exultation; if retreating, a passion to turn the enemy back. 'T was so the other day when Meade's Pennsylvania Reserves, to which we were support, advanced in a long, magnificent line of battle, as if on parade. All was quiet when they started, but in an instant the roar of cannon and the rattle of musketry were deafening. Twenty minutes it lasted. Then from the woods directly in front of us came out a shattered mass of troops in perfect disorder. It seems to me that I could have died a hundred deaths to turn the scale. . . . . One of our colonels well describes our position that day, “ The Rebels were in the boxes and we in the pit.” It was a Roman amphitheatre, and we were the poor beasts exposed on the arena.

April 28, 1863.

We expect a great battle all around Fredericksburg. Should I fall, remember the cause I am fighting for, and forget your grief in consoling others. God will protect me. Your beautiful flowers will be in my pocket.

May 5.

In the field, Chancellorsville. I am safe. My horse Prince was shot in the leg. He threw me off, vanished in the war-cloud, and I have not seen him since.

So you wondered what the same moon shone on that night by the Rappahannock. On the Third Army Corps, cut off from the rest of the army, massed on the field, its lines of battle facing both ways, to the front and to the rear; pickets all around us, for we knew not whence the attack might come; our brigade lying behind the batteries as support in case of attack; the other two brigades moving silently forwards into the black woods. A stillness like that of the grave! Suddenly a crash of musketry all along the line, and the fierce opening of cannon! This was half an hour before midnight. In fifteen minutes all was over, and the bright, beautiful moon shone on the piles of the dead and dying.

May 14.

Although the General is my brother, I must praise him. I have tried to do my duty for his sake. Saturday night, after we had made the night attack in which Stonewall Jackson was killed

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.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Fredericksburg, Va. (Virginia, United States) (1)
Chancellorsville (Virginia, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
George G. Meade (1)
Stonewall Jackson (1)
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.
April 28th, 1863 AD (1)
May 14th (1)
May 5th (1)
3rd (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: