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Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, The Passing of the Armies: The Last Campaign of the Armies., Chapter 9: the last review. (search)
onfusions of campaigns and changes of commanders through our whole history. And following these heads of staff, all the gallant retinue well known to us all. Now move the cavalry: survivors and fullblown flower of the troopers Joe Hooker, in the travailing winter of 1862 and 1863, had redeemed from servitude as scattered orderlies and provost guards at headquarters and loose-governed cities, and transformed into a species of soldier not known since the flood-times of Persia, the Huns of Attila, or hordes of Tamerlane; cavalry whose manoeuvres have no place in the tactics of modern Europe; rough-rider, raiders, scouts-in-force, cutting communications, sweeping around armies and leagues of entrenched lines in an enemy's country,--Stoneman and Pleasanton and Wilson, Kilpatrick, Custer, and alas! Dahlgren. And when the solid front of pitched battle opposes, then terrible in edge and onset, as in the straight-drawn squadron charges at Brandy Station, the clattering sweep at Aldie, t
Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, The Passing of the Armies: The Last Campaign of the Armies., Chapter 11: the disbandment. (search)
f these generals, it might disclose our own competency as judges. Hence, as these memoirs are supposed to reflect the intellectual as well as the military character of our soldiers, it may be proper to express what I understood to be their sentiment on this question. But first let us understand the meaning of our principal term. There are two conceptions of great generalship: one regarding practical material effects; the other essential personal qualities. In the former view we regard Attila, Genghis Khan, and Tamerlane as great generals. In the latter conception,--that of intrinsic qualities,--there are two views to be taken. This rank may be accorded to one who has the ability to accomplish great things with moderate means, and against great disadvantages; of this William of Orange is an example. Or, on the other hand, it may be applied to one who can command the situation, gather armies, control resources, and conquer by main force. Examples of this are familiar in histor
iterranean; and the blackest political crimes of the present age have usually been perpetrated in the abused names of Order, of Legitimacy, and of Religion. That the United States should covet Cuba, and seek by any means to acquire it, did not severely shock Europe's sense of decency; that we should openly, boldly, set forth such justifications of our lust, clearly did. The coarseness, the effrontery, and the shamelssness of the Ostend Manifesto seemed to carry the world back to the days of Attila or Genghis Khan, and to threaten the centers of civilization and refinement, the trophies of art and the accumulations of wealth, with a new irruption of barbarians from the remote, forbidding West. No other document that ever emanated from our Government was so well calculated to deepen and diffuse the distrust and apprehension wherewith the growth and power of our country had already come to be regarded by the more polite, intelligent, and influential classes of the Old World. The doct
g dispatched southward so fast as ripened for their intended service. Ultimately, having corrupted all he could, Buckner followed them into the camp of open treason, The Louisville Journal of Sept. 27th denounced the treachery of Buckner in the following terms: Away with your pledges and assurances — with your protestations, apologies, and proclamations, at once and altogether Away, parricide! Away, and do penance forever!--be shriven or be slain — away You have less palliation than Attila — less boldness, magnanimity, and nobleness than Coriolanus. You are the Benedict Arnold of the day I You are the Catiline of Kentucky; Go, then, miscreant! and was captured at the head of a portion of them at the taking of Fort Donelson. The Legislature having reassembled, April 28th. Magoffin read them another lecture in the interest of the Rebellion. The Union was gone — the Confederacy was a fixed fact — it would soon be composed of ten, and perhaps of thirteen, States; Presid
from which it was hoped we would not awake. We have been told that the armies of despotism which are to encamp upon our soil will not crush a petal of the most delicate flower, or bruise a blade of grass that decorates our fields; yet wherever they have gone, though in some instances commanded by soldiers unsurpassed in the best qualities of men, their course is marked by desolation, and lighted by the flames of burning fields and houses. It might rather be said of them, as of the hosts of Attila, that where they once pass the grass never grows. The President promised peace to our mother, Virginia; he promised peace to our daughter, Missouri; he now sings in our ears the delusive sound. It is the peace which reigns in his water-girt Bastiles; it is the peace which is found in the graves of his victims. Freemen of Kentucky! we have been slow to oppose the usurpations of Abraham Lincoln. We have heard his promises that he would observe the neutrality of Kentucky, and we have hea
ubmission; submission, not to the conservative and Christian people of the North, but to a party of infidel fanatics, with an army of needy and greedy soldiers at their backs. Who shall be able to restrain them in their hour of victory? When that moment approaches, when the danger shall seem to be over and the spoils are ready to be divided, every outlaw will rush to fill their ranks, every adventurer will rush to swell their legions, and they will sweep down upon the South as the hosts of Attila did upon the fertile fields of Italy. And shall you find in defeat that mercy which you did not find in victory? You may slumber now, but you will awake to a fearful reality. You may lie upon your beds of ease, and dream that, when it is all over, you will be welcomed back to all the privileges and immunities of greasy citizens, but how terrible will be your disappointment I You will have an ignoble home, overrun by hordes of insolent slaves and rapacious soldiers. You will wear the badg
Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 2. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), chapter 6.35 (search)
port: We consumed the corn and fodder in the region of country thirty miles on either side of a line from Atlanta to Savannah; also the sweet potatoes, hogs, sheep and poultry, and carried off more than 10,000 horses and mules. I estimate the damage done to the State of Georgia at $100,000,000, at least $20,000,000 of which inured to our advantage, and the rest was simple waste and destruction. Here he confesses to have wantonly destroyed $80,000,000 worth of property of private citizens. Attila, Genseric and Alaric were not more cruel to the conquered Romans, than the brutal Sherman has been to the defenceless, utterly helpless old men, women and children of pillaged and devastated Georgia. No wonder our reflections and conversation on the first day of the new year were of a sad character. Added to our gloom at the news from the South was the painful intelligence that all hope of our exchange was now at an end, and we are to be carried to Old Capitol Prison as soon as transportat
Harper's Encyclopedia of United States History (ed. Benson Lossing), Corwin, Thomas 1794-1865 (search)
ident, do you remember the last chapter in that history? It is soon read. Oh! I wish we could but understand its moral. Ammon's son (so was Alexander named), after all his victories, died drunk in Babylon! The vast empire he conquered to get room became the prey of the generals he had trained; it was disparted, torn to pieces, and so ended. Sir, there is a very significant appendix; it is this: the descendants of the Greeks— of Alexander's Greeks—are now governed by the descendants of Attila! Mr. President, while we are fighting for room, let us ponder deeply this appendix. I was somewhat amazed, the other day, to hear the Senator from Michigan declare that Europe had quite forgotten us till these battles waked them up. I suppose the Senator feels grateful to the President for waking up Europe. Does the President, who is, I hope, read in civic as well as military lore, remember the saying of one who had pondered upon history long—long, too, upon man, his nature and true desti<
things, since I had left the country in the spring of 1861. Plantations were ravaged, slaves were scattered, and the country was suffering terribly for the want of the most common necessaries of life. Whole districts of country had been literally laid waste by the barbarians who had invaded us. The magnificent valley of the Red River, down which, as the reader has seen, I had recently travelled, had been burned and pillaged for the distance of a hundred and fifty miles. Neither Alaric, nor Attila ever left such a scene of havoc and desolation in his rear. Demoniac Yankee hate had been added to the thirst for plunder. Sugar-mills, saw-mills, salt-works, and even the gristmills which ground the daily bread for families, had been laid in ashes—their naked chimneys adding ghastliness to the picture. Reeling, drunken soldiers passed in and out of dwellings, plundering and insulting their inmates; and if disappointed in the amount of their plunder, or resisted, applied the torch in reve
arch of twenty miles. The country that we passed through seemed to have been entirely deserted. The inhabitants, who were* going to kill us when they thought we daren't come through, now vamosed their respective ranches, and we saw them not. Houses were empty. The population retired into the interior, burying their money, and carrying their families along with them. They, it seems, were under the impression that we came to ravage and pillage, and they fled as the Gauls must have fled when Attila and his Huns came down on them from the North. As we did at Annapolis, we did in Maryland State. We left an impression that cannot be forgotten. Every thing was paid for. No discourtesy was offered to any inhabitant, and the sobriety of the regiment should be an example to others. I have now to finish without bringing our journey up to here. But let that rest for my next letter. I wish, however, before I conclude, to state that nothing could have been more effective or energetic than t
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