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Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 1. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), Origin of the late war. (search)
itutional defences, and loudly proclaimed the danger of yielding them up. Time and again they proclaimed that the worst of all governments was that of a majority of numbers with absolute and unrestricted powers. Despotism of all sorts was bad, but the despotism of a majority of numbers in a democratic form of government was the worst of all — particularly was that the case in regard to slavery, as was often asserted. In February, 1790, when two abolition petitions, one of them signed by Dr. Franklin, were presented to Congress, that body resolved that Congress had no authority to interfere in the emancipation of slaves, or even the treatment of them within any of the States, it remaining with the several States alone to provide any regulations therein which humanity or true policy may require. Congress thus clearly declared its view of its power over the subject. Congress was petitioned to do all in its power to discourage slavery, of which a Massachusetts man, in an able history o
ailed to escort a batch of prisoners to Richmond, and in hurrying on I overtook troops marching to West-Point, the head of the York River; rumors being rife that Franklin and other Federal generals were disembarking a large force there to assail us on the flank. The main army, however, had travelled with such celerity, that they e was a miserable failure. Franklin's forces at that point far outnumbered ours, for Hood's Texan brigade was the chief corps to oppose him. After disembarking, Franklin lingered and loitered near his transports and gunboats, until Hood beat about to find his whereabouts. Without proper knowledge of the topography of the country, Franklin put his troops in motion, and had not progressed many miles ere he discovered Hood advantageously posted in line of battle, and without giving time to deploy, the Texans were upon him, decimating his ranks with unerring aim. The fight was wild and confused-Franklin hurriedly fell back before an inferior force, and did n
dead and wounded, together with a quantity of stores, and had hastily decamped. Every arrangement was instantly made for pursuit, and ere midnight our cavalry scouts came in and reported that large fires were seen burning in the direction of Franklin, and that in the hurry and confusion of defeat, and a forced march, immense supplies lay along the road, and that quantities were burning in all directions. We buried our own dead — about one hundred in number-and that of the enemy — some threehe movements of the enemy, that, although we travelled the forty miles in less than twenty hours, they had reached Franklin before us, aid were drawn up in a strong position, occupying the right and left of a road that ran between two mountains, Franklin being in their rear. Jackson thought it probable we might be able to flank them, and sent out a force of cavalry to reconnoitre, who reported that not a single road or cow-path was discovered by which we could get round the enemy. They had art
enced. Nothing of moment occurred at our centre; both wings were seriously engaged, Jackson on the left was immovable, and Longstreet on our right was gradually driving the enemy towards the bridge. The carnage here was frightful, and as our shot and shell plunged into their retreating ranks, the whole vicinity of the bridge seemed strewn with bodies, horses, wagons, and artillery. Both attacks of the enemy upon our wings had failed, and they had been repulsed with fearful slaughter. Franklin, Sumner, Hooker, Mansfield, and other corps commanders on their right, had been fought to a stand-still. They were exhausted and powerless. Burnside, on their left, had been fearfully handled by Longstreet, and was driven in confusion upon the bridge, which he held with a few cannon, and suffered every moment from our batteries on rising ground. We did not desire the bridge, or it might have been held from the beginning, and, save a desultory cannonade, the enemy were now inactive and ex
y heard the Federal countersigns exchanged;, but the greatest secrecy marked the conduct of our cavalry at the mouth of the Massaponax, for it was uncertain what Franklin might attempt under cover of the night, as his force was apparently very large, and so stationed as to be able to take up the line of march to our right rear, sh Thus the slaughter at Fredericksburgh closed. Sumner, Hooker, Wilcox, Meagher, French, and a host of other leaders, had been routed on our centre and left — Franklin, Meade, Jackson, Bayard, and Stoneman, had met with a fearful repulse on the right; for miles their dead and wounded lined the front of our works, and were scatr sent such a thrill of horror through all classes at the North, that official inquiry was demanded, when it appeared that General Sumner, of the right wing, General Franklin, of the left, and General Hooker, of the centre, had decided against the movement in a council of war, but that Burnside did not heed their advice, but resol
Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, The Passing of the Armies: The Last Campaign of the Armies., Chapter 9: the last review. (search)
g officer; the bands also at this point wheel out and continue playing while their brigade is passing. The ambulances, engineers, and artillery follow as before. The symbol of the flag of this corps is the Greek cross — the square cross, of equal arms. Symbol of terrible history in old-world conflicts-Russian and Cossack and Pole; token now of square fighting, square dealing, and loyalty to the flag of the union of freedom and law. These are survivors of the men in early days with Franklin and Smith and Slocum and Newton. Later, and as we know them best, the men of Sedgwick; but alas, Sedgwick leads no more, except in spirit! Unheeding self he fell smitten by a sharpshooter's bullet, in the midst of his corps. Wright is commanding since, and to-day, his chief-of-staff, judicial Martin McMahon. These are the men of Antietam and the twice wrought marvels of courage at Fredericksburg, and the long tragedy of Grant's campaign of 1864; then in the valley of the Shenandoah with
advanced a step, and offered me his hand. I am glad to make your acquaintance, Captain, he said; then he added with a smile, I doubt, however, if you are equally pleased at making mine. Delighted, General, I assure you, was my reply, though the incident to which I am indebted for this honour was rather rough. What was that? My horse was shot and fell with me. That is a pity, and the thing was unfortunate. But war is altogether a rough business. I am disposed to agree with Franklin, Captain, that there never was a good war, or a bad peace. But we will not discuss this vexed question-you are Captain Longbow, I believe. Yes, sir. Of Colonel Jackson's command? Of the command which engaged you the day before yesterday. General Patterson smiled. I see you are reticent, and it is a good habit in a soldier. But I know that Colonel Jackson commanded, and from his boldness in opposing me with so small a force, he must be a man of nerve and ability. He has t
Robert Lewis Dabney, Life and Commands of Lieutenand- General Thomas J. Jackson, Chapter 11: McDowell. (search)
this happy beginning the vigor and genius of the great commander. General Jackson immediately threw forward a few companies of cavalry under Captain Sheetz to harass the enemy's rear, and collected his infantry in the valley beyond McDowell to prepare for a close pursuit. The mountain passes by which General Banks might have communicated succors to Milroy were immediately obstructed, and an active officer was sent by a circuitous route to the northern parts of Pendleton county, below Franklin, to collect the partisan soldiers of the mountains in the enemy's rear. They were exhorted to fill the roads with felled timber, to tear down the walls which supported the turnpike along the precipitous cliffs, and to destroy the bridges, in order that the retreat of Milroy might be retarded, and the advance of Fremont to his aid checked, until his flying army was again beaten and dispersed. Saturday morning, the victors resumed their march, refreshed by a night of quiet rest, and pressed
Robert Lewis Dabney, Life and Commands of Lieutenand- General Thomas J. Jackson, Chapter 14: the Richmond campaign. (search)
was occupied by the open fields of an extensive farm, and the left by a dense forest of pines. On the side occupied by Franklin, the fields extended far both to the right and left of the highway; but the low margin of the stream opposite the Confedn their onset by the oblique fire of a powerful artillery so well posted on the right, would not have failed to dislodge Franklin from a position already half lost. The list of casualties would indeed have been larger than that presented on the 30thhen it closed, at dark, the victorious troops of Longstreet were, unconsciously, within sight of the cross road by which Franklin was required to march his corps, in the rear of the Federal centre, in order to reach the appointed place of concentratihat then might not the triumph have been, if the intended co-operation had been given? As soon as the night grew quiet, Franklin, informed of his critical position, moved off from White Oak Swamp, glided silently behind the shattered ranks which sti
Robert Lewis Dabney, Life and Commands of Lieutenand- General Thomas J. Jackson, Chapter 17: the campaign in Maryland. (search)
st him, until the Confederate army could be concentrated. On the 14th, the Federal left wing, in great force, under General Franklin, forced Crampton's Gap, by which McLaws had approached Harper's Ferry. But when they passed the first crest of the ey with so bold a front, that they feared both to attack him and to expose their flank by proceeding farther west. Here Franklin lost a day invaluable to his commander, by pausing to confront McLaws until the fall of Harper's Ferry on the 15th openemight have immediately attacked with the prospect of overwhelming the three divisions opposed to him. But the absence of Franklin with his whole left wing, which was detained in Pleasant Valley by McLaws, the cumbrous size of his vast and sluggish horectly to their movements. But so far was this force from proving adequate to his purpose, he relates that the corps of Franklin, then numbering twelve thousand men, was necessarily brought up as a reserve, and a part of it engaged, to prevent the C
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