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The Annals of the Civil War Written by Leading Participants North and South (ed. Alexander Kelly McClure), Vicksburg during the siege. (search)
ew; but whether by aim or accident I do not know. No history of the siege would be complete without some detailed allusion to the ceaseless generation of sensational reports within and without the city, both North and South. Considering the fertility of inventions then displayed, it is a wonder that the coming American novel has never come. There may have been something in the sulphurous atmosphere more favorable to the stimulation of genius than belongs to the ordinary environment. Munchausen was prosaic to the fellows who wrote and talked and were believed at that time. The Richmond papers pathetically complained of the telegraphic genius at Jackson. The telegraphic geniuses at Young's Point and Milliken's Bend were far greater masters of the art of fiction. I will mention a case that preceded the investment. On the 3d of May, the tug Sturgis, with two barges, loaded with 400,000 rations and medical supplies, was ordered to pass the batteries, and tried to do so, carrying
Thomas C. DeLeon, Four years in Rebel capitals: an inside view of life in the southern confederacy, from birth to death., Chapter 24: echo of Seven days, North and South. (search)
its uglier features, and commenced a systematic course of pillage and petty plundering-backed by a series of curiously bombastic and windy orders. Calmly to read these wonderful effusions-dated from Headquarters in the saddle --by the light of his real deeds, one could only conceive that General Pope coveted that niche in history filled by Thackeray's O'Grady Gahagan; and that much of his reading had been confined to the pleasant rambles of Gulliver and the doughty deeds of Trenck and Munchausen. To sober second thought, the sole reason for his advancement might seem his wonderful power as a braggart. He blustered and bragged until the North was bullied into admiration; and his sounding boasts that he had only seen the backs of his enemies, and that he had gone to look for the rebel, Jackson --were really taken to mean what they said. When Pope did at last find the rebel, Jackson, the hopeful public over the Potomac began to believe that their truculent pet might have simply
evail. From my prison windows I now had ample leisure to study the countenances of all classes of our rebellious enemies, from Brigadier Generals down to the conscript Sand-hillers. All faces were indicative of sadness. From what I could see and overhear — the downcast eyes and the conflicting stories — I was well satisfied that they had been worsted at Shiloh. The officers were given to wholesale exaggeration, their falsifying tongues gliding from lie to lie with the alacrity of a Baron Munchausen! These prevarications forcibly reminded me of a negro boy down South, who undertook to describe to his master a storm. Why, massa, dare was de wonderfullest, de tremendus'est post mowerfulest win‘ stohm dat you ever heah. De win‘ blowed so hard dat it blowd de har-de har-all off one man's head! Ya'as, de har all off one man's head! De har! Now, Sam, you lying rascal, why didn't the wind blow your hair off? Why-why-you'se allers bodderin white folks when dey'se tellin‘
Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buell, Battles and Leaders of the Civil War: Volume 2., Forcing Fox's Gap and Turner's Gap. (search)
nd, when he was struck by a rushing horse; the gun was fired by the concussion, but at the same moment it was capsized into the ditch by the impact of the column. The enemy had no time to right the gun or carry it off, nor to stop for prisoners. They forced Moor on another horse and turned tail as the charging lines of infantry came up on right and left, together with the column in the road, for there had not been a moment's pause in the advance. Those who have a fancy for le arning how Munchausen could tell this story are referred to the narrative of Major Heros Von Borcke, of J. E. B. Stuart's staff. Moor's capture, however, had consequences, as we shall see. His brigade passed to the command of Colonel George Crook, of the 36th Ohio. Frederick was a loyal city, and as Hampton's cavalry went out at one end of the street and our infantry came in at the other, while the carbine smoke and the smell of powder still lingered, the closed window-shutters of the houses flew open, the
Charles Congdon, Tribune Essays: Leading Articles Contributing to the New York Tribune from 1857 to 1863. (ed. Horace Greeley), Alexander the Bouncer. (search)
officials are not mercenary, why are our brave militia-men mercenary?--our soldiers extemporised from the field, the factory and every haunt of industry? Answer that question, Alexander! The rapidity with which an Italian buffo-singer can deliver the words of his song is tediously slow in comparison with Mr. Stephens's volubility of untruths. If we might speak a little coarsely, being somewhat provoked, we would say that he lies like lightning. He told the Atalantese a succession of Munchausen stories — how Maryland had resolved to a man to stand by the South --how all the public buildings in Washington have been mined for the purpose of destroying them --how an attempt had been made to burn the whole city of Norfolk --how only the interposition of Providence prevented a second conflagration of Moscow. All these agreeable and ingenious fictions and Fernando-Mendez-Pinto-ish recreations were strangely diversified by strong threads of piety and patronizing allusions to the Deity,
gton paper, alluding to the demoralization of the regiments yesterday evening, calls on these officers to forego one day's duty at the bars and hotels, and to return to their corps. Thousands of men follow the example of their superiors. The necessities of others compel them to seek out the quarters of their regiments that they may be fed. One man dressed in uniform had the impudence to come into my room to-day, and, after a series of anecdotes, which would furnish a stupendous sequel to Munchausen, as to his valor, masked batteries, charges of cavalry, &c., to ask me for the loan of $5, on the ground that he was a waiter at the hotel at which I had stopped in New York. I could perceive by his talk and by that of some other soldiers, the mode in which these stories about charges and masked batteries are made up. A newspaper reporter is made the victim of some glorious myths by a frightened, intoxicated, or needy warrior, and these are duly made immortal in type. Then hundreds of me
Munchauseniana. From the subjoined representations and statements, credited to the Richmond Whig and Enquirer, we are enabled to infer that the veracious Baron Munchausen has been engaged by those enterprising journals as a military reporter during the present war.--Nat. Intelligencer. Southiern videttes hung.--While our gallant army were on the march towards Alexandria, and, following up the retreating forces of the Yankees, they found two of our Southern videttes, dead, and suspended by ropes from trees on the roadside. We understand that Gen. Bonham immediately despatched a flag of truce to the authorities at Washington, with a demand for a prompt and immediate statement of all the facts connected with this dastardly outrage. the trophies.--In addition to the twenty thousand stand of arms, forty thousand handcuffs, four wagon loads of horsemen's pistols, &c., our gallant and victorious army captured a large number of boxes, &c., belonging to General Scott, and other gran
Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 3. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), Dahlgren's ride into Fredericksburg. (search)
evening before. The invading party could learn at Falmouth all they wanted to know, and I have not a doubt that when they crossed the river they were under the impression that only one company of cavalry occupied the town. I do not suppose any one in Falmouth had heard of the arrival of Bell and his company — the latter, I believe, having been quartered below town or in its suburbs late the evening previous. You know more accurately than I do as to the fruits of the victory, &c. The Munchausen story of prisoners, holding the town three hours, &c., is simply ludicrous. The Federal cavalryman was killed by one of the Confederates, and not a citizen. The first was on the outside of a fence on a cross street and the other on the inside. There was no dash on his part after a Rebel flag, but those living in the vicinity said he was retreating and refused to surrender. This I learned a very brief period after he was killed, and whilst his body was still lying on the ground. His
r musical effects. It is intended to be elliptical in cross-section, and it is claimed to have been suggested by the shape of the exterior aural canals of various animals. Father Kircher takes occasion in this connection to mock the conclusions of Baptista Porta and Cornelius Agrippa that a sound might be made and then imprisoned in a tube by shutting up both ends, and then letting it out as required. A very remarkable instance of this was afterward cited in the veracious history of Baron Munchausen, whose tunes became frozen in his trumpet on a bitter cold day, and afterward issued when the instrument and its contents were thawed by the warmth of the tavern fire. Speak′ing-tube. A pipe for conveying the voice from one apartment or floor to another. Spear. 1. (Weapon.) A very ancient instrument of war, consisting of a blade on the end of a long shaft. It still survives among savage nations, and under the name of lance is used by cavalry among those comparatively civi
at was now the most important command in Virginia was a triumph of the Radical party at Washington, and dated that system of spoliation and disfranchisement in the Southern States, now to be distinctly announced in forms of authority and in the text of official orders. Pope assumed his new command in the following address, which long amused the world as a curiosity in military literature and the braggart flourish of a man, whom the Richmond Examiner deascribed as a compound of Bobadil and Munchausen: To the Officers and Soldiers of the Army of Virginia: By special assignment of the President of the United States, I have assumed command of this army. I have spent two weeks in learning your whereabouts, your condition, and your wants; in preparing you for active operations, and in placing you in positions from which you can act promptly and to the purpose. I have come to you from the West, where we have always seen the backs of our enemies — from an army whose business it has bee
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