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tinually thrust himself upon popular favor, and obtained the highest rank possible in the service, he never spoke q word in favor of those to whom he was undoubtedly indebted for his greatness. For all that Scott and the War Office cared, Lee might have lived and died a lieutenant-colonel, while others infinitely inferior to him were promoted for political reasons. Virginia having seceded from the Union, Lee tendered his services to his native State. His patrimony was situated on Arlington Heights, overlooking Washington, and he knew every inch of the ground and all its capabilities. He had indeed occupied it with a small force, but was ordered to fall back to Fairfax Court-House by the Minister of War. He was the only man capable of filling the seat of Minister of War, and, upon going to Richmond, was installed in that office, and fulfilled its Herculean duties with great talent and despatch. The line of the Rapidan and Rappahannock rivers was selected by him as our point of
irmishing with the enemy's Rearguard near Fairfax death of Generals Stevens and Kearny further retreat of the enemy, who enter their fortified lines round Arlington Heights and Alexandria Jackson crosses into Maryland he is followed by several Confederate divisions, which hold the Mountain passes at Boonsboro Jackson suddenly for dead, wounded, baggage, and prisoners were numerous. It was never expected by the humblest drummer in our ranks that Lee would attempt any assault upon Arlington Heights or the intrenched camps extending for miles round Alexandria. Lee's estate was on the Heights, and no one knew better than he the almost impregnable nature ere transpiring in other directions. It was said that a heavy force under Johnston was between Fairfax and Centreville, watching the enemy's movement round Arlington Heights and Alexandria; and that, should they think proper to sally forth from those strongholds, and make a rush for Richmond by the Manassas route, while Lee was f
Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, The Passing of the Armies: The Last Campaign of the Armies., Chapter 8: the encampment. (search)
Chapter 8: the encampment. Many circumstances tended to make our camp on Arlington Heights an ideal one. We well knew that its material existence was to be brief; but its image in thought was to hold for us the traces of momentous history and to remain the most visible token of the probation under which our personal characters had been moulded. We took therefore a certain pride in this last encampment; we looked upon this as the graduation day of our Alma Mater. The disturbing incidents which had forbidden us ever to make a perfect camp were now overpassed, and it afforded some satisfaction to show that we had kept alive a scientific knowledge and skill we had never fairly put into practice, and cherished ideals of soldierly living, which though never projected on the earthly plane, may have somehow left an indwelling impress in our characters. There was now an abundance of camp equipage. Tents were distributed and established in accordance with ideal regulations. And t
Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, The Passing of the Armies: The Last Campaign of the Armies., Chapter 9: the last review. (search)
the Army of the Potomac. After years of tragic history and dear-bought glories, gathering again on the banks of the river from which it took its departure and its name; an army yet the same in name, in form, in spirit, but the deep changes in its material elements telling its unspeakable vicissitudes; having kept the faith, having fought the good fight, now standing up to receive its benediction and dismissal, and bid farewell to comradeship so strangely dear. We were encamped on Arlington Heights, opposite the capital. As yet there were but two corps up — the Second and the Fifth. The Sixth had been sent back from Appomattox to Danville, to secure the fruits of the surrender, and stand to the front before the falling curtain of the Confederacy. They had fulfilled that duty, and on this very day were setting forth for this final station. Of those that had come up, all the detachments had been called in. My division that left Appomattox five thousand strong now mustered twic
West by railroad and canal; and from the country around Richmond they marched in. Rumors of the wildest and most varied sort could be heard at any hour. Now Magruder had gained a terrible victory at Big Bethel, and had strewn the ground for miles with the slain and spoils! Then Johnston had met the enemy at Winchester and, after oceans of blood, had driven him from the field in utter rout! Again Beauregard had cut McDowell to pieces and planted the stars-and-bars over Alexandria and Arlington Heights! Such was the morbid state of the public mind that any rumor, however fanciful, received some credit. Each night some regiments broke camp noiselessly and filed through the streets like the army of specters that Beleaguered the walls of Prague, to fill a train on the Central, or Fredericksburg road, en route for Manassas. Constantly, at gray dawn the dull, rumbling sound, cut sharply by the clear note of the bugle, told of moving batteries; and the tramp of cavalry became so
Jubal Anderson Early, Ruth Hairston Early, Lieutenant General Jubal A. Early , C. S. A., Chapter 4: details of the battle of Manassas. (search)
and drill necessary to make that arm effective in a charge. Moreover it had been necessarily scattered on the flanks and along the line, to watch the enemy and give information of his movements. It could not readily be concentrated for the purpose of an efficient pursuit, and the attempts made in that direction were desultory. By light on the morning of the 22nd, the greater part of the enemy's troops were either in the streets of Washington or under the protection of the guns at Arlington Heights. The question then arises whether, by pursuit on the morning of the 22nd, Washington could have been captured. And I will here call attention to some facts which seem entirely to have escaped the attention of the critics. The Potomac is at least a mile wide at Washington and navigable to that place for the largest vessels. The only means of crossing the river, except in vessels, are by the Long Bridge, the aqueduct on the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal at Georgetown, and the chain bri
Fitzhugh Lee, General Lee, Chapter 5: invasion of Virginia. (search)
at that time on duty in Washington; and at two o'clock on the morning of May 21, 1861, with eleven thousand men first invaded Virginia and took possession of Arlington Heights and the adjacent section as far as Alexandria. The Department of Virginia was created, and General Irvin McDowell was selected by the Washington Cabinet to command it. Up to that time it is said General Scott did not want anything done on the Virginia side of the Potomac except to fortify Arlington Heights. He was piqued and irritated that the Cabinet should have sent McDowell into Virginia, and sent him two messages by his aid-de-camp asking him to make a personal request not tooldier, stood the pressure against him as long as he could, but at last it became so great he could wait no longer. So he issued General Order No. 17, dated Arlington Heights, July 16th, which started from camp and put on the march thousands of armed men, as a vast engine is put in motion by pressure on a button. Some thirty mile
J. B. Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary, chapter 3 (search)
making the war as terrible as possible from the beginning. It was to be no child's play; and nothing could be gained by reliance upon the blunders and forbearance of the Yankees. News had been received of the occupation of Alexandria and Arlington Heights, in Virginia; and if we permitted them to build fortifications there, we should not be able to expel them. He denounced with bitterness the neglect of the authorities in Virginia. The enemy should not have been permitted to cross the Poto in the right direction — to Virginia. Virginia herself ought to have kept the invader from her soil. Was she reluctant to break the peace? And is it nothing to have her soil polluted by the martial tramp of the Yankees at Alexandria and Arlington Heights? But the wrath of the Southern chivalry will some day burst forth on the ensanguined plain, and then let the presumptuous foemen of the North beware of the fiery ordeal they have invoked. The men I see daily keeping time to the music of r
J. B. Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary, chapter 8 (search)
lways made with celerity. October 20 A lady, just from Washington, after striving in vain to procure an interview with the Secretary of War, left with me the programme of the enemy's contemplated movements. She was present with the family of Gen. Dix at a party, and heard their purposes disclosed. They meditate an advance immediately, with 200,000 men. The head of Banks's column is to cross near Leesburg; and when over, a movement upon our flank is intended from the vicinity of Arlington Heights. This is truly a formidable enterprise, if true. We have not 70,000 effective men in Northern Virginia. The lady is in earnest-and remains here. I wrote down the above information and sent it to the President; and understood that dispatches were transmitted immediately to Gen. Johnston, by telegraph. The lady likewise spoke of a contemplated movement by sea with gun-boats, to be commanded by Burnside, Butler, etc. In the evening I met Mr. Hunter, and told him the substan
John G. Nicolay, The Outbreak of Rebellion, Chapter 9: Ellsworth. (search)
ict. These changing conditions of Virginia required new precautions for the defence of Washington. As early as May 3d it was ascertained by the local officers and engineers that the Capitol building was only three and a half miles from Arlington Heights on the Virginia side of the river, the Executive Mansion and various department buildings but two and a half, and Georgetown within one mile. The enemy already had a detachment quartered at Alexandria; reinforcements from the South might, nd destroy the Virginia end of the bridges, and, speedily erecting mortar batteries, could destroy the city with bombs, unless they were attacked at a disadvantage and dislodged. It was, therefore, decided that the Union forces must occupy Arlington Heights to insure the safety of the city, though the necessary troops could not as yet be spared from the operations to secure Maryland; and by reason of various delays, three weeks more passed away before the full preparations for the enterprise w
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