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Lincoln, at his request, a history of the Revolutionary War, of which he read a good portion. He told me to remain during the trial until I had heard his address to the jury. For, said he, I am going to skin Wright, and get that money back. The only witness we introduced was the old lady, who through her tears told her story. In his speech to the jury, Lincoln recounted the causes leading to the outbreak of the Revolutionary struggle, and then drew a vivid picture of the hardships of Valley Forge, describing with minuteness the men, barefooted and with bleeding feet, creeping over the ice. As he reached that point in his speech wherein he narrated the hardened action of the defendant in fleecing the old woman of her pension his eyes flashed, and throwing aside his handkerchief, which he held in his right hand, he fairly launched into him. His speech for the next five or ten minutes justified the declaration of Davis, that he was hurtful in denunciation and merciless in castigation
he traitorous wretch, with lightning in each eye. Thou art the heart of all this mighty land! Thou art the soul of freedom and of right! Thou art our ruler; at thy high command The people raise their voice to praise or blight. Thine is the arm of law and warring might, The all that is American thou art! And if in foreign war or civil fight, Columbia's arm will shield her noble heart, The fierce and bloody strife will but new strength impart. Where art thou, mighty one, whose noble form At Valley Forge, was bowed in fervent prayer? That never bowed before the battle's storm, But humbly sought the God of battles there; Then sought the British lion in his lair? And when at Princeton, on the cheeks of those Thy countrymen — thou saw'st by morning's glare A blanching! Then thy mighty form uprose, With flaming eye and cheek, and led them to their foes. Dost thou not from the spirit-land above, Watch thy proud child of freedom, and behold, With kind remembrance and undying love, Thy Governme
me to me! No! No Confed'racy I crave Save this, which, when we first were free, Our great and wise forefathers gave. Away the wild, delusive thought, A gift like this should prove for naught! 'Twas for no slight and transient grief In council met that patriot band; But long they bore; in vain relief They sought from “dear Old Mother-land,” Ere schemes of Independence laid, And gained it, after, by the blade. 'Twas for no small, contracted State, At Lexington that first blood flowed,-- At Valley Forge that shoeless feet Distained with gore the snows they trod; And that on Camden's burning plain Brave hearts withstood the iron rain. Shame not the memories of the men! 'Twas not for this that Henry spoke,-- Grasped Jefferson his cunning pen, And Washington his falchion took; That seven long years our grandsires bore The fortunes of a doubtful war. 'Twas that one glorious ensign still Should o'er one wide Republic wave, Whose deeds of peace the world should fill-- One nation, generous, jus
the drops wherewith that ancient green was reddened-- It is six and eighty years this very day. Six and eighty years-and it seemed but a memory-- Little left of all that glory — so we thought-- Only the old fire-locks hung on farm-house chimneys, And rude blades the village blacksmith wrought. Only here and there a white head that remembers How the Frocks of Homespun stood against King George-- How the hard hands stretched them o'er the scanty embers When the sleet and snow came down at Valley Forge. Ah me, how long we lay, in quiet and in error, Till the Snake shot from the coil he had folded on our hearth-- Till the Dragon-Fangs had sprouted, o'erhatched of hate and terror, And hell, in armed legions, seemed bursting from the earth. Once more, dear Brother-State! thy pure, brave blood baptizes Our last and noblest struggle for freedom and for right-- It fell on the cruel stones!-but an awful Nation rises In the glory of its conscience, and the splendor of its might. H. H. B. --H
ord in hand, and putting to rout the veteran German troops which defended them; and with what firmness he maintained this post, which he had so gallantly gained, notwithstanding the utmost efforts to dislodge him. This action compelled the enemy to change his position, and the field was then open for Gen. Gates to surround and capture his whole army. On the surrender of Burgoyne, Col. Brooks was ordered to join the army under Gen. Washington, and soon after went into winter quarters at Valley Forge, and, in common with the army, suffered all those privations and hardships, which required more heroism to endure than the most severe and bloody battles. How great are our obligations to those wonderful patriots, whom neither nakedness nor disease, nor famine, nor the sword, could dishearten! To follow our hero through all his valuable and laborious military services would be to give a minute history of our Revolutionary War; for there was scarcely any important services performed in
c, was a problem to challenge the military genius of the century. Fresh from his victories in the mountains of West Virginia, imbued with the spirit of Carnot, that military discipline is the glory of the soldier and the strength of armies, General George Brinton McClellan began the task of transmuting the raw and untutored regiments into fighting men who were to bear the brunt of the conflict, until the victory should be theirs at Appomattox. Never, since the days of Baron Steuben at Valley Forge, had the American citizen soldier received such tuition in the art of war. It was a gigantic attempt; but with the flower of the youth of the North, the winning personality of a popular and efficient commander, in whom lived the enthusiasm of the creator and master whose soul was in his work — all deeply imbued with patriotism — there sprang up as if by magic, in the vacant fields about the capital city, battalions of infantry, batteries of artillery, and squadrons of cavalry. Washingt
Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 10. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), Tribute to the Confederate dead. (search)
eet to press its sacred soil; for in that day God came down and talked with Moses in the mount, and gave to them that law that is the basis of the truth and right and justice that to-day prevail throughout Christendom. And so with us, in that seven years struggle that made us a nation. It was well worth twice ten years of peaceful life to have lived and labored with Washington, to have fought at Bunker's Hill and Saratoga, at Princeton and Yorktown, and to have suffered and endured at Valley Forge. But it may be said that these gained and ours lost. Well, be it so. Were the lives of ours, therefore, wasted, and did our dead die in vain? As well say so of the martys, whose blood was the seed of the church. And, drawing reverently the parallel, when Jesus died in agony and ignominy, Pilate and Herod lived. In that eclipse of the God-man, was his cause lost? Why, in three centuries he became the world's master, his name ruling that empire whose subordinate official had deliver
Edward Porter Alexander, Military memoirs of a Confederate: a critical narrative, Chapter 4: Yorktown and Williamsburg (search)
ints, the crowded ranks in the trenches had to either sit or crouch behind the parapet, in water up to their knees, from daylight until darkness permitted one to rise upright or to step outside of the trench. The only rest at night was to sleep in the universal mud and water. Although the men in the worst locations were relieved as often as possible, an unusual amount of sickness resulted. Gen. D. H. Hill wrote in his official report:— Our Revolutionary sires did not suffer more at Valley Forge than did our army at Yorktown, and in the retreat from it. Notwithstanding the rain, mud, cold, hunger, watching, and fatigue I never heard a murmur or witnessed an act of insubordination. The want of discipline manifested itself only in straggling which was and still is the curse of our army. This monstrous evil can only be corrected by a more rigid government and a sterner system of punishment than have yet been introduced into our service. During our stay here a reorganization of
nsisted of 7,754 men present fit for duty, including one regiment of artillery. Their arms were in a wretched condition. Of nearly 1,400 muskets, the firelocks were bad; more than 800 had none at all; and 3,827--more than half the whole number of infantry — had no bayonets. Of the militia who had been called for, only 800 had joined the camp. With this force Washington was expected to defend an extended line of territory against an army of about 30,000 men. During the encampment at Valley Forge a committee of Congress spent some time with Washington in arranging a plan for the reorganization of the army. By it each battalion of foot, officers included, was to consist of 582 men, arranged in nine companies; the battalion of horse and artillery to be one-third smaller. This would have given the army 60.000 men; but, in reality, it never counted more than half that number. General Greene was appointed quartermaster-general; Jeremiah Wadsworth, of Connecticut, commissary-general;
Harper's Encyclopedia of United States History (ed. Benson Lossing), Lafayette, Marie Jean Paul Roch Yves Gilbert Motier, Marquis de 1757- (search)
try for some distance around Philadelphia in the spring of 1778, Washington sent him out from Valley Forge, with about 2,100 men and five pieces of artillery, to cut off all communication between Philcity. Lafayette crossed the Schuylkill, and took post at Barren Hill, about half-way between Valley Forge and Philadelphia, occupying the Lutheran church there as headquarters. General Howe sent Gener, of Gates's campaign in the north, and the establishment of the melancholy headquarters at Valley Forge.] Notwithstanding the success in the north, the situation of the Americans had never beenope, abundantly supplied with everything they could require, consisted of 18,000 men: that of Valley Forge was successively reduced to 5,000 men; and two marches on the fine Lancaster road (on which rss. In addition to the difficulties which lasted during the whole of the war the winter of Valley Forge recalls others still more painful. At Yorktown, behind the Susquehanna, Congress was divided
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