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General James Longstreet, From Manassas to Appomattox, Chapter 7: Seven Pines, or Fair Oaks. (search)
g on my line of march, and rode into the enemy's lines. This accident gave the enemy the first warning of approaching danger; it was misleading, however, as it caused General Keyes to look for the attack by the Nine Miles road. The storms had flooded the flat lands, and the waters as they fell seemed weary of the battle of the elements, and inclined to have a good rest on the soft bed of sand which let them gently down to the substratum of clay; or it may have been the purpose of kind Providence to so intermix the upper and lower strata as to interpose serious barriers to the passing of artillery, and thus break up the battle of men. My march by the Nine Miles and lateral roads leading across to the Williamsburg road was interrupted by the flooded grounds about the head of Gillis Creek. At the same time this creek was bank full, where it found a channel for its flow into the James. The delay of an hour to construct a bridge was preferred to the encounter of more serious obst
General James Longstreet, From Manassas to Appomattox, Chapter 20: review of the Maryland campaign. (search)
seventeen brigades that should be at Turner's Pass, on the right rear of a column, moving against Crampton's. The razing of the walls of Jericho by encircling marches of priests and soldiers, at the signal of long-drawn blasts of sacred horns and shouts of the multitude, was scarcely a greater miracle than the transformation of the conquering army of the South into a horde of disordered fugitives before an army that two weeks earlier was flying to cover under its homeward ramparts. Providence helps those who can avail themselves of His tender care, but permits those who will to turn from Him to their own arrogance. That His gracious hand was with the Confederates in their struggles on the Chickahominy, and even through the errors of the Bull Run campaign, cannot be questioned. When, however, in self-confidence, they lost sight of His helping hand, and in contempt of the enemy dispersed the army, they were given up to the reward of vainglory. That the disaster was not overwh
General James Longstreet, From Manassas to Appomattox, Chapter 29: the wave rolls back. (search)
d getting worse. We could only keep three or four torches alight, and those were dimmed at times when heavy rains came. Then, to crown our troubles, a load of the wounded came down, missed the end of the bridge, and plunged the wagon into the raging torrent. Right at the end of the bridge the water was three feet deep, and the current swift and surging. It did not seem possible that a man could be saved, but every one who could get through the mud and water rushed to their relief, and Providence was there to bring tears of joy to the sufferers. The wagon was righted and on the bridge and rolled off to Virginia's banks. The ground under the poles became so puddled before daylight that they would bend under the wheels and feet of the animals until they could bend no farther, and then would occasionally slip to one side far enough to spring up and catch a horse's foot and throw him broadside in the puddled mud. Under the trials and vexations every one was exhausted of patience, the