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Gaines Mill (Virginia, United States) (search for this): chapter 21
illed and one wounded, while directing, if I remember rightly, the fire of this gun and the one next to it. After the fight it was necessary for some purpose to tip this gun, when a quantity of lead, exactly how much I would not like to say, but I should think more than a handful, poured out of the muzzle upon the ground. The gun carriage, with two of its wheels, was carried into Richmond and hung up in the arsenal as an evidence of what musketry fire might be and do. Dr. Gaines, of Gaines' Mill, whom I knew very well, had the other wheel carried to his house. I saw it there a few years later. The hub and tire had actually fallen apart. A brief epitome of some of the salient features and results of the campaign of 1864, from the Wilderness to Cold Harbor, inclusive, may not be devoid of interest. The campaign covered, say sixty miles of space and thirty days of time. General Lee had a little under 64,000 men of all arms present for duty at the outset, and he put hors d
three life and death pictures of Cold Harbor of 1864. The reader may recall our Old Doctor, the chief of our ambulance corps, who helped to rally the Texans and Georgians on the 10th of May at Spottsylvania, first exhorting them as gentlemen, then berating and belaboring them as cowards. No man who was ever in the Howitzers but will appreciate the grim absurdity of this man's feeling a lack of confidence in his own nerve and courage; but he did feel it. When the war broke out he was in Europe enjoying himself, but returned to his native State, serving first in some, as he considered it, non-combatant position, until that became unendurable to him, and then he joined the Howitzers as a private soldier; and that final flurry of the 10th of May was the first real fight he ever got into. Hearing someone say just as it was over that it had been pretty hot work, he asked with the greatest earnestness whether the speaker really meant what he said, and when assured that he did, he asked
South Carolina (South Carolina, United States) (search for this): chapter 21
ened to be stormy, young McCarthy had better go home and get some proper wraps and protections and meet him at an appointed place and time. As the boy reached home, or soon after, an ambulance drove up to the door and his Cousin Dan and the South Carolina soldier bore the captain's body into the house. As soon as they had deposited it and helped the family to arrange it as they desired, Dan kissed his uncle, aunt, and cousins, and was bidding them good-by, when the old gentleman made signs fot of the best material and fitted perfectly his perfect figure. His thin skin, his blue veins, his small, finely-formed hands and feet, his beautiful manners-everything, in fact-indicated that he was the scion of a noble house, the flower of South Carolina chivalry. In short, he was the most thoroughbred and aristocratic-looking thing any of us had seen for many a day. Compared with the rest of us and in the midst of our surroundings, he glowed like a fair seraph. After a while he warned
Bethlehem (Pennsylvania, United States) (search for this): chapter 21
around the angle of the work, and there lay poor Scott, prone in the ditch and almost covered with canteens. We picked him up and bore him tenderly into the trench, and, as we laid him down and composed his limbs, manly tears dropped upon his still face. Each man disengaged and took his own canteen from the slumbering water-carrier. We did not pour the water out to the Lord, as David did when the three mightiest brake through the host of the Philistines and drew water out of the well of Bethlehem that was by the gate --albeit, in a truer sense than David spoke, this water was the very blood of this man. It was about six o'clock in the evening of one of the days that followed close upon the great fight that there befell the company the very saddest loss it had yet experienced. An order had come to Captain McCarthy, from General Alexander, commanding the artillery corps, directing that the effect of the fire of several Howitzers, which were operating as mortars, from a position i
Chancellorsville (Virginia, United States) (search for this): chapter 21
t the outset, had less than 50,000 effectives of all arms under his command. It is not my purpose to accentuate this contrast in any unfair or unpleasant way, and yet an intelligent soldier of the Army of Northern Virginia, who fought at Chancellorsville in 1863, and again from the Rapidan to Cold Harbor in 1864, cannot but set opposite to the picture just sketched that of Lee holding the front of Hooker's 92,000 with scant 14,000 muskets, while with about one-third (1-3) his numbers he utteeat host. It should not be forgotten in this connection, and in endeavoring to form a just estimate of Lee's operations throughout this campaign of 1864, that in the death of Jackson, Lee had lost his great offensive right arm, to which, at Chancellorsville and theretofore, he had looked to carry into execution his confounding strategies and his overpowering, resistless attacks. This last suggestion was made as bearing upon a just and balanced view of the campaign in general, as well as an
California (California, United States) (search for this): chapter 21
nable to suppose that when he attacked at the Bloody Angle or at Cold Harbor, he really contemplated the siege of Petersburg and regarded those operations as merely preparatory? Is it not true that, years later, Grant said-looking back over his long career of bloody fights — that Cold Harbor was the only battle he ever fought that he would not fight over again under the same circumstances? Is it not true that when first urged, as President, to remove a certain Democratic officeholder in California, and later, when urged to give a reason for his refusal, he replied that the man had been a standardbearer in the Army of the Potomac, and that he wouldallow something very unpleasant to happen to him-before he would remove the only man in his army who even attempted to obey his order to attack a second time at Cold Harbor? Is it not true that General Meade said the Confederacy came nearer to winning recognition at Cold Harbor than at any other period during the war? Is it not true that,
Spottsylvania (Virginia, United States) (search for this): chapter 21
s thus stretched, let me paint for you two or three life and death pictures of Cold Harbor of 1864. The reader may recall our Old Doctor, the chief of our ambulance corps, who helped to rally the Texans and Georgians on the 10th of May at Spottsylvania, first exhorting them as gentlemen, then berating and belaboring them as cowards. No man who was ever in the Howitzers but will appreciate the grim absurdity of this man's feeling a lack of confidence in his own nerve and courage; but he did followed, when, for example, its huge adversary overlapped it upon one flank or upon both; or even turned its flank and took it in reverse — a thing which actually happened at least once in this campaign, when Hancock, on the 10th of May, at Spottsylvania, marched clean and clear around our left flank, and even, for a time, drove us in the fighting there. The men in our line fully appreciated what was happening, and yet there was not the slightest trepidation. Billy chanced to be standing ne
New England (United States) (search for this): chapter 21
re in another corps, when he would be buried. These young men walked into town, attended the funeral, and walked out again to their posts the same night, and in a very short time the lad who had been his father's nurse was regularly mustered into the company to which his elder brothers belonged. Such was death, and also life, in the devoted city back of the lines. My younger brother was a great favorite in the company. As before stated, he had been a sailor, and as we had come from New England to Virginia, he was nicknamed Skipper. He had a beautiful tenor voice and a unique repertoire of songs from almost every clime and country. Whenever Skipper deigned to sing, the Professor, the trainer of the Glee Club, would enforce absolute silence throughout the camp, under penalty of a heavy battery of maledictions. The day after Captain McCarthy's death, my brother, being in almost the exact position the captain occupied when killed, was shot in the left temple, and fell just wh
Chesterfield (Virginia, United States) (search for this): chapter 21
r-captain sprang to his side, and placing his hand on the poor lad's shoulder, said confidently: No, my child; you are not alone, for the Bible says: When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up; and Allen was both father and mother to you; besides, I am going to take you up, too; you shall sleep under my blanket to-night. There was not a dry eye in the group; and when, months afterwards, the whole battalion gathered on a quiet sabbath evening, on the banks of Swift Creek, to witness a baptism, and Calloway, at the water's edge, tenderly handed this child to the officiating minister, and receiving him again when the ceremony was over, threw a blanket about the little shivering form, carried him into a thicket, changed his clothing, and then reappeared, carrying the bundle of wet clothes, and he and the child walked away, hand in hand, to camp-then there were more tears, manly, ennobling tears, and the sergeant laid his hand on my shoulder and said, Faith,
Joseph Brevard Kershaw (search for this): chapter 21
t in these words: Meantime the enemy is heavily massed in front of Kershaw's salient. Anderson's, Law's, and Gregg's brigades are there to support Kershaw. Assault after assault is made, and each time repulsed with severe loss to the enemy. At eight o'clock A. M., fourteen had b will to-day be admitted by all that there was but one attack upon Kershaw up to eight A. M., and that at that hour the order was issued to tery. A little after daylight on June 3, 1864, along the lines of Kershaw's salient, his infantry discharged their bullets and his artillerys; but let me show what all this meant to the people at home. General Kershaw very willingly furnished Dan an ambulance and a man from his oas fulfilled his pledge to that boy! In one of the regiments of Kershaw's old brigade, which was supporting our guns at Cold Harbor, were old this story of his Cold Harbor lines and his old brigade to General Kershaw, when Gen. Joseph E. Johnston happened to be sitting near. It
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