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Ambrose Ransom Wright (search for this): chapter 9
his folly, and so he jeered back at them, telling them good-by, but saying he'd be back in a minute --as he actually was, riding, bareback and blind bridle, and passing right ahead with the troops. I have heard of following a fox hunt in one of these sulkies, but I venture to say this is the very first time a man ever entered battle in one. It will at once occur to the reader as remarkable that father was not arrested. He was, a few days later, at Malvern Hill, by order of Gen. Rans. Wright, of Georgia, and a staff officer, as I recollect, of General Armistead, told me that he was directed to arrest him on one of the earlier battle-fields of the Seven Days, and made the attempt; that up to that time he had regarded himself as a pretty daring rider and scout, but that father, whom he did not then know, led him such a chase as he had never before had, and that he returned to his general and reported that he didn't believe there was any harm in that old fellow, though he was cert
of the most devoted and enthusiastic soldiers in the service. As a soldier he was equally distinguished for personal intrepidity and contempt for what he called tactics and for educated and trained soldiers, whom he was wont to speak of as those West P'int fellows. It is said he used to drill his regiment at Manassas, sitting cross-legged on the top of an old Virginia snake fence, with a blue cotton umbrella over his head and reading the orders from a book. On one occasion he was roused bycally. At last they appealed to him, Colonel, we can't stand this, these Yankees will kill us all before we get in a shot. It was all the old hero wanted and he blazed forth: Of course you can't stand it, boys; it's all this infernal tactics and West P'int tomfoolery. Damn it, fire! and flush the game! And they did, and drove out the sharpshooters and carried the work. My own dear father is one of the prominent figures in my recollections of that summer about Richmond. He was fond of h
Virginians (search for this): chapter 9
f the most prominent generals say that it was their belief my father had seen more of the fighting of the Seven Days, from start to finish, than any other one man in or out of the army. I was of course deeply anxious about him, but he could not be controlled, and my belief was then, and is now, that the Federal skirmishers often refrained from firing upon him simply because they did not care at the time to expose their position. Many of our soldiers knew him, especially the Georgians, Virginians and Mississippians. Georgia was his native State. In his early days he had done a great deal of evangelistic work in all parts of it, and many young men and boys in the army had heard their parents speak of him. I remember one evening, after a most impressive sermon to Cobb's or Cummings' brigade, overhearing a lot of soldiers talking at a spring, when one of them, anxious to appear a little more familiarly acquainted with the preacher than the rest, said, I've heard my mother talk of th
Richmond (Virginia, United States) (search for this): chapter 9
we were attached, lost his way and thus delayed the attack and gave McClellan further time for his dispositions. And when at last we did attack, it was in a disconnected and desultory fashion, which even to a private soldier seemed to promise no good result. But I cannot give a fairer or better idea of our view of the battle than by quoting from pages 48, 49 of Colonel Taylor's admirable book: From these extracts I think it will be clear to the candid reader that the retreat to the James River was a compulsory one, and due to a defeat then acknowledged by General McClellan himself. The fighting, however, was not invariably attended with success to the Confederates; notably, the defense of Malvern Hill by the Federals was in favor of the latter, which result was as much due to the mismanagement of the Confederate troops as to the naturally strong position occupied by the Federals and their gallantry in its defense. Considerable delay was occasioned in the pursuit from th
Washington (United States) (search for this): chapter 9
one month from the day he took command of an army with which he had had no previous personal connection, Lee had completely secured its confidence and correctly estimated its capabilities, had conceived and perfected his great plan and every detail essential to its successful execution, had begun to put it into operation and actually delivered his first great blow; when we note further that within a week after that blow was struck Richmond was entirely relieved and within a few weeks more Washington was in serious peril, and the United States Government had called for three hundred thousand more men; when, we say, all this is considered, we may well ask when did the weight of one great Captain's sword, only this and nothing more, cause the scales of war to dip with such a determined, downward sag? One of the most important features of these seven days of battle was that it was the first prolonged wrestle of the Army of Northern Virginia, the struggle that really gave birth to that
Lexington, Va. (Virginia, United States) (search for this): chapter 9
I do not know of any general officer in the army, save one, who did not entertain the gloomiest forebodings, and I recall hearing at the time, or rather a day or so afterwards, substantially the same story of that one which within the last few years and a short time before his own death was related by Dr. Hunter McGuire, Jackson's medical director, a man whom of all men he loved and trusted next after his great chief, Robert Lee. I quote from an address first delivered by Doctor McGuire at Lexington, but repeated several times afterwards by special request: At Malvern Hill, when a portion of our army was beaten and to some extent demoralized, Hill and Ewell and Early came to tell him that they could make no resistance if McClellan attacked them in the morning. It was difficult to wake General Jackson, as he was exhausted and very sound asleep. I tried it myself, and after many efforts, partly succeeded. When he was made to understand what was wanted he said: McClellan and his a
South Carolina (South Carolina, United States) (search for this): chapter 9
when one of them, anxious to appear a little more familiarly acquainted with the preacher than the rest, said, I've heard my mother talk of the old Doctor many a time. I reckon the old fellow's given me many a dose of physic for croup. An incident occurred, on or near the Nine-Mile road, some time before the week of battle opened which is strongly illustrative at once of my father's faith and of the childlike simplicity of the great bulk of our soldiery. Two companies, I think from South Carolina, were supporting a section of our battery in an advanced and somewhat isolated position. About the middle of the afternoon father drove down from Richmond, and after he had distributed his provisions and talked with us a while, proposed to have prayers, which was readily acceded to. Quite a number of men from the neighboring commands gathered, and just as we knelt and my father began his petitions the batteries across the way sent two or three shells entirely too close to our heads to b
Mississippi (Mississippi, United States) (search for this): chapter 9
e, allowing no one to comfort him or even to speak to him. So that night he lay down alone, not accepting the proffered sympathy and ministrations of his friends, and resumed his solitary march in the morning. That was Malvern Hill day, and when the regiment, on its first charge, stopped ascending that fearful slope of death and turned back, Jud. Smith did not stop. He went right on, never returned and was never seen or heard of again. The family was one of wealth and position in Mississippi, the father an old man, and having only these two boys. When he heard of the loss of both almost in one day he left home, joined Price's army as a private soldier, and at Iuka did just as his eldest son had done at Malvern Hill, which was the last ever seen or heard of him, and the family became extinct. Walking over the field of Malvern Hill the morning after the battle, I saw two young Federal soldiers lying dead, side by side, their heads upon the same knapsack and their arms abou
Georgia (Georgia, United States) (search for this): chapter 9
but I venture to say this is the very first time a man ever entered battle in one. It will at once occur to the reader as remarkable that father was not arrested. He was, a few days later, at Malvern Hill, by order of Gen. Rans. Wright, of Georgia, and a staff officer, as I recollect, of General Armistead, told me that he was directed to arrest him on one of the earlier battle-fields of the Seven Days, and made the attempt; that up to that time he had regarded himself as a pretty daring en, and is now, that the Federal skirmishers often refrained from firing upon him simply because they did not care at the time to expose their position. Many of our soldiers knew him, especially the Georgians, Virginians and Mississippians. Georgia was his native State. In his early days he had done a great deal of evangelistic work in all parts of it, and many young men and boys in the army had heard their parents speak of him. I remember one evening, after a most impressive sermon to Co
Malvern Hill (Virginia, United States) (search for this): chapter 9
Chapter 9: Malvern Hill and the effect of the Seven Days battles Not a Confederate victoourage. I have said nothing as yet about Malvern Hill. No Confederate cares to say anything abouo the Confederates; notably, the defense of Malvern Hill by the Federals was in favor of the latter, large proportion of these were massed upon Malvern Hill. Nothing human can long withstand the firillery concentrated, as the Federal guns at Malvern Hill were, upon very short attacking lines of intimes afterwards by special request: At Malvern Hill, when a portion of our army was beaten and , notwithstanding his successful defense at Malvern Hill. The matter will be found circumstantiallyy, following up McClellan's movements after Malvern Hill, from the heights above Westover, overlookenot arrested. He was, a few days later, at Malvern Hill, by order of Gen. Rans. Wright, of GeorgiaIuka did just as his eldest son had done at Malvern Hill, which was the last ever seen or heard of h[4 more...]
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