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Alexander Hugh Holmes Stuart (search for this): chapter 9
llan will be gone by daylight the weight of Lee's sword Stuart Pelham Pegram Extra Billy to battle in a trotting su44, substantiated and confirmed by a full extract from General Stuart's manuscript of Reports and notes on the war, and also the Conduct of the war, and is in outline as follows: Stuart, Lee's chief of cavalry, following up McClellan's movement Longstreet was led six or seven miles out of the way, and Stuart, after resisting as long as he could, was compelled to yie had never been in the region before. Yet, once more. Stuart, glorious Stuart, as Colonel Taylor justly calls him, whilStuart, as Colonel Taylor justly calls him, while his boyish indiscretion in firing into the huddled masses of the enemy from Evelington Heights, before informing General Lcompletion and perfection, to the information derived from Stuart's marvelous ride around McClellan's entire army just in adthe imperial intellect of the Commanderin-Chief himself. Stuart was a splendidly endowed cavalry leader, his only fault be
hen, 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 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 simp
ved life in the end. When stricken down he lived long enough to express his views and feelings, briefly but clearly, with regard to both worlds, and there never was a death more soldierly or more Christian. Another, a very different and very racy character, who was a good deal talked about after and in connection with the fighting around Richmond in 1862 was old Extra Billy, ex-Governor William Smith, of Virginia, whom I mentioned as prominent among the Southern members in the Congress of 1859-1860. He was one of the best specimens of the political general, rising ultimately to the rank of major-general; a born politician, twice Governor of the Commonwealth,once before and once after this date,--already beyond the military age, yet one 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 W
ife in the end. When stricken down he lived long enough to express his views and feelings, briefly but clearly, with regard to both worlds, and there never was a death more soldierly or more Christian. Another, a very different and very racy character, who was a good deal talked about after and in connection with the fighting around Richmond in 1862 was old Extra Billy, ex-Governor William Smith, of Virginia, whom I mentioned as prominent among the Southern members in the Congress of 1859-1860. He was one of the best specimens of the political general, rising ultimately to the rank of major-general; a born politician, twice Governor of the Commonwealth,once before and once after this date,--already beyond the military age, yet one 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
January 19th (search for this): chapter 9
e had been carried out, it would not have been, for McClellan would never have reached this position. The third line, of which Lee and Jackson spoke in the interview described in the preceding chapter, was never drawn. The understanding in the army at the time was that Huger and Holmes were to have drawn it, but that their commands lost their way in the almost trackless forest. In an address on The campaigns of Gen. Robert E. Lee, delivered at Washington and Lee University in 1872, on January 19th, Lee's birthday, Gen. Jubal A. Early says: Holmes' command, over six thousand strong, did not actually engage in any of the battles. But Col. Walter H. Taylor, in his Four years with General Lee, published in 1877, already referred to, repeats three times — on pages 51, 53, and 54-that Holmes' command numbered ten thousand or more; and it is obvious, upon a comparison of the two statements, that Early's figures, over six thousand, did not include Ransom's brigade, which numbered thirty-
clearly, with regard to both worlds, and there never was a death more soldierly or more Christian. Another, a very different and very racy character, who was a good deal talked about after and in connection with the fighting around Richmond in 1862 was old Extra Billy, ex-Governor William Smith, of Virginia, whom I mentioned as prominent among the Southern members in the Congress of 1859-1860. He was one of the best specimens of the political general, rising ultimately to the rank of majore occasion he was roused by the laughing outcry, Colonel, you've run us bang up against the fence! Well, then, boys, said the old Governor, looking up and nothing daunted; well, then, of course you'll have to turn around or climb the fence. In 1862 this story was current about him,--though I do not vouch for the truth either of this or of that just related,that he was ordered to carry a work and to take his command through the abattis in front of it, reserving their fire. The regiment start
rk that the entire region which was the theatre of the Seven Days battles is, for the most part, covered by heavy pine forests and cypress swamps, and these traversed by many wood roads, or paths rather, undistinguishable the one from the other. The confusing character of the country is well illustrated by the fact that the last time I went there, with a party of survivors of our old battery, with the view, if possible, of identifying certain positions occupied by our guns in the campaign of 1864, we had two guides born and reared in the neighborhood and who professed to be perfectly familiar with the country and with the positions we desired to find; and yet these men insisted upon leading us astray, and would have done so, but that my recollection and my instinct of locality were so opposed to their views that I simply refused to be misled. Unassisted and unaccompanied I found the first position sought, the rest of the party, with the guides, wandering around for hours and finally
The understanding in the army at the time was that Huger and Holmes were to have drawn it, but that their commands lost their way in the almost trackless forest. In an address on The campaigns of Gen. Robert E. Lee, delivered at Washington and Lee University in 1872, on January 19th, Lee's birthday, Gen. Jubal A. Early says: Holmes' command, over six thousand strong, did not actually engage in any of the battles. But Col. Walter H. Taylor, in his Four years with General Lee, published in 1877, already referred to, repeats three times — on pages 51, 53, and 54-that Holmes' command numbered ten thousand or more; and it is obvious, upon a comparison of the two statements, that Early's figures, over six thousand, did not include Ransom's brigade, which numbered thirty-six hundred. It seems incredible, yet it appears to be true, that General Holmes was very deaf; so deaf that, when heaven and earth were shuddering with the thunder of artillery and the faces of his own men were blan
began, enlisted as a private soldier in a battery raised in the City of Richmond, which he commanded when the Seven Days battles opened, rendering with it signal and distinguished service. Eventually he rose to the rank and command of colonel of artillery, and was recommended for appointment as brigadier-general of infantry, General Lee saying he would find a brigade for him just as soon as he could be spared from the artillery; but meanwhile he fell in battle at Five Forks in the spring of 1865, even then hardly more than a stripling in years. He had always been such a modest, self-contained and almost shrinking youth that his most intimate friends were astonished at his rapid development and promotion; but it was one of those strongly-marked cases where war seemed to be the needed and almost the native air of a young man. He was, in some respects, of the type of Stonewall Jackson, and like him combined the strongest Christian faith and the deepest spirituality with the most int
June 20th, 1862 AD (search for this): chapter 9
rojecting root of a large tree and jerking him up; when on the instant a shell tore to pieces the root upon which he had been seated, and yet he sank down again but a step or two from the spot. It was the first battle in which members of the company had been killed outright. The wonder is that any survived who were working these three pieces; but I suppose it is to be accounted for by the fact that the guns were quickly disabled and put out of action. According to his own report of June 20, 1862, McClellan had three hundred and forty pieces of field artillery. I see no reason for doubting that a very large proportion of these were massed upon Malvern Hill. Nothing human can long withstand the fire of such a mass of artillery concentrated, as the Federal guns at Malvern Hill were, upon very short attacking lines of infantry. Colonel Taylor says divisions were marched forward at different times, each attacking independently and each in turn repulsed. I think it was even worse
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