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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
Stonewall Jackson (search for this): chapter 9
llan 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. Ttance 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 y illustrates two of the greatest and most distinguishing traits and powers of Jackson as a general: he did not know what demoralization meant, and he never failed tht and felt and proposed to do. In the present instance, not only did all that Jackson said and implied turn out to be true, that McClellan was thinking only of escaossession of them. Stuart at once informed General Lee and received word that Jackson and Longstreet were en route to support him; but again the guides proved incomt 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 spir
Indian Smith (search for this): chapter 9
at one end of the line and then at the other; but the marvel to me was that he lived at all. As to the inclination of his head, all I saw was that instinctive inclination, equally natural under a heavy fire and a heavy rain. When I recalled the scene and the heroic conduct of General , I remember saying to myself, What is the true standard of courage? There were a number of Yale men in the Twenty-first Mississippi, among others two brothers, Jud. and Carey Smith. We used to call Jud. Indian Smith at Yale. I think it was at Savage Station, when the Seventeenth and Twenty-first Mississippi were put into the woods at nightfall and directed to lie down, that Carey Smith, the younger brother, putting his hand in his bosom, found it covered with blood, when he withdrew it, and saying: What does this mean? instantly died. He had been mortally wounded without knowing when. Judson Smith went almost deranged; yes, I think altogether deranged. He bore his dead brother out of the wood
Benjamin Grubb Humphreys (search for this): chapter 9
her mighty well, but they didn't just feel certain whether they wanted him around having prayers so close under the Yankee guns; that he didn't seem to pay hardly enough attention to them things. Colonel Brandon, father of my Yale classmate of that name, who was a captain in the regiment, was lieutenantcolonel of the Twenty-first Mississippi. He was a dignified, majestic-looking officer and a rigid disciplinarian, but an old man and very stout and heavy. I do not recollect whether Colonel Humphreys was present at Malvem Hill, but Brandon certainly went in with his regiment when the brigade, as I remember, unsupported, made repeated quixotic efforts to capture the Federal guns massed on the hill. They were exposed to the fire I have already described, and of course suffered bloody repulse. Colonel Brandon had his ankle shattered while the regiment was advancing in the first charge. On the way back his men proposed to carry him with them to the rear, but he refused. He was sitt
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 simplicity of th
Walter H. Taylor (search for this): chapter 9
ood 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 Jamesss 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 thto Lee, notwithstanding his successful defense at Malvern Hill. The matter will be found circumstantially set out in Colonel Taylor's book, pages 41-44, substantiated and confirmed by a full extract from General Stuart's manuscript of Reports and nost as I have reason to believe, had never been in the region before. Yet, once more. Stuart, glorious Stuart, as Colonel Taylor justly calls him, while his boyish indiscretion in firing into the huddled masses of the enemy from Evelington Height
Tom Carter (search for this): chapter 9
from the wheat and getting rid of some high in command who did not catch the essential spirit of the army or assimilate well with it, or bid fair to add anything of value to it; at the same time this week of continuous battle brought to the front men who had in them stuff out of which heroes are made and who were destined to make names and niches for themselves in the pantheon of this immortal army. Among those in my own branch of the service who came prominently to the front, besides Tom Carter, who never lost the place he made for himself at Seven Pines in the affectionate admiration of the artillery and of the army, were the boy artillerists Pegram and Pelham, both yielding their glorious young lives in the struggle-Pegram at the very end, Pelham but eight months after Malvern Hill. The latter, an Alabamian, was commander of Stuart's horse artillery, devotedly loved and admired by his commanding general, the pride of the cavalry corps, one of the most dashing and brilliant sol
William Smith (search for this): chapter 9
nemy and open at the shortest possible range. He admitted that it seemed deadly, but insisted that it saved 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
Robert Ransom (search for this): chapter 9
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 blanched with the strain, he placed his hand behind his ear, and turning to a member of his staff, said, I think I hear guns. The story was told by one of his own brigadiers, and if anything approximating to it was true, then a great responsibili
George Brinton McClellan (search for this): chapter 9
tillery fire demoralization of Lee's Army McClellan will be gone by daylight the weight of Leenfederate cares to say anything about it. If McClellan had done nothing else in the seven days to s foe, that never got into action at all, and McClellan was permitted to reach and occupy the stronghis way and thus delayed the attack and gave McClellan further time for his dispositions. And whenand due to a defeat then acknowledged by General McClellan himself. The fighting, however, was great degree to the successful stand made by McClellan's retreating army at Malvern Hill. I hav made to understand what was wanted he said: McClellan and his army will be gone by daylight, and wn said and implied turn out to be true, that McClellan was thinking only of escape, and never dreamfortified by an adequate Federal force, and McClellan's army was, for the first time, safe from suhis leaving but 28,000 of 80,000 men between McClellan and Richmond, and with the other 52,000 cros[8 more...]
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