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Heros von Borcke, Memoirs of the Confederate War for Independence, Chapter 11: (search)
e autumnal sunshine, and all the quietude of the Christian Sabbath, till, instead of the sweet church-bells from the neighbouring village calling us to the house of God, we caught the summons to the field in the rattle of musketry and the roar of cannon. It would have been exceptional, indeed, if, confronting the enemy so closely, we had not been compelled to fight on this day of rest, for it is remarkable that many of the most important and sanguinary engagements of the war in America-Chancellorsville and others — were fought on Sunday. The enemy commenced his attack on us at an early hour with great vigour. A double line of tirailleurs advanced in excellent order; four batteries opened upon our guns from different points; the air shook with the continuous roar of the cannonade; on every side the bullets buzzed like infuriated insects; on the whole, the outward signs were rather those of a great battle than of a mere cavalry combat. This day the enemy's artillery was admirably
Heros von Borcke, Memoirs of the Confederate War for Independence, Chapter 20: (search)
ers. We learned from these prisoners that the force consisted of three corps d'armee-the 5th, 11th, and 12th; that their destination was Germana Ford and Chancellorsville; and that their cavalry, under General Stoneman's command, was to march towards Culpepper Court-house. In accordance with this information General Stuart reode on again through the darkness. We were marching along the plank-road, which, coming from Orange Court-house, strikes across that leading from Germana to Chancellorsville, at a small village called the Wilderness, when at that point the Federal army, already in motion, came in sight. The day being just breaking we attacked witial defeat, they abandoned altogether. The main body of the Federal army, numbering about 100,000 men, had in the meanwhile centred in the neighbourhood of Chancellorsville, the three corps coming from the Rapidan having united with those which had crossed the Rappahannock at United States and Banks Ford. A strong force still r
Heros von Borcke, Memoirs of the Confederate War for Independence, Chapter 22: (search)
our immediate front towards the plateau and open fields round Chancellorsville, a village consisting of only a few houses. The Federals had which were playing on the narrow plank-road. This plateau of Chancellorsville rises abruptly about three hundred yards from the skirts of th rapid flight from the woods to their redoubts on the hills of Chancellorsville. A slight pause now intervened in the conflict, both sides emerged from the forest into the open opposite the plateau of Chancellorsville, such a storm of canister and bullets, that for a while it seedirection of United States Ford, as far as about a mile beyond Chancellorsville, where another strong line of intrenchments offered their protd the hostile forces were pressing forward in the direction of Chancellorsville. This startling intelligence, rendering our position now a veg and dreary night. It so chanced that, during our advance on Chancellorsville, I had discovered, among other luxuries, a box of excellent ca
Heros von Borcke, Memoirs of the Confederate War for Independence, Chapter 23: (search)
s now entirely beyond our reach. This, of course, completely altered the plans of our General; and as we were then not far from Orange Court-house, where our trains had been ordered to assemble, and we were sure to find supplies both for man and beast, thither, after a short rest, it was determined to march. None more than myself welcomed the order to halt, for the only charger I had now left was completely broken down, and my servant Henry, leading a Yankee horse I had captured after Chancellorsville, was still far off. Badly off as I was in this particular, I was delighted to hear of a magnificent horse for sale at a plantation in Louisa County; and permission having been readily granted me by General Stuart, I set off thither, accompanied by one of our couriers as a guide, and a few hours later the command continued its march towards Orange. On reaching my destination, I found the animal far exceeded all my expectations. He was a tall thoroughbred bay, of beautiful form and act
Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, The Passing of the Armies: The Last Campaign of the Armies., Chapter 4: Five Forks. (search)
surely, and amazing. All the repressed feeling of our hearts sprang out towards him. We were ready to blame ourselves if we had been in any way the cause of his trouble. But we thought we had borne a better part than that. We had had a taste of his style of fighting, and we liked it. In some respects it was different from ours; although this was not a case to test all qualities. We had formed some habits of fighting too. Most of us there had been through Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Mine Run, the Wilderness, Spottsylvania, Cold Harbor, Bethesda Church, the North Anna, Petersburg:we had formed habits. We went into a fight with knowledge of what it meant and what was to be done. We went at things with dogged resolution; not much show; not much flare; not much accompaniment of brass instruments. But we could give credit to more brilliant things. We could see how this voice and vision, this swing and color, this vivid impression on the senses, carried
Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, The Passing of the Armies: The Last Campaign of the Armies., Chapter 5: the week of flying fights. (search)
rmy of the Potomac,--so taunted with not moving,--urged on to Richmond with the spur, but held to cover Washington with the curb, hitherto forced by something in the rear to stand still after our victories, and by something we did not understand to draw back from some of our best-fought fields. Yet it had been so managed that at the worst the enemy seldom got sight of our backs. For our part, we had come off in good order from Bull Run and Fredericksburg in ‘62, and equally well from Chancellorsville in ‘63, and from all the long series of terrible drawn battles from the Rapidan to the James in ‘64. And we had many times seen the rebel army retiring in good order from great disaster; for Lee showed his best generalship in the defensive, his best manhood and humanity in orderly retreat. But we had never seen anything like this. Now we realized the effects of Grant's permission to push things, --some of these things being ourselves. But the manifest results on others helped our sp<
Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, The Passing of the Armies: The Last Campaign of the Armies., Chapter 6: Appomattox. (search)
em to their lips with burning tears. And only the Flag of the Union greets the sky! What visions thronged as we looked into each other's eyes! Here pass the men of Antietam, the Bloody Lane, the Sunken Road, the Cornfield, the Burnside-Bridge; the men whom Stonewall Jackson on the second night at Fredericksburg begged Lee to let him take and crush the two corps of the Army of the Potomac huddled in the streets in darkness and confusion; the men who swept away the Eleventh Corps at Chancellorsville; who left six thousand of their companions around the bases of Culp's and Cemetery Hills at Gettysburg; these survivors of the terrible Wilderness, the Bloody-Angle at Spottsylvania, the slaughter pen of Cold Harbor, the whirlpool of Bethesda Church! Here comes Cobb's Georgia Legion, which held the stone wall on Marye's Heights at Fredericksburg, close before which we piled our dead for breastworks so that the living might stay and live. Here too come Gordon's Georgians and Hoke
Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, The Passing of the Armies: The Last Campaign of the Armies., Chapter 7: the return of the Army. (search)
tournaments of the reorganized cavalry; the sword presentations with their afterglow; the Ladies' days --Princess Salm-Salm the Valkyrie, the witching Washington belles, strange new colors flying, sweet forms grouped around tent doors, lithe in the saddle; days so bright and nights so silver toned,--lenesque sub noctem susurri,where are you, forms and souls, men and women, where in these days of stern rejoicing triumph, but so forlorn? Then days of the Adversary: the Mud March; tragic Chancellorsville; and dreary return to dull Stoneman's Switch and dolorous smallpox hospital-they, too, stood for something as prelude to the Gettysburg campaign. This is the procession that passes as we pass. Pensively we crossed the Aquia Creek, old debouchure from Washington of all that food for death, and of the spectral gayeties of what is called life. Plunging now into lower levels we found a hard road to travel, and crossing the Choppawamsic and Quantico, we went down with the sun in dreary b
Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, The Passing of the Armies: The Last Campaign of the Armies., Chapter 9: the last review. (search)
read, and already half-loosened, and ready to cut free and swing from the touch of that fateful shore? And what of that rear-guard covering the retreat from Chancellorsville in 1863, seeking the bridge-end in utter blackness of darkness and driving storm of rain and rushing river, not finding it because the swelling torrent was re of Porter's old division of Yorktown, and Morell's at Gaines' Mill and Malvern Hill. These are of the men I stood with at Antietam and Fredericksburg, and Chancellorsville and Gettysburg. Of that regiment — the 20th Maine--a third were left on the slopes of Round Top, and a third again in the Wilderness, at Spottsylvania, the Over them far floats the mirage-like vision of them on the Peninsula, and then at Bristow, Manassas, and Chantilly, and again the solid substance of them at Chancellorsville, and on the stormy front from the Plumb Run gorge to the ghastly Peach Orchard, where the earth shone red with the bright facings of their brave Zouaves thic
ting shell, he would hum his gay songs. In Culpeper the infantry were electrified by the laughter and singing of Stuart as he led them in the charge; and at Chancellorsville, where he commanded Jackson's corps after that great man's fall, the infantry veterans as they swept on, carrying line after line of breastworks at the pointate authorities to place him in command of a corps of infantry. Upon the question of his capacity, in this sphere, there will probably be many opinions. At Chancellorsville, when he succeeded Jackson, the troops, although quite enthusiastic about him, complained that he had led them too recklessly against artillery; and it is ha their chosen leader; but, better still, the eyes of Lee and Jackson were fixed on him with fullest confidence. Jackson said, when his wound disabled him at Chancellorsville, and Stuart succeeded him: Go back to General Stuart and tell him to act upon his own judgment, and do what he thinks best — I have implicit confidence in hi
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