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Chapter 3: in Memoriam

The ruined bridge at Bull Run on the heights above, young Pelham, hero of Randall's poem following, won his first laurels



Just as the spring came laughing through the strife,
With all its gorgeous cheer,
In the bright April of historic life
Fell the great cannoneer.

The wondrous lulling of a hero's breath
His bleeding country weeps;
Hushed, in the alabaster arms of Death,
Our young Marcellus sleeps.

Nobler and grander than the child of Rome,
Curbing his chariot steeds,
The knightly scion of a Southern home
Dazzled the land with deeds.

Gentlest and bravest in the battle's brunt—
The Champion of the Truth—
He bore his banner in the very front
Of our immortal youth.

A clang of sabres 'mid Virginian snow,
The fiery pang of shells—
And there's a wail of immemorial woe
In Alabama dells.

The pennon droops that led the sacred band
Along the crimson field;
The meteor blade sinks from the nerveless hand
Over the spotless shield.

We gazed and gazed upon that beauteous face,
While, round the lips and eyes,
Couched in their marble slumber, flashed the grace
Of a divine surprise. [83]

Pelham, ‘the great cannoneer’ Randall's poem was such a tribute as few young soldiers have ever received, and this is true also of General ‘Jeb’ Stuart's order of March 20, 1863, after Pelham's death: ‘The major-general commanding approaches with reluctance the painful duty of announcing to the division its irreparable loss in the death of Major John Pelham, commanding the Horse Artillery. He fell mortally wounded in the battle of Kellysville, March 17, with the battle-cry on his lips and the light of victory beaming from his eye. To you, his comrades, it is needless to dwell upon what you have so often witnessed, his prowess in action, already proverbial. . . . His eye had glanced over every battle-field of this army from the First Manassas to the moment of his death, and he was, with a single exception, a brilliant actor in all. The memory of “the gallant Pelham,” his many manly virtues, his noble nature and purity of character, are enshrined as a sacred legacy in the hearts of all who knew him. His record has been bright and spotless, his career brilliant and successful. He fell the noblest of sacrifices on the altar of his country, to whose glorious service he had dedicated his life from the beginning of the war.’ To this General Lee added an unusual endorsement: ‘Respectfully forwarded for the information of the department. I feel deeply the loss of the noble dead, and heartily concur in the commendation of the living. R. E. Lee, General.’ All Virginia concurred in these sentiments.


O mother of a blessed soul on high!
Thy tears may soon be shed—
Think of thy boy with princes of the sky,
Among the Southern dead.

How must he smile on this dull world beneath,
Fevered with swift renown;
He, with the martyr's amaranthine wreath,
Twining the victor's crown!


Turner Ashby of Virginia (1824-1862) distinguished himself as a leader of cavalry under ‘StonewallJackson. The English military writer, Colonel Henderson, says of him: ‘Ashby was the beau-ideal of a captain of light-horse. His reckless daring, both across-country and under fire, made him the idol of the army. Nor was his reputation confined to the Confederate ranks. “I think even our men,” says a Federal officer, “had a kind of admiration for him, as he sat unmoved upon his horse, and let them pepper away at him as if he enjoyed it.” ’

To the brave all homage render!
Weep, ye skies of June!
With a radiance pure and tender,
Shine, O saddened moon;
‘Dead upon the field of glory!’—
Hero fit for song and story—
Lies our bold dragoon.

Well they learned, whose hands have slain him,
Braver, knightlier foe
Never fought 'gainst Moor or Paynim—
Rode at Templestowe:
With a mien how high and joyous,
'Gainst the hordes that would destroy us,
Went he forth, we know. [85]

Where Pelham first ‘dazzled the land with deeds’ The Henry house on the Bull Run battlefield, the site of John Pelham's first effort. At that time he was only twenty, having been born in Calhoun County, Alabama, about 1841. At the outbreak of the war he had left West Point to enter the Southern army. Of his conduct near the ruins above, ‘Stonewall’ Jackson reported: ‘Nobly did the artillery maintain its position for hours against the enemy's advancing thousands.’ Soon he won the command of a battery of horse artillery, to serve with General ‘Jeb’ Stuart's cavalry. Stuart officially reported of the battle of Williamsburg, May 5, 1862: ‘I ordered the horse artillery at once into action; but before the order could be given, Pelham's battery was speaking to the enemy in thunder-tones of defiance, its maiden effort on the field, thus filling its function of unexpected arrival with instantaneous execution and sustaining in gallant style the fortunes of the day, keeping up a destructive fire upon the enemy until our infantry, having re-formed, rushed onward, masking the pieces. I directed Captain Pelham then to take a position farther to the left and open a cross-fire on the Telegraph Road, which he did as long as the presence of the enemy warranted the expenditure of ammunition.’ At Antietam, Stuart again reports: ‘The gallant Pelham displayed all those noble qualities which have made him immortal. He had under his command batteries from every portion of General Jackson's command. The batteries of Poague, Pegram, and Carrington (the only ones which now recur to me) did splendid service, as also did the Stuart horse artillery, all under Pelham. The hill held on the extreme left so long and so gallantly by artillery alone, was essential to the maintenance of our position.’ It is surprising to remember that these reports are not of a war-grimed veteran but of a youth of twenty.


Stilled his manly breast—
All unheard sweet Nature's cadence,
Trump of fame and voice of maidens,
Now he takes his rest.

Earth, that all too soon hath bound him,
Gently wrap his clay!
Linger lovingly around him,
Light of dying day!
Softly fall, ye summer showers;
Birds and bees among the flowers
Make the gloom seem gay!

There, throughout the coming ages—
When his sword is rust,
And his deeds in classic pages—
Mindful of her trust
Shall Virginia, bending lowly,
Still a ceaseless vigil holy
Keep above his dust.

Stonewall Jackson's way

For more than a quarter of a century the subject of debate, the authorship of this ballad was settled in 1891 by the poet himself, Dr. John Williamson Palmer. Through the kindness of his nieces and of Mrs. William C. Palmer of Baltimore, his own words are given here:

in September, 1862, I found myself at the Glades Hotel, at Oakland, on the line of the Baltimore and Ohio railroad, and in that part of Allegany County, Maryland, which is now known as Garrett County. Early on the 16th there was a roar of guns in the air, and we knew that a great battle was toward. . . . I knew that Stonewall was in it, whatever it might be; it was his way— “ Stonewall Jackson's way.” I had twice put that phrase into my war letters, and other correspondents, finding it handy, had quoted it in theirs. I paced the piazza and whistled a song of Oregon lumbermen and loggers that I had learned from a California adventurer in Honolulu. The two thoughts were coupled and welded into one to make a song; and as the words gathered to the call of the tune I wrote the ballad of “Stonewall Jackson's way” with the roar of those guns in my ears. On the morrow I added the last stanza . . . . [87]

where Jackson played with Federal armies the Massannutten mountains, in the center of the Shenandoah Valley, 1884 Stonewall Jackson's way came to be known amid this fertile Valley and noble range. The English military authority, Colonel Henderson, writes that ‘the Valley campaign saved Richmond. In a few short months the quiet gentleman of Lexington became, in the estimation of friend and foe, a very thunderbolt of war; and his name, which a year previous had hardly been known beyond the Valley, was already famous.’ Jackson had been in command of the Southern forces in the Valley since the beginning of 1862. for the Confederate Government the Shenandoah region was of the greatest importance; it afforded an easy avenue of advance into Maryland and the rear of Washington, and was the granary for all the Virginia armies. When McClellan with his hundred thousand men was advancing upon Richmond, which seemed certain to fall before superior numbers, Jackson prevented the junction of the Union armies by a series of startling achievements. On May 8th, by a forced march, he took the Federal force at McDowell by surprise, and despite a four hours resistance drove it back in defeat. He followed up the retreating troops. In the early morning of May 23d, at Fort royal, the clear notes of the bugle, followed by the crash of musketry, startled the Union camp. The hastily formed line was sturdily repelling the charge when the appearance of cavalry in its rear caused it to fall back. But Jackson was soon following the dust of the retreating column down the road to Winchester. There banks, who was ‘fond of shell,’ was attacked with artillery on the morning of May 25th, after which ten thousand bayonets rushed forward to the ringing ‘Rebel yell’ in a charge that drove everything before them. Jackson, rising in his stirrups, shouted to his officers, ‘press forward to the Potomac!’ the troops that had marched thirty miles in thirty hours pressed forward; but, the cavalry not assisting, banks made good his escape across the broad river. During the month of June, Jackson kept three armies busy in the Shenandoah; then, vanishing as by magic, he joined Lee in driving McClellan from within five miles of Richmond to his gunboats on the James. Henderson exclaims, ‘75,000 men absolutely paralyzed by 16,000! only Napoleon's campaign of 1814 affords a parallel to this extraordinary spectacle.’ Jackson's death was like the loss of an army.


in Baltimore I told the story of the song to my father, and at his request made immediately another copy of it. This was shown cautiously to certain members of the Maryland Club; and a trusty printer was found who struck off a dozen slips of it, principally for private distribution. That first printed copy of the song was headed “found on a Rebel Sergeant of the old Stonewall brigade, taken at Winchester.” the fabulous legend was for the misleading of the Federal provost marshal, as were also the address and date: “Martinsburg, Sept. 13, 1862.”

Come, stack arms, men! pile on the rails,
Stir up the camp-fire bright;
No growling if the canteen fails,
We'll make a roaring night.
Here Shenandoah brawls along,
There burly Blue Ridge echoes strong,
To swell the Brigade's rousing song
Of ‘Stonewall Jackson's way.’

We see him now—the queer slouched hat
Cocked o'er his eye askew;
The shrewd, dry smile; the speech so pat,
So calm, so blunt, so true.
The ‘Blue-light Elder’ knows 'em well;
Says he, ‘That's Banks—he's fond of shell;
Lord save his soul! we'll give him—’ well!
That's ‘Stonewall Jackson's way.’

Silence! ground arms! kneel all! caps off!
Old Massa's goina to pray.
Strangle the fool that dares to scoff!
Attention it's his way.
Appealing from his native sod
In forma pauperis to God:
‘Lay bare Thine arm; stretch forth Thy rod!
Amen!’—That's ‘Stonewall's way. [89]

Where ‘Stonewall’ Jackson fell In this tangled nook Lee's right-hand man was shot through a terrible mistake of his own soldiers. It was the second of May, 1863. After his brilliant flank march, the evening attack on the rear of Hooker's army had just been driven home. About half-past 8, Jackson had ridden beyond his lines to reconnoiter for the final advance. A single rifle-shot rang out in the darkness. The outposts of the two armies were engaged. Jackson turned toward his own line, where the Eighteenth North Carolina was stationed. The regiment, keenly on the alert and startled by the group of strange horsemen riding through the gloom, fired a volley that brought several men and horses to the earth. Jackson was struck once in the right hand and twice in the left arm, a little below the shoulder. His horse dashed among the trees; but with his bleeding right hand Jackson succeeded in seizing the reins and turning the frantic animal back into the road. Only with difficulty was the general taken to the rear so that his wounds might be dressed. To his attendants he said, ‘Tell them simply that you have a wounded Confederate officer.’ To one who asked if he was seriously hurt, he replied: ‘Don't bother yourself about me. Win the battle first and attend to the wounded afterward.’ He was taken to Guiney's Station. At first it was hoped that he would recover, but pneumonia set in and his strength gradually ebbed. On Sunday evening, May 10th, he uttered the words which inspired the young poet, Sidney Lanier, to write his elegy, beautiful in its serene resignation.


He's in the saddle now. Fall in!
Steady! the whole brigade!
Hill's at the ford, cut off; we'll win
His way out, ball and blade!
What matter if our shoes are worn?
What matter if our feet are torn?
‘Quick step! we're with him before morn!’
That's ‘Stonewall Jackson's way.’

The sun's bright lances rout the mists
Of morning, and, by George!
Here's Longstreet, struggling in the lists,
Hemmed in an ugly gorge.
Pope and his Dutchmen, whipped before;
‘Bay'nets and grape!’ hear Stonewall roar;
‘Charge, Stuart! Pay off Ashby's score!’
In ‘Stonewall Jackson's way.’

Ah, Maiden! wait and watch and yearn
For news of Stonewall's band.
Ah, Widow! read, with eyes that burn,
That ring upon thy hand.
Ah, Wife! sew on, pray on, hope on;
Thy life shall not be all forlorn;
The foe had better ne'er been born
That gets in ‘Stonewall's way.’

The dying words of Stonewall Jackson1

‘Order A. P. Hill to prepare for battle.’
‘Tell Major Hawks to advance the commissary train.’
‘Let us cross the river and rest in the shade.’

the remarkable feature of this elegy is the spirit of resignation that pervades it. No strain of bitterness can be discovered, though it was written in September of 1865, while the young poet, who had lost his health in prison the winter before, was residing in Georgia. Lanier was later one of the first Southerers to express the sentiment of nationality.

The stars of Night contain the glittering Day
And rain his glory down with sweeter grace
Upon the dark World's grand, enchanted face—
All loth to turn away. [91]

Stonewall Jackson.

From this humble grave on the green Virginia hillside, Jackson rises before the American people as one of the mightiest figures of a mighty conflict. When he died on May 10, 1863, in the little town of Guiney's Station, not far from the battlefield of Chancellorsville, his remains were taken to Richmond. In the Hall of Representatives the body lay in state while the sorrowing throngs passed by the open coffin in silence. In the Military Institute at Lexington, which Jackson had left two years before as an obscure professor, the remains of the illustrious leader were under the charge of the cadets, until his burial in the quiet cemetery above the town. The pure and noble words of Lanier need no comment. A few lines from an Englishman, Colonel G. F. R. Henderson, declare Jackson's life a message not for America alone. ‘The hero who lies buried at Lexington, in the Valley of Virginia, belongs to a race that is not confined to a single continent; and to those who speak the same tongue, and in whose veins the same blood flows, his words come home like an echo of all that is noblest in their history: “What is life without honor? Degradation is worse than death. We must think of the living and of those who are to come after us, and see that by Gods blessing we transmit to them the freedom we have ourselves inherited” ’

‘Stonewall’ Jackson: ‘still shine the words that miniature his deeds’

Jackson's grave at Lexington, Virginia


And so the Day, about to yield his breath,
Utters the stars unto the listening Night,
To stand for burning fare-thee-wells of light
Said on the verge of death.

O hero-life that lit us like the sun!
O hero-words that glittered like the stars
And stood and shone above the gloomy wars
When the hero-life was done!

The phantoms of a battle came to dwell
I‘ the fitful vision of his dying eyes—
Yet even in battle-dreams, he sends supplies
To those he loved so well.

His army stands in battle-line arrayed:
His couriers fly: all's done: now God decide!
—And not till then saw he the Other Side
Or would accept the shade.

Thou land whose sun is gone, thy stars remain!
Still shine the words that miniature his deeds.
O thrice-beloved, where'er thy great heart bleeds,
Solace hast thou for pain!

Albert Sidney Johnston

I hear again the tread of war go thundering through the land,
And Puritan and Cavalier are clinching neck and hand,
Round Shiloh church the furious foes have met to thrust and slay,
Where erst the peaceful sons of Christ were wont to kneel and pray.

The wrestling of the ages shakes the hills of Tennessee,
With all their echoing mounts a-throb with war's wild minstrelsy;
A galaxy of stars new-born round the shield of Mars,
And set against the Stars and Stripes the flashing Stars and Bars.


Albert Sidney Johnston The man who, at the opening of hostilities, was regarded as the most formidable general in the Confederacy is commemorated in the poem opposite by a woman long prominent in the relief work of the Grand Army of the Republic. Johnston, whose father was a Connecticut Yankee, won distinction in the Black Hawk War, entered the army of Texas in its struggle for independence, succeeded Sam Houston as commander-in-chief, fought in the War with Mexico, and was recommended for the grade of brigadier-general for his conduct at Monterey. When he heard that his adopted state, Texas, had passed the ordinance of secession, he resigned from the Department of the Pacific. He was assured that he might have the highest position in the Federal service. Sorrowfully he declined, writing at the time: ‘No one could feel more sensibly the calamitous condition of our country than myself, and whatever part I may take hereafter, it will always be a subject of gratulation with me that no act of mine ever contributed to bring it about. I suppose the difficulties now will only be adjusted by the sword. In my humble judgment, that was not the remedy.’ Johnston counted for more, said Jefferson Davis, than an army of 10,000.

'Twas Albert Sidney Johnston led the columns of the Gray,
Like Hector on the plains of Troy his presence fired the fray;
And dashing horse and gleaming sword spake out his royal will
As on the slopes of Shiloh field the blasts of war blew shrill.

‘Down with the base invaders,’ the Grav shout forth the cry,
‘Death to presumptuous rebels,’ the Blue ring out reply;
All day the conflict rages and yet again all day,
Though Grant is on the Union side he cannot stem nor stay.

They are a royal race of men, these brothers face to face,
Their fury speaking through their guns, their frenzy in their pace;
The sweeping onset of the Gray bears down the sturdy Blue,
Though Sherman and his legions are heroes through and through.

Though Prentiss and his gallant men are forcing scaur and crag,
They fall like sheaves before the scythes of Hardee and of Bragg;
Ah, who shall tell the victor's tale when all the strife is past,
When, man and man, in one great mould the men who strive are cast.

As when the Trojan hero came from that fair city's gates,
With tossing mane and flaming crest to scorn the scowling fates,
His legions gather round him and madly charge and cheer,
And fill the besieging armies with wild disheveled fear;

Then bares his breast unto the dart the daring spearsman sends,
And dying hears his cheering foes, the wailing of his friends,
So Albert Sidney Johnston, the chief of belt and scar,
Lay down to die at Shiloh and turned the scales of war. [95]

‘On the slopes of Shiloh field’: Pittsburg landing—a few days after the battle By the name of ‘Pittsburg Landing,’ this Tennessee River point, Southerners designate the conflict of April 6 and 7, 1862. The building upon the left and one farther up the bank were the only ones standing at the time of the battle. Of the six steamers, the name of the Tycoon, which brought hospital supplies from the Cincinnati branch of the Sanitary Commission, is visible. Johnston's plan in the attack on the Federal forces was to pound away on their left until they were driven away from the Landing and huddled in the angle between the Tennessee River and Snake Creek. The onset of the Confederates was full of dash. Sherman was at length driven from Shiloh Church, and the command of Prentiss was surrounded and forced to surrender. It looked as if Johnston would crush the left. Just at this point he was struck down by a minie-ball from the last line of a Federal force that he had victoriously driven back. The success of the day now begins to tell on the Confederate army. Many of the lines show great gaps. But the men in gray push vigorously toward the point where these boats lie anchored. Some heavy guns are massed near this point. Reinforcements are arriving across the river, but General Beauregard, who succeeds Johnston in command, suspends the battle till the morrow. During the night 94,000 fresh troops are taken across the river by the transports here pictured. They successfully withstand the attempt of Beauregard, and with the arrival of Lew Wallace from up the river victory shifts to the Stars and Stripes.


Now five and twenty years are gone, and lo, to-day they come,
The Blue and Gray in proud array with throbbing fife and drum;
But not as rivals, not as foes, as brothers reconciled,
To twine love's fragrant roses where the thorns of hate grew wild.

They tell the hero of three wars, the lion-hearted man,
Who wore his valor like a star—uncrowned American;
Above his heart serene and still the folded Stars and Bars,
Above his head, like mother-wings, the sheltering Stripes and Stars.

Aye, five and twenty years, and lo, the manhood of the South
Has held its valor stanch and strong as at the cannon's mouth,
With patient heart and silent tongue has kept its true parole,
And in the conquests born of peace has crowned its battle roll.

But ever while we sing of war, of courage tried and true,
Of heroes wed to gallant deeds, or be it Gray or Blue,
Then Albert Sidney Johnston's name shall flash before our sight
Like some resplendent meteor across the sombre night.

America, thy sons are knit with sinews wrought of steel,
They will not bend, they will not break, beneath the tyrant's heel;
But in the white-hot flame of love, to silken cobwebs spun,
They whirl the engines of the world, all keeping time as one.

To-day they stand abreast and strong, who stood as foes of yore,
The world leaps up to bless their feet, heaven scatters blessings o'er;
Their robes are wrought of gleaming gold, their wings are freedom's own,
The trampling of their conquering hosts shakes pinnacle and throne.

Oh, veterans of the Blue and Gray, who fought on Shiloh field,
The purposes of God are true, His judgment stands revealed;
The pangs of war have rent the veil, and lo, His high decree:
One heart, one hope, one destiny, one flag from sea to sea. [97]

Grant and Sherman as they appeared early in the war.

These rare photographs preserve the grim determination that steeled both of these young leaders during their first great battle, while gallantly facing Albert Sidney Johnston, as celebrated by the poem opposite. Grant was already known to fame. His brilliant capture of Forts Henry and Donelson in February, 1862, had focussed the eyes of the Nation upon him. In executing a movement against Corinth the battle of April 6th-7th was fought. Grant arrived on the field about eight o'clock, and with the quick judgment of a soldier at once organized an ammunition train to supply the men on the firing-line. During the rest of the day he rode along the front, smoking a cigar and encouraging both officers and men at every point. The second day's battle was a complete victory for his army, but he was traduced by the press universally and came near terminating his military career by resigning from the service. The picture of Sherman in August, 1862, at Memphis, was the first to show the three stars on his shoulder straps. Sherman's troops plunged into the very heaviest of the fighting at Shiloh. Three horses were shot under him. He was himself wounded in two places. For his gallant services he was commissioned major-general of volunteers. The carnage produced a profound effect on both Sherman and Grant. It was then Grant first saw that the conflict would be long and bitter. Four days after the battle Sherman wrote his wife: ‘I still feel the horrid nature of this war, and the piles of dead and wounded and maimed makes me more anxious than ever for some hope of an end, but I know such a thing cannot be for a long, long time. Indeed I never expect it, or to survive it.’ But both survived in great honor.

Grant: his appearance at Shiloh —his earliest portrait as major-general ‘though Grant is on the Union side he cannot stem nor stay’

Sherman soon after Shiloh—before war had aged and grizzled him ‘though Sherman and his legions are heroes through and through’



Thomas at Chickamauga

It was that fierce contested field when Chickamauga lay
Beneath the wild tornado that swept her pride away;
Her dimpling dales and circling hills dyed crimson with the flood
That had its sources in the springs that throb with human blood.

‘Go say to General Hooker to reinforce his right!’
Said Thomas to his aide-de-camp, when wildly went the fight;
In front the battle thundered, it roared both right and left,
But like a rock ‘Pap’ Thomas stood upon the crested cleft.

‘Where will I find you, General, when I return?’ The aide
Leaned on his bridle-rein to wait the answer Thomas made;
The old chief like a lion turned, his pale lips set and sere,
And shook his mane, and stamped his foot, and fiercely answered, ‘Here!’

The floodtide of fraternal strife rolled upward to his feet,
And like the breakers on the shore the thunderous clamors beat;
The sad earth rocked and reeled with woe, the woodland shrieked in pain,
And hill and vale were groaning with the burden of the slain.

Who does not mind that sturdy form, that steady heart and hand,
That calm repose and gallant mien, that courage high and grand?—
O God, who givest nations men to meet their lofty needs,
Vouchsafe another Thomas when our country prostrate bleeds!

They fought with all the fortitude of earnest men and true—
The men who wore the rebel gray, the men who wore the blue;
And those, they fought most valiantly for petty state and clan,
And these, for truer Union and the brotherhood of man. [99]

Before Chickamauga—in the rush of events Rarely does the camera afford such a perfectly contemporaneous record of the march of events so momentous. This photograph shows the hotel at Stevenson, Alabama, during the Union advance that ended in Chickamauga. Sentinels are parading the street in front of the hotel, several horses are tied to the hotel posts, and the officers evidently have gone into the hotel headquarters. General Alexander McDowell McCook, commanding the old Twentieth Army Corps, took possession of the hotel as temporary headquarters on the movement of the Army of the Cumberland from Tullahoma. On August 29, 1863, between Stevenson and Caperton's Ferry, on the Tennessee River, McCook gathered his boats and pontoons, hidden under the dense foliage of overhanging trees, and when ready for his crossing suddenly launched them into and across the river. Thence the troops marched over Sand Mountain and at length into Lookout Valley. During the movements the army was in extreme peril, for McCook was at one time three days march from Thomas, so that Bragg might have annihilated the divisions in detail. Finally the scattered corps were concentrated along Chickamauga Creek, where the bloody struggle of September 19th and 20th was so bravely fought.


They come, those hurling legions, with banners crimsonsplashed,
Against our stubborn columns their rushing ranks are dashed,
Till 'neath the blistering iron hail the shy and frightened deer
Go scurrying from their forest haunts to plunge in wilder fear.

Beyond, our lines are broken; and now in frenzied rout
The flower of the Cumberland has swiftly faced about;
And horse and foot and color-guard are reeling, rear and van,
And in the awful panic man forgets that he is man.

Now Bragg, with pride exultant above our broken wings,
The might of all his army against ‘Pap’ Thomas brings;
They're massing to the right of him, they're massing to the left,
Ah, God be with our hero, who holds the crested cleft!

Blow, blow, ye echoing bugles! give answer, screaming shell!
Go, belch your murderous fury, ye batteries of hell!
Ring out, O impious musket! spin on, O shattering shot,—
Our smoke-encircled hero, he hears but heeds ye not!

Now steady, men! now steady! make one more valiant stand,
For gallant Steedman's coming, his forces well in hand!
Close up your shattered columns, take steady aim and true,
The chief who loves you as his life will live or die with you!

By solid columns, on they come; by columns they are hurled,
As down the eddying rapids the storm-swept booms are whirled;
And when the ammunition fails—O moment drear and dread—
The heroes load their blackened guns from rounds of soldiers dead.

God never set His signet on the hearts of braver men,
Or fixed the goal of victory on higher heights than then;
With bayonets and muskets clubbed, they close the rush and roar;
Their stepping-stones to glory are their comrades gone before.


On the way to Chickamauga

This solitary observer, if he was standing here September 20, 1863, shortly before this was photographed, certainly gazed at the base of the hill to the left. For through the pass called Rossville Gap a column in blue was streaming—Steedman's Division of the Reserve Corps, rushing to aid Thomas, so sore pressed at Chickamauga. Those slopes by Chickamauga Creek witnessed the deadliest battle in the West and the highest in percentage of killed and wounded of the entire war. It was fought as a result of Rosecrans' attempt to maneuver Bragg out of Chattanooga. The Federal army crossed the Tennessee River west of the city, passed through the mountain-ranges, and came upon Bragg's line of communications. Finding his position untenable, the Southern leader moved southward and fell upon the united forces of Rosecrans along Chickamauga Creek. The vital point in the Federal line was the left, held by Thomas. Should that give way, the army would be cut off from Chattanooga, with no base to fall back on. The heavy fighting of September 19th showed that Bragg realized the situation. Brigades and regiments were shattered. For a time, the Union army was driven back. But at nightfall Thomas had regained the lost ground. He re-formed during the night in order to protect the road leading into Chattanooga. Since the second day was foggy till the middle of the forenoon, the fighting was not renewed till late. About noon a break was made in the right of the Federal battle-line, into which the eager Longstreet promptly hurled his men. Colonel Dodge writes: ‘Everything seems lost. The entire right of the army, with Rosecrans and his staff, is driven from the field in utter rout. But, unknown even to the commanding general, Thomas, the Rock of Chickamauga, stands there at bay, surrounded, facing two to one. Heedless of the wreck of one-half the army, he knows not how to yield.’

Solitary observer on the way to Chickamauga


O vanished majesty of days not all forgotten yet,
We consecrate unto thy praise one hour of deep regret;
One hour to them whose days were years of glory that shall flood
The Nation's sombre night of tears, of carnage, and of blood!

O vanished majesty of days, when men were gauged by worth,
Set crowned and dowered in the way to judge the sons of earth;
When all the little great fell down before the great unknown,
And priest put off the hampering gown and coward donned his own!

O vanished majesty of days that saw the sun shine on
The deeds that wake sublimer praise than Ghent or Marathon;
When patriots in homespun rose—where one was called for, ten—
And heroes sprang full-armored from the humblest walks of men!

O vanished majesty of days! Rise, type and mould to-day,
And teach our sons to follow on where duty leads the way;
That whatsoever trial comes, defying doubt and fear,
They in the thickest fight shall stand and proudly answer, ‘Here!’


The poet served under Farragut in the battle of Mobile Bay, August 5, 1864, and became his secretary.

Farragut, Farragut,
Old Heart of Oak,
Daring Dave Farragut,
Thunderbolt stroke,
Watches the hoary mist
Lift from the bay,
Till his flag, glory-kissed,
Greets the young day. [103]

General George H. Thomas ‘Pap’ Thomas is the name Sherwood's poem gives this massive, stern warrior; for thus he was affectionately known among his devoted soldiers. Colonel T. F. Dodge has written of him: ‘He was essentially cast in a large mold, in mind and body; so modest that he shrunk from command, to which he was peculiarly fitted; with courage of the stamp that ignores self; possessing steadfastness in greater measure than audacity, he yet lacked none of that ability which can deal heavy blows; while no antagonist was ever able to shake his foothold. Honesty in thought, word, and deed was constitutional with him. A thorough military training, added to a passionate love of his profession and great natural powers, made him peer of any soldier. Sedate in mind and physically slow in movement, he yet aroused great enthusiasm.’


Far, by gray Morgan's walls,
Looms the black fleet.
Hark, deck to rampart calls
With the drums' beat!
Buoy your chains overboard,
While the steam hums;
Men! to the battlement,
Farragut comes.

See, as the hurricane
Hurtles in wrath
Squadrons of clouds amain
Back from its path!
Back to the parapet,
To the guns' lips,
Thunderbolt Farragut
Hurls the black ships.

Now through the battle's roar
Clear the boy sings,
‘By the mark fathoms four,’
While his lead swings.
Steady the wheelmen five
‘Nor‘ by East keep her.’
‘Steady,’ but two alive:
How the shells sweep her!

Lashed to the mast that sways
Over red decks,
Over the flame that plays
Round the torn wrecks,
Qver the dying lips
Framed for a cheer,
Farragut leads his ships,
Guides the line clear. [105]

The most famous of American naval officers and one of his most daring feats

In his admiral's uniform, ‘Dave’ Farragut might contrast with pride his start in life, in an obscure Tennessee town at the opening of the century. The son of a veteran of the Revolutionary War, he early entered the navy, and while yet a lad of thirteen took distinguished part in the battle between the Essex and the British vessels, Phoebe and Cherub. After cruising all over the world, he was stationed, at the opening of the Civil War, in the navy-yard in Norfolk, Virginia. Though bound to the South by birth and strong family ties, he remained in the national service without wavering. His capture of New Orleans in April, 1862, when he ran by two forts under terrific fire and worked havoc in a Confederate fleet of thirteen vessels, is one of the most thrilling actions in naval warfare. Its importance to the Federal cause lay in the opening of the port of New Orleans and securing control of the lower Mississippi. Farragut was of service to the army in opening the whole river and thus cutting the Confederacy in two. The closing of Mobile Bay in August, 1864, was another daring exploit. He had long planned to attack the forts at the entrance of the bay, but not till August was the necessary fleet ready. The battery pictured below was one of the features to be reckoned with. Here at the water's edge the Confederates mounted seven guns. During the engagement the gunners were driven from their posts again and again by the broadsides of the fleet, only to return with fresh men—but in vain.

‘Daring Dave Farragut’: to illustrate Meredith's poem on page 104.

The captured water battery at Fort Morgan, 1864


On by heights cannon-browed,
While the spars quiver;
Onward still flames the cloud
Where the hulks shiver.
See, yon fort's star is set,
Storm and fire past.
Cheer him, lads—Farragut,
Lashed to the mast!

Oh! while Atlantic's breast
Bears a white sail,
While the Gulf's towering crest
Tops a green vale,
Men thy bold deeds shall tell,
Old Heart of Oak,
Daring Dave Farragut,
Thunderbolt stroke!


Richard Watson Gilder.
No praise can add to, no blame detract from, Sherman's splendid reputation and services. He, if any one, showed during our Civil war the divine military spark. In his 1864 campaign he was pitted against the strongest of the Confederates, always excepting Lee; and he wrote his own strength upon every page of its history. It would have furnished an interesting study to have seen him at the head of the splendid force which started from the Rappahannock when he himself started from Chattanooga. For Sherman's work never taxed him beyond his powers. It is difficult to say what he still held in reserve. Colonel T. A. Dodge in a bird's-eye view of our Civil war.

the poem was written on the death of General Sherman in New York City, February 14, 1891.

Glory and honor and fame and everlasting laudation
For our captains who loved not war, but fought for the life of the nation;
Who knew that, in all the land, one slave meant strife, not peace;
Who fought for freedom, not glory; made war that war might cease.

Glory and honor and fame; the beating of muffled drums;
The wailing funeral dirge, as the flag-wrapped coffin comes;
Fame and honor and glory; and joy for a noble soul,
For a full and splendid life, and laurelled rest at the goal.


Mobile Bay.

How formidable was Farragut's undertaking in forcing his way into Mobile Bay is apparent from these photographs. For wooden vessels to pass Morgan and Gaines, two of the strongest forts on the coast, was pronounced by experts most foolhardy. Besides, the channel was planted with torpedoes that might blow the ships to atoms, and within the bay was the Confederate ram Tennessee, thought to be the most powerful ironclad ever put afloat. In the arrangements for the attack, Farragut's flagship, the Hartford, was placed second, the Brooklyn leading the line of battleships, which were preceded by four monitors. At a quarter before six on the morning of August 5th, the fleet moved. Half an hour later it came within range of Fort Morgan. The whole undertaking was then threatened with disaster. The monitor Tecumseh, eager to engage the Confederate ram Tennessee behind the line of torpedoes, ran straight ahead, struck a torpedo, and in a few minutes went down with most of the crew. As the monitor sank, the Brooklyn recoiled. Farragut signaled: ‘What's the trouble?’ ‘Torpedoes,’ was the answer. ‘Damn the torpedoes!’ shouted Farragut. ‘Go ahead, Captain Drayton. Four bells.’ Finding that the smoke from the guns obstructed the view from the deck, Farragut ascended to the rigging of the main mast, where he was in great danger of being struck and of falling to the deck. The captain accordingly ordered a quartermaster to tie him in the shrouds. The Hartford, under a full head of steam, rushed over the torpedo ground far in advance of the fleet. The battle was not yet over. The Confederate ram, invulnerable to the broadsides of the Union guns, steamed alone for the ships, while the ramparts of the two forts were crowded with spectators of the coming conflict. The ironclad monster made straight for the flagship, attempting to ram it and paying no attention to the fire or the ramming of the other vessels. Its first effort was unsuccessful, but a second came near proving fatal. It then became a target for the whole Union fleet; finally its rudder-chain was shot away and it became unmanageable; in a few minutes it raised the white flag. No wonder Americans call Farragut the greatest of naval commanders.

‘Far by gray Morgan's walls’—the Mobile Bay fort, battered by Farragut's guns

Where broadsides struck

[108] Glory and honor and fame; the pomp that a soldier prizes;
The league-long waving line as the marching falls and rises;
Rumbling of caissons and guns; the clatter of horses' feet,
And a million awe-struck faces far down the waiting street.

But better than martial woe, and the pageant of civic sorrow;
Better than praise of to-day, or the statue we build to-morrow;
Better than honor and glory, and history's iron pen,
Was the thought of duty done and the love of his fellow-men.

On a great warrior

Henry Abbey.

This elegy in its original form was written on the death of General Grant, July 23, 1885. The version here printed is from the 1904 edition of the Poems of Henry Abbey, kindly furnished by the author.

When all the sky was wild and dark,
When every heart was wrung with fear,
He rose serene, and took his place,
The great occasion's mighty peer.
He smote armed opposition down,
He bade the storm and darkness cease,
And o'er the long-distracted land
Shone out the smiling sun of peace.

The famous captains of the past
March in review before the mind;
Some fought for glory, some for gold,
But most to yoke and rule mankind.
Not so the captain, great of soul,
At peace within his granite grave;
He fought to keep the Union whole,
And break the shackles of the slave.

A silent man, in friendship true,
He made point-blank his certain aim,
And, born a stranger to defeat,
To steadfast purpose linked his name.


An illustration for gilder's elegy on the death of General William Tecumseh Sherman

Veterans of the Sixth Corps, Army of the Potomac, are here seen marching down Pennsylvania Avenue in the National Capital on June 8, 1865. In the immediate foreground, at the left, the very sway and swing of the leading files is recorded on the glass plate as the column executes ‘platoons, right wheel.’ The masses in the advancing column almost seem to fall and rise. Up the long street the eye sweeps to catch the dim outlines of the Capitol. Here are no ‘awe-struck faces,’ for this is the moment of the nation's rejoicing. But twenty-six years later, when General Sherman died, some of the same men who passed when this picture was taken marched in the solemn procession that attended the last rites of the distinguished chieftain, Sherman.

‘The league-long waving line as the marching falls and rises’

He followed duty with the mien
Of but a soldier in the ranks,
This God-sent man that saved the State,
And conquered its victorious thanks.

How well he wore white honor's flower,
The gratitude and praise of men,
As General, as President,
And then as simple citizen!
He was a hero to the end!
The dark rebellion raised by death
Against the powers of life and light,
He battled hard, with failing breath.

O hero of Fort Donelson,
And wooded Shiloh's frightful strife!
Sleep on! for honor loves the tomb
More than the garish ways of life.
Sleep on! sleep on! Thy wondrous days
Fill freedom's most illustrious page.
Long-mem'ried Fame shall sound thy praise
In every clime, in every age.


‘With the mien of but a soldier in the ranks’

Here Grant's dress is nearer uniform than usual. A veteran recalls that it consisted ordinarily of a plain old army hat—‘slouch,’ as it was called—and fatigue coat, pretty well worn, with very little insignia of rank for outward show. Thus he was frequently taken by the soldiers along the line for some old cavalryman who was investigating affairs he knew nothing about. In his tours General Grant was often stopped by the guards around the camps and compelled to identify himself before the men would permit him to pass. It sometimes happened that the sentries knew the General well enough by sight, but since he was not in full uniform and bore no insignia of rank, they would solemnly compel him to halt until they could call for the officer of the guard, who would formally examine the general as to his identity.

The commander of the armies Grant in July, 1864



Eulogy of Ulysses S. Grant

The speech was delivered at the banquet of the Army of the Tennessee, upon the occasion of the inauguration of the Grant Equestrian statue, at Chicago, October 8, 1891. the address is the tribute of one who was for years Grant's trusted military aide and close personal associate. That he has not been unduly influenced by personal feeling may be seen from the judgment of the Confederate General, James Longstreet: ‘as the world continues to look at and study the grand combinations and strategy of General Grant, the higher will be his award as a great soldier.’

the text here followed was kindly furnished by General Porter, by whose permission it is reproduced.

Almost all the conspicuous characters in history have risen to prominence by gradual steps, but Ulysses S. Grant seemed to come before the people with a sudden bound. The first sight they caught of him was in the flashes of his guns, and the blaze of his Camp fires, those wintry days and nights in front of Donelson. From that hour until the closing triumph at Appomattox he was the leader whose name was the harbinger of victory. From the final sheathing of his sword until the tragedy on Mount McGregor he was the chief citizen of the Republic and the great central figure of the world. The story of his life savors more of romance than reality. It is more like a fabled tale of ancient days than the history of an American citizen of the nineteenth century. As light and shade produce the most attractive effects in a picture, so the singular contrasts, the strange vicissitudes in his marvelous career, surround him with an interest which attaches to few characters in history. His rise from an obscure lieutenancy to the command of the veteran armies of the Republic; his transition from a one-company post of the untrodden West to the executive mansion of the nation; at one time sitting in his little store in Galena, not even known to the Congressman of his district; at another time striding through the palaces of the Old World, with the descendants of a line of kings rising and standing uncovered in his presence—these are some of the features of his extraordinary career which appeal to the imagination, excite men's wonder, and fascinate all who read the story of his life. [113]

Grant and his staff in 1864—by the tent pole sits Horace Porter, author of the address reproduced opposite

The roll-call of those present at City Point in June, 1864, is impressive. Sitting on the bench at the left is Lieutenant-General Grant, with his familiar slouch hat on his knee, By him is Brigadier-General J. A. Rawlins, his chief-of-staff. To the left of the latter sits Lieutenant-Colonel W. L. Duff, assistant inspector-general. By the tent-pole is Lieutenant-Colonel Horace Porter, the author of the address here reprinted. At the right is Captain Ely S. Parker, a full-blooded Indian. Standing behind Grant is one of his secretaries, Lieutenant-Colonel Adam Badeau, who later wrote a military biography of the general. Behind Rawlins is Lieutenant-Colonel C. B. Comstock, noted as an engineer. By Duff stands Lieutenant-Colonel F. T. Dent. Between Porter and Parker is Lieutenant-Colonel O. E. Babcock. All were faithful, in the war and later.

‘Friends who loved him for his own sake’


General Grant possessed in a striking degree all the characteristics of the successful soldier. His methods were all stamped with tenacity of purpose, with originality and ingenuity. He depended for his success more upon the powers of invention than of adaptation, and the fact that he has been compared at different times to nearly every great commander in history is perhaps the best proof that he was like none of them. He was possessed of a moral and physical courage which was equal to every emergency in which he was placed; calm amidst excitement, patient under trials, never unduly elated by victory or depressed by defeat. While he possessed a sensitive nature and a singularly tender heart, yet he never allowed his sentiments to interfere with the stern duties of the soldier. He knew better than to attempt to hew rocks with a razor. He realized that paper bullets cannot be fired in warfare. He felt that the hardest blows bring the quickest results; that more men die from disease in sickly camps than from shot and shell in battle.

His magnanimity to foes, his generosity to friends, will be talked of as long as manly qualities are honored. You know after Vicksburg had succumbed to him he said in his order: ‘The garrison will march out to-morrow. Instruct your commands to be quiet and orderly as the prisoners pass by, and make no offensive remarks.’ After Lee's surrender at Appomattox, when our batteries began to fire triumphal salutes, he at once suppressed them, saying in his order: ‘The war is over; the rebels are again our countrymen; the best way to celebrate the victory will be to abstain from all demonstrations in the field.’ After the war General Lee and his officers were indicted in the civil courts of Virginia by direction of a President who was endeavoring to make treason odious, but succeeded in making nothing so odious as himself. General Lee appealed to his old antagonist for protection. He did not appeal to that heart in vain. General Grant at once took up the cudgels in his defense, threatened to resign his office if such officers were indicted while they continued to obey their paroles, and such was the logic of his argument and the force of his character that those indictments were soon after quashed. So that he penned no idle platitude, he fashioned no stilted epigram, he spoke the earnest convictions of an honest heart when he said, ‘Let us have peace.’ He never tired of giving [115]

‘On the heights of Chattanooga’—a landmark in Grant's rise to fame The view from Lookout Mountain, showing the very ground over which the Federal soldiers scrambled in their charge, illustrates Porter's reference to the battle of November 23-25, 1863. Grant's own account thus describes the concluding charge: ‘Discovering that the enemy in his desperation to defeat or resist the progress of Sherman was weakening his center on Missionary Ridge, determined me to order the advance at once. Thomas was accordingly directed to move forward his troops, constituting our center, Baird's division (Fourteenth Corps), Wood's and Sheridan's divisions (Fourth Corps), and Johnston's division (Fourteenth Corps), with a double line of skirmishers thrown out, followed in easy supporting distance by the whole force, and carry the rifle-pits at the foot of Missionary Ridge, and, when carried, to re-form his lines on the rifle-pits with a view to carrying the top of the ridge. These troops moved forward, drove the enemy from the rifle-pits at the base of the ridge like bees from a hive—stopped but a moment until the whole were in line—and commenced the ascent of the mountain from right to left almost simultaneously, following closely the retreating enemy, without further orders. They encountered a fearful volley of grape and canister from near thirty pieces of artillery and musketry from still well-filled rifle-pits, on the summit of the ridge. Not a waver, however, was seen in all that long line of brave men. Their progress was steadily onward until the summit was in their possession.’ Three months later Grant became the first lieutenant-general since Washington.

[116] unstinted praise to worthy subordinates for the work they did. Like the chief artists who weave the Gobelin tapestries, he was content to stand behind the cloth and let those in front appear to be the chief contributors to the beauty of the fabric. . . .

If there be one single word in all the wealth of the English language which best describes the predominating trait of General Grant's character, that word is ‘loyalty.’ Loyal to every great cause and work he was engaged in; loyal to his friends, loyal to his family, loyal to his country, loyal to his God. This produced a reciprocal effect in all who came in contact with him. It was one of the chief reasons why men became so loyally attached to him. It is true that this trait so dominated his whole character that it led him to make mistakes, it induced him to continue to stand by men who were no longer worthy of his confidence; but after all, it was a trait so grand, so noble, we do not stop to count the errors which resulted. It showed him to be a man who had the courage to be just, to stand between worthy men and their unworthy slanderers, and to let kindly sentiments have a voice in an age in which the heart played so small a part in public life. Many a public man has had hosts of followers because they fattened on the patronage dispensed at his hands; many a one has had troops of adherents because they were blind zealots in a cause he represented; but perhaps no man but General Grant had so many friends who loved him for his own sake, whose attachment strengthened only with time, whose affection knew neither variableness nor shadow of turning, who stuck to him as closely as the toga to Nessus, whether he was captain, general, President, or simply private citizen.

General Grant was essentially created for great emergencies; it was the very magnitude of the task which called forth the powers which mastered it. In ordinary matters he was an ordinary man. In momentous affairs he towered as a giant. When he served in a company there was nothing in his acts to distinguish him from the fellow officers; but when he wielded corps and armies the great qualities of the commander flashed forth, and his master-strokes of genius placed him at once in the front rank of the world's great captains. When he hauled wood from his little farm and sold it in the streets of St. Louis, there was nothing in his business or financial capacity different from that of the small farmers about him; but when, as President of the Republic, he found it his duty to puncture the [117]

Grant's inauguration as president—March 4, 1869

The inauguration of Ulysses S. Grant was a particularly impressive ceremony. When he was nominated in May, 1868, his letter of acceptance had closed with the phrase, ‘Let us have peace,’ which became the slogan of the campaign. The ceremonies on March 4th were marked by intense enthusiasm. The recent contest between the President and Congress had made the people more than responsive to the prayer, ‘Let us have peace’; they looked forward with eagerness for this hero of war, the youngest of their Presidents, to allay the bitterness of partisan strife and sectional animosity. This was so much the purpose of Grant's own heart that, out of all his public utterances, this was chosen for inscription on his tomb on Riverside Drive in New York. Grant is one of the few captains in the history of the world who ‘made war that war might cease.’ The story of his career forms more than military history; it is an example for all ages.

‘To the executive mansion of the nation’

[118] fallacy of the inflationists, to throttle by a veto the attempt of unwise legislators to tamper with the American credit, he penned a State paper so logical, so masterly, that it has ever since been the pride, wonder, and admiration of every lover of an honest currency. He was made for great things, not for little. He could collect for the nation $15,000,000 from Great Britain in settlement of the Alabama claims; he could not protect his own personal savings from the miscreants who robbed him in Wall Street. . . .

During his last illness an indescribably touching incident happened which will ever be memorable, and which never can be effaced from the memory of those who witnessed it. Even after this lapse of years I can scarcely trust my own feelings to recall it. It was on Decoration Day in the city of New York, the last one he ever saw on earth. That morning the members of the Grand Army of the Republic, the veterans in that vicinity, arose earlier than was their wont. They seemed to spend more time that morning in unfurling the old battle flags, in burnishing the medals of honor which decorated their breasts, for on that day they had determined to march by the house of their dying commander to give him a last marching salute. In the streets the columns were forming; inside the house, on that bed from which he was never to rise again, lay the stricken chief. The hand which had received the surrendered swords of countless thousands could scarcely return the pressure of a friendly grasp. The voice which had cheered on to triumphant victory the legions of America's manhood could no longer call for the cooling draught that slaked the thirst of a fevered tongue; and prostrate on that bed of anguish lay the form which in the New World had ridden at the head of conquering columns, which in the Old World had been deemed worthy to stand with head covered and feet sandled in the presence of princes, kings, and emperors. Now his ear caught the sound of martial music. Bands were playing the same strains which had mingled with the echoes of his guns at Vicksburg, the same quicksteps to which his men had sped in hot haste in pursuit of Lee through Virginia. And then came the heavy, measured steps of moving columns, a step which can be acquired only by years of service in the field. He recognized it all now. It was the tread of his old veterans. With his little remaining strength he arose and dragged himself to the window. As he gazed upon those battle flags [119]

‘The tragedy at mount McGregor’—Grant and his family, July 19, 1885 On July 16th, three days before this photograph was taken, the general was removed to a summer cottage on Mount McGregor, near Saratoga Springs. Exactly a week later, July 23, 1885, he breathed his last amid the family here assembled. No period of Ulysses S. Grant's life was more heroic than its closing months. He had remained in excellent health up to Christmas of 1883. In the summer of 1884 he was annoyed by unpleasant sensations in his throat. He paid little attention to the symptoms until autumn. A physician, calling one day in October, made an examination that alarmed him. He advised that a specialist be called at once. Cancer of the throat had set in. The annoying sensations at length became painful, and in December the disease had so far advanced that to drink even liquid food was torture. General Badeau says: ‘He was in no way dismayed, but the sight was to me the most appalling I had ever witnessed—the conqueror looking at his own inevitable conqueror; the stern soldier to whom so many armies had surrendered, watching the approach of that enemy before whom even he must yield.’ Yet the stricken chief continued work upon his Memoirs. He could not now dictate to an amanuensis, so he wrote with a hand quivering with pain upon pads placed in his lap. There is something peculiarly noble in this determination to provide by his own efforts a competence for his family. What effect his departure had on the country is told in the Introduction to this volume, but the demonstrations were not confined to America. On August 4th a memorial service was held in the English temple of fame, Westminster Abbey. No less a dignitary than Canon Farrar delivered the funeral address. The civilized world joined in the mourning. Tributes to his memory extended over many years. In 1896, the Chinese statesman, LI Hung Chang, left a memorial at his tomb on Riverside Drive, New York City. Grant's fame is a secure American possession.

[120] dipping to him in salute, those precious standards bullet-riddled, battle-stained, but remnants of their former selves, with scarcely enough left of them on which to imprint the names of the battles they had seen, his eyes once more kindled with the flames which had lighted them at Shiloh, on the heights of Chattanooga, amid the glories of Appomattox, and as those war-scarred veterans looked with uncovered heads and upturned faces for the last time upon the pallid features of their old chief, cheeks which had been bronzed by Southern suns and begrimed with powder were bathed in tears of manly grief. Soon they saw rising the hand which had so often pointed out to them the path of victory. He raised it slowly and painfully to his head in recognition of their salutations. The last of the columns had passed, the hand fell heavily by his side. It was his last military salute.

Lee on ‘traveller’

General Lee dictated the following description to his daughter Agnes at Lexington, Virginia, after the war, in response to an artist who had requested it:

If I were an artist like you I would draw a true picture of Traveller—representing his fine proportions, muscular figure, deep chest and short back, strong haunches, flat legs, small head, broad forehead, delicate ears, quick eye, small feet, and black mane and tail. Such a picture would inspire a poet, whose genius could then depict his worth and describe his endurance of toil, hunger, thirst, heat, cold, and the dangers and sufferings through which he passed. He could dilate upon his sagacity and affection, and his invariable response to every wish of his rider. He might even imagine his thoughts, through the long night marches and days of battle through which he has passed. But I am no artist; I can only say he is a Confederate gray. I purchased him in the mountains of Virginia in the autumn of 1861, and he has been my patient follower ever since. . . . You must know the comfort he is to me in my present retirement. . . . You can, I am sure, from what I have said, paint his portrait. [121]

‘I can only say he is a Confederate gray’—Lee on ‘traveller’ This famous photograph of Lee on ‘Traveller’ was taken by Miley, of Lexington, in September, 1866. In July of that year Brady, Gardner, and Miley had tried to get a photograph of the general on his horse, but the weather was so hot and the flies accordingly so annoying that the pictures were very poor. But the September picture has become probably the most popular photograph in the South. In the Army of Northern Virginia the horse was almost as well known as his master. It was foaled near the White Sulphur Springs in West Virginia, and attracted the notice of General Lee in 1861. Lee's affection for it was very deep and strong. On it he rode from Richmond to Lexington to assume his duties as president of Washington College. During the remainder of his life ‘Traveller’ was his constant companion. His son records that the general enjoyed nothing more than a long ride, which gave him renewed energy for his work. In one of his letters while away from home he said: ‘How is Traveller? Tell him I miss him dreadfully, and have repented of our separation but once—and that is the whole time since we parted.’



Robert E. Lee

The notable feature of this poem is that it comes from the author of the battle hymn of the Republic. the spirit of brotherhood which this volume exhibits is nowhere more serenely expressed.

A gallant foeman in the fight,
A brother when the fight was o'er,
The hand that led the host with might
The blessed torch of learning bore.

No shriek of shells nor roll of drums,
No challenge fierce, resounding far,
When reconciling Wisdom comes
To heal the cruel wounds of war.

Thought may the minds of men divide,
Love makes the heart of nations one,
And so, thy soldier grave beside,
We honor thee, Virginia's son.

A new England tribute to Lee

This tribute is taken from an address entitled shall Cromwell have a statue? delivered before the Chicago chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, June 17, 1902. the author, General Charles Francis Adams, served through the Civil war in the cavalry, acting as chief of squadron at Gettysburg, and at the close being brevetted brigadier-general in the regular army, from which he resigned in July, 1865. few episodes in our national life have been more dramatic than the delivery of this tribute from the scion of an old New England family to the foremost representative of Virginia chivalry. The address attracted wide attention, so much so that General Adams was invited by Washington and Lee University to become chief speaker at the centennial celebration, on January 19, 1907, of Lee's birth. His speech on that occasion he considers superior to the one here presented in part.

Of Robert E. Lee as the commander of the Army of Northern Virginia,—at once the buckler and the sword of the Confederacy,—I shall say few words. I was in the [123]

Lee in 1863—‘every inch a soldier’ The words of General Charles Francis Adams are fittingly borne out by this magnificent likeness, taken by Vannerson of Richmond in 1863, when Lee was at the height of his military power. He wears a handsome sword and sash presented to him by ladies of Baltimore just previously. Some of the ladies of Richmond had made a set of shirts for their hero, and asked him for his portrait on one of his visits to Richmond. Out of compliment to the ladies, General Lee wore one here; the turnover collar, high in the neck, clearly identifies this portrait.

[124] ranks of those opposed to him. For years I was face to face with some fragment of the Army of Northern Virginia, and intent to do it harm; and during those years there was not a day when I would not have drawn a deep breath of relief and satisfaction at hearing of the death of Lee, even as I did draw it at hearing of the death of Jackson. But now, looking back through a perspective of nearly forty years, I glory in it, and in them as foes,—they were worthy of the best of steel. I am proud now to say that I was their countryman. Whatever differences of opinion may exist as to the course of Lee when his choice was made, of Lee as a foe and the commander of an army, but one opinion can be entertained. Every inch a soldier, he was an opponent not less generous and humane than formidable, a type of highest martial character; cautious, magnanimous and bold, a very thunderbolt in war, he was self-contained in victory, but greatest in defeat. To that escutcheon attaches no stain.

I now come to what I have always regarded—shall ever regard—as the most creditable episode in all American history, —an episode without a blemish,—imposing, dignified, simple, heroic. I refer to Appomattox. Two men met that day, representative of American civilization, the whole world looking on. The two were Grant and Lee,—types each. Both rose, and rose unconsciously, to the full height of the occasion,— and than that occasion there has been none greater. About it, and them, there was no theatrical display, no selfconscious-ness, no effort at effect. A great crisis was to be met; and they met that crisis as great countrymen should. Consider the possibilities; think for a moment of what that day might have been; you will then see cause to thank God for much.

That month of April saw the close of exactly four years of persistent strife,—a strife which the whole civilized world had been watching intently. Democracy—the capacity of man in his present stage of development for self-government—was believed to be on trial. The wish the father to the thought, the prophets of evil had been liberal in prediction. It so chances that my attention has been especially drawn to the European utterances of that time; and, read in the clear light of subsequent history, I use words of moderation when I say that they are now both inconceivable and ludicrous. Staid journals, grave public men seemed to take what was little less than [125]

‘With a home no longer his’ The massive Doric pillars of the home of Robert E. Lee are, in June, 1864, the background for a group of Federal soldiers. Around this splendid colonial mansion cluster memories of the whole course of American history. It was built by the adopted son of Washington, George Washington Parke Custis, grandson of his wife Martha Custis. On the death of Martha Washington in 1802, he erected this lordly mansion with the front in imitation of the Temple of Theseus at Athens. Within were stored memorials brought from Mount Vernon—pictures, silver-service, and furniture. Here Custis entertained with a lavish hospitality. Lafayette was a guest of honor on his visit to this country. In 1831, in the room to the left of the main hall, the only daughter of the house was married to Lieutenant Robert E. Lee. In 1861 the estate was confiscated and occupied by Federal troops. The family heirlooms were removed, many of them eventually finding their way to the National Museum in Washington and others to their original abiding-place, Mount Vernon. The grounds became a national cemetery; the first person buried there being a Confederate soldier. In 1864 the estate was sold at auction for delinquent taxes for $26,100 to the National, Government. After the war General Lee made small effort to recover the property, but in 1877 George Washington Custis Lee, the heir under the law, established his title to the place and received therefor $150,000. Thus the resting-place of some 20,000 American soldiers passed permanently into the possession of the American nation.

[126] pleasure in pronouncing that impossible of occurrence which was destined soon to occur, and in committing themselves to readings of the book of fate in exact opposition to what the muse of history was wetting the pen to record. Volumes of unmerited abuse and false vaticination—and volumes hardly less amusing now than instructive—could be garnered from the columns of the London Times,—volumes in which the spirit of contemptuous and patronizing dislike sought expression in the profoundest ignorance of facts, set down in bitterest words. Not only were republican institutions and man's capacity for self-government on trial, but the severest of sentences was imposed in advance of the adverse verdict, assumed to be inevitable. Then, suddenly, came the dramatic climax at Appomattox,—dramatic, I say, not theatrical,—severe in its simple, sober, matter-of-fact majesty. The world, I again assert, has seen nothing like it; and the world, instinctively, was at the time conscious of the fact. I like to dwell on the familiar circumstances of the day; on its momentous outcome; on its far-reaching results. It affords one of the greatest educational object-lessons to be found in history; and the actors were worthy of the theater, the auditory, and the play.

A mighty tragedy was drawing to a close. The breathless world was the audience. It was a bright, balmy April Sunday in a quiet Virginia landscape, with two veteran armies confronting each other; one, game to the death, completely in the grasp of the other. The future was at stake. What might ensue? What might not ensue? Would the strife end then and there? Would it die in a death-grapple, only to reappear in that chronic form of a vanquished but indomitable people writhing and struggling in the grasp of an insatiate but only nominal victor? Such a struggle as all European authorities united in confidently predicting?

The answer depended on two men,—the captains of the contending forces. Grant that day had Lee at his mercy. He had but to close his hand, and his opponent was crushed. Think what then might have resulted had those two men been other than what they were,—had the one been stern and aggressive, the other sullen and unyielding. Most fortunately for us, they were what and who they were,—Grant and Lee. More, I need not, could not say; this only let me add,—a people has good right to be proud of the past and self-confident of its future [127]

Soldier and citizen before the Appomattox Court House This picture and the next one reveal contrasting scenes at the close of the greatest civil conflict of modern times—the soldiers of the Union army after Lee's surrender grouped before Appomattox Court House, and citizens of the hitherto quiet village gathered in front of the village inn. Grant himself did not remain long after the negotiations were concluded. As he left the McLean house a little after four in the afternoon he heard the firing of salutes in the Union Camp in celebration of the news of surrender. He at once issued orders to discontinue it. ‘The war is over,’ he said, ‘the rebels are our countrymen again, and the best sign of rejoicing after the victory will be to abstain from all demonstrations.’ The next morning he rode to the Confederate lines and held a last interview with Lee, after which he returned to the McLean house before setting out for Washington. Many of his staff were disappointed, but Grant had no curiosity to look upon the conquered army. He was much more eager to restore harmony and prosperity to the reunited nation.

[128] when on so great an occasion it naturally develops at the front men who meet each other as those two met each other then. Of the two, I know not to which to award the palm. Instinctively, unconsciously, they vied not unsuccessfully each with the other, in dignity, magnanimity, simplicity.
Si fractus illabatur orbis
Impavidum ferient ruinae.

With a home no longer his, Lee then sheathed his sword. With the silent dignity of his subsequent life, after he thus accepted defeat, all are familiar. He left behind him no querulous memoirs, no exculpatory vindication, no controversial utterances. For him, history might explain itself,—posterity formulate its own verdict. Surviving Appomattox but a little more than five years, those years were not unmarked by incidents very gratifying to American recollection; for we Americans do, I think, above all things love magnanimity, and appreciate action at once fearless and generous. We all remember how by the grim mockery of fate,—as if to test to the uttermost American capacity for self-government,—Abraham Lincoln was snatched away at the moment of crisis from the helm of State, and Andrew Johnson substituted for him. I think it no doubtful anticipation of historical judgment to say that a more unfortunate selection could not well have chanced. In no single respect, it is safe to say, was Andrew Johnson adapted for the peculiar duties which Booth's pistol imposed upon him. One of Johnson's most unhappy, most ill-considered convictions was that our Civil War was a conventional old-time rebellion; that rebellion was treason; that treason was a crime; and that a crime was something for which punishment should in due course of law be meted out. He, therefore, wanted, or thought he wanted, to have the scenes of England's Convention Parliament and of the Restoration of 1660 reenacted here, a fitting sequel of our great conflict. Most fortunately, the American people then gave evidence to Europe of a capacity for self-restraint and self-government not traceable to English parentage, or precedents. No Cromwell's head grinned from our Westminster Hall; no convicted traitor swung in chains; no shambles dripped in blood. None the less, Andrew Johnson called for ‘indictments’; and, one [129]

Appomattox—in the sunshine of peace The quaint costumes of the groups before the village inn—the flaring skirt of the woman by the gate and the queer pinafores and roundabouts of the children standing by their father near the tree—all mark the year of 1865. These spectators cannot realize the immensity of the event they have witnessed. But the wisest heads are thankful that peace has returned to their land. They are ready to become once more citizens of the United States of America, and to contribute by their industry and loyalty to the future of a common country. The record of the South since Appomattox shows how faithfully its sons have kept the terms accepted there by Robert E. Lee, and turned defeat into victory.

[130] day, demanded that of Lee. Then outspoke Grant,—General of the Army. Lee, he declared, was his prisoner. He had surrendered to him, and in reliance on his word. He had received assurance that so long as he quietly remained at his home, and did not offend against the law, he should not be molested. He had done so; and, so long as Grant held his commission, molested he should not be. Needless, as pleasant to say, what Grant then grimly intimated did not take place. Lee was not molested; nor did the General of the Army indignantly fling his commission at an accidental President's feet. That, if necessary, he would have so done, I take to be quite indubitable.

Of Lee's subsequent life, as head of Washington College, I have but one incident to offer. I believe it to be typical. A few months ago I received a letter from a retired army officer. It is needless to give his name; but, from his letter, I extract the following:

Lee was essentially a Virginian. His sword was Virginia's, and I fancy the State had higher claims upon him than had the Confederacy, just as he supposed it had than the United States. But, after the surrender, he stood firmly and unreservedly in favor of loyalty to the Nation. A gentleman told me this anecdote: As a boy he ran away from his Kentucky home, and served the last two years in the rebel ranks. After the war he resumed his studies under Lee's presidency; and, on one occasion, delivered as a college exercise an oration with eulogistic reference to the “Lost cause,” and what it meant. Later, General, then President, Lee sent for the student; and, after praising his composition and delivery, seriously warned him against holding or advancing such views, impressing strongly upon him the unity of the Nation, and urging him to devote himself loyally to maintain the integrity and the honor of the United States. The kindly paternal advice thus given was, I imagine, typical of his whole post-bellum life.’ Let this one anecdote suffice. Here was magnanimity, philosophy, true patriotism: the pure American spirit. Accepting the situation loyally and in a manly, silent way,—without self-consciousness or mental reservation,—he sought by precept, and yet more by a great example, to build up the shattered community of which he was the most observed representative in accordance with the new conditions imposed by fate.

1 from Poems of Sidney Lanier; copyright, 1884, 1891, by Mary D. Lanier; published by Charles Scribner's sons.

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