Here is a little video I made up with pictures taken by my Dad, sister and I at Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Ellwood House, the Jackson Shrine, and Spotsylvania.
so far on this vacation I have been to Fredericksburg battlefield twice, Spotsylvania battlefield once, Chancellorsville once, and the Ellwood House. I’m Loving this vacation.
well, my favorite point of my summer is finally here. My family and I will be going on a two week vacation to the Fredericksburg/Washington D.C. area. I will be seeing such famous places as Marye’s heights, the Bloody Angle, and the Chancellor House. So I will not be posting for that time period. I will be taking a vacation from writing about the Civil War to go on a trip that will be centered in one of the Civil War centers of the United States, ironic isn’t it? I hope to glean new information and pass that on to you. So I bid you a fond Adue!
These pictures are from a reenactment in Boscobel WI. The battle portrayed is the battle of Franklin Tennessee. Enjoy
though this past year it was the 147th anniversary of the battle of Gettysburg these pictures are still poignant and interesting so I thought I would post them for you all to see.
There has been so much written and said about the Civil War since it happened 150 years ago. But some of my favorite things said came from those actively engaged in the Civil War itself. So here are a few of my favorite things.
” Well boys, Your troubles are over now, mine have just begun” ~ Abraham Lincoln, the day after he was elected president in 1861. This is a rather humorous quote from Lincoln describing what he knew was to come for him as president.
” I thought his genius was military, but that as a party manager he would not succeed.” ~ Varina Davis, describing her thoughts about Jefferson Davis becoming president of the Confederacy, and his possible ineptness for the political realms.
” The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battle-field and patriot grave, to every living heart and hearth-stone, all over this broad land will yet swell the chorus of the Union…” ~Abraham Lincoln, in this very moving quote describes what he thinks the Union ought to still do, sing the chorus of unity.
” I have got the best suit of clothes that I [ever] had in my life” ~Private Peter Wilson 1st Iowa Volunteers, this also rather humorous quote describes the living conditions of some of the soldiers previous to their entrance in the army
” When my last breath escapes me on the battle field, it will whisper your name.” ~ Major Sullivan Ballou 2nd Rhode Island Infantry, Burnside’s Brigade, in this quote describes his strong devotion to his wife in the time of death. Though this was written only to his wife, it exhibits the feelings of many soldiers.
“There stands Jackson like a stone wall.”~ Confederate Brigadier General Barnard Bee, this is a most famous quote which in time would give Jackson the nickname “Stonewall”. Though the intended meaning is not known. Some historians say Bee said that because of his gallantry and bravery in the face of fire, but others say it was because Bee needed reinforcements and Jackson was slow in shifting his men to help him.
” We cut our way in and we can cut our way out.” ~ Brigadier General Ulysses Grant, I especially like this one because it shows the fighting spirit of Grant. In a time were many Union generals would not have tried to cut their way in or out Grant did both.
This poem is a call to peace written before the war. This will be last post on Civil War poetry for awhile.
An Appeal For The country
E. K Blunt
“Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, good will towards men
From lake to gulf, from sea to sea
We have knelt in one solemn fast
That God may heal our country’s strife
Forgiving us all our past.
Hear we no voice as we listening stand?
Comes there no angry touch on the angry hand?
Thrills not one heart-throb-throughout the land?
Peace brothers peace
Oh by our homes so bright and fair
Where the Christmas garlands wave
Oh, by our loved ones nestling there
By each cradle, by each grave
By the praying of our common prayer
By the Bible on which the people swear
Peace brothers peace
Would you render your country’s breast in twain?
It lies bare to the mortal blow
But the sword that could drink her holy vain
Should be that of a foreign fore.
Not her children, cradled free
Not her home- born never be
Such written page of history
Peace brothers peace
Would ye part the river which North and South
Rolls grandly its career
Sounds not a tone from its mighty mouth
teaching us, far and near
That the North and South like it must be
One power, one home, one unity
One time, and one eternity
Peace brothers peace
Brothers beware the storm is high
Our ship of state strains heavily
And her flag who’s spangles have lit the sky
Is fluttering tattered and torn to be.
God of our father Washington
Our trust is in thy arm alone.
Count thou her start, keep ever one!
Peace brothers peace
This poem chronicals the story of 4 brothers in the war and their own seperate fates.
The Tale of The One Armed
W. E. Credesly
His form was straight as the pine whose peak
Pierces the Southern clouds.
As children group when their grandsires speak
Of some fairy scene, or some goblins freak
We stood in the list’ning crowds.
His sleeve hung shrunken and loose by his side
His forehead was pale and wan
But he eyed his stump with a warriors pride
And his narrative began
And we heard him tell, as our watch-fire bright
Threw a smile on the frowning brow of night
The tale of the one-armed man
“Where Hudson’s waves, with liquid song
The rocky heights caress.
My native cot the rock among
O’er hangs their loveliness
But Freedom’s shriek thought the nation rang
I left my home for the bugles clang
Myself and brothers three
Left my mother whose silver hair
Pressed my breast as her farewell prayer
Arose to heaven for me
Her eyes were dim with falling tears
A mother’s love, a mother’s fears
Were swelling in her heart
But said “good-bye” for her will was steel
Though her heart would show the struggle real
To see her boys depart
Saw the hopes of her years three-score
Leave her hearth for the battle’s din
Her greatest grief she had but four
To aid the land their home was in
“My eldest brother loved to roam
On the breast of the ocean wave.
The Navy gave a sailor’s home
And he sleeps in a sailor’s grave
Died at his post in Hampton Bay
Where the Cumberland’s thunders were vain
Deep in the wave her torn hulk lay
But her flag still waved o’er the main”
“Three of us pitched our tents on the sand
Skirting Point Royal Bay
And leaped with glee as we trod the land
Grasping our steel with a free man’s hand
While waved our banner gay
But swamp winds heavy with chilly death
Swept through the air with poisonous breath
Opening graves by the score”
“The youngest of our little flock
Never lived to feel the battle shock
He sleeps ‘neath pine trees hoar
Sleeps till the last dead trumpet’s blast
Wakes from the dead their silent rest
As earthquakes shaking mountains vast
Disclose the gems that deck their breast”
“Week after week rolled slowly by
Like clouds athwart the sun
Our thoughts were stained with a gloomy dye
With guard and picket, and midnight scout
Through the swamps and wood around about
We waited coming spring
When we saw the sun with ruddy glow
Gleam bright on the shores of Edisto
Smiling our welcoming”
“Now waved our banner on James Isle
The amorous zephyrs gave
It’s silken folds to the sunbeam’s smile
Raising them close to Heaven e’er while
As the staff would let them wave
Our soldiers stood in a long dark line
No bullet was in our guns
Waiting to hear from our chief the sign
Of moving still columns
The Rebel cannon frowned black and grim
On breast works high and large
And Stevens smiled as we learned from him
The shout ” Prepare to charge”
Forward, through Minnie and bursting shell
Cleaving the air with our battle yell
While shining bayonets
Poured forth like a wave on the breastwork’s slope
Glistening, and sparkling, and dashing up
O’er earthen parapets
But ah! We saw another force
Come hastening on our right
We looked in vain for fresh supports
To aid us in the fight
While ceaseless through our thinning ranks
Ran death shots to and fro
Back in the steps of our advance
Marched sullen and slow
While spurting blood and crashing bones
With cries of pain and stifled groans
Rang in that sad retreat
While marching on by my brothers side
I saw him fall, while his life blood dyed
The grass beneath my feet
Saw the last of my brothers three
Cross the stream to eternity”
“I felt a pang at my shoulder and my memory failed me then
And many days passed o’er my head e’er reason reigned again”
Now with his dust stained blouse he swept
One shining tear away
That softly on his lids had crept
To hear the mournful lay
Then slowly from our eager gaze
His stalwart form he bore
And ‘neath our watch-fire’s cheerful blaze
We saw his face no more.
This is a poem about a man killed at the Battle of Malvern Hill and the message he sent after he was wounded.
E. S. P. Ward (1844- 1911)
Was there ever a message sweeter
Than that one from Malvern Hill
From a grim old fellow- you remember
Dying in the dark at Malvern Hill
With his rough face turned a little
On a heap of scarlet sand
They found him just within the thicket
With a picture in his hand
With a stained and crumpled picture
Of a women’s aged face
Yet there seemed to leap a wild entreaty
Young and living- tender from the face
When they flashed the lantern on it
Gilding all the purple shade
And they stooped to raise him softly
“That’s my mother sir” he said
“Tell her”- but he wandered, slipping
Into tangled words and cries
Something about Mac and Hooker
Some thing dropping through the cries
About the kitten by the fire
And mother’s cranberry-pies and there
The words fell and an utter silence brooded in the air
Just as he was drifting from them
Out into the dark alone
(Poor old mother waiting for your message
Waiting with the kitten all alone!)
Through the hush his voice, “Tell her
Thank you Doctor- when you can
Tell her that I kissed her picture
And wished that I’d been a better man
Ah, I wonder if the red feet
Of departed battle-hours
May not leave for us their searching Message from those distant hours.
Sisters, daughters, mothers, think you
Would your heroes now or then
Dying, kiss your pictured faces
Wishing they’d been better men?
This is dedicated to all the men who died without saying good bye to loved ones.
The Literature of the Civil War is fascinating to me. So in light of this my next posts for this next week will all be poemse or stories from the Civil War era. My first post on this subject will be the poem called Little Giffen.
Little Giffen Francis O. Ticknor (1822-1874)
Out of the focal and the foremost fire
Out of the hospital walls as dire
Smitten of grape-shot and gangrene
(eighteenth battle and he sixteen)
Spectre such as you seldom see
Little Giffen of Tennessee
“Take him and welcome!” the surgeons said
“Little the doctor can help the dead!”
So we took him and brought him where
The balm was sweet in the summer air
And we laid him down on a wholesome bed
Utter Lazarus, heel to head!
And we watched the war with abated breath
Skeleton boy against skeleton death
Months of torture, how many such
Weary weeks of the stick and crutch
And still a glint of the steel-blue eye
Told of a spirit that wouldn’t die
And didn’t, Nay more! In death’s despite
The crippled skeleton learned to write
“Dear Mother” at first of course and then
“Dear Captain” inquiring about the men
Captain’s answer “Of eighty-and-five
Giffen and I are left alive”
Words of gloom from the war, one day
“Johnston pressed at the front they say”
Little Giffen was up and away
A tear-his first as he bade good-bye
Dimmed the glint of his steel-blue eye
“I’ll write if spared!” There was news of the fight
But none of Giffen, he did not write
I sometimes fancy that I were a king
Of the princely knights of the Golden Ring
With the song of the minstrel in mine ear
And the tender legend that trembles here
I’d give the best on his bended knee
The whitest soul of my chivalry
For little Giffen of Tennessee
I dedicate this to all the boys who died during the Civil War on both sides.