Battles and Leaders of the Civil War
Publication Year: 2004
Published by: University of Illinois Press
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List of Maps
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List of Illustrations
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In November 1884 the Century Magazine, a then-recent entry into the popular monthly illustrated magazine market, launched a series of articles called “Battles and Leaders of the Civil War” as a moneymaking venture. For the next three years, each issue carried two or three...
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I am most grateful to my wife, Issa Maria, for transcribing many of the articles that appear in this volume, and for her cheerful tolerance of yet another of my book projects. I wish to thank my mother for submitting countless interlibrary loan requests at...
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Wishing to allow the authors of the articles gathered here to speak posthumously for themselves, I have not edited the pieces for accuracy in details, nor have I done much more than silently correct misspelled names, complete partial references to persons, places,...
PART 1: PRELUDE TO WAR
1. From Weat Point to the Battlefield
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In June 1857, I entered the Military Academy at West Point as a cadet, having received my appointment thereto through the kindness of the Hon. John A. Bingham, then representing in Congress the district in Ohio in which I was born, and in which I had spent almost my entire boyhood. The first official notification received by me...
2. The Seventh Regiment at the Capital, 1861
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Viewed through the long retrospect of a quarter of a century, the events which preceded and accompanied the great uprising of the people in 1861 possess an almost melodramatic interest when compared with the terrible tragedies of the succeeding years of bloody strife. From the day that the result of the general election of 1860 was known, the preparation for an armed resistance to the national...
PART 2: THE WAR IN 1861
3. Alexandria, a Graphic Account of Its Capture
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The firing upon Fort Sumter having cleared the political atmosphere, President Lincoln issued his first call for volunteers on April 15, 1861. But the occupation of the nearest points in Virginia, opposite Washington, by Federal troops did not tak e place until...
4. The Battle of Rich Mountain
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Reported to [Major General] George B. McClellan, on receiving orders from Columbus to turn over Camp Chase, the day before the departure of the forces from Camp Dennison to western Virginia. When I arrived at Parkersburg, I found the Eighth and Tenth Indiana and the Tenth, Seventeenth, and Nineteenth Ohio. [General...
5. At the Battle of Bull Run with the Second New Hampshire Regiment
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the principal battles of the War of the Rebellion have been fought over again on paper so often that everyone knows or can learn as much about them as one who fought in them. For a soldier engaged in the fight can see but little [of] how the battle...
6. What I Saw at Wilson's Creek
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in a division of the people of Missouri in 1861 that places those who favored the Union unconditionally, and war as the necessary means of preserving the Union, and who regarded all other questions as of secondary importance, into one class; and those who favored secession, those...
PART 3: LEADERS, CIVILIAN AND MILITARY
7. Lincoln and Grant
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The names of [Abraham] Lincoln and [Ulysses S.] Grant will always be inseparably associated in connection with the events of the War of the Rebellion. At first thought they present two characters in American history entirely dissimilar. Their careers seem in striking contrast. One led the life of a civilian, and made his reputation as a statesman...
8. Robert E. Lee
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Robert E. Lee, gentleman, scholar, gallant soldier, great general, and true Christian, was born in Westmoreland County, Virginia, on January 19, 1807. He was the youngest son of General Henry Lee, who was familiarly known as “Light Horse Harry” in the..
PART 4: THE WAR IN 1862
9. Stonewall Jackson't Discontent
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Among the Confederate leaders in the late Civil War, no one except perhaps the peerless and lamented [General Robert E.] Lee is remembered more affectionately throughout the South than [Lieutenant General Thomas J.] Stonewall Jackson. It would be strange, indeed, if this was not the case, for when we consider how unselfishly he...
10. My Campaign in East Kentucky
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The following account of General Garfield’s brilliant operations in Kentucky, by which that state was held to her moorings in the Union, was written as data for a life of him, which I wrote in 1880. It is printed exactly as it was originally written, excepting in the opening...
11. A Boy at Shiloh
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Shiloh Church, Sunday morning, April 6, 1862. Here is a date and a locality indelibly burned into my memory. At sixteen years of age, I found myself an enlisted, fourth-class musician in the Twenty-fourth Ohio Regiment, in which my elder brother was a first lieutenant, and afterward captain and colonel. I had campaigned in Western Virginia...
12. A Soldier's Letter from Shiloh
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Major Robert P. Barry was born in New York City on March 30, 1839. His father was Samuel F. Barry, originally of Boston, and his mother was Martha Lewis Peabody, originally from Salem, Massachusetts. Robert Peabody Barry was the youngest son. After education in private preparatory schools, he attended Columbia College. When he...
13. Sketching under Fire at Antietam
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As I awoke soon after daylight on the morning of September 17, 1862, the air was already vibrating with mighty sounds of battle. How exhilarating was that tremendous early morning uproar! The Confederate guns across the Antietam were thundering their infernal salutations, and our batteries on both sides of the stream were as viciously...
14. The Battle of Perryville
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At that time, early September , the weather was hot, the limestone turnpike dusty, water scarce away from streams, and marching was fatiguing. The army seemed to be huddled together. Marching on parallel roads did not seem to be practiced in that army as it was...
15. In the Ranks at Stones River
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Christmas came to us in camp at last. Christmas day, but not the good old Christmas times—social, generous, “merry Christmas!” To us it was only December 25, 1862. We had been for some weeks quietly encamped near Nashville. Almost the entire Army of the Cumberland was in this vicinity, stretched away out on the various roads centering here from the southward, waiting and watching the Rebel Army of Tennessee,...
PART 5: THE WAR IN 1863
16. Grierson's Cavalry Raid
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The Grierson raid, made in April 1863 from Lagrange, in western Tennessee, to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was the first of the great Federal cavalry raids of the Civil War, and one of the most brilliantly successful. It was a rapid ride of some six hundred miles through the heart of the enemy’s country, made by a mounted force of less...
17. Recollections of Marye's Heights and Salem Church
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During the winter of 1862–63, [Major General Ambrose E.] Burnside had been superseded by [Major General Joseph] “Fighting Joe” Hooker, who was making gigantic preparations just across the Rappahannock for the fourth “On to Richmond,” and boasted that he had the “finest army on the planet” and would “pulverize the rebellion.” General [Robert E.] Lee was not idle. Though cramped by his limited means and resources, both in men and...
18. Criminal Blundering at Chancellorsville
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Much has been written, and probably much more will be written of the Eleventh Corps. At Chancellorsville, May 2, 1863, a disaster befell that corps that has in a great measure been laid at the door of the arms-bearing men and subordinate officers. This is at once unjust and cruel. No veterans of the Regular army could have maintained their ground under the same circumstances. I propose to give such facts as my own observation can state, and to give nothing from hearsay. I was in command...
19. With Hood at Gettysburg
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In the spring of 1863 [Lieutenant General James] Longstreet made what was called a foraging campaign. He closely invested Suffolk in order to have free and uninterrupted use of the surrounding country, thus supplying his own command and contributing supplies to the commissary department in Richmond for the maintenance of the...
20. Further Recollections of Gettysburg
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I would not have seen Gettysburg had [Major General Joseph] Hooker not sent me a message summoning me from New York, where I was slowly recovering from a contusion received at Chancellorsville. He announced the coming battle, asking me to join my command instantly, giving such urgent and flattering reasons that I could not refuse...
21. Another View of Gettysburg
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It is said of General [Zachary] Taylor that he, on one occasion, after listening to several stories told of the battle of Buena Vista, remarked that he sometimes wondered whether he himself was present at that battle, so marked was the contrast between what he heard of it and what he had seen and heard at the battle. I have been much interested...
22. General "Jeb" Stuart at Gettysburg
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In an article which recently appeared in the [Philadelphia] Weekly
Times from the pen of [Major General] Henry Heth [Heth’s article appears in
23. Port Hudson: The Forlorn Hope and the Siege
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At Port Hudson a gallant band, one thousand strong, volunteered for a forlorn hope, to try to carry by storm at night what strategy, overwhelming numbers, and weeks of siege could not subdue. Unable, with army and fleet, to capture Port Hudson, [Major General Nathaniel P.] Banks, finding his assaulting columns hurled back, called for those brave one thousand to do and...
24. Plain Living at Johnson's Island
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In giving my experience as a prisoner of war for eighteen months, sixteen of which were spent in the military prison on Johnson’s Island, in Lake Erie, I shall confine myself strictly to an individual experience, or to such events as came under my immediate observation. As I kept no diary during my imprisonment, I must necessarily trust entirely...
25. A Romance of Morgan's Rough Reider
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In the summer of 1863 when at Tullahoma, Tennessee, General [Braxton] Bragg’s army was menaced by superior numbers in flank and rear, he determined to send a body of cavalry into Kentucky, which should operate upon Rosecrans’s communications between Nashville and Louisville, break the railroads, capture or threaten all the minor...
26. The Assault on Fort Wagner
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During the attack upon Fort Sumter by the ironclads in April 1863, the regiment to which I belonged—Sixth Connecticut volunteers—formed part of a force on light-draught vessels lying in Stono Inlet, at the south end of Folly Island, South Carolina. From the mastheads we saw the ironclads as they passed up the coast to the attack....
27. The Mistakes of Grant in Relation to the Chickamauga Campaign
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In a recent interview with the editor of the North American Review, my attention was called to the article in the November  number of the Century [Ulysses S. Grant, “Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant: Chattanooga”], and I was asked in the interests of history to prepare some observations upon the matters therein set forth. I said there were very serious objections to a compliance with his request;...
28. Grant at Chattanooga
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[Major General Ulysses s.] Grant was graduated from West Point seven years before I entered the academy, and he was eight years my senior. He left the army by resignation about a month after my graduation in 1854, and I did not have the privilege of seeing him until 1863. On October 16 of that year,...
PART 6: THE WAR IN 1864
29. Dahlgren's Raid
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[Major General Judson] Kilpatrick’s second raid upon Richmond was made with the purpose of releasing our officers and men confined in Libby Prison, Castle Thunder, and Belle Island, and to destroy the mills, workshops, materials, stores, and government property of the Rebels in that city and vicinity, and the railroad communications...
30. The Siege of Petersburg
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The leading actors in the War of the Rebellion had little idea of the controversies which would grow out of their actions, to be fought over, and, if ever settled, to be decided by others than the participants years after. Two such events occurred just prior to the beginning of the siege of Petersburg, in the first half of June 1864. The first, on...
31. The Battle of Petersburg
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On June 9, 1864, [Major General Benjamin F.] Butler sent a strong force across the Appomattox for the purpose of striking another blow at Petersburg. Fully five thousand men, more than half of whom had been taken from [Major General Quincy] Gillmore’s corps, the others from [Brigadier General August V.] Kautz’s mounted infantry participated...
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Some months ago I noticed some communications in the National Tribune concerning the Petersburg mine, and although I have read everything I could get hold of in the way of published accounts of that disastrous affair, they all fall far short of conveying any idea of the desperation and ferocity of the combatants on that day. The...
33. With Sherman at Atlanta
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During the siege of Atlanta, many interesting things occurred that made a strong impression upon the actors and witnesses. There was a continual strain upon the nerves of everyone, which was trying enough to the men and must have been a thousand times more so to the women and children who remained in the city. The..
34. The Price Campaign of 1864
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In September 1864, after more than three years of arduous service at the front in the various Missouri cavalry commands attached to the armies of the Frontier, the Southwest, and the Border, Major Emory S. Foster and myself had resigned, as we shared the common belief that the war was over west of the Mississippi River, and had...
35. Sheridan at Winchester
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As it has been recently stated that the story of [Major General Philip H.] Sheridan’s ride at the battle of Cedar Creek is a fiction, and as many other late statements in the newspapers about the Shenandoah Valley campaign of 1864 under Sheridan are incorrect, it seems due to the memory of the brave dead and gallant living officers...
36. General Schofield at Franklin
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I have read with great interest your editorial of [Major General] W. F. Smith and the board of officers that investigated his claim to be the author of the plan that relieved our starving army at Chattanooga in October 1863. The finding of the board was a great surprise nevertheless. I say “Amen,” as every lover of the truth must say when...
PART 7: FIRESIDE AND FIELD of BATTLE
37. The Railroad Brigade
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In the spring of 1862 I received a telegram from the secretary of war requesting my presence at Washington. I left Boston immediately and reported to the secretary. Asking why I had been summoned he explained that [Major General George B.] McClellan was on the Peninsula operating against Richmond, that [Major General Irvin]...
38. Telegraphing in Battle
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Before 1861 the value of the military telegraph had not been demonstrated. Crude experiments had been made with poorly equipped lines in the Crimea, in India, and by France, Spain, and Italy in different campaigns, while the Germans possessed a distinct military telegraph organization as yet untested; but it was on the very route where...
39. A View of the Confederacy from the Inside
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The original of this letter, here printed for the first time, is in the possession of Charles P. Greenough, Esq., of Boston. When Judge Campbell was imprisoned in Fort Pulaski, his former associates on the Supreme Bench, Judges Curtis and Nelson, both wrote to President Johnson, and finally succeeded in getting Judge Campbell released. This...
PART 8: THE WAR IN 1865
40. The Failure of the Hampton Conference
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On February 3, 1865, upon the waves of Hampton Roads, near Fort Monroe, Virginia, Abraham Lincoln, president of the United States; William H. Seward of New York, his secretary of state; Alexander Hamilton Stephens of Georgia; R. M. T. Hunter of Virginia; and Judge J. A. Campbell, then of Alabama, met for informal conference...
41. The Fall of Fort Fisher
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In consequence of a change of service the closing days of the war found the writer on the coast defenses of North Carolina. He was attached to the Fortieth North Carolina Regiment, stationed on Smith’s Island, and was in the heavy artillery branch of the service guarding the islet to the main or western bar of the Cape Fear River, for the twofold...
42. The Burning of Columbia
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When [Major General William T] Sherman reported that Columbia was either burned by [Lieutenant General Wade] Hampton or by accident, caused by the burning of cotton in the streets by the citizens, he presented the people of the North so-called facts; but over forty thousand eyewitnesses of the scene—one half of them...
43. The Last Days of the Rebellion
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Public attention having of late been occasionally called to some of the events that occurred in the closing scenes of the Virginia campaign, terminating at Appomattox Court House, April 9, 1865, I feel it my duty to give to history the following facts: When [on] April 4, 1865, being at the head of the cavalry, I threw across the line of General [Robert E.] Lee’s march at Jettersville...
44. The Last Days of Lee's Army
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The march was continued during April 8, [1865,] with little interruption from the enemy, and in the evening was halted near Appomattox Court House, General [Robert E.] Lee intending to march by way of Campbell Court House, through Pittsylvania County, toward Danville, with a view of opening communication with the army of...
45. An Effort to Rescue Jefferson Davis
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On April 27, 1865—I think that was the date—I arrived in Charlotte, North Carolina, where Mr. [Jefferson] Davis had summoned me. This was about a fortnight after Appomattox, and the president, accompanied by officers of his staff and by several members of his cabinet, with a number of other officers of government and many clerks of...
46. The Last Chapter in the History of the War
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The details attending the death-throes of the Southern Confederacy east of the Mississippi have been told, by those who witnessed them on each side, over and over again. The surrender of [Robert E.] Lee, which virtually ended the war, was an event of such transcendent importance that every particular incident thereof was portrayed...
PART 9: EPILOGUE
47. Why the Confederacy Failed
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If a person be asked the question, “Why did the states fail seceding to win independence in the war of 1861–65,” the chances are that he will give one of two answers. It is likely that he will say that it was never intended that they should win; that America was designed by almighty Providence for one great nation; that it is not divided by interior seas and other natural boundaries, but is essentially one country; and that...
Notes on Sources and Contributors
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Map and Illustration Credits
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About the Author, Publication Information
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Page Count: 632
Publication Year: 2004