Discussion in 'Military and War' started by bdtex, Jul 16, 2015.
When I was there a man was running a metal detector at the edge of the Cornfield. Think he scored
Thank you. I donated the poem to the National Park Service for the battlefield. It is alleged to be in their archives. I don't know if it really is or not. It appeard in a few periodicals (mostly stuff that might be called a Blog, these days, but were more like Chapbooks produced by poetry aficianados and such.
I ain't too fond of relic hunters that do that on public property.
I'm pretty sure I have posted it on this forum, before. This battlefield more than any other, even Gettysburg, always gave me that feeling of walking on hallowed ground.
When you go to Burnside's bridge, climb up on the ridge above the bridge where the Georgia Confederates fired down on the Union troops.
I did that many times and tried to imagine what it was like on that day. For someone who is a history idiot, as my family calls me, it is possible, if only in your mind's eye, to see it like watching a movie.
I walked across Picketts Charge and back... that was powerful. Also the Mule Shoe Salient at Spotsylvania gave me the same feeling.
Yeah, standing at The Angle and watching, in my mind's eye, Picket's division lined up and marching toward me across that open field, made me wonder what it must have been like for those Confederates. They had to know that they might not survive. It took a lot of personal courage to step out of the treeline and make that charge. If I had been there at 18 years-of-age, I probably would have stepped out too. But if I had been 30 at the time, I don't think I would have.
Oh, and btw, I did some further research on the battle of Saylor's Creek. I know I had read or heard that Lee had ordered a futile breakout and lost many troops. But I can't find anything to confirm that now.
I think I may have read this account and that's how it got planted in my brain.
On 25 March, Lee attempted to retake the initiative and relieve the pressure on his lines by attacking the extreme right of the Federal defenses southeast of Petersburg. At the recommendation of General John B. Gordon, Lee ordered a daring night assault on Union held Fort Stedman. 19 Gordon’s men, wielding axes and marked by white scarves to prevent fratricide during the close quarters night fighting, successfully infiltrated Federal pickets and were initially successful in taking the fort. 20 However, the weakness of the Confederate forces proved a fatal factor when Lee was unable to support Gordon’s breakthrough of the Union lines. 21 Gordon acknowledged that the assault was the “last supreme effort to break the hold 7 of General Grant. . . . [and] was the expiring struggle of the Confederate giant, whose strength was nearly exhausted and whose limbs were heavily shackled by the most onerous conditions.” 22 Lee might not have shown his men that defeat was inevitable, but his sons, upon seeing him riding back to headquarters from the failed assault, noticed “the sadness of his face.” 23 For Lee knew that his last valiant, but desperate effort to break the Union siege had failed
Soldiers from the Confederacy mostly came from the same towns and served in the same units. None of them wanted to be called a coward by their neighbors. Some communities lost all their sons.
Lee never had enough troops to just feed them into a meat grinder. Except for one time he always fought against 3 to 1 odds or worse. Pickett's charge was the only exception. Lee's blood was up and he had seen his men do the impossible before and wanted them to do it again. The first day of Gettysburg Lee said he was going to whip the Union army there or be whipped. It was his biggest mistake and he should have taken Longstreet's advice and fought on a ground of their own choosing.
Lee was a defensive genius. Jackson was the offensive genius. I believe the war was lost for sure with the loss of Stonewall Jackson. I have been to the spot where Gen. Jackson went down at Chancellorsville.
I am about 2/3 into The Shipwreck Of Their Hopes, by Peter Cozzens. Chapters 13 and 14 are about the Battle of Lookout Mountain. So far,that's the most detailed account of the 40th Alabama Infantry's actions in battle that I've read anywhere. Part of the regiment was deployed on the picket line along the outer base of Lookout Mountain. Most of them were captured and ended up being among the first Confederate POWs sent to Rock Island. The rest of the regiment actually acquitted themselves quite well in action around the Cravens House on the afternoon and into the night on 11/24/1863. Apparently,my ancestor was not on picket duty. Good reading.
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