Reminiscences of the Civil War

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Charles Scribner's Sons, 1904 - Confederate States of America - 474 pages
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"For many years I have been urged to place on record my reminiscences of the war between the States. In undertaking the task now, it is not my purpose to attempt a comprehensive description of that great struggle, nor an elaborate analysis of the momentous interests and issues involved. The time may not have arrived for a full and fair history of that most interesting period in the Republic's life. The man capable of writing it with entire justice to both sides is perhaps yet unborn. He may appear, however, at a future day, fully equipped for the great work. If endowed with the requisite breadth and clearness of view, with inflexible mental integrity and absolute freedom from all bias, he will produce the most instructive and thrilling record in the world's deathless annals, and cannot fail to make a contribution of measureless value to the American people and to the cause of free government throughout the world ... I have also recorded in this volume a large number of those characteristic and thrilling incidents which illustrate a unique and hitherto unwritten phase of the war, the story of which should not be lost, because it is luminous with the noblest lessons. Many of these incidents came under my own observation"--Introduction.

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last section. Recon.

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Having read a number of such books of memory, I enjoyed Gordon's far-away look back at that past which he considered so glorious! He was a brave and hearty soldier, good at the job of leading men toward death and killing. I find his book quite entertaining, and interesting, from the viewpoint of a great fan of those Generals who fought under Lee in northern Virginia.  

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Page 23 - I felt like anything rather than rejoicing at the downfall of a foe who had fought so long and valiantly, and had suffered so much for a cause, though that cause was, I believe, one of the worst for which a people ever fought, and one for which there was the least excuse.
Page 278 - General Lee, you shall not lead my men in a charge. No man can do that, sir. Another is here for that purpose. These men behind you are Georgians, Virginians and Carolinians. They have never failed you on any field. They will not fail you here. "Will you, boys...
Page 24 - I have never believed we could, against the gigantic combination for our subjugation, make good in the long run our independence unless foreign powers should, directly or indirectly, assist us. ... But such considerations really made with me no difference. We had, I was satisfied, sacred principles to maintain and rights to defend, for which we were in duty bound to do our best, even if we perished in the endeavour.
Page 308 - The Commanding General considers that no greater disgrace could befall the army, and through it, our whole people, than the perpetration of the barbarous outrages upon the innocent and defenceless, and the wanton destruction of private property, that have marked the course of the enemy in our own country.
Page 14 - Union, suffering from it as it does not become me to speak it, if I here express the deep sorrow which always overwhelms me when I think of taking a last leave of that object of early affection and proud association, feeling that henceforth it is not to be the banner which, by day and by night, I am ready to follow, to hail with the rising and bless with the setting sun. But God, who knows the hearts of men, will judge between you and us, at whose door lies the responsibility of this.
Page 15 - Your platform," he said to the Republicans, " on which you elected your candidate denies us equality. Your votes refuse to recognize our domestic institutions which pre-existed the formation of the Union, our property which was guarded by the Constitution. You refuse us that equality without which we should be degraded if we remained in the Union. You elect a candidate upon the basis of sectional hostility; one who, in his speeches, now thrown broadcast over the country, made a distinct declaration...
Page 308 - Their conduct in other respects has, with few exceptions, been in keeping with their character as soldiers, and entitles them to approbation and praise. "There have, however, been instances of forgetfulness on the part of some that they have in keeping the yet unsullied reputation of the army, and that the duties exacted of us by civilization and Christianity are not less obligatory in the country of the enemy than in our own.
Page 176 - I could perform, and all that I have wished. I hope your Excellency will attribute my request to the true reason, the desire to serve my country, and to do all in my power to insure the success of her righteous cause.
Page 421 - Fighting all day, marching all night, with exhaustion and hunger claiming their victims at every mile of the march, with charges of infantry in rear and of cavalry on the flanks, it seemed the war god had turned loose all his furies to revel in havoc. On and on, hour after hour, from hilltop to hilltop, the lines were alternately forming, fighting, and retreating, making one almost continuous shifting battle.
Page 406 - Yank. Lie down and go to sleep. We are just gathering a little corn. You know rations are mighty short over here.

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