Leaders - Military Feed

When Union Troops Saluted Confederates

Chamberlain
On the occasion of Union General Joshua Chamberlain’s birthday, it seems fitting to honor him not just for his admirable courage and leadership throughout the Late War, most notably in his defense against incredible Southern opposition at Gettysburg, but for the way he perceived and treated his adversaries.

Of course today, many Americans would like to pretend that a war over slavery, beloved by Southerners and despised by Northerners yielded two armies that loathed each other, but as surely as the War was more complex than that, so too were the competing militaries’ relations. This was well exemplified by an account, written by General Chamberlain, of the surrender at Appomattox.

As Confederate General John Brown Gordon approached Chamberlain and his men on horseback, leading his troops, his head bowed, his appearance downcast, Chamberlain recounts:

The momentous meaning of this occasion impressed me deeply. I resolved to mark it by some token of recognition, which could be no other than a salute of arms…

In a description of his Confederate adversaries, the words of Chamberlain, who had lived through a brutal war and had as much right as any to hate the Confederates, would be deemed treasonous by many today.

Before us in proud humiliation stood the embodiment of manhood: men whom neither toils and sufferings, nor the fact of death, nor disaster, nor hopelessness could bend from their resolve; standing before us now, thin, worn, and famished, but erect.

Undoubtedly, General Chamberlain would be as outraged by today’s denigration of Confederates as Lee would be.

 Originally published:

New York, N.Y.
SONS OF CONFEDERATE VETERANS

There is no country

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Wise (top row, second from right) with Robert E. Lee and Confederate officers, 1869.


April 7, 1865, Confederate General Henry Wise met up with Robert E. Lee. 

Wise, who helmed a division in Lee’s army, implored his commander: “my poor brave men are lying on yonder hill more dead than alive. For more than a week they have been fighting day and night, without food, and, by God sir, they shall not move another step until somebody gives them something to eat.”

To this, Lee assured him that they would soon have something to eat. When Wise was more or less pacified, Lee asked him for his thoughts on their situation. 

“Situation?” spat Wise, “There is no situation. Nothing remains, General Lee, but to put your poor men on your poor mules and send them home in time for the spring ploughing. This army is hopelessly whipped, and is fast becoming demoralized. These men have already endured more than I believed flesh and blood could stand, and I say to you, sir, emphatically, that to prolong the struggle is murder, and the blood of ‘every man who is killed from this time forth is on your head, General Lee.”

“Oh, General,” Lee replied with anger, “do not talk so wildly! My burdens are heavy enough! What would the country think of me, if I did what you suggest?”

“Country be damned,” snapped Wise. “There is no country. There has been no country, General, for a year or more. You are the country to these men. They have fought for you. They have shivered through a long winter for you. Without pay or clothes or care of any sort, their devotion to you and faith in you have been the only things that have held this army together. If you demand the sacrifice, there are still left thousands of us who will die for you. You know the game is desperate beyond redemption, and that, if you so announce, no man, or government, or people, will gainsay your decision. That is why I repeat that the blood of any man killed hereafter is on your head.”

 

Lee, by the word of Wise’s son, made no reply.

From Civil War Daily Gazette


Nathan Bedford Forrest

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Colorized photo by Stacey Palmer thecivilwarparlor tumblr.com


Nathan Bedford Forrest 
"The Wizard Of The Saddle” His tactics on the battlefield are still studied by military academies today

“I wish none but those who desire to be actively engaged. Come on boys, if you want a heap of fun and to kill some yankees” 

  •  29 horses shot from under him, killed or seriously wounded at least thirty enemy soldiers in hand-to-hand combat, and had been himself wounded four times.
  • In the motion picture Forrest Gump, Tom Hanks’s character Forrest Gump states that he was named after a “General Forrest”
  • Forrest’s victory at Brice’s Cross Roads became the subject of a class taught at the French War College by Marshal Ferdinand Foch before World War I. 
  • His mobile campaigns were studied by the German general Erwin Rommel, who as commander of the Afrika Korps in World War II, emulated his tactics on a wider scale, with tanks and trucks.

Not only did he lack formal military training, but had very little formal education in his youth. Forrest was the eldest, and the head of seven brothers and three sisters. His father, a blacksmith, died while Forrest was still a young man, necessitating that he forego a formal education and help to raise the family. As a young business man, Forrest overcame his lack of schooling, entering the war as a private with an estimated wealth of a million and a half. During the war, he was an avid reader, scanning the newspapers daily to keep abreast of military information.

Years after the war, General Sherman said, "I think Forrest was the most remarkable man the civil war produced on either side. His opponents were professional soldiers, while he had no military training. He was never taught tactics yet he had a genius for strategy that was original and to me incomprehensible. I couldn’t calculate what he was up to, yet he always knew my intentions."

His lack of education became most noticeable in his poor spelling and punctuation of personally written dispatches and reports. The words such as “skeer,” “git” and “thar” were some examples. Described as urbane and polished in his mannerisms, most of the grammatical distortions in his speech were products of his staff officers and their leg-pulling tales of Forrest. However, in anger or excitement, his no nonsense approach to the English language would become evident. Once, having received a soldier’s repeated request for leave, Forrest responded in writing: “I have told you twict goddamit No!” 

He continued to be surrounded by controversy for the remainder of his life. He continued to be active in civic and political events until his health declined prior to his death. On May 14, 1875 he presence was conspicuous at a reunion of the Seventh Cavalry in Covington. Requested to make a speech, he did so from horseback. “…Comrades, through the years of bloodshed and weary marches you were tried and true soldiers. So through the years of peace you have been good citizens, and now that we are again united under the old flag, I love it as I did in the days of my youth, and I feel sure that you love it also….It has been thought by some that our social reunions were wrong, and that they would be heralded to the North as an evidence that we were again ready to break out into civil war. But I think that they are right and proper, and we will show our countrymen by our conduct and dignity that brave soldiers are always good citizens and law-abiding and loyal people.”

Colorized photo by Stacey Palmer thecivilwarparlor tumblr.com

http://www.civilwarinteractive.com/ArticleJekyllHyde.htm

http://www.historynet.com/nathan-bedford-forrest


Robert E. Lee and his Generals

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General Lee and his Confederate officers in their first meeting since Appomattox, taken at White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, in August 1869, where they met to discuss “the orphaned children of the Lost Cause”. Left to right standing: General James Conner, General Martin Witherspoon Gary, General John B. Magruder, General Robert D. Lilley, General P. G. T. Beauregard, General Alexander Lawton, General Henry A. Wise, General Joseph Lancaster Brent Left to right seated: Blacque Bey (Turkish Minister to the United States), General Robert E. Lee, Philanthropist George Peabody, Philanthropist William Wilson Corcoran, James Lyons (Virginia)

From: http://civilwartalk.com/threads/new-robert-e-lee-and-generals-in-1869.88536/


Abner Doubleday

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Brig. Gen. Abner Doubleday (June 26, 1819 – Jan. 26, 1893). He was a U.S. Army officer and Union general in the Civil War. He fired the first shot in defense of Fort Sumter, the opening battle of the war and saw combat action at Second Bull Run, South Mountain, and Antietam. He had a vital role in the early fighting at the Battle of Gettysburg. After the war, he continued to serve in the Army and even obtained a patent on a cable car railway. He left the Army in 1873 and became a lawyer. Doubleday is often credited with inventing baseball.

From Arlington National Cemetery


Stonewall Jackson Dies

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May 10th, 1863

Lt. Gen. Thomas ‘Stonewall’ Jackson dies from complications after an amputation - a result of his own troops accidentally firing upon him one week previously at the Battle of Chancellorsville, hours after his famous flank attack.


Little John Clem

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John Lincoln Clem (August 13, 1851 – May 13, 1937) was a United States Army general who served as a drummer boy in the Union Army in the American Civil War. He gained fame for his bravery on the battlefield, becoming the youngest noncommissioned officer in Army history. He retired from the Army in 1915, having attained the rank of Brigadier General in the Quartermaster Corps. When advised he should retire, he requested to be allowed to remain on active duty until he became the last veteran of the Civil War still on duty in the Armed Forces. By special act of Congress on August 29, 1916, he was promoted to major general one year after his retirement.

In this picture Clem looks to be six or seven years old. The photograph was created between 1860 and 1865 by Morris Gallery of the Cumberland, Nashville, Tennessee.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Little_John_Clem.jpg


Robert E. Lee - Fashion Plate

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Robert E. Lee, age 38, poses with his son, William Henry Fitzhugh Lee, 8, around the year 1845. At the time, Lee was twenty years into his military career having entered West Point in 1825, graduated second in his class, and earned a place in the Corps of Engineers. Historian Emory M. Thomas has suggested that “Lee is quite the fashion plate” in this image.

  • "His long, large sideburns, striped trousers, counter–striped vest, and hand–in–coat pose all seem a bit more pretentious than Lee usually was.” Thomas’s desire to judge Lee’s dress in the context of his character fits into a long tradition that includes Lost Cause biographers who saw his crisp Civil War–era attire as a reflection of “his modest humility, simplicity, and gentleness.”

Lee’s son, for a time nicknamed Rooney, ended the Civil War as second in command of the Confederate cavalry. He later served in the Senate of Virginia (1875–1878) and the United States House of Representatives (1887–1891).

Source: Encyclopedia Virgina

From The Civil War Parlor on Tumblr