Browsing "Southern Heroism"
Dec 25, 2016 - Southern Heroism, Southern Patriots    Comments Off on Union Panic Fever at Ream’s Station

Union Panic Fever at Ream’s Station

The Northern failure at Ream’s Station in late August, 1864 took a personal toll on Northern General Winfield S. Hancock, whose men panicked under the assault by A.P. Hill and Henry Heth. By the end of the day, triumphant Southern troops took captured 12 stands of enemy colors, 9 cannon, 3,100 small arms, and sent Hancock’s two divisions fleeing northward.  It was Northern Gen. Nelson Miles who later manacled President Jefferson Davis at Fortress Monroe, by order of Lincoln’s Assistant Secretary of War Charles A. Dana, a confidante of Karl Marx.

Bernhard Thuersam, www.Circa1865.com

 

Union Panic Fever at Ream’s Station

“Major-General Henry Heth arrived on the field with two fresh Confederate brigades and assumed tactical control of the operation. He conferred briefly with the stricken [Gen. A.P.] Hill, who told him that he “must carry the position.” With Heth came Colonel William J. Pegram and twelve artillery pieces. While Pegram arranged his cannon to bombard the Federals, Heth deployed a three-brigade assault force aimed at the northwest corner of the enemy perimeter. Pegram opened fire at 5:00 P.M.

Henry Heth moved to signal the advance by calling for a regimental flag to be brought to him. The standard of the 26th North Carolina arrived, along with its young color-bearer. Heth asked for the flag, but the color-bearer insisted on carrying it himself. Heth smiled and took the soldier by his arm. “Come on then, we will carry the colors together,” he said.  This was the signal to begin the third assault on Reams Station.

The [Southerners] were blasted from the moment they came into view, and the heavy fire was kept up as the leading Rebel elements scattered the Federal pickets . . . A few more minutes of this punishment, [Gen.] Nelson Miles thought, and the [Confederates] would have to withdraw.

Suddenly, three of his regiments near the northwest angle panicked, and their once neat battle lines dissolved into a welter of fleeing men. At the same moment, triumphant [Southern] soldiers began to clamber over the breastworks. Other units along the upper western section of the [federal] line began to break apart. “This was the turning point of the fight,” one of the frightened Federals later recalled, “and here we failed.”

Rebel rifle fire ripped into the battery covering the gap . . . [and the enemy cannons were captured].  A New York battery posted [nearby] twisted its gun around to fire into the lost lines even as the regiments supporting it began to catch the panic fever.  Once their infantry help fled, the gunners had to run as well, leaving their pieces for the enemy.

The Union lines below the Depot Road gave way at about the same time Miles counterattacked . . . Union cannoneers . . . fought their guns to the last, then had to leave them behind as they raced for cover; many of the horses whose task it was to pull the guns out of harm’s way had become early victims of [Southern] sharpshooters.

[With Gen. Wade] Hampton’s cavalrymen and horse batteries pressing the southern face of Hancock’s line, some of the [federals] were in fact getting hit from three sides. Once the western face of the perimeter collapsed, dismounted Confederate troopers poured into [Hancock’s] earthworks.

The possibility of encirclement decided the matter: at 8:00 P.M., [Northern Gen. Winfield S.] Hancock issued orders to withdraw.  By 9:00 P.M., the Federals had disengaged and pulled back to the east. In the confusion of this night movement, Hancock’s devoted adjutant and postwar biographer, Francis Walker, was captured when he rode into an enemy picket line.

It had been a hard-won victory for Confederate arms, so much so that A.P. Hill decided not to pursue Hancock’s retreating corps. His troops, and Hampton’s, were kept busy rounding up prisoners and captured weapons. Then nature closed the scene with some artillery of its own: a heavy thunderstorm rumbled across Reams Station, bringing vivid flashes of light in the heavens along with a pelting rain that washed over the weary, wounded and dead alike.”

(The Last Citadel, Petersburg, Virginia, June 1864-April 1865, Noah Andre Trudeau, Little, Brown and Company, 1991, excerpts pp. 186-189)

 

Dec 17, 2016 - American Military Genius, Southern Heroism, Southern Patriots    Comments Off on Success of the Confederate Privateers

Success of the Confederate Privateers

Early in the war, Alabamian Raphael Semmes evaluated the South’s naval dilemma of not having a navy to speak of, and advised the use of privateers to prey upon the North’s merchant marine. His record with the CSS Sumter was exemplary, as was the career of the CSS Alabama he later captained. His protocol when capturing Northern commerce was in accordance with the laws of war: “We were making war upon the enemy’s commerce, but not upon unarmed seamen.”  Semmes and other Confederate privateers like John Newland Maffitt and John Wilkinson virtually destroyed the North’s merchant marine.

Bernhard Thuersam, www.Circa1865.com

 

Success of the Confederate Privateers

“The advance [of American merchant ships] continued to 1855, when American steam-shipping amounted to 115,000 tons. From that time a retrograde movement set in, and the steam-tonnage of the United States was less in 1862 than it was seven years before. The civil war which intervened accelerated the decline, and prevented attention from being devoted to the subject, which might possibly have given a different direction to events.

American commerce was, in a measure, driven from the seas by Confederate cruisers and their allies, and American shipping was sold to foreigners on account of the special risks to which its use was subjected. Attention was turned away from ship-building for commercial purposes, and from the fostering of commercial interests in general, and the heavy burdens imposed upon the country in order to raise war revenues had the effect of restricting foreign intercourse and trade.

Accordingly, when the war was over, the American merchant marine was well-nigh destroyed. The wooden sailing vessels had largely disappeared, there had been no increase in steam-tonnage, and the slight revival which followed the return of peace affected the coasting-trade mainly, if not wholly.”

(Merchant Marine of the United States, Appleton’s Annual Cyclopedia, 1882, Appleton & Company, page 522)

Dec 16, 2016 - American Military Genius, Southern Culture Laid Bare, Southern Heroism, Southern Patriots    Comments Off on A Suffering Devotion to the Cause of Independence

A Suffering Devotion to the Cause of Independence

The winter of 1864-1865 at Petersburg found Pickett’s Division cold, hungry, and opposed by a well-fed and equipped war machine. Unable to defeat the starving American army that resembled Washington’s at Valley Forge, the North resorted to propaganda leaflets.

Bernhard Thuersam, www.Circa1865.com

 

A Suffering Devotion to the Cause of Independence

“The cold winter winds began to be felt in the close of the November days . . . The men were not only thinly-clad, but some, at least, had but little clothing of any kind and a large number were without shoes; and when the first blasts of winter came numbers could be seen shivering over the small fires they were allowed to kindle.

Famine stared them in the face; the ration being from one-eighth to one-fourth of a pound of bacon and one pint of unsheived corn meal a day, and occasionally a few beans or peas. With empty stomachs, naked bodies and frozen fingers, these men clutched their guns with an aim so steady and deadly that the men on the other side were exceedingly cautious how they lifted their heads from behind their sheltered places.

[T]hese heroic men, who loved their cause better than life stood to their posts, and defied the enemy to the last. The enemy, by general orders and circular letters which they managed to send and scatter among the Confederate soldiers, offered all manner of inducements to have them desert their country; but, as a rule, such offers were indignantly spurned.

The consecration of the Southern women to the cause for which their husbands, sons, brothers, and sweethearts struggled and suffered, is beyond the power of the pen to describe. The hardships of these women were equal to, and often greater than that of the shivering, freezing and starving soldier in the field.

They had not only given these men to the cause, but, in fact, themselves too; for they remained at home and labored in the fields, went to the mill, the blacksmith shops, lived on cornbread and sorghum molasses, and gave practically every pound of meat, flour and all the vegetables they could raise to the men in the army, whom they encouraged to duty in every possible way.

They manufactured largely their own clothing, out of material that they had produced with their own hands; and would have scorned any woman who would wear northern manufactured goods . . .”

Through this long, cold, dreary winter, Pickett’s Division — less than five thousand strong — held the line which, in length, was not less than four miles; being not many beyond one thousand men to the mile; only a good skirmish line; over which the enemy, by a bold, determined charge, could at any time have gone.

It is certain that if the Federal line in front of Pickett’s men had been as weak, and held by as few men as that of Pickett, they would have either been prisoners before the 1st day of January 1865, or have been driven into the James River and drowned.”

(A History of Middle New River Settlements and Contiguous Territory, David E. Johnston, Standard Printing, 1906, pp. 285-288)

 

Dec 14, 2016 - Southern Conservatives, Southern Culture Laid Bare, Southern Heroism, Southern Patriots, Southern Statesmen    Comments Off on Superior Heroes and Noble Patriots

Superior Heroes and Noble Patriots

Dr. Hunter McGuire, Stonewall Jackson’s surgeon, recalled Edmund Burke’s opinion of the Southern people in America, that they are “much more strongly and with a higher and more stubborn spirit attached to liberty than those in the [North].” Burke added that “such were the ancient Commonwealths; such were our Gothic ancestors; and such, in our day, the Poles . . . In such a people the haughtiness of domination combines with the spirit of freedom, fortifies it and renders it invincible.”

Bernhard Thuersam, www.Circa1865.com

 

Superior Heroes and Noble Patriots

[Southern] society produced splendid men and women, probably the best on this continent. Culture, grace, elegance, self-reliance, were its legitimate offshoots. Orators, poets, statesmen, soldiers, scientists, lawyers, ministers and physicians, the first and greatest in the whole land, came out of it.

What orator have we like Henry or Yancey, what poet like Poe, what scientist like Matthew F. Maury, what statesman like Jefferson, what jurist like Benjamin, what divine like Hoge, what soldier like Stonewall Jackson, what surgeon like Sims?

And the women – how can I describe them! They were as cultured as they were refined; they were as beautiful as they were queenly, the loveliest of sweethearts, the noblest of matrons. Let us look for a moment and see from whence these people of the South came, and what they have done.

The colonial settlers of the southern portion of North America were kindred by ties of blood, by association, and by the laws of common inheritance. They came to this country deeply imbued with the idea of civil liberty. In many instances they were descended from a superior element of the English people. The blood of the cavalier coursed through their veins; they were prepared to organize a government, to undertake the herculean task of creating a country out of chaos. And they accomplished it.

To these settlers were soon afterwards added another stream of emigrants, who came into the South through Maryland and Virginia, and through the seaports of the Carolinas and Georgia. These were the God-loving, tyranny-hating Scotch-Irish, who have left their distinguishing characteristics to this day, upon the people of every State in the South, from Maryland to the Rio Grande.

When the struggle came for the defense of their rights against the mother-country, how quickly her sons took up arms in defense of the common cause, and how nobly they performed their part it is useless to say, for is not the history of the time filled with accounts of their patriotism and achievements?

The enunciation of principle, the declaration of rights, sprung from the fertile brain of a Southerner, and to-day the readers of American history recognize in Jefferson the foremost thinker of his age.

Well has a New Englander, in speaking of Washington and the Southern soldiers of 1776, recently said: “We must go back to Athens to find another instance of a society, so small in numbers, and yet capable of such an outburst of ability and force.” Without the men of the South, the Revolution of 1776 would have gone down into history as the rebellion of that period.

How wonderful it is, that in the comparative seclusion and solitude of an agricultural country, the men should have been reared whose writings on Constitutional government embodied the wisdom and the experience of the patriots of all ages, and whose State papers actually formed the mould in which the constitution of the United Colonies was shaped; and that then, after Southern statesmen had formed the most perfect government the world ever saw, that Southern soldiers should have made it an accomplished fact by their skill, valor, and endurance.

Men of Southern birth and Southern rearing were the successful generals in the war of 1812, and the central figures in 1846. The acquisition of territory was made during the administration of Southern men. Louisiana, Florida, Texas, and California were acquired during their terms of office.

The Chief Justice-ship was held continuously for sixty-three years by Southern men. I need not speak of the orators and statesmen produced in every State in the South – they are household names.

Examine the details of the well-contested battlefields [of the late war] . . . Jackson, Lee, Johnston, Claiborne, Stuart and Forrest! What tender thoughts, what hallowed associations gather around the names of these bright stars in the Southern constellation! Does all history, does even the field of romance furnish heroes superior or patriots more noble? They were leaders of an equally brave and noble people, who, when all save honor was lost, submitted to the inevitable with a dignity born only of true greatness.”

(The Progress of Medicine in the South, Dr. Hunter McGuire, Southern Historical Society Papers, Vol. XVII, R.A. Brock, editor, 1889, pp. 5-7)

“Pray Excuse Me,” the Death of President Davis

“Pray Excuse Me,” The Death of President Davis — December 6, 1889

“His constant attendant has been Mrs. Davis, who have never left his bedside since his illness began. In a comfortable home wrapper of gray and black this gentle ministrant was always at the invalid’s side, and if she left for a moment he asked for her, and was fretted or uneasy until she returned.

The lamp of life waned low as the hour of midnight arrived; nor did it flicker into the brightness of consciousness at any time. Eagerly, yet tenderly, the watchers gazed at the face of the dying chieftain. His face, always calm and pale, gained additional pallor, and at a quarter to 1 o’clock of the morning of the 6th day of December death came to the venerable leader..

There was nothing remarkable about the death-bed scene. The departure of the spirit was gentle and utterly painless. There were no dry eyes in the little assembly about the bed, and every heart bled with the anguish which found vent in Mrs. Davis’s sobs and cries.”

The Times-Democrat gave the following account of the closing scene: At 12:45 o’clock this morning Hon. Jefferson Davis, ex-President of the Confederate States, passed away at the residence of Associate Justice Charles E. Fenner. Only once did he waver in his belief that his case showed no improvement, and that was at an early hour yesterday morning, when he playfully remarked to Mr. Payne: “I am afraid that I shall be compelled to agree with the doctors for once, and admit that I am a little better.”

At 7 o’clock Mrs. Davis administered some medicine, but the ex-President declined to receive the whole dose. She urged upon his the necessity of taking the remainder, but putting it aside, with the gentlest of gestures whispered, “Pray, excuse me.” These were his last words.”

The [New Orleans] Daily States said in its editorial:

“Throughout all the South there are lamentations and tears; in every country on the globe where there are lovers of liberty there is mourning; wherever there are men who admire heroic patriotism, dauntless resolution, fortitude, or intellectual power and supremacy, there is sincere sorrowing. The beloved of our land, the unfaltering upholder of constitutional liberty, the typical hero and sage, is no more; the fearless heart that beat with sympathy for all mankind is stilled forever, a great light has gone out – Jefferson Davis is dead!

No one of all the illustrious personages who have adorned the history of the Union, served that union in the field, in the Cabinet, and in the Senate, better than he. But all the enactments of Congress; all the fierce and bitter denunciations of the North; all the vituperations, malice, hatred, and misrepresentations that the press and the leaders of the North have heaped upon Jefferson Davis, and by which for twenty-five years they have sought to brand him “traitor,” have failed of their purpose, and he stands forth today as one of the grandest examples of patriotism and as one of the most indomitable champions of liberty that has ever appeared upon the arena of human affairs.

Jefferson Davis is dead; but the principles for which he struggled, for the vindication of which he devoted his life, for which he suffered defeat, and unto which he clung unto death, still live. The fanatical howlings of the abolitionists, the tumult and thunders of civil war, the fierce mouthings of the organizers of reconstruction, and reconstruction itself, that black and foul disgrace of humanity, are all departed, sunk into silence like a tavern brawl, but the constitutional principles upon which the Confederacy was founded and for which Jefferson Davis spoke and struggled, for which he gave life and fortune, still survive in all their living power; and when they shall have been, if ever, really destroyed, this Republic will be transformed into one of the most oppressive and offensive oligarchies that has ever arisen amongst the civilized nations of the earth.”

The Times-Democrat of the 10th had this editorial:

“If there was ever the shadow of doubt in the minds of the people of the United States of the hold of Jefferson Davis upon the hearts of the Southern people that doubt has been removed. From city and country, from every nook and hamlet, have come expressions of profoundest sorrow over his death; of grief at the passing away of the great Confederate chieftain.

They turned to him as the Mussulman to his Mecca — the shrine at which all true Southern-born should worship. There has never been any division of sentiment as to the greatness of Jefferson Davis. He has always been the hero of his people — their best beloved. From the day that Lee laid down his arms at Appomattox to the hour of Jefferson Davis’s death the Southern people look upon the ex-President of the Confederacy as the embodiment of all that was grand and glorious in the Lost Cause.

Standing alone as a citizen without the power to exercise his citizenship, the last surviving victim of sectional hate and malevolence, he was an exile while on the soil of his native land and in the midst of his own people. Jefferson Davis will go to the grave bathed in a people’s tears.”

(The Davis Memorial Volume; or Our Dead President, Jefferson Davis, and the World’s Tribute to His Memory, J. Wm. Jones, B.F. Johnson & Company, Publishers, 1890, excerpts, pp. 473-509)

Nov 17, 2016 - Southern Culture Laid Bare, Southern Heroism, Southern Patriots, Southern Women    Comments Off on The Temper of Southern Women

The Temper of Southern Women

Southern women during the war were known to have destroyed their precious libraries than to allow Northern occupiers to enjoy its contents, as well as knocking in the heads of wine casks rather than permitting Northern soldiers to sample their choice contents. The author of the following was born in Indiana, migrated to Virginia in 1857 and later served in the Nelson (Virginia) Light Artillery.

Bernhard Thuersam, www.Circa1865.com

 

The Temper of Southern Women

“During the latter part of the year in which the war between the States came to an end, a Southern comic writer, in a letter addressed to Artemus Ward, summed up the political outlook in one sentence, reading somewhat as follows: “You may reconstruct the men, with your laws and things, but how are you going to reconstruct the women? Whoop-ee!”

Now this unauthorized but certainly very expressive interjection had a good deal of truth at its back, and I am very sure that I have never yet known a thoroughly “reconstructed” woman. The reason, of course, is not far to seek.

The women of the South could hardly have been more desperately in earnest than their husbands and brothers and sons were, in the prosecution of the war, but with their women-natures they gave themselves wholly to the cause . . . to doubt its righteousness, or to falter in their loyalty to it while it lived, would have been treason and infidelity; to do the like now that it is dead would be to them little less than sacrilege.

I wish I could adequately tell my reader of the part those women played in the war. If I could make these pages show half of their nobleness; if I could describe the sufferings they endured, and tell of their cheerfulness under it all; if the reader might guess the utter unselfishness with which they laid themselves and the things they held nearest their hearts upon the altar of the only country they knew as their own, the rare heroism with which they played their sorrowful part in a drama which was to them a long tragedy;

[I]f my pages could be made to show the half of these things, all womankind, I am sure, would tenderly cherish the record, and nobody would wonder again at the tenacity with which the women of the South still hold their allegiance to the lost cause.

Theirs was a particularly hard lot. The real sorrows of war, like those of drunkenness, always fall more heavily upon women. They may not bear arms. They may not even share the triumphs which compensate their brethren for toil and suffering and danger. They must sit still and endure. The poverty which war brings to them wears no cheerful face, but sits down with them to empty tables and pinches them sorely in solitude.

After the victory . . . [the] wives and daughters await in sorest agony of suspense the news which may bring hopeless desolation to their hearts. To them the victory may mean the loss of those for whom they lived and in whom they hoped, while to those who have fought the battle it brings only gladness. And all this was true of Southern women almost without exception.

[The] more heavily the war bore upon themselves, the more persistently did they demand that it should be fought out to the end. When they lost a husband, a son, or a brother, they held the loss only an additional reason for faithful adherence to the cause. Having made such a sacrifice to that which was almost a religion to them, they had, if possible, less thought than ever of proving unfaithful to it.”

(A Rebel’s Recollections, George Cary Eggleston, Indiana University Press, 1959, pp. 83-85)

Nov 1, 2016 - Myth of Saving the Union, Southern Heroism, Southern Patriots    Comments Off on Soldiers Worthy of the Women of the South

Soldiers Worthy of the Women of the South

The Battle of Shiloh was fought on 6 April 1862 in Tennessee, a battle that might have ended the careers of Grant and Sherman had Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston prevailed. In the postwar, Gen. Alexander P. Stewart saw the near-victory of Southern arms there “as [the Army of Tennessee’s] one chance to truly destroy a Federal army and change the course of the war in the West.

Bernhard Thuersam, www.Circa1865.com

 

Soldiers Worthy of the Women of the South

“Perhaps because of the storm or criticism which had assailed him after the surrender of Fort Donelson, [Johnston] unselfishly offered the command to [Gen. PGT] Beauregard. The Creole general refused the responsibility, but he drew up the faulty plan of attack which Johnston adopted; namely, the placing of one corps behind another in three long thin lines of battle instead of advancing by columns.

In a proclamation to the soldiers Johnston described the Union army as “agrarian mercenaries sent to despoil you of your liberties, property and honor.” Appealing to his men the show themselves “worthy of the women of the South, whose noble devotion in this war has never been exceeded in any time.”

The Confederate advance [at Shiloh] was so delayed by rain and muddy roads that Beauregard believed all chance for a surprise had been lost and urged returning to their base; but the other corps commanders favored attack, and Johnston was so confident of victory that he said, “Tonight we will water our horses in the Tennessee River.”

The Confederate attack early Sunday morning April 6 [1862] on [Sherman’s] advance division proved to be a surprise, announced only by a reconnaissance force that encountered the Confederate vedettes and mange to give the alarm so that the Federals got into line of battle for the attack. Grant was at his headquarters at Savannah, Tennessee, nine miles away on the other side of the river, when the battle began.

“Like an avalanche,” wrote Beauregard, the grey army drove the Federal troops from their camp and occupied Sherman’s headquarters at “the rude log chapel” of Shiloh. Instead of following up the victory, however, many of the Confederate soldiers stopped to plunder the camp.

At 2:30 o’clock in the afternoon [Johnston] was hit by a Minie ball which cut an artery in his leg. The wound was not necessarily mortal, but he remained in the saddle till he bled to death. The Confederates drove the Federals . . . nearly to the river; but, having used their reserve earlier in the day, they did not have the fresh strength to completer their victory.

At six o’clock in the evening . . . Beauregard halted the fighting . . . [as] the Southern troops had become hopelessly entangled, until they were a confused mob. Beauregard reported, his men were jaded by the previous day’s march through mud and rain, and they had fought twelve hours without food. The arrival of [enemy reinforcements] late that afternoon and during the night enabled the Union armies the following day to turn the tide of battle.”

(The History of the Southern Confederacy, Clement Eaton, Macmillan Company, 1954, excerpts, pp. 162-163)

Southern Remembrances in Stone

The South has not produced a domestic architecture since 1865 as distinctive as that of the Old South, though the traditions of older styles of architecture prevail to this day and thwart the acceptance of mediocre and soulless modernist (read: Marxist) boxes. The cities, big and small, of the South also enjoy a plethora of important works by notable sculptors commissioned to create permanent reminders of those who fought for the liberty and independence of the South.

Bernhard Thuersam, www.Circa1865.com

 

Southern Remembrances in Stone

“America could never be called a sculpture-loving nation like France or Italy. A trip through either of these countries impresses one with the poverty of America sculpturally. The emotions, aspirations, and triumphs of these nations seem to have crystallized through the centuries into marble and bronze monuments.

A ready excuse for the lack of sculpture in the South is the poverty that was prevalent after the Civil War, the period in which the North erected so many of its monuments. That this explanation is not truly sufficient, however, is evident when one checks the sculptural commissions given in the South since the [First] World War.

The only State in the South that can boast of a long list of sculptured possessions is Virginia. Richmond as the capital has a fine array of monuments. Notable among these are Washington by Houdon; Robert E. Lee by Mercie; Jefferson Davis and General Wickham by Valentine. Charlottesville, the seat of the University of Virginia, has almost as many monuments as Richmond and several of high quality – a Lewis and Clark group and an equestrian Stonewall Jackson by Charles Keck; a second monument to George Rogers Clark of great merit by Robert L. Aitken, and the expressive Thomas Jefferson by Karl Bitter. Arlington, of course, adds to the State’s total.

A glance through the list off monuments in other cities in the State shows work by Henry Adams and Bryan Baker, monuments by Charles Keck in several places, and many monuments by George Julian Zolney. Even the smaller cities in Virginia are thus seen to call upon sculptors of national reputation to design their memorials.

After Virginia several States group together in the quantity and quality of their sculpture. Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas are about in the same class.

At Stone Mountain, near Atlanta, Georgia, the most stupendous sculptural undertaking is in progress that has ever been conceived anywhere in the world. The idea of carving the face of the gigantic Stone Mountain as a memorial to the Confederacy originated with Mrs. Helen Plane and was adopted by the United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1916.

Gutzon Borglum was appointed sculptor, and carving was begun on 1923. In 1925, following severe disagreements, his contract was cancelled and Augustus Lukeman was appointed his successor. At present the three main figures of the central group, those of Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, and Stonewall Jackson, are being carved. Immediately upon the completion of these figures, however, the next phase of the work to be undertaken will be the Memorial Hall.

In Georgia there are of further note several monuments by Daniel Chester French. The Spencer Memorial in Atlanta and the General Oglethorpe Monument in Savannah are by him, and both have harmonious bases by Henry Bacon, architect.

Mississippi possesses an important repository of sculpture in the National Park Cemetery at Vicksburg. Among the memorials in the Park are the works of such men as Lorado Taft, Herbert Adams, A.A. Weinman, and Solon Borglum.

In New Orleans, Lousiana . . . [is] the Wounded Stag by Antoine Louis Barye, which stands in front of the Delgado Museum of Art. The center of the historic Jackson Square is accented by one of Clark Hill’s famous equestrian statues of General Jackson. Effectively place on the plaza in front of the Courthouse is the bronze figure of Chief Justice White by Bryan Baker.

[In Austin, Texas are] her monuments to General Sam Houston and Stephen F. Austin, and the cemetery her figure of Albert Sidney Johnston.

In the 1933 edition of the American Art Annual are listed thirty-three native Southern sculptors. The most widely known name among these is that of Augustus Lukeman, a native of Virginia. Others in the list who have achieved more than a local reputation are William Couper, Nancy Cox McCormick, Angela Gregory, Ernest Bruce Haswell, Bonnie MacLeary, Waldine Amanda Tauch, and Enid Yandell.”

(The Fine Arts, Ula Milner Gregory; Culture in the South, W.T. Couch, editor, UNC Press, 1934, excerpts, pp. 275-277)

Oct 22, 2016 - American Military Genius, Southern Heroism, Southern Patriots    Comments Off on They Can’t Whip Old Forrest

They Can’t Whip Old Forrest

At the Battle of Brice’s Cross Roads on 10 June 1864 in northeastern Mississippi, General Nathan Bedford Forrest commanded about 4,900 cavalry with twelve cannon – which he led against a well-equipped enemy force of 4,800 infantry and 3,300 cavalry, a total of 8,100 men. After the battle, the colonel of a Minnesota regiment blamed the defeat on under-supplied men and under-fed horses. The enemy commander’s career seemed over after this defeat by a less numerous adversary, though he re-emerged in 1877 to command the Seventh Cavalry of the dead Custer — leading that force against the less numerous Nez Perce.

Bernhard Thuersam, www.Circa1865.com

 

They Can’t Whip Old Forrest

“[Despite being outnumbered], Forrest attacked. Because of the thick undergrowth covering most of the area, the Confederates were able to close to within a few paces of [the enemy] infantry. The Federals called for a charge. Forrest’s sixth sense had placed him at the key point. As he dismounted, he shouted for his escort to do likewise. Accompanied by these daring fighters and with revolver in hand, he rushed the Federals.

In the hand-to-hand fighting, the bayonets of the Union infantry were no match for the heavy Colt revolvers. The center of [the enemy] line crumbled, while the Confederate brigades on the right doubled back the Union left upon Ripley Road.

[The Second Tennessee Regiment, sent to attack the enemy left and rear, sought] to deceive the Federals about their strength . . . [and] made a great commotion [as] a bugler galloped up and down the line sounding the charge.

Forrest knew that the crisis had come and that now the battle must be won or lost. Riding along behind his line, he told his people that the enemy was starting to give way and that another charge would win the day.

He told his young chief of artillery . . . to advance four of his guns, double-shotted with canister, to within pistol range of the Federals at the crossroads. At point blank range, they unlimbered their pieces and fired . . . into [the enemy] infantry with frightful effect. After a brief but savage fight, the Federals were routed from the crossroads, with the loss of three cannon.

[The enemy commander wrote:] “I endeavored to get hold of the colored brigade which formed the guard of the wagon train . . . [but] the main line began to give way at various points . . . Order soon gave way to panic. The army drifted toward the rear and was beyond control. No power could check the panic-stricken mass as it swept towards the rear.”

Several regiments, reinforced by two companies of the 55th US Colored Troops . . . attempted to check the onrushing Confederates; but assailed on the flanks, with [Forrest’s] guns sweeping their front with double-shotted canister, the Northerners broke. In their frantic efforts to escape, [Northern] soldiers pushed their comrades aside.

A mile beyond the bridge, some [enemy] infantry rallied, but [Forrest’s artillery] smashed this pocket of resistance, and as dusk faded into darkness, Forrest and his hell-for-leather troopers overpowered another roadblock hastily manned by black and white Union soldiers. During their nighttime crossing of Hatchie Bottom, [the enemy commander] and many of his officers panicked, and they abandoned fourteen cannon and most of their wagon train.

[The advancing enemy] column, which had taken eight days to reach Brice’s Cross Roads, retreated to Memphis in sixty-four hours. Union casualties in the fight and retreat were 2,612. Forrest listed his losses at 493 killed and wounded . . . [and] captured 250 wagons and ambulances, 18 cannon, and thousands of stands of arms and rounds of ammunition, as well as Federal baggage and supplies.

A noted British soldier, Field Marshal Viscount Garnet Wolseley, in commenting on Forrest’s victory, called it “a most remarkable achievement, well-worth attention by the military student. He pursued the enemy from the battle for nigh sixty miles, killing numbers all the way. The battle and long pursuit were all accomplished in the space of thirty hours. When another Federal general was dispatched to try what he could do against this terrible Southerner, the defeated [enemy commander] was overheard repeating to himself . . . : “It can’t be done . . . it can’t be done.” Asked what he meant, the reply was, “They can’t whip old Forrest.”

(Leadership During the Civil War, Roman J. Heleniak and Lawrence Hewitt, editors, White Mane Publishing, 1992, pp. 82-84)

Oct 21, 2016 - Recurring Southern Conservatism, Southern Culture Laid Bare, Southern Heroism, Southern Patriots    Comments Off on General Lee’s New Ideas in Education

General Lee’s New Ideas in Education

The other General Lee, and not kin to the more famous one, Stephen Dill Lee was a veteran of the early Virginia campaigns, Vicksburg, the Atlanta Campaign, and ended the war with Gen. Joseph E. Johnston in North Carolina. After 1865 Lee was deeply involved in reviving his own plantation, and later dedicated his life, as Robert E. Lee did earlier, to educating young Southern men who faced the challenge of rebuilding their devastated country. In late April 1906, he delivered a speech in New Orleans to the sons of the men he led in battle. In his remarks he said:

“To you, sons of Confederate veterans, we will commit the vindication of the cause for which we fought. To your strength will be given the defense of the Confederate soldiers’ good name, the guardianship of his history, the emulation of his virtues, the perpetuation of those principles which he loved and which you love also, and those ideals which made him glorious and which you also cherish.”

Bernhard Thuersam, www.Circa1865.com

 

General Lee’s New Ideas in Education

“In 1880 General Lee became the first president of the Mississippi Agricultural and Mechanical College, now Mississippi State University. [The] Father of industrial education in the South, no other citizen had such a far-reaching and penetrating influence upon the agricultural and industrial development of the Southern States.

Lee advanced in his day a new thought to Southern-bred collegians. He believed that education and manual labor should go together.

In making his first report to his Board of Trustees, he said: “All students are required to work from two to three hours a day . . . on the farm, among the stock, in the garden . . . shops or grounds . . . Our experience shows that students who work . . . stand highest in their classes and enjoy better health. It also inculcates and retains habits of industry at that period of life when education is being obtained . . . It makes labor honorable and demonstrates that labor and a high standard of liberal and scientific education are not incompatible, and go hand-in-hand with the struggle of life, and in developing our industries and resources . . .”

Lee warned the South that unless its farmers learned the science of modern agriculture their lands would be owned by strangers. “Knowledge is power,” he said, “in every department of life – as important to the farmer as the professional man.”

He foresaw that electricity would play in the industrialization of the South, and in his report of 1893 he wrote:

“I deem it most important that the boys of Mississippi be instructed in an electrical laboratory to fit them for industrial pursuits now just ahead.” That same year he began a crusade for an appropriation to equip such a laboratory and provide electric lights for the college grounds and dormitories.

At times combatting an unsympathetic legislature and the hosts of ignorance, “Old Steve,” as he was affectionately called, pioneered with new methods of instruction and introduced departments in the mechanical arts and engineering.

Experiments at the college revealed the surprising fact that cotton seed, which had been a waste and a liability, had a feed and food value, and a new industry emerged from the soil. The first creamery in the Gulf States was established at the college and the foundation laid for a more diversified agricultural development.

Under Lee’s leadership the advantages of diversified agriculture and drainage were fully demonstrated and the value of scientific farming definitely proved among a people whose methods were comparatively primitive.

The cultivation of better grasses and the introduction of improved herds changed the agricultural complexion of the “Magnolia State” [and] graduates went forth with a new faith in farming. The development of this new idea in education spread to other States and created a demand for students to fill positions as teachers, managers of farms and creameries, and professors and instructors in other agricultural colleges and at agricultural experiment stations.

Stephen Dill Lee died in 1908. In the devastation that followed in the wake of Appomattox, with a social order disrupted, an economic system destroyed, and the flower of Southern manhood killed or maimed, Lee the soldier became a builder.”

(Sons of the South, Clayton Rand, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1961, pg. 160)