October 31, 2014 / by admin / American History / No Comments

The Passing of the Armies: An Account of the Final Campaign of the Army of the Potomac, Based upon Personal Reminiscences of the Fifth Army Corps

The Passing of the Armies: An Account of the Final Campaign of the Army of the Potomac, Based upon Personal Reminiscences of the Fifth Army Corps

Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain

Language: English

Pages: 222

ISBN: 2:00354235

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Written by one of the Union army’s most celebrated officers, The Passing of the Armies offers a remarkable first-hand account of the final campaign of the Army of the Potomac. In his gripping memoir, first published in 1915, General Joshua Lawrence

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them, and their success and fame largely due to the manner in which they are “handled.” A command is likely to be what its commander is. There are crises when confidence in his ability turns the scale of battle. There are supreme moments when the sudden sweep to the front by a commanding character strikes the heart and exalts the spirit of men so that they do superhuman things. Such are the men who are to pass before us. It is the Army of the Potomac. After years of tragic history and

your place in our hearts! Encamp beside us once more; as for so long we have made sunshine for each others’ eyes, and watched with hushed voices guarding their rest; and wakened to the same thrilling call, guided on each other through maze of darkness to fronts of storm and over walls of flame! Sit down again, Sixth Corps! with the Fifth and Second, holding dear to thought the soul and symbol of the vanished First and Third. Sit down again together, Army of the Potomac! all that are left of

Massachusetts—Bigelow and Philips,—where under the smoke we saw the earth brown and blue with prostrate bodies of horses and men, and the tongues of overturned cannon and caissons pointing grim and stark in the air. Then in the Wilderness, at Spottsylvania and thereafter, Kershaw’s Division again, in deeds of awful glory, held their name and fame, until fate met them at Sailor’s Creek, where Kershaw himself, and Ewell, and so many more, gave up their arms and hopes,—all, indeed, but manhood’s

foreseeth the evil and hideth himself, but the foolish pass on and are punished, says the old proverb.” If there are no exceptions to this rule, then this gentleman was not rightly named. With this comedy ends, in classic fashion, the stern drama of the Appomattox. A strange and somber shadow rose up ghost-like from the haunts of memory or habit, and rested down over the final parting scene. How strong are these ties of habit! How strange the undertone of sadness even at the release from prison

Government by assassination. They probably have means to get possession of the capital before anybody can stop them. There is nothing for it but to push the army to Washington, and make Grant military dictator until we can restore constitutional government.” This may be smiled at now, as the habit is after the peril has passed, especially on the part of those who never realized it. But in the situation of things then, there was little to laugh at. The spirit of that evening conference showed one

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