Question of the Week: 10/30-11/5/17

What’s the most **haunting quote from the Civil War? If you feel like it, share why it is so important/memorable to you.

**That quote that you just can’t forget – doesn’t need to have anything to do with ghosts, ghoulies, or things creeping around in the dark.

21 Responses to Question of the Week: 10/30-11/5/17

  1. Hancock: Col. Cross, today you are going to get a star.
    Cross: “No sir, today I am going to die.”

  2. “No, mix them up. I’ve had enough of states’ rights.”

    MG George H. Thomas, when asked whether the remains of the dead at Chickamauga and Chattanooga should be buried in state groups.

  3. General John Sedgewick “…………They couln’t hit an elephant at this distance”. I’ve done a fair amount of ‘live’ fire of civil war muskets (rifles, really) and they can be very accurate and powerful.

  4. Lt. Col. Charles Mudge, 2d Massachusetts, when ordered to attack on the morning of July 3 at Gettysburg: “Well, it is murder, but it’s the order. Up men, over the works!”

  5. John Haley, 17th Maine, at Spotsylvania’s Mule Shoe: “All around that salient was a seething, bubbling. roaring hell of hate and murder.”

    Brings the fighting on May 12 well into focus.

  6. 1. Gen. W. H. L. Wallace, one of the heroes of Shiloh, to his wife, as he died in her arms, three days after the battle: “We meet in heaven”.–and–
    2. Gen. Francis C. Barlow’s final request of Gen. John B. Gordon, who ministered to the fallen Barlow on the first day of Gettysburg on Blocher’s (now Barlow’s) Knoll, “…and tell her (Barlow’s wife, Arabella) that my only regret—my unutterable grief–is that I shall never look upon her face again”.

  7. Parson! For God’s sake, pray. Nothing but God Almighty can save that fort!
    Liuet. Gen. N. B. Forrest to David Kelly minister turned soldier at Ft Donelson
    Feb, 14 1862

  8. “All for the Union!” Elisha Hunt Rhodes seems to have used this as a catch-all phrase when he was doing something confusing, difficult, or painful. It made me laugh out loud when I realized that, and I decided to use it myself.

  9. Since I enjoy touring Civil War National Military Parks, I often reflect on Joshua Chamberlain’s quote as I am spend time in these special places, “In great deeds, something abides. On great fields, something stays. Forms change and pass; bodies disappear; spirits linger to consecrate the ground…Generations that know us not and that we know not of, heart-drawn to see where and by whom great things were suffered and done for them shall come to this deathless field, to ponder and dream…”. I find this quote rather haunting and very appropriate.

  10. Abraham Lincoln: “Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away”

    The start of that line is very nice, but “mighty scourge of war” always sticks out to me as a great descriptive phrase, especially the word “scourge.” It seems like a perfect use of that word to me.

  11. I have three:

    “Make your peace with God and mount, gentlemen. I have a hot place picked out for you today.” – Major General W.S. Hancock on the morning of May 12, 1864.

    “This army does not retreat.” – Major General George Thomas, December 31, 1862.

    “I must go and see General Grant, and I would rather die a thousand deaths.” – General R.E. Lee, April 9, 1865 (quoted in part by Major General Edward P. King, April 9, 1942).

  12. Chris:
    My understanding is that “Make your peace with God…etc” was Francis C. Barlow’s signature line before battle, not Hancock’s. Interestingly, though, Robert F. Welch claims (in The Boy General, p. 113) that on the occasion of the charge of the 15,000 against the Mule Shoe on May 12, 1864, Barlow DID NOT utter the signature line, apparently because he was disturbed by a request of one of his men to be relieved of duty.

  13. “I want to have some glory…in the year ’64 attached to my name, and this war can’t last much longer it is certain, and it will be my only chance. Are you not willing to have it said you had a son in this war?”
    VMI Cadet Stanard in a letter to his mother. (Stanard was killed later in 1864 at the Battle of New Market)

  14. “This is a scary dreary time. Oh to lie down in the quiet grave. Blessed are the dead who did not live to see these times.”

    Harriet Lee Powell: after fleeing Winchester in May of ’62, losing a brother at the 1st Bull Run, losing another brother at the 2nd Bull Run, and being separated from all remaining family for the duration of the war. I thought I’d throw one in from a civilian!

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