Storm Over The Land: A Profile of the Civil War
Taken mainly from Abraham Lincoln: The War Years. 60 halftones from photographs; 98 drawings, maps, and sketches.
Palm Sunday, April 9, 1865, a date to be encircled in red, white, and blue on calendars. Across the path of Lee’s army and blocking its way this morning stood the cavalry of Phil Sheridan. At five o’clock this morning General Lee on high ground studied the landscape and what it held. Through a fog he looked. What had arrived yonder? Was it Sheridan only, or did the horse have supporting foot troops? He would wait. He had seen his troops breakfast that morning on parched corn, men and horses
rain, without tents or much other baggage and on irregular rations without a complaint and with much less straggling than I have ever before witnessed.” The people in the North, fed by alarmist newspaper correspondents, expected any day to hear that Grant’s army had been crushed between two Confederate armies outnumbering his own. Grant meantime took Jackson, the Mississippi State capital, destroyed railroads, bridges, factories there, ended with cooping up in Vicksburg the army of General John
job beyond him. He had outplayed enemy armies twice his own in number, far in the Deep South, a long way from home, with climate, mosquitoes, swamp fever of a stranger soil, ever a threat. Food, guns, powder, had to be hauled hundreds of miles to reach his men. The imagination of the North was slow at picturing what Grant was doing. What was a bayou or a jigger to any citizen of Chicago or Boston? The adventure sagged, came forward, sagged again. Caves near Vicksburg occupied during Grant’s
envelope, “If Old Peter’s [Longstreet’s] nod means death, good-bye and God bless you, little one!” Across the long rise of open ground, with the blue flag of Virginia floating ahead, over field and meadow Pickett’s 15,000 marched steadily and smoothly, almost as if on a drill ground. Solid shot, grape and canister, from the Union artillery plowed through them, and later a wild rain of rifle bullets. Seven-eighths of a mile they marched in the open sunlight, every man a target for the Union
furnish him with rations for the trip.” Long ago everyone in authority knew Sherman’s theory was to punish and destroy in the South till its people were sick of war and willing and anxious for peace. “War is cruelty and you cannot refine it.” Down where he was he would not consider defensive warfare. “Instead of guessing what Hood means to do he would have to guess at my plans. The difference in war is full twenty-five per cent.” Thousands of people abroad and in the South would reason, wrote