Captains of the Civil War, A Chronicle of the Blue and the Gray
William Wood

Part 5 out of 5

march is hardly worth mentioning. There were no battles and no
such masterly maneuvers as those of the much harder march to
Atlanta. Nor was the operational problem to be mentioned in the
same breath with that of the subsequent march through the
Carolinas. Sherman himself says: "Were I to express my measure of
the relative importance of the march to the sea, and of that from
Savannah northward, I would place the former at one, and the
latter at ten--or the maximum."

The Government was very doubtful and counseled reconsideration.
But Grant and Sherman, knowing the factors so very much better,
were sure the problem could easily be solved. Sherman left
Atlanta on the fifteenth of November and laid siege to Savannah
on the tenth of December. He utterly destroyed the military value
of Atlanta and everything else on the way that could be used by
the armies in the field. Of course, to do this he had to reduce
civilian supplies to the point at which no surplus remained for
transport to the front; and civilians naturally suffered. But his
object was to destroy the Georgian base of supplies without
inflicting more than incidental hardship on civilians. And this
object he attained. He cut a swath of devastation sixty miles
wide all the way to Savannah. Every rail was rooted up, made
red-hot, and twisted into scrap. Every road and bridge was
destroyed. Every kind of surplus supplies an army could possibly
need was burnt or consumed. Civilians were left with enough to
keep body and soul together, but nothing to send away, even if
the means of transportation had been left.

Sherman's sixty thousand men were all as fit as his own tall
sinewy form, which was the very embodiment of expert energy.
Every weakling had been left behind. Consequently the whole
veteran force simply romped through this Georgian raid. The main
body mostly followed the rails, which gangs of soldiers would
pile on bonfires of sleepers. The mounted men swept up everything
about the flanks. But nothing escaped the "bummers," who foraged
for their units every day, starting out empty-handed on foot and
returning heavily laden on horses or mules or in some kind of
vehicle. If Atlanta had been a volcano in eruption, and the
molten lava had flowed to Savannah in a stream sixty miles wide
and five times as long, the destruction could hardly have been
worse, except, of course, that civilians were left enough to keep
them alive, and that, with a few inevitable exceptions, they were
not ill treated.

The fighting hardly disturbed the daily routine. Sherman was
never in danger; though wiseacre Washington, supposing that he
ought to be, used to pester Lincoln, who always replied: "Grant
says the men are safe with Sherman, and that if they can't get
out where they want to, they can crawl back by the hole they went
in at." This seemed to allay anxiety; though the truth was that
Sherman's real safety lay in going ahead to the Union sea, not in
retracing his steps over the devastated line of his advance.

On approaching Savannah a mounted officer was blown up by a land
torpedo, his horse killed, and himself badly lacerated. Sherman
at once sent his prisoners ahead to dig up the other torpedoes or
get blown up by those they failed to find. No more explosions
took place. Savannah itself was strongly entrenched and further
defended by Fort McAllister. Against this fort Sherman detached
his own old Shiloh division of the Fifteenth Corps, now under the
very capable command of General William B. Hazen. As the day wore
on Sherman became very impatient, watching for Hazen's attack,
when a black object went gliding up the Ogeechee River toward the
fort. Presently a man-of-war appeared flying the Stars and
Stripes and signaling, "Who are you?" On getting the answer,
"General Sherman", she asked, "Is Fort McAllister taken?" and
immediately received the cheering assurance, "No; but it will be
in a minute." Then, just as the signal flags ceased waving,
Hazen's straight blue lines broke cover, advanced, charged
through the hail of shot, shell, and rifle bullets, rushed the
defenses, and stood triumphant on the top.

Before midnight Sherman was writing his dispatches on board the
U.S.S. Dandelion and examining those received from Grant. He
learned now, from Grant's of the third (ten days before), that
Thomas was facing Hood round Nashville and that the Government,
and even Grant, were getting very impatient with Thomas for not
striking hard and at once. A week later the Confederate general,
Hardee, managed to evacuate Savannah before his one remaining
line of retreat had been cut off. He was a thorough soldier. But
men and means and time were lacking; and the civil population
hoped to save all that was not considered warlike stores. Thus
immense supplies fell into Sherman's hands. Savannah was of
course placed under martial law. But as the wax was now nearing
its inevitable end, and the citizens were thoroughly
"subjugated," those who wished to remain were allowed to do so.
Only two hundred left, going to Charleston under a flag of truce.

The following official announcement reached Lincoln on Christmas

Savannah, Georgia, December 22, 1864.

To His Excellency President Lincoln,
Washington, D. C.

I beg to present you as a Christmas gift the city of Savannah,
with one hundred and fifty heavy guns and plenty of ammunition,
also about twenty-five thousand bales of cotton.
W. T. Sherman, Major-General.

In the meantime Hood's desperate sortie had struck north as far
as Franklin, Tennessee. Here, on the last of November, General
John Schofield, commanding the advanced part of Thomas's army,
gallantly withstood a furious attack. On this the closing day of
a lingering Indian summer the massed Confederates charged with
the piercing rebel yell, and charged again; re-formed under cover
of the dense pall of stationary smoke; and returned to the charge
again and again. Many a leader met his death right against the
very breastworks. Another would instantly spring forward, only to
fall in his turn. Thirteen times the gaunt gray lines rushed
madly through the battle smoke and lost their front ranks against
the withering fire before the autumn night closed in. Schofield
then fell back on Brentwood, halfway on the twenty miles to
Nashville. He had lost over two thousand men. But Hood had lost
three times as many; and Hood's were irreplaceable except by a
very few local recruits.

Hood now concentrated every available man for his final attack on
Thomas, who had odds of twenty thousand in his favor. Hood
marched his thirty-five thousand up to Nashville, where he
actually invested the fifty-five thousand Federals. By this time
even Grant was so annoyed at what seemed to him unreasoning delay
that he sent Logan to take command at once and "fight." But on
the fifteenth of December Thomas came out of his works and fought
Hood with determined skill all day. Having gained a decisive
advantage already he pressed it home to the very utmost on the
morrow, breaking through Hood's shaken lines, enveloping whole
units with converging fire, and taking prisoners in mass. After a
last wild effort Hood's beaten army fled, having lost fifteen
thousand men, five times as much as Thomas.

The battle of Nashville came nearer than any other to being a
really annihilating victory. Out of the forty thousand men Hood
had at first in Tennessee not half escaped; and of the remainder
not nearly half were ever seen in arms again. As an organized
force his army simply disappeared. The few thousands saved from
the wreckage of the storm found their painful way east to join
all that was left for the last stand against the overwhelming
forces of the North.


By '65 the Southern cause was lost. There was nothing to hope for
from abroad. Neither was there anything to hope for at home, now
that Lincoln and the Union Government had been returned to power.
From the very first the disparity of resources was so great that
the South had never had a chance alone except against a disunited
North. Now that the North could bring its full strength to bear
against the worn-out South the only question remaining to be
settled in the field was simply one of time. Yet Davis, with his
indomitable will, would never yield so long as any Confederates
would remain in arms. And men like Lee would never willingly give
up the fight so long as those they served required them.
Therefore the war went on until the Southern armies failed
through sheer exhaustion.

The North had nearly a million men by land and sea. The South had
perhaps two hundred thousand. The North could count on a million
recruits out of the whole reserve of twice as many. The South had
no reserves at all. The total odds were therefore five to one
without reserves and ten to one if these came in.

The scene of action, for all decisive purposes, had shrunk again,
and now included nothing beyond Virginia and the Carolinas; and
even there the Union forces had impregnable bases of attack. When
Wilmington fell in January the only port still left in Southern
hands was Charleston; and that was close-blockaded. Fighting
Confederates still remained in the lower South. But victories
like Olustee, Florida, barren in '64, could not avail them now,
even if they had the troops to win them. The lower South was now
as much isolated as the trans-Mississippi. Between its blockaded
and garrisoned coast on one side and its sixty-mile swath of
devastation through the heart of Georgia on the other it might as
well have been a shipless island. The same was true of all
Confederate places beyond Virginia and the Carolinas. The last
shots were fired in Texas near the middle of May. But they were
as futile against the course of events as was the final act of
war committed by the Confederate raider Shenandoah at the end of
June, when she sank the whaling fleet, far off in the lone

For the last two months of the four-years' war Davis made Lee
Commander-in-Chief. Lee at once restored Johnston to his rightful
place. These two great soldiers then did what could be done to
stave off Grant and Sherman. Lee's and Johnston's problem was of
course insoluble. For each was facing an army which was alone a
match for both. The only chance of prolonging anything more than
a mere guerilla war was to join forces in southwest Virginia,
where the only line of rails was safe from capture for the
moment. But this meant eluding Grant and Sherman; and these two
leaders would never let a plain chance slip. They took good care
that all Confederate forces outside the central scene of action
were kept busy with their own defense. They also closed in enough
men from the west to prevent Lee and Johnston escaping by the
mountains. Then, with the help of the navy, having cut off every
means of escape--north, south, east, and west--they themselves
closed in for the death-grip.

By the first of February Sherman was on his way north through the
Carolinas with sixty thousand picked men, drawing in
reinforcements as he advanced against Johnston's dwindling forty
thousand, until the thousands that faced each other at the end in
April were ninety and thirty respectively. On the ninth of
February (the day Lee became Commander-in-Chief) Sherman was
crossing the rails between Charleston and Augusta, of course
destroying them. A week later he was doing the same at Columbia
in the middle of South Carolina. By this time his old antagonist,
Johnston, had assumed command; so that he had to reckon with the
chances of a battle, as on his way against Atlanta, and not only
with the troubles of devastating an undefended base, as on his
march to the sea. The difficulties of hard marching through an
enemy country full of natural and artificial obstacles were also
much greater here than in Georgia. How well these difficulties
could be surmounted by a veteran army may be realized from a
recorded instance which, though it occurred elsewhere, was yet
entirely typical. In forty days an infantry division of eight
thousand men repaired a hundred miles of rail and built a hundred
and eighty-two bridges.

Sherman took a month to advance from Columbia in the middle of
South Carolina to Bentonville in the middle of North Carolina.
Here Johnston stood his ground; and a battle was fought from the
nineteenth to the twenty-first of March. Had Sherman known at the
time that his own numbers were, as he afterwards reported,
"vastly superior," he might have crushed Johnston then and there.
But, as it was, he ably supported the exposed flank that Johnston
so skillfully attacked, won the battle, inflicted losses a good
deal larger than his own, and gained his ulterior objective as
well as if there had not been a fight at all. This objective was
the concentration of his whole army round Goldsboro by the
twenty-fifth. At Goldsboro he held the strategic center of North
Carolina, being at the junction whence the rails ran east to
Newbern (which had long been in Union hands), west to meet the
only rails by which Lee's army might for a time escape, and north
(a hundred and fifty miles) to Grant's besieging host at
Petersburg. Sherman's record is one of which his men might well
be proud. In fifty days from Savannah he had made a winter march
through four hundred and twenty-five miles of mud, had captured
three cities, destroyed four railways, drained the Confederate
resources, increased his own, and half closed on Lee and Johnston
the vice which he and Grant could soon close altogether.
Nevertheless Grant records that "one of the most anxious periods
was the last few weeks before Petersburg"; for he was haunted by
the fear that Lee's army, now nearing the last extremity of
famine, might risk all on railing off southwest to Danville, the
one line left. Lee, consummate now as when victorious before,
masked his movements wonderfully well till the early morning of
the twenty-fifth of March, when he suddenly made a furious attack
where the lines were very near together. For some hours he held a
salient in the Federal position. But he was presently driven back
with loss; and his intention to escape stood plainly revealed.

The same day Sherman railed down to Newbern over the line
repaired by that indefatigable and most accomplished engineer,
Colonel W. W. Wright, took ship for City Point, Virginia, and met
Lincoln, Grant, and Admiral Porter there on the twenty-seventh
and twenty-eighth. Grant explained to Lincoln that Sheridan was
crossing the James just below them, to cut the rails running
south from Petersburg and then, by forced marches, to cut those
running southwest from Richmond, Lee's last possible line of
escape. Grant added that the final crisis was very near and that
his only anxiety was lest Lee might escape before Sheridan cut
the Richmond line southwest to Danville. Lincoln said he hoped
the war would end at once and with no more bloodshed. Grant and
Sherman, however, could not guarantee that Davis might not force
Lee and Johnston to one last desperate fight. Lincoln added that
all he wanted after the surrender was to get the Confederates
back to their civil life and make them good contented citizens.
As for Davis: well, there once was a man who, having taken the
pledge, was asked if he wouldn't let his host put just a drop of
brandy in the lemonade. His answer was: "See here, if you do it
unbeknownst, I won't object." From the way that Lincoln told this
story Grant and Sherman both inferred that he would be glad to
see Davis disembarrass the reunited States of his annoying

This twenty-eighth of March saw the last farewells between the
President and his naval and military lieutenants at the front.
Admiral Porter immediately wrote down a full account of the
conversations, from which, together with Grant's and Sherman's
strong corroboration, we know that Lincoln entirely approved of
the terms which Grant gave Lee, and that he would have approved
quite as heartily of those which Sherman gave to Johnston.

Next morning the final race, pursuit, defeat, and victory began.
Grant marched all his spare, men west to cut Lee off completely.
He left enough to hold his lines at Petersburg, in case Lee
should remain; and he arranged with Sherman for a combined
movement, to begin on the tenth of April, in case Johnston and
Lee should try to join each other. But he felt fairly confident
that he could run Lee down while Sherman tackled Johnston.

On the first of April Sheridan won a hard fight at Five Forks,
southwest of Petersburg. On Sunday (the second) Lee left
Petersburg for good, sending word to Richmond. That morning Davis
rose from his place in church and the clergyman quietly told the
congregation that there would be no evening service. On Monday
morning Grant rode into Petersburg, and saw the Confederate
rearguard clubbed together round the bridge. "I had not the
heart," said Grant, "to turn the artillery upon such a mass of
defeated and fleeing men, and I hoped to capture them soon." On
Tuesday Grant closed his orders to Sherman with the words, "Rebel
armies are now the only strategic points to strike at," and
himself pressed on relentlessly.

Late next afternoon a horseman in full Confederate uniform
suddenly broke cover from the enemy side of a dense wood and
dashed straight at the headquarter staff. The escort made as if
to seize him. But a staff officer called out, "How d'ye do,
Campbell?" This famous scout then took a wad of tobacco out of
his mouth, a roll of tinfoil out of the wad, and a piece of
tissue paper out of the tinfoil. When Grant read Sheridan's
report ending "I wish you were here" (that is, at Jetersville,
halfway between Petersburg and Appomattox), he immediately got
off his black pony, mounted Cincinnati, and rode the twenty miles
at speed, to learn that Lee was heading due west for Farmville,
less than thirty miles from Appomattox.

On Thursday the sixth, Lee, closely beset in flank and rear, lost
seven thousand men at Sailor's Creek, mostly as prisoners. The
heroes of this fight were six hundred Federals, who, having gone
to blow up High Bridge on the Appomattox, found their retreat cut
off by the whole Confederate advanced guard. Under Colonel
Francis Washburn, Fourth Massachusetts Cavalry, and Colonel
Theodore Read, of General Ord's staff, this dauntless six hundred
charged again and again until, their leaders killed and most of
the others dead or wounded, the rest surrendered. They had gained
their object by holding up Lee's column long enough to let its
wagon. train be raided.

Grant, now feeling that his hold on Lee could not be shaken off,
wrote him a letter on Friday afternoon, saying: "The results of
the last week must convince you of the hopelessness of further
resistance." That night Lee replied asking what terms Grant
proposed to offer. Next morning Grant wrote again to propose a
meeting, and Lee answered to say he was willing to treat for
peace. Grant at once informed him that the only subject for
discussion was the surrender of the army. That evening Federal
cavalry under General George A. Custer raided Appomattox Station,
five miles southwest of the Court House, and held up four trains.
A few hours later, early on Sunday, the famous ninth of April,
1865, Lee's advanced guard was astounded to find its way disputed
so far west. It attacked with desperation, hoping to break
through what seemed to be a cavalry screen before the infantry
came up; but when Lee's main body joined in, only to find a solid
mass of Federal infantry straight across its one way out, Lee at
once sent forward a white flag.

Grant, overwrought with anxiety, had been suffering from an
excruciating headache all night long. But the moment he opened
Lee's note, offering to discuss surrender, he felt as well as
ever, and instantly wrote back to say he was ready. Pushing
rapidly on he met Lee at McLean's private residence near
Appomattox Court House. There was a remarkable contrast between
the appearance of the two commanders. Grant, only forty-three,
and without a tinge of gray in his brown hair, took an inch or
two off his medium height by stooping keenly forward, and had
nothing in his shabby private's uniform to show his rank except
the three-starred shoulder-straps. When the main business was
over, and he had time to notice details, he apologized to Lee,
explaining that the extreme rapidity of his movements had carried
him far ahead of his baggage. Lee's aide-de-camp, Colonel Charles
Marshall, afterwards explained that when the Confederates had
been obliged to reduce themselves simply to what they stood in,
each officer had naturally put on his best. Hence Lee's
magnificent appearance in a brand-new general's uniform with the
jeweled sword of honor that Virginia had given him. Well over six
feet tall, straight as an arrow in spite of his fifty-eight years
and snow-white, war-grown beard, still extremely handsome, and
full of equal dignity and charm, he looked, from head to foot,
the perfect leader of devoted men.

Grant, holding out his hand in cordial greeting, began the
conversation by saying: "I met you once before, General Lee,
while we were serving in Mexico . . . . I have always remembered
your appearance, and I think I should have recognized you
anywhere." After some other personal talk Lee said: "I suppose,
General Grant, that the object of our present meeting is fully
understood. I asked to see you in order to ascertain on what
terms you would receive the surrender of my army." Grant answered
that officers and men were to be paroled and disqualified from
serving again till properly exchanged, and that all warlike and
other stores were to be treated as captured. Lee bowed assent,
said that was what he had expected, and presently suggested that
Grant should commit the terms to writing on the spot. When Grant
got to the end of the terms already discussed his eye fell on
Lee's splendid sword of honor, and he immediately added the
sentence: "This will not embrace the side-arms of the officers,
nor their private horses or baggage." When Lee read over the
draft he flushed slightly on coming to this generous proviso and
gratefully said: "This will have a very happy effect upon my
army." Grant then asked him if he had any suggestions to make;
whereupon he said that the mounted Confederates, unlike the
Federals, owned their horses. Before he had time to ask a favor
Grant said that as these horses would be invaluable for men
returning to civil life they could all be taken home after full
proof of ownership. Lee again flushed and gratefully replied:
"This will have the best possible effect upon the men. It will be
very gratifying and do much toward conciliating our people."

While the documents were being written out for signature Grant
introduced the generals and staff officers to Lee. Then Lee once
more led the conversation back to business by saying he wished to
return his prisoners to Grant at the earliest possible moment
because he had nothing more for them to eat. "I have, indeed,
nothing for my own men," he added. They had been living on the
scantiest supply of parched corn for several days; and this
famine fare, combined with their utter lack of all other
supplies--especially medicine and clothing--was wearing them away
faster than any "war of attrition" in the open field. After
heartily agreeing that the prisoners should immediately return
Grant said: "I will take steps at once to have your army supplied
with rations. Suppose I send over twenty-five thousand; do you
think that will be a sufficient supply?" "I think it will be
ample," said Lee, who, after a pause, added: "and it will be a
great relief, I assure you."

Then Lee rose, shook Grant warmly by the hand, bowed to the
others, and left the room. As he appeared on the porch all the
Union officers in the grounds rose respectfully and saluted him.
While the Confederate orderly was bridling the horses Lee stood
alone, gazing in unutterable grief across the valley to where the
remnant of his army lay. Then, as he mounted Traveler, every
Union officer followed Grant's noble example by standing
bareheaded till horse and rider had disappeared from view.

Grant next sent off the news to Washington and, true to his
sterling worth, immediately stopped the salutes which some of his
enthusiastic soldiers were already beginning to fire. "The war is
over," he told his staff, "the rebels are our countrymen again,
and the best sign of rejoicing after the victory will be to
abstain from all demonstrations in the field."

In the meantime Lee had returned to his own lines, along which he
now rode for the last time. The reserve with which he had steeled
his heart during the surrender gave way completely when he came
to bid his men farewell. After a few simple words, advising his
devoted veterans to become good citizens of their reunited
country, the tears could no longer be kept back. Then, as he rode
slowly on, from the remnant of one old regiment to another, the
men broke ranks, and, mostly silent with emotion, pressed round
their loved commander, to take his hand, to touch his sword, or
fondly stroke his splendid gray horse, Traveler, the same that
had so often carried him victorious through the hard-fought day.

North and South had scarcely grasped the full significance of
Lee's surrender, when, only five days later, Lincoln was
assassinated. "It would be impossible for me," said Grant, "to
describe the feeling that overcame me at the news. I knew his
goodness of heart, and above all his desire to see all the people
of the United States enter again upon the full privileges of
citizenship with equality among all. I felt that reconstruction
had been set back, no telling how far." "Of all the men I ever
met," said Sherman, "he seemed to possess more of the elements of
greatness, combined with goodness, than any other."

On the very day of the assassination Sherman had written to
Johnston offering the same terms Grant had given Lee and Lincoln
had most heartily approved. Three days later, on the seventeenth,
just as Sherman was entering the train for his meeting with
Johnston, the operator handed him a telegram announcing the
assassination. Enjoining secrecy till he returned, Sherman took
the telegram with him and showed it to Johnston, whom he watched
intently. "The perspiration came out on his forehead," Sherman
wrote, "and he did not attempt to conceal his distress. He
denounced the act as a disgrace to the age and hoped I did not
charge it to the Confederate Government. I told him I could not
believe that he or General Lee or the officers of the Confederate
army could possibly be privy to acts of assassination." When
Sherman got back to Raleigh he published the news in general
orders, and experienced the supreme satisfaction of finding that
not one man in all that mournful army had to be restrained from a
single act of revenge.

After much misunderstanding with Washington now in lesser hands,
the surrender of Johnston's and the other Confederate armies was
effected. Each body of troops laid down its arms and quietly
dispersed. One day the bugles called, the camp fires burned, and
comrades were together in the ranks. The next, like morning
mists, they disappeared, thenceforth to be remembered and admired
only as the heroes of a hopeless cause.

It was a very different scene through which their rivals marched
into lasting fame with all the pride, pomp, and circumstance of
war. On the twenty-third and twenty-fourth of May, in perfect
weather, and in the stirring presence of a loyal, vast,
enthusiastic throng, the Union armies were reviewed in
Washington. For over six full hours each day the troops marched
past--the very flower of those who had come back victorious. The
route was flagged from end to end with Stars and Stripes, and
banked with friends of each and every regiment there. Between
these banks, and to the sound of thrilling martial music, the
long blue column flowed--a living stream of men whose bayonets
made its surface flash like burnished silver under the glorious

Then, when the pageantry was finished, and the volunteers that
formed the vast bulk of those magnificent Federal armies had
again become American civilians in thought and word and deed,
these steadfast men, whose arms had saved the Union in the field,
were first in peace as they had been in war: first in the
reconstruction of their country's interrupted life, first in
recognizing all that was best in the splendid fighters with whom
they had crossed swords, and first--incomparably first--in
keeping one and indivisible the reunited home land of both North
and South.


Thousands of books have been written about the Civil War; and
more about the armies than about the navies and the civil
interests together. Yet, even about the armies, there are very
few that give a just idea of how every part of the war was
correlated with every other part and with the very complex whole;
while fewer still give any idea of how closely the navies were
correlated with the armies throughout the long amphibious

The only works mentioned here are either those containing the
original evidence or those written by experts directly from the
original evidence. And of course there are a good many works
belonging to both these classes for which no room can be found in
a bibliography so very brief as the present one must be.

"The War of the Rebellion: a Compilation of the Official Records
of the Union and Confederate Armies", 128 vols. (1880-1901), and
"Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War
of the Rebellion", 28 vols. (1894-), form two magnificent
collections of original evidence published by the United States
Government. But they have some gaps which nothing else can fill.
"Battles and Leaders of the Civil War"(1887-89), written by
competent witnesses on both sides, gives the gist of the story in
four volumes (published afterwards in eight). "The Rebellion
Record", 12 vols. (1862-68), edited by Frank Moore, forms an
interesting collection of non-official documents. "The Story of
the Civil War", 4 vols. (1895-1913), begun by J.C. Ropes, and
continued by W.R. Livermore, is an historical work of real value.
"Larned's Literature of American History" contains an excellent
bibliography; but it needs supplementing by bibliographies of the
present century. Inquiring readers should consult the
bibliographies in volumes 20 and 21 (by J.K. Hosmer) in the
American Nation series.

There are many works of a more special kind that deserve
particular attention. General E.P. Alexander's "Military Memoirs
of a Confederate" (1907), the "Transactions of the Military
Historical Society of Massachusetts", Major John Bigelow's "The
Campaign of Chancellorsville" (1910), and J.D. Cox's "Military
Reminiscences", 2 vols. (1900), are admirable specimens of this
very extensive class.

The two greatest generals on the Northern side have written their
own memoirs, and written them exceedingly well: "Personal Memoirs
of U.S. Grant", 2 vols. (1885-86), and "Memoirs of General W.T.
Sherman", 2 vols. (1886). But the two greatest on the Southern
side wrote nothing themselves; and no one else has written a
really great life of that very great commander, Robert Lee.
Fitzhugh Lee's enthusiastic sketch of his uncle, "General Lee"
(1894), is one of the several second-rate books on the subject.
Colonel G.F.R. Henderson's "Stonewall Jackson and the American
Civil War", 2 vols. (1898), is, on the other hand, among the best
of war biographies. Henderson's strategical study of the Valley
Campaign is a masterpiece. Two good works of very different kinds
are: "A History of the Civil War in the United States" (1905), by
W. Birkbeck Wood and Major J.E. Edmonds, and "A History of the
United States f from the Compromise of 1850", 8 vols.
(1893-1919), by James Ford Rhodes. The first is military, the
second political. Mr. Rhodes has also written a single volume
"History of the Civil War" (1917). "American Campaigns" by Major
M.F. Steele, issued under the supervision of the War Department
(1909), deals chiefly with the military operations of the Civil

The naval side of this, as of all other wars, has been far too
much neglected. But that great historian of sea-power, Admiral
Mahan, has told the best of the story in his "Admiral Farragut"

An interesting contemporary account of the war will be found in
the five volumes of Appleton's "American Annual Cyclopoedia" for
the years from 1861 to 1865. B.J. Lossing's "Pictorial History of
the Civil War", 3 vols. (1866-69), and Harper's "Pictorial
History of the Rebellion", 2 vols. (1868), give graphic pictures
of military life as seen by contemporaries. Personal
reminiscences of the war, of varying merit, have multiplied
rapidly in recent years. These are appraised for the unwary
reader in the bibliographies already mentioned. Frank Wilkeson's
"Recollections of a Private Soldier in the Army of the Potomac"
(1887), George C. Eggleston's "A Rebel's Recollections" (1905),
and Mrs. Mary B. Chestnut's "Diary from Dixie" (1905) are among
the best of these personal recollections.

The political and diplomatic history has been dealt with already
in the two preceding Chronicles. "Abraham Lincoln: a History", by
John G. Nicolay and John Hay, in ten volumes (1890), and "The
Complete Works of Abraham Lincoln", in twelve volumes (1905),
form the quarry from which all true accounts of his war
statesmanship must be built up. Lord Charnwood's "Abraham
Lincoln" (1917) is an admirable summary. To these titles should
be added Gideon Welles's "Diary", 3 vols. (1911), and, on the
Confederate side, Jefferson Davis's "The Rise and Fall of the
Confederate Government", 2 vols. (1881), and Alexander H.
Stephens's "A Constitutional View of the Late War Between the
States", 2 vols. (1870). The best life of Jefferson Davis is that
by William E. Dodd in the "American Crisis Biographies" (1907).
W. H. Russell's "My Diary North and South" (1863) records the
impressions of an intelligent foreign observer.

The present Chronicle is based entirely on the original evidence,
with the convenient use only of such works as have themselves
been written by qualified experts directly from the original


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