Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 16.djvu/348

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342 Southern Historical Society Papers.

veteran. A large number of organizations on both sides in that battle came out of it with a loss of every other man who entered it killed or wounded.

The assaults on the Confederate side were without parallel in the war. Longstreet's charge at Gettysburg was a single effort. But Longstreet's entire wing at Chickamauga assaulted time and again on far more difficult ground than the slopes of Cemetery Hill. There were three general assaults which each deserve to rank with Pickett's charge, while the Union defence of Horseshoe Ridge is without parallel in the war. So thin a line of heroes never before successfully withstood such tremendous assaults. Of the whole battle, from opening to close, there was never truer thing written than General Hindman's words in regard to his conflict with Granger's troops : " I have never known Federal troops to fight so well. It is just to say, also, that I never saw Confederate soldiers fight better." And Kershaw, of Longstreet's Virginia troops, who had seen all the fight- ing in the Army of Northern Virginia, said of one of the Confederate assaults which Brannan repulsed : " This was one of the heaviest attacks of the war on a single point."

Surely the ground of such fighting deserves to be preserved for pilgrimages and historic study. To illustrate the attainments of soldierly endeavor with which the veterans of each army distinguished themselves in our war, there is no spot of fighting ground in which each can take a greater pride.

It is a field where no material changes have occurred since the battle. The roads and farm clearings, the wood and the farm-houses remain almost the same. The necessary work of restoration would consist only in clearing out underbrush at a few points.

A brief statement of the organization and purposes of the Gettys- burg Memorial Association will aid in indicating the general outlines of a plan which will apply, with modifications to be mentioned, to the field of Chickamauga: The Gettysburg Battlefield Memorial Association was formed for the purpose of holding and preserving the battle-grounds of Gettysburg, with their natural and artificial defences, and perpetuate the same, with such memorial structures as might be erected thereon in commemoration of the heroic deeds and achievements of the actors in that great contest.

It was incorporated by act of the General Assembly of Pennsylvania, approved April 30, 1864, by which act, and a supplement thereto, approved April 24, 1866, ample powers and authority are conferred for the accomplishment of its purposes, including the purchase of