War and its Heroes
|War and its Heroes (1864)
|First and only part of a planned series of biographical sketches.|
WAR AND ITS HEROES.
AYRES & WADE
Entered according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1864 by
AYRES & WADE,
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Confederate States for the Eastern District of Virginia.
The Publishers, with much diffidence, present to the public the first volume of "The War and its Heroes." They would not, however, appear to magnify the imperfections of the work by begging the indulgence of its readers. The circumstances under which it is issued at this time are patent to all who have lived in our midst through even the last six months of the great struggle of which it is in part commemorative. That the work is incomplete is a fact which requires no apology, the struggle itself being incomplete. That it does not appear in the flashing garb of enameled paper, and blue and gold, is an incident which anticipates excuse. The Publishers base their confidence of its kind reception on the merit of accuracy, and they give it to the country as a record in which the reader may find pleasure, and from which the historian may gather information with assurance of its truth. The series will consist of four or more volumes, each of which will be issued in rapid succession as circumstances will permit. The engravings been executed with care and skill, and are taken from special photographs obtained by the Publishers themselves. The biographical sketches, which accompany them, are made up from official reports and private information from the most reliable sources. The enterprise is one which has long been contemplation, and at an early period of last year a revision of data was commenced, with a view to the speedy publication of the work. The interruptions and disappointments consequent upon the state of affairs delayed it however, and it appearance was postponed. Were we to wait the consummation of all the arrangements which had been made, the publication would still be delayed for several months, but we prefer to commence with the opening of Spring, and take a fair start with the early birds of the proverbial season of new books, even though it be at the expense of having to appear in a garb less inviting than our own taste would desire. The succeeding volumes will excel the present on in this respect. With this brief explanation we commit the First volume to the Reader.
"The living and the dead are here!" We ask ourselves in vain how many of those whose immortality await fruition in the touch of death will have taken their places in the halls of the Eternal ere the concluding volumes of our work are given to the world. Hope, with i - - gi lden veil, bides from as all save the Future. Bui we have .seen the Past, and are familiar with its '•. ': ■ That oourage which defends, that ioh dares, that fire of soul which barns a path of fury through a sea oi ■ ami recorded over their unnumbered graves and glisten in the memorial Light of their tattered flags, [n this Revolution all arc hen leader is nut only a representative, but an imj i. His heart is tic of the Army. The sympathy is sublime — it than love — it is ration 1 That vast and terrible aggregation of armed men' which suddenly leaped from the bosom of the Smth. early in the Spring of L861, was no pulseless, cold and mere obedient machine. Lts linn and jugular tread, as it massed on the bristling bord tl (forth, or moved in stately columns ■long thi shadowless v Jl - ■• lown by the Bounding sea," was not the step of a "stauding army." That monstrous accumulation of human puppets tell to the fortune of the enemy. The animus of independence gathered its propelling force in every breast of the great uprising mass of Southern patriots, and n at momentum, forward, everywhere, to the held of danger. There was no impediment in space — no quiver in the speeding nerve. They shot from point to point like oomete ug along the surface of the earth. Thi will be known in the future as the Bpirit of '61. ime Sumter, and Bethel, and Manassas. The tufted green of patri- archal .it had peacefully nodded in the winds of eighty summers ; the slopes • verdure on whose cushioned surface had shone for many a year the starry tracks of I ver which the bee and fairy butterfly swam, in innyair; the weird and perfumed thicket, and the dell, mossy and sha< • • ■, : . | jeclud I: and the innumerabl fields of laughing j'rain: and the ha l romanc ,canis — threw oil' their sweet
- . .I ; .- atmospheiv ,,' War. Peace,
that lo . in haloes lie flashing, um n rimso! f our hero- . in the music id' the sea and stayed the crash of t impending conflict; Peace, thai ulvcjry way along the eve of I, in th dawn A star had fallen,
- '. It fell an j - of the past. The
iter rolled away, grim with death, but bright with triumph INTRODUCTION. v to Southern arms. Then a year of disaster came and red Ires lit up the horizon The lurid gleam shone horrible with visions of dismay, distress and shame, an<l the pain went home to myriads of Southern hearts. Anothi I ind with victories, terrible in carnage, swept in full-orbed glory by. We torn from the threshold of the fourth to look back through the vipta of fire, and view, amidst ■red scenery, the features of the dead ! Animate in death, in battle front, gory on breast and cheek and arm. and palled in the smoke of the first Manassas, Bee and Barton lie. Upon the blooming prairies of Kentucky another battle "ridea upon the storm/' and I noble Zollicofi eh falls expiring under the very gaze of the exultant foe. Still deeper on the distance of the West, under a storm ol li id, brave men, ming with their allied brothers of the forest, lfiourn over M< Ci i w>CH and M< i • i -if. whose priceless Mood the thirsty sod drink- in beneath th ir feet. At Bhiloh a martyr falls. In the mountainous wilds of Northern the Asn sublime in deeds, almost invulnerable, pour out their life. The yon;.- and chivalrous Wise i on the treaeheron '•other choice" of heroes — death — and dies in triumph, though a capt the brave and bliTllaut Latane falls in the deadly fray that illumii arms - men in the charge at I ! Hut wept by the very stars of Heaven, that trembled as they looked upon idnight flashes in the Wilderness, the bleeding form oi of the Soutl ail Jackson, meets, with it- drapery ol wandering L'a/' — on whicha country calls in vain and will n -for " ?hn rfiiiPTnlpf-rs thpp »* one I r Poet's '; - }]( t inarMe wrought, hrr D - tbpp hor babe's first lippi- For thins h<r evenii | At paid' ■'• couch and COttagC I * Hf-r soldh r, I ioginp with thy sake a • - Ilia j>lig:htp'] maiden, when »1 i ITS, kl of tby fate ■■• The scne end.- n .f*V 'I ting South. I and in h it s e e ms not m their nal yet tr ?«eed.