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  • The American Civil War From Sumter to Surrender at Appomattox, Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, Report on Gettysburg
    to secure better muskets than the Enfields which we found did not stand service well Rude shelters were thrown up of the loose rocks that covered the ground Captain Woodward commanding the Eighty third Pennsylvania Volunteers on my right gallantly maintaining his fight judiciously and with hearty co operation made his movements conform to my necessities so that my right was at no time exposed to a flank attack The enemy seemed to have gathered all their energies for their final assault We had gotten our thin line into as good a shape as possible when a strong force emerged from the scrub wood in the valley as well as I could judge in two lines in echelon by the right and opening a heavy fire the first line came on as if they meant to sweep everything before them We opened on them as well as we could with our scanty ammunition snatched from the field It did not seem possible to withstand another shock like this now coming on Our loss had been severe One half of my left wing had fallen and a third of my regiment lay just behind us dead or badly wounded At this moment my anxiety was increased by a great roar of musketry in my rear on the farther or northerly slope of Little Round Top apparently on the flank of the regular brigade which was in support of Hazlett s battery on the crest behind us The bullets from this attack struck into my left rear and I feared that the enemy might have nearly surrounded the Little Round Top and only a desperate chance was left for us My ammunition was soon exhausted My men were firing their last shot and getting ready to club their muskets It was imperative to strike before we were struck by this overwhelming force in a hand to hand fight which we could not probably have withstood or survived At that crisis I ordered the bayonet The word was enough It ran like fire along the line from man to man and rose into a shout with which they sprang forward upon the enemy now not 30 yards away The effect was surprising many of the enemy s first line threw down their arms and surrendered An officer fired his pistol at my head with one hand while he handed me his sword with the other Holding fast by our right and swinging forward our left we made an extended right wheel before which the enemy s second line broke and fell back fighting from tree to tree many being captured until we had swept the valley and cleared the front of nearly our entire brigade Meantime Captain Morrill with his skirmishers sent out from my left flank with some dozen or fifteen of the U S Sharpshooters who had put themselves under his direction fell upon the enemy as they were breaking and by his demonstrations as well as his well directed fire

    Original URL path: http://history-world.org/chamberlain%20report%20on%20gettysburg.htm (2016-02-11)
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  • The American Civil War From Sumter to Surrender at Appomattox, Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, The Charge of Bayonets
    My thought was running deep I was combining the elements of a forlorn hope and had just communicated this to Captain Ellis J Spear of the wheeling flank on which the initiative was to fall Just then so will a little incident fleck a brooding cloud of doom with a tint of human tenderness brave warm hearted Lieutenant Holman S Melcher of the Color Company whose Captain and nearly half his men were down came up and asked if he might take his company and go forward and pick up one or two of his men left wounded on the field and bring them in before the enemy got too near This would be a most hazardous move in itself and in this desperate moment we could not break our line But I admired him With a glance he understood I answered Yes sir in a moment I am about to order a charge Not a moment was to be lost Five minutes more of such a defensive and the last roll call would sound for us Desperate as the chances were there was nothing for it but to take the offensive I stepped to the colors The men turned towards me One word was enough BAYONET It caught like fire and swept along the ranks The men took it up with a shout one could not say whether from the pit or the song the morning star It were vain to order Forward No mortal could have heard it in the mighty hosanna that was winging the sky Nor would he want to hear There are things still as of the first creation whose seed is in itself The grating clash of steel in fixing bayonets told its own story the color rose in front the whole line quivered for the start the edge of the left wing rippled swung tossed among the rocks straightened changed curve from cimetar to sickle shape and the bristling archers swooped down upon the serried host down into the face of half a thousand Two hundred men It was a great right wheel Our left swung first The advancing foe stopped tried to make a stand amidst the trees and boulders but the frenzied bayonets pressing through every space forced a constant settling to the rear Morrill with his detached company and the remnants of our valorous sharpshooters who had held the enemy so long in check on the slopes of the Great Round Top now fell upon the flank of the retiring crowd and it turned to full retreat some up amidst the crags of Great Round Top but most down the smooth vale towards their own main line on Plum Run This tended to mass them before our center Here their stand was more stubborn At the first dash the commanding officer I happened to confront coming on fiercely sword in one hand and big navy revolver in the other fires one barrel almost in my face but seeing the quick

    Original URL path: http://history-world.org/charge_of_bayonets.htm (2016-02-11)
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  • The American Civil War From Sumter to Surrender at Appomattox, Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, The Crash of Hell
    the range and reach of their guns They were close upon us among the rocks we knew unseen because so near In a minute more came the roll of musketry It struck the exposed right center of our brigade Promptly answered repulsed and renewed again and again it soon reached us still extending Two brigades of Hood s Division had attacked Texas and Alabama The Fourth Alabama reached our right

    Original URL path: http://history-world.org/crash_of_hell.htm (2016-02-11)
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  • The Race Up the Round Top
    unoccupied except by a little group of signal men earnestly observing the movements over in the region of the Emmitsburg Road beyond the Devil s Den Warren to test a surmise sent word to a battery of ours in position below to throw a solid shot into a mass of woods in that vicinity The whir of the shot overhead brought out the glitter of many musket barrels and bayonets in the slanting sunlight the revelation of fact the end of dreams In a moment more the fierce attack fell on our Third Corps left lashed the Devil s Den into a seething cauldron leaving free a large Confederate force to sweep past for the base of the Round Tops They would make short work in taking the height and Warren did likewise in his call for the race Earnestly we scanned that rugged peak which was to be the touch stone oft hat day s battle It bore a rough forbidding face wrinkled with jagged ledges bearded with mighty boulders even the smooth spots were strewn with fragments of rock like the play ground or battleground of giants in the elemental storms of old Straggling trees wrestled with the rocks for a foot hold some were in a rich vein of mould and shot up stark and grim Altogether it was a strange and solemn place looking forlorn and barren now but to be made rich enough soon with precious blood and far wept tears As we mounted its lower gradient Longstreet s batteries across Plum Run had us in full view and turned their whole force upon our path to sweep the heights free of us till their gray line now straining towards them could take them by foot or hand Shells burst overhead and brought down tree

    Original URL path: http://history-world.org/race_up_the_round_top.htm (2016-02-11)
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  • Unforgotten Sons of God
    graves These strange influences of material nature its mountains and seas its sunset skies and nights of stars its colors and tones and odors carry something of the mutual reciprocal It is a sympathy On that other side it is represented to us as suffering The whole creation travailing in pain together in earnest expectation waiting for the adoption having right then to some thing which is to he its

    Original URL path: http://history-world.org/unforgotten_sons_of_god.htm (2016-02-11)
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  • Thomas Jefferson on Slavery
    The heroes of the Dunciad are to her as Hercules to the author of that poem Ignatius Sancho has approached nearer to merit in composition yet his letters do more honour to the heart than the head They breathe the purest effusions of friendship and general philanthropy and show how great a degree of the latter may be compounded with strong religious zeal He is often happy in the turn of his compliments and his style is easy and familiar except when he affects a Shandean fabrication of words But his imagination is wild and extravagant escapes incessantly from every restraint of reason and taste and in the course of its vagaries leaves a tract of thought as incoherent and eccentric as is the course of a meteor through the sky His subjects should often have led him to a process of sober reasoning yet we find him always substituting sentiment for demonstration Upon the whole though we admit him to the first place among those of his own colour who have presented themselves to the public judgment yet when we compare him with the writers of the race among whom he lived and particularly with the epistolary class in which he has taken his own stand we are compelled to enrol him at the bottom of the column This criticism supposes the letters published under his name to be genuine and to have received amendment from no other hand points which would not be of easy investigation The improvement of the blacks in body and mind in the first instance of their mixture with the whites has been observed by every one and proves that their inferiority is not the effect merely of their condition of life We know that among the Romans about the Augustan age especially the condition of their slaves was much more deplorable than that of the blacks on the continent of America The two sexes were confined in separate apartments because to raise a child cost the master more than to buy one Cato for a very restricted indulgence to his slaves in this particular took from them a certain price But in this country the slaves multiply as fast as the free inhabitants Their situation and manners place the commerce between the two sexes almost without restraint The same Cato on a principle of oeconomy always sold his sick and superannuated slaves He gives it as a standing precept to a master visiting his farm to sell his old oxen old wagons old tools old and diseased servants and every thing else become useless The American slaves cannot enumerate this among the injuries and insults they receive It was the common practice to expose in the island Esculapius in the Tyber diseased slaves whose cure was like to become tedious The emperor Claudius by an edict gave freedom to such of them as should recover and first declared that if any person chose to kill rather than expose them it should be deemed homicide The exposing them is a crime of which no instance has existed with us and were it to be followed by death it would be punished capitally We are told of a certain Vedius Pollio who in the presence of Augustus would have given a slave as food to his fish for having broken a glass With the Romans the regular method of taking the evidence of their slaves was under torture Here it has been thought better never to resort to their evidence When a master was murdered all his slaves in the same house or within hearing were condemned to death Here punishment falls on the guilty only and as precise proof is required against him as against a freeman Yet notwithstanding these and other discouraging circumstances among the Romans their slaves were often their rarest artists They excelled too in science insomuch as to be usually employed as tutors to their masters children Epictetus Terence and Phaedrus were slaves But they were of the race of whites It is not their condition then but nature which has produced the distinction Whether further observation will or will not verify the conjecture that nature has been less bountiful to them in the endowments of the head I believe that in those of the heart she will be found to have done them justice That disposition to theft with which they have been branded must be ascribed to their situation and not to any depravity of the moral sense The man in whose favour no laws of property exist probably feels himself less bound to respect those made in favour of others When arguing for ourselves we lay it down as a fundamental that laws to be just must give a reciprocation of right that without this they are mere arbitrary rules of conduct founded in force and not in conscience and it is a problem which I give to the master to solve whether the religious precepts against the violation of property were not framed for him as well as his slave And whether the slave may not as justifiably take a little from one who has taken all from him as he may slay one who would slay him That a change in the relations in which a man is placed should change his ideas of moral right or wrong is neither new nor peculiar to the colour of the blacks Homer tells us it was so 2600 years ago Jove fix d it certain that whatever day Makes man a slave takes half his worth away But the slaves of which Homer speaks were whites Notwithstanding these considerations which must weaken their respect for the laws of property we find among them numerous instances of the most rigid integrity and as many as among their better instructed masters of benevolence gratitude and unshaken fidelity The opinion that they are inferior in the faculties of reason and imagination must be hazarded with great diffidence To justify a

    Original URL path: http://history-world.org/Jeffslave.htm (2016-02-11)
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  • History of the Franks
    follow the immortal God whom Remi preaches This was reported to the bishop who was greatly rejoiced and bade them get ready the baptismal font The squares were shaded with tapestried canopies the churches adorned with white curtains the baptistery set in order the aroma of incense spread candles of fragrant odor burned brightly and the whole shrine of the baptistery was filled with a divine fragrance and the Lord gave such grace to those who stood by that they thought they were placed amid the odors of paradise And the king was the first to ask to be baptized by the bishop Another Constantine advanced to the baptismal font to terminate the disease of ancient leprosy and wash away with fresh water the foul spots that had long been borne And when he entered to be baptized the saint of God began with ready speech Gently bend your neck Sigamber worship what you burned burn what you worshipped The holy bishop Remi was a man of excellent wisdom and especially trained in rhetorical studies and of such surpassing holiness that he equalled the miracles of Silvester For there is extant a book of his life which tells that he raised a dead man And so the king confessed all powerful God in the Trinity and was baptized in the name of the Father Son and holy Spirit and was anointed with the holy ointment with the sign of the cross of Christ And of his army more than 3000 were baptized His sister also Albofled was baptized who not long after passed to the Lord And when the king was in mourning for her the holy Remi sent a letter of consolation which began in this way The reason of your mourning pains me and pains me greatly that Albofled your sister of good memory has passed away But I can give you this comfort that her departure from the world was such that she ought to be envied rather than e mourned Another sister also was converted Lanthechild by name who had fallen into the heresy of the Arians and she confessed that the Son and the holy Spirit were equal to the Father and was anointed 37 Now Clovis the king said to his people I take it very hard that these Arians hold part of the Gauls Let us go with God s help and conquer them and bring the land under our control Since these words pleased all he set his army in motion and made for Poitiers where Alaric was at that time But since part of the host was passing through Touraine he issued an edict out of respect to the blessed Martin that no one should take anything from that country except grass for fodder and water But one from the army found a poor man s hay and said Did not the king order grass only to be taken nothing else And this said he is grass We shall not be transgressing his command if we take it And when he had done violence to the poor man and taken his hay by force the deed came to the king And quicker than speech the offender was slain by the sword and the king said And where shall our hope of victory be if we offend the blessed Martin It would be better for the army to take nothing else from this country The king himself sent envoys to the blessed church saying Go and perhaps you will receive some omen of victory from the holy temple Then giving them gifts to set up in the holy place he said If thou O Lord art my helper and hast determined to surrender this unbelieving nation always striving against thee into my hands consent to reveal it propitiously at the entrance to the church of St Martin so that I may know that thou wilt deign to be favorable to thy servant Clovis servants went on their way according to the king s command and drew near to the place and when they were about to enter the holy church the first singer without any pre arrangement sang this response Thou hast girded me O Lord with strength unto the battle thou hast subdued under me those that rose up against me and hast made mine enemies turn their backs unto me and thou hast utterly destroyed them that hated me On hearing this singing they thanked the Lord and paying their vow to the blessed confessor they joyfully made their report to the king Moreover when he came to the river Vienne with his army he did not know where he ought to cross For the river had swollen from the rains When he had prayed to the Lord in the night to show him a ford where he could cross in the morning by God s will a hind of wonderful size entered the river before them and when it passed over the people saw where they could cross When the king came to the neighborhood of Poitiers and was encamped some distance off he saw a ball of fire come out of the church of Saint Hilarius and pass as it were over him to show that aided by the light of the blessed confessor Hilarius he should more boldly conquer the heretic armies against which the same bishop had often fought for the faith And he made it known to all the army that neither there nor on the way should they spoil any one or take any one s property There was in these days a man of praiseworthy holiness the abbot Maxentius who had become a recluse in his own monastery in Poitou because of his fear of God We have not put the name of the monastery in this account because the place is called to the present day Cellula sancti Maxentii And when his monks saw a division of the host approaching the monastery

    Original URL path: http://history-world.org/history_of_the_franks.htm (2016-02-11)
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  • The Conversion of Clovis: Two Accounts, 496
    to me highly profitable that you should know first of all what are those gods which you worship For we are certain of their falsity and we come right freely into the knowledge of Him who is the true God Know of a surety that this same God which I preach to you has given victory over your enemies in the recent battle against the Alemanni Lift therefore your hearts in just hope and ask the Sovereign Defender that He give to you all that which you desire that He save our souls and give us victory over our enemies When the King full of faith had thus preached to and admonished his people one and all banished from their hearts all unbelief and recognized their Creator When shortly afterward Chlodovocar set out for the church for baptism St Remi prepared a great procession The streets of Rheims were hung with banners and tapestry The church was decorated The baptistry was covered with balsams and all sorts of perfumes The people believed they were already breathing the delights of paradise The cortege set out from the palace the clergy led the way bearing the holy Gospels the cross and banners chanting hymns and psalms Then came the bishop leading the King by the hand next the Queen with the multitude Whilst on the way the King asked of the bishop If this was the Kingdom of Heaven which he had promised him Not so replied the prelate it is the road that leads to it When in the church in the act of bestowing baptism the holy pontiff lifted his eyes to heaven in silent prayer and wept Straightway a dove white as snow descended bearing in his beak a vial of holy oil A delicious odor exhaled from it which intoxicated those near by with an inexpressible delight The holy bishop took the vial and suddenly the dove vanished Transported with joy at the sight of this notable miracle the King renounced Satan his pomps and his works and demanded with earnestness the baptism at the moment when he bent his head over the fountain of life the eloquent pontiff cried Bow down thine head fierce Sicambrian Adore that which once thou hast burned burn that which thou hast adored After having made his profession of the orthodox faith the King is plunged thrice in the waters of baptism Then in the name of the holy and indivisible Trinity Father Son and Holy Ghost the prelate consecrated him with the divine unction Two sisters of the king and 3000 fighting men of the Franks and a great number of women and children were likewise baptized Thus we many well believe that day was a day of joy in heaven for the holy angels likewise of rejoicing on earth for devout and faithful men The King showed vast zeal for his new faith He built a splendid church at Paris called St Genevieve where later he and Clothilde were buried

    Original URL path: http://history-world.org/conversion%20of%20clovis.htm (2016-02-11)
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