In times of war, nation's looks to their heroes. Few heroes ranked as high in the eyes of the Confederate citizenry in the fall of 1862 than Generals Robert E. Lee, James Longstreet, and "Stonewall" Jackson. They carried the war successfully from the gates of Richmond to Abraham Lincoln's doorstep and beyond the Potomac. Southerners yearned for news of the three men and tried to picture their heroes in an age before personal portraits were universally circulated.
The war correspondent of the Columbus (GA) Times penned the following descriptions of what Lee, Longstreet, and Jackson looked like following their campaign into Maryland. It was reprinted in numerous papers, but this article has been pulled from the November 4, 1862 issue of the Staunton Spectator (VA).
General Lee has, I believe, won his way to everybody's confidence. In appearance he is tall, portly and commanding. His dress is usually a plain Brigadier's uniform, a black felt hat, with the brim turned down, and he wears a short grizzled beard all round his face. He has much of the Washingtonian dignity about him, and is much respected by all with whom he is thrown. At Sharpsburg I saw him on the field during the heat of the action. He was surrounded by his staff and a perfect squadron of couriers. He was engaged in calmly viewing the storm of battle, and giving orders in a manner of cool reliance. Aids and couriers were hurrying to and from the right, left and centre, and the whole disposition of forces seemed under his perfect control.
Friday, November 30, 2018
Thursday, November 29, 2018
|Napoleon J.T. Dana|
Dana served admirably in brigade command as part of John Sedgwick's division on the Virginia Peninsula. In the swamps and quagmires there, he became ill with a fever at Harrison's Landing in July and reinvigorated his health in Philadelphia. He was well enough to retake command of his brigade in time for the Maryland Campaign. In the West Woods, Dana again fell with a serious wound, this time to the left leg, making him bedridden for the next two months.(2)
When the Adjutant General's Office asked the generals of the Union Army for reports of their service in the war up to 1864, Dana submitted a succinct report detailing his experiences thus far. However, being the soldier's soldier, he ended his report as follows:
I beg to remark that it is a delicate matter for a man to write his autobiography and I have aimed
to do it in obedience to orders, as briefly and succinctly as possible. I could with much more
pleasure and gratification write those of the brave soldiers who have fallen by my side. I leave my
history with my country, which will also take care of the memory of those bloody graves. I can
only say as I drop a tear on the sod that covers them, like Mark Anthony [Marc Antony], "My
heart is in the coffin then with Caesar." There was many a Caesar among them.(3)
1. Warner, Generals in Blue, 111; Moe, The Last Full Measure, 106.
2. Welsh, Medical Histories of Union Generals, 89-90.
3. Napoleon J. Dana, Roll 1, U.S. Army Generals' Reports of Civil War Service, M1098, RG 94, NARA.
Wednesday, November 28, 2018
|Colonel William B. Goodrich|
Canton, Sept. 21.--The receipt of casualty lists from the United States army in France recalls that 56 years ago tomorrow the body of Colonel William B. Goodrich, of the 60th New York State Volunteers, who was killed in action in the battle of Antietam arrived here for burial. Accompanying the body was the pony which Colonel Goodrich had taken with him when he left Canton to enter the war.
Colonel Goodrich was 41 years of age at the time he was killed, and was one of the most prominent residents of the village, a street here having been named in honor of him. The older residents remember the crowd of people that congregated at the station when the body was brought back for the funeral. The colonel, who was a man of large physique, met his death at the hands of a Confederate sharpshooter, who picked him off as he was standing by the side of his horse in the open.