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be the death-grapple. The Confederate force — the flower of Virginia — had to cross a level space over a mile in width. As they advanced, the Union batteries opened upon them, and tore great gaps in their ranks. But the main body of the assailing column pressed steadily forward, without themselves firing a shot or uttering a sound. As they dashed up to the Union line, a terrific front and flank fire swept great numbers of the “men in grey” out of existence, and drove others to turn and fly or throw down their arms.
General Armistead led the remnant of Pickett's column. Holding up his cap on the point of his sword, as a guide to his men, he leaped over the stone wall, crying : “Boys, give them the cold steel !” The next instant he fell riddled with bullets. A brief hand-to-hand fight ensued, then all was over. Here at a point since marked by an appropriate monument - the great wave of attack reached its high-water mark; here its terrible force was spent and the tide turned, never to rise again. One look at the field of battle showed that the Union force had won; it showed, too, the truth of Wellington's words: “A great victory is the saddest thing in the world, except a great defeat." *
Meade's losses were so heavy that he judged it best not to pursue the retreating Confederates and bring on another battle. Lee crossed the Potomac unmolested, and once more took up his line of defence before Richmond. A few months later a part of the field at Gettysburg was dedicated as a national military cemetery ; and the President, standing on the battleconsecrated height, delivered that address which will live as long as the memory of the conflict that inspired it.
Official estimate: Effective Union force (June 30), 101,679; Confederate force, 77,518. The actual Union force in the field was probably about 93,500, and the Confederate at least 70,000. Union loss, 23,003; Confederate loss, 20,451. No two authorities agree as to the number of men in Pickett's column. Longstreet (“Manassas to Appomattox,” p. 314) says 15,000.
485. News of the capture of Vicksburg; how Grant accomplished it. — From a military point of view, the Fourth of July, 1863, was the most memorable day in our national history since the close of the Revolution. On that day the telegraph flashed the news of the victory of Gettysburg throughout the loyal North ; on that day, too, Grant entered the Confederate stronghold of Vicksburg.
Vicksburg was the “Gibraltar of the West." Standing on a clay bluff rising perpendicularly two hundred feet above the Mississippi, it defied attack in front. On the north it was protected, as Sherman had found to his cost ($ 479), by a network of almost impassable bayous and swamps. On the south and rear it could only be approached by climbing steep ridges cut by deep ravines.
Grant arrived on the west bank of the Mississippi just above Vicksburg in January, 1863. He made up his mind that the true way to attack the place would be to go back to Memphis, a distance of about two hundred miles, make that city his base of supplies, and then move his army down along the line of railroad to the rear of Vicksburg. But political reasons, he says, forbade his adopting this course.
It was a period of gloom and doubt at the North. McClellan's movement on Richmond had failed; Pope had been defeated at Bull Run. Lee had got away from Antietam, and was once more defiant. The election of 1862 had gone against the vigorous prosecution of the contest against secession. “Many strong Union men,” says Grant, “ believed that the war must prove a failure." “Voluntary enlistments had nearly ceased, and the draft was resisted.” 1217 Under these circumstances he feared that the North would regard any backward movement as a retreat; for this reason he finally determined to move down the western bank of the river, cross over, and then attack Vicksburg from the rear.
Grant had to solve the problem : (1) of getting his army of over 40,000 men past the Vicksburg batteries, and (2) of
FACSIMILE OF MR. LINCOLN'S AUTOGRAPHIC COPY or THE GETTYSBURG ADDRESS, MADR
BY HIM FOR THE SOLDIERS AND SAILORS' FAIR AT BALTIMORE, IN 1864.
From Nicolay and Hay's “Lincoln,” by permission of the Authors.
Address delivered at the dedication of the Remetery at Gettysburg.
Your feos and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, as new mare tion, conceives en liberty, to the proposition that are men aneres atea equae. Now we are
engagea in a great care want testing whether that nation, or any nations po conceives and to dedication, canlong englene, and met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicats a portion of that feed final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might liver to in atten gether fitting anoe proper that we shoulos do this,
But, in a larger pense, we can not cleclis