Books Should Be Free is now
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

The Bull-Run Rout Scenes Attending the First Clash of Volunteers in the Civil War   By: (1843-1920)

Book cover

First Page:

THE BULL RUN ROUT

SCENES ATTENDING THE FIRST CLASH OF VOLUNTEERS IN THE CIVIL WAR

BY EDWARD HENRY CLEMENT

CAMBRIDGE JOHN WILSON AND SON University Press 1909

FROM THE PROCEEDINGS OF THE MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY FOR MARCH, 1909.

THE BULL RUN ROUT

A LITTLE paper written years ago by a lately deceased brother of mine[1] describing the rout of the battle of Bull Run as he saw it with the eyes of a boy and a boy's love of the marvellous seems to me to possess some value historically for the intimate, unconscious picturing, along with it, of the state of the public mind on the eve of the so called "great uprising." It seems to illustrate well the truth that the great Civil War, as a war, was really a surprise, to the people of the North at least; that the idea persisting up to the day of the battle of Bull Run at the back of the mind of everybody was that in some way the war cloud would blow over, that the actual shock of contending armies and the pouring out of blood of citizens in civil war would be prevented or in some way avoided. The occasion of the trip to Washington, to carry dainties to a soldier brother, the occasion of the extension of the partly sight seeing journey to the first battle field of the great war, the commission from the horror struck authorities at home to find and bring back from Virginia the body of the first Massachusetts soldier to fall, all prove the naïveté of the popular conceptions at that time of what it was to enter upon war. This Chelsea boy,[2] whose body my brother was bidden by the mayor of their native place to recover and send home at all costs, was but the first of the fated host of three hundred and sixty thousand young men about to die for their country in the ensuing four years. I remember distinctly the consternation of the community when it was found that the Chelsea company of the First Massachusetts Infantry had been in the sharp action which was the first engagement in the approaching collision of the main armies, and that men had actually been shot and killed. The sickening realization was akin to that feeling my eldest brother[3] in that regiment had confessed to me when I was visiting him at the assembling and training camp at Readville and the new army wagons in their fresh blue paint and white canvas arrived on the scene in long array. "It looks as though we were really going," he remarked ruefully.

[1] Andrew J. Clement, First Sergeant, Company M, First Massachusetts Cavalry; died at Morton, Pennsylvania, February 27, 1908.

[2] Philander Crowell, Company H, First Massachusetts Volunteers.

[3] William B. Clement, Company H; died at Chelsea, July 18, 1896.

I find a pretty complete picture of the psychology of those bewildered and dreadful weeks and months in two speeches of Wendell Phillips in that series of wonderful orations in which he rode the storm seeking to direct it to great issues. Some of these speeches I had the fortune to hear. I have been looking up certain things I heard delivered in that deliberate utterance of his with its polished periods, precise and penetrating as rifle shots, yet freighted with passion, white hot with intense conviction. It is only necessary to compare these two speeches of Phillips's to show how men's minds tossed and turned and agonized in those days, the minds of honest, independent, fearless, conscientious men, too. In a speech of April 9, 1861, at New Bedford, Wendell Phillips was in Cassandra vein. Besides many other epigrammatic deliverances to similar effect, he said:

Inaugurate war, we know not where it will end; we are in no condition to fight... Continue reading book >>




eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book



Popular Genres
More Genres
Languages
Paid Books