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From the Rapidan to Richmond and the Spottsylvania Campaign A Sketch in Personal Narration of the Scenes a Soldier Saw   By: (1845?-1923)

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First Page:

FROM THE RAPIDAN TO RICHMOND

[Illustration: WILLIAM MEADE DAME

PRIVATE FIRST COMPANY OF RICHMOND HOWITZERS

1864]

FROM THE RAPIDAN TO RICHMOND

AND

THE SPOTTSYLVANIA CAMPAIGN

A Sketch in Personal Narrative of the Scenes a Soldier Saw

by

WILLIAM MEADE DAME, D. D. Private, First Company Richmond Howitzers

Baltimore Green Lucas Company 1920

Copyright, 1920, by Harry B. Green

TO MY COMRADES OF THE ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA

[Illustration: WILLIAM MEADE DAME, D. D.

RECTOR MEMORIAL PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH

BALTIMORE, MD.

1920]

INTRODUCTION

By

Thomas Nelson Page

"The land where I was born" was, in my childhood, a great battleground. War as we then thought the vastest of all wars, not only that had been, but that could ever be swept over it. I never knew in those days a man who had not been in the war. So, "The War" was the main subject in every discussion and it was discussed with wonderful acumen. Later it took on a different relation to the new life that sprung up and it bore its part in every gathering much as the stories of Troy might have done in the land where Homer sang. To survive, however, in these reunions as a narrator one had to be a real contributor to the knowledge of his hearers. And the first requisite was that he should have been an actor in the scenes he depicted; secondly, that he should know how to depict them. Nothing less served. His hearers themselves all had experience and demanded at least not less than their own. As the time grew more distant they demanded that it should be preserved in more definite form and the details of the life grew more precious.

Among those whom I knew in those days as a delightful narrator of experiences and observations not of strategy nor even of tactics in battle; but of the life in the midst of the battles in the momentous campaign in which the war was eventually fought out, was a kinsman of mine the author of this book. A delightful raconteur because he had seen and felt himself what he related, he told his story without conscious art, but with that best kind of art: simplicity. Also with perennial freshness; because he told it from his journals written on the spot.

Thus, it came about that I promised that when he should be ready to publish his reminiscences I would write the introduction for them. My introduction is for a story told from journals and reminiscent of a time in the fierce Sixties when, if passion had free rein, the virtues were strengthened by that strife to contribute so greatly a half century later to rescue the world and make it "safe for Democracy."

It was the war our Civil War that over a half century later brought ten million of the American youth to enroll themselves in one day to fight for America. It was the work in "the Wilderness" and in those long campaigns, on both sides, which gave fibre to clear the Belleau Wood. It was the spirit of the armies of Lee and Grant which enabled Pershing's army to sweep through the Argonne.

Rome , March 27, 1919.

WOLSELEY'S TRIBUTE TO LEE

The following tribute to Robert E. Lee was written by Lord Wolseley when commander in chief of the armies of Great Britain, an office which he held until succeeded by Lord Roberts.

Lord Wolseley had visited General Lee at his headquarters during the progress of the great American conflict. Some time thereafter Wolseley wrote:

"The fierce light which beats upon the throne is as a rushlight in comparison with the electric glare which our newspapers now focus upon the public man in Lee's position. His character has been subjected to that ordeal, and who can point to a spot upon it? His clear, sound judgment, personal courage, untiring activity, genius for war, absolute devotion to his State, mark him out as a public man, as a patriot to be forever remembered by all Americans. His amiability of disposition, deep sympathy with those in pain or sorrow, his love for children, nice sense of personal honor and generous courtesy, endeared him to all his friends... Continue reading book >>




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