Battle-Pieces and Aspects of the War


BATTLE-PIECES


AND


ASPECTS OF THE WAR


BY


HERMAN MELVILLE.


NEW YORK:
HARPER & BROTHERS, PUBLISHERS,
FRANKLIN SQUARE.
1866.

 

 

Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year one thousand eight hundred and sixty-six, by
HARPER & BROTHERS,
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Southern District of New York.

 

 

THE BATTLE-PIECES

 

IN THIS VOLUME ARE DEDICATED

 

TO THE MEMORY OF THE

 

THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND

 

WHO IN THE WAR

 

FOR THE MAINTENANCE OF THE UNION

 

FELL DEVOTEDLY

 

UNDER THE FLAG OF THEIR FATHERS.

 

 

[With few exceptions, the Pieces in this volume originated in an impulse imparted by the fall of Richmond. They were composed without reference to collective arrangement, but being brought together in review, naturally fall into the order assumed.

The events and incidents of the conflict—making up a whole, in varied amplitude, corresponding with the geographical area covered by the war—from these but a few themes have been taken, such as for any cause chanced to imprint themselves upon the mind.

The aspects which the strife as a memory assumes are as manifold as are the moods of involuntary meditation—moods variable, and at times widely at variance. Yielding instinctively, one after another, to feelings not inspired from any one source exclusively, and unmindful, without purposing to be, of consistency, I seem, in most of these verses, to have but placed a harp in a window, and noted the contrasted airs which wayward wilds have played upon the strings.]

 

 

Contents.

 

 

PAGE

Chapters(not individually listed)
The Portent
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
xi
Misgivings
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
13
The Conflict of Convictions
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
14
Apathy and Enthusiasm
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
19
The March into Virginia
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
22
Lyon
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
24
Ball's Bluff
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
28
Dupont's Round Fight
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
30
The Stone Fleet
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
31
Donelson
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
33
The Cumberland
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
53
In the Turret
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
55
The Temeraire
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
58
A utilitarian View of the Monitor's Fight
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
61
Shiloh
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
63
The Battle for the Mississippi
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
64
Malvern Hill
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
67
The Victor of Antietam
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
69
Battle of Stone River
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
73
Running the Batteries
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
75
Stonewall Jackson
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
79
Stonewall Jackson (ascribed to a Virginian)
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
81
Gettysburg
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
84
The House-top
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
86
Look-out Mountain
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
88
Chattanooga
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
90
The Armies of the Wilderness
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
93
On the Photograph of a Corps Commander
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
105
The Swamp Angel
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
107
The Battle for the Bay
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
110
Sheridan at Cedar Creek
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
116
In the Prison Pen
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
118
The College Colonel
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
120
The Eagle of the Blue
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
122
A Dirge for McPherson
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
124
At the Cannon's Mouth
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
126
The March to the Sea
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
128
The Frenzy in the Wake
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
133
The Fall of Richmond
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
135
The Surrender at Appomattox
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
137
A Canticle
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
138
The Martyr
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
141
"The Coming Storm"
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
143
Rebel Color-bearers at Shiloh
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
144
The Muster
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
146
Aurora Borealis
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
148
The released Rebel Prisoner
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
150
A Grave near Petersburg, Virginia
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
153
"Formerly a Slave"
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
154
The Apparition
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
155
Magnanimity Baffled
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
156
On the Slain Collegians
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
157
America
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
160
 

VERSES INSCRIPTIVE AND MEMORIAL.

On the Home Guards who perished in the Defense of Lexington, Missouri
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
165
Inscription for Graves at Pea Ridge, Arkansas
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
166
The Fortitude of the North under the Disaster of the Second Manassas
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
167
On the Men of Maine killed in the Victory of Baton Rouge, Louisiana
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
168
An Epitaph
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
169
Inscription for Marye's Heights, Fredericksburg
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
170
The Mound by the Lake
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
171
On the Slain at Chickamauga
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
172
An uninscribed Monument on one of the Battle-fields of the Wilderness
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
173
On Sherman's Men who fell in the Assault of Kenesaw Mountain, Georgia
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
174
On the Grave of a young Cavalry Officer killed in the Valley of Virginia
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
175
A Requiem for Soldiers lost in Ocean Transports
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
176
On a natural Monument in a Field of Georgia
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
178
Commemorative of a Naval Victory
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
180
Presentation to the Authorities by Privates of Colors captured in Battles ending in the Surrender of Lee
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
182
The returned Volunteer to his Rifle
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
183
The Scout toward Aldie
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
187
Lee in the Capitol
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
217
A Meditation
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
239
Notes
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
245
Supplement
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
259


This work was published before January 1, 1925, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.