Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 36.djvu/192

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Southern Historical Society Papers.

gade was commanded by Colonel Allabach, leaving his regiment, the 131st, to be commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Shabt; the 133rd, commanded by Colonel Speakman; the 135th, commanded by Colonel Clark, and the 155th, commanded by Colonel Allen.


"The advance charge was made by Colonel Allabach's brigade, closely followed by the First Brigade, under General Tyler, the whole commanded in person by General Humphreys. The aggregate number of the two brigades engaged in this assault was about 4,000 men, and fully one-fourth of them were numbered among the dead and wounded, although neither was in action over thirty minutes. Hopeless as it seemed to the soldiers who made this assault with the officers in advance of the men, either to gain the heights or to hold them if gained, these Pennsylvania brigades started with hearty cheers to face the grim reaper of death. Next to Pickett's charge at Gettysburg, it was the most bloody and disastrous assault of our Civil War.

"We are not here to discuss the wisdom of army commanders. Only what were accepted as supreme military necessities made Pickett's charge at Gettysburg and Humphrey's charge at Fredericksburg, but they both stand in history, and will ever so stand, as high-water marks of the heroism of American soldiery.


"Veterans of the Blue and the Gray, we are here to-day to unveil a monument which shall for all time commemorate the heroism and sacrifice of Pennsylvania soldiers in the memorable battlefield of Fredericksburg. The Union veterans of Pennsylvania meet the veterans who bore the Stars and Bars, not as enemies, but as friends, with equal interest and pride in a common country. When peace came after four years of bloody conflict it left the fierce passions of fraternal war in a tidal wave throughout both sections of the country. Nearly every home in the land, North and South, had been shadowed by the angel of sorrow, and it was hard for either section to make the advance toward a reunited American brotherhood, but there were brave men in both sections who earnestly and