Monday, May 13, 2013

May 11, 1863

May 11, 1863

—General Robert E. Lee issues the following order to the men of the Army of Northern Virginia:
May 11.


With deep grief the commanding General announces to the army the death of Lieut. Gen. T.J. Jackson, who expired on the 10th inst., at 3:15 p.m.

The daring skill and energy of this great and good soldier by the decree of an All Wise Providence, are now lost to us, but while we mourn his death we feel that his spirit still lives, and will inspire the whole army with his indomitable courage and unshaken confidence in God as our hope and strength.

Let his name be a watch word to his Corps who have followed him to victory on so many fields.

Let the officers and soldiers imitate his invincibly [?] determination to do everything in the defence of our beloved country.


—Osborn Oldroyd, serving in the 20th Ohio Infantry Regiment with McPherson’s corps in Grant’s army, writes in his journal with his assessment of the campaign and of its leading generals:
MAY 11TH.—We drew two days’ rations and marched till noon. My company, E, being detailed for rear guard, a very undesirable position. General Logan thinks we shall have a fight soon. I am not particularly anxious for one, but if it comes I will make my musket talk. As we contemplate a battle, those who have been spoiling for a fight cease to be heard. It does not even take the smell of powder to quiet their nerves—a rumor being quite sufficient.
We have no means of knowing the number of troops in Vicksburg, but if they were well generaled and thrown against us at some particular point, the matter might be decided without going any further. . . . We are steadily advancing, and propose to keep on until we get them where they can’t retreat. My fear is that they may cut our supply train, and then we should be in a bad fix. Should that happen and they get us real hungry, I am afraid short work would be made of taking Vicksburg.
Having seen the four great Generals of this department, shall always feel honored that I was a member of Force’s 20th Ohio, Logan‘s Division, McPherson’s Corps of Grant’s Army. The expression upon the face of Grant was stern and care-worn, but determined. McPherson’s was the most pleasant and courteous—a perfect gentleman and an officer that the 17th corps fairly worships. Sherman has a quicker and more dashing movement than some others, a long neck, rather sharp features, and altogether just such a man as might lead an army through the enemy’s country. Logan is brave and does not seem to know what defeat means. We feel that he will bring us out of every fight victorious. I want no better or braver officers to fight under. I have often thought of the sacrifice that a General might make of his men in order to enhance his own eclat, for they do not always seem to display the good judgment they should. But I have no fear of a needless sacrifice of life through any mismanagement of this army.

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