Tag Archives: Civil War
OG-Memoirs of Robert E. Lee 5

Book Update: Memoirs of Robert E. Lee

Memoirs of Robert E. Lee his Military and Personal History Embracing a Large Amount of Information Hitherto Unpublished by A.L. Long, a former military secretary to General Lee, was published in 1887 by J. M. Stoddart & Company.  This volume’s full text is searchable by Accessible Archives subscribers. It can be found in our The Civil War Part III. The Generals Perspective.

Dedicated to the Disabled Confederate Soldiers:

The gallant men with whom he has a right to sympathize, the author respectfully dedicates the following pages.

A.L. Long,
Charlottesville, Virginia

Dedication: Memoirs of Robert E. Lee

Dedication: Memoirs of Robert E. Lee


To overcome the inactivity to which loss of sight has for some years subjected me, I have sought occupation in recording the recollection of familiar events. Having obtained a slate prepared for the use of the blind, I soon learned to write with a moderate degree of legibility. In order to excite a pleasing interest in my work, I undertook something that might prove of future benefit. Having served on General Lee’s personal staff during the most important period of his military career, I began an eye-witness narrative of his campaigns in the war between the States. In the execution of my work I received valuable assistance from my wife and daughter, my two sons, and Miss Lucy Shackelford (now Mrs. Charles Walker), all of whom lovingly and faithfully served me as copyists and readers. I am also indebted to Colonel C. S. Venable of General Lee’s staff, Major Green Peyton of Rodes’s staff, and Major S. V. Southall of my own staff, for indispensable aid in reviewing my manuscript, informing me of facts that had not come to my knowledge or reminding me of such as had escaped my recollection. My work is now completed, and I offer it to the public, hoping it may prove of value as a record of events which passed under my own observation, and many of which have been described directly from my notes made at the time of their occurrence. It is not intended to be a history of the war in detail, but a statement of my personal knowledge of General Lee’s life, actions, and character, and of the part played by him in the great events of which he was the ruling spirit.

After receiving my manuscript the publishers desired a change of plan which would embrace some of the interesting social and domestic features of General Lee’s life. This part of the work has been edited and conducted through an arrangement with the publishers by General Marcus J. Wright, formerly of the Confederate Army of Tennessee, but now, and for some years past, agent of the United States War Department for the collection of Confederate records. My wife has rendered important aid in this part of the work by contributing personal incidents and other valuable material obtained through her friendly relations with the family of General Lee. It is also proper to acknowledge the use of the publications of Rev. J. W. Jones, Colonel Walter H. Taylor, Miss Emily Mason, the Southern Historical Society papers, Swinton, and the Report of the Congressional Committee on the Conduct of the War (Federal). I have had occasion to refer to the Memoirs of General Grant and The Campaigns of General J. E. B. Stuart, by Major H. B. McClellan. I have been greatly encouraged in the publication of this work by the cordial concurrence of General G. W. Custis Lee, General W. H. F. Lee, Major R. E. Lee, Miss Mildred Lee, Governor Fitz Lee, and other members of the family.

I further desire to acknowledge my indebtedness to Colonel R. N. Scott, U. S. A., for opportunity afforded me at the War Records Office of studying official reports, maps, and the confidential letter-books of General Lee, relating to the events described in the present volume, many of which have never hitherto been published, and which will prove of great value and interest both in rightly understanding military operations and in estimating the character and genius of that great soldier.

A.L. Long


Lieutenant Samuel K. Thompson of Co. C, 54th U.S. Colored Troops Infantry Regiment with unidentified soldiers posed with a Columbiad cannon at an earthwork fort. (1863)

Reception of the Colored Soldiers at Harrisburg

Harrisburg, Nov. 14.

This is a day that will long be remembered by the colored people of the State of Pennsylvania. In view of the large number of colored soldiers who are coming home, many of whom pass through this city, it was determined by the colored people of this city that they should have a fitting reception accorded to them. A committee was at once organized, and Mr. George E. Stevens, one of the original members of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteers, who was promoted to the rank of first lieutenant for bravery at Fort Wagner, was selected to carry the arrangements into execution.

All last evening the streets were fairly alive with the soldiers, and their friends, but there was not the slightest confusion, and nowhere was there to be seen any insubordination. They remembered that all were looking upon them, and conducted themselves in a worthy manner.

Simon Cameron

Simon Cameron

But today was the great epoch. At nine o’clock the procession began to form on State street, north of the Capitol, and by ten o’clock the column was in motion. T. Morris Chester, of this city, acted as chief marshal assisted by a number of aids. They then passed through a number of streets to the residence of General Simon Cameron on Front Street. The line was drawn up in front of his house, when the old patriot appeared and was received with all the honors. He then spoke as follows:

I cannot let this opportunity pass without thanking the African soldiers for the compliment they have paid ate, hat more than all to thank them for the great service which they have been to their country in the terrible rebellion. I never doubted that the people of African descent would play a great part in this struggle, and I am proud to My that all my anticipations have been more than realized. Your services offered in the early part of the war, were refused; but when the struggle became one of life and death, then the country gladly received you, and. thank God, you nobly redeemed all you promised. [Applause.]

Like all other men, you have your destinies in your own hands, and if you continue to conduct yourselves hereafter as you have in this struggle, you will have all the rights you ask for, alt the rights that belong to human beings. [Applause] I can, only say again that I thank you from my heart for all that you have done for your country, and I know the country will hold you in grateful remembrance.

I cannot close without saying that there is at the head of the National Government a greet man, who is able and determined to deal justly with all. I know that with his approval, no State that was in rebellion will be allowed to return to the benefits of the Union, without Brat having a constitutional compact which will prevent slavery in the hind for all time to come; which will make all men equal before the law; which will prescribe no distinction of color on the witness-stand. and in the jury-box; and which will protect the homes and the domestic relations of all men and all women. He will insist too on the repudiation of all debts contracted for the support of the war of the rebellion. Remember, when the war began, there were 4.000,000 of slaves in this country, protected by law. Now all men are made free by the law. Thank God for all this! for He alone has accomplished the work!

William Lloyd Garrison’s The Liberator was a weekly abolitionist newspaper published in Boston. The paper held true to the founder’s ideals. Garrison was a journalistic crusader who advocated the immediate emancipation of all slaves and gained a national reputation for being one of the most radical of American abolitionists.


Medal of Honor Established on July 12, 1862

The Medal of Honor was established by an act of Congress on July 12, 1862, early in the American Civil War, to give recognition to men who distinguished themselves “conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity” in combat with an enemy of the United States.

Medal of honor awarded to Private Wilbur F. Moore of Co. C, 117th Illinois Infantry Regiment

Medal of honor awarded to Private Wilbur F. Moore of Co. C, 117th Illinois Infantry Regiment

The Medal of Honor is usually presented by the President in a formal ceremony at the White House, intended to represent the gratitude of the American people, with posthumous presentations made to the primary next of kin.

In 1990, Congress designated March 25 annually as “National Medal of Honor Day”. Due to its prestige and status, the Medal of Honor is afforded special protection under U.S. law against any unauthorized adornment, sale, or manufacture, which includes any associated ribbon or badge.

The Medal of Honor Roll was established by Act of Congress, April 27, 1916, as amended, 38 U.S.C. 560. It provides that each Medal of Honor awardee may have his name entered on the Medal of Honor Roll. Each person whose name is placed on the Roll is certified to the Veterans’ Administration as being entitled to receive a special pension of $100 per month for life, payable monthly by that agency. The payment of this special pension is in addition to, and does not deprive the pensioner of any other pension, benefit, right, or privilege to which he is or may thereafter be entitled. (more…)

Serving the Republic: Memoirs of the Civil and Military Life of Nelson A. Miles, Lieutenant-General, United States Army

A Look Inside: “Serving the Republic”

Serving the Republic: Memoirs of the Civil and Military Life of Nelson A. Miles Lieutenant-General, United States Army can be found in our The Civil War – Part III: The Generals’ Perspective collection of full text search able books.


In writing these memoirs I have a threefold object. My hope is to interest the reader in certain subjects which should rest near the hearts of all patriotic citizens, since they are topics dealing to some extent with the history, conditions, and welfare of our country; also, in doing this, to add a leaf to the crowns of those noble men who, as my self-sacrificing companions in arms, labored heroically in her service; and, finally, to be able to set forth some information that may attract and prove of value to the future student and historian. I trust these chapters may awaken their readers to a broader interest in the establishment and development of our government, and to a justifiable pride in our country, its influence and its glory.

The recording of one’s personal opinion, judgment, and observation of historical events appeals to me as a sacred duty, since out of such narratives the facts of history are culled. I think grave error may result, and often arises, from the inclusion of inaccurate reports and sensational statements, and I believe that literary indifference or recklessness should be avoided at all times. To this end I shall devote my earnest efforts in order that what I have to say may at least be authentic.

That part of our country’s past history which treats of the expansion of our civilization in the territory west of the Mississippi, and the causes thereof, will come in for notice in the course of my narrative, as will also the more salient features of our present conditions, the possible trend of our country’s future, and the responsibilities and possibilities which lie before us. I hope that what I have to say may promote confidence in the young men of to-day and inspire them with patriotism, since, of necessity, the destiny of our great Republic depends chiefly upon them and those who shall follow them.

–Lieutenant-General Nelson A. Miles


Lee and his Generals

The Pursuit of Lee – His Capture Certain

Part I of our Civil War collection, A Newspaper Perspective, contains articles gleaned from over 2,500 issues of The New York Herald, The Charleston Mercury and the Richmond Enquirer, published between November 1, 1860 and April 15, 1865.

The theatre of the latest operations against Lee is that part of Amelia county that lies in the bend of the Appomattox river and between that stream and the Danville and Lynchburg railroads, which form a right angle at Burkesville station. Burkesville station, on the Richmond and Danville Railroad, is fifty-two miles west of Petersburg. Amelia Court House is on the same railroad, about twenty miles nearer to Richmond – that is, twenty miles up the railroad in a northeasterly direction from Burkesville station. Jettersville is on the railroad between Burkesville and Amelia Court House, but nearer to the Court House.

The Pursuit of Lee - His Capture Certain

The Pursuit of Lee – His Capture Certain

On the 6th, at daylight, General Meade, with the Second, Fifth and Sixth corps, was at Burkesville station and Lee was near Amelia Court House; consequently our troops were south and west of the enemy, and our menfaces were turned to the northeast. Our cavalry advance was at Jettersville, and, as it moved toward the enemy at Amelia Court House, its left stretched well out toward Painesville, a point about ten miles northwest of Amelia Court House, and directly on the line of Leeretreat toward the Appomattox .