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American History - Civil War Controversy - Essay Example

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It was the bayonet charge, that great lunge into uncertainty, that stirred everyone's emotions, including Chamberlain's. His official report to Col. James C. Rice, the brigade commander, dramatically narrates the story of the charge and the events leading up to it, replete with flourishes and crescendos…
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American History - Civil War Controversy
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Download file to see previous pages His men, who wanted to press on all the way to Richmond, took 400 Confederate prisoners. One hundred fifty of the enemy had been killed or wounded on the hillside. Out of his regiment of 386 men, Chamberlain lost 136, including 30 dead and many seriously wounded.
A battalion of United States Sharpshooters had been acting as skirmishers for Brig. Gen. J. H. Hobart Ward's brigade of Sickles's corps, and while withdrawing from a stone wall in front of Round Top, three of its companies disappeared into the woods up the western slope of that towering landmark and began to fire into the right flank of the enemy line. Col. William C. Oates, commanding the Fifteenth Alabama Infantry, could not allow the sharpshooters' fire to enfilade his right from that hill, so he and his men laboriously climbed over the large rocks, trees, and bushes in their path to exchange fire with the sharpshooters. The Forty-seventh Alabama, commanded by its lieutenant colonel and minus three of its companies, continued his line of battle to the left. ...
to the west of the Round Tops rolled up to the Union brigade waiting on Little Round Top, with the crash of artillery and rattle of muskets almost drowning out the shouts of the fighting men. The soldiers of the other regiments of the brigade to the right of the Twentieth Maine could see the dreadful sight of men in blue being overwhelmed by the vigorous onslaught of lines of figures in butternut and gray. The Union men fought with grim determination in the Devil's Den and the woods and fields around it. As men fell and cannon fired, here and there a horse would gallop away, eyes wild with terror. All seemed a mass of confusion and madness, and then the high, keening sound of the Rebel yell rose above the din and grew "as if all pandemonium had broken loose and joined in the chorus of one universal war whoop."
The men of Michigan, New York, and Pennsylvania could see lines of determined men advancing at the double-quick, to swarm soon into the Plum Run valley and up the hill, bent on occupying their position. The Confederates, too, had seen the importance of Little Round Top and rushed to gain the advantage. But they arrived a few minutes too late--the timely actions of Warren and Vincent had caused the strategic hill to be seized by the Federals just in time.
On the Confederate far right, Oates and his Alabama men, exhausted from marching about twenty-five miles before the attack began and their steep climb over the rocks and bushes of Round Top, rested for ten minutes at its summit. The Union sharpshooters had disappeared as if into thin air, and Oates did not know their numbers or where they were. Misled by their intense firing from behind rocks and trees and unable to judge their strength as he climbed, the Confederate commander thought he was driving a "heavy ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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