Wednesday, October 30, 2002

If I needed one more reason to love Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, here it is. During a battle near Petersburg, after having been wounded in the side and dehorsed, the following occurred:

"By a sudden backset I found myself surrounded by Confederates, who courteously lowered their muskets and locked their bayonets around me to indicate a reception not easily to be declined, and probably to last some time. The old coat was dingy almost to gray; I was bare-headed, and rather a doubtful character anyway. I thought it warrantable to assume an extremely friendly relation. To their exhortation I replied: 'Surrender? What's the matter with you? What do you take me for? Don't you see these Yanks right on us? Come along with me and let us break 'em.' I still had my right arm and my light sword, and I gave a slight flourish indicating my wish and their direction. They did follow me like brave fellows,--most of them too far; for they were a long time getting back." (p 37, Chamberlain, Joshua Lawrence. The Passing of the Armies. New York: Bantam Books, 1993.)

Okay, it was a bit mean to the Confederates, but extremely brilliant (and kind of funny, I think). Just thought I'd share :-)

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