Customer Discussions > Politics forum

Do the governed have a right to overthrow the government?

Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 176-200 of 736 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on Apr 23, 2012 6:27:48 AM PDT
A customer says:
You talking about Reverend Al Sharptongue?

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 23, 2012 9:08:58 AM PDT
T.Paine--"This is the question. When do the people have a right to use violence against the government? [etc.]"

>>JGC: Idle chatter.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 23, 2012 9:14:32 AM PDT
T.Paine--"This is actually the common tactic of all liberals which is to demonstrate the use of a freedom (in this case it would be the freedom of speech) and attack that freedom itself."

>>JGC: You have a right to chatter idly all you want. And I have a right to think you are a fool.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 23, 2012 9:45:10 AM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Jun 18, 2012 12:58:31 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 23, 2012 10:00:21 AM PDT
Lientje says:
T. Paine: I think that the whole idea of a revolution is that the revolters don't give a hotdamn whether the
government thinks its ok or not.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 23, 2012 10:02:36 AM PDT
Lientje says:
John M. Lane: "It the regime is led by traitors, it's our duty to overthrow them. "

And if traitors are trying to take over the regime, it is our duty to overthrow them.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 23, 2012 10:05:11 AM PDT
Lientje says:
Marxbites: "What a good little slave of the state you are, they did well. "

Don't be so damned trite.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 23, 2012 10:14:54 AM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Jun 18, 2012 12:58:32 PM PDT]

Posted on Apr 23, 2012 10:22:54 AM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Jun 18, 2012 12:58:32 PM PDT]

Posted on Apr 23, 2012 10:31:33 AM PDT
STANDING beneath this serene sky, overlooking these broad fields now reposing from the labors of the waning year, the mighty Alleghanies dimly towering before us, the graves of our brethren beneath our feet, it is with hesitation that I raise my poor voice to break the eloquent silence of God and Nature. But the duty to which you have called me must be performed; grant me, I pray you, your indulgence and your sympathy.

It was appointed by law in Athens, that the obsequies of the citizens who fell in battle should be performed at the public expense, and in the most honorable manner. Their bones were carefully gathered up from the funeral pyre where their bodies were consumed, and brought home to the city. There, for three days before the interment, they lay in state, beneath tents of honor, to receive the votive offerings of friends and relatives, flowers, weapons, precious ornaments, painted vases (wonders of art, which after two thousand years adorn the museums of modern Europe), the last tributes of surviving affection. Ten coffins of funereal cypress received the honorable deposit, one for each of the tribes of the city, and an eleventh in memory of the unrecognized, but not therefore unhonored, dead, and of those whose remains could not be recovered. On the fourth day the mournful procession was formed: mothers, wives, sisters, daughters, led the way, and to them it was permitted by the simplicity of ancient manners to utter aloud their lamentations for the beloved and the lost; the male relatives and friends of the deceased followed; citizens and strangers closed the train. Thus marshalled, they moved to the place of interment in that famous Ceramicus, the most beautiful suburb of Athens, which had been adorned by Cimon, the son of Miltiades, with walks and fountains and columns, - whose groves were filled with altars, shrines, and temples, whose gardens were kept forever green by the streams from the neighboring hills, and shaded with the trees sacred to Minerva and coëval with the foundation of the city, whose circuit enclosed

"the olive grove of Academe,
Plato's retirement, where the Attic bird
Trilled his thick-warbled note the summer long,"

whose pathways gleamed with the monuments of the illustrious dead, the work of the most consummate masters that ever gave life to marble. There, beneath the overarching plane-trees, upon a lofty stage erected for the purpose, it was ordained that a funeral oration should be pronounced by some citizen of Athens, in the presence of the assembled multitude.

Such were the tokens of respect required to be paid at Athens to the memory of those who had fallen in the cause of their country. For those alone who fell at Marathon a peculiar honor was reserved. As the battle fought upon that immortal field was distinguished from all others in Grecian history for its influence over the fortunes of Hellas, as it depended upon the event of that day whether Greece should live, a glory and a light to all coming time, or should expire, like the meteor of a moment; so the honors awarded to its martyr-heroes were such as were bestowed by Athens on no other occasion. They alone of all her sons were entombed upon the spot which they had forever rendered famous. Their names were inscribed upon ten pillars erected upon the monumental tumulus which covered their ashes (where, after six hundred years, they were read by the traveller Pausanias), and although the columns, beneath the hand of time and barbaric violence, have long since disappeared, the venerable mound still marks the spot where they fought and fell,

"That battle-field where Persia's victim-horde
First bowed beneath the brunt of Hellas' sword."

And shall I, fellow-citizens, who, after an interval of twenty-three centuries, a youthful pilgrim from the world unknown to ancient Greece, have wandered over that illustrious plain, ready to put off the shoes from off my feet, as one that stands on holy ground, who have gazed with respectful emotion on the mound which still protects the dust of those who rolled back the tide of Persian invasion, and rescued the land of popular liberty, of letters, and of arts, from the ruthless foe, stand unmoved over the graves of our dear brethren, who so lately, on three of those all-important days which decide a nation's history, days on whose issue it depended whether this august republican Union, founded by some of the wisest statesmen that ever lived, cemented with the blood of some of the purest patriots that ever died, should perish or endure, rolled back the tide of an invasion, not less unprovoked, not less ruthless, than that which came to plant the dark banner of Asiatic despotism and slavery on the free soil of Greece? Heaven forbid! And could I prove so insensible to every prompting of patriotic duty and affection, not only would you, fellow citizens, gathered many of you from distant States, who have come to take part in these pious offices of gratitude, you, respected fathers, brethren, matrons, sisters, who surround me, cry out for shame, but the forms of brave and patriotic men who fill these honored graves would heave with indignation beneath the sod.

We have assembled, friends, fellow citizens, at the invitation of the Executive of the great central State of Pennsylvania, seconded by the Governors of seventeen other loyal States of the Union, to pay the last tribute of respect to the brave men who, in the hard-fought battles of the first, second, and third days of July last, laid down their lives for the country on these hillsides and the plains before us, and whose remains have been gathered into the cemetery which we consecrate this day. As my eye ranges over the fields whose sods were so lately moistened by the blood of gallant and loyal men, I feel, as never before, how truly it was said of old that it is sweet and becoming to die for one's country. I feel, as never before, how justly, from the dawn of history to the present time, men have paid the homage of their gratitude and admiration to the memory of those who nobly sacrifice their lives, that their fellow-men may live in safety and in honor. And if this tribute were ever due, to whom could it be more justly paid than to those whose last resting-place we this day commend to the blessing of Heaven and of men?

For consider, my friends, what would have been the consequences to the country, to yourselves, and to all you hold dear, if those who sleep beneath our feet, and their gallant comrades who survive to serve their country on other fields of danger, had failed in their duty on those memorable days. Consider what, at this moment, would be the condition of the United States, if that noble Army of the Potomac, instead of gallantly and for the second time beating back the tide of invasion from Maryland and Pennsylvania, had been itself driven from these well-contested heights, thrown back in confusion on Baltimore, or trampled down, discomfited, scattered to the four winds. What, in that sad event, would not have been the fate of the Monumental City, of Harrisburg, of Philadelphia, of Washington, the Capital of the Union, each and every one of which would have lain at the mercy of the enemy, accordingly as it might have pleased him, spurred by passion, flushed with victory, and confident of continued success, to direct his course?

For this we must bear in mind, it is one of the great lessons of the war, indeed of every war, that it is impossible for a people without military organization, inhabiting the cities, towns, and villages of an open country, including of course the natural proportion of non-combatants of either sex and of every age, to withstand the inroad of a veteran army. What defence can be made by the inhabitants of villages mostly built of wood, of cities unprotected by walls, nay, by a population of men, however high-toned and resolute, whose aged parents demand their care, whose wives and children are clustering about them, against the charge of the war-horse whose neck is clothed with thunder, - against flying artillery and batteries of rifled cannon planted on every commanding eminence, - against the onset of trained veterans led by skilful chiefs? No, my friends, army must be met by army, battery by battery, squadron by squadron; and the shock of organized thousands must be encountered by the firm breasts and valiant arms of other thousands, as well organized and as skilfully led. It is no reproach, therefore, to the unarmed population of the country to say, that we owe it to the brave men who sleep in their beds of honor before us, and to their gallant surviving associates, not merely that your fertile fields, my friends of Pennsylvania and Maryland, were redeemed from the presence of the invader, but that your beautiful capitals were not given up to threatened plunder, perhaps laid in ashes, Washington seized by the enemy, and a blow struck at the heart of the nation.

Who that hears me has forgotten the thrill of joy that ran through the country on the Fourth of July, - auspicious day for the glorious tidings, and rendered still more so by the simultaneous fall of Vicksburg, - when the telegraph flashed through the land the assurance from the President of the United States that the Army of the Potomac, under General Meade, had again smitten the invader? Sure I am, that, with the ascriptions of praise that rose to Heaven from twenty millions of freemen, with the acknowledgments that breathed from patriotic lips throughout the length and breadth of America, to the surviving officers and men who had rendered the country this inestimable service, there beat in every loyal bosom a throb of tender and sorrowful gratitude to the martyrs who had fallen on the sternly contested field. Let a nation's fervent thanks make some amends for the toils and sufferings of those who survive. Would that the heartfelt tribute could penetrate these honored graves!

Posted on Apr 23, 2012 10:32:15 AM PDT
In order that we may comprehend, to their full extent, our obligations to the martyrs and surviving heroes of the Army of the Potomac, let us contemplate for a few moments the train of events which culminated in the battles of the first days of July. Of this stupendous rebellion, planned, as its originators boast, more than thirty years ago, matured and prepared for during an entire generation, finally commenced because, for the first time since the adoption of the Constituion, election of President had been effected without the votes of the South (which retained, however, the control of the two other branches of the government), the occupation of the national capital, with the seizure of the public archives and of the treaties with foreign powers, was an essential feature. This was in substance, within my personal knowledge, admitted, in the winter of 1860-61, by one of the most influential leaders of the rebellion; and it was fondly thought that this object could be effected by a bold and sudden movement on the 4th of March, 1861. There is abundant proof, also, that a darker project was contemplated, if not by the responsible chiefs of the rebellion, yet by nameless ruffians, willing to play a subsidiary and murderous part in the treasonable drama. It was accordingly maintained by the Rebel emissaries in England, in the circles to which they found access, that the new American Minister ought not, when he arrived, to be received as the envoy of the United States, inasmuch as before that time Washington would be captured, and the capital of the nation and the archives and muniments of the government would be in the possession of the Confederates. In full accordance also with this threat, it was declared by the Rebel Secretary of War, at Montgomery, in the presence of his Chief and of his colleagues, and of five thousand hearers, while the tidings of the assault on Sumter were travelling over the wires on that fatal 12th of April, 1861, that before the end of May "the flag which then flaunted the breeze," as he expressed it, "would float over the dome of the Capitol at Washington."

At the time this threat was made the rebellion was confined to the cotton-growing States, and it was well understood by them, that the only hope of drawing any of the other slaveholding States into the conspiracy was in bringing about a conflict of arms, and "firing the heart of the South" by the effusion of blood. This was declared by the Charleston press to be the object for which Sumter was to be assaulted; and the emissaries sent from Richmond, to urge on the unhallowed work, gave the promise, that, with the first drop of blood that should be shed, Virginia would place herself by the side of South Carolina.

In pursuance of this original plan of the leaders of the rebellion, the capture of Washington has been continually had in view, not merely for the sake of its public buildings, as the capital of the Confederacy, but as the necessary preliminary to the absorption of the Border States, and for the moral effect in the eyes of Europe of possessing the metropolis of the Union.

I allude to these facts, not perhaps enough borne in mind, as a sufficient refutation of the presence, on the part of the Rebels, that the war is one of self-defence, waged for the right of self-government. It is in reality a war originally levied by ambitious men in the cotton-growing States, for the purpose of drawing the slaveholding Border States into the vortex of the conspiracy, first by sympathy, - which in the case of Southeastern Virginia, North Carolina, part of Tennessee, and Arkansas succeeded, - and then by force, and for the purpose of subjugating Maryland, Western Virginia, Kentucky, Eastern Tennessee, and Missouri; and it is a most extraordinary fact, considering the clamors of the Rebel chiefs on the subject of invasion, that not a soldier of the United States has entered the States last named, except to defend their Union-loving inhabitants from the armies and guerillas of the Rebels.

In conformity with these designs on the city of Washington, and notwithstanding the disastrous results of the invasion of 1862, it was determined by the Rebel government last summer to resume the offensive in that direction. Unable to force the passage of the Rappahannock where General Hooker, notwithstanding the reverse at Chancellorsville in May, was strongly posted, the Confederate general resorted to strategy. He had two objects in view. The first was, by a rapid movement northward, and by manœuvring with a portion of his army on the east side of the Blue Ridge, to tempt Hooker from his base of operations, thus leading him to uncover the approaches to Washington, to throw it open to a raid by Stuart's cavalry, and to enable Lee himself to cross the Potomac in the neighborhood of Poolesville and thus fall upon the capital. This plan of operations was wholly frustrated. The design of the Rebel general was promptly discovered by General Hooker, and, moving with great rapidity from Fredericksburg, he preserved unbroken the inner line, and stationed the various corps of his army at all the points protecting the approach to Washington, from Centreville up to Leesburg. From this vantage-ground the Rebel general in vain attempted to draw him. In the mean time, by the vigorous operations of Pleasonton's cavalry, the cavalry of Stuart, though greatly superior in numbers, was so crippled as to be disabled from performing the part assigned it in the campaign. In this manner General Lee's first object, namely, the defeat of Hooker's army on the south of the Potomac, and a direct march on Washington, was baffled.

The second part of the Confederate plan, which is supposed to have been undertaken in opposition to the views of General Lee, was to turn the demonstration northward into a real invasion of Maryland and Pennsylvania, in the hope that, in this way, General Hooker would be drawn to a distance from the capital, and that some opportunity would occur of taking him at disadvantage, and, after defeating his army, of making a descent upon Baltimore and Washington. This part of General Lee's plan, which was substantially the repetition of that of 1862, was not less signally defeated, with what honor to the arms of the Union the heights on which we are this day assembled will forever attest.

Much time had been uselessly consumed by the Rebel general in his unavailing attempts to out-manœuvre General Hooker. Although General Lee broke up from Fredericksburg on the 3d of June, it was not till the 24th that the main body of his army entered Maryland. Instead of crossing the Potomac, as he had intended, east of the Blue Ridge, he was compelled to do it at Shepherdstown and Williamsport, thus materially deranging his entire plan of campaign north of the river. Stuart, who had been sent with his cavalry to the east of the Blue Ridge, to guard the passes of the mountains, to mask the movements of Lee, and to harass the Union general in crossing the river, having been very severely handled by Pleasonton at Beverly Ford, Aldie, and Upperville, instead of being able to retard General Hooker's advance, was driven himself away from his connection with the army of Lee, and cut off for a fortnight from all communication with it, - a circumstance to which General Lee, in his report, alludes more than once, with evident displeasure. Let us now rapidly glance at the incidents of the eventful campaign.

A detachment from Ewell's corps, under Jenkins, had penetrated, on the 15th of June, as far as Chambersburg. This movement was intended at first merely as a demonstration, and as a marauding expedition for supplies. It had, however, the salutary effect of alarming the country; and vigorous preparations were made, not only by the General Government, but here in Pennsylvania and in the sister States, to repel the inroad. After two days passed at Chambersburg, Jenkins, anxious for his communications with Ewell, fell back with his plunder to Hagerstown. Here he remained for several days, and then, having swept the recesses of the Cumberland valley, came down upon the eastern flank of the South Mountain, and pushed his marauding parties as far as Waynesboro. On the 22d the remainder of Ewell's corps crossed the river and moved up the valley. They were followed on the 24th by Longstreet and Hill, who crossed at Williamsport and Shepherdstown, and, pushing up the valley, encamped at Chambersburg on the 27th. In this way the whole Rebel army, estimated at 90,000 infantry, upwards of 10,000 cavalry, and 4,000 or 5,000 artillery, making a total of 105,000 of all arms, was concentrated in Pennsylvania.

Up to this time no report of Hooker's movements had been received by General Lee, who, having been deprived of his cavalry, had no means of obtaining information. Rightly judging, however, that no time would be lost by the Union army in the pursuit, in order to detain it on the eastern side of the mountains in Maryland and Pennsylvania, and thus preserve his communications by the way of Williamsport, he had, before his own arrival at Chambersburg, directed Ewell to send detachments from his corps to Carlisle and York[.] The latter detachment, under Early, passed through this place on the 26th of June. You need not, fellow-citizens of Gettysburg, that I should recall to you those moments of alarm and distress, precursors as they were of the more trying scenes which were so soon to follow.

As soon as General Hooker perceived that the advance of the Confederates into the Cumberland valley was not a mere feint to draw him away from Washington, he moved rapidly in pursuit. Attempts, as we have seen, were made to harass and retard his passage across the Potomac. These attempts were not only altogether unsuccessful, but were so unskilfully made as to place the entire Federal army between the cavalry of Stuart and the army of Lee. While the latter was massed in the Cumberland valley, Stuart was east of the mountains, with Hooker's army between, and Gregg's cavalry in close pursuit. Stuart was accordingly compelled to force a march northward, which was destitute of strategical character, and which deprived his chief of all means of obtaining intelligence.

Not a moment had been lost by General Hooker in the pursuit of Lee. The day after the Rebel army entered Maryland the Union army crossed the Potomac at Edwards' Ferry, and by the 28th of June lay between Harper's Ferry and Frederick. The force of the enemy on that day was partly at Chambersburg, and partly moving on the Cashtown road in the direction of Gettysburg, while the detachments from Ewell's corps, of which mention has been made, had reached the Susquehannah opposite Harrisburg and Columbia. That a great battle must soon be fought no one could doubt; but, in the apparent and perhaps real absence of plan on the part of Lee, it was impossible to foretell the precise scene of the encounter. Wherever fought, consequences the most momentous hung upon the result.

In this critical and anxious state of affairs General Hooker was relieved, and General Meade was summoned to the chief command of the army. It appears to my unmilitary judgment to reflect the highest credit upon him, upon his predecessor, and upon the corps commanders of the Army of the Potomac, that a change could take place in the chief command of so large a force on the eve of a general battle, - the various corps necessarily moving on lines somewhat divergent, and all in ignorance of the enemy's intended point of concentration, - and that not an hour's hesitation should ensue in the advance of any portion of the entire army.

Posted on Apr 23, 2012 10:32:54 AM PDT
Having assumed the chief command on the 28th, General Meade directed his left wing, under Reynolds, upon Emmettsburg and his right upon New Windsor, leaving General French with 11,000 men to protect the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, and convoy the public property from Harper's Ferry to Washington. Buford's cavalry was then at this place, and Kilpatrick's at Hanover, where he encountered and defeated the rear of Stuart's cavalry, who was roving the country in search of the main army of Lee. On the Rebel side, Hill had reached Fayetteville on the Cashtown road on the 28th, and was followed on the same road by Longstreet on the 29th. The eastern side of the mountain, as seen from Gettysburg, was lighted up at night by the camp-fires of the enemy's advance, and the country swarmed with his foraging parties. It was now too evident to be questioned, that the thunder-cloud, so long gathering blackness, would soon burst on some part of the devoted vicinity of Gettysburg.

The 30th of June was a day of important preparation. At half past eleven o'clock in the morning General Buford passed through Gettysburg, upon a reconnoissance in force, with his cavalry, upon the Chambersburg road. The information obtained by him was immediately communicated to General Reynolds, who was, in consequence, directed to occupy Gettysburg. That gallant officer accordingly, with the First Corps, marched from Emmettsburg to within six or seven miles of this place, and encamped on the right bank of Marsh's Creek. Our right wing, meantime, was moved to Manchester. On the same day the corps of Hill and Longstreet were pushed still farther forward on the Chambersburg road, and distributed in the vicinity of Marsh's Creek, while a reconnoissance was made by the Confederate General Petigru up to a very short distance from this place. Thus at nightfall on the 30th of June the greater part of the Rebel force was concentrated in the immediate vicinity of two corps of the Union army, the former refreshed by two days passed in comparative repose and deliberate preparation for the encounter, the latter separated by a march of one or two days from their supporting corps, and doubtful at what precise point they were to expect an attack.

And now the momentous day, a day to be forever remembered in the annals of the country, arrived. Early in the morning on the 1st of July the conflict began. I need not say that it would be impossible for me to comprise, within the limits of the hour, such a narrative as would do anything like full justice to the all-important events of these three great days, or to the merit of the brave officers and men of every rank, of every arm of the service, and of every loyal State, who bore their part in the tremendous struggle, - alike those who nobly sacrificed their lives for their country, and those who survive, many of them scarred with honorable wounds, the objects of our admiration and gratitude. The astonishingly minute, accurate, and graphic accounts contained in the journals of the day, prepared from personal observation by reporters who witnessed the scenes and often shared the perils which they describe, and the highly valuable "Notes" of Professor Jacobs of the University in this place, to which I am greatly indebted, will abundantly supply the deficiency of my necessarily too condensed statement.[1]

General Reynolds, on arriving at Gettysburg in the morning of the 1st, found Buford with his cavalry warmly engaged with the enemy, whom he held most gallantly in check. Hastening himself to the front, General Reynolds directed his men to be moved over the fields from the Emmettsburg road, in front of McMillan's and Dr. Schmucker's, under cover of the Seminary Ridge. Without a moment's hesitation, he attacked the enemy, at the same time sending orders to the Eleventh Corps (General Howard's) to advance as promptly as possible. General Reynolds immediately found himself engaged with a force which greatly outnumbered his own, and had scarcely made his dispositions for the action when he fell, mortally wounded, at the head of his advance. The command of the First Corps devolved on General Doubleday, and that of the field on General Howard, who arrived at 11.30 with Schurz's and Barlow's divisions of the Eleventh Corps, the latter of whom received a severe wound. Thus strengthened, the advantage of the battle was for some time on our side. The attacks of the Rebels were vigorously repulsed by Wadsworth's division of the First Corps, and a large number of prisoners, including General Archer, were captured. At length, however, the continued reinforcement of the Confederates from the main body in the neighborhood, and by the divisions of Rodes and Early, coming down by separate lines from Heidlersberg and taking post on our extreme right, turned the fortunes of the day. Our army, after contesting the ground for five hours, was obliged to yield to the enemy, whose force outnumbered them two to one; and toward the close of the afternoon General Howard deemed it prudent to withdraw the two corps to the heights where we are now assembled. The greater part of the First Corps passed through the outskirts of the town, and reached the hill without serious loss or molestation. The Eleventh Corps and portions of the First, not being aware that the enemy had already entered the town from the north, attempted to force their way through Washington and Baltimore Streets, which, in the crowd and confusion of the scene, they did with a heavy loss in prisoners.

General Howard was not unprepared for this turn in the fortunes of the day. He had in the course of the morning caused Cemetery Hill to be occupied by General Steinwehr, with the second division of the Eleventh Corps. About the time of the withdrawal of our troops to the hill General Hancock arrived, having been sent by General Meade, on hearing of the death of Reynolds, to assume the command of the field till he himself could reach the front. In conjunction with General Howard, General Hancock immediately proceeded to post troops and to repel an attack on our right flank. This attack was feebly made and promptly repulsed. At nightfall, our troops on the hill, who had so gallantly sustained themselves during the toil and peril of the day, were cheered by the arrival of General Slocum with the Twelfth Corps and of General Sickles with a part of the Third.

Such was the fortune of the first day, commencing with decided success to our arms, followed by a check, but ending in the occupation of this all-important position. To you, fellow-citizens of Gettysburg, I need not attempt to portray the anxieties of the ensuing night. Witnessing as you had done with sorrow the withdrawal of our army through your streets, with a considerable loss of prisoners, - mourning as you did over the brave men who had fallen, - shocked with the wide-spread desolation around you, of which the wanton burning of the Harman House had given the signal,- ignorant of the near approach of General Meade, you passed the weary hours of the night in painful expectation.

Long before the dawn of the 2d of July, the new Commander-in-Chief had reached the ever-memorable field of service and glory. Having received intelligence of the events in progress, and informed by the reports of Generals Hancock and Howard of the favorable character of the position, he determined to give battle to the enemy at this point. He accordingly directed the remaining corps of the army to concentrate at Gettysburg with all possible expedition, and breaking up his head-quarters at Taneytown at 10 P.M., he arrived at the front at one o'clock in the morning of the 2d of July. Few were the moments given to sleep, during the rapid watches of that brief midsummer's night, by officers or men, though half of our troops were exhausted by the conflict of the day, and the residue wearied by the forced marches which had brought them to the rescue. The full moon, veiled by thin clouds, shone down that night on a strangely unwonted scene. The silence of the graveyard was broken by the heavy tramp of armed men, by the neigh of the war-horse, the harsh rattle of the wheels of artillery hurrying to their stations, and all the indescribable tumult of preparation. The various corps of the army, as they arrived, were moved to their positions, on the spot where we are assembled and the ridges that extend southeast and southwest; batteries were planted, and breastworks thrown up. The Second and Fifth Corps, with the rest of the Third, had reached the ground by seven o'clock, A.M.; but it was not till two o'clock in the afternoon that Sedgwick arrived with the Sixth Corps. He had marched thirty-four miles since nine o'clock on the evening before. It was only on his arrival that the Union army approached an equality of numbers with of the Rebels, who were posted upon the opposite and parallel ridge, distant from a mile to a mile and a half, overlapping our position on either wing, and probably exceeding by ten thousand the army of General Meade.[2]

And here I cannot but remark on the providential inaction of the Rebel army. Had the contest been renewed by it at daylight on the 2d of July, with the First and Eleventh Corps exhausted by the battle and the retreat, the Third and Twelfth weary from their forced march, and the Second, Fifth, and Sixth not yet arrived, nothing but a miracle could have saved the army from a great disaster. Instead of this, the day dawned, the sun rose, the cool hours of the morning passed, the forenoon and a considerable part of the afternoon wore away, without the slightest aggressive movement on the part of the enemy. Thus time was given for half of our forces to arrive and take their place in the lines, while the rest of the army enjoyed a much-needed half-day's repose.

At length, between three and four o'clock in the afternoon, the work of death began. A signal-gun from the hostile batteries was followed by a tremendous cannonade along the Rebel lines, and this by a heavy advance of infantry, brigade after brigade, commencing on the enemy's right against the left of our army, and so onward to the left centre. A forward movement of General Sickles, to gain a commanding position from which to repel the Rebel attack, drew upon him a destructive fire from the enemy's batteries, and a furious assault from Longstreet's and Hill's advancing troops. After a brave resistance on the part of his corps, he was forced back, himself falling severely wounded. This was the critical moment of the second day; but the Fifth and a part of the Sixth Corps, with portions of the First and Second, were promptly brought to the support of the Third. The struggle was fierce and murderous, but by sunset our success was decisive, and the enemy was driven back in confusion. The most important service was rendered toward the close of the day, in the memorable advance between Round Top and Little Round Top, by General Crawford's division of the Fifth Corps, consisting of two brigades of the Pennsylvania Reserves, of which one company was from this town and neighborhood. The Rebel force was driven back with great loss in killed and prisoners. At eight o'clock in the evening a desperate attempt was made by the enemy to storm the position of the Eleventh Corps on Cemetery Hill; but here, too, after a terrible conflict, he was repulsed with immense loss. Ewell, on our extreme right, which had been weakened by the withdrawal of the troops sent over to support our left, had succeeded in gaining a foothold within a portion of our lines, near Spangler's Spring. This was the only advantage obtained by the Rebels to compensate them for the disasters of the day, and of this, as we shall see, they were soon deprived.

Such was the result of the second act of this eventful drama, - a day hard fought, and at one moment anxious, but, with the exception of the slight reverse just named, crowned with dearly earned but uniform success to our arms, auspicious of a glorious termination of the final struggle. On these good omens the night fell.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 23, 2012 11:35:53 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 23, 2012 6:42:32 PM PDT
Mr. Fleisig--Now I know why Lincoln's speech is the one we remember! [Edited for clarity]

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 23, 2012 12:23:42 PM PDT
Logically speaking, only offensive speech is the kind that will be blocked by the state--even in a democratic society.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 23, 2012 5:58:02 PM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Jan 1, 2013 6:59:19 PM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 25, 2012 4:39:50 PM PDT
Too true Mr. Christenson.

But my posts must have value because they are such long copy and paste jobs.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 25, 2012 4:58:41 PM PDT
Mr. Fleisig--I actually went back and read a pretty good portion of speech, which is quite remarkable. It made me sort of nostalgic for a time I never experienced, when orators could extemporize for hours and people would flock to hear them. I found the early part of the speech, before the historical details, to be quite powerful and moving. When I read it aloud to share with my wife, I realized that it is very poetic, with a pronounced metre, almost like blank verse. I would have paid to hear him give that speech.

I assume you posted that to remind us how it turned out the last time Americans took up arms in a major way against their own government. I find it disturbing that some posters here consider it a topic for idle chatter.

Posted on Apr 25, 2012 5:14:52 PM PDT
And he read most of it from memory if I recall.
I first read the oration as an apendix to Garry Will's magnificent
Lincoln at Gettysburg: The Words that Remade America (Simon & Schuster Lincoln Library)

You are correct about it being idle chatter. It doesnt disturb because it is simply that, idle chatter. I think it probable that anyone spending time here on this little chat room talking about these sorts of suubjects are the least likely to put their words into action.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 25, 2012 6:45:53 PM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Jan 1, 2013 6:59:31 PM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 25, 2012 7:41:10 PM PDT
freedom4all says:
Lincoln was a tyrant.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 25, 2012 9:33:21 PM PDT
T.Paine--"You do realize that you are being manipulated by the people in power when you hear stirring and moving speeches."

>>JGC: No, I do not. Have you been to Gettysburg? Nearly 50,000 Americans died there and the fate of our nation was decided there in three days. Astonishing acts of courage were performed by men on both sides, as well as acts of brutality and stupidity. A few hours there might cause you to reconsider your idle chatter about taking up arms aganinst your own government.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 25, 2012 9:46:54 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 25, 2012 9:47:42 PM PDT
A customer says:
I have been. I got pictures with the liberty bell, I travel to Harrisburg
once a year to sell race horses @ auction. Beautiful country.

And, no, I don't think the citizens can take up arms against the US military.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 25, 2012 9:53:04 PM PDT
The last time Americans took up arms against the Federal Government, the cream of the U. S. Army officer corps joined the Confederate Army. Most of the officers and men in our Army come from red states. I hope we never find out what they would do if it came to armed conflict between a serious portion of the American population and the Federal Government. DC could find itself trying to defeat the majority of it's own military.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 25, 2012 10:04:46 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 25, 2012 10:05:14 PM PDT
A customer says:
I think it's more internet bluster then anything.
The people are starting to vote'em out of office.
I see States Beginning to heal themselves by reform.
I have faith it will be okay, now, that the folks are paying

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 25, 2012 10:16:03 PM PDT
Granny ;-D says:
I am only listening for::
the Conservative: Ideas and beliefs, and ADD to that Economic and government facts .. -- .. when they all come together,
I am really happy to know there is someone ELSE that we Conservatives have on our side
[Add comment]
Add your own message to the discussion
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Prompts for sign-in


This discussion

Discussion in:  Politics forum
Participants:  42
Total posts:  736
Initial post:  Apr 18, 2012
Latest post:  May 7, 2012

New! Receive e-mail when new posts are made.
Tracked by 3 customers

Search Customer Discussions