Joseph G. Carrigan.

Cheat Mountain, or, Unwritten chapter of the late war online

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Albert B. Tavel, Stationer and Printer.







B 1945 L




Perhaps no greater injustice has been done to any por-
tion of the Confederate troops than to the officers and men
composing the Eighth and Sixteenth Regiments of Ten-
nessee Infantry, by writers of Confederate history, in fail-
ing to recite their memorable campaign in the mountains
of Northwestern Virginia, in the fall and winter of 1861.

The long silence of history, whatever may have been
the cause, has induced the writer to make an effort to res-
cue from oblivion the heroic deeds and sufferings of those
noble men.

It may be true, however, that the real and true facts
connected with this particular campaign or service have
never been told, and hence the whole chapter, to call it
such, is about to pass away unnoticed and unwritten.

Over twenty-four years have now passed away since
these two regiments made one of the most wonderful and
daring campaigns over those mountains ever made by any
troops in this or any other country. The soldiers who en-
gaged or participated in these marches and great hard-
ships are rapidly passing away, falling one by one, until
but few remain to bear testimony to the sufferings endured
by them and their comrades during their eventful strug-
gles on Cheat Mountain.


Nothing like a perfect or exact history can now be given,
for many of the incidents have passed from memory, and
upon this, to a great extent, we are compelled to rely.
Having gathered up fragments here and there, and while
very unsatisfactory to us, we shall strive to do whatever
we can, in detailing this campaign in the mountains. We
desire here to say, in attempting this brief and necessarily
imperfect history of this march, we hope we will be par-
doned for awarding to the humble soldier in the ranks his
due share of honor, for in war as almost everything else,
he is made the hewer of wood and drawer of water, and
his merits are too often overlooked and undue prominence
given to his superiors in command.

In this march, it is due for us to say, however, that
almost all men were on a level, and when fairly out
into the vast chain of mountains and wild woods, and
in deep, dismal hollows, every man was his own captain,
and with only one command : " Boys, keep your eyes on
your guns ! "

Before proceeding further, we take the liberty to say,
that what was designated in the Confederate army as Don-
elson's Brigade, was composed of the Eighth and Six-
teenth Regiments of Tennessee Volunteers, commanded
by Cols. Alf. S. Fulton and John H. Savage. Col. Bone-
ley's regiment, from Georgia, did not remain with us long,
and did not participate in the marches and hardships
we shall attempt to narrate, because of unusual sickness
and deaths.

The Eighth Tennessee Regiment was composed of the
following companies from Lincoln county, and the other
companies will be noticed in their proper places. We


give as complete lists of the officers and men as we are
able to get from authentic sources :



A. M. Hall, Captain.

Chris, C. McKinney, First Lieutenant.

T. W. Bledsoe, Second Lieutenant.

C. N. Allen, Third Lieutenant.

N. P. KooNCE, Orderly Sergeant.

T. r. Harris, Second Sergeant.

C. M. Buchanan, Third Sergeant.

S. J. Leonard, Fourth Sergeant.

C. B. Metcalfe, First Corporal.
W. T. Woodruff, Second Cor])oral.

D. T. Eastland, Third Corporal.
C. W. Gill, Fourth Corporal.


Allen, Richard. Keeler, J. B.

Bates, N. B. Locker, R. A.

Blake, W. C. Locker, W. L.

Blakemore, H. A. Morrison, W. B.

Branson, A. J. McEwen, J. G.

Boyle, Patrick. McEwen, E. C.

Buchanan, J. D. Mitchell, Jesse.

Brewer, J. F. Merrit, W. H.

Brewer, Green. McCants, W. P.

Bradford, John. Mathews, R. M.

Blackwell, T. O. Malear, B. E.

Blackshear, Elisha. Moore, J. A.

Bonner, A. J. Morton, J. A.

Brown, J. W. Morton, James.

Cummings, J. J. Maulding, J. H.



Craig, Wm.
Carmack, G. C.
Capps, M. V. B.
Cumberland, Jas.
Elliot, J. F.
Fulton, A. S., (Col.)
Freeman, W. J.
Greer, Juo. T.
Greer, John R.
Glidewell, F. W.
Gilbert, W. A.
Gibson, J. F.
Hanaway, T. H. C.
Hanaway, E. H. W.
Hester, T. G.
Hardin, J. R.
Hall, J. M.
Isom, W. P.
Jones, J. M.
Jeeter, J. T.

Nichols, John.
Nichols, W. H.
Pigg, Claiborne.
Porter, G. W.
Pitcock, W. P.
Quarles, W. F.
Quarles, R. A.
Rives, J. M.
Rives, R. C.
Robinson, J. F.
Roach, B. T.
Reynolds, S. R.
Scott, J. W.
Scott, N. B.
Scott, Alex.
Sanders, Wm.
Watson, W. F,
Watson, J. B.
Wells, Harrison.


N. M.
T. W.
A. M.
R. D.
W. J.
L. J.
J. W.
W. C.
J. H.
D. C.
J. M.


McKiNNEY, Captain.

Bearden, First Lieutenant.

Raney, Second Lieutenant.

Downing, Third Lieutenant.
Hardin, Orderly Sergeant.
King, Second Sergeant.
E. Bearden, Third Sergeant.
Rawls, Fourth Sergeant.

Bright, First Corporal.
Fletcher, Second Corporal.
Dewitt, Third Corporal.
Short, Fourth Cori)oral.



Beech, A. C.
Billions, J.
Bland, W. J.
Blankenship, Jno.
Blankenship, T. F.
Blair, W. B.
Branson, J. K.
Bryan, J. H. C.
Brown, J. S.
Burns, J. H.
Byers, J. M.
Carpenter, E. M.
Caughran, J. F.
Coats, J. B.
Colbert, J. C
Coley, W. H.
Commons, A. J.
Coulahan, F. G.
Dollar, J. P.
Daniel, Robt.
Dosier, C. M.
Downing, F. M.
Doyle, Mike.
Dunn, G. W.
Flannigan, Peter.
Flemming, J. W.
Flynt, Navins.
Geo;;ge, J. H.
George, W. B.
Gee, Thos.
Gray, H. H.
Gray, J. H.
Gray, J. P.
Griffis, T. P.
Grubbs, W. J.

Howell, Sam.
Howell, Sol.
Jamison, J. W.
Jones, E. F.
Kelly, John.
Kennedy, Michael.
Key, C. G.
Key, Manly.
Locker, J. H.
Maddox, J. J.
Maddox, N. G.
Marberry, Len.
Marlow, J. A.
Maroney, J. C.
McAnn, S. F.
McAlister, Sam.
McDaniel, Henry.
McDaniel, J. Y.
McFerran, J. M.
Moore, Joe.
Neeves, R. C.
Phillips, E. J.
Pucket, A. H.
Raney, W. J.
Sandlin, J. T.
Saterfield, Jno.
Shay, Syl.
Simpions, Wm.
Smith, Stephen.
Spray, Lewis.
Stead man, N. P.
Stewart, W. L.
Sullivan, Thos.
Thomas, W. C.
Thornton, F. M.


Gulley, J. J. Toon, J. P.

Hamilton, W. H. Yickers, W. T.

Halbcrt, J. T. Wallace, J. P.

Hall, J. A. Walker, A. L.

Harbison, D. C. Warren, Thos.

Henderson, J. W. Watson, Wm.

Ho vis, J. R. Wrigart, J. M.

Howell, B. T. Womack, H. W.



Geo. W. Higgins, Captain.

W. C. Griswell, First Lieutenant.

David Sullivan, Second Lieutenant.

E. S. N. BoBO, Brevet Second Lieutenant.

Jo. G. Carrigan, Orderly Sergeant.

M. C. Shook, Second Sergeant.

T. L. Williamson, Third Sergeant.

Francis Wells, Fourth Sergeant.

M. C. Cotton, First Corporal.

W. B, McKenzie, Second Corporal.

M. S. DoLLiNS, Third Corporal.

T. H. Clark, Fourth Corporal.


Ashley J. R. Ligle, W. H.

Armstrong, Jesse. Jolly, Jas.

Armstrong, Thomas, Kiug, J. D.

Armstrong, William. King, Jeff.

Ashby, Elias. Leonard, J. W.

Brewer, J. R. McKenzie, John.

Brown, J. B. Moore, M. R.

Bell, J. N. Moore, J. F.

Borough, G. W. Moore, J. A. F.



Broaclaway, Jesse.
Clift, A. P.
Cunningham, John.
Carrigan, C. H.
Crenshaw, W. T.
Colter, F. M.
Curtis, T. H.
Cumraings, Henry.
Epps, J. G.
Epps, J. N.
Freeman, A. C.
Freeman, W. J.
Fox, R. F.
Fincher, J. W.
Gibson, W. H.
Green, G. A. N.
Hall, W. C.
Hall, Richard.
Hall, C. C.
Hale, G. W.
Hamby, L.
Hudson, H. F.
Hudson, W. B.
Hudson, J. L.
Headricks, J. B.
Harrison, J. G.
Hines, Joe.

Mills, J. E.
Miller, Chas.
Morris, Amos.
Pylant, M. F.
Pearson, James.
Pylant, G. A. F.
Prosser, W. D.
Reece, J.
Rives, T. J.
Robinson, T. J.
Sisk, John.
Smith, G. W.
Small, L. P. M.
Sullivan, J. W.
Smith, W. M.
Tucker, D. (Chaplain).
Thompson, AVm.
Thompson, David.
Thompson, Patrick. -^
Wells, Isom.
Wells, T. J.
Waid, W. L.
Wright, M. J.
Willet, John.
Yant, T. A.
Yant, M. P.

V ^ ^


[At the reorganization,

Moore, the original Cap-

tain of the company, was elected Lieutenant-Colonel, and
W. J. Thrash was elected Captain.]


W. J. Thrash, Captain.



William Bonner, Jr., First Lieutenant.

W. L. Shofner, Second Lieutenant.

T. H. Freeman, Third Lieutenant.

G. W. Waggoner, First Sergeant.

J. N. Sullivan, Second Sergeant.

A. H. Boone, Third Sergeant.

J. Y. Reese, Fourth Sergeant.

M. B. Shores, Fifth Sergeant.

R. F. Stegall, First Corporal.

W. H. HoLMAN, Second Corporal.

J. F. Whitaker, Third Corporal.

M. L. Mead, Fourth Corporal.


Broughten, Jo.
Bright, J. C.
Blackwell, W. A.
Blackwell, J. E.
Brown, Thos.
Boone, H. L. W.
Brady, Alex.
Boaz, R. M.
Carrigan, W. H.
Carrigan, J. S.
Call, Jo.
Clark, J. C.
Clark, W. T.
Carter, A. M.
Cook, Stephen.
Davidson, L. W.
Davidson, W. P.
Dean, M. M.
DufF, J. H. C.
Daniel, G. D.
Eslick, John.
Eaton, J. A.

Mooney, J. S.
McAfee, A. A.
McLean, J. D.
Mills, J. F. M.
Moorhead, R. A.
Moorhead, J. L.
Miller, G. F.
Mitchell, P. Y.
Nevels, Wm.
Ousley, E. M.
Parker, J. B.
Parks, Aaron.
Parks, Joel.
Parks, E. T.
Pearson, James.
Pitts, J. C.
Pitts, J. A.
Raby,P. A.
Raby, J. R.
Rives, B. H.
Rainey, J. C.
Renager, Calvin.



Foister, J. Y.
Foister, N. S.
Franklin, W. M.
Farrar, L. A.
Glidewell, Enoch
Glidewell, Aaron.
George, H. P.
George, D. S.
Gattis, Riley
Gattis, J. Y.
Gattis, G. W.
Hurt, W. B.
Hague, J. C.
Honey, Eb.
Honey, Jas.
Hatchell, James.
James, R. G.
James, P. M.
Johnson, Stephen.
King, J. J.
Lester, Dr. G. B.
Logan, G. C.
Leftwich, L. B.
Lee, A. H.
Lipscomb, H. D.
Montgomery, W. M.
Morgan, B. D.
Morgan, J. C.
Martin, W. H.
Martin, W. C.

Renager, W. F.
Robertson, J. M.
Robertson, Dr. W. H.
Rutleclge, W. A.
Seals, W. D.
Seals, J. S.
Shofner, Wilson L.
Shofner, C. C.
Shofner, N. M.
Sebastain, W. H.
Snelling, G. W.
Street, G. W.
Street, Asa.
Stacy, J. P.
Stegall, J. B.
Sullen ger, Jas.
Tolley, J. D.
Thomison, J. B.
Waggoner, D. J.
Waggoner, G. A.
Waggoner, F. M.
Waggoner, G. H.
Waggoner, D. N.
Whitaker, M. D. L.
Whitaker, L. J.
Whitman, J. W.
Whitman, E. D.
Wilson, J. M. D.
Woodard, W. A.
Yates, E. W.



There was also one company from Marshall county,
Tennessee, and the following is a list of the officers and
men of that company :



J. L. Bryant, Captain.
J. P. Holland, First Lieutenant.
B. B. Bowers, Second Lieutenant.
T. F. Brooks, Third Lieut mant.
T. E. Russell, Orderly Sergeant.


Andrews, W. p.
Bethune, D. A.
Bethune, W. M.
Biggers, J. F.
Biggers, J. W.
Biggers, R. W.
Blackwell, W. T.
Brents, T. E.
Brooks, J. S.]
Busset, Wiles.
Butler, J. R.
Carrier, W. L.
Cauley, Monroe.
Cauler, Joe.
Causby, G. W.,
Collins, J. B.
Collins, Jones.
Crabtree, George.
Darnell, J. H.
Dodd, Joel.
Dodd, W. S.

Largeu, Milton.
Largen, R. H.
Luna, J. M.
Luna, M. V.
Luna, R. H.
Luna, William.
Malone, E.
Malone, W. A.
Mauldep, H. N.
Meadows, A. M.
Morris, J. A.
McAfee, J. M.
McCrory, J. A.
McCrory, R. J.
McCrory, W. H.
Nichols, J. M.
Patterson, A. J.
Peach, W. H.
Pearson, W. H.
Petty, M.
Pyles, H. M.


Dyer, J. D. Rambo, E. F.

Foster, George. Russell, G. W.

Franklin, Thomas. Sanders, J. C.

Gulley, W. F. Shaw, R. A.

Haislip, J. Shaw, R. J.

Haislip, J. H. Shaw, W. J.

Haislip, J. W. Stilwell, J.

Hill, O. P. Tally, D. E.

Hitchman, J. N. Tally, J. J.

Hitchman, W. L. Tally, J. N.

Hogan, D. P. Tally, P. H.

Hogan, J. A. Troop, J. G.
Wakefield, J. F. W.

The other five companies of the regiment were made up
in, and were from, the counties as follows ; the names
of the captains of each company only being given, as it
has beea impossible for us, to our great regret, to obtain
lists of the other officers and men.

There were two companies from Overton county, Ten-
nessee — Company " D " aud Company " F." Company
"D " was commanded by D. C. Miers, and Company " F'^
by Tim S. McHenry. Tvvo companies were from Jackson
county, Tennessee — Company " E," commanded by James
Armstrong, and Company " K " by William Gore. One
company from Smith county, Company " I," commanded
by James Burford.

. We trust we may be pardoned for going back a few
steps and recalling the attending scenes and excitement of
the days of 1861, and during the formation of these com-
panies. In doing this we feel confident that in a great
measure we will illustrate the ludicrous ideas and notions
prevailing all over this country at that time, and sample


out, in small patterns, the complete stock of ignorance of
war, in all its appalling phases and all its devastation and
death, on hand and in stock among us. But when we re-
flect that, as a people, we knew nothing but the blessings
of peace, the full and complete enjoyment of our rights
under a republican form of government, a reason for our
ignorance may be found and a satisfactory explanation


Early in the spring of 1861, and after the fall of Fort
Sumter, and the call of President Lincoln for troops from
Tennessee, war was the only thing talked of or discussed
in this country. Old gray- haired men, devoted wives,
sisters and mothers talked of war until the whole atmos-
phere was full of it. To look back over the events of
those days, it seems strange now how rapidly public senti-
ment has changed.

In the month of February of that year, the question of
secession — certain war — was submitted to the people of
Tennessee for a popular vote, and for ratification on the
one hand or rejection on the other, and the people decided
against secession at the ballot-box by a majority of over
sixty thousand ; but in the month of May following to
publicly oppose secession, either as a principle or as an
expediency, was almost certain political martyrdom, and
social ostracism Avas by ho means doubtful or uncertain.
Little tow-headed boys were shouting the battle- whoop
from every cabin in the country. So great was this feel-
ing that almost every blacksmith in the land began to
make, out of old saws, and indeed any metal they could


hammor down to an edge, large, ugly, ill-shaped Bowie
knives. As an adjunct to this method of manufacturing
"war cutlery," the old-fashioned country grindstones were
put Into motion, to whet and grind up these huge instru-
ments to a sharp point and edge.

We have seen little " runts " of men, with as many as
two of these knives, encased in rough scabbards, belted
around them, and armed to the teeth, thus they made the
eternal^ hills around them resound with their cries for war.
They imagined that in the beginning there would be nothing
but a hand-to-hand fight, and with these weapons they
would successfully defend their country, their homes and
their firesides. The truth is, along about (his time, too many
of us had been taught by a few " fanatical " leaders that one
southern man could whip at least five men from the North.
Sectionalism had chrystalized until the fatal " Mason and
Dixon's line" was too often looked upon as a sort of rev-
erential division line by both sections, and the result was
jealousy, embittered feelings and distrust of each other.

But underlying all this southern excitement, not to call
it, in many instances, fanaticism, was a deep and righteous
loyalty to the land and home of every southerner and his
institutions, and no power could restrain the uprising of
the people to repel an invading foe, and defend themselves
from what they believed to be an unholy and unjust war.

With this prevailing sentiment in the minds of the
people, meetings were often held in the various neighbor-
hoods, and on these occasions there was no deficiency in
the number of speakers, for what was wanting in quality
was made up in quantity. On some of these occasions,
we remember well to have heard men try to make war


speeches who never before or since lifted their voices iu
strains of eloquent patriotism to stir the souls of their
countrymen. The " Vandal hordes " of the North, their
great enmity to the South, their love for the negro, and
their desire and purpose to elevate him to the level of the
people of the South, or their intention to pull the people
of the South down to his level, w^ere presented in glowing
colors, and in many high sounding words. Our rights in
the territories and the ruinous results to the South of the
doctrine of " Squatter Sovereignty," and many other
kindred subjects, were taught us by the political chiefs
and sachems of that day and time. How^ near some of
these issues have been accomplished by the results of the
war we will not discuss.

But, so isregnant was the air filled with some of these
wild infatuations, that men, women and children of all
ages, sizes and colors, went out to these meetings, and
gladly, it seemed, joined in the general enthusiasm of the
country. Soon, under this state of excitement, with war
declared, the North against the South, companies began to
be organized. At the beginning, everybody wished to go
and fight the " Yankees." " Just let me to 'em," was the
impatient utterance of the land at that time. On many
occasions, when a call was made for volunteers, young
ladies w^ould walk out and fall into line, and this was a
signal for all men present to fall in. With this element of
wild fire sweeping over the country, is it at all strange or
beyond proper explanation, that the old men, the middle-
aged men, and young men of the country rushed into the
ranks of the Confederate army, not knowing or dreaming
what awaited them ? It is, however, true, with all ad-


vantages against them, with no great stores of war imple-
ments, with no money and no credit, with two thousand
miles of defenseless coast, and without a navy, when in
the fight once, they fought as never men fought before.
But it must not be supposed for a moment that this senti-
ment of fight and war did not exist in all classes of society.
The most refined and intelligent ladies of the country
eagerly participated in these meetings, and to them and
their influence must be awarded much of the praise for
the prompt manner in which the men all over the country
flew to arms to repel invasion.

Illustrating to some extent the manner of those days,
we here mention that at the organization of Higgius'
Company of the Eighth Regiment, on Norris Creek,
Lincoln county, Tennessee, the ladies of the vicinity made
and presented to the company, at its organization, a beau-
tiful large flag, the presentation being made just a few
days before its departure, by Miss Sal lie Landess, who
delivered on the occasion the following eloquent and stir-
ring address :
Gentlemen of the Norris Creek Guards :

The great chronicler of events is now recording in char-
acters of blood this epoch in our country's history ; and
why should the record be written in a nation's blood "?
Dare any one to stigmatize you, the sons of Tennessee, as
lawless desperadoes, that would gloat with demoniac re-
joicings over a brother's fate sealed with blood ! Is there
a blemish upon the fair escutcheon of the fame of the
"Volunteer State," that would justify the ignominious
accusation that you are not a peace-loving and law abid-
ing people, ready at all times to pay homage to the shrine
of the constitution of .your fathers? Have your accusers
(if any there be) forgotten how, in the struggle for iude-


pendence, your fathers braved death on the heights
of King's Mountain? Have the glories achieved by the
hero of the Hermitage, and his gallant followers upon the
plains of New Orleans, been blotted from their memories?
Have they ceased to remember that splendid exhibition of
chivalry which led to victory at Vera Cruz, Cerro Gordo
and Chepultepec, and finally enabled the American army
to plant with one triumphant shout their banner upon
what had been considered the impregnable battlements of
the Montezumas? And, can any one suppose that you,
the descendants and brothers of these intrepid warriors,
w'hose deeds of glory are written in burnished characters
upon the pages of your country's history, will be less
vigilant, less watchful of your rights, your honor, your
homes and friends? He who would stultify himself Avith
this belief, has studied to little purpose southern chivalry.

The once quiet and happy homes of our "Sunny South"
are invaded by the myrmidons of the Black Republican
usurper of the North. They insolently demand our
homes. They would desecrate our altars and overthrow
our institutions. They haughtily bid us to surrender the
graves of our Washington, Jefferson, Madison and Jack-
son, to be trampled over with fiendish delight by the
revilers of all that is sacred and holy.

Your defiant, yet noble, answer to this menace is clearly
expressed in the indignant flash of those cloudless eyes.
The heritage is ours ; God gave it to our fathers. Beware
who touches ! for our arms can never be manacled by the
chains of political despotism, more oppressive than Draco's
bloody laws, that hung the Athenian government in
mourning. And now, when they would enforce their im-
pious designs, your are^buckling on your armor to resist the
unholy crusade. You have espoused a cause untarnished
by a stain of reproach or ambition, else these, your moth-
ers, wives and sisters, would not be here to-day to ani-
mate you with approving smiles and cheering Avords.


As a testimonial of their conficleuce in your prowess
and your inflexible determination to maintain the lib-
erties of yourselves, your children and your kindred,
or perish upon the ensanguined fields of war, I, in be-
half of the ladies of Norris Creek, present you with this
flag, and with it we invoke the blessings of God upon you.
Armed, as you are, with right, justice and approving con-
science — weapons more potent than bristling bayonets and
death-dealing cannons — we fear not that it will ever trail
in the dust of dishonor. When its silken folds float over
you, let it admonish you that whether in the mists of
morning, in the shimmering noontide, or when the earth
is shrouded in its pall of darkness, there are orisons as-
cending in your behalf from the hearts of those who have
trusted to your keeping this token of reliance on your
valor. When upon the tented field, 'mid the music of
war, the thunder of battle raging around you, remember
that your mothers and wives, sisters and children, liberty
and Christianity, are the trophies for your struggle. Do
this, and when the smoke of each terrific conflict shall
have been borne from the field, the battlements of victory
will be crowned with your standard. Then, while

"The trumpet is sounding from mountain to shore,
Your swords and your lances must slumber no more.
Fling forth to the sunlight your banner on high,
Inscribed with the watchword, ' We conquer or die ! '
Go forth in the pathway your fathers have trod ;
You, too, fight for freedom — your Captain is God.
Their blood in your veins, with their honors you vie,
Their's, too, was the watchword, ' We conquer or die.'
March on to the battle-field, there to do or to dare,
W^ith shoulder to shoulder, all danger to share,
And let your proud watchword spring up to the sky,
'Till the blue arch re-echoes, ' We conquer or die.'
Press forward undaunted, nor think of retreat,
The enemy's host on the threshold to meet ;
Strike firm, 'till the foemen before you shall fly.
Appalled by your watchword, ' We conquer or die.' "


"While there were many ludicrous things done, as they
now seem to us at this day and time, that an intelligent
devotion and true patriotism to the "Southland" lay at
the bottom of all that was done and said, none can ques-

For instance, as the time approached for our departure,
the devoted wives, sisters and mothers began to pack up
boxes and trunks full of clothing and bed-quilts, and some
good things to eat, and by the time the four Lincoln
county companies got ready to start off, a wagon was re-
quired to each man to haul his baggage. We soon found

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Online LibraryJoseph G. CarriganCheat Mountain, or, Unwritten chapter of the late war → online text (page 1 of 8)