16 July 2015

My Latest Essay at Essential Civil War Curriculum

"With A Rebel Yell" by Mort Kunstler

The Virginia Center for Civil War Studies at Virginia Tech has just published my 3rd (and likely last), essay for their Essential Civil War Curriculum website.
The Essential Civil War Curriculum is a Sesquicentennial project Virginia Center for Civil War Studies at Virginia Tech. It is sponsored by two eminent Civil War scholars and authors, Dr. James I. (Bud) Robertson and Professor William C. (Jack) Davis both Professors at Virginia Tech. The Essential Civil War Curriculum is a sesquicentennial project of the Center for Civil War Studies at Virginia Tech.
I must say it has been a privilege to write for this very worthy project. The project's director, Mr. Laurie Woodruff, has been a joy to work with and has been a passionate promoter of Virginia's commemoration of the Civil War Sesquicentennial. He has done a superb job of organizing this effort and the site's topics cover a wide range of subject matter for those interested in this aspect of American history. I strongly recommend readers visit the site for becoming better informed about the War Between the States. With each article, authors recommend additional resources and reading material for a more in-depth study of the specific topic. I think the project and website is one of the best overall resources students (of all ages) could have at their disposal.

My most recent essay is about the Rebel Yell and is titled, The Rebel Yell: The Seething Blast of an Imaginary Hell.

I'd be interested in what readers think of the latest essay. The other two essays I've written are linked below.


Chris Johnson said...

Very nice read and of course full of information I did not know. Thanks for sharing Rick...

I have always been fascinated by the "things done" during war or battle that earn men reverence.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Thanks Chris! I learned quite a bit myself while researching the topic.

Eddie said...

Very excellent work. Some of the Yell -

a couple of accounts of an event in the Wilderness. From - History of the Twenty-sixth North Carolina --

About 8 p.m., on the night of 7 May, it became rumored that Grant's army was moving to his left, and had lost hope of reaching Richmond by the overland route. The rebel yell was raised at some point on the right of the line; at first, heard like the rumbling of a distant railroad train, it came rushing down the lines like the surging of the waves upon the ocean, increasing in loudness and grandeur; and passing, it would be heard dying away on the left in the distance. Again it was heard coming from the right to die away again on the distant left. It was renewed three times, each time with increased vigor. It was a yell like the defiant tones of the thunderstorm, echoing and re-echoing. It caused such dismay among the Federals that it is said their pickets fired and ran in.

From - History of a Brigade of South Carolinians: Known First as "Gregg's" and Subsequently as "McGown's Brigade" --

We lay quiet for the rest of that day and night. On the afternoon of the next day, the 7th, we were moved to the woods in our front, thereby shortening our line a good deal. There was no fighting, this day, on any part of the line. Fires swept the forests for miles around, obscuring the sun with smoke, and filling the air with stench. We were ordered to erect defences; but we had scarcely begun to collect rails and logs of wood, when we were ordered to desist. At dusk we were ordered to prepare for the march.

We were moved a few hundred yards to the right, and there rested until morning. While we were closing up here, a pace at a time, the grandest vocal exhibition took place that I have ever heard. Far up on the right of the Confederate line a shout was raised. Gradually it was taken up and passed down, until it reached us. We lifted it, as our turn came, and handed it to the left, where it went echoing to the remotest corner of Ewell's corps. This was done once wjth powerful effect. Then rumors of various things, but always speaking of good fortune that had befallen the Confederates, sped along the line with characteristic swiftness. Again the shout arose on the right — again it rushed down upon us from a distance of perhaps two miles — again we caught it and flung it joyously to the left, where it only ceased when the last post had huzzahed. And yet a third time this mighty wave of sound rang along the Confederate lines. The effect was beyond expression. It seemed to fill every heart with new life, to inspire every nerve with might never known before. Men seemed fairly convulsed with the fierce enthusiasm; and I believe that if at that instant the advance of the whole army upon Grant could have been ordered, we should have swept it into the very Rappahannock. As it was, there was a story prevalent, next day, of the stampeding of a Federal corps. I doubt the entire accuracy of the account; but I know that we gathered an immense amount of private plunder on our front.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Thanks Eddie!