Beneath everything else, North and West, there ran a profound, unvoiced, almost subconscious conviction that the [American] nation was going to go on growing-in size, in power, in everything a man could think of-and in that belief there was a might and a fury that would take form instantly at the moment of shock.
It began with one act of madness, and it ended with another. John Brown heard history's clock strike in the night and tried to hurry dawn along with gunfire; now John Wilkes Booth heard the clock strike, and he tried with gunfire to restore the darkness. Each man stood outside the human community, directed by voices the sane do not hear, and each kept history from going logically... The line from Harper's Ferry to Ford's Theater is a red thread binding the immense disorder of the Civil War into an irrational sort of coherence.
began quotesact quotesmadness quotesended quotesjohn quotesbrown quotesheard quoteshistorys quotesclock quotesstrike quotesnight quoteshurry quotesdawn quotesgunfire quoteswilkes quotesbooth quotesstrike quotesgunfire quotesrestore quotesdarkness quotesman quotesstood quoteshuman quotescommunity quotesdirected quotesvoices quotessane quoteshear quoteshistory quoteslogically quotesline quotesharpers quotesferry quotesfords quotestheater quotesred quotesthread quotesbinding quotesimmense quotesdisorder quotescivil quoteswar quotesirrational quotessort quotescoherence quotes
A singular fact about modern war is that it takes charge. Once begun it has to be carried to its conclusion, and carrying it there sets in motion events that may be beyond men's control. Doing what has to be done to win, men perform acts that alter the very soil in which society's roots are nourished.
singular quotesfact quotesmodern quoteswar quotestakes quotescharge quotesbegun quotescarried quotesconclusion quotescarrying quotessets quotesmotion quotesevents quotesmens quotescontrol quoteswin quotesmen quotesperform quotesacts quotesalter quotessoil quotessocietys quotesroots quotesnourished quotes
Go up along the eastern side of Lake Michigan, steer northeast when the land bends away at Point Betsie, and you come before long to Sleeping Bear Point-an incredible flat-topped sand dune rising five hundred feet above the level of the lake and going north for two miles or more. It looks out over the dark water and the islands that lie just offshore, and in the late afternoon the sunlight strikes it and the golden sand turns white, with a pink overlay when the light is just so, and little cloud shadows slide along its face, blue-gray as evening sets in. Sleeping Bear looks eternal, although it is not; this lake took its present shape no more than two or three thousand years ago, and Sleeping Bear is slowly drifting off to the east as the wind shifts its grains of sand, swirling them up one side and dropping them on the other; in a few centuries it will be very different, if indeed it is there at all. Yet if this is a reminder that this part of the earth is still being remodeled it is also a hint that the spirit back of the remodeling may be worth knowing. In the way this shining dune looks west toward the storms and the sunsets there is a profound serenity, an unworried affirmation that comes from seeing beyond time and mischance. A woman I know says that to look at the Sleeping Bear late in the day is to feel the same emotion that comes when you listen to Beethoven's Emperor Concerto, and she is entirely right. The message is the same. The only trouble is that you have to compose a planet, or great music, to say it persuasively. Maybe man-some men, anyway-was made in the image of God, after all.
eastern quotesside quoteslake quotesmichigan quotessteer quotesnortheast quotesland quotesbends quotespoint quotesbetsie quoteslong quotessleeping quotesbear quotespointan quotesincredible quotesflattopped quotessand quotesdune quotesrising quoteshundred quotesfeet quoteslevel quoteslake quotesnorth quotesmiles quotesdark quoteswater quotesislands quoteslie quotesoffshore quoteslate quotesafternoon quotessunlight quotesstrikes quotesgolden quotesturns quoteswhite quotespink quotesoverlay quoteslight quotescloud quotesshadows quotesslide quotesface quotesbluegray quotesevening quotessets quoteseternal quotespresent quotesshape quotesthousand quotesyears quotesago quotesslowly quotesdrifting quoteseast quoteswind quotesshifts quotesgrains quotessand quotesswirling quotesdropping quotescenturies quotesreminder quotespart quotesearth quotesremodeled quoteshint quotesspirit quotesback quotesremodeling quotesworth quotesknowing quotesshining quoteswest quotesstorms quotessunsets quotesprofound quotesserenity quotesunworried quotesaffirmation quotestime quotesmischance quoteswoman quotesday quotesfeel quotesemotion quoteslisten quotesbeethovens quotesemperor quotesconcerto quotesmessage quotestrouble quotescompose quotesplanet quotesgreat quotesmusic quotespersuasively quotesmansome quotesmen quotesanywaywas quotesmade quotesimage quotesgod quotes
Early youth is a baffling time. The present moment is nice but it does not last. Living in it is like waiting in a junction town for the morning limited; the junction may be interesting but some day you will have to leave it and you do not know where the limited will take you. Sooner or later you must move down an unknown road that leads beyond the range of the imagination, and the only certainty is that the trip has to be made. In this respect early youth is exactly like old age; it is a time of waiting before a big trip to an unknown destination. The chief difference is that youth waits for the morning limited and age waits for the night train.
early quotesyouth quotesbaffling quotestime quotespresent quotesmoment quotesnice quotesliving quoteswaiting quotesjunction quotestown quotesmorning quoteslimited quotesinteresting quotesday quotesleave quoteslimited quotessooner quotesmove quotesunknown quotesroad quotesleads quotesrange quotesimagination quotescertainty quotestrip quotesmade quotesrespect quotesearly quotesage quotestime quotesbig quotesdestination quoteschief quotesdifference quoteswaits quotesage quotesnight quotestrain quotes
Nathan Bedford Forrest ... used his horsemen as a modern general would use motorized infantry. He liked horses because he liked fast movement, and his mounted men could get from here to there much faster than any infantry could; but when they reached the field they usually tied their horses to trees and fought on foot, and they were as good as the very best infantry. Not for nothing did Forrest say the essence of strategy was to git thar fust with the most men.
nathan quotesbedford quotesforrest quoteshorsemen quotesmodern quotesgeneral quotesmotorized quotesinfantry quoteshorses quotesfast quotesmovement quotesmounted quotesmen quotesfaster quotesinfantry quotesreached quotesfield quotestied quotestrees quotesfought quotesfoot quotesgood quotesessence quotesstrategy quotesgit quotesthar quotesfust quotesmen quotes
civil quoteswar quotesfought quotes10000 quotesplaces quotesvalverde quotesmexico quotestullahoma quotestennessee quotesst quotesalbans quotesvermont quotesfernandina quotesflorida quotescoast quotes3 quotesmillion quotesamericans quotes600000 quotesmen quotes2 quotespercent quotespopulation quotesdied quotes
The enduring realization that when a great challenge comes, the most ordinary people can show that they value something more than they value their own lives. When the last of the veterans had gone, and the sorrows and bitterness which the war created had at last worn away, this memory remained.
What a general could do, Thomas did; no more dependable soldier for a moment of crisis existed on the North American continent, or ever did exist... Thomas comes down in history as the Rock of Chickamauga, the great defensive fighter, the man who could never be driven away but who was not much on the offensive. That may be a correct appraisal, Yet it may also be worth making note that just twice in all the war was a major Confederate army driven away from a prepared position in complete rout - at Chattanooga and at Nashville. Each time the blow that routed it was launched by Thomas.
general quotesthomas quotesdependable quotessoldier quotesmoment quotescrisis quotesexisted quotesnorth quotesamerican quotescontinent quotesexist quoteshistory quotesrock quoteschickamauga quotesgreat quotesdefensive quotesfighter quotesman quotesdriven quotesoffensive quotescorrect quotesappraisal quotesworth quotesmaking quotesnote quoteswar quotesmajor quotesconfederate quotesarmy quotesprepared quotesposition quotescomplete quotesrout quoteschattanooga quotesnashville quotestime quotesblow quotesrouted quoteslaunched quotesthomas quotes