Though John Shelton Reed’s December column was engaging and enjoyable, he made a very common error in misstating the old saw about Yanks and Rebs together being invincible. As Mr. Reed put it, “one observer remarked that if he had Confederate cavalry and Union infantry he could whip any army on earth.”
The observer in question was North Carolina’s own irascible and celebrated Yankee-hater, General Daniel Harvey Hill. On July 1, 1862, at Malvern Hill (presumably no relation). Hill watched Union artillery chew up wave after wave of Confederate infantrymen who had stupidly been ordered to assault dug-in Yankees uphill and across open ground, and who repeatedly did so with a determination equaled only by the Union infantrymen acting under similar orders at Fredericksburg in December of that same year.
Some twenty years after the war, Hill, in a Century magazine article’ titled “McClellan’s Change of Base and Malvern Hill,” paid justly deserved tribute to the courage and fighting skill of all the men on the field that day by writing, “The battle, with all its melancholy results, proved . . . that the Confederate infantry and Federal artillery, side by side on the same field, need fear no foe on earth.” The statement seems always to be either misquoted or wrongly attributed.
Mr. Reed Replies:
Oops. Thanks to Mr. Morgan for setting me straight. Let’s hope that Yanks and Rebs, in whatever combination, are still unbeatable. I don’t know if our military scares Saddam Hussein, but it sure scares me. that’s to bring the viewer to the event in an unmediated way.” True. In turn, KQED will want to show the other side of the story, too. To get the other side, KQED ought to ask various police departments in this country to supply the films they have of the victims of capital crimes. Then
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