11 January 1862: “The Bayonet the Weapon”

Item description: newspaper article “The Bayonet the Weapon” in The Floridian and Journal, 11 January 1862.

Item transcription:

The Bayonet the Weapon

It is a noteworthy fact that in every battle with the enemy, whenever the bayonet has been resort to by the Confederate troops, victory has instantly followed.  It is a mode of fighting that the Yankees dread more than they do the small-pox, and a mode too, which they themselves rarely resort to.  A participant in the glorious battle of Greenbrier river informs a cotemporary [sic] that he himself heard the Yankee General repeatedly call upon regiment after regiment of his valiant heroes to “charge the d__d rebels,” and that they declined to budge an inch.  He singled out particular regiments invoking them to charge, but they respectfully declined; and he then called upon select companies in those regiments, but none of them had a stomach for the job.  He then called upon the officers, with a volley of oaths, to lead their men to “the imminent deadly breach,” but the officers replied that unless they carried the men on their shoulders, there was no way of getting them there.  At last, he offered to pay them if they would “charge the d__d rebels,” but even that all powerful influence failed to bring them to the scratch.  We understood that at Drainsville [sic], where they numbered fifteen thousand to our sixteen hundred, and on several occasions, they manifested a similar disinclination to come into close quarters.  At the battle of Alleghany, outnumbering us five to one, they took to their heels incontinently of every charge of the bayonet.  These facts should impress upon our men the value of the cold steel of Southern hands, and impress upon them the importance of bringing the enemy to close quarters whenever it is prcaticable [sic].

Citation: The Floridian and Journal, 11 January 1862 (volume 14, number 3), page 2, column 2.  Tallahassee, Florida.  Bound in: “Civil War Newspapers” Jan 15, 1861–Jan 27, 1865; call number C071 Z, North Carolina Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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