Reminiscences of the Civil War

By John B. Gordon | Go to book overview

CHAPTER Y
PRESENTIMENTS AND FATALISM AMONG SOLDIERS

Wonderful instances of prophetic foresight-- ColonelLomax predicts his death--The vision of a son dying two days before it happened-- GeneralRamseur's furlough--ColonelAugustus Gordon's calm announcemeut of his death--Instances of misplaced fatalism--General D. It. Ilill's indifference to danger.

AT the time of this battle I had brought to my immediate knowledge, for tlle first time, one of those strange presentiments or revelations, whatever they may be called, which so often came to soldiers of both armies. Colonel Tennant Lomax, of Alabama, was one of the leading citizens of that State. He was a man of recognized ability and the most exalted character. With a classic face and superb form, tall, erect, and command- ing, he would have been selected among a thousand men as the ideal soldier. His very presence commanded respect and inspired confidence. None who knew him doubted his certain promotion to high command if his life were spared. The very embodiment of chivalry, he was among the first to respond to the call to arms, and, alas! he was among the earliest martyrs to the cause he so promptly espoused. As he rode into the storm of lead, he turned to me and said: "Give me your hand, Gordon, and let me bid you good-by. I am going to be killed in this battle. I shall be dead in half an hour." I endeavored to remove this impression from his mind, but nothing I could say changed or appeared to modify

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