Reminiscences of the Civil War

By John B. Gordon | Go to book overview

his great exhibitions is said to have had the strings of his violin break, one after another, until he had but one left. Undismayed by these serious mishaps, and pointing to his dismantled instrument, he proudly exclaimed to the audience that he still had left, "One string and Paganini!" Jefferson Davis, holding to the Confederate capital, notwithstanding every line of railroad except one had been broken by the enemy, was yet confident, and felt in his heart that he still had enough left in the "one string and Lee's army."

Having heard the commander's report of his interviews in Richmond, I asked:

"What, then, is to be done, general?"

He replied that there seemed to be but one thing that we could do -- fight. To stand still was death. It could only be death if we fought and failed.

This was the prelude to my assault upon Fort Stedman on March 25, 1865 -- the last Confederate attack on Grant's lines at Petersburg.

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