List of Quotes from the Civil War
Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. - Abraham Lincoln
It is told that when Robert E. Lee was asked who was the greatest General the war produced on either side, he replied... "A man I never met...Nathan Bedford Forrest is his name."
They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance. - Union General John Sedgwick spoke these words just moments before being shot dead by a confederate sniper at Spotsylvania.
Look at Jackson's brigade! It stands there like a stone wall! - Confederate General Barnard E. Bee of South Carolina gave this description of Stonewall Jackson's brigade at First Manassas.
War is cruelty. There is no use trying to reform it. The crueler it is, the sooner it will be over. - Union General William T. Sherman said this shortly before beginning his brutal March to the Sea.
I can only say that I am nothing but a poor sinner, trusting in Christ alone for salvation. - Robert E. Lee spoke these words to his army's chaplains.
It is well that war is so terrible - we should grow too fond of it. - Robert E. Lee gave this observation while watching thousands of Union soldiers sent to the slaughter at Fredericksburg.
My religious belief teaches me to feel as safe in battle as in bed. God has fixed the time for my death. I do not concern myself about that, but to always be ready, no matter when it may overtake me. - Stonewall Jackson
Gen. Grant habitually wears an expression as if he had determined to drive his head through a brick wall and was about to do it. - A Union soldier
Sending armies to McClellan is like shoveling fleas across a barnyard. Not half of them get there. - Abraham Lincoln
If the Confederacy falls, there should be written on its tombstone: Died of a Theory. - Jefferson Davis
In the name of the constitution of Texas, which has been trampled upon, I refuse to take this oath. I love Texas too well to bring civil strife and bloodshed upon her. - Sam Houston
Why do men fight who were born to be brothers? - General James Longstreet
South Carolina is too small for a republic and too large for an insane asylum. - James Petigru, upon hearing of South Carolina's secession.
Every man must be for the United States or against it. There can be no neutrals in this war, only patriots - or traitors. - Sen. Stephen Douglas, 1861
I would make this war as severe as possible, and show no symptoms of tiring till the South begs for mercy. - Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman, September, 1863
I think I understand what military fame is; to be killed on the field of battle and have your name misspelled in the newspapers. - Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman
Retreat? NO. I propose to attack at daylight and whip them. - Ulysses S. Grant, to Col McPherson, Shiloh, 1862
The scenes on this field would have cured anybody of war. - Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman
My God! My God! What will the country say? - Abraham Lincoln, responding to the news of the Union defeat at Chancellorsville, May 1863
I don't care for John Pope one pinch of owl dung. - Major General Samuel Sturgis
We were just drove in to the slotter [sic] pen... our men fell like grass before the sythe. - S.F. Buchanan, 48th Virginia Infantry - Pearce Collection Letters
The war is over. The men...long to return to their homes. - George, Appomattox Courthouse, April 10, 1865 - Pearce Collection Letters
Lee's whole army is here, as is also ours. I suppose there will be no cessation from fighting until one of the two armies is annihilated. - Dr. Charles Wheeler, Surgeon, 12 Mass. Volunteers - Pearce Collection Letters
I have seen my first real battle and hope it is the last. I never want to see men die in heaps as I did Sunday... - Seth Gilbert Evans, Company C, 57th New York Volunteers - Pearce Collection Letters
If this place is not a Hell on Earth, I don't know where to find one - William Hayward Follett, 3rd Army, 5th Mass., writing about Libby Prison - Pearce Collection Letters
I think I could have walked from 1/4 to 1/2 mile on dead Rebels without once even stepping on the ground. - Dennis Tuttle, 20th Indiana Volunteer Infantry, following the Battle of Gettysburg - Pearce Collection Letters
Horses and men, living and dead were mingled together on the field...but it was horrid and it made my heart sick to see it. - Dennis Tuttle, 20th Indiana Volunteer Infantry, following the Battle of Gettysburg - Pearce Collection Letters