Out of idle curiosity recently, I picked up off my shelf The Civil War: An Aerial Portrait, photography by Sam Abell, text by Brian Pohanka. Lovely book, with its birds' eye views of battlegrounds. The text is, to be sure, quite good as well, both Pohanka's and the quotations from contemporaries who wrote of the War in vivid terms.
None so vivid, perhaps, as this on p.57, which in its poignancy was quite a stunner to this casual reader:
"I looked over my right shoulder and saw that gallant old fellow advancing on the right of our line, almost alone, afoot with his bare sword in his hand, and his face was as black as a thunder cloud; and well it might be, for some of our own men, turning their heads toward him, cried out, 'Behind the haystack!' and he roared out, 'God damn the field officers!' I shall never cease to admire that magnificent fighting general who advanced with his front line, with his sword bare and ready for use, and his swarthy face, burning eye, and square jaw, though long since lifeless dust, are dear to me.
Lieutenant Thomas L. Livermore, U.S.A. on General Israel B. Richardson, U.S.A. Antietam"
The quote is apparently from Livermore's Days and Events: Reflections .
Is it any wonder the General's remains were brought home to Michigan for a hero's reception?. Today, one of the Michigan CWRTs still bears his honorable name: IBR
Be careful of the idle hour. It may catch you quite unprepared.