Selections from Battle-Pieces and Aspects of the War

Herman MELVILLE (1819 - 1891)

Published in 1866, Battle-Pieces and Aspects of the War is a collection of poems about the Civil War by Herman Melville. Many of the poems are inspired by second- and third-hand accounts from print news sources (especially the Rebellion Record) and from family and friends. A handful of trips Melville took before, during, and after the war provide additional angles of vision into the battles, the personalities, and the moods of war. In an opening note, Melville describes his project not so much as a systematic chronicle (though many of the individual poems refer to specific events) but as a kind of memory piece of national experience. The “aspects” to which he refers in the title are as diverse as “the moods of involuntary meditation—moods variable, and at times widely at variance.” Much of the verse is stylistically conventional (more so than modern readers perhaps expect from the author of Moby-Dick), but the shifting subjectivities and unresolved traumas that unfold in the collection merit repeated contemplation. Melville’s Battle-Pieces do not offer a neatly versified narrative of the Civil War but rather kaleidescopic glimpses of shifting emotions and ambivalent reflections of post-war America.(Professor Meredith Neuman)

Genre(s): Single author, War & Military

Language: English

Section Chapter Reader Time
Play 01 01 - The Portent (1859) Clark University
00:00:58
Play 02 02 - Misgivings Clark University
00:01:14
Play 03 03 - The Conflict of Convictions Clark University
00:04:40
Play 04 04 - Apathy and Enthusiasm Clark University
00:02:27
Play 05 05 - The March into Virginia Clark University
00:01:59
Play 06 06 - Lyon Clark University
00:02:56
Play 07 07 - Ball's Bluff Clark University
00:01:21
Play 08 08 - Dupont's Round Fight Clark University
00:00:53
Play 09 09 - The Stone Fleet Clark University
00:02:16
Play 10 10 - Donelson Clark University
00:19:01
Play 11 11 - The Cumberland Clark University
00:02:20
Play 12 12 - In the Turret Clark University
00:02:34
Play 13 13 - The Temeraire Clark University
00:02:45
Play 14 14 - The Utilitarian View of the Monitor's Fight Clark University
00:02:04
Play 15 15 - Shiloh Clark University
00:01:32
Play 16 16 - The Battle for the Mississippi Clark University
00:02:42
Play 17 17 - Malvern Hill Clark University
00:01:53
Play 18 18 - The Victor of Antietam Clark University
00:02:55
Play 19 19 - Battle of Stone River Clark University
00:02:43
Play 20 20 - Running the Batteries Clark University
00:04:20
Play 21 21 - Stonewall Jackson Clark University
00:01:11
Play 22 22 - Stonewall Jackson (ascribed to a Virginian) Clark University
00:02:51
Play 23 23 - Gettysburg Clark University
00:01:54
Play 24 24 - The House-top Clark University
00:02:42
Play 25 25 - Look-out Mountain Clark University
00:01:15
Play 26 26 - Chattanooga Clark University
00:03:40
Play 27 27 - The Armies of the Wilderness Clark University
00:09:33
Play 28 28 - On the Photograph of a Corps Commander Clark University
00:01:25
Play 29 29 - The Swamp Angel Clark University
00:02:36
Play 30 30 - The Battle for the Bay Clark University
00:06:58
Play 31 31 - Sheridan at Cedar Creek Clark University
00:02:17
Play 32 32 - In the Prison Pen Clark University
00:01:23
Play 33 33 - The College Colonel Clark University
00:01:44
Play 34 34 - The Eagle of the Blue Clark University
00:01:24
Play 35 35 - A Dirge for McPherson Clark University
00:01:35
Play 36 36 - At the Cannon's Mouth Clark University
00:02:22
Play 37 37 - The March to the Sea Clark University
00:03:48
Play 38 38 - The Frenzy in the Wake Clark University
00:01:41
Play 39 39 - The Fall of Richmond Clark University
00:01:20
Play 40 40 - The Surrender at Appomattox Clark University
00:01:11
Play 41 41 - A Canticle Clark University
00:02:59
Play 42 42 - The Martyr Clark University
00:01:36
Play 43 43 - 'The Coming Storm' Clark University
00:01:01
Play 44 44 - Rebel Color-bearers at Shiloh Clark University
00:02:28
Play 45 45 - The Muster Clark University
00:01:32
Play 46 46 - Aurora Borealis Clark University
00:01:23
Play 47 47 - The released Rebel Prisoner Clark University
00:02:44
Play 48 48 - A Grave near Petersburg, Virginia Clark University
00:01:12
Play 49 49 - 'Formerly a Slave' Clark University
00:01:12
Play 50 50 - The Apparition Clark University
00:01:16
Play 51 51 - Magnanimity Baffled Clark University
00:01:11
Play 52 52 - On the Slain Collegians Clark University
00:02:44
Play 53 53 - America Clark University
00:02:42
Play 54 54 - An Epitaph Clark University
00:00:58
Play 55 55 - The Mound by the Lake Clark University
00:01:04
Play 56 56 - Commemorative of a Naval Victory Clark University
00:01:57