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Book Information: Battle-Pieces and Aspects of the War

Battle-Pieces and Aspects of the War (1866) [Collection]
by Herman Melville Rating: Weighted - 9.3 / Average - 10.0 of 10 (1 votes) (Rate!)
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Summary (From the publisher):

Herman Melville stopped writing fiction after the publication of The Confidence Man: His Masquerade in 1857; as he entered his forties, he turned to poetry as his literary avocation. His first published book of poems was Battle-Pieces and Aspects of the War (1866), a meditation on the Civil War in short lyric and narrative verses, and a work as ambitious and rich as any that issued from his pen.

Melville was well acquainted with the war. He made many trips south to visit his cousin Henry Gansevoort, a Union officer -- on one such trip, he was active in an unsuccessful pursuit of Confederate raider John Mosby. He had met Abraham Lincoln in Washington, and called upon General Ulysses S. Grant in Virginia in 1864. And his position within his family, whose members were involved in almost every aspect of the war, was close enough to allow him a rare vantage point on this country's greatest conflict.

But Battle-Pieces is anything but epic. Rather than celebratory, the tone of Melville's poem is grievous and disconsolate. "Unmindful, without purposing to be, of consistency" (as Melville puts it in his preface), the poems do not attempt to paint a broad picture of the whole of the war, but rather represent disjoint aspects, each faithful to Melville's impulsive, modern, yet realist view of the tragedy.


  • Misgivings
  • The Conflict of Convictions
  • Apathy and Enthusiasm
  • The March into Virginia
  • Lyon
  • Ball's Bluff
  • Dupont's Round Fight
  • The Stone Fleet
  • Donelson
  • The Cumberland
  • In the Turret
  • The Temeraire
  • A Utilitarian View of the Moniter's Fight
  • Shiloh
  • The Battle for the Mississippi
  • Malvern Hill
  • The Victor of Antietam
  • Battle of Stone River
  • Running the Batteries
  • Stonewall Jackson
  • Stonewall Jackson (Ascribed to a Virginian)
  • Gettysburg
  • The House-Top
  • Look-out Mountain
  • Chattanooga
  • The Armies of the Wilderness
  • On the Photograph of a Corps Commander
  • The Swamp Angel
  • The Battle for the Bay
  • Sheridan at Cedar Creek
  • In the Prison Pen
  • The College Colonel
  • The Eagle of the Blue
  • A Dirge for McPherson
  • At the Cannon's Mouth
  • The March to the Sea
  • The Frenzy in the Wake
  • The Fall of Richmond
  • The Surrender at Appomattox
  • A Canticle
  • The Martyr
  • "The Coming Storm"
  • Rebel Color-bearers at Shiloh
  • The Muster
  • Aurora Borealis
  • The Released Rebel Prisoner
  • A Grave Near Petersburg, Virginia
  • "Formerly a Slave"
  • The Apparition
  • Magnanimity Baffled
  • On the Slain Collegians
  • America
Verses Inscriptive and Memorial
  • On the Home Guards Who Perished in the Defense of Lexington, Missouri
  • Inscription for Graves at Pea Ridge, Arkansas
  • The Fortitude of the North under the Disaster of the Second Manassus
  • On the Men of Maine Killed in the Victory of Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • An Epitaph
  • Inscription for Marves Heights, Fredericksburg
  • The Mound by the Lake
  • On the Slain at Chickamauga
  • An Uninscribed Monument on One of the Battle-fields of the Wilderness
  • On Sherman's Men Who Fell in the Assault of Kenesaw Mountain, Georgia
  • On the grave of a Young Cavalry Officer Killed in the Valley of Virginia
  • A Requiem for Soldiers Lost in Ocean Transports
  • On a Natural Monument in a Field in Georgia
  • Commemorative of a Naval Victory
  • Presentation to the Authorities by Privates of Colors Captured in Battles Ending in the Surrender of Lee
  • The Returned Volunteer to his Rifle
  • The Scout toward Aldie
  • Lee in the Capitol
  • A Meditation

Original title: Battle-Pieces and Aspects of the War: Civil War Poems
Original languages: English


Genre: PoetryVerse

The following works are contained within this one:
     Portent, the (1866) [Poem]
      Author: Herman Melville
     Martyr, the (1866) [Poem]
      Author: Herman Melville
     Shiloh (1866) [Poem]
      Author: Herman Melville
     House-top, the (1866) [Poem]
      Author: Herman Melville
     America (1866) [Poem]
      Author: Herman Melville
     On the Slain Collegians (1866) [Poem]
      Author: Herman Melville

Edition #1: Battle-Pieces and Aspects of the War

Battle-Pieces and Aspects of the War (1866)
Edition Details:

Language: English

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Manifested in:

Battle-Pieces and Aspects of the War (1866)

ISBN: 030680655X

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