You’ll take my life but I’ll take yours too
You’ll fire your musket but I’ll run you through
So when you’re waiting for the next attack
You’d better stand there’s no turning back
The bugle sounds as the charge begins
But on this battlefield no one wins
The smell of acrid smoke and horses breath
As you plunge into a certain death
The horse he sweats with fear we break to run
The mighty roar of the Russian guns
And as we race towards the human wall
The screams of pain as my comrades fall
We hurdle bodies that lay on the ground
And as the Russians fire another round
We get so near yet so far away
We won’t live to fight another day
We get so close near enough to fight
When a Russian gets me in his sights
He pulls the trigger and I feel the blow
A burst of rounds takes my horse below
And as I lay there gazing at the sky
My body’s numb and my throat is dry
And as I lay forgotten and alone
Without a tear I draw my parting groan
We chase misprinted lies
We face the path of time
And yet I fight
And yet I fight
This battle all alone
No one to cry to
No place to call home
My gift of self is raped
My privacy is raked
And yet I find
And yet I find
Repeating in my head
If I can’t be my own
I’d feel better dead
Nutshell : Layne Staley and Jerry Cantrell
The 1st NC Cav. was the first full regiment of Cavalry organized in defense of the confederate States.
Gen. J. E. B. Stuart
The Valentine Museum, Cook Collection, Richmond, Virginia
There is no regiment in the cavalry that had the post of honor assigned to it so often as did the 1st NC. Whenever the commanding general, be he Stuart, Hampton, Lee, Baker, Gordon, or Barringer, had a desperate movement to make, the call was always made for the 1st NC. When General Stuart went on his raid into Pennsylvania in 1862, Lt. Barrier, of “I” Co. led the advance across the Potomac, and Capt. Cowles, with “A” Co., protected his rear and was the last to cross the same on the return to Virginia.
Again, when at Auburn Mills, lines of federal infantry surrounded General Stuart’s entire command, he called for the 1st NC to open a way for him to withdraw.
Not only did the superior officers call for this regiment in critical emergencies, but I have known them to refer other commands to it as a means of enticing them to deeds of daring… on one occasion, in the heat of battle, General Hampton dashed up to his command and thus addressed them: “Men of the 3rd NC Cav, I want you to charge the enemy, and I want you to go at them like the 1st goes at them.”
An officer of the 1st Maine (Cav), after the surrender, speaking of his regiment, made the proud boast that it was never driven from the field of battle but once during the war, but said he: “…we consider that no disgrace or reflection, for it was done by the 1st NC Cav”.
At the battle of Sharpsburg the picket line of the 1st NC Cav. was the last troops to be withdrawn from the battlefield.
A commission in the 1st NC Cav. means “a hole in your hide!” Every field officer it ever had, except Colonel Ransom, was either killed or wounded.
At the famous cavalry battle at Brandy Station, on June 9, 1863, Colonel Baker reported that the regiment was engaged at various times from early in the morning to late in the evening. In the morning the entire regiment was engaged in fighting the enemy’s infantry and successfully drove them back. Later the regiment made two charges on cavalry, capturing the standard of the Tenth Regiment New York Cavalry and routing them.
The 1st NC Cav. had the honor of leading the Cavalry in all review occasions; they occupied the right.
The day before the battle of Brandy Station, Jeb Stuart’s Cavalry Corps of 9,000 troopers conducted a grand review for General Lee. At one point Jeb Stuart turned to General Lee and proudly acclaimed and boasted that the 1st NC Cav. was his finest Cavalry Regiment in the Corps.
“The Old Guard of Napoleon never on any field of battle more forcibly illustrated the effect of discipline and the power of cool courage than did the 1st NC Cav…” The Tribune, Columbia, S.C., March 4, 1862.
“It was my good fortune to have the 1st NC Cav, in my command during the war, and I always attributed much of the efficiency of this notable regiment to its first colonel,” said afterwards by the distinguished General Robert Ransom. “To him was due, in large measure, those soldierly qualities which won his old regiment its high reputation (a reputation it deserved), for, in my opinion, there was no finer a body of men in the Army of Northern Virginia than those composing the 1st NC Cav.”
“On every field this regiment displayed conspicuous gallantry, your State, which furnished so many gallant soldiers to the Confederacy, gave none who upheld her honor and reflected a glory on our flag more bravely than did the First Regiment of North Carolina Cavalry”, General Wade Hampton.
The Battle for Berlin January – May 1945
Berlin Internal Links
The Eastern Front had been relatively stable since the end of Operation Bagration in late 1944. The Germans had lost Budapest and most of Hungary. Romania and Hungary were forced to surrender and declare war on Germany. The Polish plain was open to the Soviet Red Army.
The Soviet commanders,(Zhukov,Koniev) after waiting for the Germans to reduce the Polish Home Army, took Warsaw in January 1945. Over three days, on a broad front incorporating four army groups (fronts,) the Red Army began an offensive across the Oder River and from Warsaw. After four days the Red Army broke out and started moving twenty to twenty-five miles a day, conquering the Baltics, Danzig, East Prussia, Poznan, and drawing up on a line thirty-six miles outside of Berlin.
A counterattack by the newly created Army Group Vistula failed by February 24, and the Russians drove on Pomerania and cleared the right bank of the Oder River. In the south, three attempts to relieve the encircled Budapest failed and the city fell on February 13. Again the Germans counterattacked, Hitler insisting on the impossible task of regaining the Danube River. By March 16 the attack had failed and the Red Army counterattacked the same day. On March 30 they entered Austria and captured Vienna on April 13.
Only a twelfth or less of the gasoline needed by the Wehrmacht was available. Fighter and tank production was down, and the quality was much less than in 1944. The war was clearly over, but the Germans would hold out for almost a month. The fighting was would be fierce; national pride and the desire to gain time for refugees to get to the west led German units to fight bitterly.
By April 1, 1945, the Russians were outside Berlin. They built up for two weeks, knowing that Berlin would be heavily contested. The Western Allies planned to drop paratroops to take Berlin, but decided against it. Eisenhower saw no need to suffer casualties taking a city that would be in the Soviet sphere of influence once the war was over.
Adolf Hitler, who never thought Berliners supported him the way he deserved, decided to remain in the city. Some think he remained to punish the city for lack of support in the early days of Nazism; more likely there was nowhere to go. The Battle of Berlin would be the deciding conflict between Nazism and Communism.
The offensive began with thousands of artillery and rockets called “Stalin Organs” for their hideous shrieking noise opening a huge sustained barrage for days. On April 16, the First and Second Belorussian Fronts and the First Ukrainian Front, which boxed in Berlin from the North, West, and South, attacked. By April 24 the three army groups had completed the encirclement of the city.
The next day the Fifth Guard Tank Army linked with the US Fist Army at Torgau, Germany on the Elbe River. On April 20, Hitler ordered the Twelfth Army facing the Americans and the Ninth Army to break into Berlin and relieve the siege. Neither unit was able to get through.
Berlin’s fate was sealed, but the resistance continued. Fighting was heavy, with house-to-house and hand-to-hand combat. The Soviets sustained 305,000 dead; the Germans sustained as many as 325,000, including civilians.At this point the defender’s of Berlin were a motley scratched together group of young teenagers in the Hitler Youth, old men and boys in the Volkssturm units, and a few die hard SS units.
On April 30, Adolf Hitler married Eva Braun, took cyanide and shot himself. Berlin surrendered on May 2. Soviet soldiers ransacked the city, raping 100,000 German women of all ages and looting anything of value.
The Battle of Berlin was over, and with it went the Third Reich. The thousand-year Reich had lasted for twelve years, and 50 million people were dead. The German Surrender was signed on May 7 in Rheims, France.
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