28 - On the Photograph of a Corps Commander
On the Photograph of a Corps Commander.
A likely source for the corps commander is General Winfield Scott Hancock. Wounded in the Union repulse of Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg, he was told that as a commander he should not have risked his life, and replied: "There are times when a corps commander's life does not count." Hancock led a decisive charge during the Battle of Spotsylvania over a year later.
Ay, man is manly. Here you see
The warrior-carriage of the head,
And brave dilation of the frame;
And lighting all, the soul that led
In Spottsylvania's charge to victory,
Which justifies his fame.
A cheering picture. It is good
To look upon a Chief like this,
In whom the spirit moulds the form.
Here favoring Nature, oft remiss,
With eagle mien expressive has endued
A man to kindle strains that warm.
Trace back his lineage, and his sires,
Yeoman or noble, you shall find
Enrolled with men of AgincourtMelville links the corps commander’s bravery to those who fought with English King Henry V at the Battle of Agincourt (October 15, 1415), featured in Shakespeare’s Henry V, and (in line 18) the Knights Templar, the 12th – 14th-century Catholic military order that participated in various crusades.,
Heroes who shared great Harry's mind.
Down to us come the knightly Norman fires,
And front the Templars bore.
Nothing can lift the heart of man
Like manhood in a fellow-man.
The thought of heaven's great King afar
But humbles us—too weak to scan;
But manly greatness men can span,
And feel the bonds that draw.