The Atlantic

Can’t Impeach Trump? Go After His Cabinet.

The story of William Belknap provides a way forward for Democrats.
Source: Bebeto Matthews / AP

On July 21 and 22, 1864, Confederate soldiers under John Bell Hood went on the offensive in an attempt to blunt William T. Sherman’s advance toward Atlanta. Union artillery forces dug in behind fortifications at a place called Leggett’s Hill, east of the city. A Confederate battalion charged the hill. Encountering withering fire, many of the rebels died, and others fell back. Though their commander, Colonel Harris Lampley, was wounded as well, he refused to retreat, and loudly cursed his troops as cowards.

At this point, a Union colonel jumped over the earthworks, one Iowa volunteer later recalled. The officer seized Lampley by the collar, spun him around to face his decimated rebel force, and shouted, “Look at your men! They are all dead! What are you cursing them for?” Lampley ended the day as a Union prisoner; Hood’s offensive failed, and Atlanta fell on September 2.

The daring Union colonel was named William W. Belknap. By war’s end, his heroism

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic6 min readPolitics
The Lasting Lesson of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
For the first time in its history, NATO does not have a strong, principled American leader to guide it.
The Atlantic3 min read
The Persistent Complexity of Tool
Back with new music after a 13-year hiatus, the legendary metal band is as precise and devastating as it has always been.
The Atlantic5 min read
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark Doesn’t Get What Makes Stories Scary
The film adaptation of the creepy children’s books is a serviceable homage, but it dilutes the power of the original tales.