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CornuGHT, 1885, 

(All right* reserved.) 

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Press of J. J. Little & Co., 
No«. 10 to so Astor Place, New York. 

• • • » * 

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* • 





First Meeting with Secretary Stanton— General Rose- 
crans— Commanding Military Division of Missis- 
sippi — Andrew Johnson's Address — Arrival at 
Chattanooga * 17-30 


Assuming the Command at Chattanooga — Opening a 
Line of Supplies — Battle of Wauhatchie — On the 
Picket Line 31-43 


Condition of the Army — Rebuilding the Railroad 
— General Burnside's Situation— Orders for Bat- 
tle—Plans for the Attack— Hooker's Position 
—Sherman's Movements 44-60 


Preparations for Battle— Thomas Carries the First 
Line of the Enemy — Sherman Carries Missionary 
Ridge — Battle of Lookout Mountain — General 
Hooker's Fight 61-74 


Battle of Chattanooga— A Gallant Charge— Complete 
Rout of the Enemy— Pursuit of the Confederates 
—General Bragg— Remarks on Chattanooga 75-88 




The Relief of Knoxville— Headquarters moved to 
Nashville— Visiting Knoxville— Cipher Dispatches 
— Withholding Orders 89-106 


Operations in Mississippi— Longstreet in East Tennes- 
see—Commissioned Lieutenant-Genera l— Command- 
ing the Armies of the United States— First In- 
terview with President Lincoln 107-123 


The Military Situation — Plans for the Campaign — 
Sheridan assigned to Command of the Cavalry — 
Flank Movements— Forrest at Fort Pillow— Gen- 
eral Banks's Expedition — Colonel Mosby — An Inci- 
dent of the Wilderness Campaign 124-145 


Commencement of the Grand Campaign— General But- 
ler's Position— Sheridan's First Raid 146-1 57 


Sherman's Campaign in Georgia — Siege of Atlanta — 
Death of General McPherson — Attempt to Cap- 
ture Andersonville— Capture of Atlanta 158-176 


Grand Movement of the Army of the Potomac — Cross- 
ing the Rapidan— Entering the Wilderness — Bat- 
tle of the Wilderness 177-203 


After the Battle— Telegraph and Signal Service- 
Movement by the Left Flank 204-216 


Battle of Spottsylvania— Hancock's Position— Assault 
of Warren's and Wright's Corps— Upton Promoted 
on the Field— Good News from Butler and Sheri- 
dan 21 7-227 




Hancock's Assault— Losses of the Confederates — Pro- 
motions Recommended — Discomfiture of the Enemy 

— E well's Attack — Reducing the Artillery 228-242 



Movement by the Left Flank— Battle of North Anna 
— An Incident of the March — Moving on Richmond 
— South of the Pamunkey — Position of the Na- 
tional Army ." 243-263 


Advance on Cold Harbor — An Anecdote of the War — 
Battle of Cold Harbor— Correspondence with Lee 
— Retrospective 264-278 


Left Flank Movement across the Chickahominy and 
James — General Lee — Visit to Butler—The Move- 
ment on Petersburg — The Investment of Peters- 
burg 279-299 


Raid on the Virginia Central Railroad — Raid on the 
Weldon Railroad— Early's Movement upon Wash- 
ington—Mining the Works before Petersburg— Ex- 
plosion of the Mine before Petersburg — Campaign 
in the Shenandoah Valley— Capture of the Wel- 
don Railroad 300-325 


Sheridan's Advance — Visit to Sheridan— Sheridan's 
Victory in the Shenandoah— Sheridan's Ride to 
Winchester— Close of the Campaign for the Win- 
ter 326-343 


The Campaign in Georgia— Sherman's March to the 
Sea — War Anecdotes— The March on Savannah — 
Investment of Savannah— Capture of Savannah 344-376 




The Battle of Franklin— The Battle of Nashville. ... 377-386 


Expedition against Fort Fisher— Attack on the Fort 
— Failure of the Expedition — Second Expedition 
against the Fort— Capture of Fort Fisher 387-399 


Sherman's March North— Sheridan Ordered to Lynch- 
burg — Canby Ordered to Move against Mobile — 
Movements of Schofield and Thomas— Capture of 
Columbia, South Carolina— Sherman in the Caro- 
linas 400-419 


Arrival of the Peace Commissioners— Lincoln and the 
Peace Commissioners — An Anecdote of Lincoln — 
The Winter before Petersburg — Sheridan Destroys 
the Railroad — Gordon Carries the Picket Line— 
Parke Recaptures the Line— The Battle of White 
Oak Road 420-43 5 


Interview with Sheridan — Grand Movement of the 
Army of the Potomac — Sheridan's Advance on Five 
Forks — Battle of Five Forks — Parke and Wright 
Storm the Enemy's Line — Battles before Peters- 
burg 43^-453 


The Capture of Petersburg— Meeting President Lin- 
coln in Petersburg — The Capture of Richmond — 
Pursuing the Enemy — Visit to Sheridan and Meade 454-469 


Battle of Sailor's Creek— Engagement at Farmville— 
Correspondence with General Lee— Sheridan in- 
tercepts the Enemy 470-482 




Negotiations at Appomattox — Interview with Lee at 
McLean's House— The Terms of Surrender— Lee's 
Surrender — Interview with Lee after the Surren- 
der 483-498 


Morale of the two Armies — Relative Conditions of 
the North and South — President Lincoln visits 
Richmond — Arrival at Washington — President 
Lincoln's Assassination— President Johnson's Pol- 
icy 499-512 


Sherman and Johnston— Johnston's Surrender to 
Sherman— Capture of Mobile— Wilson's Expedition 
—Capture of Jefferson Davis— General Thomas's 
Qualities— Estimate of General Canby 513-526 


The End of the War — The March to Washington- 
One of Lincoln's Anecdotes— Grand Review at 
Washington — Characteristics of Lincoln and 
Stanton— Estimate of the different Corps Com- 
manders 527-541 


APPENDIX 555-632 

INDEX 633-647 




Lieutenant-General U. S. Grant, Engraved on Steel, by 

Wm. E. Marshall Frontispiece 

Map of Knoxville, Nashville and Chattanooga 23 

Map of Chattanooga and Vicinity $3 

Map of the Battlefield of Chattanooga 65 

Map of the Meridian Campaign 1 1 1 

Map of Bermuda Hundred 149 

Map of Sherman's Campaign, Chattanooga to Atlanta 161 

Map Illustrating Siege of Atlanta 173 

Map of Wilderness Campaign 179 

Map of the Battle of the Wilderness 189 

Map of the Country between the Wilderness and Spott- 

sylvania Court House 209 

Map of the Battle of Spottsylvania 219 

Map of the Battle of North Anna 247 

Map of the Operations between the Pamunkey and the 

James Rivers 257 

Map of Central Virginia 261 

Map of the Battle of Cold Harbor 267 

Map of Richmond * 309 

Map of the Shenandoah Valley Campaign 330 

Map of Sherman's March to the Sea 360 

Map of the Nashville Campaign South 381 

Map of Fort Fisher 389 

Map of Sherm an's March North 407 

Map of Petersburg and Five Forks 441 

Map of the Appomattox Campaign 457 

Map of Jetersville and Sailor's Creek 471 

Map of High Bridge and Farmville 475 

Map of Appomattox Court House 487 

Etching of McLean's House at Appomattox where General 

Lee's Surrender took Place 488 

Fac-simile of the Original Terms of Lee's Surrender as 

Written by General Grant 496 

Map of the Defences of the City of Mobile 520 

Map of the Seat of War— 1861 to 1865 632 







THE reply (to my telegram of October 16, 1863, 
from Cairo, announcing my arrival at that 
point) came on the morning of the 1 7th, directing 
me to proceed immediately to the Gait House, Louis- 
ville, where I would meet an officer of the War De- 
partment with my instructions. I left Cairo within 
an hour or two after the receipt of this dispatch, 
going by rail via Indianapolis. Just as the train I 
was on was starting out of the depot at Indianapolis 
a messenger came running up to stop it, saying the 

Vol. il— 2 


Secretary of War was coming into the station and 
wanted to see me. 

I had never met Mr. Stanton up to that time, 
though we had held frequent conversations over the 
wires the year before, when I was in Tennessee. 
Occasionally at night he would order the wires be- 
tween the War Department and my headquarters to 
be connected, and we would hold a conversation for 
an hour or two. On this occasion the Secretary was 
accompanied by Governor Brough of Ohio, whom I 
had never met, though he and my father had been 
old acquaintances. Mr. Stanton dismissed the spe- 
cial train that had brought him to Indianapolis, and 
accompanied me to Louisville. 

Up to this time no hint had been given me of 
what was wanted after I left Vicksburg, except the 
suggestion in one of Halleck's dispatches that I had 
better go to Nashville and superintend the operation 
of troops sent to relieve Rosecrans. Soon after we 
started the Secretary handed me two orders, saying 
that I might take my choice of them. The two were 
identical in all but one particular. Both created the 
" Military Division of the Mississippi," (giving me 
the command) composed of the Departments of the 
Ohio, the Cumberland, and the Tennessee, and all 
the territory from the Alleghanies to the Mississippi 
River north of Banks's command in the south-west. 
One order left the department commanders as they 


were, while the other relieved Rosecrans and as- 
signed Thomas to his place. I accepted the latter. 
We reached Louisville after night and, if I remem- 
ber rightly, in a cold, drizzling rain. The Secretary 
of War told me afterwards that he caught a cold on 
that occasion from which he never expected to re- 
cover. He never did. 

A day was spent in Louisville, the Secretary giv- 
ing me the military news at the capital and talking 
about the disappointment at the results of some 
of the campaigns. By the evening of the day after 
our arrival all matters of discussion seemed ex- 
hausted, and I left the hotel to spend the evening 
away, both Mrs. Grant (who was with me) and my- 
self having relatives living in Louisville. In the 
course of the evening Mr. Stanton received a dis- 
patch from Mr. C. A. Dana, then in Chattanooga, 
informing him that unless prevented Rosecrans 
would retreat, and advising peremptory orders 
against his doing so. 

As stated before, after the fall of Vicksburg I 
urged strongly upon the government the propriety 
of a movement against Mobile. General Rosecrans 
had been at Murfreesboro', Tennessee, with a large 
and well-equipped army from early in the year 1863, 
with Bragg confronting him with a force quite equal 
to his own at first, considering it was on the defen- 
sive. But after the investment of Vicksburg Bragg's 


army was largely depleted to strengthen Johnston, 
in Mississippi, who was being reinforced to raise the 
siege. I frequently wrote General Halleck suggest- 
ing that Rosecrans should move against Bragg. By 
so doing he would either detain the latter s troops 
where they were or lay Chattanooga open to capt- 
ure. General Halleck strongly approved the sug- 
gestion, and finally wrote me that he had repeatedly 
ordered Rosecrans to advance, but that the latter 
had constantly failed to comply with the order, and 
at last, after having held a council of war, had re- 
plied in effect that it was a military maxim " not to 
fight two decisive battles at the same time." If true, 
the maxim was not applicable in this case. It would 
be bad to be defeated in two decisive battles fought 
the same day, but it would not be bad to win them. 
I, however, was fighting no battle, and the siege of 
Vicksburg had drawn from Rosecrans' front so many 
of the enemy that his chances of victory were much 
greater than they would be if he waited until the 
siege was over, when these troops could be returned. 
Rosecrans was ordered to move against the army 
that was detaching troops to raise the siege. Fi- 
nally he did move, on the 24th of June, but ten days 
afterwards Vicksburg surrendered, and the troops 
sent from Bragg were free to return. 

It was at this time that I recommended to the 
* ^eneral-in-chief the movement against Mobile. I 


knew the peril the Army of the Cumberland was in, 
being depleted continually, not only by ordinary 
casualties, but also by having to detach troops to 
hold its constantly extending line over which to 
draw supplies, while the enemy in front was as con- 
stantly being strengthened. Mobile was important 
to the enemy, and in the absence of a threatening 
force was guarded by little else than artillery. If 
threatened by land and from the water at the same 
time the prize would fall easily, or troops would have 
to be sent to its defence. Those troops would neces- 
sarily come from Bragg. My judgment was over- 
ruled, and the troops under my command were dissi- 
pated over other parts of the country where it was 
thought they could render the most service. 

Soon it was discovered in Washington that Rose- 
crans was in trouble and required assistance. The 
emergency was now too immediate to allow us to 
give this assistance by making an attack in rear of 
Bragg upon Mobile. It was therefore necessary to 
reinforce directly, and troops were sent from every 
available point. 

Rosecrans had very skilfully manoeuvred Bragg 
south of the Tennessee River, and through and be- 
yond Chattanooga. If he had stopped and in- 
trenched, and made himself strong there, all would 
have been right and the mistake of not moving ear- 
lier partially compensated. But he pushed on, with 


his forces very much scattered, until Bragg's troops 
from Mississippi began to join him. Then Bragg 
took the initiative. Rosecrans had to fall back in 
turn, and was able to get his army together at Chicka- 
mauga, some miles south-east of Chattanooga, before 
the main battle was brought on. The battle was 
fought on the 19th and 20th of September, and 
Rosecrans was badly defeated, with a heavy loss in 
artillery and some sixteen thousand men killed, 
wounded and captured. The corps under Major- 
General George H. Thomas stood its ground, while 
Rosecrans, with Crittenden and McCook, returned 
to Chattanooga. Thomas returned also, but later, 
and with his troops in good order. Bragg followed 
and took possession of Missionary Ridge, overlook- 
ing Chattanooga. He also occupied Lookout Moun- 
tain, west of the town, which Rosecrans had aban- 
doned, and with it his control of the river and the 
river road as far back as Bridgeport. The National 
troops were now strongly intrenched in Chattanooga 
Valley, with the Tennessee River behind them and 
the enemy occupying commanding heights to the 
east and west, with a strong line across the valley 
from mountain to mountain, and with Chattanooga 
Creek, for a large part of the way, in front of their 

On the 29th Halleck telegraphed me the above 
results, and directed all the forces that could be 


spared from my department to be sent to Rosecrans. 
Long before this dispatch was received Sherman was 
on his way, and McPherson was moving east with 
most of the garrison of Vicksburg. 

A retreat at that time would have been a terrible 
disaster. It would not only have been the loss of a 
most important strategic position to us, but it would 
have been attended with the loss of all the artillery 
still left with the Army of the Cumberland and the 
annihilation of that army itself, either by capture or 

All supplies for Rosecrans had to be brought from 
Nashville. The railroad between this base and the 
army was in possession of the government up to 
Bridgeport, the point at which the road crosses to 
the south side of the Tennessee River ; but Bragg, 
holding Lookout and Raccoon mountains west of 
Chattanooga, commanded the railroad, the river 
and the shortest and best wagon-roads, both south 
and north of the Tennessee, between Chattanooga 
and Bridgeport. The distance between these two 
places is but twenty-six miles by rail ; but owing 
to the position of Bragg, all supplies for Rosecrans 
had to be hauled by a circuitous route north of 
the river and over a mountainous country, increas- 
ing the distance to over sixty miles. 

This country afforded but little food for his ani- 
mals, nearly ten thousand of which had already 


starved, and not enough were left to draw a single 
piece of artillery or even the ambulances to convey 
the sick. The men had been on half rations of hard 
bread for a considerable time, with but few other 
supplies except beef driven from Nashville across 
the country. The region along the road became so 
exhausted of food for the cattle that by the time 
they reached Chattanooga they were much in the 
condition of the few animals left alive there — "on 
the lift" Indeed, the beef was so poor that the sol- 
diers were in the habit of saying, with a faint face- 
tiousness, that they were living on "half rations of 
hard bread and beef dried on the hoof." 

Nothing could be transported but food, and the 
troops were without sufficient shoes or other cloth- 
ing suitable for the advancing season. What they 
had was well worn. The fuel within the Federal lines 
was exhausted, even to the stumps of trees. There 
were no teams to draw it from the opposite bank, 
where it was abundant. The only way of supplying 
fuel, for some time before my arrival, had been to cut 
trees on the north bank of the river at a considerable 
distance up the stream, form rafts of it and float it 
down with the current, effecting a landing on the 
south side within our lines by the use of paddles or 
poles. It would then be carried on the shoulders of 
the men to their camps. 

If a retreat had occurred at this time it is not prob- 


able that any of the army would have reached the 
railroad as an organized body, if followed by the 

On the receipt of Mr. Dana's dispatch Mr. Stan- 
ton sent for me. Finding that I was out he became 
nervous and excited, inquiring of every person he 
met, including guests of the house, whether they 
knew where I was, and bidding them find me and 
send me to him at once. About eleven o'clock I re- 
turned to the hotel, and on my way, when near the 
house, every person met was a messenger from the 
Secretary, apparently partaking of his impatience to 
see me. I hastened to the room of the Secretary and 
found him pacing the floor rapidly in his dressing- 
gown. Saying that the retreat must be prevented, 
he showed me the dispatch. I immediately wrote an 
order assuming command of the Military Division of 
the Mississippi, and telegraphed it to General Rose- 
crans. I then telegraphed to him the order from 
Washington assigning Thomas to the command of 
the Army of the Cumberland ; and to Thomas that 
he must hold Chattanooga at all hazards, informing 
him at the same time that I would be at the front as 
soon as possible. A prompt reply was received 
from Thomas, saying, " We will hold the town 
till we starve." I appreciated the force of this 
dispatch later when I witnessed the condition of 
affairs which prompted it. It looked, indeed, as if 


but two courses were open : one to starve, the other 
to surrender or be captured. 

On the morning of the 20th of October I started, 
with my staff, and proceeded as far as Nashville. At 
that time it was not prudent to travel beyond that 
point by night, so I remained in Nashville until the 
next morning. Here I met for the first time Andrew 
Johnson, Military Governor of Tennessee. He de- 
livered a speech of welcome. His composure showed 
that it was by no means his maiden effort. It was 
long, and I was in torture while he was delivering it, 
fearing something would be expected from me in 
response. I was relieved, however, the people as- 
sembled having apparently heard enough. At all 
events they commenced a general hand-shaking, 
which, although trying where there is so much of 
it, was a great relief to me in this emergency. 

From Nashville I telegraphed to Burnside, who 
was then at Knoxville, that important points in his 
department ought to be fortified, so that they could 
be held with the least number of men ; to Admiral 
Porter at Cairo, that Sherman's advance had passed 
Eastport, Mississippi, that rations were probably on 
their way from St. Louis by boat for supplying his 
army, and requesting him to send a gunboat to con- 
voy them; and to Thomas, suggesting that large 
parties should be put at work on the wagon-road 
then in use back to Bridgeport. 


On the morning of the 21st we took the train for 
the front, reaching Stevenson, Alabama, after dark. 
Rosecrans was there on his way north. He came 
into my car and we held a brief interview, in which he 
described very clearly the situation at Chattanooga, 
and made some excellent suggestions as to what 
should be done. My only wonder was that he had 
not carried them out. We then proceeded to Bridge- 
port, where we stopped for the night. From here 
we took horses and made our way by Jasper and 
over Waldron's Ridge to Chattanooga, There had 
been much rain, and the roads were almost impassable 
from mud, knee-deep in places, and from wash-outs 
on the mountain sides. I had been on crutches since 
the time of my fall in New Orleans, and had to be 
carried over places where it was not safe to cross 
on horseback. The roads were strewn with the 
debris of broken wagons and the carcasses of thou- 
sands of starved mules and horses. At Jasper, 
some ten or twelve miles from Bridgeport, there 
was a halt. General O. O. Howard had his head- 
quarters there. From this point I telegraphed Burn- 
side to make every effort to secure five hundred 
rounds of ammunition for his artillery and small- 
arms. We stopped for the night at a little hamlet 
some ten or twelve miles farther on. The next day 
we reached Chattanooga a little before dark. I 
went directly to General Thomas's headquarters, and 


remaining there a few days, until I could establish 
my own. 

During the evening most of the general officers 
called in to pay their respects and to talk about the 
condition of affairs. They pointed out on the map 
the line, marked with a red or blue pencil, which 
Rosecrans had contemplated falling back upon. If 
any of them had approved the move they did not 
say so to me. I found General W. F. Smith occu- 
pying the position of chief engineer of the Army 
of the Cumberland. I had known Smith as a 
cadet at West Point, but had no recollection of 
having met him after my graduation, in 1843, U P 
to this time. He explained the situation of the 
two armies and the topography of the country so 
plainly that I could see it without an inspection. 
I found that he had established a saw-mill on the 
banks of the river, by utilizing an old engine 
found in the neighborhood ; and, by rafting logs 
from the north side of the river above, had got 
out the lumber and completed pontoons and road- 
way plank for a second bridge, one flying bridge 
being there already. He was also rapidly getting 
out the materials and constructing the boats for 
a third bridge. In addition to this he had far 
under way a steamer for plying between Chat- 
tanooga and Bridgeport whenever we might get 
possession of the river. This boat consisted of a 


scow, made of the plank sawed out at the mill, 
housed in, and a stern wheel attached which was 
propelled .by a second engine taken from some shop 
or factory. 

I telegraphed to Washington this night, notifying 
General Halleck of my arrival, and asking to have 
General Sherman assigned to the command of the 
Army of the Tennessee, headquarters in the field. 
The request was at once complied with. 






THE next day, the 24th, I started out to make 
a personal inspection, taking Thomas and 
Smith with me, besides most of the members of 
my personal staff. We crossed to the north side 
of the river, and, moving to the north of detached 
spurs of hills, reached the Tennessee at Brown's 
Ferry, some three miles below Lookout Mountain, 
unobserved by the enemy. Here we left our horses 
back from the river and approached the water on 
foot. There was a picket station of the enemy on 
the opposite side, of about twenty men, in full 
view, and we were within easy range. They did 
not fire upon us nor seem to be disturbed by our 
presence. They must have seen that we were all - 
commissioned officers. But, I suppose, they looked 
upon the garrison of Chattanooga as prisoners of 
war, feeding or starving ttj^mselves, and thought it 
would be inhuman to kill any of them except in self- 


That night I issued orders for opening the route 
to Bridgeport — a cracker Iim\ as the soldiers appro- 
priately termed it. They had been so long on short 
rations that my first thought was the establishment 
of a line over which food might reach them. 

Chattanooga is on the south bank of the Ten- 
nessee, where that river runs nearly due west. It 
is at the northern end of a valley five or six miles 
in width, through which Chattanooga Creek runs. 
To the east of the valley is Missionary Ridge, rising 
from five to eight hundred feet above the creek and 
terminating somewhat abruptly a half mile or more 
before reaching the Tennessee. On the west of 
the valley is Lookout Mountain, twenty-two hun- 
dred feet above-tide water. Just below the town the 
Tennessee makes a turn to the south and runs to 
the base of Lookout Mountain, leaving no level 
ground between the mountain and river. The 
Memphis and Charleston Railroad passes this point, 
where the mountain stands nearly perpendicular. 
East of Missionary Ridge flows the South Chick- 
amauga River ; west of Lookout Mountain is Look- 
out Creek ; and west of that, Raccoon Mountains. 
Lookout Mountain, at its northern end, rises almost 
perpendicularly for some distance, then breaks off in 
a gentle slope of cultivated fields to near the sum- 
mit, where it ends in a palisade thirty or more feet 
in height. On the gently sloping ground, between 


Lookout. It was over this road Smith marched. 
At five o'clock Hazen landed at Brown's Ferry, sur- 
prised the picket guard, and captured most of it. 
By seven o'clock the whole of Smith's force was fer- 
ried over and in possession of a height commanding 
the ferry. This was speedily fortified, while a detail 
was laying the pontoon bridge. By ten o'clock the 
bridge was laid, and our extreme right, now in Look- 
out valley, was fortified and connected with the rest 
of the army. The two bridges over the Tennessee 
River — a flying one at Chattanooga and the new one 
at Brown's Ferry — with the road north of the river, 
covered from both the fire and the view of the 
enemy, made the connection complete. Hooker 
found but slight obstacles in his way, and on the af- 
ternoon of the 28th emerged into Lookout valley at 
Wauhatchie. Howard marched on to Brown's Ferry, 
while Geary, who commanded a division in the 12th 
corps, stopped three miles south. The pickets of 
the enemy on the river below were now cut off, and 
soon came in and surrendered. 

The river was now opened to us from Lookout 
valley to Bridgeport. Between Brown's Ferry and 
Kelly's Ferry the Tennessee runs through a narrow 
gorge in the mountains, which contracts the stream 
so much as to increase the current beyond the 
capacity of an ordinary steamer to stem it. To get 
up these rapids, steamers must be cordelled ; that is, 


the upper and lower palisades, there is a single farm- 
house, which is reached by a wagon-road from the 
valley east 

The intrenched line of the enemy commenced on 
the north end of Missionary Ridge and extended 
along the crest for some distance south, thence across 
Chattanooga valley to Lookout Mountain. Look- 
out Mountain was also fortified and held by the 
enemy, who also kept troops in Lookout valley west, 
and on Raccoon Mountain, with pickets extending 
down the river so as to command the road on the 
north bank and render it useless to us. In ad- 
dition to this there was an intrenched line in Chat- 
tanooga valley extending from the river east of the 
town to Lookout Mountain, to make the investment 
complete. Besides the fortifications on Mission 
Ridge, there was a line at the base of the hill, with 
occasional spurs of rifle-pits half-way up the front 
The enemy's pickets extended out into the valley 
towards the town, so far that the pickets of the two 
armies could converse. At one point they were 
separated only by the narrow creek which gives its 
name to the valley and town, and from which both 
sides drew water. The Union lines were shorter 
than those of the enemy. 

Thus the enemy, with a vastly superior force, was 
strongly fortified to the east, south, and west, and 
commanded the river below. Practically, the Army 


of the Cumberland was besieged. The enemy had 
stopped with his cavalry north of the river the pass- 
ing of a train loaded with ammunition and njedical 
supplies. The Union army was short of both, not 
having ammunition enough for a day's fighting. 

General Halleck had, long before my coming into 
this new field, ordered parts of the nth and 12th 
corps, commanded respectively by Generals How- 
ard and Slocum, Hooker in command of the whole, 
from the Army of the Potomac to reinforce Rose- 
crans. It would have been folly to send them 
to Chattanooga to help eat up the few rations left 
there. They were consequently left on the railroad, 
where supplies could be brought to them. Before 
my arrival, Thomas ordered their concentration at 

General W. F. Smith had been so instrumental 
in preparing for the move which I was now about 
to make, and so clear in his judgment about the 
manner of making it, that I deemed it but just to 
him that he should have command of the troops 
detailed to execute the design, although he was then 
acting as a staff officer and was not in command of 

On the 24th of October, after my return to Chat- 
tanooga, the following details were made : General 
Hooker, who was now at Bridgeport, was ordered to 
cross to the south side of the Tennessee and march 


up by Whitesides and Wauhatchie to Brown's Ferry. 
General Palmer, with a division of the 14th corps, 
Army pf the Cumberland, was ordered to move down 
the river on the north side, by a back road, until op- 
posite Whitesides, then cross and hold the road in 
Hooker's rear after he had passed. Four thousand 
men were at the same time detailed to act under 
General Smith directly from Chattanooga, Eigh- 
teen hundred of them, under General Hazen. were 
to take sixty pontoon boats, and under cover of 
night float by the pickets of the enemy at the north 
base of Lookout, down to Brown's Ferry, then land 
on the south side and capture or drive away the 
pickets at that point. Smith was to march with the 
remainder of the detail, also under cover of night, 
by the north bank of the river to Brown's Ferry, 
taking with him all the material for laying the 
bridge "as soon as the crossing was secured. 

On the 26th, Hooker crossed the river at Bridge- 
port and commenced his eastward march. At three 
o'clock on the morning of the 27th, Hazen moved 
into the stream with his sixty pontoons and eigh- 
teen hundred brave and well-equipped men. Smith 
started enough in advance to be near the river 
when Hazen should arrive. There are a number of 
detached spurs of hills north of the river at Chatta- 
nooga, back of which is a good road parallel to the 
stream, sheltered from the view from the top of 


Lookout It was over this road Smith marched. 
At five o'clock Hazen landed at Brown's Ferry, sur- 
prised the picket guard, and captured most of it. 
By seven o'clock the whole of Smith's force was fer- 
ried over and in possession of a height commanding 
the ferry. This was speedily fortified, while a detail 
was laying the pontoon bridge. By ten o'clock the 
bridge was laid, and our extreme right, now in Look- 
out valley, was fortified and connected with the rest 
of the army. The two bridges over the Tennessee 
River — a flying one at Chattanooga and the new one 
at Brown's Ferry — with the road north of the river, 
covered from both the fire and the view of the 
enemy, made the connection complete. Hooker 
found but slight obstacles in his way, and on the af- 
ternoon of the 28th emerged into Lookout valley at 
Wauhatchie. Howard marched on to Brown's Ferry, 
while Geary, who commanded a division in the 12th 
corps, stopped three miles south. The pickets of 
the enemy on the river below were now cut off, and 
soon came in and surrendered. 

The river was now opened to us from Lookout 
valley to Bridgeport. Between Brown's Ferry and 
Kelly's Ferry the Tennessee runs through a narrow 
gorge in the mountains, which contracts the stream 
so much as to increase the current beyond the 
capacity of an ordinary steamer to stem it. To get 
up these rapids, steamers must be cordelled ; that is, 


pulled up by ropes from the. shore. But there is 
no difficulty in navigating the stream from Bridge- 
port to Kelly's Ferry. The latter point is only 
eight miles from Chattanooga and connected with 
it by a good wagon-road, which runs through a low 
pass in the Raccoon Mountains on the south side of 
the river to Brown's Ferry, thence on the north side 
to the river opposite Chattanooga. There were 
several steamers at Bridgeport, and abundance of 
forage, clothing and provisions. 

On the way to Chattanooga I had telegraphed 
back to Nashville for a good supply of vegetables 
and small rations, which the troops had been so long 
deprived of. Hooker had brought with him from 
the east a full supply of land transportation. His 
animals had not been subjected to hard work on bad 
roads without forage, but were in good condition. 
In five days from my arrival in Chattanooga the way 
was open to Bridgeport and, with the aid of steam- 
ers and Hooker's teams, in a week the troops were 
receiving full rations. It is hard for any one not an 
eye-witness to realize the relief this brought. The 
men were soon reclothed and also well fed ; an abun- 
dance of ammunition was brought up, and a cheerful- 
ness prevailed not before enjoyed in many weeks. 
Neither officers nor men looked upon themselves any 
longer as doomed. The weak and languid appear- 
ance of the troops, so visible before, disappeared at 


once. I do not know what the effect was on the 
other side, but assume it must have been correspond- 
ingly depressing. Mr. Davis had visited Bragg but 
a short time before, and must have perceived our 
condition to be about as Bragg described it in his 
subsequent report. " These dispositions," he said, 
"faithfully sustained, insured the enemy's speedy 
evacuation of Chattanooga for want of food and 
forage. Possessed of the shortest route to his 
depot, and the one by which reinforcements must 
reach him, we held him at our mercy, and his de- 
struction was only a question of time." But the dis- 
positions were not " faithfully sustained," and I doubt 
not but thousands of men engaged in trying to " sus- 
tain " them now rejoice that they were not. There 
was no time during the rebellion when I did «ot 
think, and often say, that the South was more to be 
benefited by its defeat than the North. The lat- 
ter had the people, the institutions, and the territory 
to make a great and prosperous nation. The former 
was burdened with an institution abhorrent to all 
civilized people not brought up under it, and one 
which degraded labor, kept it in ignorance, and 
enervated th« governing class. With the outside 
world at war with this institution, they could not 
have extended their territory. The labor of the 
country was not skilled, nor allowed to become so. 
The whites could not toil without becoming de- 


graded, and those who did were denominated " poor 
white trash." The system of labor would have 
soon exhausted the soil and left the people poor. 
The non-slaveholders would have left the country, 
and the small slaveholder must have sold out to 
his more fortunate neighbor. Soon the slaves 
would have outnumbered the masters, and, not being 
in sympathy with them, would have risen in their 
might and exterminated them. The war was expen- 
sive to the South as well as to the North, both in 
blood and treasure, but it was worth all it cost. 

The enemy was surprised by the movements 
which secured to us a line of supplies. He appreci- 
ated its importance, and hastened to try to recover 
the line from us. His strength on Lookout Moun- 
tain was not equal to Hooker's command in the val- 
ley below. From Missionary Ridge he had to 
march twice the distance we had from Chattanooga, 
in order to reach Lookout Valley ; but on the night 
of the 28th and 29th an attack was made on Geary 
at Wauhatchie by Longstreet's corps. When the 
battle commenced, Hooker ordered Howard up from 
Brown's Ferry. He had three miles to march to 
reach Geary. On his way he was fi«ed upon by 
rebel troops from a foot-hill to the left of the road 
and from which the road was commanded. Howard 
turned to the left, charged up the hill and captured 
it before the enemy had time to intrench, taking 


many prisoners. Leaving sufficient men to hold 
this height, he pushed on to reinforce Geary. Be- 
fore he got up, Geary had been engaged for about 
three hours against a vastly superior force. The 
night was so dark that the men could not distinguish 
one from another except by the light of the 
flashes of their muskets. In the darkness and up- 
roar, Hookers teamsters became frightened and de- 
serted their teams. The mules also became fright- 
ened, and breaking loose from their fastenings 
stampeded directly towards the enemy. The latter, 
no doubt, took this for a charge, and stampeded in 
turn. By four o'clock in the morning the battle 
had entirely ceased, and our " cracker line " was 
never afterward disturbed. 

In securing possession of Lookout Valley, Smith 
lost one man killed and four or five wounded. The 
enemy lost most of his pickets at the ferry, cap- 
tured. In the night engagement of the 28th-gth 
Hooker lost 416 killed and wounded. I never 
knew the loss of the enemy, but our troops buried 
over one hundred and fifty of his dead and captured 
more than a hundred. 

After we had secured the opening of a line over 
which to bring our supplies to the army, I made a 
personal inspection to see the situation of the pickets 
of the two armies. As I have stated, Chattanooga 
Creek comes down the centre of the valley to within 


a mile or such a matter of the town of Chattanooga, 
then bears off westerly, then north westerly, and en- 
ters the Tennessee River at the foot of Lookout 
Mountain. This creek, from its mouth up to where 
it bears off west, lay between the two lines of pickets, 
and the guards of both armies drew their water from 
the same stream. As I would be under short-range 
fire and in an open country, I took nobody with me, 
except, I believe, a bugler, who stayed some distance 
to the rear. I rode from our right around to our 
left When I came to the camp of the picket guard 
of our side, I heard the call, " Turn out the guard 
for the commanding general." I replied, "Never 
mind the guard." and they were dismissed and went 
back to their tents. Just back of these, and about 
equally distant from the creek, were the guards of 
the Confederate pickets. The sentinel on their post 
called out in like manner, " Turn out the guard 
for the commanding general/' and, I believe, added, 
" General Grant." Their line in a moment front- 
faced to the north, facing me, and gave a salute, 
which I returned. 

The most friendly relations seemed to exist be- 
tween the pickets of the two armies. At one place 
there was a tree which had fallen across the stream, 
and which was used by the soldiers of both armies 
in drawing water for their camps. General Long- 
treet's corps was stationed there at the time, and 


wore blue of a little different shade from our 
uniform. Seeing a soldier in blue on this log, I 
rode up to him, commenced conversing with him, 
and asked whose corps he belonged to. He was 
very polite, and, touching his hat to me, said he 
belonged to General Longstreet's corps. I asked 
him a few questions — but not with a view of gaining 
any particular information — all of which he answered, 
and I rode off. 


condition of the army rebuilding the rail- 
road — general burnside's situation orders 

for battle — plans for the attack hook- 

er's position — Sherman's movements. 

HAVING got the Army of the Cumberland in a 
comfortable position, I now began to look after 
the remainder of my new command. Burnside was in 
about as desperate a condition as the Army of the 
Cumberland had been, only he was not yet besieged. 
He was a hundred miles from the nearest possible 
base, Big South Fork of the Cumberland River, and 
much farther from any railroad we had possession of. 
The roads back were over mountains, and all sup- 
plies along the line had long since been exhausted. 
His animals, too, had been starved, and their car- 
casses lined the road from Cumberland Gap, and far 
back towards Lexington, Ky. East Tennessee still 
furnished supplies of beef, bread and forage, but it did 
not supply ammunition, clothing, medical supplies, 
or small rations, such as coffee, sugar, salt and rice. 
Sherman had started from Memphis for Corinth 
on the nth of October. His instructions required 



him to repair the road in his rear in order to bring 
up supplies. The distance was about three hundred 
and thirty miles through a hostile country. His 
entire command could not have maintained the road 
if it had been completed. The bridges had all been 
destroyed by the enemy, and much other damage 
done. A hostile community lived along the road; 
guerilla bands infested the country, and more or less 
of the cavalry of the enemy was still in the West. 
Often Sherman's work was destroyed as soon as 
completed, and he only a short distance away. 

The Memphis and Charleston Railroad strikes the 
Tennessee River at Eastport, Mississippi. Knowing 
the difficulty Sherman would have to supply himself 
from Memphis, I had previously ordered supplies 
sent from St. Louis on small steamers, to be con- 
voyed by the navy, to meet him at Eastport. These 
he got. I now ordered him to discontinue his work 
of repairing roads and to move on with his whole 
force to Stevenson, Alabama, without delay. This 
order was borne to Sherman by a messenger, who 
paddled down the Tennessee in a canoe and floated 
over Muscle Shoals; it was delivered at Iuka on the 
27th. In this Sherman was notified that the rebels 
were moving a force towards Cleveland, East Tennes- 
see, and might be going to Nashville, in which event 
his troops were in the best position to beat them there. 
Sherman, with his characteristic promptness, aban- 


doned the work he was engaged upon and pushed 
on at once. On the ist of November he crossed the 
Tennessee at Eastport, and that day was in Florence, 
Alabama, with the head of column, while his troops 
were still crossing at Eastport, with Blair bringing up 
the rear. 

Sherman's force made an additional army, with 
cavalry, artillery, and trains, all to be supplied by the 
single track road from Nashville. All indications 
pointed also to the probable necessity of supplying 
Burnside's command in East Tennessee, twenty-five 
thousand more, by the same route. A single track 
could not do this. I gave, therefore, an order to 
Sherman to halt General G. M. Dodge's command, 
of about eight thousand men, at Athens, and subse- 
quently directed the latter to arrange his troops 
along the railroad from Decatur north towards 
Nashville, and to rebuild that road. The road from 
Nashville to Decatur passes over a broken country, 
cut up with innumerable streams, many of them of 
considerable width, and with valleys far below the 
road-bed. All the bridges over these had been de- 
stroyed, and the rails taken up and twisted by the 
enemy. All the cars and locomotives not carried off 
had been destroyed as effectually as they knew how 
to destroy them. All bridges and culverts had 
been destroyed between Nashville and Decatur, 
and thence to Stevenson, where the Memphis and 


Charleston and the Nashville and Chattanooga roads 
unite. The rebuilding of this road would give us 
two roads as far as Stevenson over which to supply 
the army. From Bridgeport, a short distance farther 
east, the river supplements the road. 

General Dodge, besides being a most capable 
soldier, was an experienced railroad builder. He 
had no tools to work with except those of the pio- 
neers — axes, picks, and spades. With these he was 
able to intrench his men and protect them against 
surprises by small parties of the enemy. As he had 
no base of supplies until the road could be completed 
back to Nashville, the first matter to consider after 
protecting his men was the getting in of food and 
forage from the surrounding country. He had his 
men and teams bring in all the grain they could 
find, or all they needed, and all the cattle for beef, 
and such other food as could be found. Millers 
were detailed from the ranks to run the mills alonij 
the line of the army. When these were not near 
enough to the troops for protection they were taken 
down and moved up to the line of the road. Black- 
smith shops, with all the iron and steel found in 
them, were moved up in like manner. Blacksmiths 
were detailed and set to work making the tools 
necessary in railroad and bridge building. Axemen 
were put to work getting out timber for bridges and 
cutting fuel for locomotives when the road should 


be completed. Car-builders were set to work repair- 
ing the locomotives and cars. Thus every branch 
of railroad building, making tools to work with, and 
supplying the workmen with food, was all going on 
at once, and without the aid of a mechanic or 
laborer except what the command itself furnished. 
But rails and cars the men could not make without 
material, and there was not enough rolling stock to 
keep the road we already had worked to its full 
capacity. There were no rails except those in use. 
To supply these deficiencies I ordered eight of the 
ten engines General McPherson had at Vicksburg to 
be sent to Nashville, and all the cars he had except 
ten. I also ordered the troops in West Tennessee 
to points on the river and on the Memphis and 
Charleston road, and ordered the cars, locomotives 
and rails from all the railroads except the Memphis 
and Charleston to Nashville. The military manager 
of railroads also was directed to furnish more rolling 
stocl? and, as far as he could, bridge material. 
General Dodge had the work assigned him finished 
within forty days after receiving his orders. The 
number of bridges to rebuild was one hundred and 
eighty-two, many of them over deep and wide 
chasms ; the length of road repaired was one hun- 
dred and two miles. 

The enemy's troops, which it was thought were 
either moving against Burnside or were going to 


Nashville, went no farther than Cleveland. Their 
presence there, however, alarmed the authorities at 
Washington, and, on account of our helpless con- 
dition at Chattanooga, caused me much uneasiness. 
Dispatches were constantly coming, urging me to do 
something for Burnside's relief ; calling attention to 
the importance of holding East Tennessee; saying 
the President was much concerned for the protec- 
tion of the loyal people in that section, etc We 
had not at Chattanooga animals to pull a single 
piece of artillery, much less a supply train. Rein- 
forcements could not help Burnside, because he had 
neither supplies nor ammunition sufficient for them ; 
hardly, indeed, bread and meat for the men he had. 
There was no relief possible for him except by ex- 
pelling the enemy from Missionary Ridge and about 

On the 4th of November Longstreet left our 
front with about fifteen thousand troops, besides 
Wheelers cavalry, five thousand more, to go against 
Burnside. The situation seemed desperate, and was 
more aggravating because nothing could be done 
until Sherman should get up. The authorities at 
Washington were now more than ever anxious for 
the safety of Burnside's army, and plied me with 
dispatches faster than ever, urging that something 
should be done for his relief. On the 7th, before 
Longstreet could possibly have reached Knoxville, I 

Vol. 11.— 4 


ordered Thomas peremptorily to attack the energy's 
right, so as to force the return of the troops that 
had gone up the valley. I directed him to take 
mules, officers' horses, or animals wherever he could 
get them : to move the necessary artillery. But he 
persisted in the declaration that he could not move a 
single piece of artillery, and could not see how he 
could possibly comply with the order. Nothing was 
left to be done but to answer Washington dispatches 
as best I could ; urge Sherman forward, although 
he was making every effort to get forward, and en- 
courage Burnside to hold on, assuring him that in a 
short time he should be relieved. All of Burnsides 
dispatches showed the greatest confidence in his 
ability to hold his position as long as his ammuni- 
tion held out. He even suggested the propriety of 
abandoning the territory he held south and west of 
Knoxville, so as to draw the enemy farther from his 
base and make it more difficult for him to get 
back to Chattanooga when the battle should begin. 

Longstreet had a railroad as far as Loudon ; but 
from there to Knoxville he had to rely on wagon 
trains. Burnside's suggestion, therefore, was a good 
one, and it was adopted. On the 14th I tele- 
graphed him : 

" Sherman's advance has reached Bridgeport. His whole force 
will be ready to move from there by Tuesday at farthest. If you 
can hold Longstreet in check until he gets up, or by skirmishing 


and falling back can avoid serious loss to yourself and gain time, 
I will be able to force the enemy back from here and place a 
force between Longstreet and Bragg that must inevitably make 
the former take to the mountain-passes by every available road, to 
get to his supplies. Sherman would have been here before this 
but for high water in Elk River driving him some thirty miles up 
that river to cross." 

And again later in the day, indicating my plans 
for his relief, as follows : 

"Your dispatch and Dana's just received. Being there, you 
can tell better how to resist Longstreet's attack than I can direct. 
With your showing you had better give up Kingston at the last 
moment and save the most productive part of your possessions. 
Every arrangement is now made to throw Sherman's force across 
the river, just at and below the mouth of Chickamauga Creek, as 
soon as it arrives. Thomas will attack on his left at the same 
time, and together it is expected to carry Missionary Ridge, and 
from there push a force on to the railroad between Cleveland 
and Dalton. Hooker will at the same time attack, and, if he can, 
carry Lookout Mountain. The enemy now seems to be looking 
for an attack on his left flank. This favors us. To further con- 
firm this, Sherman's advance division will march direct from 
Whiteside to Trenton. The remainder of his force will pass over 
a new road just made from Whiteside to Kelly's Ferry, thus be- 
ing concealed from the enemy, and leave him to suppose the 
whole force is going up Lookout Valley. Sherman's advance has 
only just reached Bridgeport. The rear will only reach there on 
the 1 6th. This will bring it to the 19th as the earliest day for 
making the combined movement as desired. Inform me if you 
think you can sustain yourself until this time. I can hardly con- 
ceive of the enemy breaking through at Kingston and pushing 


for Kentucky. If they should, however, a new problem would be 
left for solution. Thomas has ordered a division of cavalry to 
the vicinity of Sparta. I will ascertain if they have started, and 
inform you. It will be entirely out of the question to send you 
ten thousand men, not because they cannot be spared, but how 
would they be fed after they got even one day east from here ? " 

Longstreet, for some reason or other, stopped at 
Loudon until the 13th. That being the terminus 
of his railroad communications, it is probable he was 
directed to remain there awaiting orders. He was 
in a position threatening Knoxville, and at the 
same time where he could be brought back speedily 
to Chattanooga. The day after Longstreet left 
Loudon, Sherman reached Bridgeport in person and 
proceeded on to see me that evening, the 14th, and 
reached Chattanooga the next day. 

My orders for battle were all prepared in advance 
of Sherman's arrival,* except the dates, which could 

* Chattanooga, November 18, 1863. 
Major-General W. T. Sherman : 

Enclosed herewith I send you copy of instructions to Major- 
General Thomas. You having been over the ground in person, 
and having heard the whole matter discussed, further instructions 
will not be necessary for you. It is particularly desirable that a 
force should be got through to the railroad between Cleveland 
and Dalton, and Longstreet thus cut off from communication with 
the South ; but being confronted by a large force here, strongly 
located, it is not easy to tell how this is to be effected until the 
result of our first effort is known. 

I will add, however, what is not shown in my instructions to 


not be fixed while troops to be engaged were so far 
away. The possession of Lookout Mountain was of 
no special advantage to us now. Hooker was in- 
structed to send Howards corps to the north side 
of the Tennessee, thence up behind the hills on the 
north side, and to go into camp opposite Chatta- 
nooga; with the remainder of the command, Hooker 

Thomas, that a brigade of cavalry has been ordered here which, 
if it arrives in time, will be thrown across the Tennessee above 
Chickamauga, and may be able to make the trip to Cleveland or 
thereabouts. U. S. GRANT, 


Chattanooga, November 18, 1863. 
Major-General Geo. H. Thomas, 

Chattanooga : 
All preparations should be made for attacking the enemy's 
position on Missionary Ridge by Saturday at daylight. Not be- 
ing provided with a map giving names of roads, spurs of the 
mountains, and other places, such definite instructions cannot 
be given as might be desirable. However, the general plan, you 
understand, is for Sherman, with the force brought with him 
strengthened by a division from your command, to effect a 
crossing of the Tennessee River just below the mouth of Chicka- 
mauga ; his crossing to be protected by artillery from the heights 
on the north bank of the river (to be located by your chief of 
artillery), and to secure the heights on the northern extremity to 
about the railroad tunnel before the enemy can concentrate 
against him. You will co-operate with Sherman. The troops in 
Chattanooga Valley should be well concentrated on your left 
flank, leaving only the necessary force to defend fortifications on 
the right and centre, and a movable column of one division in 

54 *£i3:-x*z je£jfci£s «?/- r. s. cmaxt. 

Sw at a tiroe to be afterwards appointed, to ascend 
the western slope between die upper and lower pali- 
sades, and so get into Chattanooga valley. 

The plan of battle was for Sherman to attack 
the enemy's right nank. form a line across it, extend 
our left over South Chkkamauga River so as to 

10 rajre wbesever ordered. This division should show 
ir frrf as xhrczxahu$T as possible on the most practicable line for 
rtarrng an attack cp tae TaUer. Yoor effort then will be to form 
a jmctaon wiih ShenzLxn. w*»fcr»g toot adTance well towards the 
northern end of MisxeniiT Ridge, and moving as near simul- 
taneously with him as possible. The junction once formed' and 
the ridge carried, communications will be at once established 
between the two armies by roads on the south bank of the river. 
Further movements will then depend on those of the enemy. 
Lookout Valley, I think, will be easily held by Geary's division 
and what troops you may still have there belonging to the old 
Army of the Cumberland Howard's corps can then be held in 
readiness to act either with you at Chattanooga or with Sherman. 
It should be marched on Friday night to a position on the north 
side of the river, not lower down than the first pontoon-bridge, 
and there held in readiness for such orders as may become neces- 
sary. All these troops will be provided with two days' cooked 
rations in haversacks, and one hundred rounds of ammunition on 
the person of each infantry soldier. Special care should be 
taken by all officers to see that ammunition is not wasted or un- 
necessarily fired away. You will call on the engineer department 
for such preparations as you may deem necessary for carrying 
your infantry and artillery over the creek. 


Major- General. 


threaten or hold the railroad in Bragg's rear, and 
thus force him either to weaken his lines elsewhere 
or lose his connection with his base at Chickamauga 
Station. Hooker was to perform like service on 
our right His problem was to get from Lookout 
Valley to Chattanooga Valley in the most expedi- 
tious way possible ; cross the latter valley rapidly 
to Rossville, south of Bragg's line on Missionary 
Ridge, form line there across the ridge facing north, 
with his right flank extended to Chickamauga Valley 
east of the ridge, thus threatening the enemy's rear 
on that flank and compelling him to reinforce this 
also. Thomas, with the Army of the Cumberland, 
occupied the centre, and was to assault while the 
enemy was engaged with most of his forces on his 
two flanks. 

To carry out this plan, Sherman was to cross the 
Tennessee at Brown's Ferry and move east of 
Chattanooga to a point opposite the north end of 
Mission Ridge, and to place his command back of 
the foot-hills out of sight of the enemy on the 
ridge. There are two streams called Chickamauga 
emptying into the Tennessee River east of Chatta- 
nooga — North Chickamauga, taking its rise in Ten- 
nessee, flowjng south, and emptying into the river 
some seven or eight miles east ; while the South 
Chickamauga, which takes its rise in Georgia, flows 
northward, and empties into the Tennessee some 


three or four miles above the town. There were 
now one hundred and sixteen pontoons in the North 
Chickamauga River, their presence there being un- 
known to the enemy. 

At night a division was to be marched up to that 
point, and at two o'clock in the morning moved down 
with the current, thirty men in each boat A few 
were to land east of the mouth of the South Chicka- 
mauga, capture the pickets there, and then lay a 
bridge connecting the two banks of the river. The 
rest were to land on the south side of the Tennes- 
see, where Missionary Ridge would strike it if pro- 
longed, and a sufficient number of men to man the 
boats were to push to the north side to ferry 
over the main body of Sherman's command while 
those left on the south side intrenched themselves. 
Thomas was to move out from his lines facing the 
ridge, leaving enough of Palmer's corps to guard 
against an attack down the valley. Lookout Valley 
being of no present value to us, and being untenable 
by the enemy if we should secure Missionary Ridge, 
Hooker's orders were changed. His revised orders 
brought him to Chattanooga by the established 
route north of the Tennessee. He was then to 
move out to the right to Rossville. 

Hooker's position in Lookout Valley was abso- 
lutely essential to us so long as Chattanooga was 
besieged. It was the key to our line for supplying 

ttooxEx's position. 57 

the army. But it was not essential after the enemy 
was dispersed from our front, or even after the bat- 
tle for this purpose was begun. Hooker's orders, 
therefore, were designed to get his force past Look- 
out Mountain and Chattanooga Valley, and up to 
Missionary Ridge. By crossing the north face of 
Lookout the troops would come into Chattanooga 
Valley in rear of the line held by the enemy across 
the valley, and would necessarily force its evacua- 
tion. Orders were accordingly given to march by 
this route. But days before the battle began the 
advantages as well as the disadvantages of this plan 
of action were all considered. The passage over 
the mountain was a difficult one to make in the 
face of an enemy. It might consume so much time 
as to lose us the use of the troops engaged in it 
at other points where they were more wanted. 
After reaching Chattanooga Valley, the creek of the 
same name, quite a formidable stream to get an 
army over, had to be crossed. I was perfectly 
willing that the enemy should keep Lookout Moun- 
tain until we got through with the troops on Mis- 
sionary Ridge. By marching Hooker to the north 
side of the river, thence up the stream, and re- 
crossing at the town, he could be got in position 
at any named time ; when in this new position, he 
would have Chattanooga Creek behind him, and 
the attack on Missionary Ridge would unquestion- 


ably cause the evacuation by the enemy of his line 
across the valley and on Lookout Mountain. 
Hookers order was changed accordingly. As ex- 
plained elsewhere, the original order had to be re- 
verted to, because of a flood in the river rendering 
the bridge at Brown's Ferry unsafe for the passage 
of troops at the exact juncture when it was wanted 
to bring all the troops together against Missionary 

The next day after Sherman's arrival I took him, 
with Generals Thomas and Smith and other officers, 
to the north side of the river, and showed them the 
ground over which Sherman had to march, and 
pointed out generally what he was expected to do. 
I, as well as the authorities in Washington, was still 
in a great state of anxiety for Burnside's safety. 
Burnside himself, I believe, was the only one who 
did not share in this anxiety. Nothing could be 
done for him, however, until Sherman's troops were 
up. As soon, therefore, as the inspection was over, 
Sherman started for Bridgeport to hasten matters, 
rowing a boat himself, I believe, from Kelly's Ferry. 
Sherman had left Bridgeport the night of the 14th, 
reached Chattanooga the evening of the 15th, made 
the above-described inspection on the morning of 
the 1 6th, and started back the same evening to 
hurry up his command, fully appreciating the impor- 
tance of time. 


His march was conducted with as much expedi- 
tion as the roads and season would admit of. By 
the 20th he was himself at Brown's Ferry with the 
head of column, but many of his troops were far 
behind, and one division (Ewings) was at Trenton, 
sent that way to create the impression that Lookout 
was to be taken from the south. Sherman received 
his orders at the ferry, and was asked if he could 
not be ready for the assault the following morning. 
News had been received that the battle had been 
commenced at Knoxville. Burnside had been cut 
off from telegraphic communications. The Presi- 
dent, the Secretary of War, and General Halleck, 
were in an agony of suspense. My suspense was 
also great, but more endurable, because I was where 
I could soon do something to relieve the situation. 
It was impossible to get Sherman's troops up for 
the next day. I then asked him if they could not 
be got up to make the assault on the morning of 
the 2 2d, and ordered Thomas to move on that date. 
But the elements were against us. It rained all 
the 20th and 21st. The river rose so rapidly that 
it was difficult to keep the pontoons in place. 

General Orlando B. Willcox, a division commander 
under Burnside, was at this time occupying a posi- 
tion farther up the valley than Knoxville — about 
Maynardville — and was still in telegraphic communi- 
cation with the North. A dispatch was received 


ordered Thomas peremptorily to attack the enemy's 
right, so as to force the return of the troops that 
had gone up the valley. I directed him to take 
mules, officers' horses, or animals wherever he could 
get them r to move the necessary artillery. But he 
persisted in the declaration that he could not move a 
single piece of artillery, and could not see how he 
could possibly comply with the order. Nothing was 
left to be done but to answer Washington dispatches 
as best I could ; urge Sherman forward, although 
he was making every effort to get forward, and en- 
courage Burnside to hold on, assuring him that in a 
short time he should be relieved. All of Burnside's 
dispatches showed the greatest confidence in his 
ability to hold his position as long as his ammuni- 
tion held out He even suggested the propriety of 
abandoning the territory he held south and west of 
Knoxville, so as to draw the enemy farther from his 
base and make it more difficult for him to get 
back to Chattanooga when the battle should begin. 

Longstreet had a railroad as far as Loudon ; but 
from there to Knoxville he had to rely on wagon 
trains. Burnside's suggestion, therefore, was a good 
one, and it was adopted. On the 14th I tele- 
graphed him : 

" Sherman's advance has reached Bridgeport His whole force 
will be ready to move from there by Tuesday at farthest. If you 
can hold Longstreet in check until he gets up, or by skirmishing 


and falling back can avoid serious loss to yourself and gain time, 
I will be able to force the enemy back from here and place a 
force between Longstreet and Bragg that must inevitably make 
the former take to the mountain-passes by every available road, to 
get to his supplies. Sherman would have been here before this 
but for high water in Elk River driving him some thirty miles up 
that river to cross." 

And again later in the day, indicating my plans 
for his relief, as follows : 

"Your dispatch and Dana's just received. Being there, you 
can tell better how to resist Longstreet's attack than I can direct. 
With your showing you had better give up Kingston at the last 
moment and save the most productive part of your possessions. 
Every arrangement is now made to throw Sherman's force across 
the river, just at and below the mouth of Chickamauga Creek, as 
soon as it arrives. Thomas will attack on his left at the same 
time, and together it is expected to carry Missionary Ridge, and 
from there push a force on to the railroad between Cleveland 
and Dalton. Hooker will at the same time attack, and, if he can, 
carry Lookout Mountain. The enemy now seems to be looking 
for an attack on his left flank. This favors us. To further con- 
firm this, Sherman's advance division will march direct from 
Whiteside to Trenton. The remainder of his force will pass over 
a new road just made from Whiteside to Kelly's Ferry, thus be- 
ing concealed from the enemy, and leave him to suppose the 
whole force is going up Lookout Valley. Sherman's advance has 
only just reached Bridgeport. The rear will only reach there on 
the 1 6th. This will bring it to the 19th as the earliest day for 
making the combined movement as desired. Inform me if you 
think you can sustain yourself until this time. I can hardly con- 
ceive of the enemy breaking through at Kingston and pushing 



a mile or such a matter of the town of Chattanooga, 
then bears off westerly, then north westerly, and en- 
ters the Tennessee River at the foot of Lookout 
Mountain. This creek, from its mouth up to where 
it bears off west, lay between the two lines of pickets, 
and the guards of both armies drew their water from 
the same stream. As I would be under short-range 
fire and in an open country, I took nobody with me, 
except, I believe, a bugler, who stayed some distance 
to the rear. I rode from our right around to our 
left. When I came to the camp of the picket guard 
of our side, I heard the call, " Turn out the guard 
for the commanding general." I replied, "Never 
mind the guard," and they were dismissed and went 
back to their tents. Just back of these, and about 
equally distant from the creek, were the guards of 
the Confederate pickets. The sentinel on their post 
called out in like manner, " Turn out the guard 
for the commanding general," and, I believe, added, 
"General Grant." Their line in a moment front- 
faced to the north, facing me, and gave a salute, 
which I returned. 

The most friendly relations seemed to exist be- 
tween the pickets of the two armies. At one place 
there was a tree which had fallen across the stream, 
and which was used by the soldiers of both armies 
in drawing water for their camps. General Long- 
street's corps was stationed there at the time, and 


wore blue of a little different shade from our 
uniform. Seeing a soldier in blue on this log, I 
rode up to him, commenced conversing with him, 
and asked whose corps he belonged to. He was 
very polite, and, touching his hat to me, said he 
belonged to General Longstreet's corps. I asked 
him a few questions — but not with a view of gaining 
any particular information — all of which he answered, 
and I rode off. 


halting, and before the enemy had time to reinforce 
their advance guards. But it was not without loss 
on both sides. This movement secured to us a 
line fully a mile in advance of the one we occupied 
in the morning, and the one which the enemy had 
occupied up to this time. The fortifications were 
rapidly turned to face the other way. During the 
following night they were made strong. We lost in 
this preliminary action about eleven hundred killed 
and wounded, while the enemy probably lost quite 
as heavily, including the prisoners that were capt- 
ured. With the exception of the firing of artillery, 
kept up from Missionary Ridge and Fort Wood until 
night closed in, this ended the fighting for the first 

The advantage was greatly on our side now, and 
if I could only have been assured that Burnside 
could hold out ten days longer I should have rested 
more easily. But we were doing the best we could 
for him and the cause. 

By the night of the 23d Sherman's command was 
in a position to move, though one division (Oster- 
haus's) had not yet crossed the river at Brown's 
Ferry. The continuous rise in the Tennessee had 
rendered it impossible to keep the bridge at that 
point in condition for troops to cross ; but I was 
determined to move that night even without this 
division. Orders were sent to Osterhaus accord- 


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ingly to report to Hooker, if he could not cross by 
eight o'clock on the morning of the 24th. Because 
of the break in the bridge, Hooker's orders were 
again changed, but this time only back to those first 
given to him. 

General W. F. Smith had been assigned to duty 
as Chief Engineer of the Military Division. To him 
were given the general direction of moving troops 
by the boats from North Chickamauga, laying the 
bridge after they reached their position, and gen- 
erally all the duties pertaining to his office of chief 
engineer. During the night General Morgan L. 
Smith's division was marched to the point where the 
pontoons were, and the brigade of Giles A. Smith 
was selected for the delicate duty of manning the 
boats and surprising the enemy's pickets on the south 
bank of the river. During this night also General 
J. M. Brannan, chief of artillery, moved forty pieces 
of artillery, belonging to the Army of the Cumber- 
land, and placed them on the north side of the river 
so as to command the ground opposite, to aid in 
protecting the approach to the point where the south 
end of the bridge was to rest He had to use Sher- 
man's artillery horses for this purpose, Thomas hav- 
ing none. 

At two o'clock in the morning, November 24th, 
Giles A. Smith pushed out from the North Chicka- 
mauga with his one hundred and sixteen boats, each 


loaded with thirty brave and well-armed men. The 
boats with their precious freight dropped down 
quietly with the current to avoid attracting the at- 
tention of any one who could convey information to 
the enemy, until arriving near the mouth of South 
Chickamauga. Here a few boats were landed, the 
troops debarked, and a rush was made upon the 
picket guard known to be at that point. The guard 
were surprised, and twenty of their number captured. 
The remainder of the troops effected a landing at 
the point where the bridge was to start, with equally 
good results. The work of ferrying over Sherman's 
command from the north side of the Tennessee was 
at once commenced, using the pontoons for the pur- 
pose. A steamer was also brought up from the town 
to assist. The rest of M. L. Smith s division came 
first, then the division of John E. Smith. The 
troops as they landed were put to work intrenching 
their position. By daylight the two entire divisions 
were over, and well covered by the works they had 

The work of laying the bridge, on which to cross 
the artillery and cavalry, was now begun. The 
ferrying over the infantry was continued with the 
steamer and the pontoons, taking the pontoons, how- 
ever, as fast as they were wanted to put in their 
place in the bridge. By a little past noon the bridge 
was completed, as well as one over the South Chick- 


amauga connecting the troops left on that side with 
their comrades below, and all the infantry and artil- 
lery were on the south bank of the Tennessee. 

Sherman at once formed his troops for assault on 
Missionary Ridge. By one o'clock he started with 
M. L. Smith on his left, keeping nearly the course 
of Chickamauga River; J. E. Smith next to the 
right and a little to the rear ; and Ewing still farther 
to the right and also a little to the rear of J. E. 
Smith's command, in column, ready to deploy to the 
right if an enemy should come from that direction. 
A good skirmish line preceded each of these col- 
umns. Soon the foot of the hill was reached ; the 
skirmishers pushed directly up, followed closely by 
their supports. By half-past three Sherman was in 
possession of the height without having sustained 
much loss. A brigade from each division was now 
brought up, and artillery was dragged to the top of 
the hill by hand. The enemy did not seem to be 
aware of this movement until the top of the hill was 
gained. There had been a drizzling rain during the 
day, and the clouds were so low that Lookout Moun- 
tain and the top of Missionary Ridge were obscured 
from the view of persons in the valley. But now 
the enemy opened fire upon their assailants, and 
made several attempts with their skirmishers to 
drive them away, but without avail. Later in the 
day a more determined attack was made, but this, 


too, failed, and Sherman was left to fortify what he 
had gained. 

Sherman's cavalry took up its line of march soon 
after the bridge was completed, and by half-past 
three the whole of it was over both bridges and on 
its way to strike the enemy's communications at 
Chickamauga Station. All of Sherman's command 
was now south of the Tennessee. During the after- 
noon General Giles A. Smith was severely wounded 
and carried from the field. 

Thomas having done on the 23d what was ex- 
pected of him on the 24th, there was nothing 
for him to do this day except to strengthen his 
position. Howard, however, effected a crossing of 
Citico Creek and a junction with Sherman, and was 
directed to report to him. With two or three regi- 
ments of his command he moved in the morning 
along the banks of the Tennessee, and reached the 
point where the bridge was being laid. He went out 
on the bridge as far as it was completed from the 
south end, and saw Sherman superintending the 
work from the north side and moving himself south 
as fast as an additional boat was put in and the 
roadway put upon it. Howard reported to his new 
chief across the chasm between them, which was 
now narrow and in a few minutes closed. 

While these operations were going on to the east 
of Chattanooga, Hooker was engaged on the west. 


He had three divisions: Osterhaus's, of the 15th 
corps, Army of the Tennessee; Geary's, 12th corps, 
Army of the Potomac ; and Cruft's, 14th corps, 
Army of the Cumberland. Geary was on the right 
at Wauhatchie, Cruft at the centre, and Osterhaus 
near Brown's Ferry. These troops were all west 
of Lookout Creek. The enemy had the east bank 
of the creek strongly picketed and intrenched, and 
three brigades of troops in the rear to reinforce 
them if attacked. These brigades occupied the 
summit of the mountain. General Carter L. Ste- 
venson was in command of the whole. Why any 
troops, except artillery with a small infantry guard, 
were kept on the mountain-top, I do not see. A 
hundred men could have held the summit — which is 
a palisade for more than thirty feet down — against 
the assault of any number of men from the position 
Hooker occupied. 

The side of Lookout Mountain confronting 
Hooker's command was rugged, heavily timbered, 
and full of chasms, making it difficult to advance 
with troops, even in the absence of an opposing 
force. Farther up, the ground becomes more even 
and level, and was in cultivation. On the east side 
the slope is much more gradual, and a good wagon 
road, zigzagging up it, connects the town of Chat- 
tanooga with the summit. 

Early on the morning of the 24th Hooker moved 


Gearys division, supported by a brigade of Cruft's, 
up Lookout Creek, to effect a crossing. The re- 
mainder of Cruft's division was to seize the bridge 
over the creek, near the crossing of the railroad. 
Osterhaus was to move up to the bridge and cross 
it. The bridge was seized by Gross's brigade after 
a slight skirmish with thfe pickets guarding it. This 
attracted the enemy so that Geary's movement 
farther up was not observed. A heavy mist ob- 
scured him from the view of the troops on the top 
of the mountain. He crossed the creek almost un- 
observed, and captured the picket of over forty men 
on guard near by. He then commenced ascending 
the mountain directly in his front. By this time the 
enemy was seen coming down from their camps on 
the mountain slope, and filing into their rifle-pits 
to contest the crossing of the bridge. By eleven 
o'clock the bridge was complete. Osterhaus was 
up, and after some sharp skirmishing the enemy was 
driven away with considerable loss in killed and 

While the operations at the bridge were pro- 
gressing, Geary was pushing up the hill over great 
obstacles, resisted by the enemy directly in his 
front, and in face of the guns on top of the moun- 
tain. The enemy, seeing their left flank and rear 
menaced, gave way, and were followed by Cruft 
and Osterhaus. Soon these were up abreast of 


Geary, and the whole command pushed up the hill, 
driving the enemy in advance. By noon Geary had 
gained the open ground on the north slope of the 
mountain, with his right close up to the base of the 
upper palisade, but there were strong fortifications 
in his front. The rest of the command coming up, 
a line was formed from the base of the upper pali- 
sade to the mouth of Chattanooga Creek. 

Thomas and I were on the top of Orchard Knob. 
Hooker's advance now made our line a continu- 
ous one. It was in full view, extending from the 
Tennessee River, where Sherman had crossed, up 
Chickamauga River to the base of Mission Ridge, 
over the top of the north end of the ridge to 
Chattanooga Valley, then along parallel to the ridge 
a mile or more, across the valley to the mouth 
of Chattanooga Creek, thence up the slope of 
Lookout Mountain to the foot of the upper pali- 
sade. The day was hazy, so that Hooker's oper- 
ations were not visible to us except at moments 
when the clouds would rise. But the sound of his 
artillery and musketry was heard incessantly. The 
enemy on his front was partially fortified, but was 
soon driven out of his works. During the afternoon 
the clouds, which had so obscured the top of Look- 
out all day as to hide whatever was going on from 
the view of those below, settled down and made it 
so dark where Hooker was as to stop operations for 


the time. At four o'clock Hooker reported 'his 
position as impregnable. By a little after five direct 
communication was established, and a brigade of 
troops was sent from Chattanooga to reinforce him. 
These troops had to cross Chattanooga Creek and 
met with some opposition, but soon overcame it, and 
by night the commander, General Carlin, reported to 
Hooker and was assigned to his left I now tele- 
graphed to Washington : " The fight to-day pro- 
gressed favorably. Sherman carried the end of Mis- 
sionary Ridge, and his right is now at the tunnel, 
and his left at Chickamauga Creek. Troops from 
Lookout Valley carried the point of the mountain, 
and now hold the eastern slope and a point high up. 
Hooker reports two thousand prisoners taken, be- 
sides which a small number have fallen into our 
hands from Missionary Ridge." The next day the 
President replied : " Your dispatches as to fighting 
on Monday and Tuesday are here. Well done. 
Many thanks to all. Remember Burnside." And 
Halleck also telegraphed : " I congratulate you on 
the success thus far of your plans. I fear that Burn- 
side is hard pushed, and that any further delay may 
prove fatal. I know you will do all in your power 
to relieve him." 

The division of Jefferson C. Davis, Army of the 
Cumberland, had been sent to the North Chicka- 
mauga to guard the pontoons as they were deposited 


in fhe river, and to prevent all ingress or egress of 
citizens. On the night of the 24th his division, hav- 
ing crossed with Sherman, occupied our extreme left 
from the upper bridge over the plain to the north 
base of Missionary Ridge. Firing continued to a 
late hour in the night, but it was not connected with 
an assault at any point. 





AT twelve o'clock at night, when all was quiet, 
I began to give orders for the next day, 
and sent a dispatch to Willcox to encourage Burn- 
side. Sherman was directed to attack at daylight. 
Hooker was ordered to move at the same hour, 
and endeavor to intercept the enemy's retreat if he 
still remained ; if he had gone, then to move di- 
rectly to Rossville and operate against the left and 
rear of the force on Missionary Ridge. Thomas 
was not to move until Hooker had reached Mission- 
ary Ridge. As I was with him on Orchard Knob, 
he would not move without further orders from me. 
The morning of the 25th opened clear and bright, 
and the whole field was in full view from the top of 
Orchard Knob. It remained so all day. Bragg's 
headquarters were in full view, and officers — pre- 
sumably staff officers — could be seen coming and 
going constantly. 


The point of ground which Sherman had carried 
on the 24th was almost disconnected from the main 
ridge occupied by the enemy. A low pass, over 
which there is a wagon road crossing the hill, and 
near which there is a railroad tunnel, intervenes 
between the two hills. The problem now was to get 
to the main ridge. The enemy was fortified on 
the point ; and back farther, where the ground was 
still higher, was a second fortification commanding 
the first. Sherman was out as soon as it was light 
enough to see, and by sunrise his command was in 
motion. Three brigades held the hill already gained. 
Morgan L. Smith moved along the east base of Mis- 
sionary Ridge; Loomis along the west base, sup- 
ported by two brigades of John E. Smith's division ; 
and Corse with his brigade was between the two, 
moving directly towards the hill to be captured. 
The ridge is steep and heavily wooded on the east 
side, where M. L. Smith's troops were advancing, 
but cleared and with a more gentle slope on the 
west side. The troops advanced rapidly and car- 
ried the extreme end of the rebel works. Morgan 
L. Smith advanced to a point which cut the enemy 
off from the railroad bridge and the means of 
bringing up supplies by rail from Chickamauga 
Station, where the main depot was located. The 
enemy made brave and strenuous efforts to drive 
our troops from the position we had gained, but 


• without success. The contest lasted for two hours. 
Corse, a brave and efficient commander, was badly 
wounded in this assault. Sherman now threat- 
ened both Bragg's flank and his stores, and made 
it necessary for him to weaken other points of 
his line to strengthen his right. From the posi- 
tion I occupied I could see column after column 
of Bragg's forces moving against Sherman. Every 
Confederate gun that could be brought to bear 
upon the Union forces was concentrated upon him. 
J. E. Smith, with two brigades, charged up the west 
side of the ridge to the support of Corse's com- 
mand, over open ground and in the face of a heavy 
fire of both artillery and musketry, and reached the 
very parapet of the enemy. He lay here for a time, 
but the enemy coming with a heavy force upon his 
right flank, he was compelled to fall back, followed 
by the foe. A few hundred yards brought Smith's 
troops into a wood, where they were speedily re- 
formed, when they charged and drove the attacking 
party back to his intrenchments. 

Seeing the advance, repulse, and second advance 
of J. E. Smith from the position I occupied, I di- 
rected Thomas to send a division to reinforce him. 
Baird's division was accordingly sent from the right 
of Orchard Knob. It had to march a considerable 
distance directly under the eyes of the enemy to 
reach its position. Bragg at once commenced mass- 


ing in the same direction. This was what I wanted. • 
But it had now got to be late in the afternoon, and I 
had expected before this to see Hooker crossing the 
ridge in the .neighborhood of Rossville and compel- 
ling Bragg to mass in that direction also. 

The enemy had evacuated Lookout Mountain dur- 
ing the night, as I expected he would. In crossing 
the valley he burned the bridge over Chattanooga 
Creek, and did all he could to obstruct the roads 
behind him. Hooker was off bright and early, with 
no obstructions in his front but distance and the de- 
struction above named. He was detained four hours 
crossing Chattanooga Creek, and thus was lost the 
immediate advantage I expected from his forces. 
His reaching Braggs flank and extending across it 
was to be the signal for Thomas's assault of the 
ridge. But Sherman's condition was getting so criti- 
cal that the assault for his relief could not be de- 
layed any longer. 

Sheridan's and Wood's divisions had been lying 
under arms from early morning, ready to move the 
instant the signal was given. I now directed 
Thomas to order the charge at once.* I watched 
eagerly to see the effect, and became impatient at 
last that there was no indication of any charge 
being made. The centre of the line which was 

* In this order authority was given for the troops to reform after taking the 
first line of rifle-pits preparatory to carrying the ridge. 


to make the charge was near where Thomas and 
I stood, but concealed from view by an interven- 
ing forest Turning to Thomas to inquire what 
caused the delay, I was surprised to see Thomas J. 
Wood, one of the division commanders who was to 
make the charge, standing talking to him. I spoke 
to General Wood, asking him why he did not charge 
as ordered an hour before. He replied very 
promptly that this was the first he had heard of it, 
but that he had been ready all day to move at a 
moments notice. I told him to make the charge 
at once He was off in a moment, and in an incred- 
ibly short time loud cheering was heard, and he and 
Sheridan were driving the enemy's advance before 
them towards Missionary Ridge. The Confederates 
were strongly intrenched on the crest of the ridge in 
front of us, and had a second line half-way down 
and another at the base. Our men drove the 
troops in front of the lower line of rifle-pits so 
rapidly, and followed them so closely, that rebel 
and Union troops went over the first line of works 
almost at the same time. Many rebels were capt- 
ured and sent to the rear under the fire of their 
own friends higher up the hill. Those that were 
not captured retreated, and were pursued. The 
retreating hordes being between friends and pur- 
suers caused the enemy to fire high to avoid kill- 
ing their own men. In fact, on that occasion the 


Union soldier nearest the enemy was in the safest 
position. Without awaiting further orders or stop- 
ping to reform, on our troops went to the second 
line of works ; over that and on for the crest — thus 
effectually carrying out my orders of the 18th for 
the battle and of the 24th * for this charge. 

I watched their progress with intense interest. 
The fire along the rebel line was terrific. Cannon 
and musket balls filled the air : but the damage 
done was in small proportion to the ammunition ex- 
pended. The pursuit continued until the crest was 
reached, and soon our men were seen climbing over 
the Confederate barriers at different points in front 

* Chattanooga. November 24, 1863. 
Major-General Geo. H. Thomas, 

Chattanooga : 
General Sherman carried Missionary Ridge as far as the tunnel 
with only slight skirmishing. His right now rests at the tunnel 
and on top of the hill, his left at Chickamauga Creek. I have 
instructed General Sherman to advance as soon as it is light in 
the morning, and your attack, which will be simultaneous, will be 
in co-operation. Your command will either carry the rifle-pits 
and ridge directly in front of them, or move to the left, as the 
presence of the enemy may require. If Hooker's position on the 
mountain [cannot be maintained] with a small force, and it is 
found impracticable to carry the top from where he is, it would 
be advisable for him to move up the valley with all the force he 
can spare, and ascend by the first practicable road. 




of both Sheridan's and Wood's divisions. The re- 
treat of the enemy along most of his line was pre- 
cipitate and the panic so great that Bragg and his 
officers lost all control over their men. Many were 
captured, and thousands threw away their arms in 
their flight 

Sheridan pushed forward until he reached the 
Chickamauga River at a point above where the 
enemy crossed. He met some resistance from 
troops occupying a second hill in rear of Mis- 
sionary Ridge, probably to cover the retreat of the 
main body and of the artillery and trains. It was 
now getting dark, but Sheridan, without halting on 
that account pushed his men forward up this second 
hill slowly and without attracting the attention of 
the men placed to defend it, while he detached to 
the right and left to surround the position. The 
enemy discovered the movement before these dis- 
positions were complete, and beat a hasty retreat, 
leaving artillery, wagon trains, and many prisoners 
in our hands. To Sheridan's prompt movement 
the Army of the Cumberland, and the nation, are 
indebted for the bulk of the capture of prisoners, 
artillery, and small-arms that day. Except for his 
prompt pursuit, so much in this way would not have 
been accomplished. 

While the advance up Mission Ridge was going 
forward, General Thomas with staff, General Gordon 

Vol. il— 6 


Granger, commander of the corps making the as- 
sault, and myself and staff occupied Orchard Knob, 
from which the entire field could be observed. The 
moment the troops were seen going over the last 
line of rebel defences, I ordered Granger to join his 
command, and mounting my horse I rode to the 
front General Thomas left about the same time. 
Sheridan on the extreme right was already in pur- 
suit of the enemy east of the ridge. Wood, who 
commanded the division to the left of Sheridan, 
accompanied his men on horseback in the charge, 
but did not join Sheridan in the pursuit To the 
left, in Baird's front where Bragg's troops had massed 
against Sherman, the resistance was more stubborn 
and the contest lasted longer. I ordered Granger 
to follow the enemy with Wood's division, but he 
was so much excited, and kept up such a roar of 
musketry in the direction the enemy had taken, 
that by the time I could stop the firing the enemy 
had got well out of the way. The enemy con- 
fronting Sherman, now seeing everything to their 
left giving way, fled also. Sherman, however, was 
not aware of the extent of our success until after 
nightfall, when he received orders to pursue at day- 
light in the morning. 

As soon as Sherman discovered that the enemy 
had left his front he directed his reserves, Davis's 
division of the Army of the Cumberland, to push 


over the pontoon-bridge at the mouth of the Chicka- 
mauga, and to move forward to Chickamauga Sta- 
tion. He ordered Howard to move up the stream 
some two miles to where there was an old bridge, 
repair it during the night, and follow Davis at four 
o'clock in the morning. Morgan L. Smith was or- 
dered to reconnoitre the tunnel to see if that was 
still held. Nothing was found there but dead bodies 
of men of both armies. The rest of Sherman's com- 
mand was directed to follow Howard at daylight in 
the morning to get on to the railroad towards Grays- 


Hooker, as stated, was detained at Chattanooga 
Creek by the destruction of the bridge at that point 
He got his troops over, with the exception of the 
artillery, by fording the stream at a little after three 
o'clock. Leaving his artillery to follow when the 
bridge should be reconstructed, he pushed on with 
the remainder of his command. At Rossville he 
came upon the flank of a division of the enemy, 
which soon commenced a retreat along the ridge. 
This threw them on Palmer. They could make but 
little resistance in the position they were caught in, 
and as many of them as could do so escaped. 
Many, however, were captured. Hooker's position 
during the night of the 25th was near Rossville, ex- 
tending east of the ridge. Palmer was on his left, 
on the road to Graysville. 


During the night I telegraphed to Willcox that 
Bragg had been defeated, and that immediate relief 
would be sent to Burnside if he could hold out ; to 
Halleck I sent an announcement of our victory, and 
informed him that forces would be sent up the valley 
to relieve Burnside, 

Before the battle of Chattanooga opened I had 
taken measures for the relief of Burnside the mo- 
ment the way should be clear. Thomas was directed 
to have the little steamer that had been built at 
Chattanooga loaded to its capacity with rations and 
ammunition. Granger's corps was to move by the 
south bank of the Tennessee River to the mouth of 
the Holston, and up that to Knoxville, accompanied 
by the boat. In addition to the supplies transported 
by boat, the men were to carry forty rounds of am- 
munition in their cartridge-boxes, and four days' 
rations in haversacks. 

In the battle of Chattanooga, troops from the 
Army of the Potomac, from the Army of the Ten- 
nessee, and from the Army of the Cumberland par- 
ticipated. In fact, the accidents growing out of the 
heavy rains and the sudden rise in the Tennessee 
River so mingled the troops that the organizations 
were not kept together, under their respective com- 
manders, during the battle. Hooker, on the right, 
had Geary's division of the 12th corps, Army of 
the Potomac ; Osterhaus's division of the 15th corps, 


Army of the Tennessee ; and Cruft's division of the 
Army of the Cumberland Sherman had three divis- 
ions of his own army, Howard's corps from the 
Army of the Potomac, and Jefferson C. Davis's divi- 
sion of the Army of the Cumberland. There was no 
jealousy — hardly rivalry. Indeed, I doubt whether 
officers or men took any note at the time of the fact 
of this intermingling of commands. All saw a de- 
fiant foe surrounding them, and took it for granted 
that every move was intended to dislodge him, and 
it made no difference where the troops came from 
so that the end was accomplished. 

The victory at Chattanooga was won against great 
odds, considering the advantage the enemy had of \\ 
position, and was accomplished more easily than was j \ 
expected by reason of Braggs making several grave * \ 
mistakes : first, in sending away his ablest corps • i 
commander with over twenty thousand troops ; sec- • 
ond, in sending away a division of troops on the eve 
of battle ; third, in placing so much of a force on the 
plain in front of his impregnable position. 

"It was known that Mr. Jefferson Davis had visited 
Bragg on Missionary Ridge a short time before my 
reaching Chattanooga. It was reported and believed 
that he had come out to reconcile a serious differ- 
ence between Bragg and Longstreet, and finding 
this difficult to do, planned the campaign against 
Knoxville, to be conducted by the latter general. 


I had known both Bragg and Longstreet before the 
war, the latter very well. We had been three years 
at West Point together, and, after my graduation, 
for a time in the same regiment Then we served 
together in the Mexican War. I had known Bragg 
in Mexico, and met him occasionally subsequently. 
I could well understand how there might be an 
irreconcilable difference between them. 

Bragg was a remarkably intelligent and well-in- 
formed man, professionally and otherwise. He was 
also thoroughly upright. But he was possessed of 
an irascible temper, and was naturally disputatious. 
A man of the highest moral character and the most 
correct habits, yet in the old army he was in fre- 
quent trouble. As a subordinate he was always on 
the lookout to catch his commanding officer infring- 
ing his prerogatives ; as a post commander he was 
equally vigilant to detect the slightest neglect, even 
of the most trivial order. 

I have heard in the old army an anecdote very 
characteristic of Bragg. On one occasion, when 
stationed at a post of several companies commanded 
by a field officer, he was himself commanding one of 
the companies and at the same time acting as post 
quartermaster and commissary. He was first lieu- 
tenant at the time, but his captain was detached on 
other duty. As commander of the company he 
made a requisition upon the quartermaster — himself 


— for something he wanted. As quartermaster he 
declined to fill the requisition, and endorsed on the 
back of it his reasons for so doing. As company 
commander he responded to this, urging that his 
requisition called for nothing but what he was en- 
titled to, and that it was the duty of the quarter- 
master to fill it. As quartermaster he still persisted 
that he was right In this condition of affairs 
Bragg referred the whole matter to the command- 
ing officer of the post. The latter, when he saw 
the nature of the matter referred, exclaimed : " My 
God, Mr. Bragg, you have quarrelled with every 
officer in the army, and now you are quarrelling 
with yourself ! " 

Longstreet was an entirely different man. He 
was brave, honest, intelligent, a very capable soldier, 
subordinate to his superiors, just and kind to his 
subordinates, but jealous of his own rights, which 
he had the courage to maintain. He was never on 
the lookout to detect a slight, but saw one as soon 
as anybody when intentionally given. 

It may be that Longstreet was not sent to Knox- 
ville for the reason stated, but because Mr. Davis 
had an exalted opinion of his own military genius, 
and thought he saw a chance of ' killing two birds 
with one stone." On several occasions during the 
war he came to the relief of the Union army by 
means of his superior military genius. 


I speak advisedly when I say Mr. Davis prided 
himself on his military capacity. He says so him- 
self, virtually, in his answer to the notice of his 
nomination to the Confederate presidency. Some of 
his generals have said so in their writings since the 
downfall of the Confederacy. 

My recollection is that my first orders for the 
battle of Chattanooga were as fought Sherman was 
to get on Missionary Ridge, as he did ; Hooker 
to cross the north end of Lookout Mountain, as 
he did, sweep across Chattanooga Valley and get 
across the south end of the ridge near Rossville. 
When Hooker had secured that position the Army 
of the Cumberland was to assault in the centre. Be- 
fore Sherman arrived, however, the order was so 
changed as that Hooker was directed to come to 
Chattanooga by the north bank of the Tennessee 
River. The waters in the river, owing to heavy 
rains, rose so fast that the bridge at Brown's Ferry 
could not be maintained in a condition to be used in 
crossing troops upon it. For this reason Hooker's 
orders were changed by telegraph back to what they 
were originally. 

Note. — From this point on this volume was written (with the exception 
of the campaign in the Wilderness, which had been previously written) 
by General Grant after his great illness in April, and the present arrange- 
ment of the subject-matter was made by him between the ioth and 18th of 
July, 1885. 



CHATTANOOGA now being secure to the Na- 
tional troops beyond any doubt, I immediately 
turned my attention to relieving Knoxville, about the 
situation of which the President, in particular, was 
very anxious. Prior to the battles, I had made prep- 
arations for sending troops to the relief of Burnside 
at the very earliest moment after securing Chatta- 
nooga. We had there two little steamers which 
had been built and fitted up from the remains of 
old boats and put in condition to run. General 
Thomas was directed to have one of these boats 
loaded with rations and ammunition and move up 
the Tennessee River to the mouth of the Holston, 
keeping the boat all the time abreast of the troops. 
General Granger, with the 4th corps reinforced to 
make twenty thousand men, was to start the moment 
Missionary Ridge was carried, and under no cir- 
cumstances were the troops to return to their old 


camps. With the provisions carried, and the little 
that could be got in the country, it was supposed 
he could hold out until Longstreet was driven away, 
after which event East Tennessee would furnish 
abundance of food for Burnside's army and his own 

While following the enemy on the 26th, and again 
on the morning of the 27th, part of the time by the 
road to Ringgold, I directed Thomas, verbally, not to 
start Granger until he received further orders from 
me ; advising him that I was going to the front to 
more fully see the situation. I was not right sure 
but that Bragg*s troops might be over their stam- 
pede by the time they reached Dalton. In that case 
Bragg might think it well to take the road back 
to Cleveland, move thence towards Knoxville, and, 
uniting with Longstreet, make a sudden dash upon 

When I arrived at Ringgold, however, on the 
2 7th, I saw that the retreat was most earnest. The 
enemy had been throwing away guns, caissons and 
small-arms, abandoning provisions, and, altogether, 
seemed to be moving like a disorganized mob, with 
the exception of Cleburne's division, which was act- 
ing as rear-guard to cover the retreat 

When Hooker moved from Rossyille toward 
Ringgold Palmer's division took the road to Grays- 
ville, and Sherman moved by the w&y of Chicka- 


mauga Station toward the same point. As soon as 
I saw the situation at Ringgold I sent a staff offi- 
cer back to Chattanooga to advise Thomas of the 
condition of affairs, and direct him by my orders to 
start Granger at once. Feeling now that the troops 
were already on the march for the relief of Burn- 
side I was in no hurry to get back, but stayed at 
Ringgold through the day to prepare for the return 
of our troops. 

Ringgold is in a valley in the mountains, situated 
between East Chickamauga Creek and Taylor's 
Ridge, and about twenty miles south-east from Chat- 
tanooga. I arrived just as the artillery that Hooker 
had left behind at Chattanooga Creek got up. His 
men were attacking Cleburne's division, which had 
taken a strong position in the adjacent hills so as 
to cover the retreat of the Confederate army through 
a narrow gorge which presents itself at that point. 
Just beyond the gorge the valley is narrow, and the 
creek so tortuous that it has to be crossed a great 
many times in the course of the first mile. This 
attack was unfortunate, and cost us some men un- 
necessarily. Hooker captured, however, 3 pieces of 
artillery and 230 prisoners, and 130 rebel dead were 
left upon the field. 

I directed General Hooker to collect the flour 
and wheat in the neighboring mills for the use of 
the troops, and then to destroy the mills and all 


other property that could be of use to the enemy, 
but not to make any wanton destruction. 

At this point Sherman came up, having reached 
Graysville with his troops, where he found Palmer 
had preceded him. Palmer had picked up many pris- 
oners and much abandoned property on the route. 
I went back in the evening to Graysville with Sher- 
man, remained there over night and did not return 
to Chattanooga until the following night, the 29th. 
I then found that Thomas had not yet started 
Granger, thus having lost a full day which I deemed 
of so much importance in determining the fate of 
Knoxville. Thomas and Granger were aware that 
on the 23d of the month Burnside had telegraphed 
that his supplies would last for ten or twelve days 
and during that time he could hold out against 
Longstreet, but if not relieved within the time in- 
dicated he would be obliged to surrender or attempt 
to retreat. To effect a retreat would have been an 
impossibility. He was already very low in ammu- 
nition, and with an army pursuing he would not 
have been able to gather supplies. 

Finding that Granger had not only not started 
but was very reluctant to go, he having decided for 
himself that it was a very bad move to make, I sent 
word to General Sherman of the situation and di- 
rected him to march to the relief of Knoxville. I 
also gave him the problem that we had to solv< 


that Burnside had now but four to six days supplies 
left, and that he must be relieved within that time. 

Sherman, fortunately, had not started on his re- 
turn from Graysville, having sent out detachments 
on the railroad which runs from Dalton to Cleve- 
land and Knoxville to thoroughly destroy that road, 
and these troops had not yet returned to camp. I 
was very loath to send Sherman, because his men 
needed rest after their long march from Memphis 
and hard fighting at Chattanooga. But I had be- 
come satisfied that Burnside would not be rescued if 
his relief depended upon General Granger's move- 

Sherman had left his camp on the north side of 
the Tennessee River, near Chattanooga, on the night 
of the 23d, the men having two days' cooked ra- 
tions in their haversacks. Expecting to be back in 
their tents by that time and to be engaged in battle 
while out, they took with them neither overcoats 
nor blankets. The weather was already cold, and 
at night they must have suffered more or less. The 
two days' rations had already lasted them five days ; 
and they were now to go through a country which 
had been run over so much by Confederate troops 
that there was but little probability of finding much 
food. They did, however, succeed in capturing some 
flour. They also found a good deal of bran in some 
of the mills, which the men made up into bread ; 


and in this and other ways they eked out an exist- 
ence until they could reach Knoxville. 

I was so very anxious that Burnside should get 
news of the steps being taken for his relief, and thus 
induce him to hold out a little longer if it became 
necessary, that I determined to send a message to 
him. I therefore sent a member of my staff, Col- 
onel J. H. Wilson, to get into Knoxville if he could, 
report to Burnside the situation fully, and give him all 
the encouragement possible. Mr. Charles A. Dana 
was at Chattanooga during the battle, and had been 
there even before I assumed command. Mr. Dana 
volunteered to accompany Colonel Wilson, and did 
accompany him. I put the information of what was 
being done for the relief of Knoxville into writing, 
and directed that in some way or other it must be 
secretly managed so as to have a copy of this fall 
into the hands of General Longstreet. They made 
the trip safely ; General Longstreet did learn of 
Sherman's coming in advance of his reaching there, 
and Burnside was prepared to hold out even for a 
longer time if it had been necessary. 

Burnside had stretched a boom across the Hol- 
ston River to catch scows and flats as they floated 
down. On these, by previous arrangements with the 
loyal people of East Tennessee, were placed flour 
and corn, with forage and provisions generally, and 
were thus secured for the use of the Union troops. 


They also drove cattle into Knoxville by the east 
side, which was not covered by the enemy ; so that 
when relief arrived Burnside had more provisions 
on hand than when he had last reported. 

Our total loss (not including Burnside's) in all 
these engagements amounted to 757 killed, 4,529 
wounded and 330 missing. We captured 6,142 
prisoners — about 50 per cent more than the enemy 
reported for their total loss — 40 pieces of artil- 
lery, 69 artillery carriages and caissons and over 
7,000 stands of small-arms. The enemy's loss in 
arms was probably much greater than here reported, 
because we picked up a great many that were found 

I had at Chattanooga, in round numbers, about 
60,000 men. Bragg had about half this number, but 
his position was supposed to be impregnable. It 
was his own fault that he did not have more men 
present. He had sent Longstreet away with his 
corps swelled by reinforcements up to over twenty 
thousand men, thus reducing his own force more 
than one-third and depriving himself of the presence 
of the ablest general of his command. He did this, 
too, after our troops had opened a line of communi- 
cation by way of Brown s and Kelly's ferries with 
Bridgeport, thus securing full rations and supplies 
of every kind ; and also when he knew reinforce- 
ments were coming to me. Knoxville was of no 


earthly use to him while Chattanooga was in our 
hands. If he should capture Chattanooga, Knox- 
ville with its garrison would have fallen into his 
hands without a struggle. - 1 have never been able 
to see the wisdom of this move. 

Then, too, after Sherman had arrived, and when 
Bragg knew that he was on the north side of the 
Tennessee River, he sent Buckner's division to re- 
inforce Longstreet. He also started another di- 
vision a day later, but our attack having commenced 
before it reached Knoxville Bragg ordered it back. 
It had got so far, however, that it could not return 
to Chattanooga in time to be of service there. It 
is possible this latter blunder may have been made 
by Bragg having become confused as to what was 
going on on our side. Sherman had, as already 
stated, crossed to the north side of the Tennessee 
River at Brown's Ferry, in full view of Braggs 
troops from Lookout Mountain, a few days before 
the attack. They then disappeared behind foot 
hills, and did not come to the view of the troops on 
Missionary Ridge until they met their assault Bragg 
knew it was Sherman's troops that had crossed, and, 
they being so long out of view, may have supposed 
that they had gone up the north bank of the Ten- 
nessee River to the relief of Knoxville and that 
Longstreet was therefore in danger. But the first 
great blunder, detaching Longstreet, cannot be ac- 


counted for in any way I know of. If he had capt- 
ured Chattanooga, East Tennessee would have 
fallen without a struggle. It would have been a 
victory for us to have got our army away from 
Chattanooga safely. It was a manifold greater 
victory to drive away the besieging army ; a still 
greater one to defeat that army in his chosen 
ground and nearly annihilate it. 

The probabilities are that our loss in killed was 
the heavier, as we were the attacking party. The 
enemy reported his loss in killed at 361 : but as he 
reported his missing at 4,146, while we held over 
6,000 of them as prisoners, and there must have 
been hundreds if not thousands who deserted, but 
little reliance can be placed on this report. There 
was certainly great dissatisfaction with Bragg on the 
part of the soldiers for his harsh treatment of them, 
and a disposition to get away if they could. Then, 
too, Chattanooga, following in the same half year 
with Gettysburg in the East and Vicksburg in the 
West, there was much the same feeling in the South 
at this time that there had been in the North the 
fall and winter before. If the same license had 
been allowed the people and press in the South that 
was allowed in the North, Chattanooga would prob- 
ably have been the last battle fought for the pres- 
ervation of the Union. 

General William F. Smith's services in these bat- 

Vol. 11. — 7 


ties had been such that I thought him eminently 
entitled to promotion. I was aware that he had 
previously been named by the President for promo- 
tion to the grade of major-general, but that the 
Senate had rejected the nomination. I was not 
aware of the reasons for this course, and therefore 
strongly recommended him for a major-generalcy. 
My recommendation was heeded and the appoint- 
ment made. 

Upon the raising of the siege of Knoxville I, of 
course, informed the authorities at Washington — 
the President and Secretary of War — of the fact, 
which caused great rejoicing there. The President 
especially was rejoiced that Knoxville had been re- 
lieved * without further bloodshed. The safety of 
Burnside s army and the loyal people of East Ten- 
nessee had been the subject of much anxiety to 
the President for several months, during which time 

* Washington, D. C, 
December 8, 1863, 10.2 A.M. 

Maj.-General U. S. Grant: 

Understanding that your lodgment at Knoxville and at Chatta- 
nooga is now secure, I wish to tender you, and all under your 
command, my more than thanks, my profoundest gratitude for the 
skill, courage, and perseverance with which you and they, over so 
great difficulties, have effected that important object. God bless 
you all. 


President U. S. 


he was doing all he could to relieve the situation ; 
sending a new commander * with a few thousand 
troops by the way of Cumberland Gap, and tele- 
graphing me daily, almost hourly, to "remember 
Burnside," " do something for Burnside," and other 
appeals of like tenor. He saw no escape for East 
Tennessee until after our victory at Chattanooga, 
Even then he was afraid that Burnside might be out 
of ammunition, in a starving condition, or overpow- 
ered : and his anxiety was still intense until he heard 
that Longstreet had been driven from the field. 

Burnside followed Longstreet only to Strawberry 
Plains, some twenty miles or more east, and then 
stopped, believing that Longstreet would leave the 
State. The latter did not do so, however, but 
stopped only a short distance farther on and sub- 
sisted his army for the entire winter off East Ten- 
nessee. Foster now relieved Burnside. Sherman 
made disposition of his troops along the Tennes- 
see River in accordance with instructions. I left 
Thomas in command at Chattanooga, and, about 
the 20th of December, moved my headquarters to 
Nashville, Tennessee. 

Nashville was the most central point from which 
to communicate with my entire military division, 
and also with the authorities at Washington. While 
remaining at Chattanooga I was liable to have my 

* General John G. Foster. 


telegraphic communications cut so as to throw me 
out of communication with both my command and 

Nothing occurred at Nashville worthy of mention 
during the winter,* so I set myself to the task of hav- 
ing troops in positions from which they could move 
to advantage, and in collecting all necessary supplies 
so as to be ready to claim a due share of the ene- 
my's attention upon the appearance of the first good 
weather in the spring. I expected to retain the 
command I then had, and prepared myself for the 
campaign against Atlanta. I also had great hopes 
of having a campaign made against Mobile from the 
Gulf. I expected after Atlanta fell to occupy that 
place permanently, and to cut off Lee's army from 
the West by way of the road running through Au- 
gusta to Atlanta and thence south-west. I was pre- 
paring to hold Atlanta with a small garrison, and it 
was my expectation to push through to Mobile if 

* During this winter the citizens of Jo Davies County, 111., sub- 
scribed for and had a diamond-hilted sword made for General 
Grant, which was always known as the Chattanooga sword. The 
scabbard was of gold, and was ornamented with a scroll running 
nearly its entire length, displaying in engraved letters the names 
of the battles in which General Grant had participated. 

Congress also gave him a vote of thanks for the victories at 
Chattanooga, and voted him a gold medal for Vicksburg and 
Chattanooga. All such things are now in the possession of the 
government at Washington. 


that city was in our possession : if not, to Savan- 
nah ; and in this manner to get possession of the 
only east and west railroad that would then be -.left 
to the enemy. But the spring campaign ag^hjst 
Mobile was not made. 

The Army of the Ohio had been getting supplies 
over Cumberland Gap until their animals had nearly 
all starved. I now determined to go myself to see 
if there was any possible chance of using that route 
in the spring, and if not to abandon it. Accordingly 
I left Nashville in the latter part of December by 
rail for Chattanooga. From Chattanooga I took 
one of the little steamers previously spoken of as 
having been built there, and, putting my horses 
aboard, went up to the junction of the Clinch with 
the Tennessee. From that point the railroad had 
been repaired up to Knoxville and out east to Straw- 
berry Plains. I went by rail therefore to Knoxville, 
where I remained for several days. General John G. 
Foster was then commanding the Department of the 
Ohio. It was an intensely cold winter, the thermom- 
eter being down as low as zero every morning for 
more than a week while I was at Knoxville and on 
my way from there on horseback to Lexington, Ken- 
tucky, the first point where I could reach rail to 
carry me back to my headquarters at Nashville. 

The road over Cumberland Gap, and back of it, 
was strewn with debris of broken wagons and dead 


, • • • * 

animals, much'-ps J had found it on my first trip to 
Chattaftooga\cxver Waldron's Ridge. The road had 

been : ^uJL'-up to as great a depth as clay could be 

* * * # 

; Ky;'Tfiules and wagons, and in that condition frozen ; 
V # v : Vo that the ride of six days from Strawberry Plains 
to Lexington over these holps and knobs in the 
road was a very cheerless one, and very disagree- 

I found a great many people at home along that 
route, both in Tennessee and Kentucky, and, almost 
universally, intensely loyal. They would collect in 
little places where we would stop of evenings, to see 
me, generally hearing of my approach before we 
arrived. The people naturally expected to see the 
commanding general the oldest person in the party. 
I was then forty-one years of age, while my medical 
director was gray-haired and probably twelve or 
more years my senior. The crowds would generally 
swarm around him, and thus give me an opportunity 
of quietly dismounting and getting into the house. 
It also gave me an opportunity of hearing passing 
remarks from one spectator to another about their 
general. Those remarks were apt to be more com- 
plimentary to the cause than to the appearance of 
the supposed general, owing to his being muffled up, 
and also owing to the travel-worn condition we were 
all in after a hard day's ride. I was back in Nash- 
ville by the 13th of January, 1864. 


When I started on this trip it was necessary for 
me to have some person along who could turn dis- 
patches into cipher, and who could also read the 
cipher dispatches which I was liable to receive 
daily and almost hourly. Under the rules of the 
War Department **■£. that time, Mr. Stanton had 
taken entire control of the matter of regulating the 
telegraph and determining how it should be used, 
and of saying who, and who alone, should have the 
ciphers. The operators possessed of the ciphers, as 
well as the ciphers used, were practically independent 
of the commanders whom they were serving imme- 
diately under, and had to report to the War Depart- 
ment through General Stager all the dispatches 
which they received or forwarded. 

I was obliged to leave the telegraphic operator 
back at Nashville, because that was the point at 
which all dispatches to me would come, to be for- 
warded from there. As I have said, it was necessary 
for me also to have an operator during this inspec- 
tion who had possession of this cipher to enable me 
to telegraph to my division and to the War De- 
partment without my dispatches being read by all 
the operators along the line of wires over which they 
were transmitted. Accordingly I ordered the cipher 
operator to turn over the key to Captain Cyrus B. 
Comstock, of the Corps of Engineers, whom I had 
selected as a wise and discreet man who certainly 


could be trusted with the cipher if the operator at 
my headquarters could. 

The operator refused point blank to turn over the 
key to Captain Comstock as directed by me, stating 
that his orders from the War Department were not 
to give it to anybody — the commanding general or 
any one else. I told him I would see whether he 
would or not. He said that if he did he would 
be punished. I told him if he did not he most cer- 
tainly would be punished. Finally, seeing that pun- 
ishment was certain if he refused longer to obey my 
order, and being somewhat remote (even if he was 
not protected altogether from the consequences of 
his disobedience to his orders) from the War Depart- 
ment, he yielded. When I returned from Knoxville 
I found quite a commotion. The operator had been 
reprimanded very severely and ordered to be re- 
lieved. I informed the Secretary of War, or his 
assistant secretary in charge of the telegraph, Stager, 
that the man could not be relieved, for he had only 
obeyed my orders. It was absolutely necessary for 
me to have the cipher, and the man would most cer- 
tainly have been punished if he had not delivered it ; 
that they would have to punish me if they punished 
anybody, or words to that effect. 

This was about the only thing approaching a dis- 
agreeable difference between the Secretary of War 
and myself that occurred until the war was over, 


when we had another little spat. Owing to his nat- 
ural disposition to assume all power and control in 
all matters that he had anything whatever to do 
with, he boldly took command of the armies, and, 
while issuing no orders on the subject, prohibited 
any order from me going out of the adjutant-gen- 
eral's office until he had approved it. This was 
done by directing the adjutant-general to hold any 
orders that came from me to be issued from the 
adjutant-general's office until he had examined 
them and given his approval. He never disturbed 
himself, either, in examining my orders until it was 
entirely convenient for him ; so that orders which I 
had prepared would often lie there three or four 
days before he would sanction them. I remon- 
strated against this in writing, and the Secretary 
apologetically restored me to my rightful position 
of General-in-Chief of the Army. But he soon 
lapsed again and took control much as before. 

After the relief of Knoxville Sherman had pro- 
posed to Burnside that he should go with him to 
drive Longstreet out of Tennessee ; but Burnside 
assured him that with the troops which had been 
brought by Granger, and which were to be left, he 
would be amply prepared to dispose of Longstreet 
without availing himself of this offer. As before 
stated Sherman's command had left their camps 
north of the Tennessee, near Chattanooga, with two 







1 06 


days' rations in their haversacks, without coats or 
blankets, and without many wagons, expecting to 
return to their camps by the end of that time. The 
weather was now cold and they were suffering, but 
still they were ready to make the further sacrifice,. 
• had it been required, for the good of the cause 
which had brought them into service. Sherman, 
having accomplished the object for which he was 
sent, marched back leisurely to his old camp on the 
Tennessee River. 





SOON after his return from Knoxville I ordered 
Sherman to distribute his forces from Stevenson 
* to Decatur and thence north to Nashville ; Sherman 
suggested that he be permitted to go back to Mis- 
sissippi, to the limits of his own department and 
where most of his army still remained, for the pur- 
pose of clearing out what Confederates might still 
be left on the east bank of the Mississippi River 
to impede its navigation by our boats. He expected 
also to have the co-operation of Banks to do the 
same thing on the west shore. Of course I ap- 
proved heartily. 

About the ioth of January Sherman was back in 
Memphis, where Hurlbut commanded, and got to- 
gether his Memphis men, or ordered them collected 
and sent to Vicksburg. He then went to Vicksburg 
and out to where McPherson was in command, and 


had him organize his surplus troops so as to give 
him about 20,000 men in all. 

Sherman knew that General (Bishop) Polk was 
occupying Meridian with his headquarters, and had 
two divisions of infantry with a considerable force 
of cavalry scattered west of him. He determined, 
therefore, to move directly upon Meridian. 

I had sent some 2,500 cavalry under General 
Sooy Smith to Sherman's department, and they had 
mostly arrived before Sherman got to Memphis. 
Hurlbut had 7,000 cavalry, and Sherman ordered 
him to reinforce Smith so as to give the latter a 
force of about 7,000 with which to go against 
Forrest, who was then known to be south-east from 
Memphis. Smith was ordered to move about the 
1 st of February. 

While Sherman was waiting at Vicksburg for the 
arrival of Hurlbut with his surplus men, he sent out 
scouts to ascertain the position and strength of the 
enemy and to bring back all the information they 
could gather. When these scouts returned it was 
through them that he got the information of Gen- 
eral Polk's being at Meridian, and of the strength 
and disposition of his command. 

Forrest had about 4,000 cavalry with him, com- 
posed of thoroughly well-disciplined men, who under 
so able a leader were very effective. Smith's com- 
mand was nearly double that of Forrest, but not 


equal, man to man, for the lack of a successful ex- 
perience such as Forrest's men had had. The fact 
is, troops who have fought a few battles and won, 
and followed up their victories, improve upon what 
they were before to an extent that can hardly be 
counted by percentage. The difference in result is 
often decisive victory instead of inglorious defeat. 
This same difference, too, is often due to the way 
troops are officered, and for the particular kind of 
warfare which Forrest had carried on neither army 
could present a more effective officer than he was. 

Sherman got off on the 3d of February and 
moved out on his expedition, meeting with no 
opposition whatever until he crossed the Big Black, 
and with no great deal of opposition after that until 
he reached Jackson, Mississippi. This latter place 
he reached on the 6th or 7th, Brandon on the 8th, 
and Morton on the 9th. Up to this time he moved 
in two columns to enable him to get a good supply 
of forage, etc., and expedite the march. Here, how- 
ever, there were indications of the concentration of 
Confederate infantry, and he was obliged to keep 
his army close together. He had no serious en- 
gagement; but he met some of the enemy who de- 
stroyed a few of his wagons about Decatur, Missis- 
sippi, where, by the way, Sherman himself came near 
being picked up. 

He entered Meridian on the 14th of the month, 


the enemy having retreated toward Demopolis, Ala- 
bama. He spent several days in Meridian in thor- 
oughly destroying the railroad to the north and 
south, and also for the purpose of hearing from Sooy 
Smith, who he supposed had met Forrest before this 
time and he hoped had gained a decisive victory be- 
cause of a superiority of numbers. Hearing nothing 
of him, however, he started on his return trip to 
Vicksburg. There he learned that Smith, while 
waiting for a few of his men who had been ice-bound 
in the Ohio River, instead of getting off on the ist as 
expected, had not left until the nth. Smith did 
meet Forrest, but the result was decidedly in For- 
rest's favor. 

Sherman had written a letter to Banks, proposing 
a co-operative movement with him against Shreve- 
port, subject to my approval. I disapproved of 
Sherman's going himself, because I had other im- 
portant work for him to do, but consented that he 
might send a few troops to the aid of Banks, though 
their time to remain absent must be limited. We 
must have them for the spring campaign. The trans- 
Mississippi movement proved abortive. 

My eldest son, who had accompanied me on the 
Vicksburg campaign and siege, had while there con- 
tracted disease, which grew worse, until he had grown 
so dangerously ill that on the 24th of January I 
obtained permission to go to St. Louis, where he 


was staying at the time, to see him, hardly expecting 
to find him alive on my arrival. While I was per- 
mitted to go, I was not permitted to turn over my 
command to any one else, but was directed to keep 
the headquarters with me and to communicate reg- 
ularly with all parts of my division and with Wash- 
ington, just as though I had remained at Nash- 

When I obtained this leave I was at Chattanooga, 
having gone there again to make preparations to 
have the troops of Thomas in the southern part of 
Tennessee co-operate with Sherman's movement in 
Mississippi. I directed Thomas, and Logan who 
was at Scottsboro, Alabama, to keep up a threaten- 
ing movement to the south against J. E. Johnston, 
who had again relieved Bragg, for the purpose of 
making him keep as many troops as possible there. 

I learned through Confederate sources that John- 
ston had already sent two divisions in the direction of 
Mobile, presumably to operate against Sherman, and 
two more divisions to Longstreet in East Tennessee. 
Seeing that Johnston had depleted in this way, I di- 
rected Thomas to send at least ten thousand men, 
besides Stanley's division which was already to the 
east, into East Tennessee, and notified Schofield, who 
was now in command in East Tennessee, of this move- 
ment of troops into his department and also of the 
reinforcements Longstreet had received. My object 


was to drive Longstreet out of East Tennessee as a 
part of the preparations for my spring campaign. 

About this time General Foster, who had been in 
command of the Department of the Ohio after Burn- 
side until Schofield relieved him,* advised me that he 
thought it would be a good thing to keep Longstreet 
just where he was ; that he was perfectly quiet in 
East Tennessee, and if he was forced to leave there, 
his whole well-equipped army would be free to go to 
any place where it could effect the most for their 
cause. I thought the advice was good, and, adopt- 
ing that view, countermanded the orders for pursuit 
of Longstreet. 

On the 1 2th of February I ordered Thomas to 
take Dalton and hold it, if possible ; and I directed 
him to move without delay. Finding that he had 
not moved, on the 17th I urged him again to start, 
telling him how important it was, that the object of 
the movement was to co-operate with Sherman, who 
was moving eastward and might be in danger. Then 

* Washington, D. C, 

December 29, 1863. 

Ma j. -General U. S. Grant : 

General Foster has asked to be relieved from his command on 
account of disability from old wounds. Should his request be 
granted, who would you like as his successor ? It is possible that 
Schofield will be sent to your command. 

[Official) General-in-Chief. 

Vol. ti. — 8 


again on the 21st, he not yet having started, I asked 
him if he could not start the next day. He finally 
got off on the 2 2d or 23d. The enemy fell back 
from his front without a battle, but took a new 
position quite as strong and farther to the rear. 
Thomas reported that he could not go any farther, 
because it was impossible with his poor teams, nearly 
starved, to keep up supplies until the railroads were 
repaired. He soon fell back. 

Schofield also had to return for the same reason. 
He could not carry supplies with him, and Long- 
street was between him and the supplies still left 
in the country. Longstreet, in his retreat, would 
be moving towards his supplies, while our forces, 
following, would be receding from theirs. On the 
2d of March, however, I learned of Sherman's suc- 
cess, which eased my mind very much. The next 
day, the 3d, I was ordered to Washington. 

The bill restoring the grade of lieutenant-general 
of the army had passed through Congress and be- 
came a law on the 26th of February. My nomi- 
nation had been sent to the Senate on the 1st of 
March and confirmed the next day (the 2d). I was 
ordered to Washington on the 3d to receive my 
commission, and started the day following that. 
The commission was handed to me on the 9th. It 
was delivered to me at the Executive Mansion by 
President Lincoln in the presence of his Cabinet, my 


eldest son, those of my staff who were with me and 
a few other visitors. 

The President in presenting my commission read 
from a paper — stating, however, as a preliminary, and 
prior to the delivery of it, that he had drawn that 
up on paper, knowing my disinclination to speak in 
public, and handed me a copy in advance so that I 
might prepare a few lines of reply. The President 
said : 

" General Grant, the nation's appreciation of what 
you have done, and its reliance upon you for what 
remains to be done in the existing great struggle, 
are now presented, with this commission constituting 
you lieutenant-general in the Army of the United 
States. With this high honor, devolves upon you, 
also, a corresponding responsibility. As the country 
herein trusts you, so, under God, it will sustain you. 
I scarcely need to add, that, with what I here speak 
for the nation, goes my own hearty personal con- 

To this I replied : (< Mr, President, I accept the 
commission, with gratitude for the high honor con- 
ferred. With the aid of the noble armies that have 
fought in so many fields for our common country, it 
will be my earnest endeavor not to disappoint your 
expectations. I feel the full weight of the respon- 
sibilities now devolving on me ; and I know that if 
they are met, it will be due to those armies, and above 


all, to the favor of that Providence which leads both 
nations and men." 

On the ioth I visited the headquarters of the 
Army of the Potomac at Brandy Station ; then re- 
turned to Washington, and pushed west at once to 
make my arrangements for turning over the com- 
mands there and giving general directions for the 
preparations to be made for the spring campaign. 

It had been my intention before this to remain in 
the West, even if I was made lieutenant-general ; 
but when I got to Washington and saw the situ- 
ation it was plain that here was the point for the 
commanding general to be. No one else could, 
probably, resist the pressure that would be brought 
to bear upon him to desist from his own plans and 
pursue others. I determined, therefore, before I 
started back to have Sherman advanced to my late 
position, McPherson to Sherman's in command of 
the department, and Logan to the command of 
McPherson s corps. These changes were all made 
on my recommendation and without hesitation. 
My commission as lieutenant-general was given 
to me on the 9th of March, 1864. On the following 
day, as already stated, I visited General Meade, 
commanding the Army of the Potomac, at his head- 
quarters at Brandy Station, north of the Rapidan. I 
had known General Meade slightly in the Mexican 


war, but had not met him since until this visit 




I was a stranger to most of the Army of the 
Potomac, I might say to all except the officers of 
the regular army who had served in the Mexican 
war. There had been some changes ordered in the 
organization of that army before my promotion. 
One was the consolidation of five corps into three, 
thus throwing some officers of rank out of important 
commands. Meade evidently thought that I might 
want to make still one more change not yet ordered. 
He said to me that I might want an officer who had 
served with me in the West, mentioning Sherman 
specially, to take his place. If so, he begged me not 
to hesitate about making the change. He urged 
that the work before us was of such vast impor- 
tance to the whole nation that the feeling or wishes 
of no one person should stand in the way of select- 
ing the right men for all positions. For himself, 
he would serve to the best of his ability wherever 
placed. I assured him that I had no thought of 
substituting any one for him. As to Sherman, he 
could not be spared from the West. 

This incident gave me even a more favorable V 
opinion of Meade than did his great victory at 
Gettysburg the July before. It is men who wait to 
be selected, and not those who seek, from whom 
we may always expect the most efficient service. 

Meade's position afterwards proved embarrassing 
to me if not to him. He was commanding an army 


and, for nearly a year previous to my taking com- 
mand of all the armies, was in supreme command 
of the Army of the Potomac — except from the 
authorities at Washington. All other general offi- 
cers occupying similar positions were independent in 
their commands so far as any one present with them 
was concerned. I tried to make General Meade's 
position as nearly as possible what it would have 
been if I had been in Washington or any other place 
away from his command. I therefore gave all orders 
for the movements of the Army of the Potomac to 
Meade to have them executed. To avoid the neces- 
sity of having to give orders direct, I established my 
headquarters near his, unless there were reasons for 
locating them elsewhere. This sometimes happened, 
and I had on occasions to give orders direct to the 
troops affected. On the nth I returned to Wash- 
ington and, on the day after, orders were published 
by the War Department placing me in command of 
all the armies. I had left Washington the night be- 
fore to return to my old command in the West and 
to meet Sherman whom I had telegraphed to join 
me in Nashville. 

Sherman assumed command of the military di- 
vision of the Mississippi on the 18th of March, and 
we left Nashville together for Cincinnati. I had 
Sherman accompany me that far on my way back 
to Washington so that we could talk over the 


matters about which I wanted to see him, without los- 
ing any more time from my new command than was 
necessary. The first point which I wished to discuss 
was particularly about the co-operation of his com- 
mand with mine when the spring campaign should 
commence. There were also other and minor points, 
minor as compared with the great importance of the 
question to be decided by sanguinary war — the res- 
toration to duty of officers who had been relieved 
from important commands, namely McClellan, Burn- 
side and Fremont in the East, and Buell, McCook, 
Negley and Crittenden in the West. 

Some time in the winter of 1863-64 I had been 
invited by the general-in-chief to give my views of 
the campaign I thought advisable for the command 
under me — now Sherman's. General J. E. Johnston 
was defending Atlanta and the interior of Georgia 
with an army, the largest part of which was stationed 
at Dalton, about 38 miles south of Chattanooga. 
Dalton is at the junction of the railroad from Cleve- 
land with the one from Chattanooga to Atlanta. 

There could have been no difference of opinion as 
to the first duty of the armies of the military division 
of the Mississippi. Johnston's army was the first 
objective, and that important railroad centre, Atlanta, 
the second. At the time I wrote General Halleck 
giving my views of the approaching campaign, and 
at the time I met General Sherman, it was expected 


that General Banks would be through with the cam- 
paign which he had been ordered upon before my 
appointment to the command of all the armies, and 
would be ready to co-operate with the armies east of 
the Mississippi, his part in the programme being to 
move upon Mobile by land while the navy would 
close the harbor and assist to the best of its ability.* 
The plan therefore was for Sherman to attack John- 
ston and destroy his army if possible, to capture At- 
lanta and hold it, and with his troops and those of 
Banks to hold a line through to Mobile, or at least to 
hold Atlanta and command the railroad running east 
and west, and the troops from one or other of the 
armies to hold important points on the southern road, 
the only east and west road that would be left in the 
possession of the enemy. This would cut the Con- 
federacy in two again, as our gaining possession of 
the Mississippi River had done before. Banks was 
not ready in time for the part assigned to him, and 
circumstances that could not be foreseen determined 
the campaign which was afterwards made, the success 
and grandeur of which has resounded throughout all 

In regard to restoring officers who had been re- 
lieved from important commands to duty again, I left 
Sherman to look after those who had been removed 
in the West while I looked out for the rest. I 

* See letter to Banks, in General Grant's report, Appendix. 


directed, however, that he should make no assign- 
ment until I could speak to the Secretary of War 
about the matter. I shortly after recommended to 
the Secretary the assignment of General Buell to 
duty. I received the assurance that duty would be 
offered to him ; and afterwards the Secretary told me 
that he had offered Buell an assignment and that the 
latter had declined it, saying that it would be degra- 
dation to accept the assignment offered. I under- 
stood afterwards that he refused to serve under either 
Sherman or Canby because he had ranked them both. 
Both graduated before him and ranked him in the Qld 
army. Sherman ranked him as a brigadier-general. 
All of them ranked me in the old army, and Sherman 
and Buell did as brigadiers. The worst excuse a 
soldier can make for declining service is that he once 
ranked the commander he is ordered to report to. 

On the 23d of March I was back in Washington, 
and on the 26th took up my headquarters at Cul- 
peper Court-House, a few miles south of the head- 
quarters of the Army of the Potomac. 

Although hailing from Illinois myself, the State of 
the President, I never met Mr. Lincoln until called 
to the capital to receive my commission as lieutenant- 
general. I knew him, however, very well and favor- 
ably from the accounts given by officers under me 
at the West who had known him all their lives. I 
had also read the remarkable series of debates be- 


tween Lincoln and Douglas a few years before, when 
they were rival candidates for the United States Sen- 
ate. I was then a resident of Missouri, and by no 
means a " Lincoln man " in that contest ; but I 
recognized then his great ability. 

In my first interview with Mr. Lincoln alone he 
stated to me that he had never professed to be a 
military man or to know how campaigns should be 
conducted, and never wanted to interfere in them : 
but that procrastination on the part of commanders, 
and the pressure from the people at the North and 
Cpngress, which was always with him, forced him 
into issuing his series of " Military Orders " — one, 
two, three, etc. He did not know but they were 
all wrong, and did know that some of them were. 
All he wanted or had ever wanted was some one 
who would take the responsibility and act, and call 
on him for all the assistance needed, pledging him- 
self to use all the power of the government in ren- 
dering such assistance. Assuring him that I would 
do the best I could with the means at hand, and 
avoid as far as possible annoying him or the War 
Department, our first interview ended. 

The Secretary of War I had met once before 
only, but felt that I knew him better. 

While commanding in West Tennessee we had 
occasionally held conversations over the wires, at 
night, when they were not being otherwise used. 



He and General Halleck both cautioned me against 
giving the President my plans of campaign, saying 
that he was so kind-hearted, so averse to refusing 
anything asked of him, that some friend would be 
sure to get from him all he knew. I should have 
said that in our interview the President told me he 
did not want to know what I proposed to do. But 
he submitted a plan of campaign of his own which 
he wanted me to hear and then do as I pleased 
about. He brought out a map of Virginia on which 
he had evidently marked every position occupied by 
the Federal and Confederate armies up to that , 
time. He pointed out on the map two streams/ 
which empty into the Potomac, and suggested that" 
the army might be moved on boats and landed be- 
tween the mouths of these streams. We would 
then have the Potomac to bring our supplies, and 
the tributaries would protect our flanks while we 
moved out. I listened respectfully, but did not sug- 
gest that the same streams would protect Lee's 
flanks while he was shutting us up. 

I did not communicate my plans to the Presi- 
dent, nor did I to the Secretary of War or to Gen- 
eral Halleck. 

March the 26th my headquarters were, as stated, 
at Culpeper, and the work of preparing for an early 
campaign commenced. 



WHEN I assumed command of all the armies 
the situation was about this: the Mississippi 
River was guarded from St. Louis to its mouth ; the 

line of the Arkansas was held, thus giving us all the 
North-west north of that river. A few points in 
Louisiana not remote from the river were held by 
the Federal troops, as was also the mouth of the 
Rio Grande. East of the Mississippi we held sub- 
stantially all north of the Memphis and Charleston 
Railroad as far east as Chattanooga, thence along the 
line of the Tennessee and Holston rivers, taking in 
nearly all of the State of Tennessee. West Virginia 
was in our hands ; and that part of old Virginia 
north of the Rapidan and east of the Blue Ridge 
we also held. On the sea-coast we had Fortress 
Monroe and Norfolk in Virginia ; Plymouth, Wash- 



ington and New Berne in North Carolina ; Beaufort, 
Folly and Morris islands, Hilton Head, Port Royal 
and Fort Pulaski in South Carolina and Georgia ; 
Fernandina, St. Augustine, Key West and Pensacola 
in Florida. The balance of the Southern territory, 
an empire in extent, was still in the hands of the 

Sherman, who had succeeded me in the command 
of the military division of the Mississippi, commanded 
all the troops in the territory west of the Alleghanies 
and north of Natchez, with a large movable force 
about Chattanooga. His command was subdivided 
into four departments, but the commanders all re- 
ported to Sherman and were subject to his orders. 
This arrangement, however, insured the better pro- 
tection of all lines of communication through the 
acquired territory, for the reason that these different 
department commanders could act promptly in case 
of a sudden or unexpected raid within their respec- 
tive jurisdictions without awaiting the orders of the 
division commander. 

In the East the opposing forces stood in substan- 
tially the same relations towards each other as three 
years before, or when the war began ; they were 
both between the Federal and Confederate capitals. 
It is true, footholds had been secured by us on the 
sea-coast, in Virginia and North Carolina, but, beyond 
that, no substantial advantage had been gained by 


either side. Battles had been fought of as great 
severity as had ever been known in war, over 
ground from the James River and Chickahominy, 
near Richmond, to Gettysburg and Chambersburg, 
in Pennsylvania, with indecisive results, sometimes 
favorable to the National army, sometimes to the 
Confederate army ; but in every instance, I believe, 
claimed as victories for the South by the Southern 
press if not by the Southern generals. The North- 
ern press, as a whole, did not discourage these claims ; 
a portion of it always magnified rebel success and 
belittled ours, while another portion, most sincerely 
earnest in their desire for the preservation of the 
Union and the overwhelming success of the Federal 
armies, would nevertheless generally express dissat- 
isfaction with whatever victories were gained be- 
cause they were not more complete. 

That portion of the Army of the Potomac not 
engaged in guarding lines of communication was on 
the northern bank of the Rapidan. The Army of 
Northern Virginia confronting it on the opposite bank 
of the same river, was strongly intrenched and com- 
manded by the acknowledged ablest general in the 
Confederate army. The country back to the James 
River is cut up with many streams, generally narrow, 
deep, and difficult to cross except where bridged. 
The region is heavily timbered, and the roads nar- 
row, and very bad after the least rain. Such an enemy 


was not, of course, unprepared with adequate forti- 
fications at convenient intervals all the way back to 
Richmond, so that when driven from one fortified 
position they would always have another farther to 
the rear to fall back into. 

To provision an army, campaigning against so 
formidable a foe through such a country, from wagons 
alone seemed almost impossible. System and dis- 
cipline were both essential to its accomplishment. 

The Union armies were now divided into nineteen 
departments, though four of them in the West had 
been concentrated into a single military division. The 
Army of the Potomac was a separate command and 
had no territorial limits. There were thus seventeen 
distinct commanders. Before this time these various 
armies had acted separately and independently of 
each other, giving the enemy an opportunity often 
of depleting one command, not pressed, to reinforce 
another more actively engaged. I determined to 
stop this. To this end I regarded the Army of the 
Potomac as the centre, and all west to Memphis 
along the line described as our position at the time, 
and north of it, the right wing ; the Army of the 
James, under General Butler, as the left wing, and 
all the troops south, as a force in rear of the enemy. 
Some of these latter were occupying positions from 
which they could not render service proportionate to 
their numerical strength. All such were depleted to 


the minimum necessary to hold their positions as a 
guard against blockade runners ; where they could not 
do this their positions were abandoned altogether. In 
this way ten thousand men were added to the Army 
of the James from South Carolina alone, with Gen- 
eral Gillmore in command. It was not contemplated 
that General Gillmore should leave his department ; 
but as most of his troops were taken, presumably for 
active service, he asked to accompany them and was 
permitted to do so. Officers and soldiers on furlough, 
of whom there were many thousands, were ordered 
to their proper commands ; concentration was the 
order of the day, and to have it accomplished in time 
to advance at the earliest moment the roads would 
permit was the problem. 

As a reinforcement to the Army of the Potomac, 
or to act in support of it, the 9th army corps, over 
twenty thousand strong, under General Burnside, 
had been rendezvoused at Annapolis, Maryland. 
This was an admirable position for such a reinforce- 
ment. The corps could be brought at the last 
moment as a reinforcement to the Army of the 
Potomac, or it could be thrown on the sea-coast, 
south of Norfolk, in Virginia or North Carolina, 
to operate against Richmond from that direction. 
In fact Burnside and the War Department both 
thought the 9th corps was intended for such an 
expedition up to the last moment. 


My general plan now was to concentrate all the 
force possible against the Confederate armies in the 
field. There were but two such, as we have seen, 
east of the Mississippi River and facing north. The 
Army of Northern Virginia, General Robert E. Lee 
commanding, was on the south bank of the Rapidan, 
confronting the Army of the Potomac ; the second, 
under General Joseph E. Johnston, was at Dalton, 
Georgia, opposed to Sherman who was still at Chat- 
tanooga. Beside these main armies the Confeder- 
ates had to guard the Shenandoah Valley, a great 
storehouse to feed their armies from, and their line 
of communications from Richmond to Tennessee. 
Forrest, a brave and intrepid cavalry general, was 
in the West with a large force ; making a larger 
command necessary to hold what we had gained in 
Middle and West Tennessee. We could not abandon 
any territory north of the line held by the enemy 
because it would lay the Northern States open to 
invasion. But as the Army of the Potomac was the 
principal garrison for the protection of Washington 
even while it was moving on Lee, so all the forces 
to the west, and the Army of the James, guarded 
their special trusts when advancing from them as 
well as when remaining at them. Better indeed, for 
they forced the enemy to guard his own lines and 
resources at a greater distance from ours, and with 
a greater force. Little expeditions could not so well 

Vol. 11. — 9 


be sent out to destroy a bridge or tear up a few 
miles of railroad track, burn a storehouse, or inflict 
other little annoyances. Accordingly I arranged 
for a simultaneous movement all along the line. 
Sherman was to move from Chattanooga, John- 
ston's army and Atlanta being his objective points.* 

* [Private and Confidential.] 

Headquarters Armies of the United States, 

Washington, D. C, Aptil 4, 1864. 

Major-General W. T. Sherman, 

Commanding Military Division of the Mississippi. 

General : — It is my design, if the enemy keep quiet and allow 
me to take the initiative in the spring campaign, to work all parts 
of the army together, and somewhat towards a common centre. 
For your information I now write you my programme, as at pres- 
ent determined upon. 

I have sent orders to Banks, by private messenger, to finish up 
his present expedition against Shreveport with all dispatch ; to 
turn over the defence of Red River to General Steele and the 
navy, and to return your troops to you and his own to New Or- 
leans ; to abandon all of Texas, except the Rio Grande, and to 
hold that with not to exceed four thousand men ; to reduce the 
number of troops on the Mississippi to the lowest number neces- 
sary to hold it, and to collect from his command not less than 
twenty-five thousand men. To this I will add five thousand 
men from Missouri. With this force he is to commence opera- 
tions against Mobile as soon as he can. It will be impossible for 
him to commence too early. 

Gillmore joins Butler with ten thousand men, and the two 
operate against Richmond from the south side of the James 
River. This will give Butler thirty-three thousand men to oper- 


Crook, commanding in West Virginia, was to move 
from the mouth of the Gauley River with a cavalry 
force and some artillery, the Virginia and Tennes- 
see Railroad to be his objective. Either the enemy 
would have to keep a large force to protect their 
communications, or see them destroyed and a large 
amount of forage and provision, which they so much 
needed, fall into our hands. Sigel was in command 
in the Valley of Virginia. He was to advance up 
the valley, covering the North from an invasion 

ate with, W. F. Smith commanding the right wing of his forces 
and Gillmore the left wing. I will stay with the Army of the 
Potomac, increased by Burnside's corps of not less than twenty- 
five thousand effective men, and operate directly against Lee's 
army, wherever it may be found. 

Sigel collects all his available force in two columns, one, under 
Ord and Averell, to start from Beverly, Virginia, and the other, 
under Crook, to start from Charleston on the Kanawha, to move 
against the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad. 

Crook will have all cavalry, and will endeavor to get in about 
Saltville, and move east from there to join Ord. His force will 
be all cavalry, while Ord will have from ten to twelve thousand 
men of all arms. 

You I propose to move against Johnston's army, to break it up 
and to get into the interior of the enemy's country as far as you 
can, inflicting all the damage you can against their war resources. 

I do not propose to lay down for you a plan of campaign, but 
simply lay down the work it is desirable to have done and leave 
you free to execute it in your own way. Submit to me, however, 
as early as you can, your plan of operations. 


through that channel as well while advancing as by 
remaining near Harpers Ferry. Every mile he ad- 
vanced also gave us possession of stores on which 
Lee relied. Butler was to advance by the James 
River, having Richmond and Petersburg as his 

Before the advance commenced I visited Butler 
at Fort Monroe. This was the first time I had ever 
met him. Before giving him any order as to the 
part he was to play in the approaching campaign I 

As stated, Banks is ordered to commence operations as soon as he 
can. Gillmore is ordered to report at Fortress Monroe by the 18th 
inst., or as soon thereafter as practicable. Sigel is concentrating 
now. None will move from their places of rendezvous until I direct, 
except Banks. I want to be ready to move by the 25 th inst., if 
possible. But all I can now direct is that you get ready as soon as 
possible. I know you will have difficulties to encounter in getting 
through the mountains to where supplies are abundant, but I 
believe you will accomplish it. 

From the expedition from the Department of West Virginia I 
do not calculate on very great results ; but it is the only way I can 
take troops from there. With the long line of railroad Sigel has 
to protect, he can spare no troops except to move directly to his 
front. In this way he must get through to inflict great damage on 
the enemy, or the enemy must detach from one of his armies a 
large force to prevent it. In other words, if Sigel can't skin him- 
self he can hold a leg while some one else skins. 

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 




invited his views. They were very much such as I 
intended to direct, and as I did direct,* in writing, 
before leaving. 

General W. F. Smith, who had been promoted to 
the rank of major-general shortly after the battle of 
Chattanooga on my recommendation, had not yet 
been confirmed. I found a decided prejudice against 
his confirmation by a majority of the Senate, but I 
insisted that his services had been such that he 
should be rewarded. My wishes were now reluctantly 
complied with, and I assigned him to the command 
of one of the corps under General Butler. I was not 
long in finding out that the objections to Smith's 
promotion were well founded. 

In one of my early interviews with the President 
I expressed my dissatisfaction with the little that 
had been accomplished by the cavalry so far in the 
war, and the belief that it was capable of accom- 
plishing much more than it had done if under a 
thorough leader. I said I wanted the very best man 
in the army for that command. Halleck was present 
and spoke up, saying: " How would Sheridan do?" 
I replied : " The very man I want." The President 
said I could have anybody I wanted. Sheridan was 
telegraphed for that clay, and on his arrival was 
assigned to the command of the cavalry corps with 
the Army of the Potomac. This relieved General 

* Sec instructions to Butler, in Generals Grant's report, Appendix. 


Alfred Pleasonton. It was not a reflection on 
that officer, however, for I did not know but that 
he had been as efficient as any other cavalry com- 

Banks in the Department of the Gulf was ordered 
to assemble all the troops he had at New Orleans in 
time to join in the general move, Mobile to be his 

At this time I was not entirely decided as to 
whether I should move the Army of the Potomac 
by the right flank of the enemy, or by his left. 
Each plan presented advantages.* If by his right — 

* In Field, Culpeper C. H.. Va m 

April 9. 1864. 
Maj. -General Geo. G. Meade, 

Com'd'g Army of the Potomac. 

For information and as instruction to govern your preparations 
for the coming campaign, the following is communicated confi- 
dentially for your own perusal alone. 

So far as practicable all the armies are to move together, and 
towards one common centre. Banks has been instructed to turn 
over the guarding of the Red River to General Steele and the 
navy, to abandon Texas with the exception of the Rio Grande, 
and to concentrate all the force he can, not less than 25,000 men, 
to move on Mobile. This he is to do without reference to other 
movements. From the scattered condition of his command, how- 
ever, he cannot possibly get it together to leave New Orleans 
before the 1st of May, if so soon. Sherman will move at the same 
time you do, or two or three days in advance, Jo. Johnston's 
army being his objective point, and the heart of Georgia his 


my left — the Potomac, Chesapeake Bay and tribu- 
taries would furnish us an easy line over which to 
bring all supplies to within easy hauling distance 

ultimate aim. If successful he will secure the line from Chatta- 
nooga to Mobile with the aid of Banks. 

Sigel cannot spare troops from his army to reinforce either of 
the great armies, but he can aid them by moving directly to his 
front. This he has been directed to do, and is now making prep- 
arations for it. Two columns of his command will make south 
at the same time with the general move ; one from Beverly, from 
ten to twelve thousand strong, under Major-General Ord ; the other 
from Charleston, Va., principally cavalry, under Brig. -General 
Crook. The former of these will endeavor to reach the Ten- 
nessee and Virginia Railroad, about south of Covington, and 
if found practicable will work eastward to Lynchburg and return 
to its base by way of the Shenandoah Valley, or join you. The 
other will strike at Saltville, Va., and come eastward to join Ord. 
The cavalry from Ord's command will try to force a passage 
southward, if they are successful in reaching the Virginia and 
Tennessee Railroad, to cut the main lines of the road connecting 
Richmond with all the South and South-west. 

Gillmore will join Butler with about 10,000 men from South 
Carolina. Butler can reduce his garrison so as to take 23,000 
men into the field directly to his front. The force will be com- 
manded by Maj. -General W. F. Smith. With Smith and Gillmore, 
Butler will seize City Point, and operate against Richmond from 
the south side of the river. His movement will be simultaneous 
with yours. 

Lee's army will be your objective point. Wherever Lee goes, 
there you will go also. The only point upon which I am now in 
doubt is, whether it will be better to cross the Rapidan above or 
below him. Each plan presents great advantages over the other 


of every position the army could occupy from the 
Rapidan to the James River. But Lee could, if he 
chose, detach or move his whole army north on a 

with corresponding objections. By crossing above, Lee is cut off 
from all chance of ignoring Richmond and going north on a raid. 
But if we take this route, all we do must be done whilst the rations 
we start with hold out. We separate from Butler so that he 
cannot be directed how to co-operate. By the other route Brandy 
Station can be used as a base of supplies until another is secured 
on the York or James rivers. 

These advantages and objections I will talk over with you more 
fully than I can write them. 

Burnside with a force of probably 25,000 men will reinforce 
you. Immediately upon his arrival, which will be shortly after 
the 20th inst., I will give him the defence of the road from Bull 
Run as far south as we wish to hold it. This will enable you to 
collect all your strength about Brandy Station and to the front. 

There will be naval co-operation on the James River, and trans- 
ports and ferries will be provided so that should Lee fall back 
into his intrenchments at Richmond, Butler's force and yours 
will be a unit, or at least can be made to act as such. What I 
would direct then, is that you commence at once reducing bag- 
gage to the very lowest possible standard. Two wagons to a 
regiment of five hundred men is the greatest number that should 
be allowed, for all baggage, exclusive of subsistence stores and 
ordnance stores. One wagon to brigade and one to division head- 
quarters is sufficient and about two to corps headquarters. 

Should by Lee's right flank be our route, you will want to make 
arrangements for having supplies of all sorts promptly forwarded to 
White House on the Pamunkey. Your estimates for this contin- 
gency should be made at once. If not wanted there, there is every 
probability they will be wanted on the James River or elsewhere. 


line rather interior to the one I would have to take 
in following. A movement by his left — our right — 
would obviate this ; but all that was done would have 
to be done with the supplies and ammunition we 
started with. All idea of adopting this latter plan 
was abandoned when the limited quantity of sup- 
plies possible to take with us was considered. The 
country over which we would have to pass was so 
exhausted of all food or forage that we would be 
obliged to carry everything with us. 

While these preparations were going on the enemy 
was not entirely idle. In the West Forrest made a 
raid in West Tennessee up to the northern border, 
capturing the garrison of four or five hundred men 
at Union City, and followed it up by an attack on 
Paducah, Kentucky, on the banks of the Ohio. 
While he was able to enter the city he failed to capt- 
ure the forts or any part of the garrison. On the 
first intelligence of Forrest's raid I telegraphed Sher- 
man to send all his cavalry against him, and not to 
let him get out of the trap he had put himself into. 
Sherman had anticipated me by sending troops 
against him before he got my order. 

If Lee's left is turned, large provision will have to be made for 

ordnance stores. I would say not much short of five hundred 

rounds of infantry ammunition would do. By the other, half the 

amount would be sufficient. 


Lieu tenant-General. 


Forrest, however, fell back rapidly, and attacked 
the troops at Fort Pillow, a station for the protection 
of the navigation of the Mississippi River. The gar- 
rison consisted of a regiment of colored troops, 
infantry, and a detachment of Tennessee cavalry. 
These troops fought bravely, but were overpowered. 
I will leave Forrest in his dispatches to tell what he 
did with them. 

"The river was dyed," he says, " with the blood of 
the slaughtered for two hundred yards. The ap- 
proximate loss was upward of five hundred killed, but 
few of the officers escaping. My loss was about 
twenty killed. It is hoped that these facts will de- 
monstrate to the Northern people that negro soldiers 
cannot cope with Southerners." Subsequently For- 
rest made a report in which he left out the part 
which shocks humanity to read. 

At the East, also, the rebels were busy. I had 
said to Halleck that Plymouth and Washington, 
North Carolina, were unnecessary to hold. It would 
be better to have the garrisons engaged there added 
to Butler's command. If success attended our arms 
both places, and others too, would fall into our 
hands naturally. These places had been occupied 
by Federal troops before I took command of the 
armies, and I knew that the Executive would be 
reluctant to abandon them, and therefore explained 
my views ; but before my views were carried out 



the rebels captured the garrison at Plymouth. I 
then ordered the abandonment of Washington, but 
directed the holding of New Berne at all hazards. 
This was essential because New Berne was a port 
into which blockade runners could enter. 

General Banks had gone on an expedition up the 
Red River long before my promotion to general 
command. I had opposed the movement strenuously, 
but acquiesced because it was the order of my superior 
at the time. By direction of Halleck I had reinforced 
Banks with a corps of about ten thousand men from 
Sherman's command. This reinforcement was wanted 
back badly before the forward movement commenced. 
But Banks had got so far that it seemed best that he 
should take Shreveport on the Red River, and turn 
over the line of that river to Steele, who commanded 
in Arkansas, to hold instead of the line of the Ar- 
kansas. Orders were given accordingly, and with 
the expectation that the campaign would be ended in 
time for Banks to return A. J. Smith's command to 
where it belonged and get back to New Orleans him- 
self in time to execute his part in the general plan. 
But the expedition was a failure. Banks did not get 
back in time to take pc*rt in the programme as laid 
down. Nor was Smith returned until long after the 
movements of May, 1864, had been begun. The ser- 
vices of forty thousand veteran troops, over and above 
the number required to hold all that was necessary 


in the Department of the Gulf, were thus paralyzed. 
It is but just to Banks, however, to say that his ex- 
pedition was ordered from Washington and he was 
in no way responsible except for the conduct of it. I 
make no criticism on this point. He opposed the 

By the 27th of April spring had so far advanced 
as to justify me in fixing a day for the great move. 
On that day Burnside left Annapolis to occupy 
Meade's position between Bull Run and the Rappa- 
hannock. Meade was notified and directed to bring 
his troops forward to his advance. On the following 
day Butler was notified of my intended advance on 
the 4th of May, and he was directed to move the 
night of the same day and get as far up the James 
River as possible by daylight, and push on from there 
to accomplish the task given him. He was also 
notified that reinforcements were being collected in 
Washington City, which would be forwarded to him 
should the enemy fall back into the trenches at Rich- 
mond. The same day Sherman was directed to get 
his forces up ready to advance on the 5th. Sigel 
was in Winchester and was notified to move in con- 
junction with the others. 

The criticism has been made by writers on the 
campaign from the Rapidan to the James River that 
all the loss of life could have been obviated by mov- 
ing the army there on transports. Richmond was 


fortified and intrenched so perfectly that one man 
inside to defend was more than equal to five out- 
side besieging or assaulting. To get possession of 
Lee's army was the first great object. With the 
capture of his army Richmond would necessarily 
follow. It was better to fight him outside of his 
stronghold than in it. If the Army of the Potomac 
had been moved bodily to the James River by water 
Lee could have moved a part of his forces back to 
Richmond, called Beauregard from the south to re- 
inforce it, and with the balance moved on to Wash- 
ington. Then, too, I ordered a move, simultaneous 
with that of the Army of the Potomac, up the James 
River by a formidable army already collected at the 
mouth of the river. 

While my headquarters were at Culpeper, from 
the 26th of March to the 4th of May, I generally 
visited Washington once a week to confer with the 
Secretary of War and President. On the last occa- 
sion, a few days before moving, a circumstance 
occurred which came near postponing my part in 
the campaign altogether. Colonel John S. Mosby 
had for a long time been commanding a partisan 
corps, or regiment, which operated in the rear of the 
Army of the Potomac. On my return to the field 
on this occasion, as the train approached Warren- 
ton Junction, a heavy cloud of dust was seen to the 
east of the road a > if made by a body of cavalry on 


a charge. Arriving at the junction the train was 
stopped and inquiries made as to the cause of the 
dust. There was but one man at the station, and 
he informed us that Mosby had crossed a few min- 
utes before at full speed in pursuit of Federal 
cavalry. Had he seen our train coming, no doubt 
he would have let his prisoners escape to capture 
the train. I was on a special train, if I remember 
correctly, without any guard. 

Since the close of the war I have come to know 
Colonel Mosby personally, and somewhat intimately. 
He is a different man entirely from what I had sup- 
posed. He is slender, not tall, wiry, and looks as 
if he could endure any amount of physical exercise. 
He is able, and thoroughly honest and truthful. 
There were probably but few men in the South who 
could have commanded successfully a separate de- 
tachment in the rear of an opposing army, and so 
near the border of hostilities, as long as he did with- 
out losing his entire command. 

On this same visit to Washington I had my last 
interview with the President before reaching the 
James River. He had of course become acquainted 
with the fact that a general movement had been or- 
dered all along the line, and seemed to think it a 
new feature in war. I explained to him that it was 
necessary to have a great number of troops to guard 
and hold the territory we had captured, and to 


prevent incursions into the Northern States. These 
troops could perform this service just as well by ad- 
vancing as by remaining still; and by advancing they 
would compel the enemy to keep detachments to 
hold them back, or else lay his own territory open 
to invasion. His answer was : " Oh, yes ! I see that. 
As we say out West, if a man can't skin he must 
hold a leg while somebody else does/' 

There was a certain incident connected with the 
Wilderness campaign of which it may not be out of 
place to speak ; and to avoid a digression further on 
I will mention it here. 

A few days before my departure from Culpeper 
the Honorable E. B. Washburne visited me there, 
and remained with my headquarters for some dis- 
tance south, through the battle in the Wilderness 
and, I think, to Spottsylvania. He was accom- 
panied by a Mr. Swinton, whom he presented as a 
literary gentleman who wished to accompany the 
army with a view of writing a history of the war 
when it was over. He assured me — and I have no 
doubt Swinton gave him the assurance — that he was 
not present as a correspondent of the press. I ex- 
pressed an entire willingness to have him (Swinton) 
accompany the army, and would have allowed him 
to do so as a correspondent, restricted, however, in 
the character of the information he could give. We 
received Richmond papers with about as much regu- 


larity as if there had been no war, and knew that our 
papers were received with equal regularity by the 
Confederates. It was desirable, therefore, that cor- 
respondents should not be privileged spies of the 
enemy within our lines. 

Probably Mr. Swinton expected to be an invited 
guest at my headquarters, and was disappointed that 
he was not asked to become so. At all events he 
was not invited, and soon I found that he was cor- 
responding with some paper (I have now forgotten 
which one), thus violating his word either expressed 
or implied. He knew of the assurance Washburne 
had given as to the character of his mission. I never 
saw the man from the day of our introduction to the 
present that I recollect. He accompanied us, how- 
ever, for a time at least. 

The second night after crossing, the Rapidan (the 
night of the 5th of May) Colonel W. R. Rowley, of 
my staff, was acting as night officer at my headquar- 
ters. A short time before midnight I gave him ver- 
bal instructions for the night. Three days later I 
read in a Richmond paper a verbatim report of these 

A few nights still later (after the first, and pos- 
sibly after the second, day's fighting in the Wilder- 
ness) General Meade came to my tent for consul- 
tation, bringing with him some of his staff officers. 
Both his staff and mine retired to the camp-fire 


some yards in front of the tent, thinking our conver- 
sation should be private. There was a stump a little 
to one side, and between the front of the tent and 
camp-fire. One of my staff, Colonel T. S. Bowers, 
saw what he took to be a man seated on the ground 
and leaning against the stump, listening to the con- 
versation between Meade and myself. He called 
the attention of Colonel Rowley to it The latter 
immediately took the man by the shoulder and 
asked him, in language more forcible than polite, 
what he was doing there. The man proved to be 
Swinton, the " historian," and his replies to the ques- 
tion were evasive and unsatisfactory, and he was 
warned against further eaves-dropping. 

The next I heard of Mr. Swinton was at Cold 
Harbor. General Meade came to my headquarters 
saying that General Burnside had arrested Swinton, 
who at some previous time had given great offence, 
and had ordered him to be shot that afternoon. I 
promptly ordered the prisoner to be released, but 
that he must be expelled from the lines of the army 
not to return again on pain of punishment 

Vol. 11.— xo 


commencement of the grand campaign general 

butler's position — Sheridan's first raid. 

THE armies were now all ready to move for the 
accomplishment of a single object. They were 
acting as a unit so far as such a thing was possible 
over such a vast field. Lee, with the capital of the 
Confederacy, was the main end to which all were 
working. Johnston, with Atlanta, was an important 
obstacle in the way of our accomplishing the result 
aimed at, and was therefore almost an independent 
objective. It was of less importance only because the 
capture of Johnston and his army would not pro- 
duce so immediate and decisive a result in closing 
the rebellion as would the possession of Richmond, 
Lee and his army. All other troops were employed 
exclusively in support of these two movements. 
This was the plan ; and I will now endeavor to give, 
as concisely as I can, the method of its execution, 
outlining first the operations of minor detached but 
co-operative columns. 

As stated before, Banks failed to accomplish what 
he had been sent to do on the Red River, and elimi- 


nated the use of forty thousand veterans whose co- 
operation in the grand campaign had been expected 
— ten thousand with Sherman and thirty thousand 
against Mobile. 

Sigel's record is almost equally brief. He moved 
out, it is true, according to programme ; but just 
when I was hoping to hear of good work being done 
in the valley I received instead the following an- 
nouncement from Halleck: "Sigel is in full retreat 
on Strasburg. He will do nothing but run ; never 
did anything else." The enemy had intercepted him 
about New Market and handled him roughly, leaving 
him short six guns, and some nine hundred men out 
of his six thousand. 

The plan had been for an advance of Sigel's 
forces in two columns. Though the one under his 
immediate command failed ingloriously the other 
proved more fortunate. Under Crook and Averell 
his western column advanced from the Gauley in 
West Virginia at the appointed time, and with more 
happy results. They reached the Virginia and Ten- 
nessee Railroad at Dublin and destroyed a depot of 
supplies, besides tearing up several miles of road and 
burning the bridge over New River. Having ac- 
complished this they recrossed the Alleghanies to 
Meadow Bluffs and there awaited further orders. 

Butler embarked at Fort Monroe with all his com- 
mand, except the cavalry and some artillery which 


moved up the south bank of the James River. His 
steamers moved first up Chesapeake Bay and York 
River as if threatening the rear of Lee's army. At 
midnight they turned back, and Butler by daylight 
was far up the James River. He seized City Point 
and Bermuda Hundred early in the day, without 
loss and, no doubt, very much to the surprise of the 

This was the accomplishment of the first step con- 
templated in my instructions to Butler. He was to 
act from here, looking to Richmond as his objective 
point. I had given him to uoderstand that I should 
aim to fight Lee between the Rapidan and Rich- 
mond if he would stand ; but should Lee fall back 
into Richmond I would follow up and make a junc- 
tion of the armies of the Potomac and the James on 
the James River. He was directed to secure a foot- 
ing as far up the south side of the river as he could 
at as early a date as possible. 

Butler was in position by the 6th of May and had 
begun intrenching, and on the 7th he sent out his 
cavalry from Suffolk to cut the Weldon Railroad. 
He also sent out detachments to destroy the railroad 
between Petersburg and Richmond, but no great 
success attended these latter efforts. He made no 
great effort to establish himself on that road and neg- 
lected to attack Petersburg, which was almost de- 
fenceless. About the nth he advanced slowly until 


he reached the works at Dairy's Bluff, about half way 
between Bermuda Hundred and Richmond. In the 
mean time Beauregard had been gathering reinforce- 
ments. On the 1 6th" he attacked Butler with great 
vigor, and with such success as to limit very mate- 
rially the further usefulness of the Army of the 
James as a distinct factor in the campaign. I after- 
ward ordered a portion of it to join the Army of the 
Potomac, leaving a sufficient force with Butler to 
man his works, hold securely the footing he had al- 
ready gained and maintain a threatening front to- 
ward the rear of the Confederate capital. 

The position which General Butler had chosen 
between the two rivers, the James and Appomat- 
tox, was one of great natural strength, one where 
a large area of ground might be thoroughly inclosed 
by means of a single intrenched line, and that a very 
short one in comparison with the extent of territory 
which it thoroughly protected. His right was pro- 
tected by the James River, his left by the Appo- 
mattox, and his rear by their junction — the two 
streams uniting near by. The bends of the two 
streams shortened the line that had been chosen 
for intrenchments, while it increased the area which 
the line inclosed. 

Previous to ordering any troops from Butler I 
sent my chief engineer, General Barnard, from the 
Army of the Potomac to that of the James to inspect 


Butler's position and ascertain whether I could again 
safely make an order (or General Butler's movement 
in co-operation with mine, now that I was getting 
so near Richmond ; or, if I could not, wnether his 
position was strong enough to justify me in with- 
drawing some of his troops and having them brought 
round by water to White House to join me and re- 
inforce the Army of the Potomac General Barnard 
reported the position very strong for defensive pur- 
poses, and that I could do the latter with great 
security; but that General Butler could not move 
from where he was, in co-operation, to produce any 
effect. He said that the general occupied a place be- 
tween the James and Appomattox rivers which was 
of great strength, and where with an inferior force he 
could hold it for an indefinite length of time against 
a superior ; but that he could do nothing offensively. 
I then asked him why Butler could not move out 
from his lines and push across the Richmond and 
Petersburg Railroad to the rear and on the south side 
of Richmond. \fk replied that it was impracticable, 
because the enemy had substantially the sameline 
across the neck of land that General Butler had 
He then took out his pencil and drew a sketch of 
the locality, remarking that the position was like a 
bottle and that Butler's line of intrenchments across 
the neck represented the cork ; that the enemy had 
built an equally strong line immediately in front of 



<f ^ ,v 




y him across the neck ; and it was therefore as if Butler 

was in a bottle. He was perfectly safe against an 
attack ; but, as Barnard expressed it, the enemy had 
corked the bottle and with a small force could hold 
the cork in its place. This struck me as being very 
expressive of his position, particularly when I saw 
the hasty sketch which General Barnard had drawn ; 
and in making my subsequent report I. used that 
expression without adding quotation marks, never 
thinking that anything had been said that would at- 
tract attention — as this did, very much to the annoy- 
ance, no doubt, of General Butler and, I know, very 
much to my own. I found afterwards that this was 
mentioned in the notes of General Badeau's book, 
which, when they were shown to me, I asked to have 
stricken out ; yet it was retained there, though 
against my wishes. 

I make this statement here because, although I 
have often made it before, it has never been in my 
power until now to place it where it will correct his- 
tory ; and I desire to rectify all injustice that I may 
have done to individuals, particularly to officers who 
were gallantly serving their country during the try- 
ing period of the war for the preservation of the 
Union. General Butler certainly gave his very ear- 
nest support to the war ; and he gave his own best 
efforts personally to the suppression of the re- 



The further operations of the Army of the James 
can best be treated of in connection with those of 
the Army of the Potomac, the two being so inti- 
mately associated and connected as to be substan- 
tially one body in which the individuality of the 
supporting wing is merged. 

Before giving the reader a summary of Sherman's 
great Atlanta campaign, which must conclude my 
description of the various co-operative movements 
preparatory to proceeding with that of the opera- 
tions of the centre, I will briefly mention Sheridan's 
first raid upon Lee's communications which, though 
an incident of the operations on the main line and 
not specifically marked out in the original plan, 
attained in its brilliant execution and results all 
the proportions of an independent campaign. By 
thus anticipating, in point of time, I will be able to 
more perfectly observe the continuity of events 
occurring in my immediate front when I shall have 
undertaken to describe our advance from the Rapi- 

On the 8th of May, just after the battle of the 
Wilderness and when we were moving on Spottsyl- 
vania I directed Sheridan verbally to cut loose from 
the Army of the Potomac, pass around the left of 
Lee's army and attack his cavalry : to cut the two 
roads — one running west through Gordonsville, Char- 
lottesville and Lynchburg, the other to Richmond, 


and, when compelled to do so for want of forage and 
rations, to move on to the James River and draw 
these from Butler's supplies. This move took him 
past the entire rear of Lee's army. These orders 
were also given in writing through Meade. 

The object of this move was three-fold. First, if 
successfully executed, and it was, he would annoy 
the enemy by cutting his line of supplies and tele- 
graphic communications, and destroy or get for his 
own use supplies in store in the rear and coming up. 
Second, he would draw the enemy's cavalry after 
him, and thus better protect our flanks, rear and 
trains than by remaining with the army. Third, 
his absence would save the trains drawing his forage 
and other supplies from Fredericksburg, which had 
now become our base. He started at daylight the 
next morning, and accomplished more than was ex- 
pected. It was sixteen days before he got back to 
the Army of the Potomac. 

The course Sheridan took was directly to Rich- 
mond. Before night Stuart, commanding the Con- 
federate cavalry, came on to the rear of his com- 
mand. But the advance kept on, crossed the North 
Anna, and at Beaver Dam, a station on the Vir- 
ginia Central Railroad, recaptured four hundred 
_^^dttMpn prisoners on their way to Richmond, de- 
^^^ ^Tfcd ^ ie roa d an d used and destroyed a large 
Milt of subsistence and medical stores. 


Stuart, seeing that our cavalry was pushing to- 
wards Richmond, abandoned the pursuit on the 
morning of the ioth and, by a detour and an ex- 
hausting march, interposed between Sheridan and 
Richmond at Yellow Tavern, only about six miles 
north of the city. Sheridan destroyed the railroad 
and more supplies at Ashland, and on the nth ar- 
rived in Stuart's front A severe engagement en- 
sued in which the losses were heavy on both sides, 
but the rebels were beaten, their leader mortally 
wounded, and some guns and many prisoners were 

Sheridan passed through the outer defences of 
Richmond, and could, no doubt, have passed through 
the inner ones. But having no supports near he 
could not have remained. After caring for his 
wounded he struck for the James River below the 
city, to communicate with Butler and to rest his 
men and horses as well as to get food and forage 
for them. 

He moved first between the Chickahominy and 
the James, but in the morning (the 12th) he was 
stopped by batteries at Mechanicsville. He then 
turned to cross to the north side of the Chickahominy 
by Meadow Bridge. He found this barred, and the 
defeated Confederate cavalry, reorganized, occupying 
the opposite side. The panic created by his first 
entrance within the outer works of Richmond hav- 


ing subsided troops were sent out to attack his 

He was now in a perilous position, one from which 
but few generals could have extricated themselves. 
The defences of Richmond, manned, were to the 
right, the Chickahominy was to the left with no 
bridge remaining and the opposite bank guarded, to 
the rear was a force from Richmond. This force 
was attacked and beaten by Wilson's and Gregg's 
divisions, while Sheridan turned to the left with the 
remaining division and hastily built a bridge over 
the Chickahominy under the fire of the enemy, 
forced a crossing and soon dispersed the Confeder- 
ates he found there. The enemy was held back 
from the stream by the fire of the troops not 
engaged in bridge building. 

On the 1 3th Sheridan was at Bottom's Bridge, over 
the Chickahominy. On the 14th he crossed this 
stream and on that day went into camp on the James 
River at Haxall's Landing. He at once put himself 
into communication with General Butler, who directed 
all the supplies he wanted to be furnished. 

Sheridan had left the Army of the Potomac at 
Spottsylvania, but did not know where either this or 
Lee's army was now. Great caution therefore had 
to be exercised in getting back. On the 1 7th, after 
resting his command for three days, he started on 
his return. He moved by the way of White House. 


The bridge over the Pamunkey had been burned 
by the enemy, but a new one was speedily impro- 
vised and the cavalry crossed over it On the 2 2d 
he was at Aylett's on the Matapony, where he learned 
the position of the two armies. On the 24th he 
joined us on the march from North Anna to Cold 
Harbor, in the vicinity of Chesterfield. 

Sheridan in this memorable raid passed entirely 
around Lee's army : encountered his cavalry in four 
engagements, and defeated them in all ; recaptured 
four hundred Union prisoners and killed and cap- 
tured many of the enemy ; destroyed and used many 
supplies and munitions of war ; destroyed miles of 
railroad and telegraph, and freed us from annoyance 
by the cavalry of the enemy for more than two 


Sherman's campaign in Georgia — seige of Atlanta 

death of general mcpherson — attempt to 

capture andersonville — capture of atlanta. 

AFTER separating from Sherman in Cincinnati 
I went on to Washington, as already stated, 
while he returned to Nashville to assume the duties 
of his new command. His military division was 
now composed of four departments and embraced 
all the territory west of the Alleghany Mountains 
and east of the Mississippi River, together with 
the State of Arkansas in the trans-Mississippi. The 
most easterly of these was the Department of the 
Ohio, General Schofield commanding; the next 
was the Department of the Cumberland, General 
Thomas commanding; the third the Department 
of the Tennessee, General McPherson commanding ; 
and General Steele still commanded the trans- 
Mississippi, or Department of Arkansas. The last- 
named department was so far away that Sherman 
could not communicate with it very readily after 
starting on his spring campaign, and it was therefore 
soon transferred from his military division to that of 


the Gulf, where General Canby, who had relieved 
General Banks, was in command. 

The movements of the armies, as \ have stated 
in a former chapter, were to be simultaneous, I fix- 
ing the day to start when the season should be far 
enough advanced, it was hoped, for the roads to be 
in a condition for the troops to march. 

General Sherman at once set himself to work pre- 
paring for the task which was assigned him to ac- 
complish in the spring campaign. McPherson lay 
at Huntsville with about twenty-four thousand men, 
guarding those points of Tennessee which were re- 
garded as most worth holding ; Thomas, with over 
sixty thousand men of the Army of the Cumber- 
land, was at Chattanooga ; and Schofield, with about 
fourteen thousand men, was at Knoxville. With 
these three armies, numbering about one hundred 
thousand men in all, Sherman was to move on the 
day fixed for the general advance, with a view of 
destroying Johnston's army and capturing Atlanta. 
He visited each of these commands to inform him- 
self as to their condition, and it was found to be, 
speaking generally, good. 

One of the first matters to turn his attention to 
was that of getting, before the time arrived for start- 
ing, an accumulation of supplies forward to Chat- 
tanooga sufficiently large to warrant a movement. 
He found, when he got to that place, that the trains 


over the single-track railroad, which was frequently 
interrupted for a day or two at a time, were only 
sufficient to meet the daily wants of the troops 
without bringing forward any surplus of any kind 
He found, however, that trains were being used to 
transport all the beef cattle,, horses for the cavalry, 
and even teams that were being brought to the 
front He at once changed all this, and required 
beef cattle, teams, cavalry horses, and everything 
that could travel, even the troops, to be marched, 
and used the road exclusively for transporting sup- 
plies. In this way he was able to accumulate an 
abundance before the time finally fixed upon for the 
move, the 4th of May. 

As I have said already, Johnston was at Dalton, 
which was nearly one-fourth of the way between 
Chattanooga and Atlanta. The country is moun- 
tainous all the way to Atlanta, abounding in moun- 
tain streams, some of them of considerable volume. 
Dalton is on ground where water drains towards 
Atlanta and into one of the main streams rising 
north-east from there and flowing south-west — 
this being the general direction which all the main 
streams of that section take, with smaller tributaries 
entering into them. Johnston had been preparing 
himself for this campaign during the entire winter. 
The best positions for defence had been selected 
all the way from Dalton back to Atlanta, and very 

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strongly intrenched ; so that, as he might be forced 
to fall back from one position, he would have 
another to fall into in his rear. His position at 
Dalton was so very strongly intrenched that no 
doubt he expected, or at least hoped, to hold Sher- 
man there and prevent him from getting any fur- 
ther. With a less skilful general, and one disposed 
to take no risks, I have no doubt that he would 
have succeeded. 

Sherman's plan was to start Schofield, who was 
farthest back, a few days in advance from Knoxville, 
having him move on the direct road to Dalton. 
Thomas was to move out to Ringgold. It had been 
Shermans intention to cross McPherson over the 
Tennessee River at Huntsville or Decatur, and 
move him south from there so as to have him come 
into the road running from Chattanooga to Atlanta 
a good distance to the rear of the point Johnston 
was occupying ; but when that was contemplated it 
was hoped that McPherson alone would have troops 
enough to cope with Johnston, if the latter should 
move against him while unsupported by the balance 
of the army. In this he was disappointed. Two of 
McPherson's veteran divisions had re-enlisted on the 
express provision that they were to have a furlough. 
This furlough had not yet expired, and they were 
not back. 

Then, again, Sherman had lent Banks two di- 


visions under A. J. Smith, the winter before, to 
co-operate with the trans-Mississippi forces, and this 
with the express pledge that they should be back by 
a time specified, so as to be prepared for this very 
campaign. It is hardly necessary to say they were 
not returned That department continued to ab- 
sorb troops to no purpose to the end of the wan 
This left McPherson so weak that the part of the 
plan above indicated had to be changed. He 
was therefore brought up to Chattanooga and 
moved from there on a road to the right of 
Thomas — the two coming together about Dalton. 
The three armies were abreast, all ready to start 
promptly on time- 
Sherman soon found that Dalton was so strongly 
fortified that it was useless to make any attempt to 
carry it by assault ; and even to carry it by regular 
approaches was impracticable. There was a nar- 
rowing up in the mountain, between the National 
and Confederate armies, through* which a stream, a 
wagon road and a railroad ran Besides, the stream 
had been dammed so that the valley was a lake. 
Through this gorge the troops would have to pass. 
McPherson was therefore sent around by the right, 
to come out by the way of Snake Creek Gap into 
the rear of the enemy. This was a surprise to John- 
ston, and about the 13th he decided to abandon his 
position at Dalton. 


On the 15th there was very hard fighting about 
Resaca; but our cavalry having been sent around 
to the right got near the road in the enemy's rear. 
Again Johnston fell back, our army pursuing. The 
pursuit was continued to Kingston, which was 
reached on the 19th with very little fighting, except 
that Newton's division overtook the rear of John- 
ston's army and engaged it Sherman was now 
obliged to halt for the purpose of bringing up his 
railroad trains. He was depending upon the rail- 
road for all of his supplies, and as of course the rail- 
road was wholly destroyed as Johnston fell back, it 
had to be rebuilt This work was pushed forward 
night and day, and caused much less delay than 
most persons would naturally expect in a moun- 
tainous country where there were so many bridges 
to be rebuilt 

The campaign to Atlanta was managed with the 
most consummate skill, the enemy being flanked out 
of one position after another all the way there. It 
is true this was not accomplished without a good 
deal of fighting — some of it very hard fighting, rising 
to the dignity of very important battles — neither 
were single positions gained in a day. On the con- 
trary, weeks were spent at some ; and about Atlanta 
more than a month was consumed. 

It was the 23d of May before the road was fin- 
ished up to the rear of Sherman's army and the pur- 


suit renewed This pursuit brought him up to the 
vicinity of Allatoona. This place was very strongly 
intrenched, and naturally a very defensible position. 
An assault upon it was not thought of, but prepara- 
tions were made to flank the enemy out of it This 
was done by sending a large force around our right, 
by the way of Dallas, to reach the rear of the 
enemy. Before reaching there, however, they found 
the enemy fortified in their way, and there resulted 
hard fighting for about a week at a place called New 
Hope Church. On the left our troops also were for- 
tified, and as close up to the enemy as they could get. 
They kept working still farther around to the left 
toward the railroad. This was the case more par- 
ticularly with the cavalry. By the 4th of June John- 
ston found that he was being hemmed in so rapidly 
that he drew off and Allatoona was left in our pos- 

Allatoona, being an important place, was strongly 
intrenched for occupation by our troops before ad- 
vancing farther, and made a secondary base of sup- 
plies. The railroad was finished up to that point, 
the intrenchments completed, store-houses provided 
for food, and the army got in readiness for a further 
advance. The rains, however, were falling in such 
torrents that it was impossible to move the army by 
the side roads which they would have to move upon 
in order to turn Johnston out of his new position. 


While Sherman's army lay here, General F. P. 
Blair returned to it, bringing with him the two divi- 
sions of veterans who had been on furlough, 

Johnston had fallen back to Marietta and Kene- 
saw Mountain, where strong intrenchments awaited 
him. At this latter place our troops made an assault 
upon the enemy's lines after having got their own 
lines up close to him, and failed, sustaining consider- 
able loss. But during the progress of the battle 
Schofield was gaining ground to the left ; and the 
cavalry on his left were gaining still more toward the 
enerfly's rear. These operations were completed by 
the 3d of July, when it was found that Johnston had 
evacuated the place. He was pursued at once. Sher- 
man had made every preparation to abandon the 
railroad, leaving a strong guard in his intrenchments. 
He had intended, moving out with twenty days' 
rations and plenty of ammunition, to come in on the 
railroad again at the Chattahoochee River. Johnston 
frustrated this plan by himself starting back as above 
stated. This time he fell back to the Chattahoo- 

About the 5th of July he was besieged again, 
Sherman getting easy possession of the Chattahoo- 
chee River both above and below him. The enemy 
was again flanked out of his position, or so frightened 
by flanking movements that on the night of the 9th 
he fell back across the river. 



Here Johnston made a stand until the 1 7th, when 
Sherman's old tactics prevailed again and the final 
movement toward Atlanta began. Johnston was now 
relieved of the command, and Hood superseded him. 

Johnston's tactics in this campaign do not seem 
to have met with much favor, either in the eyes of 
the administration at Richmond, or of the people of 
that section of the South in which he was command- 
ing. The very fact of a change of commanders being 
ordered under such circumstances was an indication of 
a change of policy, and that now they would become 
the aggressors — the very thing our troops wanted 

For my own paat, I think that Johnston's tactics 
were right Anything that could have prolonged the 
war a year beyond the time that it did finally close, 
would probably have exhausted the North to such an 
extent that they might then have abandoned the 
contest and agreed to a separation. 

Atlanta was very strongly intrenched all the way 
around in a circle about a mile and a half outside of 
the city. In addition to this, there were advanced 
intrenchments which had to be taken before a close 
siege could be commenced. 

Sure enough, as indicated by the change of com- 
manders, the enemy was about to assume the offen- 
sive. On the 20th he came out and attacked the 
Army of the Cumberland most furiously. Hookers 
corps, and Newton's and Johnson's divisions were 


the principal ones engaged in this contest, which 
lasted more than an hour; but the Confederates 
were then forced to fall back inside their main lines. 
The losses were quite heavy on both sides. On 
this day General Gresham, since our Postmaster- 
General, was very badly wounded. During the 
night Hood abandoned his outer lines, and our 
troops were advanced. The investment had not 
been relinquished for a moment during the day. 

During the night of the 21st Hood moved out 
again, passing by our left flank, which was then in 
motion to get a position farther in rear of him, and 
a desperate battle ensued, which* lasted most of the 
day of the 2 2d. At first the battle went very much 
in favor of the Confederates, our troops being some- 
what surprised. While our troops were advancing 
they were struck in flank, and their flank was envel- 
oped. But they had become too thorough veterans 
to be thrown into irreparable confusion by an un- 
expected attack when off their guard, and soon they 
were in order and engaging the enemy, with the ad- 
vantage now of knowing where their antagonist was. 
The field of battle continued to expand until it em- 
braced about seven miles of ground. Finally, how- 
ever, and before night, the enemy was driven back 
into the city.* 

* General John A. Logan, upon whom devolved the command of the Army 
of % the Tennessee daring this battle, in his report gave our total loss in killed. 


It was during this battle that McPherson, while 
passing from one column to another, was instantly 
killed In his death the army lost one of its ablest, 
purest and best generals. 

Garrard had been sent out with his cavalry to get 
upon the railroad east of Atlanta and to cut it in 
the direction of Augusta. He was successful in this, 
and returned about the time of the battle. Rous- 
seau had also come up from Tennessee with a small 
division of cavalry, having crossed the Tennessee 
River about Decatur and made a raid into Alabama. 
Finally, when hard pressed, he had come in, striking 
the railroad in rear of Sherman, and reported to him 
about this time. 

The battle of the 2 2d is usually known as the 
Battle of Atlanta, although the city did not fall into 
our hands until the 2d of September. Preparations 
went on, as before, to flank the enemy out of his 
position. The work was tedious, and the lines that 
had to be maintained were very long. Our troops 
were gradually worked around to the east until they 
struck the road between Decatur and Atlanta. 

wounded and missing at 3,521 ; and estimated that of the enemy to be not le&« 
than 10,000 : and General G. M. Dodge, graphically describing to General Sher- 
man the enemy's attack, the full weight of which fell first upon and was broken 
by his depleted command, remarks : " The disparity of forces can be seen from 
the fact that in the charge made by my two brigades under Fuller and Mersy 
they took 351 prisoners, representing forty-nine different regiments, eight bri- 
gades and three divisions ; and brought back eight battle flags from the enemy." 


These lines were strongly fortified, as were those to 
the north and west of the city — all as close up to the 
enemy's lines as practicable — in order to hold them 
with the smallest possible number of men, the design 
being to detach an army to move by our right and 
try to get upon the railroad down south of Atlanta. 

On the 27th the movement by the right flank 
commenced. On the 28th the enemy struck our 
right flank, General Logan commanding, with great 
vigor. Logan intrenched himself hastily, and by 
that means was enabled to resist all assaults and 
inflict a great deal of damage upon the enemy. 
These assaults were continued to the middle of 
the afternoon, and resumed once or twice still later 
in the day. The enemy's losses in these unsuc- 
cessful assaults were fearful. 

During that evening the enemy in Logan's front 
withdrew into the town. This now left Sherman's 
army close up to the Confederate lines, extending 
from a point directly east of the city around by the 
north and west of it for a distance of fully ten miles ; 
the whole of this line being intrenched, and made 
stronger every day they remained there. 

In the latter part of July Sherman sent Stoneman 
to destroy the railroads to the south, about Macon. 
He was then to go east and, if possible, release our 
risoners about Andersonville. There were painful 
ories current at the time about the great hardships 


these prisoners had to endure in the way of general 
bad treatment, in the way in which they were housed, 
and in the way in which they were fed. Great sym- 
pathy was felt for them ; and it was thought that 
even if they could be turned loose upon the country 
it would be a great relief to them. But the attempt 
proved a failure. McCook, who commanded a small 
brigade, was first reported to have been captured ; 
but he got back, having inflicted a good deal of 
damage upon the enemy. He had also taken some 
prisoners ; but encountering afterwards a largely 
superior force of the enemy he was obliged to 
drop his prisoners and get back as best he could 
with what men he had left. He had lost several 
hundred men out of his small command. On the 
4th of August Colonel Adams, commanding a little 
brigade of about a thousand men, returned report- 
ing Stoneman and all but himself as lost I myself 
had heard around Richmond of the capture of 
Stoneman, and had sent Sherman word, which he 
received. The rumor was confirmed there, also, 
from other sources. A few days after Colonel 
Adams's return Colonel Capron also got in with a 
small detachment and confirmed the report of the 
capture of Stoneman with something less than a 
thousand men. 

It seems that Stoneman, finding the escape of all 
his force was impossible, had made arrangements for 


the escape of two divisions. He covered the move- 
ment of these divisions to the rear with a force of 
about seven hundred men, and at length surrendered 
himself and this detachment to the commanding 
Confederate. In this raid, however, much damage 
was inflicted upon the enemy by the destruction of 
cars, locomotives, army wagons, manufactories of 
military supplies, etc. 

On the 4th and 5th Sherman endeavored to get 
upon the railroad to our right, where Schofield was 
in command, but these attempts failed utterly. 
General Palmer was charged with being the cause of 
this failure, to a great extent, by both General Sher- 
man and General Schofield ; but I am not prepared 
to say this, although a question seems to have arisen 
with Palmer as to whether Schofield had any right 
to command him. If he did raise this question while 
an action was going on, that act alone was exceed- 
ingly reprehensible. 

About the same time Wheeler got upon our rail- 
road north of Resaca and destroyed it nearly up to 
Dalton. This cut Sherman off from communica- 
tion with the North for several days. Sherman re- 
sponded to this attack on his lines of communica- 
tion by directing one upon theirs. 

Kilpatrick started on the night of the 18th of 
August to reach the Macon road about Jonesboro. 
He succeeded in doing so, passed entirely around 


the Confederate lines of Atlanta, and was back 
again in his former position on our left by the 2 2d. 
These little affairs, however, contributed but very 
little to the grand result They annoyed, it is true, 
but any damage thus done to a railroad by any 
cavalry expedition is soon repaired. 

Sherman made preparations for a repetition of his 
tactics ; that is, for a flank movement with as large a 
force as could be got together to some point in the 
enemy's rear. Sherman commenced this last move- 
ment on the 25th of August, and on the 1st of Sep- 
tember was well up towards the railroad twenty miles 
south of Atlanta. Here he found Hardee intrenched, 
ready to meet him. A battle ensued, but he was 
unable to drive Hardee away before night set in. 
Under cover of the night, however, Hardee left of 
his own accord. That night Hood blew up his 
military works, such as he thought would be valua- 
ble in our hands, and decamped. 

The next morning at daylight General H. W. 
Slocum, who was commanding north of the city, 
moved in and took possession of Atlanta, and noti- 
fied Sherman. Sherman then moved deliberately 
back, taking three days to reach the city, and 
occupied a line extending from Decatur on the 
left to Atlanta in the centre, with his troops ex- 
tending out of the city for some distance to the 


The campaign had lasted about four months, and 
was one of the most memorable in history. There 
was but little if anything in the whole campaign, 
now that it is over, to criticise at all, and nothing to 
criticise severely. It was creditable alike to the gen- 
eral who commanded and the army which had exe- 
cuted it Sherman had on this campaign some 
bright, wide-awake division and brigade commanders 
whose alertness added a host to the efficiency of his 

The troops now went to work to make themselves 
comfortable, and to enjoy a little rest after their 
arduous campaign. The city of Atlanta was turned 
into a military base. The citizens were all compelled 
to leave. Sherman also very wisely prohibited the 
assembling of the army of sutlers and traders who 
always follow in the wake of an army in the field, if 
permitted to do so, from trading with the citizens 
and getting the money of the soldiers for articles of 
but little use to them, and for which they are made 
to pay most exorbitant prices. He limited the num- 
ber of these traders to one for each of his three 

The news of Sherman's success reached the North 
instantaneously, and set the country all aglow. This 
was the first great political campaign for the Repub- 
licans in their canvass of 1864. It was followed later 
by Sheridan's campaign in the Shenandoah Valley ; 


and these two campaigns probably had more effect 
in settling the election of the following November 
than all the speeches, all the bonfires, and all the 
parading with banners and bands of music in the 




SOON after midnight, May 3d-4th, the Army of 
the Potomac moved out from its position north 
of the Rapidan, to start upon that memorable cam- 
paign, destined to result in the capture of the Con- 
federate capital and the army defending it. This 
was not to be accomplished, however, without as 
desperate fighting as the world has ever witnessed ; 
not to be consummated in a day, a week, a month, 
or a single season. The losses inflicted, and endured, 
were destined to be severe ; but the armies now con- 
fronting each other had already been in deadly con- 
flict for a period of three years, with immense losses 
in killed, by death from sickness, captured and 
wounded ; and neither had made any real progress 
toward accomplishing the final end. It is true the 
Confederates had, so far, held their capital, and they 
claimed this to be their sole object. But previously 
they had boldly proclaimed their intention to capt- 
ure Philadelphia, New York, and the National 

Vol. ii. — 12 


Capital, and had made several attempts to do so, 
and once or twice had come fearfully near making 
their boast good — too near for complacent contem- 
plation by the loyal North. They had also come 
near losing their own capital on at least one oc- 
casion. So here was a stand-off. The campaign 
now begun was destined to result in heavier losses, 
to both armies, in a given time, than any previously 
suffered ; but the carnage was to be limited to a sin- 
gle year, and to accomplish all that had been antici- 
pated or desired at the beginning in that time. We 
had to have hard fighting to achieve this. The two 
armies had been confronting each other so long, 
without any decisive result, that they hardly knew 
which could whip. 

Ten days' rations, with a supply of forage and 
ammunition were taken in wagons. Beef cattle 
were driven with the trains, and butchered as 
wanted. Three days' rations in addition, in haver- 
sacks, and fifty rounds of cartridges, were carried on 
the person of each soldier. 

The country over which the army had to operate, 
from the Rapidan to the crossing of the James River, 
is rather flat, and is cut by numerous streams which 
make their way to the Chesapeake Bay. The cross- 
ings of these streams by the army were generally 
made not far above tide-water, and where they 
formed a considerable obstacle to the rapid advance 



of troops even when the enemy did not appear in 
opposition. The country roads were narrow and 
poor. Most of the country is covered with a dense 
forest, in places, like the Wilderness and along the 
Chickahominy, almost impenetrable even for infan- 
try except along the roads. All bridges were 
naturally destroyed before the National troops came 
to them. 

The Army of the Potomac was composed of three 
infantry and one cavalry corps, commanded respec- 
tively by Generals W. S. Hancock, G. K. Warren, 



LIEUTENANT-GENERAL U. S. GRANT, Commander-in-Chief. 
Major-General George G. Meade, Commanding Army of the Potomac. 

First Brigade, Col. Nel- 
son A. Miles. 

Second Brigade, Col. 
Thomas A. Smyth. 

Third Brigade, Col. 
Paul Frank. 

Fourth Brigade, Col. 
John R. Brooke. 

Maj.-Gen. W. S. Hancock, 


Second Army Corps. 

First Division, 
Brig. -Gen. Francis < 
C. Barlow. 

Second Division, 

Brig. -Gen. John 


Third Division, 

Maj.-Gen. David 

B. Birney. 

Fourth Division, 


First Brigade, Brig.- 
Gen. Alex. S. Webb. 

Second Brigade. Brig. 
Gen. Joshua T. Ow- 

Third Brigade, Col. 
Samuel S. Carroll. 

First Brigade, Brig. 
Gen. J. H. H. Ward. 

Second Brigade, Brig.- 
Gen. Alexander Hays. 
r First Brigade, Col. Rob- 
ert McAllister. 

Brig.-Gen.Gershom i Second BrigadCt CoL 
Mott - [ Wm. R. Brewster. 

Artillery Brigade, Col. 
John C. Tidball. 



John Sedgwick and P. H. Sheridan. The artillery 
was commanded by General Henry J. Hunt. This 
arm was in such abundance that the fourth of it could 
not be used to advantage in such a country as we 
were destined to pass through. The surplus was 
much in the way, taking up as it did so much of the 
narrow and bad roads, and consuming so much of the 
forage and other stores brought up by the trains. 

The 5th corps, General Warren commanding, was 
in advance on the right, and marched directly for 
Germania Ford, preceded by one division of cavalry, 
under General J. H. Wilson. General Sedgwick 
followed Warren with the 6th corps. Germania 
Ford was nine or ten miles below the right of Lee's 

Ma j. Gen. G. K. Warren, 


Fifth Army Corps. 

First Division, 

Brig. -Gen. Charles 


Second Division, 

Brig. -Gen. John C. 


Third Division, 

Brig.-Gen. Samuel 

W. Crawford. 

Fourth Division, 

S. Wadsworth. 

First Brigade, Brig.- 
Gen. Romeyn B. 

Second Brigade, Col. 
Jacob B. Sweitzer. 

Third Brigade, Brig. 
Gen. J. J. Bartlett. 

First Brigade, Col. Sam- 
uel H. Leonard. 

Second Brigade, Brig.- 
Gen. Henry Baxter. 

Third Brigade, Col. 
Andrew W. Denison. 

First Brigade, Col. 

Wm. McCandless. 
Third Brigade, Col. 

Joseph W. Fisher. 

First Brigade, Brig.- 
Gen. Lysander Cut- 

Brig.-Gen. James \ Second Brigade, Brig.- 

Gen. James C. Rice. 
Third Brigade, Col. 
Roy Stone. 

Artillery Brigade, Col. 
C S. Wainwright. 



line. Hancock, with the 2d corps, moved by another 
road, farther east, directly upon Ely's Ford, six miles 
below Germania, preceded by Gregg's division of 
cavalry, and followed by the artillery. Torbert's di- 
vision of cavalry was left north of the Rapidan, for 
the time, to picket the river and prevent the enemy 
from crossing and getting into our rear. The cav- 

M a j. -Gen. John Sedgwick, 


Sixth Army Corps. 

Maj.-Gen. P. H. Sheridan, 


Cavalry Corps. 

First Division, 
Brig. -Gen. H. G. « 

Third Division, 

Brig.-Gen. James 

B. Ricketts. 

Second Division, 
Brig. -Gen. George ■> 
W. Getty. 

First Division, 
Brig.-Gen. A. T. A. < 

Second Division, 
Brig.-Gen. D. 
McM. Gregg. 

Third Division, 

Brig.-Gen. J. H. 


' First Brigade, Col. 
Henry \V. Brown. 

Second Brigade, Col. 
Emory Upton. 

Third Brigade, Brig.- 
Gen. D. A. Russell. 

Fourth Brigade, Brig.- 
Gen. Alexander Sha- 

" First Brigade, Brig.- 
Gen. Frank Wheaton. 

Second Brigade, Col. 
Lewis A. Grant. 

Third Brigade, Brig.- 
Gen. Thos. H. Neill. 

Fourth Brigade, Brig.- 
Gen. Henry L. Eus- 

First Brigade, Brig.- 
Gen. Wm. H. Morris. 

Second Brigade, Brig.- 
Gen. T. Seymour. 

Artillery Brigade, Col. 
C H. Tompkins. 

r First Brigade. Brig.- 
Gen. G. A. Custer. 

Second Brigade, Col. 
Thos. C Devin. 

Reserve Brigade, Brig.- 
Gen. Wesley Merritt. 

First Brigade, Brig.- 
Gen. Henry E. Da- 
vies, Jr. 

Second Brigade. Col. J. 
Irvin Gregg. 

f First Brigade, Col. T. 
I M. Bryan, Jr. 
*] Second Brigade, Col. 
I Geo. H. Chapman. 



airy seized the two crossings before daylight, drove 
the enemy's pickets guarding them away, and by six 
o'clock a.m. had the pontoons laid ready for the 
crossing of the infantry and artillery. This was un- 
doubtedly a surprise to Lee. The fact that the move* 
ment was unopposed proves this. 

Burnside, with the 9th corps, was left back at War- 
ren ton, guarding the railroad from Bull Run forward 
to preserve control of it in case our crossing the 

Maj.-Gen. A E. Burnside, 
Ninth Army Corps. 

First Division, 

Brig. "Gen. T. G. 


Second Division, 

Brig.-Gen. Robert 

B. Potter. 

Third Division, 
Brig.-Gen. Orlando 
B. Willcox. 

Fourth Division, 

Brig.-Gen. Edward 


Brig. -Gen. Henry J. Hunt, ^ 
commanding Artillery. 

Col. H. S. Burton. 

General Headquarters - 

f First Brigade, CoL 
Sumner Carruth. 
Second Brigade, CoUv^ 
Daniel Leasure. T^F* 

First Brigade, CoL 

Zenas R. Bliss. 
Second Brigade. CoL 

Simon G. Griffin. 

First Brigade, CoL John 

F. Hartranft. 
Second Brigade, CoL 

Benj. C Christ. 

First Brigade, Col. 

Joshua K. Sigfried. 
Second Brigade, Col. 

Henry G. Thomas. 

Provisional Brigade, Col. 
Elisha G. Marshall. 

First Brigade, Col. J. 

H. Kitching. . 
Second Brigade, Maj. 

J. A. Tompkins 
First Brig. Horse Art, 

Capt J. M. Robert- 
Second Brigade Horse 

Art, Capt D. R. 

Third Brigade, Maj. R. 

H. Fitzhugh. 

f Provost Guard, Brig.- 
Gen. M. R. Patrick. 
Volunteer Engineers, 
Brig.-Gen. ft. W. 


Rapidan should be long delayed. He was instructed, 
however, to advance at once on receiving notice that 
the army had crossed ; and a dispatch was sent to 
him a little after one p.m. giving the information that 
our crossing had been successful. 


Organization of the Army of Northern Virginia, Commanded by General 

Robert E. Lee, August 31st, 1864. 

First Army Corps : Lieut. -Gen. R. H. Anderson, Commanding. 

f Brig. -Gen. Seth NL Barton's Brigade, (a) 

Maj.-Gen. Geo. E. Pickett's J " M. D. Corse's 

Eppa Hunton' 
Wm. R. Terry's 

Division. "| " EppaHunton's 

Maj.-Gen. C. W. Field's Divi- j **&'?**• £. T. Anderson's Brigade. 
e ;™» /m 1 *»• M. Law s (c) " 

Sl ° n ' W ( " John Bratton's 

Maj.-Gen. J. B. Kershaw's 
Division, (d) 

Brig. -Gen. W. T. Wofford's Brigade. 
B. G. Humphreys' 
Goode Bryan's 
Kershaw's (Old) 

Second Army Corps : Major-General Jubal A. Early, Commanding. 

f Brig. -Gen. H. T. Hays' Brigade, (e) 
Maj.-Gen. John B. Gordon's I " John Pegram's " (/) 

Division. | Gordon's " (^) 

L Brig. -Gen. R. F. Hoke's 

f Stonewall Brig. (Brig. -Gen. J. A. Walker). 

Maj.-Gen. Edward Johnson's I t \* t » u • a il\ 
Hividnn 1 Brig. -Gen. J. M. Jones Brigade. (A) 

ulylslon - » Geo. H. Stewart's " (A) 

{ " L. A. Stafford's '« (*) 

" Brig. -Gen. J. Daniel's Brigade. (1) 
Geo. Dole's " (*) 
S. D. Ramseur's Brigade. 
C. A. Battle's 
R. D. Johnston's " (/) 


(a) Col. W. R. Aylett was in command Aug. 20th, and probably at above date. 

(4) Inspection report of this division shows that it also contained Benning's and Gregg's 

(c) Commanded by Colonel P. D. Bowles. 

{d) Only two brigadier-generals reported for duty ; names not indicated. 
(*) Constituting York's Brigade. 
(/*) In Ramseurs Division. 
(/) Evan's Brigade, Colonel E. N. Atkinson commanding, 

and containing tath Georgia Battalion. Organization of the Army 

[A) The Virginia regiments constituted Terry's Brigade, ' of the Valley District. 

Gordon's Division. 
(/) Grimes' Brigade. 
<k) Cook's 

Maj.-Gen. R. E. Rodes' Di 

< i 


The country was heavily wooded at all the points 
of crossing, particularly on the south side of the 
river. The battle-field from the crossing of the Rap- 
idan until the final movement from the Wilderness 
toward Spottsylvania was of the same character. 
There were some clearings and small farms within 
what might be termed the battle-field ; but generally 
the country was covered with a dense forest The 
roads were narrow and bad. All the conditions 
were favorable for defensive operations. 

Third Army Corps : Lieut. -Gen. A. P. Hill, Commanding. 

' Brig.-Gen. J. C. C. Sanders' Brigade. 
Brig. -Gen. N. H. Harris's " (m) 

A. R. Wright's 
Joseph Finegan's 

Maj.-Gen. Wm. Mahone's Di- h 
vision. (!) 

A. R. Wright's 

Maj.-Gen. C. M. Wilcox's 

' Brig.-Gen. £. L. Thomas's Brigade (*) 
James H. Lane's R 
Sam'l McGowan's " 
Alfred M. Scale's " 

" Brig.-Gen. J. R. Davis's Brigade. 

Maj.-Gen. H. Heth's Division. < 

.-Gen. J. R. Davis's Brigs 
John R. Cooke's " 
D. McRae's 
J. J. Archer's 
H. H. 

H. H. Walker's " 
Unattached : 5th Alabama Battalion. 

Cavalry Corps : Lieuten ant-General Wade Hampton, Commanding. (/) 

Maj.-Gen. Fitzhugh Lee's Di- j Brig.-Gen. W. C. Wickham's Brigade, 
vision. \ " L. L. Lomax's " 

Maj.-Gen. M. C. Butlers Di- j B "6;Gen. John Dunovaitfs Brigade, 
vision ) oung s 

f " Thomas L. Rosser's " 

Maj.-Gen. W. H. F. Lee's Di- j Brig.-Gen. Rufus Barringer's Brigade, 
vision. \ " J. R. Chambliss's 


(/> Returns report but one general officer present for duty ; name not indicated. 

Km) Colonel Joseph M. Jayne, commanding. 
(«) Colonel Thomas J. Simmons, commanding. 
(0> Four brigadier-generals reported present I< 

(/) On face 
Lee" ' 

brigadier-generals reported present lor duty ; names not indicated. 

ice of returns appears to have consisted of Hampton's, Fitz-Lee's, and W. H. F. 

's Division, ana Dealing's Brigade. 

1 86 


There are two roads, good for that part of Vir- 
ginia, running from Orange Court House to the 
battle-field. The most southerly of these roads is 
known as the Orange Court House Plank Road, 
the northern one as the Orange Turnpike. There 

Artillery Reserve : Brig. -Gen. W. N. 

Pendleton, Commanding. 

Cabell's Battalion. 

' Manly*s Battery. 

1st Co. Richmond Howitzers. 

Carleton's Battery. 
w Calloway's Battery. 

Haskell's Battalion. <t 

' Branch's Battery. 


L Rowan " 

Brig. -Gen. 
E. P. 

Hugo's Battalion. 

' Smith's Battery. 
Woolfolk " 
Parker's " 
Taylor's " 
Fickling's " 

h Martin's " 

Gibb's Battalion. 

Davidson's Batter}'. 
Dickenson's " 
[ Otey's 

( I 

Braxton's Battalion. 4 

" Lee Battery. 

1st Md. Artillery. 

b Alleghany " 

Cutshaw's Battalion. 

[ Charlotteville Artillery. 

[ Courtney 

Brig. -Gen. 

A. L. 
Long's Divi- 

Carter's Battalion. \ 
Nelson's Battalion. 

Morris Artillery. 
Orange " 
King William Artillery. 
h Jeff Davis 

[ Amherst Artillery. 

] Milledge 

( Fluvauna " 

Brown's Battalion. - 

Powhatan Artillery. 
2d Richmond Howitzers. 

Rockbridge Artillery. 
fc Salem Flying Artillery. 

* But one general officer reported present for duty in the artillery, and Alexander'* 
name not on the original. 


«8 7 

are also roads from east of the battle-field running 
to Spottsylvania Court House, one from Chancel- 
lorsville, branching at Aldrich's ; the western branch 
going by Piney Branch Church, Alsops, thence by 
the Brock Road to Spottsylvania ; the east branch 
goes by Gates's, thence to Spottsylvania. The 
Brock Road runs from Germania Ford through 
the battle-field and on to the Court House. As 
Spottsylvania is approached the country is cut up 
with numerous roads, some going to the town di- 
rect, and others crossing so as to connect the farms 
with roads going there. 

Lee's headquarters were at Orange Court House. 
From there to Fredericksburg he had the use of 
the two roads above described running nearly paral- 
lel to the Wilderness. This gave him unusual facili- 

Col. R. L. 

Cutt's Battalion. 

Richardson's Battalion. 

Mcintosh's Battalion. 

Pegram's Battalion. 

Poague's Battalion. 



Ross's Battery. 
Patterson's Battery. 
Irwin Artillery. 

Lewis Artillery. 
Donaldsonville Artillery. 
Norfolk Light 

Johnson's Battery. 

Hardaway Artillery. 


2d Rockbridge Artillery. 

Peedee Artillery. 
Fredericksburg Artillery. 
Letcher " 

Purcell Battery. 
Crenshaw's Battery. 

Madison Artillery. 
Albemarle " 



ties, for that country, for concentrating his forces to 
his right. These roads strike the road from Ger- 
mania Ford in the Wilderness. 

As soon as the crossing of the infantry was 
assured, the cavalry pushed forward, Wilson's divi- 
sion by Wilderness Tavern to Parker's store, on 
the Orange Plank Road ; Gregg to the left towards 
Chancellors ville. Warren followed Wilson and 
reached the Wilderness Tavern by noon, took 
position there and intrenched. Sedgwick followed 
Warren. He was across the river and in camp on 
the south bank, on the right of Warren, by sun- 
down. Hancock, with the 2d corps, moved parallel 
with Warren and camped about six miles east of 
him. Before night all the troops, and by the even- 
ing of the 5th the trains of more than four thousand 
wagons, were safely on the south side of the river. 

There never was a corps better organized than 
was the quartermaster's corps with the Army of the 
Potomac in 1864. With a wagon-train that would 
have extended from the Rapidan to Richmond, 
stretched along in single file and separated as 
the teams necessarily would be. when moving, we 
could still carry only three days' forage and about 
ten to twelve days' rations, besides a supply of 
ammunition. To overcome all difficulties, the chief 
quartermaster, General Rufus Ingalls, had marked 
on each wagon the corps badge with the divi- 



rt Brig. Gen. N. Mi 



B \£%%i 




sion color and the number of the brigade. At a 
glance, the particular brigade to which any wagon 
belonged could be told. The wagons were also 
marked to note the contents : if ammunition, 
whether for artillery or infantry ; if forage, whether 
grain or hay ; if rations, whether bread, pork, 
beans, rice, sugar, coffee or whatever it might be. 
Empty wagons were never allowed to follow the 
army or stay in camp. As soon as a wagon was 
empty it would return to the base of supply for a 
load of precisely the same article that had been 
taken from it. Empty trains were obliged to leave 
the road free for loaded ones. Arriving near the 
army they would be parked in fields nearest to the 
brigades they belonged to. Issues, except of am- 
munition, were made at night in all cases. By this 
system the hauling of forage for the supply train 
was almost wholly dispensed with. They consumed 
theirs at the depots. 

I left Culpeper Court House after all the troops 
had been put in motion, and passing rapidly to the 
front, crossed the Rapidan in advance of Sedgwick's 
corps ; and established headquarters for the after- 
noon and night in a deserted house near the river. 

Orders had been given, long before this move- 
ment began, to cut down the baggage of officers and 
men to the lowest point possible. Notwithstanding 
this I saw scattered along the road from Culpeper 


to Germania Ford wagon-loads of new blankets and 
overcoats, thrown away by the troops to lighten their 
knapsacks ; an improvidence I had never witnessed 

Lee, while his pickets and signal corps must have 
discovered at a very early hour on the morning of 
the 4th of May,' that the Army of the Potomac was 
moving, evidently did not learn until about one 
o'clock in the afternoon by what route we would 
confront his army. This I judge from the fact that 
at 1. 1 5 p.m., an hour and a quarter after Warren 
had reached Old Wilderness Tavern, our officers 
took off rebel signals which, when translated, were 
seen to be an order to his troops to occupy their in- 
trenchments at Mine Run. 

Here at night dispatches were received announc- 
ing that Sherman, Butler and Crook had moved 
according to programme. 

On discovering the advance of the Army of the 
Potomac, Lee ordered Hill, Ewell and Longstreet, 
each commanding corps, to move to the right to 
attack us, Hill on the Orange Plank Road, Long- 
street to follow on the same road. Longstreet was 
at this time — middle of the afternoon — at Gordons- 
ville, twenty or more miles away. Ewell was ordered 
by the Orange Pike. He was near by and arrived 
some four miles east of Mine Run before bivouack- 
ing for the night. 


My orders were given through General Meade 
for an early advance on the morning of the 5th. 
Warren was to move to Parker's store, and 
Wilson's cavalry — then at Parkers store — to move 
on to Craig's meeting-house. Sedgwick followed 
Warren, closing in on his right The Army of the 
Potomac was facing to the west, though our 
advance was made to the south, except when facing 
the enemy. Hancock was to move south-westward 
to join on the left of Warren, his left to reach to 
Shady Grove Church. 

At six o'clock, before reaching Parker's store, 
Warren discovered the enemy. He sent word back 
to this effect, and was ordered to halt and prepare 
to meet and attack him. Wright, with his division 
of Sedgwick's corps, was ordered, by any road he 
could find, to join on to Warren's right, and 
Getty with his division, also of Sedgwick's corps, 
was ordered to move rapidly by Warren's rear 
and get on his left. This was the speediest way 
to reinforce Warren who was confronting the 
enemy on both the Orange plank and turnpike 

Burnside had moved promptly on the 4th, on re- 
ceiving word that the Army of the Potomac had 
safely crossed the Rapidan. By making a night 
march, although some of his troops had to march 
forty miles to reach the river, he was crossing with 


the head of his column early on the morning of 
the 5 th. 

Meade moved his headquarters on to Old Wilder- 
ness Tavern, four miles south of the river, as soon as 
it was light enough to see the road. I remained 
to hasten Burnside's crossing and to put him in 
position. Burnside at this time was not under 
Meade's command, and was his senior in rank. 
Getting information of the proximity of the enemy, 
I informed Meade, and without waiting to see 
Burnside, at once moved forward my headquarters 
to where Meade was. 

It was my plan then, as it was on all other 
occasions, to take the initiative whenever the enemy 
could be drawn from his intrenchments if we were 
not intrenched ourselves. Warren had not yet 
reached the point where he was to halt, when he 
discovered the enemy near by. Neither party had 
any advantage of position. Warren was, therefore, 
ordered to attack as soon as he could prepare for it. 
At nine o'clock Hancock was ordered to come up to 
the support of Getty. He himself arrived at Getty's 
front about noon, but his troops were yet far in the 
rear. Getty was directed to hold his position at all 
hazards until relieved. About this hour Warren 
was ready, and attacked with favorable though not 
decisive results. Getty was somewhat isolated from 
Warren and was in a precarious condition for a time. 

Vol. 11. — 13 


Wilson, with his division of cavalry, was farther 
south, and was cut off from the rest of the army. 
At two o'clock Hancock's troops began to arrive, 
and immediately he was ordered to join Getty 
and attack the enemy. But the heavy timber and 
narrow roads prevented him from getting into posi- 
tion for attack as promptly as he generally did when 
receiving such orders. At four o'clock he again 
received his orders to attack, and General Getty 
received orders from Meade a few minutes later to 
attack whether Hancock was ready or not. He met 
the enemy under Heth within a few hundred yards. 

Hancock immediately sent two divisions, com- 
manded by Birney and Mott, and later two brigades, 
Carroll's and Owen's, to the support of Getty. 
This was timely and saved Getty. During the 
battle Getty and Carroll were wounded, but re- 
mained on the field. One of Birney's most gallant 
brigade commanders — Alexander Hays — was killed. 

I had been at West Point with Hays for three 
years, and had served with him through the Mex- 
ican war, a portion of the time in the same regi- 
ment. He was a most gallant officer, ready to 
lead his command wherever ordered. With him it 
was " Come, boys," not " Go." 

Wadsworth's division and Baxter's brigade of the 
2d division were sent to reinforce Hancock and 
Getty ; but the density of the intervening forest was 


such that, there being no road to march upon, they 
did not get up with the head of column until night, 
and bivouacked where they were without getting 
into position. 

During the afternoon Sheridan sent Gregg's divi- 
sion of cavalry to Todd's Tavern in search of Wil- 
son. This was fortunate. He found Wilson en- 
gaged with a superior force under General Rosser, 
supported by infantry, and falling back before it. 
Together they were strong enough to turn the 
tables upon the enemy and themselves become ag- 
gressive. They soon drove the rebel cavalry back 
beyond Corbin's Bridge. 

Fighting between Hancock and Hill continued 
until night put a close to it. Neither side made 
any special progress. 

After the close of the battle of the 5th of May my 
orders were given for the following morning. We 
knew Longstreet with 12,000 men was on his way to 
join Hill's right, near the Brock Road, and might 
arrive during the night. I was anxious that the 
rebels should not take the initiative in the morning, 
and therefore ordered Hancock to make an assault 
at 4.30 o'clock. Meade asked to have the hour 
changed to six. Deferring to his wishes as far as I 
was willing, the order was modified and five was fixed 
as the hour to move. 

Hancock had now fully one-half of the Army of the 


Potomac. Wadsworth with his division, which had 
arrived the night before, lay in a line perpendicular 
to that held by Hill, and to the right of Hancock. 
He was directed to move at the same time, and to 
attack Hill's left 

Burnside, who was coming up with two divisions, 
was directed to get in between Warren and Wads- 
worth, and attack as soon as he could get in position 
to do so. Sedgwick and Warren were to make 
attacks in their front, to detain as many of the enemy 
as they could and to take advantage of any attempt 
to reinforce Hill from that quarter. Burnside was 
ordered if he should succeed in breaking the enemy's 
centre, to swing around to the left and envelop the 
right of Lee's army. Hancock was informed of all 
the movements ordered. 

Burnside had three divisions, but one of them — a 
colored division — was sent to guard the wagon train, 
and he did not see it again until July. 

Lee was evidently very anxious that there should 
be no battle on his right until Longstreet got up. 
This is evident from the fact that notwithstanding 
the early hour at which I had ordered the assault, 
both for the purpose of being the attacking party 
and to strike before Longstreet got up, Lee was 
ahead in his assault on our right. His purpose was 
evident, but he failed. 

Hancock was ready to advance by the hour named, 


but learning in time that Longstreet was moving a 
part of his corps by the Catharpin Road, thus threat- 
ening his left flank, sent a division of infantry, com- 
manded by General Barlow, with all his artillery, to 
cover the approaches by which Longstreet was ex- 
pected. This disposition was made in time to attack 
as ordered. Hancock moved by the left of the 
Orange Plank Road, and Wadsworth by the right of 
it. The fighting was desperate for about an hour, 
when the enemy began to break up in great con- 

I believed then, and see no reason to change that 
opinion now, that if the country had been such that 
Hancock and his command could have seen the con- 
fusion and panic in the lines of the enemy, it would 
have been taken advantage of so effectually that Lee 
would not have made another stand outside of his 
Richmond defences. 

Gibbon commanded Hancock's left, and was or- 
dered to attack, but was not able to accomplish 

On the morning of the 6th Sheridan was sent to 
connect with Hancock's left and attack the enemy's 
cavalry who were trying to get on our left and rear. 
He met them at the intersection of the Furnace and 
Brock roads and at Todd's Tavern, and defeated 
them at both places. Later he was attacked, and 
again the enemy was repulsed. 


Potomac. Wadsworth with his division, which had 
arrived the night before, lay in a line perpendicular 
to that held by Hill, and to the right of Hancock. 
He was directed to move at the same time, and to 
attack Hill's left 

Burnside, who was coming up with two divisions, 
was directed to get in between Warren and Wads- 
worth, and attack as soon as he could get in position 
to do so. Sedgwick and Warren were to make 
attacks in their front, to detain as many of the enemy 
as they could and to take advantage of any attempt 
to reinforce Hill from that quarter. Burnside was 
ordered if he should succeed in breaking the enemy's 
centre, to swing around to the left and envelop the 
right of Lee's army. Hancock was informed of all 
the movements ordered. 

Burnside had three divisions, but one of them — a 
colored division — was sent to guard the wagon train, 
and he did not see it again until July. 

Lee was evidently very anxious that there should 
be no battle on his right until Longstreet got up. 
This is evident from the fact that notwithstanding 
the early hour at which I had ordered the assault, 
both for the purpose of being the attacking party 
and to strike before Longstreet got up, Lee was 
ahead in his assault on our right. His purpose was 
evident, but he failed. 

Hancock was ready to advance by the hour named, 


but learning in time that Longstreet was moving a 
part of his corps by the Catharpin Road, thus threat- 
ening his left flank, sent a division of infantry, com- 
manded by General Barlow, with all his artillery, to 
cover the approaches by which Longstreet was ex- 
pected. This disposition was made in time to attack 
as ordered. Hancock moved by the left of the 
Orange Plank Road, and Wadsworth by the right of 
it. The fighting was desperate for about an hour, 
when the enemy began to break up in great con- 



I believed then, and see no reason to change that 
opinion now, that if the country had been such that 
Hancock and his command could have seen the con- 
fusion and panic in the lines of the enemy, it would 
have been taken advantage of so effectually that Lee 
would not have made another stand outside of his 
Richmond defences. 

Gibbon commanded Hancock's left, and was or- 
dered to attack, but was not able to accomplish 

On the morning of the 6th Sheridan was sent to 
connect with Hancock's left and attack the enemy's 
cavalry who were trying to get on our left and rear. 
He met them at the intersection of the Furnace and 
Brock roads and at Todd's Tavern, and defeated 
them at both places. Later he was attacked, and 
again the enemy was repulsed. 


Hancock heard the firing between Sheridan and 
Stuart, and thinking the enemy coming by that road, 
still further reinforced his position guarding the 
entrance to the Brock Road. Another incident hap- 
pened during the day to further induce Hancock to 
weaken his attacking column. Word reached him 
that troops were seen moving towards him from the 
direction of Todd's Tavern, and Brooke's brigade 
was detached to meet this new enemy ; but the 
troops approaching proved to be several hundred 
convalescents coming from Chancellorsville, by the 
road Hancock had advanced upon, to join their re- 
spective commands. At 6.50 o'clock a.m., Burnside, 
who had passed Wilderness Tavern at six o'clock, 
was ordered to send a division to the support of 
Hancock, but to continue with the remainder of 
his command in the execution of his previous order. 
The difficulty of making a way through the dense 
forests prevented Burnside from getting up in 
time to be of any service on the forenoon of the 

Hancock followed Hill's retreating forces, in the 
morning, a mile or more. He maintained this po- 
sition until, along in the afternoon, Longstreet came 
upon him. The retreating column of Hill meeting 
reinforcements that had not yet been engaged, be- 
came encouraged and returned with them. They 
were enabled, from the density of the forest, to ap- 







proach within a few hundred yards of our advance 
before being discovered Falling upon a brigade of 
Hancocks corps thrown to the advance, they swept 
it away almost instantly. The enemy followed up 
his advantage and soon came upon Mott's division, 
which fell back in great confusion. Hancock made 
dispositions to hold his advanced position, but after 
holding it for a time, fell back into the position that 
he had held in the morning, which was strongly in- 
trenched. In this engagement the intrepid Wads- 
worth while trying to rally his men was mortally 
wounded and fell into the hands of the enemy. The 
enemy followed up, but made no immediate attack. 

The Confederate General Jenkins was killed and 
Longstreet seriously wounded in this engagement. 
Longstreet had to leave the field, not to resume com- 
mand for many weeks. His loss was a severe one 
to Lee, and compensated in a great measure for the 
mishap, or misapprehensions, which had fallen to our 
lot during the day. 

After Longstreet's removal from the field Lee 
took command of his right in person. He was not 
able, however, to rally his men to attack Hancock's 
position, and withdrew from our front for the pur- 
pose of reforming. Hancock sent a brigade to clear 
his front of all remnants that might be left of Long- 
street's or Hill's commands. This brigade having 
been formed at right angles to the intrenchments 


held by Hancock's command, swept down the whole 
length of them from left to right. A brigade of the 
enemy was encountered in this move ; but it broke 
and disappeared without a contest. 

Firing was continued after this, but with less fur)-. 
Burnside had not yet been able to get up to render 
any assistance. But it was now only about nine in 
the morning, and he was getting into position on 
Hancocks right. 

At 4.15 in the afternoon Lee attacked our left. 
His line moved up to within a hundred yards of ours 
and opened a heavy fire. This status was main- 
tained for about half an hour. Then a part of 
Mott's division and Ward's brigade of Birney's di- 
vision gave way and retired in disorder. The enemy 
under R. H. Anderson took advantage of this and 
pushed through our line, planting their flags on a 
part of the intrenchments not on fire. But owing to 
the efforts of Hancock, their success was but tem- 
porary. Carroll, of Gibbon's division, moved at a 
double quick with his brigade and drove back the 
enemy, inflicting great loss. Fighting had continued 
from five in the morning sometimes along the whole 
line, at other times only in places. The ground 
fought over had varied in width, but averaged three- 
quarters of a mile. The killed, and many of the 
severely wounded, of both armies, lay within this 
belt where it was impossible to reach them. The 


woods were set on fire by the bursting shells, and the 
conflagration raged. The wounded who had not 
strength to move themselves were either suffocated 
or burned to death. Finally the fire communicated 
with our breastworks, in places. Being constructed 
of wood, they burned with great fury. But the battle 
still raged, our men firing through the flames until it 
became too hot to remain longer. 

Lee was now in distress. His men were in con- 
fusion, and his personal efforts failed to restore or- 
der. These facts, however, were learned subse- 
quently, or we would have taken advantage of his 
condition and no doubt gained a decisive success. 
His troops were withdrawn now, but I revoked the 
order, which I had given previously to this assault, 
for Hancock to attack, because his troops had ex- 
hausted their ammunition and did not have time to 
replenish from the train, which was at some distance. 

Burnside, Sedgwick, and Warren had all kept up 
an assault during all this time ; but their efforts had 
no other effect than to prevent the enemy from 
reinforcing his right from the troops in their 

I had, on the 5th, ordered all the bridges over the 
Rapidan to be taken up except one at Germania 

The troops on Sedgwick's right had been sent to 
reinforce our left. This left our right in danger of 


being turned, and us of being cut off from all pres- 
ent base of supplies. Sedgwick had refused his 
right and intrenched it for protection against at- 
tack. But late in the afternoon of the 6th Early 
came out from his lines in considerable force and got 
in upon Sedgwick's right, notwithstanding the pre- 
cautions taken, and created considerable confusion. 
Early captured several hundred prisoners, among 
them two general officers. The defence, however, 
was vigorous ; and night coming on, the enemy was 
thrown into as much confusion as our troops, en- 
gaged, were. Early says in his Memoirs that if we 
had discovered the confusion in his lines we might 
have brought fresh troops to his great discomfort 
Many officers, who had not been attacked by Early, 
continued coming to my headquarters even after 
Sedgwick had rectified his lines a little farther to 
the rear, with news of the disaster, fully impressed 
with the idea that the enemy was pushing on and 
would soon be upon me. 

During the night all of Lee's army withdrew 
within their intrenchments. On the morning of the 
7th General Custer drove the enemy's cavalry from 
Catharpin Furnace to Todd's Tavern. Pickets and 
skirmishers were sent along our entire front to find 
the position of the enemy. Some went as far as a 
mile and a half before finding him. But Lee showed 
no disposition to come out of his works. There was 


no battle during the day, and but little firing except 
in Warren's front ; he being directed about noon to 
make a reconnoissance in force. This drew some 
sharp firing, but there was no attempt on the part of 
Lee to drive him back. This ended the Battle of 
the Wilderness. 



MORE desperate fighting has not been witnessed 
on this continent than that of the 5th and 6th 

of May. Our victory consisted in having successfully 


crossed a formidable stream, almost in the face of an 
enemy, and in getting the army together as a unit 
We gained an advantage on the morning of the 6th, 
which, if it had been followed up, must have proven 
very decisive. In the evening the enemy gained an 
advantage ; but was speedily repulsed. As we stood 
at the close, the two armies were relatively in about 
the same condition to meet each other as when the 
river divided them. But the fact of having safely 
crossed was a victory. 

Our losses in the Wilderness were very severe. 
Those of the Confederates must have been even 
more so ; but I have no means of speaking with 
accuracy upon this point. The German ia Ford 
bridge was transferred to Ely's Ford to facilitate the 
transportation of the wounded to Washington. 

It may be as well here as elsewhere to state two 



things connected with all movements of the Army of 
the Potomac : first, in every change of position or 
halt for the night, whether confronting the enemy 
or not, the moment arms were stacked the men in- 
trenched themselves. For this purpose they would 
build up piles of logs or rails if they could be found 
in their front, and dig a ditch, throwing the dirt for- 
ward on the timber. Thus the digging they did 
counted in making a depression to stand in, and in- 
creased the elevation in front of them. It was won- 
derful how quickly they could in this way construct 
defences of considerable strength. When a halt was 
made with the view of assaulting the enemy, or in 
his presence, these would be strengthened or their 
positions changed under the direction of engineer 
officers. The second was, the use made of the tele- 
graph and signal corps. Nothing could be more com- 
plete than the organization and discipline of this body 
of brave and intelligent men. Insulated wires — insu- 
lated so that they would transmit messages in a 
storm, on the ground or under water — were wound 
upon reels, making about two hundred pounds 
weight of wire to each reel. Two men and one mule 
were detailed to each reel. The pack-saddle on 
which this was carried was provided with a rack like 
a sawbuck placed crosswise of the saddle, and raised 
above it so that the reel, with its wire, would revolve 
freely. There was a wagon, supplied with a tele- 


graph operator, battery and telegraph instruments 
for each division, each corps, each army, and one for 
my headquarters. There were wagons also loaded 
with light poles, about the size and length of a wall 
tent pole, supplied with an iron spike in one end, 
used to hold the wires up when laid, so that wagons 
and artillery would not run over them. The mules 
thus loaded were assigned to brigades, and always 
kept with the command they were assigned to. The 
operators were also assigned to particular headquar- 
ters, and never changed except by special orders. 

The moment the troops were put in position to 
go into camp all the men connected with this 
branch of service would proceed to put up their 
wires. A mule loaded with a coil of wire would 
be led to the rear of the nearest flank of the bri- 
gade he belonged to, and would be led in a line 
parallel thereto, while one man would hold an end 
of the wire and uncoil it as the mule was led off. 
When he had walked the length of the wire the 
whole of it would be on the ground. This would 
be done in rear of every brigade at the same time. 
The ends of all the wires would then be joined, 
making a continuous wire in the rear of the whole 
army. The men, attached to brigades or divisions, 
would all commence at once raising the wires with 
their telegraph poles. This was done by making a 
loop in the wire and putting it over the spike and 


raising the pole to a perpendicular position. At in- 
tervals the wire would be attached to trees, or some 
other permanent object, so that one pole was suffi- 
cient at a place. In the absence of such a support 
two poles would have to be used, at intervals, placed 
at an angle so as to hold the wire firm in its place. 
While this was being done the telegraph wagons 
would take their positions near where the headquar- 
ters they belonged to were to be established, and 
would connect with the wire. Thus, in a few minutes 
longer time than it took a mule to walk the length 
of its coil, telegraphic communication would be 
effected between all the headquarters of the army. 
No orders ever had to be given to establish the 

The signal service was used on the march. The 
men composing this corps were assigned to speci- 
fied commands. When movements were made, they 
would go in advance, or on the flanks, and seize 
upon high points of ground giving a commanding 
view of the country, if cleared, or would climb tall 
trees on the highest points if not cleared, and 
would denote, by signals, the positions of different 
parts of our own army, and often the movements of 
the enemy. They would also take off the signals 
of the enemy and transmit them. It would some- 
times take too long a time to make translations of 
intercepted dispatches for us to receive any benefit 


from them. But sometimes they gave useful infor- 

On the afternoon of the 7th I received news from 
Washington announcing that Sherman had probably 
attacked Johnston that day, and that Butler had 
reached City Point safely and taken it by surprise 
on the 5th. I had given orders for a movement 
by the left flank, fearing that Lee might move rap- 
idly to Richmond to crush Butler before I could get 

My order for this movement was as follows : 

Headquarters Armies of the U. S., 

May 7, 1864, 6.30 A.M. 
Major-General Meade, 

Commanding A. P. 

Make all preparations during the day for a night march to take 
position at Spottsylvania C. H. with one army corps, at Todd's 
Tavern with one, and another near the intersection of the Piney 
Branch and Spottsylvania road with the road from Alsop's to Old 
Court House. If this move is made the trains should be thrown 
forward early in the morning to the Ny River. 

I think it would be advisable in making the change to leave 
Hancock where he is until Warren passes him. He could then 
follow and become the right of the new line. Burnside will move 
to Piney Branch Church. Sedgwick can move along the pike to 
Chancellorsville and on to his destination. Burnside will move 
on the plank road to the intersection of it with the Orange and 
Fredericksburg plank road, then follow Sedgwick to his place of 

All vehicles should be got out of hearing of the enemy before 
the troops move, and then move off quietly. 


It is more than probable that the enemy concentrate for a heavy 
attack on Hancock this afternoon. In case they do we must be 
prepared to resist them, and follow up any success we may gain, 
with our whole force. Such a result would necessarily modify 
these instructions. 
All the hospitals should be moved to-day to Chancellorsville. 



During the 7th Sheridan had a fight with the rebel 
cavalry at Todd's Tavern, but routed them, thus 
opening the way for the troops that were to go by 
that route at night. Soon after dark Warren with- 
drew from the front of the enemy, and was soon fol- 
lowed by Sedgwick. Warren's march carried him 
immediately behind the works where Hancock's com- 
mand lay on the Brock Road. With my staff and 
a small escort of cavalry I preceded the troops. 
Meade with his staff accompanied me. The greatest 
enthusiasm was manifested by Hancocks men as 
we passed by. No doubt it was inspired by the 
fact that the movement was south. It indicated to 
them that they had passed through the "beginning 
of the end " in the battle just fought. The cheer- 
ing was so lusty that the enemy must have taken 
it for a night attack. At all events it drew from him 
a furious fusillade of artillery and musketry, plainly 
heard but not felt by us. 

Meade and I rode in advance. We had passed but 
a little way beyond our left when the road forked. 


We looked to see, if we could, which road Sheridan 
had taken with his cavalry during the day. It seemed 
to be the right-hand one, and accordingly we took it. 
We had not gone far, however, when Colonel C. B. 
Comstock, of my staff, with the instinct of the 
engineer, suspecting that we were on a road that 
would lead us into the lines of the enemy, if he, too, 
should be moving, dashed by at a rapid gallop and 
all alone. In a few minutes he returned and reported 
that Lee was moving, and that the road we were on 
would bring us into his lines in a short distance. We 
returned to the forks of the road, left a man to indi- 
cate the right road to the head of Warren's column 
when it should come up, and continued our journey 
to Todd's Tavern, where we arrived after midnight. 

My object in moving to Spottsylvania was two- 
fold : first, I did not want Lee to get back to Rich- 
mond in time to attempt to crush Butler before I could 
get there ; second, I wanted to get between his army 
and Richmond if possible ; and, if not, to draw him 
into the open field. But Lee, by accident, beat us 
to Spottsylvania. Our wagon trains had been 
ordered easterly of the roads the troops were to 
march upon before the movement commenced. 
Lee interpreted this as a semi-retreat of the Army 
of the Potomac to Fredericksburg, and so informed 
his government. Accordingly he ordered Long- 
street's corps — now commanded by Anderson — to 

v;. <* 



*■ > 


move in the morning (the 8th) to Spottsylvania. 
But the woods being still on fire, Anderson could 
not go into bivouac, and marched directly on to his 
destination that night. By this accident Lee got 
possession of Spottsylvania. It is impossible to say 
now what would have been the result if Lees 
orders had been obeyed as given; but it is cer- 
tain that we would have been in Spottsylvania, and 
between him and his capital. My belief is that 
there would have been a race between the two 
armies to see which could reach Richmond first, 
and the Army of the Potomac would have had the 
shorter line. Thus, twice since crossing the Rapi- 
I dan we came near closing the campaign, so far as 
battles were concerned, from the Rapidan to the 
James River or Richmond. The first failure was 
caused by our not following up the success gained 
over Hill's corps on the morning of the 6th, as be- 
fore described : the second, when fires caused by 
that battle drove Anderson to make a march during 
the night of the 7th-8th which he was ordered to 
commence on the morning of the 8th. But accident 
often decides the fate of battle. 

Sheridan's cavalry had had considerable fighting 
during the afternoon of the 7th, lasting at Todd's 
Tavern until after night, with the field his at the 
close. He issued the necessary orders for seizing 
Spottsylvania and holding the bridge over the Po 


River, which Lee's troops would have to cross to get 
to Spottsylvania. But Meade changed Sheridan's 
orders to Merritt — who was holding the bridge — on 


his arrival at Todd's Tavern, and thereby left the 
road free for Anderson when he came up. Wilson, 
who was ordered to seize the town, did so, with his 
division of cavalry ; but he could not hold it against 
the Confederate corps which had not been detained 
at the crossing of the Po, as it would have been 
but for the unfortunate change in Merritt's orders. 
Had he been permitted to execute the orders Sher- 
idan gave him, he would have been guarding with 
two brigades of cavalry the bridge over the Po 
River which Anderson had to cross, and must have 
detained him long enough to enable Warren to 
reinforce Wilson and hold the town. 

Anderson soon intrenched himself — if indeed the 
intrenchments were not already made — immediately 
across Warren's front. Warren was not aware of 
his presence, but probably supposed it was the cav- 
alry which Merritt had engaged earlier in the day. 
He assaulted at once, but was repulsed. He soon 
organized his men, as they were not pursued by the 
enemy, and made a second attack, this time with his 
whole corps. This time he succeeded in gaining a 
position immediately in the enemy's front, where 
he intrenched. His right and left divisions — the 
former Crawford's, the latter Wadsworth's, now com- 


manded by Cutler — drove the enemy back some dis- 

At this time my headquarters had been advanced 
to Piney Branch Church. I was anxious to crush 
Anderson before Lee could get a force to his sup- 
port To this end Sedgwick, who was at Piney 
Branch Church, was ordered to Warren's support 
Hancock, who was at Todd's Tavern, was notified of 
Warren's engagement, and was directed to be in 
readiness to come up. Burnside, who was with the 
wagon trains at Aldrich's on our extreme left, re- 
ceived the same instructions. Sedgwick was slow in 
getting up for some reason — probably unavoidable, 
because he was never at fault when serious work was 
to be done — so that it was near night before the 
combined forces were ready to attack. Even then 
all of Sedgwick's command did not get into the en- 
gagement. Warren led the last assault, one division 
at a time, and of course it failed. 

Warren's difficulty was twofold : when he received 
an order to do anything, it would at once occur to 
his mind how all the balance of the army should be 
engaged so as properly to co-operate with him. His 
ideas were generally good, but he would forget that 
the person giving him orders had thought of others 
at the time he had of him. In like manner, when he 
did get ready to execute an order, after giving most 
intelligent instructions to division commanders, he 


would go in with one division, holding the others in 
reserve until he could superintend their movements 
in person also, forgetting that division commanders 
could execute an order without his presence. His 
difficulty was constitutional and beyond his control. 
He was an officer of superior ability, quick percep- 
tions, and personal courage to accomplish anything 
that could be done with a small command. 

Lee had ordered Hill's corps — now commanded 
by Early — to move by the very road we had 
marched upon. This shows that even early in the 
morning of the 8th Lee had not yet become ac- 
quainted with my move, but still thought that the 
Army of the Potomac had gone to Fredericksburg. 
Indeed, he informed the authorities at Richmond 
that he had possession of Spottsylvania and was 
thus on my flank. Anderson was in possession of 
Spottsylvania, through no foresight of Lee, how- ■'. 
ever. Early only found that he had been following 
us when he rap against Hancock at Todd's Tavern. 
His coming detained Hancock from the battle-field 
of Spottsylvania for that day ; but he, in like manner, 
kept Early back and forced him to move by another 

Had I ordered the movement for the night of the 
7th by my left flank, it would have put Hancock in 
the lead. It would also have given us an hour or 
more earlier start. It took all that time for Warren 


to get the head of his column to the left of Hancock 
after he had got his troops out of their line con- 
fronting the enemy. This hour, and Hancocks ca- 
pacity to use his whole force when necessary, would, 
no doubt, have enabled him to crush Anderson be- 
fore he could be reinforced. But the movement 
made was tactical. It kept the troops in mass 
against a possible assault by the enemy. Our left 
occupied its intrenchments while the two corps to 
the right passed. If an attack had been made by 
the enemy he would have found the 2d corps in posi- 
tion, fortified, and, practically, the 5th and 6th corps 
in position as reserves, until his entire front was 
passed. By a left flank movement the army would 
have been scattered while still passing the front of 
the enemy, and before the extreme right had got by 
it would have been very much exposed. Then, too, 
I had not yet learned the special qualifications of 
the different corps commanders. At that time my 
judgment was that Warren was the^ man I would 
suggest to succeed Meade should anything happen 
to that gallant soldier to take him from the field. 
As I have before said, Warren was a gallant soldier, 
an able man ; and he was beside thoroughly imbued 
with the solemnity and importance of the duty he 
had to perform. 






THE Mattapony River is formed by the junction 
of the Mat, the Ta, the Po and the Ny rivers, the 
last being the northernmost of the four. It takes 
its rise about a mile south and a little east of the 
Wilderness Tavern. The Po rises south-west of the 
same place, but farther away. Spottsylvania is on 
the ridge dividing these two streams, and where they 
are but a few miles apart. The Brock Road reaches 
Spottsylvania without crossing either of these 
streams. Lee's army coming up by the Catharpin 
Road, had to cross the Po at Wooden Bridge. War- 
ren and Hancock came by the Brock Road. Sedg- 
wick crossed the Ny at Catharpin Furnace. Burn- 
side coming by Aldrich's to Gates's house, had 
to cross the Ny near the enemy. He found pickets 
at the bridge, but they were soon driven off by a 
brigade of Willcoxs division, and the stream was 
crossed. This brigade was furiously attacked ; but 


the remainder of the division coming up, they 
were enabled to hold their position, and soon 
fortified it. 

About the time I received the news of this attack, 
word came from Hancock that Early had left his 
front. He had been forced over to the Catharpin 
Road, crossing the Po at Corbin's and again at 
Wooden Bridge. These are the bridges Sheridan 
had given orders to his cavalry to occupy on the 
8th, while one division should occupy Spottsylvania. 
These movements of the enemy gave me the idea 
that Lee was about to make the attempt to get to, 
or towards, Fredericksburg to cut off my supplies. 
I made arrangements to attack his right and get be- 
tween him and Richmond if he should try to execute 
this design. If he had any such intention it was 
abandoned as soon as Burnside was established south 
of the Ny. 

The Po and the Ny are narrow little streams, but 
deep, with abrupt banks, and bordered by heavily 
wooded and marshy bottoms — at the time we w r ere 
there — and difficult to cross except where bridged. 
The country about was generally heavily timbered, 
but with occasional clearings. It was a much better 
country to conduct a defensive campaign in than an 
offensive one. 

By noon of the 9th the position of the two armies 
was as follows : Lee occupied a semicircle facing 


north, north-west and north-east, inclosing the town. 
Anderson was on his left extending to the Po, Ewell 
came next, then Early. Warren occupied our right, 
covering the Brock and other roads converging at 
Spottsylvania ; Sedgwick was to his left and Burn- 
side on our extreme left Hancock was yet back at 
Todd's Tavern, but as soon as it was known that 
Early had left Hancock's front the latter was ordered 
up to Warren's right He formed a line with three 
divisions on the hill overlooking the Po early in the 
afternoon, and was ordered to cross the Po and get 
on the enemy's flank. The fourth division of Han- 
cock's corps, Mott commanding, was left at Todd's 
when the corps first came up ; but in the after- 
noon it was brought up and placed to the left 
of Sedgwick's — now Wright's — 6th corps. In the 
morning General Sedgwick had been killed near 
the right of his intrenchments by rebel sharp- 
shooters. His loss was a severe one to the Army 
of the Potomac and to the Nation. General H. 
G. Wright succeeded him in the command of his 

Hancock was now, nine p.m. of the 9th of May, 
across the left flank of Lee's army, but separated 
from it, and also from the remainder of Meade's 
army, by the Po River. But for the lateness of the 
hour and the darkness of the night he would have 
attempted to cross the river again at Wooden 


Bridge, thus bringing himself on the same side with 
both friend and foe. 

The Po at the points where Hancock's corps 
crossed runs nearly due east. Just below his lower 
crossing — the troops crossed at three points — it 
turns due south, and after passing under Wooden 
Bridge soon resumes a more easterly direction. 
During the night this corps built three bridges over 
the Po ; but these were in rear. 

The position assumed by Hancock's corps forced 
Lee to reinforce his left during the night. Accord- 
ingly on the morning of the ioth, when Hancock 
renewed his effort to get over the Po to his front, 
he found himself confronted by some of Early's 
command, which had been brought from the ex- 
treme right of the enemy during the night. He 
succeeded in effecting a crossing with one brigade, 
however, but finding the enemy intrenched in his 
front, no more were crossed. 

Hancock reconnoitred his front on the morning 
of the ioth, with the view of forcing a crossing, if it 
was found that an advantage could be gained. The 
enemy was found strongly intrenched on the high 
ground overlooking the river, and commanding the 
Wooden Bridge with artillery. Anderson's left 
rested on the Po, where it turns south ; therefore, 
for Hancock to cross over — although it would bring 
him to the same side of the stream with the rest of 


the army — would still farther isolate him from it 
The stream would have to be crossed twice in the 
face of the enemy to unite with the main body. 
The idea of crossing was therefore abandoned. 

Lee had weakened the other parts of his line to 
meet this movement of Hancock's, and I deter- 
mined to take advantage of it Accordingly in the 
morning, orders were issued for an attack in the 
afternoon on the centre by Warren's and Wright's 
corps, Hancock to command all the attacking force. 
Two of his divisions were brought to the north side 
of the Po. Gibbon was placed to the right of War- 
ren, and Birney in his rear as a reserve. Barlow's 
division was left south of the stream, and Mott of the 
same corps was still to the left of Wright's corps. 
Burnside was ordered to reconnoitre his front in 
force, and, if an opportunity presented, to attack 
with vigor. The enemy seeing Barlow's division 
isolated from the rest of the army, came out and 
attacked with fury. Barlow repulsed the assault with 
great slaughter, and with considerable loss to him- 
self. But the enemy reorganized and renewed the 
assault Birney was now moved to the high ground 
overlooking the river crossings built by our troops, 
and covered the crossings. The second assault was 
repulsed, again with severe loss to the enemy, and 
Barlow was withdrawn without further molestation. 
General T. G. Stevenson was killed in this move. 


Between the lines, where Warren's assault was to 
take place, there was a ravine grown up with large 
trees and underbrush, making it almost impenetrable 
by man. The slopes on both sides were also covered 
with a heavy growth of timber. Warren, before noon, 
reconnoitred his front twice, the first time with one 
and the second with two divisions. He was repulsed 
on both occasions, but gained such information of the 
ground as to induce him to report recommending 
the assault. 

Wright also reconnoitred his front and gained 
a considerably advanced position from the one he 
started from. He then organized a storming party, 
consisting of twelve regiments, and assigned Colonel 
Emory Upton, of the 121st New York Volunteers, 
to the command of it. About four o'clock in the 
afternoon the assault was ordered, Warren's and 
Wright's corps, with Mott's division of Hancocks 
corps, to move simultaneously. The movement was 
prompt, and in a few minutes the fiercest of strug- 
gles began. The battle-field was so densely covered 
with forest that but little could be seen, by any one 
person, as to the progress made. Meade and I 
occupied the best position we could get, in rear of 

Warren was repulsed with heavy loss, General J. C. 
Rice being among the killed. He was not followed, 
however, by the enemy, and was thereby enabled to 


reorganize his command as soon as covered from the 
guns of the enemy. To the left our success was de- 
cided, but the advantage was lost by the feeble action 
of Mott. Upton with his assaulting party pushed for- 
ward and crossed the enemy's intrenchments. Turn- 
ing to the right and left he captured several guns and 
some hundreds of prisoners. Mott was ordered to 
his assistance but failed utterly. So much time was 
lost in trying to get up the troops which were in the 
right position to reinforce, that I ordered Upton to 
withdraw ; but the officers and men of his command 
were so averse to giving up the advantage they had 
gained that I withdrew the order. To relieve them, 
I ordered a renewal of the assault. By this time Han- 
cock, who had gone with Birney's division to relieve 
Barlow, had returned, bringing the division with him. 
His corps was now joined with Warren's and Wright's 
in this last assault It was gallantly made, many 
men getting up to, and over, the works of the 
enemy ; but they were not able to hold them. At 
night they were withdrawn. Upton brought his pris- 
oners with him, but the guns he had captured he was 
obliged to abandon. Upton had gained an important 
advantage, but a lack in others of the spirit and 
dash possessed by him lost it to us. Before leaving 
Washington I had been authorized to promote offi- 
cers on the field for special acts of gallantry. By 
this authority I conferred the rank of brigadier-gen- 


eral upon Upton on the spot, and this act was con- 
firmed by the President. Upton had been badly 
wounded in this fight. 

Burnside on the left had got up to within a few 
hundred yards of Spottsylvania Court House, com- 
pletely turning Lee's right He was not aware of 
the importance of the advantage he had gained, 
and I, being with the troops where the heavy fight- 
ing was, did not know of it at the time. He had 
gained his position with but little fighting, and 
almost without loss. Burnside's position now sepa- 
rated him widely from Wright's corps, the corps 
nearest to him. At night he was ordered to join on 
to this. This brought him back about a mile, and lost 
to us an important advantage. I attach no blame to 
Burnside for this, but I do to myself for not having 
had a staff officer with him to report to me his posi- 

The enemy had not dared to come out of his line 
at any point to follow up his advantage, except in the 
single instance of his attack on Barlow. Then he 
was twice repulsed with heavy loss, though he had an 
entire corps against two brigades. Barlow took up 
his bridges in the presence of this force. 

On the nth there was no battle and but little 
firing; none except by Mott who made a reconnois- 
sance to ascertain if there was a weak point in the 
enemy's line. 

Vol. ii. — 15 


I wrote the following letter to General Halleck : 

Near Spottsylvania C. H., 

May ii, 1864— 8.30 a. M. 

Major-General Halleck, Chief of Staff of the Army, 

Washington, D. C. 

We have now ended the 6th day of very hard fighting. The re- 
sult up to this time is much in our favor. But our losses have been 
heavy as well as those of the enemy. We have lost to this time 
eleven general officers killed, wounded and missing, and probably 
twenty thousand men. I think the loss of the enemy must be 
greater — we having taken over foui thousand prisoners in battle, 
whilst he has taken from us but few except a few stragglers. I am 
now sending back to Belle Plain all my wagons for a fresh supply 
of provisions and ammunition, and purpose to fight it out on this 
line if it takes all summer. 

The arrival of reinforcements here will be very encouraging to 
the men, and I hope they will be sent as fast as possible, and in 
as great numbers. My object in having them sent to Belle Plain 
was to use them as an escort to our supply trains. If it is more 
convenient to send them out by train to march from the railroad 
to Belle Plain or Fredericksburg, send them so. 

I am satisfied the enemy are very shaky, and are only kept up 
to the mark by the greatest exertions on the part of their officers, 
and by keeping them intrenched in every position they take. 

Up to this time there is no indication of any portion of Lee's 
army being detached for the defence of Richmond. 



And also, I received information, through the War 
Department, from General Butler that his cavalry 
under Kautz had cut the railroad south of Peters- 


burg, separating Beauregard from Richmond, and 
had whipped Hill, killing, wounding and capturing 
many. Also that he was intrenched, and could 
maintain himself. On this same day came news from 
Sheridan to the effect that he had destroyed ten 
miles of the railroad and telegraph between Lee and 
Richmond, one and a half million rations, and most 
of the medical stores for his army. 

On the 8th I had directed Sheridan verbally to 
cut loose from the Army of the Potomac and pass 
around the left of Lee's army and attack his cavalry 
and communications, which was successfully exe- 
cuted in the manner I have already described. 


Hancock's assault — losses of the confederates 




IN the reconnoissance made by Mott on the nth, 
a salient was discovered at the right centre. I 
determined that an assault should be made at that 
point.* Accordingly in the afternoon Hancock was 
ordered to move his command by the rear of Warren 
and Wright, under cover of night, to Wright's left, 
and there form it for an assault at four o'clock the 
next morning. The night was dark, it rained heav- 
ily, and the road was difficult, so that it was mid- 
night when he reached the point where he was to 

* Headquarters Armies U. S., 

May II, 1864.— 3 P.M. 
Major-General Meade, 

Commanding Army of the Potomac. 

Move three divisions of the 2d corps by the rear of the 5 th and 
6th corps, under cover of night, so as to join the 9th corps in a 
vigorous assault on the enemy at four o'clock a.m. to-morrow. I 
will send one or two staff officers over to-night to stay with Burn- 
side, and impress him with the importance of a prompt and 


halt. It took most of the night to get the men in 
position for their advance in the morning. The men 
got but little rest. Burnside was ordered to attack * 
on the left of the salient at the same hour. I sent 
two of my staff officers to impress upon him the 
importance of pushing forward vigorously. Han- 
cock was notified of this. Warren and Wright were 
ordered to hold themselves in readiness to join in 
the assault if circumstances made it advisable. I 
occupied a central position most convenient for re- 
ceiving information from all points. Hancock put 

vigorous attack. Warren and Wright should hold their corps as 
close to the enemy as possible, to take advantage of any diversion 
caused by this attack, and to push in if any opportunity presents 
itself. There is but little doubt in my mind that the assault last 
evening would have proved entirely successful if it had com- 
menced one hour earlier and had been heartily entered into by 

Mott's division and the 9th corps. 


Lieut. -General. 

* Headquarters, Armies U. S., 
May ii, 1864. — 4 p.m. 
Major-General A. E. Burnside, 

Commanding 9th Army Corps. 

Major-General Hancock has been ordered to move his corps 
under cover of night to join you in a vigorous attack against the 
enemy at 4 o'clock a.m. to-morrow. You will move against the 
enemy with your entire force promptly and with all possible vigor 
at precisely 4 o'clock a. m. to-morrow the 12th inst. Let your 
preparations for this attack be conducted with the utmost secrecy 
and veiled entirely from the enemy. 


Barlow on his left, in double column, and Birney to 
his right. Mott followed Birney, and Gibbon was 
held in reserve. 

The morning of the 12th opened foggy, delaying 
the start more than half an hour. 

The ground over which Hancock had to pass 
to reach the enemy, was ascending and heavily 
wooded to within two or three hundred yards of the 
enemy's intrenchments. In front of Birney there 
was also a marsh to cross. But, notwithstanding all 
these difficulties, the troops pushed on in quick time 
without firing a gun, and when within four or five 
hundred yards of the enemy's line broke out in loud 
cheers, and with a rush went up to and over the 
breastworks. Barlow and Birney entered almost 
simultaneously. Here a desperate hand-to-hand 
conflict took place. The men of the two sides were 
too close together to fire, but used their guns as 
clubs. The hand conflict was soon over. Hancock's 

I send two of my staff officers ; Colonels Comstock and Bab- 
cock, in whom I have great confidence and who are acquainted 
with the direction the attack is to be made from here, to remain 
with you and General Hancock with instructions to render you 
every assistance in their power. Generals Warren and Wright 
will hold their corps as close to the enemy as possible, to take ad- 
vantage of any diversion caused by yours and Hancock's attack, and 
will push in their whole force if any opportunity presents itself. 





corps captured some four thousand prisoners — 
among them a division and a brigade commander — 
twenty or more guns with their horses, caissons, 
and ammunition, several thousand stand of arms, 
and many colors. Hancock, as soon as the hand- 
to-hand conflict was over, turned the guns of the 
enemy against him and advanced inside the rebel 
lines. About six o'clock I ordered Warren's corps to 
the support of Hancock's. Burnside, on the left, 
had advanced up east of the salient to the very 
parapet of the enemy. Potter, commanding one of 
his divisions, got over but was not able to remain 
there. However, he inflicted a heavy loss upon the 
enemy ; but not without loss in return. 

This victory was important, and one that Lee 
could not afford to leave us in full possession of. 
He made the most strenuous efforts to regain the 
position he had lost. Troops were brought up from 
his left and attacked Hancock furiously. Hancock 
was forced to fall back : but he did so slowly, with 
his face to the enemy, inflicting on him heavy loss, 
until behind the breastworks he had captured. 
These he turned, facing them the other way, and 
continued to hold. Wright was ordered up to rein- 
force Hancock, and arrived by six o'clock. He was 
wounded soon after coming up but did not relinquish 
the command of his corps, although the fighting 
lasted until one o'clock the next morning. At eight 


o'clock Warren was ordered up again, but was so 
slow in making his dispositions that his orders were 
frequently repeated, and with emphasis. At eleven 
o'clock I gave Meade written orders to relieve 
Warren from his command if he failed to move 
promptly. Hancock placed batteries on high ground 
in his rear, which he used against the enemy, firing 
over the heads of his own troops. 

Burnside accomplished but little on our left of a 
positive nature, but negatively a great deal. He 
kept Lee from reinforcing his centre from that 
quarter. If the 5th corps, or rather if Warren, had 
been as prompt as Wright was with the 6th corps, 
better results might have been obtained. 

Lee massed heavily from his left flank on the 
broken point of his line. Five times during the 
day he assaulted furiously, but without dislodging 
our troops from their new position. His losses 
must have been fearful. Sometimes the belligerents 
would be separated by but a few feet. In one place 
a tree, eighteen inches in diameter, was cut entirely 
down by musket balls. All the trees between the 
lines were very much cut to pieces by artillery and 
musketry. It was three o'clock next morning before 
the fighting ceased. Some of our troops had then 
been twenty hours under fire. In this engagement 
we did not lose a single organization, not even a 
company. The enemy lost one division with its 


commander, one v brigade and one regiment, with 
heavy losses elsewhere.* Our losses were heavy, 
but, as stated, no whole company was captured. At 
night Lee took a position in rear of his former one, 
and by the following morning he was strongly in- 
trenched in it. 

Warren's corps was now temporarily broken up, 
Cutler's division sent to Wright, and Griffin's to 
Hancock. Meade ordered his chief of staff, General 
Humphreys, to remain with Warren and the re- 
maining division, and authorized him to give it 
orders in his name. 

During the day I was passing along the line 
from wing to wing continuously. About the centre 
stood a house which proved to be occupied by an 
old lady and her daughter. She showed such un- 
mistakable signs of being strongly Union that I 

* Headquarters Armies U. S., 

May 12, 1864, 6.30 p.m. 
Major-General Halleck, 

Washington, D. C. 

The eighth day of the battle closes, leaving between three and 
four thousand prisoners in our hands for the day's work, includ- 
ing two general officers, and over thirty pieces of artillery. The 
enemy are obstinate, and seem to have found the last ditch. We 
have lost no organizations, not even that of a company, whilst we 
have destroyed and captured one division (Johnson's), one brigade 
(Doles'), and one regiment entire from the enemy. 


Lieut. -General. 


stopped. She said she had not seen a Union flag 
for so long a time that it did her heart good to 
look upon it again. She said her husband and son, 
being Union men, had had to leave early in the war, 
and were now somewhere in the Union army, if alive. 
She was without food or nearly so, so I ordered 
rations issued to her, and promised to find out if I 
could where the husband and son were. 

There was no fighting on the 13th, further than a 
little skirmishing between Mott's division and the 
enemy. I was afraid that Lee might be moving out, 
and I did not want him to go without my knowing 
it. The indications were that he was moving, but 
it was found that he was only taking his new posi- 
tion back from the salient that had been captured. 
Our dead were buried this day. Mott's division was 
reduced to a brigade, and assigned to Birney's divi- 

During this day I wrote to Washington recom- 
mending Sherman and Meade * for promotion to the 

* Spottsylvania C. H., May 13, 1864. 

Hon. E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War, 

Washington, D. C. 

I beg leave to recommend the following promotions be made 
for gallant and distinguished services in the last eight days' battles, 
to wit : Brigadier-General H. G. Wright and Brigadier-General 
John Gibbon to be Major-Generals ; Colonel S. S. Carroll, 8th 
Ohio Volunteers ; Colonel E. Upton, 121st New York Volunteers; 


grade of Major-General in the regular army ; Han- 
cock for Brigadier-General ; Wright, Gibbon and 
Humphreys to be Major-Generals of Volunteers ; 
and Upton and Carroll to be Brigadiers. Upton 
had already been named as such, but the appoint- 
ment had to be confirmed by the Senate on the nomi- 
nation of the President. 

The night of the 13th Warren and Wright were 
moved by the rear to the left of Burnside. The 
night was very dark and it rained heavily, the roads 
were so bad that the troops had to cut trees and 

Colonel William McCandless, 2d Pennsylvania Reserves, to be 
Brigadier-Generals. I would also recommend Major-General W. 
S. Hancock for Brigadier-General in the regular army. His 
services and qualifications are eminently deserving of this recogni- 
tion. In making these recommendations I do not wish the claims 
of General G. M. Dodge for promotion forgotten, but recommend 
his name to be sent in at the same time. I would also ask to have 
General Wright assigned to the command of the Sixth Army 
Corps. I would further ask the confirmation of General Hum- 
phreys to the rank of Major-General. 

General Meade has more than met my most sanguine expecta- 
tions. He and Sherman are the fittest officers for large commands 
I have come in contact with. If their services can be rewarded 
by promotion to the rank of Major-Generals in the regular army 
the honor would be worthily bestowed, and I would feel personally 
gratified. I would not like to see one of these promotions at this 
time without seeing both. 


Lieut. -General. 


corduroy the road a part of the way, to get through. 
It was midnight before they got to the point where 
they were to halt, and daylight before the troops 
could be organized to advance to their position in 
line. They gained their position in line, however, 
without any fighting, except a little in Wrights front 
Here Upton had to contend for an elevation which 
we wanted and which the enemy was not disposed 
to yield. Upton first drove the enemy, and was then 
repulsed in turn. Ayres coming to his support with 
his brigade (of Griffin's division, Warren's corps), the 
position was secured and fortified. There was no 
more battle during the 14th. This brought our line 
east of the Court House and running north and south 
and facing west. 

During the night of the I4th-i5th Lee moved to 
cover this new front. This left Hancock without an 
enemy confronting him. He was brought to the 
rear of our new centre, ready to be moved in any 
direction he might be wanted. 

On the 15th news came from Butler and Averill. 
The former reported the capture of the outer works 
at Drury's Bluff, on the James River, and that his 
cavalry had cut the railroad and telegraph south of 
Richmond on the Danville road : and the latter, the 
destruction of a depot of supplies at Dublin, West 
Virginia, and the breaking of New River Bridge on 
the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad. The next day 


news came from Sherman and Sheridan. Sherman 
had forced Johnston out of Dalton, Georgia, and was 
following him south. The report from Sheridan 
embraced his operations up to his passing the outer 
defences of Richmond. The prospect must now have 
been dismal in Richmond. The road and telegraph 
were cut between the capital and Lee. The roads and 
wires were cut in every direction from the rebel capital. 
Temporarily that city was cut off from all communica- 
tion with the outside except by courier. This con- 
dition of affairs, however, was of but short duration. 
I wrote Halleck : 

Near Spottsylvania C. H., 
May 16, 1864, 8 A.M. 


Washington, D. C. : 

We have had five days almost constant rain without any pros- 
pect yet of it clearing up. The roads have now become so im- 
passable that ambulances with wounded men can no longer run 
between here and Fredericksburg. All offensive operations neces- 
sarily cease until we can have twenty-four hours of dry weather. 
The army is in the best of spirits, and feel the greatest confidence 

of ultimate success. 


You can assure the President and Secretary of War that the 
elements alone have suspended hostilities, and that it is in no 
manner due to weakness or exhaustion on our part. 


Lieut. -General. 

The condition of the roads was such that nothing 


was done on the 1 7th. But that night Hancock and 
Wright were to make a night march back to their 
old positions, and to make an assault at four o'clock 
in the morning. Lee got troops back in time to 
protect his old line, so the assault was unsuccessful. 
On this day (18th) the news was almost as dis- 
couraging to us as it had been two days before in 
the rebel capital. As stated above, Hancock's and 
Wright's corps had made an unsuccessful assault. 
News came that Sigel had been defeated at New 
Market, badly, and was retreating down the valley. 
Not two hours before, I had sent the inquiry to 
Halleck whether Sigel could not get to Staunton 
to stop supplies coming from there to Lee. I 
asked at once that Sigel might be relieved, and 
some one else put in his place. Hunter's name 
was suggested, and I heartily approved. Further 
news from Butler reported him driven from Drury's 
Bluff, but still in possession of the Petersburg 
road. Banks had been defeated in Louisiana, re- 
lieved, and Canby put in his place. This change 
of commander was not on my suggestion. All this 
news was very discouraging. All of it must have 
been known by the enemy before it was by me. In 
fact, the good news (for the enemy) must have been 
known to him at the moment I thought he was in 
despair, and his anguish had been already relieved 
when we were enjoying his supposed discomfiture. 


But this was no time for repining. I immediately 
gave orders for a movement by the left flank, on 
towards Richmond, to commence on the night of 
the 19th. I also asked Halleck to secure the co- 
operation of the navy in changing our base of sup- 
plies from Fredericksburg to Port Royal, on the 

Up to this time I had received no reinforcements, 
except six thousand raw troops under Brigadier- 
General Robert O. Tyler, just arrived They had not 
yet joined their command, Hancock's corps, but were 
on our right This corps had been brought to the 
rear of the centre, ready to move in any direction. 
Lee, probably suspecting some move on my part, and 
seeing our right entirely abandoned, moved E well's 
corps about five o'clock in the afternoon, with Early's 
as a reserve, to attack us in that quarter. Tyler 
had come up from Fredericksburg, and had been 
halted on the road to the right of our line, near Kitch- 
ing's brigade of Warren's corps. Tyler received 
the attack with his raw troops, and they maintained 
their position, until reinforced, in a manner worthy 
of veterans. 

Hancock was in a position to reinforce speedily, 
and was the soldier to do it without waiting to make 
dispositions. Birney was thrown to Tyler's right and 
Crawford to his left, with Gibbon as a reserve ; and 
Ewell was whirled back speedily and with heavy loss. 

ZJO P£Jt3QXAL MEJtcrss ZJ C- S. G* 4 vr 

Warren had been ordered to gee oa Ew^ITs ttank 
and in his rear, to cut hrn oE from, his intrench- 
ments. Bat his efforts were so feeble that under 
the cover of night Ewell got back with only the loss 
of a few hundred prisoners, besides his killed and 
wounded. The army being engaged until after dark. 
I rescinded the order for the march bv our left flank 
that night. 

As soon as it was discovered that the enemy were 
coming out to attack. I naturally supposed they 
would detach a force to destroy our trains. The 
withdrawal of Hancock from the right uncovered 
one road from Spottsylvania to Fredericksburg over 
which trains drew our supplies. This was guarded 
by a division of colored troops, commanded by Gen- 
eral Ferrero, belonging to Burnside s corps* Ferrero 
was therefore promptly notified, and ordered to 
throw his cavalry pickets out to the south and be 
prepared to meet the enemy if he should come; if 
he had to retreat to do so towards Fredericksburg. 
The enemy did detach as expected, and captured 
twenty-five or thirty wagons which, however, were 
soon retaken. 

In consequence of the disasters that had befallen 
us in the past few days, Lee could be reinforced 
largely, and I had no doubt he would be. Beaure- 
gard had come up from the south with troops to 
guard the Confederate capital when it was in dan- 


ger. Butler being driven back, most of the troops 
could be sent to Lee. Hoke was no longer needed 
in North Carolina ; and Sigels troops having gone 
back to Cedar Creek, whipped, many troops could 
be spared from the valley. 

The Wilderness and Spottsylvania battles con- 
vinced me that we had more artillery than could ever 
be brought into action at any one time. It occu- 
pied much of the road in marching, and taxed the 
trains in bringing up forage. Artillery is very use- 
ful when it can be brought into action, but it is a 
very burdensome luxury where it cannot be used. 
Before % leaving Spottsylvania, therefore, I sent back 
to the defences of Washington over one hundred 
pieces of artillery, with the .horses and caissons. 
This relieved the roads over which we were to 
march of more than two hundred six-horse teams, and 
still left us more artillery than could be advantage- 
ously used. In fact, before reaching the James 
River I again reduced the artillery with the army 

I believed that, if one corps of the army was ex- 
posed on the road to Richmond, and at a distance 
from the main army, Lee would endeavor to attack 
the exposed corps before reinforcements could come 
up ; in which case the main army could follow Lee 
up and attack him before he had time to intrench. 
So I issued the following orders : 

Vol. 11.—16 


.VANIA C. H., VA. f ) 

1 8, 1864. ) 

Near Spottsylvania 


Commanding Army of the Potomac. 

Before daylight to-morrow morning I propose to draw Hancock 
and Burnside from the position they now hold, and put Burnside 
to the left of Wright. Wright and Burnside should then force 
their way up as close to the enemy as they can get without a gen- 
eral engagement, or with a general engagement if the enemy will 
come out of their works to fight, and intrench. Hancock should 
march and take up a position as if in support of the two left 
corps. To-morrow night, at twelve or one o'clock, he will be 
moved south-east with all his force and as much cavalry as can 
be given to him, to get as far towards Richmond on the line of the 
Fredericksburg Railroad as he can make, fighting the enemy in 
whatever force he can find him. If the enemy make a general 
move to meet this, they will be followed by the other three corps 
of the army, and attacked^ if possible, before time is given to 

Suitable directions will at once be given for all trains and sur- 
plus artillery to conform to this movement. 


On the 20th, Lee showing no signs of coming out 
of his lines, orders were renewed for a left-flank 
movement, to commence after night. 



WE were now to operate in a different country 
from any we had before seen in Virginia. The 
roads were wide and good, and the country well cul- 
tivated. No men were seen except those bearing 
arms, even the black man having been sent away. 
The country, however, was new to us, and we had 
neither guides nor maps to tell us where the roads 
were, or where they led to. Engineer and staff offi- 
cers were put to the dangerous duty of supplying the 
place of both maps and guides. By reconnoitring 
they were enabled to locate the roads in the vicinity 
of each army corps. Our course was south, and we 
took all roads leading in that direction which would 
not separate the army too widely. 

Hancock who had the lead had marched easterly 
to Guiney's Station, on the Fredericksburg Railroad, 
thence southerly to Bowling Green and Milford. 
He was at Milford by the night of the 21st Here 


he met a detachment of Pickett's division coming 
from Richmond to reinforce Lee. They were speed- 
ily driven away, and several hundred captured. 
Warren followed on the morning of the 21st, and 
reached Guiney's Station that night without moles- 
tation. Burnside and Wright were retained at 
Spottsylvania to keep up the appearance of an in- 
tended assault, and to hold Lee, if possible, while 
Hancock and Warren should get start enough to in- 
terpose between him and Richmond. 

Lee had now a superb opportunity to take the 
initiative either by attacking Wright and Burnside 
alone, or by following by the Telegraph Road and 
striking Hancock's and Warren's corps, or even 
Hancock's alone, before reinforcements could come 
up. But he did not avail himself of either oppor- 
tunity. He seemed really to be misled as to my 
designs ; but moved by his interior line — the Tele- 
graph Road — to qjake sure of keeping between his 
capital and the Army of the Potomac. He never 
again had such an opportunity of dealing a heavy 

The evening of the 21st Burnside, 9th corps, moved 
out followed by Wright, 6th corps. Burnside was 
to take the Telegraph Road ; but finding Stanard's 
Ford, over the Po, fortified and guarded, he turned 
east to the road taken by Hancock and Warren with- 
out an attempt to dislodge the enemy. The night 


of the 2 1 st I had my headquarters near the 6th 
corps, at Guiney's Station, and the enemy's cavalry 
was between us and Hancock. There was a slight 
attack on Burnside's and Wrights corps as they 
moved out of their lines ; but it was easily repulsed. 
The object probably was only to make sure that we 
were not leaving a force to follow upon the rear of 
the Confederates. 

By the morning of the 2 2d Burnside and Wright 
were at Guiney's Station. Hancock's corps had now 
been marching and fighting continuously for several 
days, not having had rest even at night much of the 
time. They- were, therefore, permitted to rest dur- 
ing the 2 2d. But Warren was pushed to Harris's 
Store, directly west of Milford, and connected with 
it by a good road, and Burnside was sent to New 
Bethel Church. Wright's corps was still back at 
Guiney's Station. 

I issued the following order for the movement of 
the troops the next day : 

New Bethel, Va., May 22, 1864. 
Major-General Meade, 

Commanding Army of the Potomac. 

Direct corps commanders to hold their troops in readiness to 
march at fixe a.m. to-morrow. At that hour each command will 
send out cavalry and infantry on all roads to their front leading 
south, and ascertain, if possible, where the enemy is. If beyond 
the South Anna, the 5th and 6th corps will march to the forks of 
the road, where one branch leads to Beaver Dam Station, the 


other to Jericho Bridge, then south by roads reaching the Anna, 
as near to and east of Hawkins Creek as they can be found. 

The 2d corps will move to Chesterfield Ford. The 9th corps 
will be directed to move at the same time to Jericho Bridge. The 
map only shows two roads for the four corps to march upon, but, 
no doubt, by the use of plantation roads, and pressing in guides, 
others can be found, to give one for each corps. 

The troops will follow their respective reconnoitring parties. 
The trains will be moved at the same time to Milford Station. 

Headquarters will follow the 9th corps. 


Lieut. -General. 

Warren's corps was moved from Harris's Store to 
Jericho Ford, Wright's following. Warren arrived at 
the ford early in the afternoon, and by five o'clock 
effected a crossing under the protection of sharp- 
shooters. The men had to wade in water up to 
their waists. As soon as enough troops were over 
to guard the ford, pontoons were laid and the artil- 
lery and the rest of the troops crossed. The line 
formed was almost perpendicular to the course of 
the river — Crawford on the left, next to the river, 
Griffin in the centre, and Cutler on the right. Lee 
was found intrenched along the front of their line. 
The whole of Hill's corps was sent against Warren's 
right before it had got in position. A brigade of 
Cutler's division was driven back, the enemy follow- 
ing, but assistance coming up the enemy was in 
turn driven back into his trenches with heavy loss 


in killed and wounded, with about five hundred pris- 
oners left in our hands. By night Wright's corps 
was up ready to reinforce Warren. 

On the 23d Hancock's corps was moved to the 
wooden bridge which spans the North Anna River 
just west of where the Fredericksburg Railroad 
crosses. It was near night when the troops arrived. 
They found the bridge guarded, with troops in- 
trenched, on the north side. Hancock sent two 
brigades, Egan's and Pierce's, to the right and left, 
and when properly disposed they charged simultane- 
ously. The bridge was carried quickly, the enemy 
retreating over it so hastily that many were shoved 
into the river, and some of them were drowned. Sev- 
eral hundred prisoners were captured. The hour 
was so late that Hancock did not cross until next 

Burnside's corps was moved by a middle road 
running between those described above, and which 
strikes the North Anna at Ox Ford, midway be- 
tween Telegraph Road and Jericho Ford. The hour 
of its arrival was too late to cross that night. 

On the 24th Hancock's corps crossed to the south 
side of the river without opposition, and formed line 
facing nearly west. The railroad in rear was taken 
possession of and destroyed as far as possible. 
Wright's corps crossed at Jericho early the same day, 
and took position to the right of Warren's corps, 


extending south of the Virginia Central Railroad. 
This road was torn up for a considerable distance to 
the rear (west), the ties burned, and the rails bent 
and twisted by heating them over the burning ties. 
It was found, however, that Burnside's corps could 
not cross at Ox Ford. Lee had taken a position with 
his centre on the river at this point, with the two 
wings thrown back, his line making an acute angle 
where it overlooked the river. 

Before the exact position of the whole of Lee's 
line was accurately known, I directed Hancock and 
Warren each to send a brigade to Ox Ford by the 
south side of the river. They found the enemy too 
strong to justify a serious attack. A third ford was 
found between Ox Ford and Jericho. Burnside was 
directed to cross a division over this ford, and to 
send one division to Hancock. Crittenden was 
crossed by this newly-discovered ford, and formed 
up the river to connect with Crawford's left. Potter 
joined Hancock by way of the wooden bridge. 
Crittenden had a severe engagement with some of 
Hill's corps on his crossing the river, and lost heav- 
ily. When joined to Warren's corps he was no 
further molested. Burnside still guarded Ox Ford 
from the north side. 

Lee now had his entire army south of the North 
Anna. Our lines covered his front, with the six 
miles separating the two wings guarded by but a 


single division. To get from one wing to the other 
the river would have to be crossed twice. Lee could 
reinforce any part of his line from all points of it in 
a very short march ; or could concentrate the whole 
of it wherever he might choose to assault We 
were, for the time, practically two armies besieging. 

Lee had been reinforced, and was being rein- 
forced, largely. About this time the very troops 
whose coming I had predicted, had arrived or were 
coming in. Pickett with a full division from Rich- 
mond was up ; Hoke from North Carolina had come 
with a brigade ; and Breckinridge was there : in all 
probably not less than fifteen thousand men. But 
he did not attempt to drive us from the field. 

On the 2 2d or 23d I received dispatches from 
Washington saying that Sherman had taken Kings- 
ton, crossed the Etowah River and was advancing 
into Georgia. 

I was seated at the time on the porch of a fine 
plantation house waiting for Burnside's corps to pass. 
Meade and his staff, besides my own staff, were 
with me. The lady of the house, a Mrs. Tyler, and 
an elderly lady, were present. Burnside seeing us, 
came up on the porch, his big spurs and saber 
rattling as he walked. He touched his hat politely 
to the ladies, and remarked that he supposed they 
had never seen so many " live Yankees " before in 
their lives. The elderly lady spoke up promptly 


saying, " Oh yes, I have; many more." "Where?" 
said Burnside. " In Richmond." Prisoners, of course, 
was understood. 

I read my dispatch aloud, when it was received. 
This threw the younger lady into tears. I found 
the information she had received (and I suppose 
it was the information generally in circulation 
through the South) was that Lee was driving us 
from the State in the most demoralized condition, 
and that in the South-west our troops were but little 
better than prisoners of war. Seeing our troops 
moving south was ocular proof that a part of her 
information was incorrect, and she asked me if my 
news from Sherman was true. I assured her that 
there was no doubt about it I left a guard to 
protect the house from intrusion until the troops 
should have all passed, and assured her that if her 
husband was in hiding she could bring him in and 
he should be protected also. But I presume he was 
in the Confederate army. 

On the 25 th I gave orders, through Halleck, to 
Hunter, who had relieved Sigel, to move up the 
Valley of Virginia, cross over the Blue Ridge to 
Charlottesville and go as far as Lynchburg if pos- 
sible, living upon the country and cutting the rail- 
roads and canal as he went. After doing this .he 
could find his way back to his base, or join me. 

On the same day news was received that Lee was 


falling back on Richmond This proved not to be 
true. But we could do nothing where we were un- 
less Lee would assume the offensive. I determined, 
therefore, to draw out of our present position and 
make one more effort to get between him and Rich- 
mond. I had no expectation now, however, of suc- 
ceeding in this ; but I did expect to hold him far 
enough west to enable me to reach the James River 
high up. Sheridan was now again with the Army 
of the Potomac. 

On the 26th I informed the government at Wash- 
ington of the position of the two armies ; of the re- 
inforcements the enemy had received ; of the move 
I proposed to make ; * and directed that our base of 

* Quarles' Mills, Va., May 26, 1864. 
Major-General Halleck, 

Washington, D. C. 

The relative position of the two armies is now as follows : Lee's 
right rests on a swamp east of the Richmond and Fredericksburg 
road and south of the North Anna, his centre on the river at Ox 
Ford, and his left at Little River with the crossings of Little River 
guarded as far up as we have gone. Hancock with his corps and one 
division of the 9th corps crossed at Chesterfield Ford and covers 
the right wing of Lee's army. One division of the 9th corps is on 
the north bank of the Anna at Ox Ford, with bridges above and 
below at points nearest to it where both banks are held by us, so that 
it could reinforce either wing of our army with equal facility. 
The 5th and 6th corps with one division of the 9th corps run from 
the south bank of the Anna from a short distance above Ox Ford 
to Little River, and parallel with and near to the enemy. 


supplies should be shifted to White House, on the 
Pamunkey. The wagon train and guards moved 
directly from Port Royal to White House. Sup- 
plies moved around by water, guarded by the navy. 
Orders had previously been sent, through Halleck, 

To make a direct attack from either wing would cause a slaugh- 
ter of our men that even success would not justify. To turn the 
enemy by his right, between the two Annas, is impossible on 
account of the swamp upon which his right rests. To turn him 
by the left leaves Little River, New Found River and South Anna 
River, all of them streams presenting considerable obstacles to the 
movement of our army, to be crossed. I have determined there- 
fore to turn the enemy's right by crossing at or near Hanover 
Town. This crosses all three streams at once, and leaves us still 
where we can draw supplies. 

During the last night the teams and artillery not in position, be- 
longing to the right wing of our army, and one division of that 
wing were quietly withdrawn to the north bank of the river and 
moved down to the rear of the left. As soon as it is dark this di- 
vision with most of the cavalry will commence a forced march for 
Hanover Town to seize and hold the crossings. The balance of 
the right wing will withdraw at the same hour, and follow as rap- 
idly as possible. The left wing will also withdraw from the south 
bank of the river to-night and follow in rear of the right wing. 

Lee's army is really whipped. The prisoners we now take 
show it, and the action of his army shows it unmistakably. A 
battle with them outside of intrenchments cannot be had. Our 
men feel that they have gained the morale over the enemy, and 
attack him with confidence. I may be mistaken, but I feel that 
our success over Lee's army is already assured. The promptness 
and rapidity with which you have forwarded reinforcements has 


for Butler to send Smith's corps to White House. 
This order was repeated on the 25th, with directions 
that they should be landed on the north side of the 
Pamunkey, and marched until they joined the Army 
of the Potomac 

It was a delicate move to get the right wing of the 
Army of the Potomac from its position south of the 
North Anna in the presence of the enemy. To ac- 
complish it I issued the following order : 

Quarles' Mills, Va., May 25, 1864. 
Major General Meade, 

Commanding A. P. 
Direct Generals Warren and Wright to withdraw all their teams 
and artillery, not in position, to the north side of the river to-mor- 
row. Send that belonging to General Wright's corps as far on the 
road to Hanover Town as it can go, without attracting attention 

contributed largely to the feeling of confidence inspired in our 
men, and to break down that of the enemy. 

We are destroying all the rails we can on the Central and Fred- 
ericksburg roads. I want to leave a gap on the roads north of 
Richmond so big that to get a single track they will have to 
import rail from elsewhere. 

Even if a crossing is not effected at Hanover Town it will prob- 
ably be necessary for us to move on down the Pamunkey until a 
crossing is effected. I think it advisable therefore to change our 
base of supplies from Port Royal to the White House. I wish you 
would direct this change at once, and also direct Smith to put the 
railroad bridge there in condition for crossing troops and artillery 

and leave men to hold it 




to the fact. Send with it Wright's best division or division under 
his ablest commander. Have their places filled up in the line so 
if possible the enemy will not notice their withdrawal. Send the 
cavalry to-morrow afternoon, or as much of it as you may deem 
necessary, to watch and seize, if they can, Littlepage's Bridge and 
Taylor's Ford, and to remain on one or other side of the river at 
these points until the infantry and artillery all pass. As soon as it 
is dark to-morrow night start the division which you withdraw first 
from Wright's corps to make a forced march to Hanover Town, 
taking with them no teams to impede their march. At the same 
time this division starts commence withdrawing all of the 5th and 
6th corps from the south side of the river, and march them for the 
same place. The two divisions of the 9th corps not now with 
Hancock, may be moved down the north bank of the river where 
they will be handy to support Hancock if. necessary, or will be 
that much on their road to follow the 5 th and 6th corps. Han- 
cock should hold his command in readiness to follow as soon as 
the way is clear for him. To-morrow it will leave nothing for him 
to do, but as soon as he can he should get all his teams and spare 
artillery on the road or roads which he will have to take. As soon 
as the troops reach Hanover Town they should get possession of 
all the crossings they can in that neighborhood, t think it would 
be well to make a heavy cavalry demonstration on the enemy's 
left, to-morrow afternoon, also. 


Lieut. -General. 

Wilson's division of cavalry was brought up from 
the left and moved by our right south to Little 
River. Here he manoeuvred to give the impression 
that we were going to attack the left flank of Lee's 


Under cover of night our right wing was with- 
drawn to the north side of the river, Lee being com- 
pletely deceived by Wilson's feint *On the after- 
noon of the 26th Sheridan moved, sending Gregg's 
and Torbert's cavalry to Taylor's and Littlepage's 
fords towards Hanover. As soon as it was dark 
both divisions moved quietly to Hanover Ferry, 
leaving small guards behind to keep up the impres- 
sion that crossings were to be attempted in the 
morning. Sheridan was followed by a division of 
infantry under General Russell. On the morning 
of the 27th the crossing was effected with but little 
loss, the enemy losing thirty or forty, taken pris- 
oners. Thus a position was secured south of the 

Russell stopped at the crossing while the cavairy 
pushed on to Hanover Town. Here Barringer's, 
formerly Gordon's, brigade of rebel cavalry was en- 
countered, but it was speedily driven away. 

Warren's and Wright's corps were moved by the 
rear of Burnside's and Hancock's corps. When out 
of the way these latter corps followed, leaving pickets 
confronting the enemy. Wilson's cavalry followed 
last, watching all the fords until everything had re- 
crossed ; then taking up the pontoons and destroy- 
ing other bridges, became the rear-guard. 

Two roads were traversed by the troops in this 
move. The one nearest to and north of the North 


Field of Operations 

Pamunkey and the James Rivers. 


Anna and Pamunkey was taken by Wright, followed 
by Hancock. Warren, followed by Burnside, moved 
by a road farther north, and longer. The trains 
moved by a road still farther north, and had to 
travel a still greater distance. All the troops that 
had crossed the Pamunkey on the morning of the 
27th remained quiet during the rest of the day. 
while the troops north of that stream marched to 
reach the crossing that had been secured for them. 

Lee had evidently been deceived by our move- 
ment from North Anna ; for on the morning of the 
27th he telegraphed to Richmond : •' Enemy crossed 
to north side, and cavalry and infantry crossed at 
Hanover Town." The troops that had then crossed 
left his front the night of the 25th. 

The country' we were now in was a difficult one to 
move troops over. The streams were numerous, 
deep and sluggish, sometimes spreading out into 
swamps grown up with impenetrable growths of 
trees and underbrush. The banks were generally 
low and marshy, making the streams difficult to 
approach except where there were roads and bridges. 

Hanover Town is about twenty miles from Rich- 
mond. There are two roads leading there ; the 
most direct and shortest one crossing the Chicka- 
hominy at Meadow Bridge, near the Virginia Cen- 
tral Railroad, the second going by New and Old 
Cold Harbor. A few miles out from Hanover 


Town there is a third road by way of Mechanicsville 
to Richmond. New Cold Harbor was important to 
us because while there we both covered the roads 
back to White House (where our supplies came 
from), and the roads south-east over which we would 
have to pass to get to the James River below the 
Richmond defences. 

On the morning of the 28th the army made an 
early start, and by noon all had crossed except 
Burnsides corps. This was left on the north side 
temporarily to guard the large wagon train. A line 
was at once formed extending south from the river, 
Wright's corps on the right, Hancock's in the centre, 
and Warren's on the left, ready to meet the enemy 
if he should come. 

At the same time Sheridan was directed to re- 
connoitre towards Mechanicsville to find Lee's 
position. At Hawes' Shop, just where the middle 
road leaves the direct road to Richmond, he en- 
countered the Confederate cavalry dismounted and 
partially intrenched. Gregg attacked with his di- 
vision, but was unable to move the enemy. In the 
evening Custer came up with a brigade. The attack 
was now renewed, the cavalry dismounting and 
charging as infantry. This time the assault was suc- 
cessful, both sides losing a considerable number of 
men. But our troops had to bury the dead, and 
found that more Confederate than Union soldiers 


had been killed. The position was easily held, be- 
cause our infantry was near. 

On the 29th a reconnoissance was made in force, 
to find the position of Lee. Wrights corps pushed 
to Hanover Court House. Hancock's corps pushed 
toward Totopotomoy Creek ; Warren's corps to the 
left on the Shady Grove Church Road, while Burn- 
side was held in reserve. Our advance was pushed 
forward three miles on the left with but little fight- 
ing. There was now an appearance of a movement 
past our left flank, and Sheridan was sent to meet it. 

On the 30th Hancock moved to the Totopot- 
omoy, where he found the enemy strongly fortified. 
Wright was moved to the right of Hancock's corps, 
and Burnside was brought forward and crossed, 
taking position to the left of Hancock. Warren 
moved up near Huntley Corners on the Shady 
Grove Church Road. There was some skirmishing 
along the centre, and in the evening Early attacked 
Warren with some vigor, driving him back at first, 
and threatening to turn our left flank. As the 
best means of reinforcing the left, Hancock was 
ordered to attack in his front He carried and 
held the rifle-pits. While this was going on War- 
ren got his men up, repulsed Early, and drove 
him more than a mile. 

On this day I wrote to Halleck ordering all the 
pontoons in Washington to be sent to City Point. 




21 I804--5. 




In the evening news was received of the arrival of 
Smith with his corps at White House. I notified 
Meade, in writing, as follows : 

Near H awes' Shop, Va., 

6.40 p.m.. May 30, 1864. 

Major-General Meade, 

Commanding A. P. 

General Smith will debark his force at the White House to- 
night and start up the south bank of the Pamunkey at an early 
hour, probably at 3 a.m. in the morning. It is not improbable 
that the enemy, being aware of Smith's movement, will be feeling 
to get on our left flank for the purpose of cutting him off, or by a 
dash to crush him and get back before we are aware of it. Sher- 
idan ought to be notified to watch the enemy's movements well 
out towards Cold Harbor, and also on the Mechanicsville road. 
Wright should be got well massed on Hancock's right, so that, if it 
becomes necessary, he can take the place of the latter readily 
whilst troops are being thrown east of the Totopotomoy if neces- 

I want Sheridan to send a cavalry force of at least half a bri- 
gade, if not a whole brigade, at 5 a.m. in the morning, to communi- 
cate with Smith and to return with him. I will send orders for 
Smith by the messenger you send to Sheridan with his orders. 


I also notified Smith of his danger, and the pre- 
cautions that would be taken to protect him. 

The night of the 30th Lee's position was substan- 
tially from Atlee's Station on the Virginia Central 
Railroad south and east to the vicinity of Cold Har- 
bor. Ours was : The left of Warren's corps was 
on the Shady Grove Road, extending to the Me- 


chanicsville Road and about three miles south of 
the Totopotomoy. Burnside to his right, then 
Hancock, and Wright on the extreme right, ex- 
tending towards Hanover Court House, six miles 
south-east of it. Sheridan with two divisions of 
cavalry was watching our left front towards Cold 
Harbor. Wilson with his division on our right was 
sent to get on the Virginia Central Railroad and 
destroy it as far back as possible. He got possession 
of Hanover Court House the next day after a skir- 
mish with Young's cavalry brigade. The enemy at- 
tacked Sheridan's pickets, but reinforcements were 
sent up and the attack was speedily repulsed and the 
enemy followed some distance towards Cold Harbor. 



ON the 31st Sheridan advanced to near Old Cold 
Harbor. He found it intrenched and occupied 
by cavalry and infantry. A hard fight ensued but 
the place was carried. The enemy well knew the 
importance of Cold Harbor to us, and seemed de- 
termined that we should not hold it. He returned 
with such a large force that Sheridan was about 
withdrawing without making any effort to hold it 
against such odds ; but about the time he com- 
menced the evacuation he received orders to hold 
the place at all hazards, until reinforcements could 
be sent to him. He speedily turned the rebel works 
to face against them and placed his men in position 
for defence. Night came on before the enemy was 
ready for assault. 

Wright's corps was ordered early in the evening 
to march directly to Cold Harbor passing by the rear 
of the army. It was expected to arrive by daylight 
or before ; but the night was dark and the distance 


great, so that it was nine o'clock the ist of June 
before it reached its destination. Before the arrival 
of Wright the enemy had made two assaults on 
Sheridan, both of which were repulsed with heavy 
loss to the enemy. Wright's corps coming up, there 
was no further assault on Cold Harbor. 

Smith, who was coming up from White House, 
was also directed to march directly to Cold Harbor, 
and was expected early on the morning of the ist of 
June ; but by some blunder the order which reached 
Smith directed him to Newcastle instead of Cold 
Harbor. Through this blunder Smith did not reach 
his destination until three o'clock in the afternoon, 
and then with tired and worn-out men from their 
long and dusty march. He landed twelve thousand 
five hundred men from Butler's command, but a divi- 
sion was left at White House temporarily and many 
men had fallen out of ranks in their long march. 

Before the removal of Wright's corps from our 
right, after dark on the 31st, the two lines, Federal 
and Confederate, were so close together at that 
point that either side could detect directly any move- 
ment made by the other. Finding at daylight that 
Wright had left his front, Lee evidently divined that 
he had gone to our left. At all events, soon after 
light on the ist of June Anderson, who commanded 
the corps on Lee's left, was seen moving along War- 
ren's front. Warren was ordered to attack him vigor- 


ously in flank, while Wright was directed to move out 
and get on his front Warren fired his artillery at the 
enemy ; but lost so much time in making ready that 
the enemy got by, and at three o'clock he reported 
the enemy was strongly intrenched in his front, and 
besides his lines were so long that he had no mass 
of troops to move with. He seemed to have for- 
gotten that lines in rear of an army hold themselves 
while their defenders are fighting in their front 
Wright reconnoitred some distance to his front: 
but the enemy finding Old Cold Harbor already 
taken had halted and fortified some distance west 

By six o'clock in the afternoon Wright and Smith 
were ready to make an assault In front of both the 
ground was clear for several hundred yards, and 
then became wooded. Both charged across this 
open space and into the wood, capturing and holding 
the first line of rifle-pits of the enemy, and also captur- 
ing seven or eight hundred prisoners. 

While this was going on, the enemy charged War- 
ren three separate times with vigor, but were repulsed 
each time with loss. There was no officer more 
capable, nor one more prompt in acting, than War- 
ren when the enemy forced him to it. There was 
also an attack upon Hancock's and Burnside's corps 
at the same time ; but it was feeble and probably 
only intended to relieve Anderson who was being 
pressed by Wright and Smith. 


During the night the enemy made frequent at- 
tacks with the view of dispossessing us of the im- 
portant position we had gained, but without effect- 
ing their object. 

Hancock was moved from his place in line during 
the night and ordered to the left of Wright I ex- 
pected to take the offensive on the morning of the 
2d, but the night was so dark, the heat and dust so 
excessive and the roads so intricate and hard to keep, 
that the head of column only reached Old Cold 
Harbor at six o'clock, but was in position at 7.30 
a.m. Preparations were made for an attack in the 
afternoon, but did not take place until the next 
morning. Warren's corps was moved to the left to 
connect with Smith : Hancock's corps was got into 
position to the left of Wright's, and Burnside was 
moved to Bethesda Church in reserve. While 
Warren and Burnside were making these changes 
the enemy came out several times and attacked them, 
capturing several hundred prisoners. The attacks 
were repulsed, but not followed up as they should 
have been. I was so annoyed at this that I directed 
Meade to instruct his corps commanders that they 
should seize all such opportunities when they oc- 
curred, and not wait for orders, all of our manoeuvres 
being made for the very purpose of getting the enemy 
out of his cover. 

On this day Wilson returned from his raid upon 


the Virginia Central Railroad, having damaged it 
considerably. But, like ourselves, the rebels had 
become experts in repairing such damage. Sher- 
man, in his memoirs, relates an anecdote of his cam- 
paign to Atlanta that well illustrates this point. The 
rebel cavalry lurking in his rear to burn bridges and 
obstruct his communications had become so dis- 
gusted at hearing trains go whistling by within a few 
hours after a bridge had been burned, that they pro- 
posed to try blowing up some of the tunnels. One 
of them said, "No use, boys, Old Sherman carries 
duplicate tunnels with him, and will replace them as 
fast as you can blow them up ; better save your 

Sheridan was engaged reconnoitring the banks 
of the Chickahominy, to find crossings and the con- 
dition of the roads. He reported favorably. 

During the night Lee moved his left up to make 
his line correspond to ours. His lines extended 
now from the Totopotomoy to New Cold Harbor. 
Mine from Bethesda Church by Old Cold Harbor 
to the Chickahominy, with a division of cavalry 
guarding our right. An assault was ordered for the 
3d, to be made mainly by the corps of Hancock, 
Wright and Smith ; but Warren and Burnside were 
to support it by threatening Lee's left, and to attack 
with great earnestness if he should either rein- 
force more threatened points by drawing from that 


quarter or if a favorable opportunity should present 


The corps commanders were to select the points 
in their respective fronts where they would make 
their assaults. The move was to commence at half- 
past four in the morning. Hancock sent Barlow 
and Gibbon forward at the appointed hour, with 
Birney as a reserve. Barlow pushed forward with 
great vigor, under a heavy fire of both artillery and 
musketry, through thickets and swamps. Notwith- 
standing all the resistance of the enemy and the 
natural obstructions to overcome, he carried a posi- 
tion occupied by the enemy outside their main line 
where the road makes a deep cut through a bank 
affording as good a shelter for troops as if it had 
been made for that purpose. Three pieces of ar- 
tillery had been captured here, and several hun- 
dred prisoners. The guns were immediately turned 
against the men who had just been using them. No 

Near Cold Harbor, June 3, 1864, 7 A.M. 
Major-General Meade, 

Commanding A. P. 

The moment it becomes certain that an assault cannot succeed, 
suspend the offensive ; but when one does succeed, push it vigor- 
ously and if necessary pile in troops at the successful point from 
wherever they can be taken. I shall go to where you are in the 
course of an hour. 


Lieut. -General. 


assistance coming to him, he (Barlow) intrenched 
under fire and continued to hold his place. Gibbon 
was not so fortunate in his front. He found the 
ground over which he had to pass cut up with deep 
ravines, and a morass difficult to cross. But his 
men struggled on until some of them got up to the 
very parapet covering the enemy. Gibbon gained 
ground much nearer the enemy than that which he 
left, and here he intrenched and held fast. 

Wright's corps moving in two lines captured the 
outer rifle-pits in their front, but accomplished 
nothing more. Smith's corps also gained the outer 
rifle-pits in its front. The ground over which this 
corps (18th) had to move was the most exposed 
of any over which charges were made. An open 
plain intervened between the contending forces at 
this point, which was exposed both to a direct and 
a cross fire. Smith, however, finding a ravine run- 
ning towards his front, sufficiently deep to protect 
men in it from cross fire, and somewhat from a di- 
rect fire, put Martindale's division in it, and with 
Brooks supporting him on the left and Devens on 
the right succeeded in gaining the outer — probably 
picket — rifle-pits. Warren and Burnside also ad- 
vanced and gained ground — which brought the 
whole army on one line. 

This assault cost us heavily and probably without 
benefit to compensate : but the enemy was not 


cheered by the occurrence sufficiently to induce him 
to take the offensive. In fact, nowhere after the 
battle of the Wilderness did Lee show any disposi- 
tion to leave his defences far behind him. 

Fighting was substantially over by half-past seven 
in the morning. At eleven o'clock I started to visit 
all the corps commanders to see for myself the dif- 
ferent positions gained and to get their opinion of 
the practicability of doing anything more in their 
respective fronts. 

Hancock gave the opinion that in his front the 
enemy was too strong to make any further assault 
promise success. Wright thought he could gain the 
lines of the enemy, but it would require the co- 
operation of Hancock's and Smith's corps. Srhith 
thought a lodgment possible, but was not sanguine : 
Burnside thought something could be done in his 
front, but Warren differed. I concluded, therefore, 
to make no more assaults, and a little after twelve 
directed in the following letter that all offensive 
action should cease. 

Cold Harbor, June 3, 1864. — 12.30 p. m. 
Major-General Meade, 

Commanding A. P. 

The opinion of corps commanders not being sanguine of 
success in case an assault is ordered, you may direct a suspen- 
sion of farther advance for the present. Hold our most ad- 
vanced positions and strengthen them. Whilst on the defensive 
our line may be contracted from the right if practicable. 


Reconnoissances should be made in front of every corps and 
advances made to advantageous positions by regular approaches. 
To aid the expedition under General Hunter it is necessary 
that we should detain all the army now with Lee until the 
former gets well on his way to Lynchburg. To do this effect- 
ually it will be better to keep the enemy out of the intrench- 
ments of Richmond than to have them go back there. 

Wright and Hancock should be ready to assault in case the 
enemy should break through General Smith's lines, and all 

should be ready to resist an assault. 



The remainder of the day was spent in strength- 
ening the line we now held. By night we were as 
strong against Lee as he was against us. 

During the night the enemy quitted our right 
front, abandoning some of their wounded, and with- 
out burying their dead. These we were able to care 
for. But there were many dead and wounded men 
between the lines of the contending forces, which 
were now close together, who could not be cared 
for without a cessation of hostilities. 

So I wrote the following : 

Cold Harbor, Va., June 5, 1864. 
General R. E. Lee, 

Commanding Confederate Army. 

It is reported to me that there are wounded men, probably of 
both armies, now lying exposed and suffering between the lines 
occupied respectively by the two armies. Humanity would dic- 
tate that some provision should be made to provide against such 
Vol. 11. — 18 


hardships. I would propose, therefore, that hereafter, when no 
battle is raging; either party be authorized to send to any point 
between the pickets or skirmish lines, unarmed men bearing litters 
to pick up their dead or wounded, without being fired upon by the 
other party. Any other method, equally fair to both parties, you 
may propose for meeting the end desired will be accepted by me. 



Lee replied that he feared such an arrangement 
would lead to misunderstanding, and proposed that 
in future, when either party wished to remove their 
dead and wounded, a flag of truce be sent I an- 
swered this immediately by saying : 

Cold Harbor, Va.,/***6, 1864. 
General R. £. Lee, 

Commanding Army of N. Va. 

"Your communication of yesterday's date is received. I will 

send immediately, as you propose, to collect the dead and wounded 

between the lines of the two armies, and will also instruct that you 

be allowed to do the same. I propose that the time for doing this 

be between the hours of 12 m. and 3 p.m. to-day. I will direct 

all parties going out to bear a white flag, and not to attempt to go 

beyond where we have dead or wounded, and not beyond or on 

ground occupied by your troops. 



Lee's response was that he could not consent to 
the burial of the dead and removal of the wounded 
in the way I proposed, but when either party desired 
such permission it should be asked for by flag of 


truce ; and he had directed that any parties I may 
have sent out, as mentioned in my letter, to be 
turned back. I answered : 

Cold Harbor. Va t June 6, 1864. 
General R. E. Lee, 

Commanding Army, N. Va. 

The knowledge that wounded men are now suffering from want 
of attention, between the two armies, compels me to ask a sus- 
pension of hostilities for sufficient time to collect them in, say two 
hours. Permit me to say that the hours you may fix upon for 
this will be agreeable to me, and the same privilege will be ex- 
tended to such parties as you may wish to send out on the same 
duty without further application. 


Lieut. -General. 

Lee acceded to this; but delays in transmitting 
the correspondence brought it to the 7th of June — 
forty-eight hours after it commenced — before parties 
were got out to collect the men left upon the field. 
In the meantime all but two of the wounded had 
died. And I wrote to Lee : 

Cold Harbor, Vk^June 7, 1864. 

10.30 A.M. 
Gen. R. E. Lee, 

Commanding Army of N. Va. 
I regret that your note of seven p.m. yesterday should have been 
received at the nearest corps headquarters, to where it was de- 
livered, after the hour which had been given for the removal of 
the dead and wounded had expired ; 10.45 PM - was tne nour at 
which it was received at corps headquarters, and between eleven 
and twelve it reached my headquarters. As a consequence, it 

**** :, ^ 


/^~' ^-*-^^* 


was not understood by the troops of this army that there was, a 
cessation of hostilities for the purpose of collecting the dead and 
wounded, and none were collected. Two officers and six men 
of the 8th and 25th North Carolina Regts., who were out in 
search of the bodies of officers of their respective regiments, were 
captured and brought into our lines, owing to this want of under- 
standing. I regret this, but will state that as soon as I learned 
the fact, I directed that they should not be held as prisoners, 
but must be returned to their commands. These officers and 
men having been carelessly brought through our lines to the rear, 
I have not determined whether they will be sent back the way 
they came, or whether they will be sent by some other route. 

Regretting that all my efforts for alleviating the sufferings of 
wounded men left upon the battle-field have been rendered nuga- 
tory, I remain, &c, 


Lieutenant- General. 

I have always regretted that the last assault at 
Cold Harbor was ever made. I might say the same 
thing of the assault of the 2 2d of May, 1863, at Vicks- 
burg. At Cold Harbor no advantage whatever was 
gained to compensate for the heavy loss we sustained. 
Indeed, the advantages other than those of relative 
losses, were on the Confederate side. Before that, 
the Army of Northern Virginia seemed to have 
acquired a wholesome regard for the courage, endur- 
ance, and soldierly qualities generally of the Army 
of the Potomac. They no longer wanted to fight 
them "one Confederate to five Yanks." Indeed, 
they seemed to have given up any idea of gaining 



any advantage of their antagonist in the open field. 
They had come to much prefer breastworks in their 
front to the Army of the Potomac. This charge 
seemed to revive their hopes temporarily ; but it 
was of short duration. The effect upon the Army 
of the Potomac was the reverse. When we reached 
the James River, however, all effects of the battle 
of Cold Harbor seemed to have disappeared. 

There was more justification for the assault at 
Vicksburg. We were in a Southern climate, at 
the beginning of the hot season. The Army of the 
Tennessee had won five successive victories over the 
garrison of Vicksburg in the three preceding weeks. 
They had driven a portion of that army from Port 
Gibson with considerable loss, after having flanked 
them out of their stronghold at Grand Gulf. They 
had attacked another portion of the same army at 
Raymond, more than fifty miles farther in the 
interior of the State, and driven them back into 
Jackson with great loss in killed, wounded, captured 
and missing, besides loss of large and small arms : 
they had captured the capital of the State of Mis- 
sissippi, with a large amount of materials of war and 
manufactures. Only a few days before, they had 
beaten the enemy then penned up in the town first 
at Champion's Hill, next at Big Black River Bridge, 
inflicting upon him a loss of fifteen thousand or more 
men (including those cut off from returning) besides 


large losses in arms and ammunition. The Army of 
the Tennessee had come to believe that they could 
beat their antagonist under any circumstances. There 
was no telling how long a regular siege might last 
As I have stated, it was the beginning of the hot 
season in a Southern climate* There was no telling 
what the casualties might be among Northern troops 
working and living in trenches, drinking surface 
water filtered through rich vegetation, under a tropi- 
cal sun. If Vicksburg could have been carried in 
May, it would not only have saved the army the risk 
it ran of a greater danger than from the bullets of 
the enemy, but it would have given us a splendid 
army, well equipped and officered, to operate else- 
where with. These are reasons justifying the assault 
The only benefit we gained — and it was a slight one 
for so great a sacrifice — was that the men worked 
cheerfully in the trenches after that, being satisfied 
with digging the enemy out. Had the assault not 
been made, I have no doubt that the majority of 
those engaged in the siege of Vicksburg would have 
believed that had we assaulted it would have proven 
successful, and would have saved life, health and 






LEE'S position was now so near Richmond, and 
the intervening swamps of the Chickahominy 
so great an obstacle to the movement of troops in 
the face of an enemy, that I determined to make my 
next left flank move carry the Army of the Potomac 
south of the James River.* Preparations for this 
were promptly commenced. The move was a haz- 
ardous one to make : the Chickahominy River, with 
its marshy and heavily timbered approaches, had to 
be crossed ; all the bridges over it east of Lee were 
destroyed ; the enemy had a shorter line and better 
roads to travel on to confront me in crossing ; more 

*Cold Harbor, June 5, 1864. 
Major-General Halleck, Chief of Staff of the Army, 

Washington, D. C. 

A full survey of all the ground satisfies me that it would 

be impracticable to hold a line north-east of Richmond that 

would protect the Fredericksburg Railroad to enable us to use 

that road for supplying the army. To do so would give us a 



than fifty miles intervened between me and Butler, 
by the roads I should have to travel, with both the 
James and the Chickahominy unbridged to cross; 
and last, the Army of the Potomac had to be got 
out of a position but a few hundred yards from the 
enemy at the widest place. Lee, if he did not 
choose to follow me, might, with his shorter distance 
to travel and his bridges over the Chickahominy 
and the James, move rapidly on Butler and crush 
him before the army with me could come to his 

long vulnerable line of road to protect, exhausting much of our 
strength to guard it, and would leave open to the enemy all of his 
lines of communication on the south side of the James. My idea 
from the start has been to beat Lee's army if possible north of 
Richmond; then after destroying his lines of communication on 
the north side of the James River to transfer the army to the 
south side and besiege Lee in Richmond, or follow him south 
if he should retreat 

I now find, after over thirty days of trial, the enemy deems it of 
the first importance to run no risks with the armies they now have. 
They act purely on the defensive behind breastworks, or feebly on 
the offensive immediately in front of them, and where in case of 
repulse they can instantly retire behind them. Without a greater 
sacrifice of human life than I am willing to make all cannot be 
accomplished that I had designed outside of the city. I have 
therefore resolved upon the following plan : 

I will continue to hold substantially the ground now occupied 
by the Army of the Potomac, taking advantage of any favorable 
circumstance that may present itself until the cavalry can be sent 
west to destroy the Virginia Central Railroad from about Beaver 


relief. Then too he might spare troops enough to 
send against Hunter who was approaching Lynch- 
burg, living upon the country he passed through, 
and without ammunition further than what he car- 
ried with him. 

But the move had to be made, and I relied upon 
Lee's not seeing my danger as I saw it. Besides 
we had armies on both sides of the James River and 
not far from the Confederate capital. I knew that 
its safety would be a matter of the first consideration 

Dam for some twenty-five or thirty miles west. When this is 
effected I will move the army to the south side of the James 
River, either by crossing the Chickahominy and marching near to 
City Point, or by going to the mouth of the Chickahominy on 
north side and crossing there. To provide for this last and most 
possible contingency, several ferry-boats of the largest class ought 
to be immediately provided. 

Once on the south side of the James Riyer, I can cut off all 
sources of supply to the enemy except what is furnished by the 
canal. If Hunter succeeds in reaching Lynchburg, that will be 
lost to him also. Should Hunter not succeed, I will still make 
the effort to destroy the canal by sending cavalry up the south 
side of the river with a pontoon train to cross wherever they can. 

The feeling of the two armies now seems to be that the rebels 
can protect themselves only by strong intrenchments, whilst our 
army is not only confident of protecting itself without intrench- 
ments, but that it can beat and drive the enemy wherever and 
whenever he can be found without this protection. 


Lieu tenant-General. 


the executive, legislative and judicial branches 
of the so-called Confederate government, if it was 
not with the military commanders. But I took all the 
precaution I knew of to guard against all dangers. 

Sheridan was sent with two divisions, to communi- 
cate with Hunter and to break up the Virginia Cen- 
tral Railroad and the James River Canal, on the 7th 
of June, taking instructions to Hunter to come back 
with him.* Hunter was also informed by way of 
Washington and the Valley that Sheridan was on the 
way to meet him. The canal and Central Road, and 
the regions penetrated by them, were of vast impor- 

* Cold Harbor, Va., June 6, 1864. 
Major-General D. Hunter, 

Commanding Dept. W. Va. 
General Sheridan leaves here to-morrow morning, with instruc- 
tions to proceed to Charlottesville, Va., and to commence there 
the destruction of the Va. Cen. R. R., destroying this way as 
much as possible. The complete destruction of this road and of 
the canal on James River is of great importance to us. Accord- 
ing to the instructions I sent to General Halleck for your guid- 
ance, you were to proceed to Lynchburg and commence there. 
It would be of great value to us to get possession of Lynchburg 
for a single day. But that point is of so much importance to the 
enemy, that in attempting to get it such resistance may be met as 
to defeat your getting onto the road or canal at all. I see, in 
looking over the letter to General Halleck on the subject of your 
instructions, that it rather indicates that your route should be 
from Staunton via Charlottesville. If you have so understood it, 
you will be doing just what I want. The direction I would now 
give is, that if this letter reaches you in the valley between Staun- 


tance to the enemy, furnishing and carrying a large 
per cent, of all the supplies for the Army of North- 
ern Virginia and the people of Richmond. Before 
Sheridan got off on the 7th news was received from 
Hunter reporting his advance to Staunton and suc- 
cessful engagement with the enemy near that place 
on the 5th, in which the Confederate commander, 
W. S. Jones, was killed. On the 4th of June the 
enemy having withdrawn his left corps, Burnside on 
our right was moved up between Warren and Smith. 
On the 5th Birney returned to Hancock, which ex- 
tended his left now to the Chickahominy, and Warren 
was withdrawn to Cold Harbor. Wright was directed 

ton and Lynchburg, you immediately turn east by the most prac- 
ticable road until you strike the Lynchburg branch of the Va. 
Central road. From thence move eastward along the line of the 
road, destroying it completely and thoroughly, until you join Gen- 
eral Sheridan. After the work laid out for General Sheridan and 
yourself is thoroughly done, proceed to join the Army of the Po- 
tomac by the route laid out in General Sheridan's instructions. 

If any portion of your force, especially your cavalry, is needed 
back in your Department, you are authorized to send it back. 

If on receipt of this you should be near to Lynchburg and 
deem it practicable to reach that point, you will exercise your 
judgment about going there. 

If you should be on the railroad between Charlottesville and 
Lynchburg, it may be practicable to detach a cavalry force to 
destroy the canal. Lose no opportunity to destroy the canal. 


Lieut -General. 



to send two divisions to the left to extend down the 
banks of that stream to Bottom's Bridge. The cavalry 
extended still farther east to Jones's Bridge. 

On the 7th Abercrombie — who was in command 
at White House, and who had been in command at 
our base of supplies in all the changes made from 
the start — was ordered to take up the iron from 
the York River Railroad and put it on boats, and to 
be in readiness to move by water to City Point 

On the 8th Meade was directed to fortify a line 
'down the bank overlooking the Chickahominy, under 
cover of which the army could move. 

On the 9th Abercrombie was directed to send all 
organized troops arriving at White House, without 
debarking from their transports, to report to Butler. 
Hal leek was at this time instructed to send all rein- 
forcements to City Point 

On the nth I wrote : 

Cold Harbor, Va.,/***ii, 1864. 

Major-Gen. B. F. Butler, 

Commanding Department of Va. and N. C. 

The movement to transfer this army to the south side of the 
James River will commence after dark to-morrow night Col. 
Comstock, of my staff, was sent specially to ascertain what was 
necessary to make your position secure in the interval during which 
the enemy might use most of his force against you, and also, to 
ascertain what point on the river we should reach to effect a cross- 
ing if it should not be practicable to reach this side of the river 
at Bermuda Hundred. Colonel Comstock has not yet returned, 


so that I cannot make instructions as definite as I would wish, but 
the time between this and Sunday night being so short in which 
to get word to you, I must do the best I can. Colonel Dent goes to 
make arrangements for gunboats and transportation to send up 
the Chickahominy to take to you the 18th corps. The corps will 
leave its position in the trenches as early in the evening, to-morrow, 
as possible, and make a forced march to Cole's Landing or 
Ferry, where it should reach by ten a.m. the following morning. 
This corps numbers now 15,300 men. They take with them 
neither wagons nor artillery ; these latter marching with the bal- 
ance of the army to the James River. The remainder of the 
army will cross the Chickahominy at Long Bridge and at Jones's, 
and strike the river at the most practicable crossing below City 

I directed several days ago that all reinforcements for the army 
should be sent to you. I am not advised of the number that may 
have gone, but suppose you have received from six to ten thousand. 
General Smith will also reach you as soon as the enemy could, go- 
ing by the way of Richmond. 

The balance of the force will not be more than one day be- 
hind, unless detained by the whole of Lee's army, in which case 
you will be strong enough. 

I wish you would direct the proper staff officers, your chief- 
engineer and your chief- quartermaster, to commence at once the 
collection of all the means in their reach for crossing the army on 
its arrival. If there is a point below City Point where a pontoon 
bridge can be thrown, have it laid. 

Expecting the arrival of the 18th corps by Monday night, if you 
deem it practicable from the force you have to seize and hold 
Petersburg, you may prepare to start, on the arrival of troops 
to hold your present lines. I do not want Petersburg visited, how- 
ever, unless it is held, nor an attempt to take it, unless you feel a 
reasonable degree of confidence of success. If you should go 



there, I think troops should take nothing with them except whit 
they can carry, depending upon supplies being sent after the place 
is secured. If Colonel Dent should not succeed in securing the 
requisite amount of transportation for the 18th corps before 
reaching you, please have the balance supplied. 



P. S. — On reflection I will send the 18th corps by way of White 
House. The distance which they will have to march will be 
enough shorter to enable them to reach you about the same time, 
and the uncertainty of navigation on the Chickahominy will be 
avoided. U. S. GRANT. 

Cold Harbor, Va.,/*** ii, 1864. 
Major-General G. G. Meadb, 

Commanding Army of the Potomac 

Colonel Comstock, who visited the James River for the purpose 
of ascertaining the best point below Bermuda Hundred to which 
to march the army has not yet returned. It is now getting so 
late, however, that all preparations may be made for the move 
to-morrow night without waiting longer. 

The movement will be made as heretofore agreed upon, that 
is, the 1 8th corps make a rapid march with the infantry alone, 
their wagons and artillery accompanying the balance of the 
army to Cole's Landing or Ferry, and there embark for City 
Point, losing no time for rest until they reach the latter point. 

The 5th corps will seize Long Bridge and move out on the 
Long Bridge Road to its junction with Quaker Road, or until 
stopped by the enemy. 

The other three corps will follow in such order as you may 
direct, one of them crossing at Long Bridge, and two at Jones's 
Bridge. After the crossing is effected, the most practicable 
roads will be taken to reach about Fort Powhattan. Of course, 


this is supposing the enemy makes no opposition to our advance. 
The 5 th corps, after securing the passage of the balance of the 
army, will join or follow in rear of the corps which crosses the 
same bridge with themselves. The wagon trains should be kept 
well east of the troops, and if a crossing can be found, or made 
lower down than Jones's they should take it 



P. S. — In view of the long march to reach Cole's Landing, and 

the uncertainty of being able to embark a large number of men 

there, the direction of the 18th corps may be changed to White 

House. They should be directed to load up transports, and start 

them as fast as loaded without waiting for the whole corps or even 

whole divisions to go together. 


About this time word was received (through the 
Richmond papers of the nth) that Crook and 
Averell had united and were moving east. This, 
with the news of Hunters successful engagement 
near Staunton, was no doubt known to Lee before 
it was to me. Then Sheridan leaving with two 
divisions of cavalry, looked indeed threatening, both 
to Lees communications and supplies. Much of 
his cavalry was sent after Sheridan, and Early with 
Ewells entire corps was sent to the Valley. Sup- 
plies were growing scarce in Richmond, and the 
sources from which to draw them were in our hands. 
People from outside began to pour into Richmond 
to help eat up the little on hand. Consternation 
reigned there. 


On the 1 2th Smith was ordered to move at night 
to White House, not to stop until he reached there, 
and to take boats at once for City Point, leaving his 
trains and artillery to move by land. 

Soon after dark some of the cavalry at Long 
Bridge effected a crossing by wading and floundering 
through the water and mud, leaving their horses be- 
hind, and drove away the cavalry pickets. A pon- 
toon bridge was speedily thrown across, over which 
the remainder of the army soon passed and pushed 
out for a mile or two to watch and detain any ad- 
vance that might be made from the other side. War- 
ren followed the cavalry, and by the morning of the 
1 3th had his whole corps over. Hancock followed 
Warren. Burnside took the road to Jones's Bridge, 
followed by Wright. Ferrero's division, with the 
wagon train, moved farther east, by Window 
Shades and Cole's Ferry, our rear being covered by 

It was known that the enemy had some gunboats 
at Richmond. These might run down at night and 
inflict great damage upon us before they could be 
sunk or captured by our navy. General Butler had, 
in advance, loaded some vessels with stone ready to 
be sunk so as to obstruct the channel in an emer- 
gency. On the 13th I sent orders to have these sunk 
as high up the river as we could guard them, and 
prevent their removal by the enemy. 


As soon as Warren's corps was over the Chicka- 
hominy it marched out and joined the cavalry in 
holding the roads from Richmond while the army 
passed. No attempt was made by the enemy to 
impede our march, however, but Warren and Wilson 
reported the enemy strongly fortified in their 
front By the evening of the 13th Hancock's 
corps was at Charles City Court House on the 
James River. Burnside's and Wright's corps were 
on the Chickahominy, and crossed during the night, 
Warren's corps and the cavalry still covering the 
army. The material for a pontoon bridge was 
already at hand and the work of laying it was com- 
menced immediately, under the superintendence of 
Brigadier-General Benham, commanding the engineer 
brigade. On the evening of the 14th the crossing 
commenced, Hancock in advance, using both the 
bridge and boats. 

When the Wilderness campaign commenced the 
Army of the Potomac, including Burnside's corps — 
which was a separate command until the 24th of 
May when it was incorporated with the main army 
— numbered about 116,000 men. During the pro- 
gress of the campaign about 40,000 reinforcements 
were received. At the crossing of the James River 
June I4th-i5th the army numbered about 115,000. 
Besides the ordinary losses incident to a campaign of 
six weeks' nearly constant fighting or skirmishing, 

Vol. n. — 19 



about one -half of the artillery was sent back to 
Washington, and many men were discharged by rea- 
son of the expiration of their term of service.* In 
estimating our strength every enlisted man and every 
commissioned officer present is included, no matter 
how employed ; in bands, sick in field hospitals, hos- 
pital attendants, company cooks and all. Operating 
in an enemy's country, and being supplied always 
from a distant base, large detachments had at all times 
to be sent from the front, not only to guard the base 
of supplies and the roads to it, but all the roads lead- 
ing to our flanks and rear. We were also operating 
in a country unknown to us, and without competent 
guides or maps showing the roads accurately. 

The manner of estimating numbers in the two 
armies differs materially. In the Confederate army 
often only bayonets are taken into account, never, I 
believe, do they estimate more than are handling 
the guns of the artillery and armed with muskets 








Wilderness. Mav ^th to 7th 














Cold Harbor, May 31st to June 12th. 











or carbines. Generally the latter are far enough 
away to be excluded from the count in any one field. 
Officers and details of enlisted men are not included. 
In the Northern armies the estimate is most liberal, 
taking in all connected with the army and drawing 

Estimated in the same manner as ours, Lee had 

not less than 80,000 men at the start His rein- 
forcements were about equal to ours during the 
campaign, deducting the discharged men and those 
sent back. He was on the defensive, and in a 
country in which every stream, every road, every 
obstacle to the movement of troops and every na- 
tural defence was familiar to him and his army. The 
citizens were all friendly to him and his cause, and 
could and did furnish him with accurate reports of 
our every move. Rear guards were not necessary 
for him, and having always a railroad at his back, 
large wagon trains were not required. All circum- 
stances considered we did not have any advantage 
in numbers. 

General Lee, who had led the Army of Northern 
Virginia in all these contests, was a very highly esti- 
mated man in the Confederate army and States, and 
filled also a very high place in the estimation of the 
people and press of the Northern States. His praise 
was sounded throughout the entire North after every 
action he was engaged in : the number of his forces 


was always lowered and that of the National forces 
exaggerated. He was a large, austere man, and I 
judge difficult of approach to his subordinates. To 
be extolled by the entire press of the South after 
every engagement, and by a portion of the press 
North with equal vehemence, was calculated to give 
him the entire confidence of his troops and to make 
him feared by his antagonists. It was not an un- 
common thing for my staff-officers to hear from 
Eastern officers, " Well, Grant has never met Bobby 
Lee yet." There were good and true officers who 
believe now that the Army of Northern Virginia 
was superior to the Army of the Potomac man to 
man. I do not believe? so, fexcept as the advantages 
spoken of above made them so. Before the end I 
believe the difference was the other way. The Army 
of Northern Virginia became despondent and saw 
the end. It did not please them. The National army 
saw the same thing, and were encouraged by it. 

The advance of the Army of the Potomac reached 
the James on the 14th of June. Preparations were 
at once commenced for laying the pontoon bridges 
and crossing the river. As already stated, I had 
previously ordered General Butler to have two ves- 
sels loaded with stone and carried up the river to a 
point above that occupied by our gunboats, where 
the channel was narrow, and sunk there so as to 
obstruct the passage and prevent Confederate gun- 


boats from coming down the river. Butler had had 
these boats filled and put in position, but had not 
had them sunk before my arrival. I ordered this 
done, ^nd also directed that he should turn over all 
material and boats not then in use in the river to 
be used in ferrying the troops across. 

I then, on the 14th, took a steamer and ran up to 
Bermuda Hundred to see General Butler for the pur- 
pose of directing a movement against Petersburg, 
while our troops of the Army of the Potomac were 

I had sent General W. F. Smith back from Cold 
Harbor by the way of White House, thence on 
steamers to City Point tor the purpose of giving 
General Butler more troops with which to accomplish 
this result. General Butler was ordered to send 
Smith with his troops reinforced, as far as that could 
be conveniently done, from other parts of the Army 
of the James. He gave Smith about six thousand 
reinforcements, including some twenty-five hundred 
cavalry under Kautz, and about thirty-five hundred 
colored infantry under Hinks. 

The distance which Smith had to move to reach 
the enemy's lines was about six miles, and the Con- 
federate advance line of works was but two miles 
outside of Petersburg. Smith was to move under 
cover of night, up close to the enemy's works, and 
assault as soon as he could after daylight. I believed 


then, and still believe, that Petersburg could have 
been easily captured at that time. It only had about 
2,500 men in the defences besides some irregular 
troops, consisting of citizens and employees in the 
city who took up arms in case of emergency. Smith 
started as proposed, but his advance encountered a 
rebel force intrenched between City Point and their 
lines outside of Petersburg. This position he carried, 
with some loss to the enemy ; but there was so much 
delay that it was daylight before his troops really 
got off from there. While there I informed General 
Butler that Hancock's corps would cross the river and 
move to Petersburg to support Smith in case the 
latter was successful, and that I could reinforce there 
more rapidly than Lee could reinforce from his posi- 

I returned down the river to w r here the troops of 
the Army of the Potomac now were, communicated 
to General Meade, in writing, the directions I had 
given to General Butler and directed him (Meade) 
to cross Hancock's corps over under cover of night, 
and push them forward in the morning to Peters- 
burg ; halting them, however, at a designated point 
until they could hear from Smith. I also informed 
General Meade that I had ordered rations from 
Bermuda Hundred for Hancocks corps, and desired 
him to issue them speedily, and to lose no more 
time than was absolutely necessary. The rations 


did not reach him, however, and Hancock, while he 
got all his corps over during the night, remained 
until half-past ten in the hope of receiving them. 
He then moved without them, and on the road re- 
ceived a note from General W. F. Smith, asking 
him to come on. This seems to be the first informa- 
tion that General Hancock had received of the fact 
that he was to go to Petersburg, or that anything 
particular was expected of him. Otherwise he would 
have been there by four o'clock in the afternoon. 

Srfiith arrived in front of the enemy's lines early 
in the forenoon of the 15 th, and spent the day until 
after seven o'clock in the evening in reconnoitering 
what appeared to be empty works. The enemy's 
line consisted of redans occupying commanding 
positions, with rifle-pits connecting them. To the 
east side of Petersburg, from the Appomattox back, 
there were thirteen of these redans extending a dis- 
tance of several miles, probably three. If they had 
been properly manned they could have held out 
against any force that could have attacked them, at 
least until reinforcements could have got up from the 
north of Richmond. 

Smith assaulted with the colored troops, and with 
success. By nine o'clock at night he was in posses- 
sion of five of these redans and, of course, of the 
connecting lines of rifle-pits. All of them contained 
artillery, which fell into our hands.. Hancock came 


up and proposed to take any part assigned to him ; 
and Smith asked him to relieve his men who were 
in the trenches. 

Next morning, the 16th, Hancock himself was in 
command, and captured another redan. Meade 
came up in the afternoon and succeeded Hancock, 
who had to be relieved, temporarily, from the com- 
mand of his corps on account of the breaking out 
afresh of the wound he had received at Gettysburg. 
During the day Meade assaulted and carried one 
more redan to his right and two to his left: In 
all this we lost very heavily. The works were not 
strongly manned, but they all had guns in them 
which fell into our hands, together with the men 
who were handling them in the effort to repel these 

Up to this time Beauregard, who had commanded 
south of Richmond, had received no reinforcements, 
except Hoke's division from Drury's Bluff,* which 

* City Point, Va.,/«w 17, 1864 — 11 a.m. 

Major-Gen. Halleck, 

Washington, D. C. 
****** * 

The enemy in their endeavor to reinforce Petersburg abandoned 

their intrenchments in front of Bermuda Hundred. They no doubt 

expected troops from north of the James River to take their place 

before we discovered it. General Butler took advantage of this and 

moved a force at once upon the railroad and plank road between 

Richmond and Petersburg, which I hope to retain possession of. 


had arrived on the morning of the 16th; though 
he had urged the authorities very strongly to send 
them, believing, as he did, that Petersburg would 
be a valuable prize which we might seek. 

During the 1 7th the fighting was very severe and 
the losses heavy ; and at night our troops occupied 
about the same position they had occupied in the 
morning, except that they held a redan which 
had been captured by Potter during the day. Dur- 
ing the night, however, Beauregard fell back to the 
line which had been already selected, and com- 
menced fortifying it. Our troops advanced on the 
1 8th to the line which he had abandoned, and found 
that the Confederate loss had been very severe, many 
of the enemy's dead still remaining in the ditches 
and in front of them. 

Colonel J. L Chamberlain, of the 20th Maine, 
was wounded on the 18th. He was gallantly leading 
his brigade at the time, as he had been in the habit 
of doing in all the engagements in which he had 
previously been engaged. He had several times 
been recommended for a brigadier-generalcy for 

Too much credit cannot be given to the troops and their com- 
manders for the energy and fortitude displayed during the last five 
days. Day and night has been all the same, no delays being 
allowed on any account. 




gallant and meritorious conduct. On this occasion, 
however, I . promoted him on the spot, and forwarded 
a copy of my order to the War Department, asking 
that my act might be confirmed and Chamberlain's 
name sent to the Senate for confirmation without 
any delay. This was done, and at last a gallant 
and meritorious officer received partial justice at the 
hands of his government, which he had served so 
faithfully and so well. 

If General Hancock's orders of the 15th had been 
communicated to him, that officer, with his usual 
promptness, would undoubtedly have been upon the 
ground around Petersburg as early as four o'clock 
in the afternoon of the 15th. The days were long 
and it would have given him considerable time 
before night. I do not think there is any doubt that 
Petersburg itself could have been carried without 
much loss ; or, at least, if protected by inner de- 
tached works, that a line could have been established 
very much in rear of the one then occupied by the 
enemy. This would have given us control of both 
the Weldon and South Side railroads. This would 
also have saved an immense amount of hard fighting 
which had to be done from the 15th to . w he i8th, 
and would have given us greatly the advantage in 
the long siege which ensued. 

I now ordered the troops to be put under cover 
and allowed some of the rest which they had so long 


needed. They remained quiet, except that there 
was more or less firing every day, until the 22d, 
when General Meade ordered an advance towards the 
Weldon Railroad. We were very anxious to get to 
that road, and even round to the South Side Railroad 
if possible. 

Meade moved Hancock's corps, now commanded 
by Birney, to the left, with a view to at least force 
the enemy to stay within the limits of his own line. 
General Wright, with the 6th corps, was ordered by 
a road farther south, to march directly for the Wel- 
don road. The enemy passed in between these two 
corps and attacked vigorously, and with very serious 
results to the National troops, who were then with- 
drawn from their advanced position. 

The Army of the Potomac was given the invest- 
ment of Petersburg, while the Army of the James 
held Bermuda Hundred and all the ground we pos- 
sessed north of the James River. The 9th corps, 
Burnside's, was placed upon the right at Petersburg ; 
the 5th, Warren's, next ; the 2d, Birney's, next ; then 
the 6th, Wright's, broken off to the left and south. 
Thus began the siege of Petersburg. 






ON the 7th of June, while at Cold Harbor, I had 
as already indicated sent Sheridan with two 
divisions of cavalry to destroy as much as he could 
of the Virginia Central Railroad. General Hunter 
had been operating up the Shenandoah Valley with 
some success, having fought a battle near Staun- 
ton where he captured a great many prisoners, 
besides killing and wounding a good many men. 
After the battle he formed a junction at Staun- 
ton with Averell and Crook, who had come up 
from the Kanawha, or Gauley River. It was sup- 
posed, therefore, that General Hunter would be 
about Charlottesville, Virginia, by the time Sheridan 
could get there, doing on the way the damage that 
he was sent to do. 


I gave Sheridan instructions to have Hunter, 
in case he should meet him about Charlottesville, 
join and return with him to the Army of the Poto- 
mac Lee, hearing of Hunter's success in the valley, 
started ' Breckinridge out for its defence at once. 
Learning later of Sheridan's going with two divi- 
sions, he also sent Hampton with two divisions of 
cavalry, his own and Fitz-Hugh Lee's. 

Sheridan moved to the north side of the North 
Anna to get out west, and learned of the move- 
ment of these troops to the south side of the 
same stream almost as soon as they had started. 
He pushed on to get to Trevilian Station to com- 
mence his destruction at that point. On the night 
of the 10th he bivouacked some six or seven miles 
east of Trevilian, while Fitz-Hugh Lee was the same 
night at Trevilian Station and Hampton but a few 
miles away. 

During the night Hampton ordered an advance 
on Sheridan, hoping, no doubt, to surprise and very 
badly cripple him. Sheridan, however, by a counter 
move sent Custer on a rapid march to get between 
the two divisions of the enemy and into their rear. 
This he did successfully, so that at daylight, when 
the assault was made, the enemy found himself at 
the same time resisted in front and attacked in rear, 
and broke in some confusion. The losses were 
probably very light on both sides in killed and 


wounded, but Sheridan got away with some five 
hundred prisoners and sent them to City Point 

During that day, the nth, Sheridan moved into 
Trevilian Station, and the following day proceeded 
to tear up the road east and west There was con- 
siderable fighting during the whole of the day, but 
the work of destruction went on. In the meantime, 
at night, the enemy had taken possession of the 
crossing which Sheridan had proposed to take to go 
north when he left Trevilian. Sheridan learned, 
however, from sonjg, of the prisoners he had cap- 
tured here, that C&jpwral Hunter was about Lynch- 
burg, and therefore that there was no use of his 
going on to Charlottesville with a view to meet him. 

Sheridan started back during the night of the 
1 2th, and made his way north and farther east, 
coming around by the north side of White House, 
and arriving there on the 21st Here he found an 
abundance of forage for his animals, food for his 
men, and security while resting. He had been 
obliged to leave about ninety of his own men in the 
field-hospital which he had established near Trevil- 
ian, and these necessarily fell into the hands of the 

White House up to this time had been a depot ; 
but now that our troops were all on the James River, 
it was no longer wanted as a store of supplies. 
Sheridan was, therefore, directed to break it up; 


which he did on the 2 2d of June, bringing the gar- 
rison and an immense wagon train with him. All 
these were over the James River by the 26th of the 
month, and Sheridan ready to follow. 

In the meantime Meade had sent Wilson's divi- 
sion on a raid to destroy the Weldon and South Side 
roads. Now that Sheridan was safe and Hampton 
free to return to Richmond with his cavalry, Wil- 
son's position became precarious. Meade therefore, 
on the 27th, ordered Sheridan over the river to make 
a demonstration in favor of Wilson. Wilson got 
back, though not without severe loss, having struck 
both roads, but the damage done was soon re- 

After these events comparative quiet reigned about 
Petersburg until late in July. The time, however, 
was spent in strengthening the intrenchments and 
making our position generally more secure against a 
sudden attack. In the meantime I had to look after 
other portions of my command, where things had not 
been going on so favorably, always, as I could have 

General Hunter who had been appointed to suc- 
ceed Sigel in the Shenandoah Valley immediately 
took up the offensive. He met the enemy on the 
5th of June at Piedmont, and defeated him. On 
the 8th he formed a junction with Crook and Averell 
at Staunton, from which place he moved direct on 


Lynchburg, via Lexington, which he reached and 
invested on the 16th. Up to this time he was very 
successful ; and but for the difficulty of taking with 
him sufficient ordnance stores over so long a march, 
through a hostile country, he would, no doubt, have 
captured Lynchburg. The destruction of the en- 
emy's supplies and manufactories had been very 
great To meet this movement under General 
Hunter, General Lee sent Early with his corps, a 
part of which reached Lynchburg before Hunter. 
After some skirmishing on the 17th and 18th, Gen- 
eral Hunter, owing Sf S%a want of ammunition to give 
battle, retired from before the place. Unfortunately, 
this want of ammunition left him no choice of route 
for his return but by the way of the Gauley and 
Xanawha rivers, thence up the Ohio River, re- 
turning to Harper's Ferry by way of the Baltimore 
and Ohio Railroad. A long time was consumed in 
making this movement Meantime the valley was 
left open to Early's troops, and others in that 
quarter ; and Washington also was uncovered. 
Early took advantage of this condition of affairs and 
moved on Washington. 

In the absence of Hunter, General Lew Wallace, 
with headquarters at Baltimore, commanded the 
department in which the Shenandoah lay. His sur- 
plus of troops with which to move against the 
enemy was small in number. Most of these were 


raw and, consequently, very much inferior to our 
veterans and to the veterans which Early had with 
him ; but the situation of Washington was precari- 
ous, and Wallace moved with commendable prompti- 
tude to meet the enemy at the Monocacy. He could 
hardly have expected to defeat him badly, but he 
hoped to cripple and delay him until Washington 
could be put into a state of preparation for his re- 
ception. I had previously ordered General Meade 
to send a division to Baltimore for the purpose of 
adding to the defences of Washington, and he had 
sent Ricketts's division of the 6th corps (Wright's), 
which arrived in Baltimore on the 8th of July. Find- 
ing that Wallace had gone to the front with his com- 
mand, Ricketts immediately took the cars and followed 
him to the Monocacy with his entire division. They 
met the enemy and, as might have been expected, 
were defeated ; but they succeeded in stopping him 
for the day on which the battle took place. The 
next morning Early started on his march to the 
capital of the Nation, arriving before it on the nth. 
Learning of the gravity of the situation I had 
directed General Meade to also order Wright with 
the rest of his corps directly to Washington for the 
relief of that place, and the latter reached there the 
very day that Early arrived before it. The 19th 
corps, which had been stationed in Louisiana, 
having been ordered up to reinforce the armies 

Vol. 11. — 20 


about Richmond, had about this time arrived at Fort- 
ress Monroe, on their way to join us. I diverted 
them from that point to Washington, which place 
they reached, almost simultaneously with Wright, 
on the nth. The 19th corps was commanded by 
Major-General Emory. > v * 

Early made his reconnoissance with a view of 
attacking on the following morning, the 12th; but 
the next morning he found our intrenchments, which 
were very strong, fully manned. He at once com- 
menced to retr^sU^ Wright following. There is no 
telling how much'tms result was contributed to by 
General Lew Wallace's leading what might well be 
considered almost a forlorn hope. If Early had been 
but one day earlier he might have entered the capital 
before the arrival of the reinforcements I had sent. 
Whether the delay caused by the battle amounted 
to a day or not, General Wallace contributed on this 
occasion, by the defeat of the troops under him a 
greater benefit to the cause than often falls to the 
lot of a commander of an equal force to render by 
means of a victory. 

Farther west also the troubles were threatening. 
Some time before, Forrest had met Sturgis in com- 
mand of some of our cavalry in Mississippi and 
handled him very roughly, gaining a very great vic- 
tory over him. This left Forrest free to go almost 
where he pleased, and to cut the roads in rear of 

*y l 


Sherman who was then advancing. Shtrman was 
abundantly able to look after the arrriy that he was 
immediately with, and all of his military division 
so long as he could communicate with it ; but it was 
my place to see that he had the means with which 
to hold his rear^j^|wo divisions under A. J. Smith 
had been sent to Banks in Louisiana some months 
before. Sherman ordered these back, with direc- 
tions to attack Forrest. Smith met and defeated 
him very badly. I then directed that Smith should 
hang to Forrest and not let him go ; and to prevent 
by all means his getting upon the Memphis and 
Nashville Railroad. Sherman had anticipated me 
in this matter, and given the same orders in sub- 
stance ; but receiving my directions for this order to 
Smith, he repeated it. 

On the 25th of June General Burnside had com- 
menced running a mine from about the centre of his 
front under the Confederate works confronting him. 
He was induced to do this by Colonel Pleasants, 
of the Pennsylvania Volunteers, whose regiment was 
mostly composed of miners, and who was himself a 
practical miner. Burnside had submitted the scheme 
to Meade and myself, and we both approved of it, 
as a means of keeping the men occupied. His posi- 
tion was very favorable for carrying on this work, 
but not so favorable for the operations to follow its 
completion. The position of the two lines at that 


point were only about a hundred yards apart with a 
comparatively deep ravine intervening. In the bot- 
tom of this ravine the work commenced. The posi- 
tion was unfavorable in this particular : that the 
enemy's line at that point was re-entering, so that its 
front was commanded by their ow« lines both to the 
right and left. Then, too, the ground was sloping 
upward back of the Confederate line for a consider- 
able distance, and it was presumable that the enemy 
had, at least, a detached work on this highest point 
The work progressed, and on the 23d of July the 
mine was finished ready for charging ; but I had 
this work of charging deferred until we were ready 
for it. 1 

On the 17th of July several deserters came in and 
said that there was great consternation in Richmond, 
and that Lee was coming out to make an attack upon 
us — the object being to put us on the defensive so 
that he might detach troops to go to Georgia where 
the army Sherman was operating against was said 
to be in great trouble. I put the army commanders, 
Meade and Butler, on the lookout, but the attack 
was not made. 

1 concluded, then, a few days later, to do some- 
thing in the way of offensive movement myself, hav- 
ing in view something of the same object that Lee 
had had. Wright's and Emory's corps were in 
Washington, and with this reduction of my force Lee 


might very readily have spared some troops from the 
defences to send West. I had other objects in view, 
however, besides keeping Lee where he was. The 
mine was constructed and ready to be exploded, and 
I wanted to take that occasion to carry Petersburg 
if I could. It was the object, therefore, to get as 
many of Lee's troops away from the south side of 
the James River as possible. Accordingly, on the 
26th, we commenced a movement with Hancocks 
corps and Sheridan's cavalry to the north side by the 
way of Deep Bottom, where Butler had a pontoon 
bridge laid. The plan, in the main, was to let the 
cavalry cut loose and, joining with Kautz's cavalry 
of the Army of the James, get by Lee's lines and de- 
stroy as much as they could of the Virginia Central 
Railroad, while, in the mean time, the infantry was 
to move out so as to protect their rear and cover 
their retreat back when they should have got through 
with their work. We were successful in drawing the 
enemy's troops to the north side of the James as I 
expected. The mine was ordered to be charged, 
and the morning of the 30th of July was the time 
fixed for its explosion. I gave Meade minute 
orders * on the 24th directing how I wanted the as- 

*City Point, Va., July 24, 1864. 
Major-General Meade, 

Commanding, etc. 

The engineer officers who made a survey of the front from Ber- 
muda Hundred report against the probability of success from an 


sault conducted, which orders he amplified into gen- 
eral instructions for the guidance of the troops that 
were to be engaged. 

Meade's instructions, which I, of course, approved 
most heartily, were all that I can see now was neces- 
sary. The only further precaution which he could 
have taken, and which he could not foresee, would 
have been to have different men to execute them. 

The gallery to the mine was over five hundred 
feet long from where it entered the ground to the 
point where it was under the enemy's works, and with 
a cross gallery of something over eighty feet running 
under their lines. Eight chambers had been left, re- 
attack there. The chances they think will be better on Burnside's 
front. If this is attempted it will be necessary to concentrate all 
the force possible at the point in the enemy's line we expect to 
penetrate. All officers should be fully impressed with the abso- 
lute necessity of pushing entirely beyond the enemy's present line, 
if they should succeed in penetrating it, and of getting back to 
their present line promptly if they should not succeed in breaking 

To the right and left of the point of assault all the artillery pos- 
sible should be brought to play upon the enemy in front during 
the assault. Their lines would be sufficient for the support of the 
artillery, and all the reserves could be brought on the flanks of 
their commands nearest to the point of assault, ready to follow in 
if successful. The field artillery and infantry held in the lines 
during the first assault should be in readiness to move at a mo- 
ment's notice either to their front or to follow the main assault, as 
they should receive orders. One thing, however, should be im- 


quiring a ton of powder each to charge them. All 
was ready by the time I had prescribed ; and on the 
29th Hancock and Sheridan were brought back«near 
the James River with their troops. Under cover of 
night they started to recross the bridge at Deep 
Bottom, and to march directly for that part of our 
lines in front of the mine. 

Warren was to hold his line of intrenchments with 
a sufficient number of men and concentrate the bal- 
ance on the right next to Burnside's corps, while 
Ord, now commanding the 18th corps, temporarily 
under Meade, was to form in the rear of Burnside to 
support him when he went in. All were to clear off 

pressed on corps commanders. If they see the enemy giving 
away on their front or moving from it to reinforce a heavily 
assaulted portion of their line, they should take advantage of such 
knowledge and act promptly without waiting for orders from army 
commanders. General Ord can co-operate with his corps in this 
movement, and about five thousand troops from Bermuda Hun- 
dred can be sent to reinforce you or can be used to threaten an 
assault between the Appomattox and James rivers, as may be 
deemed best. 

This should be done by Tuesday morning, if done at all. If 
not attempted, we will then start at the date indicated to destroy 

the railroad as far as Hicksford at least, and to Weldon if possible. 

Whether we send an expedition on the road or assault at Peters- 
burg, Burnside's mine will be blown up. . . . 




the parapets and the abatis in their front so as to 
leave the space as open as possible, and be able to 
charge the moment the mine had been sprung and 
Burnside had taken possession. Burnside's corps 
was not to stop in the crater at all but push on to 
the top of the hill, supported on the right and left 
by Ord's and Warren's corps. 

Warren and Ord fulfilled their instructions per- 
fectly so far as making ready was concerned. Burn- 
side seemed to have paid no attention whatever to 
the instructions, and left all the obstruction in his 
own front for his troops to get over in the best way 
they could. The four divisions of his corps were 
commanded by Generals Potter, Willcox, Ledlie and 
Ferrero. The last was a colored division ; and Burn- 
side selected it to make the assault. Meade inter- 
fered with this. Burnside then took Ledlie s division 
— a worse selection than the first could have been. 
In fact, Potter and Willcox were the only division 
commanders Burnside had who were equal to the 
occasion. Ledlie besides being otherwise inefficient, 
proved also to possess disqualification less common 
among soldiers. 

There was some delay about the explosion of the 
mine so that it did not go off until about five o clock 
in the morning. When it did explode it was very 
successful, making a crater twenty feet deep and 
something like a hundred feet in length. Instantly 


one hundred and ten cannon and fifty mortars, which 


had been placed in the most commanding positions 
covering the ground to the right and left of where 
the troops were to enter the enemy's lines, com- 
menced playing. Ledlie's division marched into the 
crater immediately on the explosion, but most of 
the men stopped there in the absence of any one to 
give directions ; their commander having found some 
safe retreat to get into before they started. There 
was some delay on the left and right in advancing, 
but some of the troops did get in and turn to the 
right and left, carrying the rifle-pits as I expected 
they would do. 

There had been great consternation in Peters- 
burg, as we were well aware, about a rumored mine 
that we were going to explode. They knew we were 
mining, and they had failed to cut our mine off by 
countermining, though Beauregard had taken the pre- 
caution to run up a line of intrenchments to the rear 
of that part of their line fronting where they could 
see that our men were at work. We had learned 
through deserters who had come in that the people 
had very wild rumors about what was going on on 
our side. They said that we had undermined the 
whole of Petersburg ; that they were resting upon a 
slumbering volcano and did not know at what moment 
they might expect an eruption. I somewhat based 
my calculations upon this state of feeling, and ex- 


pected that when the mine was exploded the troops 
to the right and left would flee in all directions, 
and that our troops, if they moved promptly, could 
get in and strengthen themselves before the enemy 
had come to a realization of the true situation. It 
was just as I expected it would be. We could see 
the men running without any apparent object except 
to get away. It was half an hour before musketry 
firing, to amount to anything, was opened upon our 
men in the crater. It was an hour before the enemy 
got artillery up to play upon them ; and it was nine 
o'clock before Lee got up reinforcements from his 
right to join in expelling our troops. 

The effort was a stupendous failure. It cost us I 
about four thousand men, mostly, however, captured ; « 
and all due to inefficiency on the part of the corps 
commander and the incompetency of the division 
commander who was sent to lead the assault. 

After being fully assured of the failure of the mine, 
and finding that most of that part of Lee's army 
which had been drawn north of the James River 
were still there, I gave Meade directions to send 
a corps of infantry and the cavalry next morning, be- 
fore Lee could get his forces back, to destroy fifteen 
or twenty miles of the Weldon Railroad. But mis- 
fortunes never come singly. I learned during that 
same afternoon that Wright's pursuit of Early was 
feeble because of the constant and contrary orders 


he had been receiving from Washington, while I was 
cut off from immediate communication by reason 
of our cable across Chesapeake Bay being broken. 
Early, however, was not aware of the fact that 
Wright was not pursuing until he had reached 
Strasburg. Finding that he was not pursued he 
turned back to Winchester, where Crook was 
stationed with a small force, and drove him out. He 
then pushed north until he had reached the Poto- 
mac, then he sent McCausland across to Cham- 
bersburg, Pa., to destroy that town. Chambers- 
burg was a purely defenceless town with no garrison 
whatever, and no fortifications ; yet McCausland, 
under Early's orders, burned the place and left about 
three hundred families houseless. This occurred on 
the 30th of July. I rescinded my orders for the 
troops to go out to destroy the Weldon Railroad, 
and directed them to embark for Washington City. 
After burning Chambersburg McCausland retreated, 
pursued by our cavalry, towards Cumberland. They 
were met and defeated by General Kelley and 
driven into Virginia. 

The Shenandoah Valley was very important to the 
Confederates, because it was the principal store- 
house they now had for feeding their armies about 
Richmond. It was well known that they would 
make a desperate struggle to maintain it. It had 
been the source of a great deal of trouble to us here- 


tofore to guard that outlet to the north, partly be- 
cause of the incompetency of some of the com- 
manders, but chiefly because of interference from 
Washington. It seemed to be the policy of General 
Halleck and Secretary Stanton to keep any force 
sent there, in pursuit of the invading army, moving 
right and left so as to keep between the enemy and 
our capital ; and, generally speaking, they pursued 
this policy until all knowledge of the whereabouts 
of the enemy was lost. They were left, therefore, 
free to supply themselves with horses, beef cattle, 
and such provisions as they could carry away from 
Western Maryland and Pennsylvania. I determined 
to put a stop tp this. I started Sheridan at once for 
that field of operation, and on the following day sent 
another division of his cavalry. 

I had previously asked to have Sheridan assigned 
to that command, but Mr. Stanton objected, on the 
ground that he was too young for so important a 
command. On the ist of August when I sent rein- 
forcements for the protection of Washington, I sent 
the following orders : 

City Point, Va., 
August 1, 1864, 11.30 A.M. 
Major-General Halleck, 

Washington, D. C. 

I am sending General Sheridan for temporary duty whilst the 
enemy is being expelled from the border. Unless General Hunter 
is in the field in person, I want Sheridan put in command of all 


the troops in the field, with instructions to put himself south of 
the enemy and follow him to the death. Wherever the enemy 
goes let our troops go also. Once started up the valley they ought 
to be followed until we get possession of the Virginia Central 
Railroad. If General Hunter is in the field, give Sheridan direct 
command of the 6th corps and cavalry division. All the cavalry, 
I presume, will reach Washington in the course of to-morrow. 



The President in some way or other got to see 
this dispatch of mine directing certain instructions 
to be given to the commanders in the field, oper- 
ating against Early, and sent me the following very 
characteristic dispatch : 

Office U. S. Military Telegraph, 

War Department, 

Washington, D. C, August 3, 1864. 
Cypher. 6 P.M., 

Lt.-General Grant, 

City Point, Va. 

I have seen your despatch in which you say, " I want Sheridan 
put in command of all the troops in the field, with instructions to 
put himself south of the enemy, and follow him to the death. 
Wherever the enemy goes, let our troops go also." This, I think, 
is exactly right, as to how our forces should move. But please 
look over the despatches you may have received from here, even 
since you made that order, and discover, if you can, that there is 
any idea in the head of any one here, of " putting our army south 
of the enemy," or of "following him to the death" in any direc- 
tion. I repeat to you it will neither be done nor attempted unless 
you watch it every day, and hour, and force it. 



I replied to this that " I would start in two hours 
for Washington," and soon got off, going directly 
to the Monocacy without stopping at Washington on 
my way. I found General Hunters army encamped 
there, scattered over the fields along the banks of 
the Monocacy, with many hundreds of cars and 
locomotives, belonging to the Baltimore and Ohio 
Railroad, which he had taken the precaution to 
bring back and collect at that point. I asked the 
general where the enemy was. He replied that 
he did not know. He said the fact was, that he was 
so embarrassed with orders from Washington moving 
him first to the right and then to the left that he 
had lost all trace of the enemy. 

I then told the general that I would find out 
where the enemy was, and at once ordered steam got 
up and trains made up, giving directions to push 
for Halltown, some four miles above Harpers Ferry, 
in the Shenandoah Valley. The cavalry and the 
wagon trains were to march, but all the troops that 
could be transported by the cars were to go in that 
way. I knew that the valley was of such importance 
to the enemy that, no matter how much he was scat- 
tered at that time, he would in a very short time be 
found in front of our troops moving south. 

I then wrote out General Hunter's instructions.* 
I told him that Sheridan was in Washington, and still 

*See letter, August 5th, Appendix. 


another division-was on itf£ way ; and suggested that 
he establish lv. iSadquarters of the department at 
any point that would suit him best, Cumberland, 
Baltimore, or elsewhere, and give Sheridan command 
of the troops in the field. The general replied to 
this, that he thought he had better be relieved en- 
tirely. He said that General Halleck seemed so 
much to distrust his fitness for the position he was 
in that he thought somebody else ought to be 
there. He did not want, in any way, to embarrass 
the cause ; thus showing a patriotism that was none 
too common in the army. There were not many 
major-generals who would voluntarily have asked 
to have the command of a department taken from 
them on the supposition that for some particular 
reason, or for any reason, the service would be bet- 
ter performed. I told him, " very well then." and 
telegraphed at once for Sheridan to come to the 
Monocacy, and suggested that I would wait and 
meet him there. 

Sheridan came at once by special train, but 
reached there after the troops were all off. I 
went to the station and remained there until he 
arrived. Myself and one or two of my staff were 
about all the Union people, except General Hunter 
and his staff, who were left at the Monocacy when 
Sheridan arrived. I hastily told Sheridan what 
had been done and what I wanted him to do, giv- 


ing him, at the same time, the ;yvjitten instructions 
which had been prepared for Gk, Hunter and 

directed to that officer. 

Sheridan now had about 30,000 men to move with, 
8,000 of them being cavalry. Early had about the 
same number, but the superior ability of the National 
commander over the Confederate commander was so 
great that all the latter's advantage of being on the 
defensive was more than counterbalanced by this 
circumstance. As I had predicted, Early was soon 
found in front of Sheridan in the valley, and Penn- 
sylvania and Maryland were speedily freed from 
the invaders. The importance of the valley was so 
great to the Confederates that Lee reinforced Early, 
but not to the extent that we thought and feared he 

To prevent as much as possible these reinforce- 
ments from being sent out from Richmond, I had 
to do something to compel Lee to retain his forces 
about his capital. I therefore gave orders for 
another move to the north side of the James River, 
to threaten Richmond. Hancock's corps, part of the 
10th corps under Birney, and Gregg's division of 
cavalry were crossed to the north side of the James 
during the night of the 13th- 14th of August. A 
threatening position was maintained for a number of 
days, with more or less skirmishing, and some toler- 
ably hard fighting; although it was my object and my 

Vol. 11. — 21 


instructions that anything like a battle should be 
avoided, unless opportunities should present them- 
selves which would insure great success. General 
Meade was left in command of the few troops around 
Petersburg, strongly intrenched ; and was instructed 
to keep a close watch upon the enemy in that quar- 
ter, and himself to take advantage of any weakening 
that might occur through an effort on the part of 
the enemy to reinforce the north side. There was 
no particular victory gained on either side ; but 
during that time no more reinforcements were sent 
to the valley. 

I informed Sheridan of what had been done to 
prevent reinforcements being sent from Richmond 
against him, and also that the efforts we had made 
had proven that one of the divisions which we sup- 
posed had gone to the valley was still at Richmond, 
because we had captured six or seven hundred pris- 
oners from that division, each of its four brigades 
having contributed to our list of captures. I also 
informed him that but one division had gone, and it 
was possible that I should be able to prevent the 
going of any more. 

To add to my embarrassment at this time Sher- 
man, who was now near Atlanta, wanted reinforce- 
ments. He was perfectly willing to take the raw 
troops then being raised in the North-west, saying 
that he could teach them more soldiering in one day 


among his troops than they would learn in a week 
in a camp of instruction. I therefore asked that all 
troops in camps of instruction in the North-west be 
sent to him. Sherman also wanted to be assured 
that no Eastern troops were moving out against him. 
I informed him of what I had done and assured him 
that I would hold all the troops there that it was 
possible for me to hold, and that up to that time 
none had gone. I also informed him that his real 
danger was from Kirby Smith, who commanded the 
trans-Mississippi Department. If Smith should 
escape Steele, and get across the Mississippi River, 
he might move against him. I had, therefore, asked 
to have an expedition ready to move from New 
Orleans against Mobile in case Kirby Smith should 
get across. This would have a tendency to draw 
him to the defence of that place, instead of going 
against Sherman. 

Right in the midst of all these embarrassments 
Halleck informed me that there was an organized 
scheme on foot in the North to resist the draft, and 
suggested that it might become necessary to draw 
troops from the field to put it down. He also 
advised taking in sail, and not going too fast. 

The troops were withdrawn from the north side of 
the James River on the night of the 20th. Before 
they were withdrawn, however, and while most of 
Lee's force was on that side of the river, Warren 


had been sent with most of the 5th corps to capture 
the Weldon Railroad. He took up his line of march 
well back to the rear, south of the enemy, while the 
troops remaining in the trenches extended so as to 
cover that part of the line which he had vacated 
by moving out. From our left, near the old line, it 
was about three miles to the Weldon Railroad. A 
division was ordered from the right of the Peters- 
burg line to reinforce Warren, while a division was 
brought back from the north side of the James 
River to take its place. 

This road was very important to the enemy. The 
limits from which his supplies had been drawn were 
already very much contracted, and I knew that he 
must fight desperately to protect it. Warren carried 
the road, though with heavy loss on both sides. He 
fortified his new position, and our trenches were 
then extended from the left of our main line to 
connect with his new one. Lee made repeated at- 
tempts to dislodge Warren's corps, but without 
success, and with heavy loss. 

As soon as Warren was fortified and reinforce- 
ments reached him, troops were sent south to destroy 
the bridges on the Weldon Railroad ; and with such 
success that the enemy had to draw in wagons, for a 
distance of about thirty miles, all the supplies they 
got thereafter from that source. It was on the 21st 
that Lee seemed to have given up the Weldon Rail- 


road as having been lost to him; but along about 
the 24th or 25th he made renewed attempts to recap- 
ture it ; again he failed and with very heavy losses 
to him as compared with ours. 

On the night of the 20th our troops on the north 
side of the James were withdrawn, and Hancock 
and Gregg were sent south to destroy the Weldon 
Railroad They were attacked on the 25th at 
Reams's Station, and after desperate fighting a part 
of our line gave way, losing five pieces of artillery. 
But the Weldon Railroad never w r ent out of our 
possession from the 18th of August to the close of 
the war. 


sheridan's advance — visit to sheridan — Sheri- 



WE had our troops on the Weldon Railroad 
contending against a large force that re- 
garded this road of so much importance that they 
could afford to expend many lives in retaking it; 
Sherman just getting through to Atlanta with great 
losses of men from casualties, discharges and detach- 
ments left along as guards to occupy and hold the 
road in rear of him ; Washington threatened but a 
short time before, and now Early being strengthened 
in the valley so as, probably, to renew that attempt. 
It kept me pretty active in looking after all these 

On the ioth of August Sheridan had advanced 
on Early up the Shenandoah Valley, Early falling 
back to Strasburg. On the 12th I learned that Lee 
had sent twenty pieces of artillery, two divisions of in- 
fantry and a considerable cavalry force to strengthen 


Early. It was important that Sheridan should be in- 
formed of this, so I sent the information to Wash- 
ington by telegraph, and directed a courier to be 
sent from there to get the message to Sheridan at 
all hazards, giving him the information. The mes- 
senger, an officer of the army, pushed through with 
great energy and reached Sheridan just in time. 
The officer went through by way of Snicker's Gap, 
escorted by some cavalry. He found Sheridan just 
making his preparations to attack Early in his chosen 
position. Now, however, he was thrown back on the 

On the 15th of September I started to visit 
General Sheridan in the Shenandoah Valley. My 
purpose was to have him attack Early, or drive him 
out of the valley and destroy that source of supplies 
for Lee's army. I knew it was impossible for me to 
get orders through Washington to Sheridan to make 
a move, because they would be stopped there and 
such orders as Halleck's caution (and that of the 
Secretary of War) would suggest would be given 
instead, and would, no doubt, be contradictory 
to mine. I therefore, without stopping at Washing- 
ton, went directly through to Charlestown, some ten 
miles above Harper's Ferry, and waited there to see 
General Sheridan, having sent a courier in advance 
to inform him where to meet me. 

When Sheridan arrived I asked him if he had a 


map showing the positions of his army and that of 
the enemy. He at once drew one out of his side 
pocket, showing all roads and streams, and the 
camps of the two armies. He said that if he had 
permission he would move so and so (pointing out 
how) against the Confederates, and that he could 
" whip them." Before starting I had drawn up a plan 
of campaign for Sheridan, which I had brought with 
me ; but, seeing that he was so clear and so positive 
in his views and so confident of success, I said 
nothing about this and did not take it out of my 

Sheridan's wagon trains were kept at Harper's 
Ferry, where all of his stores were. By keeping the 
teams at that place, their forage did not have to be 
hauled to them. As supplies of ammunition, pro- 
visions and rations for the men were wanted, trains 
would be made up to deliver the stores to the com- 
missaries and quartermasters encamped at Win- 
chester. Knowing that he, in making preparations 
to move at a given day, would have to bring up 
wagon trains from Harpers Ferry, I asked him if 
he could be ready to get off by the following Tues- 
day. This was on Friday. " O yes," he said, he 
14 could be off before daylight on Monday." I told 
him then to make the attack at that time and ac- 
cording to his own plan ; and I immediately started 
to return to the army about Richmond. After visit- 


ing Baltimore and Burlington, New Jersey, I arrived 
at City Point on the 19th. 

On the way out to Harper's Ferry I had met Mr. 
Robert Garrett, President of the Baltimore and Ohio 
Railroad. He seemed very anxious to know when 
workmen might be put upon the road again so as to 
make repairs and put it in shape for running. It 
was a large piece of property to have standing idle. 
I told him I could not answer then positively but 
would try and inform him before a great while. On 
my return Mr. Garrett met me again with the same 
question and I told him I thought that by the 
following Wednesday he might send his work- 
men out on his road. I gave him no further infor- 
mation however, and he had no suspicion of how 
I expected to have the road cleared for his work- 

Sheridan moved at the time he had fixed upon. 
He met Early at the crossing of Opequon Creek, 
and won a most decisive victory — one which 
electrified the country. Early had invited this at- 
tack himself by his bad generalship and made the 
victory easy. He had sent G. T. Anderson's division 
east of the Blue Ridge before I went to Harper's 
Ferry ; and about the time I arrived there he started 
with two other divisions (leaving but two in their 
camps) to march to Martinsburg for the purpose 
of destroying the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad at 


that point. Early here learned that I had been with 
Sheridan and, supposing there was some movement 
on foot, started back as soon as he got the informa- 
tion. But his forces were separated and, as I have 
said, he was very badly defeated. He fell back to 
Fisher's Hill, Sheridan following. 

The valley is narrow at that point, and Early 
made another stand there, behind works which ex- 
tended across. But Sheridan turned both his flanks 
and again sent him speeding up the valley, follow- 
ing in hot pursuit. The pursuit was continued up 


the valley to Mount Jackson and New Market. 
Sheridan captured about eleven hundred prisoners 
and sixteen guns. The houses which he passed all 
along the route were found to be filled with Early's 
wounded, and the country swarmed with his de- 
serters. Finally, on the 25th, Early turned from 
the valley eastward, leaving Sheridan at Harrison- 
burg in undisputed possession. 

Now one of the main objects of the expedition 
began to be accomplished. Sheridan went to work 
with his command, gathering in the crops, cattle, 
and everything in the upper part of the valley re- 
quired by our troops ; and especially taking what 
might be of use to the enemy. What he could not 
take away he destroyed, so that the enemy would 
not be invited to come back there. I congratulated 
Sheridan upon his recent great victory and had a 


salute of a hundred guns fired in honor of it, the 
guns being aimed at the enemy around Petersburg. 
I also notified the other commanders throughout the 
country, who also fired salutes in honor of his vic- 

I had reason to believe that the administration 
was a little afraid to have a decisive battle fought at 
that time, for fear it might go against us and have a 
bad effect on the November elections. The conven- 
tion which had met and made its nomination of the 
Democratic candidate for the presidency had de- 
clared the war a failure. Treason was talked as 
boldly in Chicago at that convention as ever it had 
been in Charleston. It was a question whether the 
government would then have had the power to 
make arrests and punish those who thus talked 
treason. But this decisive victory was the most 
effective campaign argument made in the canvass. 

Sheridan, in his pursuit, got beyond where they 
could hear from him in Washington, and the Presi- 
dent became very much frightened about him. He 
was afraid that the hot pursuit had been a little like 
that of General Cass was said to have been, in one 
of our Indian wars, when he was an officer of the 
army. Cass was pursuing the Indians so closely that 
the first thing he knew he found himself in their 
front, and the Indians pursuing him. The President 
was afraid that Sheridan had got on the other side 


of Early and that Early was in behind him. He was 
afraid that Sheridan was getting so far away that 
reinforcements would be sent out from Richmond 
to enable Early to beat him. I replied to the Presi- 
dent that I had taken steps to prevent Lee from 
sending reinforcements to Early, by attacking the 
former where he was. 

On the 28th of September, to retain Lee in his 
position, I sent Ord with the 18th corps and Birney 
with the 10th corps to make an advance on Richmond, 
to threaten it Ord moved with the left wing up to 
Chaffins Bluff; Birney with the ioth corps took a 
road farther north ; while Kautz with the cavalry 
took the Darby road, still farther to the north. 
They got across the river by the next morning, and 
made an effort to surprise the enemy. In that, how- 
ever, they were unsuccessful. 

The enemy's lines were very strong and very in- 
tricate. Stannard's division of the 18th corps with 
General Burnham's brigade leading, tried an assault 
against Fort Harrison and captured it with sixteen 
guns and a good many prisoners. Burnham was 
killed in the assault. Colonel Stevens who suc- 
ceeded him was badly wounded ; and his successor 
also fell in the same way. Some works to the right 
and left were also carried with the guns in them — 
six in number — and a few more prisoners. Birney's 
troops to the right captured the enemy's intrenched 


picket-lines, but were unsuccessful in their efforts 
upon the main line. 

Our troops fortified their new position, bringing 
Fort Harrison into the new line and extending it to 
the river. This brought us pretty close to the 
enemy on the north side of the James, and the two 
opposing lines maintained their relative positions to 
the close of the siege. 

In the afternoon a further attempt was made to 
advance, but it failed. Ord fell badly wounded, and 
had to be relieved ; the command devolved upon 
General Heckman, and later General Weitzel was as- 
signed to the command of the 18th corps. During 
the night Lee reinforced his troops about Fort Gil- 
mer, which was at the right of Fort Harrison, by 
transferring eight additional brigades from Peters- 
burg, and attempted to retake the works which we 
had captured by concentrating ten brigades against 
them. All their efforts failed, their attacks being all 
repulsed with very heavy loss. In one of these as- 
saults upon us General Stannard, a gallant officer, 
who was defending Fort Harrison, lost an arm. Our 
casualties during these operations amounted to 394 
killed, 1,554 wounded and 324 missing. 

Whilst this was going on General Meade was in- 
structed to keep up an appearance of moving troops 
to our extreme left. Parke and Warren were kept 
with two divisions, each under arms, ready to move, 


leaving their enclosed batteries manned, with a scat- 
tering line on the other intrenchments. The object 
of this was to prevent reinforcements from going to 
the north side of the river. Meade was instructed 
to watch the enemy closely and, if Lee weakened his 
lines, to make an attack. 

On the 30th these troops moved out, under War- 
ren, and captured an advanced intrenched camp at 
Peeble's farm, driving the enemy back to the main 
line. Our troops followed and made an attack in 
the hope of carrying the enemy's main line ; but 
in this they were unsuccessful and lost a large 
number of men, mostly captured. The number 
of killed and wounded was not large. The next 
day our troops advanced again and established them- 
selves, intrenching a new line about a mile in front 
of the enemy. This advanced Warren's position on 
the Weldon Railroad very considerably. 

Sheridan having driven the enemy out of the 
valley, and taken the productions of the valley 
so that instead of going there for supplies the 
enemy would have to bring his provisions with 
him if he again entered it, recommended a reduc- 
tion of his own force, the surplus to be sent where 
it could be of more use. I approved of his sug- 
gestion, and ordered him to send Wright's corps back 
to the James River. I further directed him to 
repair the railroad up the Shenandoah Valley towards 


the advanced position which we would hold with a 
small force. The troops were to be sent to Wash- 
ington by the way of Culpeper, in order to watch 
the east side of the Blue Ridge, and prevent the 
enemy from getting into the rear of Sheridan 
while he was still doing his work of destruction. 

The valley was so very important, however, to 
the Confederate army that, contrary to our expec- 
tations, they determined to make one more strike, 
and save it if possible before the supplies should be 
all destroyed. Reinforcements were sent therefore 
to Early, and this before any of our troops had been 
withdrawn. Early prepared to strike Sheridan at 
Harrisonburg ; but the latter had not remained 

On the 6th of October Sheridan commenced 
retiring down the valley, taking or destroying all the 
food and forage and driving the cattle before him, 
Early following. At Fisher's Hill Sheridan turned his 
cavalry back on that of Early, which, under the lead 
of Rosser, was pursuing closely, and routed it most 
completely, capturing eleven guns and a large num- 
ber of prisoners. Sheridan lost only about sixty 
men. His cavalry pursued the enemy back some 
twenty-five miles. On the 10th of October the 
march down the valley was again resumed, Early 
again following. 

I now ordered Sheridan to halt, and to improve the 


opportunity if afforded by the enemy's having been 
sufficiently weakened, to move back again and cut 
the James River Canal and Virginia Central Railroad. 
But this order had to go through Washington where 
it was intercepted ; and when Sheridan received what 
purported to be a statement of what I wanted him 
to do it was something entirely different. Halleck 
informed Sheridan that it was my wish for him to 
hold a forward position as a base from which to act 
against Charlottesville and Gordonsville ; that he 
should fortify this position and provision it 

Sheridan objected to this most decidedly ; and I 
was impelled to telegraph him, on the 14th, as fol- 
lows : 

City Point, Va., 

October 14, 1864.— 12.30 P.M. 
Major-General Sheridan, 

Cedar Creek, Va. 

What I want is for you to threaten the Virginia Central Rail- 
road and canal in the manner your judgment tells you is best, 
holding yourself ready to advance, if the enemy draw off their 
forces. If you make the enemy hold a force equal to your own 
for the protection of those thoroughfares, it will accomplish nearly 
as much as their destruction. If you cannot do this, then the next 
best thing to do is to send here all the force you can. I deem a 
good cavalry force necessary for your offensive, as well as defen- 
sive operations. You need not therefore send here more than one 

division of cavalry. 



Sheridan having been summoned to Washington 

Vol. 11. — 22 


City, started on the 15th leaving Wright in com- 
mand. His army was then at Cedar Creek, some 
twenty miles south of Winchester. The next morn- 
ing while at Front Royal, Sheridan received a 
dispatch from Wright, saying that a dispatch from 
Longstreet to Early had been intercepted. It di- 
rected the latter to be ready to move and to crush 
Sheridan as soon as he, Longstreet, arrived. On 
the receipt of this news Sheridan ordered the cav- 
alry up the valley to join Wright. 

On the 1 8th of October Early was ready to move, 
and during the night succeeded in getting his troops 
in the rear of our left flank, which fled precipitately 
and in great confusion down the valley, losing 
eighteen pieces of artillery and a thousand or more 
prisoners. The right under General Getty main- 
tained a firm and steady front, falling back to Mid- 
dletown where it took a position and made a stand. 
The cavalry went to the rear, seized the roads lead- 
ing to Winchester and held them for the use of 
our troops in falling back, General Wright having 
ordered a retreat back to that place. 

Sheridan having left Washington on the 18th, 
reached Winchester that night. The following 
morning he started to join his command. He had 
scarcely got out of town, when he met his men 
returning in panic from the front and also heard 
heavy firing to the south. He immediately ordered 


the cavalry at Winchester to be deployed across 
the valley to stop the stragglers. Leaving mem- 
bers of his staff to take care of Winchester and 
the public property there, he set out with a small 
escort directly for the scene of battle. As he met 
the fugitives he ordered them to turn back, remind- 
ing them that they were going the wrong way. His 
presence soon restored confidence. Finding them- 
selves worse frightened than hurt the men did halt 
and turn back. Many of those who had run ten 
miles got back in time to redeem their reputation 
as gallant soldiers before night. 

When Sheridan got to the front he found Getty 
and Custer still holding their ground firmly between 
the Confederates and our retreating troops. Every- 
thing in the rear was now ordered up. Sheridan at 
once proceeded to intrench his position ; and he 
awaited an assault from the enemy. This was made 
with vigor, and was directed principally against 
Emory's corps, which had sustained the principal loss 
in the first attack. By one o'clock the attack was 
repulsed. Early was so badly damaged that he 
seemed disinclined to make another attack, but went 
to work to intrench himself with a view to holding 
the position he had already gained. He thought, 
no doubt, that Sheridan would be glad enough to 
leave him unmolested ; but in this he was mistaken. 

About the middle of the afternoon Sheridan 


advanced. He sent his cavalry by both flanks, and 
they penetrated to the enemy's rear. The contest 
was close for a time, but at length the left of the 
enemy broke, and disintegration along the whole 
line soon followed. Early tried to rally his men, but 
they were followed so closely that they had to give 
way very quickly every time they attempted to 
make a stand. Our cavalry, having pushed on and 
got in the rear of the Confederates, captured twenty- 
four pieces of artillery, besides retaking what had 
been lost in the morning. This victory pretty much 
closed the campaigning in the Valley of Virginia. 
All the Confederate troops were sent back to 
Richmond with the exception of one division of 
infantry and a little cavalry. Wright's corps was 
ordered back to the Army of the Potomac, and two 
other divisions were withdrawn from the valley. 
Early had lost more men in killed, wounded and 
captured in the valley than Sheridan had com- 
manded from first to last. 

On more than one occasion in these engagements 
General R. B. Hayes, who succeeded me as Presi- 
dent of the United States, bore a very honorable 
part. His conduct on the field was marked by con- 
spicuous gallantry as well as the display of qualities 
of a higher order than that of mere personal daring. 
This might well have been expected of one who 
could write at the time he is said to have done so : 


" Any officer fit for duty who at this crisis would 
abandon his post to electioneer for a seat in Con- 
gress, ought to be scalped." Having entered the 
army as a Major of Volunteers at the beginning of 
the war, General Hayes attained by meritorious ser- 
vice the rank of Brevet Major-General before its 

On the north side of the James River the enemy 
attacked Kautz's cavalry on the 7th of October, and 
drove it back with heavy loss in killed, wounded 
and prisoners, and the loss of all the artillery. This 
was followed up by an attack on our intrenched in- 
fantry line, but was repulsed with severe slaughter. 
On the 13th a reconnoissance was sent out by Gen- 
eral Butler, with a view to drive the enemy from 
some new works he was constructing, which resulted 
in heavy loss to us. 

On the 24th I ordered General Meade to attempt 
to get possession of the South Side Railroad, and 
for that purpose to advance on the 27th. The 
attempt proved a failure, however, the most ad- 
vanced of our troops not getting nearer than within 
six miles of the point aimed for. Seeing the impos- 
sibility of its accomplishment I ordered the troops 
to withdraw, and they were all back in their former 
positions the next day. 

Butler, by my directions, also made a demonstra- 
tion on the north side of the James River in order 


to support this move, by detaining there the Con- 
federate troops who were on that side. He suc- 
ceeded in this, but failed of further results by not 
marching past the enemy's left before turning in 
on the Darby road and by reason of simply com- 
ing up against their lines in place. 

This closed active operations around Richmond 
for the winter. Of course there was frequent skir- 
mishing between pickets, but no serious battle was 
fought near either Petersburg or Richmond. It 
would prolong this work to give a detailed ac- 
count of all that took place from day to day around 
Petersburg and at other parts of my command, and 
it would not interest the general reader if given. 
All these details can be found by the military student 
in a series of books published by the Scribners, 
Badeau's history of my campaigns, and also in the 
publications of the War Department, including both 
the National and Confederate reports. 

In the latter part of November General Hancock 
was relieved from the command of the 2d corps by 
the Secretary of War and ordered to Washington, 
to organize and command a corps of veteran troops 
to be designated the 1st corps. It was expected 
that this would give him a large command to co- 
operate with in the spring. It was my expecta- 
tion, at the time, that in the final operations Han- 
cock should move either up the valley, or else east 


of the Blue Ridge to Lynchburg ; the idea being to 
make the spring campaign the close of the war. I 
expected, with Sherman coming up from the South, 
Meade south of Petersburg and around Richmond, 
and Thomas's command in Tennessee with depots 
of supplies established in the eastern part of that 
State, to move from the direction of Washington or 
the valley towards Lynchburg. We would then 
have Lee so surrounded that his supplies would be 
cut off entirely, making it impossible for him to sup- 
port his army. 

General Humphreys, chief-of-staff of the Army 
of the Potomac, was assigned to the command of 
the 2d corps, to succeed Hancock. 




LET us now return to the operations in the 
military division of the Mississippi, and accom- 
pany Sherman in his march to the sea. 

The possession of Atlanta by us narrowed the 
territory of the enemy very materially and cut off 
one of his two remaining lines of roads from east 
to west. 

A short time after the fall of Atlanta Mr. Davis 
visited Palmetto and Macon and made speeches at 
each place. He spoke at Palmetto on the 20th of 
September, and at Macon on the 2 2d. Inasmuch 
as he had relieved Johnston and appointed Hood, 
and Hood had immediately taken the initiative, it is 
natural to suppose that Mr. Davis was disappointed 
with General Johnston's policy. My own judgment 
is that Johnston acted very wisely : he husbanded 
his men and saved as much of his territory as he 
could, without fighting decisive battles in which all 


might be lost As Sherman advanced, as I have 
shown, his army became spread out, until, if this 
had been continued, it would have been easy to 
destroy it in detail. I know that both Sherman 
and I were rejoiced when we heard of the change. 
Hood was unquestionably a brave, gallant soldier 
and not destitute of ability ; but unfortunately his 
policy was to fight the enemy wherever he saw 
him, without thinking much of the consequences of 

In his speeches Mr. Davis denounced Governor 
Brown, of Georgia, and General Johnston in un- 
measured terms, even insinuating that their loyalty 
to the Southern cause was doubtful. So far as Gen- 
eral Johnston is concerned, I think Davis did him a 
great injustice in this particular. I had known the 
general before the war and strongly believed it would 
be impossible for him to accept a high commission 
for the purpose of betraying the cause he had es- 
poused. Then, as I have said, I think that his 
policy was the best one that could have been pur- 
sued by the whole South — protract the war, which 
was all that was necessary to enable them to 
gain recognition in the end. The North was 
already growing weary, as the South evidently 
was also, but with this difference. In the North the 
people governed, and could stop hostilities whenever 
they chose to stop supplies. The South was a 


military camp, controlled absolutely by the gov- 
ernment with soldiers to back it, and the war 
could have been protracted, no matter to what ex- 
tent the discontent reached, up to the point of open 
mutiny of the soldiers themselves. Mr. Davis's 
speeches were frank appeals to the people of Geor- 
gia and that portion of the South to come to their 
relief. He tried to assure his frightened hearers 
that the Yankees were rapidly digging their own 
graves ; that measures were already being taken to 
cut them off from supplies from the North ; and 
that with a force in front, and cut off from the rear, 
they must soon starve in the midst of a hostile peo- 
ple. Papers containing reports of these speeches 
immediately reached the Northern States, and they 
were republished. Of course, that caused no alarm 
so long as telegraphic communication was kept up 
with Sherman. 

When Hood was forced to retreat from Atlanta 
he moved to the south-west and was followed by 
a portion of Sherman's army. He soon appeared 
upon the railroad in Sherman's rear, and with 
his whole army began destroying the road. At 
the same time also the work was begun in Tennes- 
see and Kentucky which Mr. Davis had assured his 
hearers at Palmetto and Macon would take place. 
He ordered Forrest (about the ablest cavalry gen- 
eral in the South) north for this purpose ; and For- 


rest and Wheeler carried out their orders with more 
or less destruction, occasionally picking up a garrison. 
Forrest indeed performed the very remarkable feat 
of capturing, with cavalry, two gunboats and a num- 
ber of transports, something the accomplishment of 
which is very hard to account for. Hood's army 
had been weakened by Governor Brown's withdraw- 
ing the Georgia State troops for the purpose of 
gathering in the season's crops for the use of the 
people and for the use of the army. This not only 
depleted Hood's forces but it served a most excel- 
lent purpose in gathering in supplies of food and 
forage for the use of our army in its subsequent 
march. Sherman was obliged to push on with his 
force and go himself with portions of it hither and 
thither, until it was clearly demonstrated to him that 
with the army he then had it would be impossible 
to hold the line from Atlanta back and leave him 
any force whatever with which to take the offensive. 
Had that plan been adhered to, very large reinforce- 
ments would have been necessary ; and Mr. Davis's 
prediction of the destruction of the army would have 
been realized, or else Sherman would have been 
obliged to make a successful retreat, which Mr. Davis 
said in his speeches would prove more disastrous 
than Napoleon's retreat from Moscow. 

These speeches of Mr. Davis were not long in 
reaching Sherman. He took advantage of the in- 


formation they gave, and made all the preparation 
possible for him to make to meet what now became 
expected, attempts to break his communications. 
Something else had to be done : and to Sherman's 
sensible and soldierly mind the idea was not long in 
dawning upon him, not only that something else had 
to be done, but what that something else should be. 
On September ioth I telegraphed Sherman as 
follows : 

City Point, Va. , Sept io f 1864. 
Major-General Sherman. 

Atlanta. Georgia. 

So soon as your men are sufficiently rested, and preparations 

can be made, it is desirable that another campaign should be 

commenced. We want to keep the enemy constantly pressed to 

the end of the war. If we give him no peace whilst the war 

lasts, the end cannot be distant. Now that we have all of Mobile 

Bay that is valuable, I do not know but it will be the best move 

to transfer Canby's troops to act upon Savannah, whilst you move 

on Augusta. I should like to hear from you, however, in this 



Lieu tenant-General. 

Sherman replied promptly : 

" If I could be sure of finding provisions and 
ammunition at Augusta, or Columbus, Georgia, I can 
march to Milledgeville, and compel Hood to give up 
Augusta or Macon, and then turn on the other. 
* * * If you can manage to take the Savannah 
River as high up as Augusta, or the Chattahoochee 


as far up as Columbus, I can sweep the whole State 
of Georgia," 

On the 1 2th I sent a special messenger, one of my 
own staff, with a letter inviting Sherman's views 
about the next campaign. 

City Point, Va m Sept 12, 1864. 
Major-General W. T. Sherman, 

Commanding Mil. Division of the Mississippi. 

I send Lieutenant-Colonel Porter, of my staff, with this. Colonel 
Porter will explain to you the exact condition of affairs here better 
than I can do in the limits of a letter. Although I feel myself 
strong enough for offensive operations, I am holding on quietly to 
get advantage of recruits and convalescents, who are coming for- 
ward very rapidly. My lines are necessarily very long, extending 
from Deep Bottom north of the James across the peninsula formed 
by the Appomattox and the James, and south of the Appomattox 
to the Weldon Road. This line is very strongly fortified, and can 
be held with comparatively few men, but from its great length takes 
many in the aggregate. I propose, when I do move, to extend 
my left so as to control what is known as the South Side, or 
Lynchburg and Petersburg Road, then if possible to keep the 
Danville Road cut. At the same time this move is made, I want 
to send a force of from six to ten thousand men against Wil- 

The way I propose to do this is to land the men north of Fort 
Fisher, and hold that point. At the same time a large naval fleet 
will be assembled there, and the iron-clads will run the batteries 
as they did at Mobile. This will give us the same control of the 
harbor of Wilmington that we now have of the harbor of Mobile. 
What you are to do with the forces at your command, I do not 
see. The difficulties of supplying your army, except when you 
are constantly moving, beyond where you are, I plainly see. If it 


had not been for Price's movements Canby would have sent 
twelve thousand more men to Mobile. From your command on 
the Mississippi an equal number could have been taken. With 
these forces my idea would have been to divide them, sending one 
half to Mobile and the other half to Savannah. You could then 
move as proposed in your telegram, so as to threaten Macon and 
Augusta equally. Whichever was abandoned by the enemy you 
could take and open up a new base of supplies. My object now 
in sending a staff officer is not so much to suggest operations for 
you, as to get your views and have plans matured by the time every- . 
thing can be got ready. It will probably be the 5th of October 
before any of the plans herein indicated will be executed. 

If you have any promotions to recommend, send the names 
forward and I will approve them. * * * 



This reached Sherman on September 20th. 

On the 25th of September Sherman reported to 
Washington that Hood's troops were in his rear. 
He had provided against this by sending a division 
to Chattanooga and a division to Rome, Georgia, 
which was in the rear of Hood, supposing that 
Hood would fall back in the direction from which he 
had come to reach the railroad. At the same time 
Sherman and Hood kept up a correspondence 
relative to the exchange of prisoners, the treatment 
of citizens, and other matters suitable to be ar- 
ranged between hostile commanders in the field. 
On the 27th of September I telegraphed Sherman 
as follows : 



City Point, Va., 
September 27, 1864. — 10.30 A.M. 
Major-General Sherman : 

I have directed all recruits and new troops from the Western 
States to be sent to Nashville, to receive their further orders from 
you. * * * 



On the 29th Sherman sent Thomas back to Chat- 
tanooga, and afterwards to Nashville, with another 
division (Morgan's) of the advanced army. Sher- 
man then suggested that, when he was prepared, his 
movements should take place against Milledgeville 
and then to Savannah. His expectation at that 
time was, to make this movement as soon as he 
could get up his supplies. Hood was moving in his 
own country, and was moving light so that he could 
make two miles to Sherman's one. He depended 
upon the country to gather his supplies, and so was 
not affected by delays. 

As I have said, until this unexpected state of 
affairs happened, Mobile had been looked upon as 
the objective point of Sherman's army. It had been 
a favorite move of mine from 1862, when I first 
suggested to the then commander-in-chief that the 
troops in Louisiana, instead of frittering away their 
time in the trans-Mississippi, should move against 
Mobile. I recommended this from time to time 
until I came into command of the army, the last of 


March 1864. Having the power in my own hands, 
I now ordered the concentration of supplies, stores 
and troops, in the department of the Gulf about 
New Orleans, with a view to a move against Mobile, 
in support of, and in conjunction with, the other 
armies operating in the field. Before I came into 
command, these troops had been scattered over the 
trans-Mississippi department in such a way that they 
could not be, or were not, gotten back in time to 
take any part in the original movement ; hence 
the consideration, which had caused Mobile to be 
selected as the objective point for Sherman's army 
to find his next base of supplies after having cut 
loose from Atlanta, no longer existed. 

General G. M. Dodge, an exceedingly efficient 
officer, having been badly wounded, had to leave 
the army about the first of October. He was in 
command of two divisions of the 16th corps, con- 
solidated into one. Sherman then divided his 
army into the right and left wings — the right 
commanded by General O. O. Howard and the 
left by General Slocum. General Dodge's two 
divisions were assigned, one to each of these wings. 
Howard's command embraced the 15th and 17th 
corps, and Slocum's the 14th and 20th corps, com- 
manded by Generals Jeff. C. Davis and A. S. Wil- 
liams. Generals Logan and Blair commanded the 
two corps composing the right wing. About this 


time they left to take part in the presidential elec- 
tion, which took place that year, leaving their corps 
to Osterhaus and Ransom. I have no doubt that their 
leaving was at the earnest solicitation of the War 
Department. General Blair got back in time to re- 
sume his command and to proceed with it through- 
out the march to the sea and back to the grand 
review at Washington. General Logan did not 
return to his command until after it reached Sa- 

Logan felt very much aggrieved at the transfer 
of General Howard from that portion of the Army 
of the Potomac which was then with the Western 
Army, to the command of the Army of the Tennes- 
see, with which army General Logan had served 
from the battle of Belmont to the fall of Atlanta — 
having passed successively through all grades from 
colonel commanding a regiment to general com- 
manding a brigade, division and army corps, until 
upon the death of McPherson the command of the 
entire Army of the Tennessee devolved upon him 
in the midst of a hotly contested battle. He con- 
ceived that he had done his full duty as commander 
in that engagement ; and I can bear testimony, 
from personal observation, that he had proved him- 
self fully equal to all the lower positions which he 
had occupied as a soldier. I will not pretend to 
question the motive which actuated Sherman in 

Vol. 11. — 23 


taking an officer from another army to supersede 
General Logan. I have no doubt, whatever, that he 
did this for what he considered would be to the 
good of the service, which was more important 
than that the personal feelings of any individual 
should not be aggrieved ; though I doubt whether he 
had an officer with him who could have filled the 
place as Logan would have done. Differences of 
opinion must exist between the best of friends as to 
policies in war, and of judgment as to men's fitness. 
The officer who has the command, however, should 
be allowed to judge of the fitness of the officers 
under him, unless he is very manifestly wrong. 

Sherman's army, after all the depletions, numbered 
about sixty thousand effective men. All weak men had 
been left to hold the rear, and those remaining were 
not only well men, but strong and hardy, so that he 
had sixty thousand as good soldiers as ever trod the 
earth ; better than any European soldiers, because 
they not only worked like a machine but the machine 
thought. European armies know very little what 
they are fighting for, and care less. Included in 
these sixty thousand troops, there were two small di- 
visions of cavalry, numbering altogether about four 
thousand men. Hood had about thirty-five to forty 
thousand men, independent of Forrest, whose forces 
were operating in Tennessee and Kentucky, as Mr. 
Davis had promised they should. This part of Mr. 


Davis's military plan was admirable, and promised 
the best results of anything he could have done, ac- 
cording to my judgment. I say this because I have 
criticised his military judgment in the removal of 
Johnston, and also in the appointment of Hood. I 
am aware, however, that there was high feeling exist- 
ing at that time between Davis and his subordinate, 
whom I regarded as one of his ablest lieutenants. 

On the 5th of October the railroad back from At- 
lanta was again very badly broken, Hood having 
got on the track with his army. Sherman saw after 
night, from a high point, the road burning for miles. 
The defence of the railroad by our troops was very 
gallant, but they could not hold points between 
their intrenched positions against Hood's whole 
army ; in fact they made no attempt to do so ; 
but generally the intrenched positions were held, 
as well as important bridges, and stores located 
at them. Allatoona, for instance, was defended by 
a small force of men under the command of Gen- 
eral Corse, one of the very able and efficient 
volunteer officers produced by the war. He, with 
a small force, was cut off from the remainder of 
the National army and was attacked with great 
vigor by many times his own number. Sherman 
from his high position could see the battle raging, 
with the Confederate troops between him and his 
subordinate. He sent men, of course, to raise the 


temporary siege, but the time that would be neces- 
sarily consumed in reaching Corse, would be so 
great that all occupying the intrenchments might 
be dead. Corse was a man who would never sur- 
render. From a high position some of Sherman's 
signal corps discovered a signal flag waving from a 
hole in the block house at Allatoona. It was from 
Corse. He had been shot through the face, but 
he signalled to his chief a message which left no 
doubt of his determination to hold his post at all 
hazards. It was at this point probably, that Sher- 
man first realized that with the forces at his dis- 
posal, the keeping open of his line of communica- 
tions with the North would be impossible if he 
expected to retain any force with which to operate 
offensively beyond Atlanta. He proposed, there- 
fore, to destroy the roads back to Chattanooga, 
when all ready to move, and leave the latter place 
garrisoned. Yet, before abandoning the railroad, it 
was necessary that he should repair damages already 
done, and hold the road until he could get forward 
such supplies, ordnance stores and small rations, as 
he wanted to carry with him on his proposed march, 
and to return to the north his surplus artillery ; his 
object being to move light and to have no more artil- 
lery than could be used to advantage on the field. 

Sherman thought Hood would follow him, though 
he proposed to prepare for the contingency of the 


latter moving the other way while he was moving 
south, by making Thomas strong enough to hold 
Tennessee and Kentucky. I, myself, was thoroughly 
satisfied that Hood would go north, as he did. On 
the 2d of November I telegraphed Sherman author- 
izing him definitely to move according to the plan he 
had proposed : that is, cutting loose from his base, 
giving up Atlanta and the railroad back to Chat- 
tanooga. To strengthen Thomas he sent Stanley 
(4th corps) back, and also ordered Schofield, com- 
manding the Army of the Ohio, twelve thousand 
strong, to report to him. In addition to this, A. J. 
Smith, who, with two divisions of Sherman's army, 
was in Missouri aiding Rosecrans in driving the 
enemy from that State, was under orders to return to 
Thomas and, under the most unfavorable circum- 
stances, might be expected to arrive there long be- 
fore Hood could reach Nashville. 

In addition to this, the new levies of troops that 
were being raised in the North-west went to Thomas 
as rapidly as enrolled and equipped. Thomas, 
without any of these additions spoken of, had a 
garrison at Chattanooga — which had been strength- 
ened by one division — and garrisons at Bridgeport, 
Stevenson, Decatur, Murfreesboro, and Florence. 
There were already with him in Nashville ten 
thousand soldiers in round numbers, and many 
thousands of employees in the quartermasters and 



other departments who could be put in the in 
trenchments in front of Nashville, for its defence 
Also, Wilson was there with ten thousand dis 
mounted cavalrymen, who were being equipped foi 
the field. Thomas had at this time about forty-fiv< 
thousand men without any of the reinforcement! 
here above enumerated. These reinforcements gav< 
him altogether about seventy thousand men, withou 
counting what might be added by the new leviei 
already spoken of. 

About this time Beauregard arrived upon th< 
field, not to supersede Hood in command, but t( 
take general charge over the entire district in whicl 
Hood and Sherman were, or might be, operating 
He made the most frantic appeals to the citizens foi 
assistance to be rendered in every way : by sending 
reinforcements, by destroying supplies on the line o 
march of the invaders, by destroying the bridge! 
over which they would have to cross, and by, ir 
every way, obstructing the roads to their front. Bui 
it was hard to convince the people of the propriety 
of destroying supplies which were so much needec 
by themselves, and each one hoped that his owr 
possessions might escape. 

Hood soon started north, and went into camj 
near Decatur, Alabama, where he remained until the 
29th of October, but without making an attack or 
the garrison of that place. 



The Tennessee River was patrolled by gunboats, 
from Muscle Shoals east ; and, also, below the 
second shoals out to the Ohio River. These, with 
the troops that might be concentrated from the 
garrisons along the river at any point where Hood 
might choose to attempt to cross, made it impossible 
for him to cross the Tennessee at any place where 
it was navigable. But Muscle Shoals is not navi- 
gable, and below them again is another shoal which 
also obstructs navigation. Hood therefore moved 
down to a point nearly opposite Florence, Alabama, 
crossed over and remained there for some time, col- 
lecting supplies of food, forage and ammunition. 
All of these had to come from a considerable dis- 
tance south, because the region in which he was 
then situated was mountainous, with small valleys 
which produced but little, and what they had pro- 
duced had long since been exhausted. On the ist 
of November I suggested to Sherman, and also 
asked his views thereon, the propriety of destroying 
Hood before he started on his campaign. 

On the 2d of November, as stated, I approved 
definitely his making his proposed campaign through 
Georgia, leaving Hood behind to the tender mercy 
of Thomas and the troops in his command. Sherman 
fixed the ioth of November as the day of starting. 

Sherman started on that day to get back to 
Atlanta, and on the 15th the real march to the sea 


commenced. The right wing, under Howard, and 
the cavalry went to Jonesboro, Milledgeville, then 
the capital of Georgia, being Sherman's objective or 
stopping place on the way to Savannah. The left 
wing moved to Stone Mountain, along roads much 
farther east than those taken by the right wing. 
Slocum was in command, and threatened Augusta 
as the point to which he was moving, but he was 
to turn off and meet the right wing at Milledgeville. 

Atlanta was destroyed so far as to render it 
worthless for military purposes before starting, Sher- 
man himself remaining over a day to superintend 
the work, and see that it was well done. Shermans 
orders for this campaign were perfect. Before start- 
ing, he had sent back all sick, disabled and weak 
men, retaining nothing but the hardy, well-inured 
soldiers to accompany him on his long march in 
prospect. His artillery was reduced to sixty-five 
guns. The ammunition carried with them was two 
hundred rounds for musket and gun. Small rations 
were taken in a small wagon train, which was loaded 
to its capacity for rapid movement. The army was 
expected to live on the country, and to always keep 
the wagons full of forage and provisions against 
a possible delay of a few days. 

The troops, both of the right and left wings, made 
most of their advance along the line of railroads, 
which they destroyed. The method adopted to per- 


form this work, was to burn and destroy all the 
bridges and culverts, and for a long distance, at 
places, to tear up the track and bend the rails. 
Soldiers to do this rapidly would form a line along 
one side of the road with crowbars and poles, place 
these under the rails and, hoisting all at once, 
turn over many rods of road at one time. The 
ties would then be placed in piles, and the rails, as 
they were loosened, would be carried and put across 
these log heaps. When a sufficient number of rails 
were placed upon a pile of ties it would be set on 
fire. This would heat the rails very much more in 
the middle, that being over the main part of the 
fire, than at the ends, so that they would naturally 
bend of their own weight ; but the soldiers, to in- 
crease the damage, would take tongs and, one or 
two men at each end of the rail, carry it with force 
against the nearest tree and twist it around, thus 
leaving rails forming bands to ornament the forest 
trees of Georgia. All this work was going on at 
the same time, there being a sufficient number of 
men detailed for that purpose. Some piled the logs 
and built the fire ; some put the rails upon the fire ; 
while others would bend those that were sufficiently 
heated : so that, by the time the last bit of road 
was torn up, that it was designed to destroy at a 
certain place, the rails previously taken up were 
already destroyed. 


The organization for supplying the army was very 
complete. Each brigade furnished a company to 
gather supplies of forage and provisions for the 
command to which they belonged. Strict injunc- 
tions were issued against pillaging, or otherwise 
unnecessarily annoying the people ; but everything 
in shape of food for man and forage for beast 
was taken. The supplies were turned over to the 
brigade commissary and quartermaster, and were 
issued by them to their respective commands pre- 
cisely the same as if they had been purchased. The 
captures consisted largely of cattle, sheep, poultry, 
some bacon, cornmeal, often molasses, and occasion- 
ally coffee or other small rations. 

The skill of these men, called by themselves and 
the army " bummers," in collecting their loads and 
getting back to their respective commands, was mar- 
vellous. When they started out in the morning, 
they were always on foot ; but scarcely one of them 
returned in the evening without being mounted on 
a horse or mule. These would be turned in for 
the general use of the army, and the next day these 
men would start out afoot and return again in the 
evening mounted. 

Many of the exploits of these men would fall 
under the head of romance ; indeed, I am afraid 
that in telling some of their experiences, the romance 
got the better of the truth upon which the story was 



founded, and that, in the way many of these anecdotes 
are told, very little of the foundation is left I suspect 
that most of them consist chiefly of the fiction added 
to make the stories better. In one instance it was 
reported that a few men of Sherman's army passed 
a house where they discovered some chickens under 
the dwelling. They immediately proceeded to cap- 
ture them, to add to the army's supplies. The lady 
of the house, who happened to be at home, made 
piteous appeals to have these spared, saying they 
were a few she had put away to save by permission 
of other parties who had preceded and who had 
taken all the others that she had The soldiers 
seemed moved at her appeal ; but looking at the 
chickens again they were tempted and one of them 
replied : " The rebellion must be suppressed if it 
takes the last chicken in the Confederacy," and pro- 
ceeded to appropriate the last one. 

Another anecdote characteristic of these times has 
been told. The South, prior to the rebellion, kept 
bloodhounds to pursue runaway slaves who took 
refuge in the neighboring swamps, and also to hunt 
convicts. Orders were issued to kill all these animals 
as they were met with. On one occasion a soldier 
picked up a poodle, the favorite pet of its mistress, 
and was carrying it off to execution when the lady 
made a strong appeal to him to spare it. The soldier 
replied, " Madam, our orders are to kill every blood- 



hound." " But this is not a bloodhound," said the 
lady. " Well, madam, we cannot tell what it will 
grow into if we leave it behind," said the soldier as 
he went off with it. 

Notwithstanding these anecdotes, and the neces- 
sary hardship they would seem to imply, I do not 
believe there was much unwarrantable pillaging con- 
sidering that we were in the enemy's territory and 
without any supplies except such as the country 

On the 23d Sherman, with the left wing, reached 
Milledgeville. The right wing was not far off : but 
proceeded on its way towards Savannah destroying 
the road as it went. The troops at Milledgeville 
remained over a day to destroy factories, buildings 
used for military purposes, etc., before resuming its 

The governor, who had been almost defying Mr. 
Davis before this, now fled precipitately, as did the 
legislature of the State and all the State officers. 
The governor, Sherman says, was careful to carry 
away even his garden vegetables, while he left the 
archives of the State to fall into our hands. The 
only military force that was opposed to Sherman's 
forward march was the Georgia militia, a division 
under the command of General G. W. Smith, 
and a battalion under Harry Wayne. Neither the 
quality of the forces nor their numbers was sufifi- 



cient to even retard the progress of Sherman's 

The people at the South became so frantic at this 
time at the successful invasion of Georgia that they 
took the cadets from the military college and 
added them to the ranks of the militia. They even 
liberated the State convicts under promise from 
them that they would serve in the army. I have 
but little doubt that the worst acts that were at- 
tributed to Sherman's army were committed by 
these convicts, and by other Southern people who 
ought to have been under sentence — such people 
as could be found in every community. North and 
South — who took advantage of their country being 
invaded to commit crime. They were in but little 
danger of detection, or of arrest even if detected. 

The Southern papers in commenting upon Sher- 
man's movements pictured him as in the most de- 
plorable condition : stating that his men were starv- 
ing, that they were demoralized and wandering 
about almost without object, aiming only to reach 
the sea coast and get under the protection of our 
navy. These papers got to the North and had 
more or less effect upon the minds of the people, 
causing much distress to all loyal persons — particu- 
larly to those who had husbands, sons or brothers 
with Sherman. Mr. Lincoln seeing these accounts, 
had a letter written asking me if I could give him 


anything that he could say to the loyal people that 
would comfort them. I told him there was not 
the slightest occasion for alarm ; that with 60,000 
such men as Sherman had with him, such a com- 
manding officer as he was could not be cut off in 
the open country. He might possibly be prevented 
from reaching the point he had started out to reach, 
but he would get through somewhere and would 
finally get to his chosen destination : and even if 
worst came to worst he could return North. I 
heard afterwards of Mr. Lincoln's saying, to those 
who would inquire of him as to what he thought about 
the safety of Sherman's army, that Sherman was all 
right : " Grant says they are safe with such a general, 
and that if they cannot get out where they want 
to, they can crawl back by the hole they went in at." 

While at Milledgeville the soldiers met at the 
State House, organized a legislature, and proceeded 
to business precisely as if they were the legislative 
body belonging to the State of Georgia. The de- 
bates were exciting, and were upon the subject of 
the situation the South was in at that time, par- 
ticularly the State of Georgia. They went so far 
as to repeal, after a spirited and acrimonious debate, 
the ordinance of secession. 

The next day (24th) Sherman continued his march, 
going by the way of Waynesboro and Louisville, 
Millen being the next objective and where the two 


columns (the right and left wings) were to meet 
The left wing moved to the left of the direct road, 
and the cavalry still farther off so as to make it 
look as though Augusta was the point they were 
aiming for. They moved on all the roads they 
could find leading in that direction. The cavalry 
was sent to make a rapid march in hope of sur- 
prising Millen before the Union prisoners could be 
carried away ; but they failed in this. 

The distance from Milledgeville to Millen was 
about one hundred miles. At this point Wheeler, 
who had been ordered from Tennessee, arrived and 
swelled the numbers and efficiency of the troops 
confronting Sherman. Hardee, a native of Georgia, 
also came, but brought no troops with him. It was 
intended that he should raise as large an army as 
possible with which to intercept Shermans march. 
He did succeed in raising some troops, and with 
these and those under the command of Wheeler and 
Wayne, had an army sufficient to cause some annoy- 
ance but no great detention. Our cavalry and 
Wheelers had a pretty severe engagement, in which 
Wheeler was driven towards Augusta, thus giving 
the idea that Sherman was probably making for that 


Millen was reached on the 3d of December, and 
the march was resumed the following day for Savan- 
nah, the final objective. Bragg had now been sent 


to Augusta with some troops. Wade Hampton was 
there also trying to raise cavalry sufficient to de- 
stroy Sherman's army. If he ever raised a force 
it was too late to do the work expected of it 
Hardee's whole force probably numbered less than 
ten thousand men. 

From Millen to Savannah the country is sandy 
and poor, and affords but very little forage other 
than rice straw, which was then growing. This 
answered a very good purpose as forage, and the 
rice grain was an addition to the soldier's rations. 
No further resistance worthy of note was met with, 
until within a few miles of Savannah. This place 
was found to be intrenched and garrisoned. Sher- 
man proceeded at once on his arrival to invest the 
place, and found that the enemy had placed tor- 
pedoes in the ground, which were to explode when 
stepped on by man or beast. One of these exploded 
under an officer's horse, blowing the animal to 
pieces and tearing one of the legs of the officer so 
badly that it had to be amputated. Sherman at once 
ordered his prisoners to the front, moving them in 
a compact body in advance, to either explode the 
torpedoes or dig them up. No further explosion 
took place. 

On the 10th of December the siege of Savan- 
nah commenced. Sherman then, before proceed- 
ing any further with operations for the capture of 

Vol. 11.— 24 


the place, started with some troops to open com- 
munication with our fleet, which he expected to find 
in the lower harbor or as near by as the forts of the 
enemy would permit In marching to the coast he 
encountered Fort McAllister, which it was necessary 
to reduce before the supplies he might find on ship* 
board could be made available. Fort McAllister 
was soon captured by an assault made by General 
Hazen's division. Communication was then estab- 
lished with the fleet The capture of Savannah 
then only occupied a few days, and involved no 
great loss of life. The garrison, however, as we 
shall see, was enabled to escape by crossing the 
river and moving eastward. 

When Sherman had opened communication with 
the fleet he found there a steamer, which I had 
forwarded to him, carrying the accumulated mails 
for his army, also supplies which I supposed he 
would be in need of. General J. G. Foster, who 
commanded all the troops south of North Carolina 
on the Atlantic sea-board, visited General Sherman 
before he had opened communication with the fleet, 
with the view of ascertaining what assistance he 
could be to him. Foster returned immediately to 
his own headquarters at Hilton Head, for the pur- 
pose of sending Sherman siege guns, and also if he 
should find he had them to spare, supplies of cloth- 
ing, hard bread, etc., thinking that these articles 


might not be found outside. The mail on the 
steamer which I sent down, had been collected by 
Colonel A. H. Markland of the Post Office Depart- 
ment, who went in charge of it. On this same vessel 
I sent an officer of my staff (Lieutenant Dunn) with 
the following letter to General Sherman : 

City Point, Va., Dec. 3, 1864. 

Major-General W. T. Sherman, 

Commanding Armies near Savannah, Ga. 

The little information gleaned from the Southern press, indicat- 
ing no great obstacle to your progress, I have directed your mails 
(which had been previously collected at Baltimore by Colonel 
Markland, Special Agent of the Post Office Department) to be 
sent as far as the blockading squadron off Savannah, to be for- 
warded to you as soon as heard from on the coast. 

Not liking to rejoice before the victory is assured, I abstain 
from congratulating you and those under your command, until 
bottom has been struck. I have never had a fear, however, for 
the result. 

Since you left Atlanta, no very great progress has been made 
here. The enemy has been closely watched though, and pre- 
vented from detaching against you. I think not one man has 
gone from here, except some twelve or fifteen hundred dis- • 
mounted cavalry. Bragg has gone from Wilmington. I am trying 
to take advantage of his absence to get possession of that place. 
Owing to some preparations Admiral Porter and General Butler 
are making to blow up Fort Fisher (which, while hoping for the 
best, I do not believe a particle in), there is a delay in getting 
this expedition off. I hope they will be ready to start by the 7th, 
and that Bragg will not have started back by that time. 

In this letter I do not intend to give you anything like directions 


for future action, but will state a general idea I have, and will 
your views after you have established yourself on the sea-co; 
With your veteran army I hope to get control of the only t 
through routes from east to west possessed by the enemy be) 
the fall of Atlanta. The condition will be filled by hold 
Savannah and Augusta, or by holding any other port to the e 
of Savannah and Branchville. If Wilmington falls, a force fr 
there can co-operate with you. 

Thomas has got back into the defences of Nashville, with He 
close upon him. Decatur has been abandoned, and so have 
the roads except the main one leading to Chattanooga. Part 
this falling back was undoubtedly necessary, and all of it may h; 
been. It did not look so, however, to me. In my opini 
Thomas far outnumbers Hood in infantry. In cavalry. Hood 1 
the advantage in morale and numbers. I hope yet that Hood i 
be badly crippled if not destroyed. The general news you ? 
learn from the papers better than I could give it. 

After all becomes quiet, and roads become so bad up here tl 
there is likely to be a week or two when nothing can be done 
will run down the coast to see you. If you desire it, I will ; 
Mrs. Sherman to go with me. 

Your* truly, 


Lieu tenant-General. 

I quote this letter because it gives the reader 
full knowledge of the events of that period. 

Sherman now (the 15th) returned to Savannah 
complete its investment and insure the surrender 
the garrison. The country about Savannah is lc 
and marshy, and the city was well intrenched fro 
the river above to the river below, and assaul 


could not be made except along a comparatively nar- 
row causeway. For this reason assaults must have 
resulted in serious destruction of life to the Union 
troops, with the chance of failing altogether. Sher- 
man therefore decided upon a 'complete investment 
of the place. When he believed this investment 
completed, he summoned the garrison to surrender. 
General Hardee, who was in command, replied in 
substance that the condition of affairs was not such 
as Sherman had described. He said he was in full 
communication with his department and was receiv- 
ing supplies constantly. 

Hardee, however, was cut off entirely from all 
communication with the west side of the river, and 
by the river itself to the north and south. On the 
South Carolina side the country was all rice fields, 
through which it would have been impossible to bring 
supplies — so that Hardee had no possible communi- 
cation with the outside world except by a dilapidated 
plank road starting from the west bank of the river. 
Sherman, receiving this reply, proceeded in person 
to a point on the coast, where General Foster had 
troops stationed under General Hatch, for the pur- 
pose of making arrangements with the latter officer 
to go through by one of the numerous channels run- 
ning inland along that part of the coast of South 
Carolina, to the plank road which General Hardee 
still possessed, and thus to cut him off from the last 


means he had of getting supplies, if not of com- 

While arranging for this movement, and before die 
attempt to execute the plan had been commenced 
Sherman received information through one of his 
staff officers that the enemy had evacuated Savannah 
the night before. This was the night of the 21st of 
December. Before evacuating the place Hardee had 
blown up the navy yard. Some iron-clads had been 
destroyed, as well as other property that might have 
been valuable to us ; but he left an immense amount 
of stores untouched, consisting of cotton, railroad 
cars, workshops, numerous pieces of artillery, and 
several thousand stands of small arms. 

A little incident occurred, soon after the fall of 
Savannah, which Sherman relates in his Memoirs, 
and which is worthy of repetition. Savannah was 
one of the points where blockade runners entered. 
Shortly after the city fell into our possession, a 
blockade runner came sailing up serenely, not doubt- 
ing but the Confederates were still in possession. 
It was not molested, and the captain did not find out 
his mistake until he had tied up and gone to the 
Custom House, where he found a new occupant of 
the building, and made a less profitable disposition 
of his vessel and cargo than he had expected. 

As there was some discussion as to the authorship 
of Sherman's march to the sea, by critics of his book 



when it appeared before the public, I want to state 
here that no question upon that subject was ever 
raised between General Sherman and myself. Cir- 
cumstances made the plan on which Sherman ex- 
pected to act impracticable, and as commander of 
the forces he necessarily had to devise a new one 
which would give more promise of success : conse- 
quently he recommended the destruction of the rail- 
road back to Chattanooga, and that he should be 
authorized then to move, as he did, from Atlanta 
forward. His suggestions were finally approved, 
although they did not immediately find favor in 
Washington. Even when it came to the time of 
starting, the greatest apprehension, as to the propri- 
ety of the campaign he was about to commence, 
filled the mind of the President, induced no doubt 
by his advisers. This went so far as to move the 
President to ask me to suspend Sherman's march for 
a day or two until I could think the matter over. 
My recollection is, though I find no record to show 
it, that out of deference to the President's wish I did 
send a dispatch to Sherman asking him to wait a 
day or two, or else the connections between us were 
already cut so that I could not do so. However this 
may be, the question of who devised the plan of ' 
march from Atlanta to Savannah is easily answered : 
it was clearly Sherman, and to him also belongs the 
credit of its brilliant execution. It was hardly possi- 

■ \ 

„ 1 


ble that any one else than those on the spot could 
have devised a new plan of campaign to supersede 
one that did not promise success.* 

I was in favor of Sherman's plan from the time 
it was first submitted to me. My chief of staff, 
however, was very bitterly opposed to it and, as I 
learned subsequently, finding that he could not move 
me, he appealed to the authorities at Washington to 
stop it 

* See Appendix, letters of Oct nth. 



AS we have seen, Hood succeeded in crossing 
the Tennessee River between Muscle Shoals 
and the lower shoals at the end of October, 1864. 
Thomas sent Schofield with the 4th and 23d corps, 
together with three brigades of Wilson's cavalry to 
Pulaski to watch him. On the 17th of November 
Hood started and moved in such a manner as to 
avoid Schofield, thereby turning his position. Hood 
had with him three infantry corps, commanded respec- 
tively by Stephen D. Lee, Stewart and Cheatham. 
These, with Jiis cavalry, numbered about forty-five 
thousand men. Schofield had, of all arms, about 
thirty thousand. Thomas's orders were, therefore, 
for Schofield to watch the movements of the enemy, 
but not to fight a battle if he could avoid it ; but to 
fall back in case of an advance on Nashville, and to 
fight the enemy, as he fell back, so as to retard the 
enemy's movements until he could be reinforced by 
Thomas himself. As soon as Schofield saw this move- 
ment of Hood's, he sent his trains to the rear, but did 


not fall back himself until the 21st, and then only to 
Columbia. At Columbia there was a slight skir- 
mish but no battle. From this place Schofield then 
retreated to Franklin. He had sent his wagons in 
advance, and Stanley had gone with them with two 
divisions to protect them. Cheatham's corps of 
Hood's army pursued the wagon train and went 
into camp at Spring Hill, for the night of the 29th. 

Schofield retreating from Columbia on the 29th, 
passed Spring Hill, where Cheatham was bivou- 
acked, during the night without molestation, though 
within half a mile of where the Confederates were 
encamped. On the morning of the 30th he had 
arrived at Franklin. 

Hood followed closely and reached Franklin in 
time to make an attack the same day. The fight 
was very desperate and sanguinary. The Confeder- 
ate generals led their men in the repeated charges, 
and the loss among them was of unusuaj proportions. 
This fighting continued with great severity until 
long after the night closed in, when the Confederates 
drew off. General Stanley, who commanded two 
divisions of the Union troops, and whose troops bore 
the brunt of the battle, was wounded in the fight, but 
maintained his position. 

The enemy's loss at Franklin, according to 
Thomas's report, was 1,750 buried upon the field by 
our troops, 3,800 in the hospital, and 702 prisoners 


besides. Schofield's loss, as officially reported, was 
189 killed, 1,033 wounded, and 1,104 captured and 

Thomas made no effort to reinforce Schofield 
at Franklin, as it seemed to me at the time he 
should have done, and fight out the battle there. 
He simply ordered Schofield to continue his retreat 
to Nashville, which the latter did during that night 
and the next day. . 

Thomas, in the meantime, was making his prepara- 
tions to receive Hood. The road to Chattanooga 
was still well guarded with strong garrisons at Mur- 
freesboro, Stevenson, Bridgeport and Chattanooga. 
Thomas had previously given up Decatur and had 
been reinforced by A. J. Smith's two divisions just 
returned from Missouri. He also had Steedman's 
division and R. S. Grangers, which he had drawn 
from the front. His quartermasters men, about ten 
thousand in number, had been organized and armed 
under the command of the chief quartermaster, Gen- 
eral J. L. Donaldson, and placed in the fortifica- 
tions under the general supervision of General Z. B. 
Tower, of the United States Engineers. 

Hood was allowed to move upon Nashville, and 
to invest that place almost without interference. 
Thomas was strongly fortified in his position, so that 
he would have been safe against the attack of 
Hood. He had troops enough even to annihilate 


him in the open field. To me his delay was unac- 
countable — sitting there and permitting himself to 
be invested, so that, in the end, to raise the siege he 
would have to fight the enemy strongly posted be- 
hind fortifications. It is true the weather was very 
bad. The rain was falling and freezing as it fell, so 
that the ground was covered with a sheet of ice, that 
made it very difficult to move. But I was afraid that 
the enemy would find means of moving, elude Thomas 
and manage to get north of the Cumberland River. 
If he did this, I apprehended most serious results 
from the campaign in the North, and was afraid we 
might even have to send troops from the East to 
head him off if he got there, General Thomas's move- 
ments being always so deliberate and so slow, though 
effective in defence. 

I consequently urged Thomas in frequent dis- 
patches sent from City Point* to make the attack at 
once. The country was alarmed, the administration 
was alarmed, and I was alarmed lest the very thing 
would take place which I have just described — that 
is, Hood would get north. It was all without avail 
further than to elicit dispatches from Thomas saying 

♦City Point, Va., December*, 1864. 
Major-General Thomas, 

Nashville, Tenn. 
If Hood is permitted to remain quietly about Nashville, you will 
lose all the road back to Chattanooga and possibly have to aban- 
don the line of the Tennessee. Should he attack you it is all 


that he was getting ready to move as soon as he 
could, that he was making preparations, etc. At last 
I had to say to General Thomas that I should be 
obliged to remove him unless he acted promptly. 
He replied that he was very sorry, but he would 
move as soon as he could. 

General Logan happening to visit City Point 
about that time, and knowing him as a prompt, gal- 
lant and efficient officer, I gave him an order to pro- 
ceed to Nashville to relieve Thomas. I directed 

well, but if he does not you should attack him before he fortifies. 
Arm and put in the trenches your quartermaster employees, citi- 
zens, etc. 


Lieutenant- General. 

City Point, Va., December 2, 1864. — 1.30 p.m. 
Major-General Thomas, 

Nashville, Tenn. 

With your citizen employees armed, you can move out of Nash- 
ville with all your army and force the enemy to retire or fight upon 
ground of your own choosing. After the repulse of Hood at 
Franklin, it looks to me that instead of falling back to Nashville 
we should have taken the offensive against the enemy where he 
was. At this distance, however, I may err as to the best method 
of dealing with the enemy. You will now suffer incalculable in- 
jury upon your railroads if Hood is not speedily disposed of. Put 
forth therefore every possible exertion to attain this end. Should 
you get him to retreating give him no peace. 




him, however, not to deliver the order or publish it 
until he reached there, and if Thomas had moved, 
then not to deliver it at all, but communicate with 
me by telegraph. After Logan started, in thinking 
over the situation, I became restless, and concluded 
to go myself. I went as far as Washington City, 
when a dispatch was received from General Thomas 
announcing his readiness at last to move, and des- 
ignating the time of his movement I concluded 
to wait until that time. He did move, and was suc- 
cessful from the start This was on the 15th of De- 
cember. General Logan was at Louisville at the 

City Point, Va., December 5, 1864. 
Major-General Thomas, 

Nashville, Tenn. 

Is there not danger of Forrest moving down the Cumberland 
to where he can cross it ? It seems to me whilst you should be 
getting up your cavalry as rapidly as possible to look after For- 
rest, Hood should be attacked where he is. Time strengthens 
him in all possibility as much as it does you. 

; Lieutenant-GeneraL 

City Point, Va., December 6, 1864. — 4 p.m. 
Major-General Thomas, 

Nashville, Tenn. 
Attack Hood at once and wait no longer for a remnant of your 
cavalry. There is great danger of delay resulting in a campaign 
back to the Ohio River. 




time this movement was made, and telegraphed the 
fact to Washington, and proceeded no farther him- 

The battle during the 15th was severe, but favor- 
able to the Union troops, and continued until night 
closed in upon the combat The next day the battle 
was renewed After a successful assault upon Hood's 
men in their intrenchments the enemy fled in dis- 
order, routed and broken, leaving their dead, their 

Cmr Fonrr, Va., December Z t 1864. — 8.30 P.M. 
Majok-Genkral Thomas, 

Nashville, Tcnn. 

Your dispatch of yesterday received. It looks to me evident 
the enemy are trying to cross the Cumberland River, and are scat- 
tered. Why not attack at once ? By all means avoid the contin- 
gency of a foot race to see which, you or Hood, can beat to the 
Ohio. If you think necessary call on the governors of States to 
send a force into Louisville to meet the enemy if he should cross 
the river. You clearly never should cross except in rear of the 
enemy. Now is one of the finest opportunities ever presented of 
destroying one of the three armies of the enemy. If destroyed he 
never can replace it. Use the means at your command, and you 
can do this and cause a rejoicing that will resound from one end 

of the land to the other. 



City Point, Va., December 11, 1864.— 4 p.m. 
Majob-Genxral Thomas, 

Nashville, Tcnn. 

If you delay attack longer the mortifying spectacle will be wit- 
nessed of a rebel army moving for the Ohio River, and you will 


artillery and small arms in great numbers on the 
field, besides the wounded that were captured. Our 
cavalry had fought on foot as infantry, and had not 
their horses with them ; so that they were not ready 
to join in the pursuit the moment the enemy re- 
treated. They sent back, however, for their horses, 
and endeavored to get to Franklin ahead of Hood's 
broken army by the Granny White Road, but 
too much time was consumed in getting started. 

be forced to act, accepting such weather as you find. Let there 
be no further delay. Hood cannot even stand a drawn battle so 
far from his supplies of ordnance stores. If he retreats and you 
follow, he must lose his material and much of his army. I am in 
hopes of receiving a dispatch from you to-day announcing that 
you have moved. Delay no longer for weather or reinforcements. 


Lieu tenant-General. 

Washington, D. C, December 15, 1864. 
Major-General Thomas, 

Nashville, Tenn. 

I was just on my way to Nashville, but receiving a dispatch 

from Van Duzer detailing your splendid success of to-day, I shall 

go no further. Push the enemy now and give him no rest until 

he is entirely destroyed. Your army will cheerfully suffer many 

privations to break up Hood's army and render it useless for 

future operations. Do not stop for trains or supplies, but take 

them from the country as the enemy have done. Much is now 



Lieu tenant-General. 
Vol. n. — 25 


They had got but a few miles beyond the scene of 
the battle when they found the enemy's cavalry dis- 
mounted and behind intrcnchments covering the 
road on which they were advancing. Here, another 
battle ensued, our men dismounting and fighting on 
foot, in which the Confederates were again routed 
and driven in great disorder. Our cavalry then went 
into bivouac, and renewed the pursuit on the follow- 
ing morning. They were too late. The enemy al- 
ready had possession of Franklin, and was beyond 
them. It now became a chase in which the Confed- 
erates had the lead. 

Our troops continued the pursuit to within a few 
miles of Columbia, where they found the rebels had 
destroyed the railroad bridge as well as all other 
bridges over Duck River. The heavy rains of a few 
days before had swelled the stream into a mad tor- 
rent, impassable except on bridges. Unfortunately, 
cither through a mistake in the wording of the 
order or otherwise, the pontoon bridge which was 
to have been sent by rail out to Franklin, to be 
taken thence with the pursuing column, had gone 
toward Chattanooga. There was, consequently, a 
delay of some four days in building bridges out of 
the remains of the old railroad bridge. Of course 
Hood got such a start in this time that farther 
pursuit was useless, although it was continued for 
some distance, but without coming upon him again. 



UP to January, 1865, the enemy occupied Fort 
Fisher, at the mouth of Cape Fear River and 
below the City of Wilmington. This port was of 
immense importance to the Confederates, because 
it formed their principal inlet for blockade runners 
by means of which they brought in from abroad 
such supplies and munitions of war as they could 
not produce at home. It was equally important to 
us to get possession of it, not only because it was 
desirable to cut off their supplies so as to insure a 
speedy termination of the war, but also because for- 
eign governments, particularly the British Govern- 
ment, were constantly threatening that unless ours 
could maintain the blockade of that coast they 
should cease to recognize any blockade. For these 
reasons I determined, with the concurrence of the 
Navy Department, in December, to send an expe- 


ditfon agalssc Fori Fisher for the purpose of cap- 
turing iw 

To show the difficulty experienced in maintaining 
the blockade. I will mention a circumstance that took 
place a: Fort Fisher after its falL Two English block- 
ade runners came in at night. Their commanders, 
not supposing the fort had fallen, worked their way 
through all our rleet and got into the river unob- 
served- They then signalled the fort, announcing 
their arrival. There was a colored man in the fort 
who had been there before and who understood these 
signals. He informed General Tern- what reply he 
should make to have them come in. and Terry did as 
he advised. The vessels came in. their officers entirely 
unconscious that they were falling into the hands of 
the Union forces. Even after they were brought in 
to the fort thev were entertained in conversation for 
some little time before suspecting that the Union 
troops were occupying the fort. They were finally 
informed that their vessels and cargoes were prizes. 

I selected General Weitzel. of the Army of the 
James, to go with the expedition, but gave instruc- 
tions through General Butler. He commanded the 
department within whose geographical limits Fort 
Fisher was situated, as well as Beaufort and other 
points on that coast held by our troops; he was, 
therefore, entitled to the right of fitting out the ex- 
jiedition against Fort Fisher. 



General Butler conceived the idea that if a steamer 
loaded heavily with powder could be run up to near 
the shore under the fort and exploded, it would 
create great havoc and make the capture an easy 
matter. Admiral Porter, who was to command the 
naval squadron, seemed to fall in with the idea, and 
it was not disapproved of in Washington ; the navy 
was therefore given the task of preparing the steamer 
for this purpose. I had no confidence in the success 
of the scheme, and so expressed myself ; but as no 
serious harm could come of the experiment, and the 
authorities at Washington seemed desirous to have 
it tried, I permitted it. The steamer was sent to 
Beaufort, North Carolina, and was there loaded with 
powder and prepared for the part she was to play 
in the reduction of Fort Fisher. 

General Butler chose to go in command of the 
expedition himself, and was all ready to sail by the 
9th of December (1864). Very heavy storms pre- 
vailed, however, at that time along that part of the 
sea-coast, and prevented him from getting off until 
the 13th or 14th. His advance arrived off Fort 
Fisher on the 15th. The naval force had been 
already assembled, or was assembling, but they were 
obliged to run into Beaufort for munitions, coal, etc. ; 
then, too, the powder-boat was not yet fully pre- 
pared. The fleet was ready to proceed on the 18th ; 
but Butler, who had remained outside from the 15th 



up to that time, now found himself out of coal, fresh 
water, etc., and had to put into Beaufort to replen- 
ish. Another storm overtook him, and several days 
more were lost before the army and navy were both 
ready at the same time to co-operate. 

On the night of the 23d the powder-boat was 
towed in by a gunboat as near to the fort as it was 
safe to run. 'She was then propelled by her own 
machinery to within about five hundred yards of the 
shore. There the clockwork, which was to explode 
her within a certain length of time, was set and she 
was abandoned. Everybody left, and even the vessels 
put out to sea to prevent the effect of the explosion 
upon them. At two o'clock in the morning the ex- 
plosion took place — and produced no more effect on 
the fort, or anything else on land, than the bursting 
of a boiler anywhere on the Atlantic Ocean would 
have done. Indeed when the troops in Fort Fisher 
heard the explosion they supposed it was the 
bursting of *a boiler in one of the Yankee gun- 

Fort Fisher was situated upon a low, flat penin- 
sula north of Cape Fear River. The soil is sandy. 
Back a little the peninsula is very heavily wooded, 
and covered with fresh-water swamps. The fort ran 
across this peninsula, about five hundred yards in 
width, and extended along, the sea coast about thir- 
teen hundred yards. The fort had an armament of 


21 guns and 3 mortars on the land side, and 24 guns 
on the sea front. At that time it was only gam- 
soned by four companies of infantry, one light bat- 
tery and the gunners at the heavy guns — less than 
seven hundred men — with a reserve of less than a 
thousand men five miles up the peninsula. General 
Whiting of the Confederate army was in command, 
and General Bragg was in command of the force at 
Wilmington. Both commenced calling for reinforce- 
ments the moment they saw our troops landing. 
The Governor of North Carolina called for every- 
body who could stand behind a parapet and shoot 
a gun, to join them. In this way they got two or 
three hundred additional men into Fort Fisher; 
and Hokes division, five or six thousand strong, was 
sent down from Richmond. A few of these troops 
arrived the very day that Butler was ready to ad- 

On the 24th the fleet formed for an attack in arcs 
of concentric circles, their heavy iron-clads going in 
very close range, being nearest the shore, and leav- 
ing intervals or spaces so that the outer vessels 
could fire between them. Porter was thus enabled 
to throw one hundred and fifteen shells per minute. 
The damage done to the fort by these shells was 
very slight, only two or three cannon being disabled 
in the fort. But the firing silenced all the guns by 
making it too hot for the men to maintain their 



positions about them and compelling them to seek 
shelter in the bomb-proofs. 

On the next day part of Butlers troops under 
General Adelbert Ames effected a landing out of 
range of the fort without difficulty. This was ac- 
complished under the protection of gunboats sent for 
the purpose, and under cover of a renewed attack 
upon the fort by the fleet. They formed a line 
across the peninsula and advanced, part going north 
and part toward the fort, covering themselves as 
they did so. Curtis pushed forward and came 
near to Fort Fisher, capturing the small garrison at 
what was called the Flag Pond Battery. Weitzel 
accompanied him to within a half a mile of the 
works. Here he saw that the fort had not been 
injured, and so reported to Butler, advising against 
an assault. Ames, who had gone north in his ad- 
vance, captured 228 of the reserves. These pris- 
oners reported to Butler that sixteen hundred of 
Hoke's division of six thousand from Richmond had 
already arrived and the rest would soon be in his 

Upon these reports Butler determined to with- 
draw his troops from the peninsula and return to the 
fleet. At that time there had not been a man on 
our side injured except by one of the shells from the 
fleet. Curtis had got within a few yards of the 
works. Some of his men had snatched a flag from 


the parapet of the fort, and others had taken a horse 
from the inside of the stockade. At night Butler in- 
formed Porter of his withdrawal, giving the reasons 
above stated, and announced his purpose as soon as 
his men could embark to start for Hampton Roads. 
Porter represented to him that he had sent to Beau- 
fort for more ammunition. He could fire much 
faster than he had been doing, and would keep the 
enemy from showing himself until our men were 
within twenty yards of the fort, and he begged that 
Butler would leave some brave fellows like those 
who had snatched the flag from the parapet and 
taken the horse from the fort 

Butler was unchangeable. He got all his troops 
aboard, except Curtis's brigade, and started back. In 
doing this, Butler made a fearful mistake. My in- 
structions to him, or to the officer who went in com- 
mand of the expedition, were explicit in the statement 
that to effect a landing would be of itself a great vic- 
tory, and if one should be effected, the foothold 
must not be relinquished ; on the contrary, a regu- 
lar siege of the fort must be commenced and, to guard 
against interference by reason of storms, supplies of 
provisions must be laid in as soon as they could be 
got on shore. But General Butler seems to have lost 
sight of this part of his instructions, and was back at 
Fort Monroe on the 28th. 

I telegraphed to the President as follows : 


City Point, Va., 

Dec. 28, 1864.— 8.30 p.m. 

The Wilmington expedition has proven a gross and culpable 
failure. Many of the troops arc back here. Delays and free talk 
of the object of the expedition enabled the enemy to move troops 
to Wilmington to defeat it. After the expedition sailed from 
Fort Monroe, three days of fine weather were squandered, during 
which the enemy was without a force to protect himself. Who is 
to blame will, I hope, be known. 



Porter sent dispatches to the Navy Department in 
which he complained bitterly of having been aban- 
doned by the army just when the fort was nearly in 
our possession, and begged that our troops might be 
sent back again to co-operate, but with a different 
commander. As soon as I heard this I sent a mes- 
senger to Porter with a letter asking him to hold on. 
I assured him that I fully sympathized with him in 
his disappointment, and that I wduld send the same 
troops back with a different commander, with some 
reinforcements to offset those which the enemy had 
received. I told him it would take some little time 
to get transportation for the additional troops ; but 
as soon as it could be had the men should be on their 
way to him, and there would be no delay on my part 
I selected A. H. Terry to command. 

It was the 6th of January before the transports 
could be got ready and the troops aboard. They 


sailed from Fortress Monroe on that day. The ob- 
ject and destination of the second expedition were at 
the time kept a secret to all except a few in the Navy 
Department and in the army to whom it was neces- 
sary to impart the information. General Terry had 
not the slightest idea of where he was going or what 
he was to do. He simply knew that he was going to 
sea and that he had his orders with him, which were 
to be opened when out at sea. 

He was instructed to communicate freely with Por- 
ter and have entire harmony between army and navy, 
because the work before them would require the best 
efforts of both arms of the service. They arrived off 
Beaufort on the 8th. A heavy storm, however, pre- 
vented a landing at Fort Fisher until the 13th. The 
navy prepared itself for attack about as before, and 
at the same time assisted the army in landing, this 
time five miles away. Only iron-clads fired at first ; 
the object being to draw the fire of the enemy's guns 
so as to ascertain their positions. This object being 
accomplished, they then let in their shots thick and 
fast. Very soon the guns were all silenced, and the 
fort showed evident signs of being much injured. 

Terry deployed his men across the peninsula as 
had been done before, and at two o'clock on the fol- 
lowing morning was up within two miles of the fort 
with a respectable abatis in front of his line. His ar- 
tillery was all landed on that day, the 14th. Again 


Curtiss brigade of Ames's divison had the lead. By 
noon they had carried an unfinished work less than a 
half mile from the fort, and turned it so as to face 
the other way. 

Terry now saw Porter and arranged for an assault 
on the following day. The two commanders ar- 
ranged their signals so that they could communicate 
with each other from time to time as they might 
have occasion. At daylight the fleet commenced its 
firing. The time agreed upon for the assault was 
the middle of the afternoon, and Ames who com- 
manded the assaulting column moved at 3.30. 
Porter landed a force of sailors and marines to 
move against the sea-front in co-operation with 
Ames's assault They were under Commander 
Breese of the navy. These sailors and marines 
had worked their way up to within a couple of 
hundred yards of the fort before the assault. The 
signal was given and the assault was made ; but the 
poor sailors and marines were repulsed and very 
badly handled by the enemy, losing 280 killed and 
wounded out of their number. 

Curtis's brigade charged successfully though met 
by a heavy fire, some of the men having to wade 
through the swamp up to their waists to reach the 
fort. Many were wounded, of course, and some 
killed ; but they soon reached the palisades. These 
they cut away, and pushed on through. The other 


troops then came up, Penny packers following Cur- 
tis, and Bell, who commanded the 3d brigade of 
Ames's division, following Penny packer But the 
fort was not yet captured though the parapet was 

The works were very extensive. The large para- 
pet around the work would have been but very little 
protection to those inside except when they were 
close up under it. Traverses had, therefore, been 
run until really the work was a succession of small 
forts enclosed by a large one. The rebels made a 
desperate effort to hold the fort, and had to be driven 
from these traverses one by one. The fight con- 
tinued till long after night. Our troops gained first 
one traverse and then another, and by 10 o'clock at 
night the place was carried. During this engage- 
ment the sailors, who had been repulsed in their as- 
sault on the bastion, rendered the best service they 
could by reinforcing Terry's northern line — thus en- 
abling him to send a detachment to the assistance of 
Ames. The fleet kept up a continuous fire upon 
that part of the fort which was still occupied by the 
enemy. By means of signals they could be informed 
where to direct their shots. 

During the succeeding nights the enemy blew up 
Fort Caswell on the opposite side of Cape Fear 
River, and abandoned two extensive works on 
Smith's Island in the river. 



Our captures in all amounted to 169 guns, besides 
small-arms, with full supplies of ammunition, and 
2,083 prisoners. In addition to these, there were 
about 700 dead and wounded left there. We had 
lost no killed and 536 wounded. 

In this assault on Fort Fisher, Bell, one of the 
brigade commanders, wa» killed, and two, Curtis and 
Pennypacker, were badly wounded. 

Secretary Stanton, who was on his way back from 
Savannah, arrived off Fort Fisher soon after it fell. 
When he heard the good news he promoted all the 
officers of any considerable rank for their conspicuous 
gallantry. Terry had been nominated for major- 
general, but had not been confirmed. This con- 
firmed him ; and soon after I recommended him for 
a brigadier-generalcy in the regular army, and it 
was given to him for this victory. 


Sherman's march north — sheridan ordered to 

lynchburg canby ordered to move against 

mobile — movements of schofield and thomas 
capture of columbia, south carolina sher- 
man in the carolinas. 

WHEN news of Sherman being in possession 
of Savannah reached the North, distinguished 
statesmen and visitors began to pour in to see him. 
Among others who went was the Secretary of War, 
who seemed much pleased at the result of his cam- 
paign. Mr. Draper, the collector of customs of 
New York, who was with Mr. Stanton's party, 
was put in charge of the public property that had 
been abandoned and captured. Savannah was then 
turned over to General Fosters command to hold, 
so that Sherman might have his own entire army 
free to operate as might be decided upon in the 
future, I sent the chief engineer of the Army of 
the Potomac (General Barnard) with letters to Gen- 
eral Sherman. He remained some time with the gen- 
eral, and when he returned brought back letters, one 
of which contained suggestions from Sherman as to 


what ought to be done in co-operation with him, 
when he should have started upon his march north- 

I must not neglect to state here the fact that I 
had no idea originally of having Sherman march 
from Savannah to Richmond, or even to North Car- 
olina. The season was bad, the roads impassable 
for anything except such an army as he had, and I 
should not have thought of ordering such a move. 
I had, therefore, made preparations to collect trans- 
ports to carry Sherman and his army around to the 
James River by water, and so informed him. On 
receiving this letter he went to work immediately to 
prepare for the move, but seeing that it would re- 
quire a long time to collect the transports, he sug- 
gested the idea then of marching up north through 
the Carolinas. I was only too happy to approve 
this ; for if successful, it promised every advantage. 
His march through Georgia had thoroughly de- 
stroyed all lines of transportation in that State, and 
had completely cut the enemy off from all sources of 
supply to the west of it. If North and South Caro- 
lina were rendered helpless so far as capacity for 
feeding Lee's army was concerned, the Confederate 
garrison at Richmond would be reduced in territory, 
from which to draw supplies, to very narrow limits 
in the State of Virginia ; and, although that section 
of the country was fertile, it was already well ex- 

Vol. 11. — 26 


hausted of both forage and food. I approved Sher- 
man's suggestion therefore at once. 

The work of preparation was tedious, because 
supplies, to load the wagons for the march, had to 
be brought from a long distance. Sherman would 
now have to march through a country furnishing 
fewer provisions than that he had previously been 
operating in during his march to the sea. Besides, 
he was confronting, or marching toward, a force 
of the enemy vastly superior to any his troops had 
encountered on their previous march ; and the 
territory through which he had to pass had now 
become of such vast importance to the very ex- 
istence of the Confederate army, that the most 
desperate efforts were to be expected in order to 
save it. 

Sherman, therefore, while collecting the necessary 
supplies to start with, made arrangements with Ad- 
miral Dahlgren, who commanded that part of the 
navy on the South Carolina and Georgia coast, and 
General Foster, commanding the troops, to take 
positions, and hold a few points on the sea coast, 
which he (Sherman) designated, in the neighborhood 
of Charleston. 

This provision was made to enable him to fall 
back upon the sea coast, in case he should encoun- 
ter a force sufficient to stop his onward progress. 
He also wrote me a letter, making suggestions as to 


what he would like to have done in support of his 
movement farther north. This letter was brought 
to City Point by General Barnard at a time when 
I happened to be going to Washington City, where 
I arrived on the 21st of January. I cannot tell the 
provision I had already made to co-operate with 
Sherman, in anticipation of his expected movement, 
better than by giving my reply to this letter. 

Headquarters Armies of the United States, 

Washington, D. C. t /an. 21, 1865. 

Major-General W. T. Sherman, 

Commanding Mil. Div. of the Mississippi. 

General : — Your letters brought by General Barnard were re- 
ceived at City Point, and read with interest. Not having them 
with me, however, I cannot say that in this I will be able to 
satisfy you on all points of recommendation. As I arrived here 
at one p.m., and must leave at six p.m., having in the meantime 
spent over three hours with the Secretary and General Halleck, I 
must be brief. Before your last request to have Thomas make a 
campaign into the heart of Alabama, I had ordered Schofield to 
Annapolis, Md., with his corps. The advance (six thousand) 
will reach the seaboard by the 23d, the remainder following as 
rapidly as railroad transportation can be procured from Cincin- 
nati. The corps numbers over twenty-one thousand men. I was 
induced to do this because I did not believe Thomas could pos- 
sibly be got off before spring. His pursuit of Hood indicated 
a sluggishness that satisfied me that he would never do to conduct 
one of your campaigns. The command of the advance of the 
pursuit was left to subordinates, whilst Thomas followed far be- 
hind. When Hood had crossed the Tennessee, and those in pur- 
suit had reached it, Thomas had not much more than half crossed 


the State, from whence he returned to Nashville to take steamer 
for Eastport He is possessed of excellent judgment, great cool- 
ness and honesty, but he is not good on a pursuit He also re- 
ported his troops fagged, and that it was necessary to equip up. 
This report and a determination to give the enemy no rest de- 
termined me to use his surplus troops elsewhere. 

Thomas is still left with a sufficient force surplus to go to 
Selma under an energetic leader. He has been telegraphed to, 
to know whether he could go, and, if so, which of the several 
routes he would select No reply is yet received. Canby has 
been ordered to act offensively from the sea-coast to the interior, 
towards Montgomery and Selma. Thomas's forces will move 
from the north at an early day, or some of his troops will be sent 
to Canby. Without further reinforcements Canby will have a 
moving column of twenty thousand men. 

Fort Fisher, you are aware, has been captured. We have a 
force there of eight thousand effective. At New Bern about half 
the number. It is rumored, through deserters, that Wilmington 
also has fallen. I am inclined to believe the rumor, because on 
the 17th we knew the enemy were blowing up their works about 
Fort Caswell, and that on the 18th Terry moved on Wilmington. 

If Wilmington is captured, Schofield will go there. If not, he 
will be sent to New Bern. In either event, all the surplus 
forces at the two points will move to the interior toward Golds- 
boro' in co-operation with your movements. From either point, 
railroad communications can be run out, there being here abun- 
dance of rolling-stock suited to the gauge of those roads. 

There have been about sixteen thousand men sent from Lee's 
army south. Of these, you will have fourteen thousand against 
you, if Wilmington is not held by the enemy, casualties at Fort 
Fisher having overtaken about two thousand. 

All these troops are subject to your orders as you come in 
communication with them. They will be so instructed. From 


about Richmond I will watch Lee closely, and if he detaches 
much more, or attempts to evacuate, will pitch in. In the mean- 
time, should you be brought to a halt anywhere, I can send two 
corps of thirty thousand effective men to your support, from the 
troops about Richmond. 

To resume : Canby is ordered to operate to the interior from 
the Gulf. A. J. Smith may go from the north, but I think it 
doubtful. A force of twenty-eight or thirty thousand will co- 
operate with you from New Bern or Wilmington, or both. You 
can call for reinforcements. 

This will be handed you by Captain Hudson, of my staff, who 
will return with any message you may have for me. If there is 
anything I can do for you in the way of having supplies on snip- 
board, at any point on the sea-coast, ready for you, let me know it. 

Yours truly, 


I had written on the 18th of January to General 
Sherman, giving him the news of the battle of 
Nashville. He was much pleased at the result, al- 
though, like myself, he had been very much dis- 
appointed at Thomas for permitting Hood to cross 
the Tennessee River and nearly the whole State of 
Tennessee, and come to Nashville to be attacked 
there. He, however, as I had done, sent Thomas a 
warm congratulatory letter. 

On the 10th of January, 1865, the resolutions of 
thanks to Sherman and his army passed by Congress 
were approved. 

Sherman, after the capture, at once had the dibris 


in Savannah cleared up, commencing the work by 
removing the piling and torpedoes from the river, 
and taking up all other obstructions. He had then 
intrenched the city, so that it could be held by a 
small garrison. By the middle of January all his 
work was done, except the accumulation of supplies 
to commence his movements with. 

He proposed to move in two columns, one from 
Savannah, going along by the river of the same name, 
and the other by roads farther east, threatening 
Charleston. He commenced the advance by moving 
his right wing to Beaufort, South Carolina, then to 
Pocotaligo by water. This column, in moving north, 
threatened Charleston, and, indeed, it was not deter- 
mined at first that they would not have a force visit 
Charleston. South Carolina had done so much to 
prepare the public mind of the South for secession, 
and had been so active in precipitating the decision 
of the question before the South was fully prepared 
to meet it, that there was, at that time, a feeling 
throughout the North and also largely entertained 
by people of the South, that the State of South Car- 
olina, and Charleston, the hot-bed of secession in 
particular, ought to have a heavy hand laid upon 
them. In fact, nothing but the decisive results that 
followed, deterred the radical portion of the people 
from condemning the movement, because Charleston 
had been left out. To pass into the interior would, 


however, be to insure the evacuation of the city, and 
its possession by the navy and Foster's troops. It is 
so situated between two formidable rivers that a 
small garrison could have held it against all odds as 
long as their supplies would hold out Sherman 
therefore passed it by. 

By the first of February all preparations were 
completed for the final march, Columbia, South Car- 
olina, being the first objective ; Fayetteville, North 
Carolina, the second; and Goldsboro, or neighbor- 
hood, the final one, unless something further should 
be determined upon. The right wing went from 
Pocotaligo, and the left from about Hardee ville on 
the Savannah River, both columns taking a pretty 
direct route for Columbia. The cavalry, however, 
were to threaten Charleston on the right, and Au- 
gusta on the left. 

On the 15th of January Fort Fisher had fallen, 
news of which Sherman had received before starting 
out on his march. We already had New Bern and 
had soon Wilmington, whose fall followed that of 
Fort Fisher ; as did other points on the sea coast, 
where the National troops were now in readiness to 
co-operate with Sherman's advance when he had 
passed Fayetteville. 

On the 1 8th of January I ordered Can by, in 
command at New Orleans, to move against Mobile, 
Montgomery and Selma, Alabama, for the purpose 


of destroying roads, machine shops, etc On the 
8th of February I ordered Sheridan, who was in 
the Valley of Virginia, to push forward as soon as 
the weather would permit and strike the canal west 
of Richmond at or about Lynchburg ; and on the 
20th I made the order to go to Lynchburg as soon 
as the roads would permit, saying : " As soon as it 
is possible to travel, I think you will have no diffi- 
culty about reaching Lynchburg with a cavalry 
force alone. From there you could destroy the 
railroad and canal in every direction, so as to be 
of no further use to the rebellion. * * * This 
additional raid, with one starting from East Ten- 
nessee under Stoneman, numbering about four or 
five thousand cavalry ; one from East port, Missis- 
sippi, ten thousand cavalry ; Canby, from Mobile 
Bay, with about eighteen thousand mixed troops 
— these three latter pushing for Tuscaloosa, Selma 
and Montgomery ; and Sherman with a large army 
eating out the vitals of South Carolina — is all that 
will be wanted to leave nothing for the rebellion to 
stand upon. I would advise you to overcome great 
obstacles to accomplish this. Charleston was evac- 
uated on Tuesday last." 

On the 27th of February, more than a month 
after Canby had received his orders, I again wrote 
to him, saying that I was extremely anxious to hear 
of his being in Alabama. I notified him, also, that 


I had sent Grierson to take command of his cavalry* 
he being a very efficient officer. I further sug- 
gested that Forrest was probably in Mississippi, 
and if he was there, he would find him an officer of 
great courage and capacity whom it would be diffi- 
cult to get by. I still further informed him that 
Thomas had been ordered to start a cavalry force 
into Mississippi on the 20th of February, or as soon 
as possible thereafter. This force did not get off 

All these movements were designed to be in 
support of Sherman's march, the object being to 
keep the Confederate troops in the West from 
leaving there. But neither Canby nor Thomas 
could be got off in time. I had some time before 
depleted Thomas's army to reinforce Canby, for the 
reason that Thomas had failed to start an expedi- 
tion which he had been ordered to send out, and 
to have the troops where they might do something. 
Canby seemed to be equally deliberate in all of 
his movements. I ordered him to go in person ; 
but he prepared to send a detachment under an- 
other officer. General Granger had got down to 
New Orleans, in some way or other, and I wrote 
Canby that he must not put him in command of 
troops. In spite of this he asked the War Depart- 
ment to assign Granger to the command of a corps. 

Almost in despair of having adequate service 


rendered to the cause in that quarter, I said to 
Canby : " I am in receipt of a dispatch * * * in- 
forming me that you have made requisitions for a 
construction corps and material to build seventy 
miles of railroad. I have directed that none be sent 
Thomas's army has been depleted to send a force to 
you that they might be where they could act in win- 
ter, and at least detain the force the enemy had in 
the West. If there had been any idea of repairing 
railroads, it could have been done much better from 
the North, where we already had the troops. I ex- 
pected your movements to be co-operative with 
Sherman's last. This has now entirely failed. I 
wrote to you long ago, urging you to push promptly 
and to live upon the country, and destroy railroads, 
machine shops, etc., not to build them. Take Mo- 
bile and hold it, and push your forces to the interior 
— to Montgomery and to Selma. Destroy railroads, 
rolling stock, and everything useful for carrying on 
war, and, when you have done this, take such posi- 
tions as can be supplied by water. By this means 
alone you can occupy positions from which the ene- 
my's roads in the interior can be kept broken." 

Most of these expeditions got off finally, but too 
late to render any service in the direction for which 
they were designed. 

The enemy, ready to intercept his advance, con- 
sisted of Hardee's troops and Wheeler's cavalry, 


perhaps less than fifteen thousand men in all ; but 
frantic efforts were being made in Richmond, as 
I was sure would be the case, to retard Sherman's 
movements. Everything possible was being done 
to raise troops in the South. Lee dispatched against 
Sherman the troops which had been sent to relieve 
Fort Fisher, which, including those of the other 
defences of the harbor and its neighborhood, 
amounted, after deducting the two thousand killed, 
wounded and captured, to fourteen thousand men. 
After Thomas's victory at Nashville what remained, 
of Hood's army were gathered together and for- 
warded as rapidly as possible to the east to co- 
operate with these forces; and, finally, General 
Joseph E. Johnston, one of the ablest commanders 
of the South though not in favor with the admin- 
istration (or at least with Mr. Davis), was put in 
command of all the troops in North and South 

Schofield arrived at Annapolis in the latter part 
of January, but before sending his troops to North 
Carolina I went with him down the coast to see the 
situation of affairs, as I could give fuller directions 
after being on the ground than I could very well 
have given without We soon returned, and the 
troops were sent by sea to Cape Fear River. Both 
New Bern and Wilmington are connected with 
Raleigh by railroads which unite at Goldsboro. 


Schofield was to land troops at Smithville, near the 
mouth of the Cape Fear River on the west side, and 
move up to secure the Wilmington and Charlotte- 
ville Railroad. This column took their pontoon 
bridges with them, to enable them to cross over to 
the island south of the city of Wilmington. A large 
body was sent by the north side to co-operate with 
them. They succeeded in taking the city on the 2 2d 
of February. I took the precaution to provide for 
Sherman's army, in case he should be forced to turn 
in toward the sea coast before reaching North 
Carolina, by forwarding supplies to every place 
where he was liable to have to make such a de- 
flection from his projected march. I also sent 
railroad rolling stock, of which we had a great 
abundance, now that we were not operating the 
roads in Virginia. The gauge of the North Caro- 
lina railroads being the same as the Virginia rail- 
roads had been altered too ; these cars and locomo- 
tives were ready for use there without any change. 
On the 31st of January I countermanded the 
orders given to Thomas to move south to Alabama 
and Georgia. (I had previously reduced his force 
by sending a portion of it to Terry.) I directed in 
lieu of this movement, that he should send Stone- 
man through East Tennessee, and push him well 
down toward Columbia, South Carolina, in support 
of Sherman. Thomas did not get Stoneman off in 


time, but, on the contrary, when I had supposed he 
was on his march in support of Sherman I heard of 
his being in Louisville, Kentucky. I immediately 
changed the order, and directed Thomas to send 
him toward Lynchburg. Finally, however, on the 
1 2th of March, he did push down through the north- 
western end of South Carolina, creating some con- 
sternation. I also ordered Thomas to send the 4th 
corps (Stanley's) to Bull Gap and to destroy no more 
roads east of that. I also directed him to concen- 
trate supplies at Knoxville, with a view to a probable 
movement of his army through that way toward 

Goldsboro is four hundred and twenty-five miles 
from Savannah. Shermans march was without 
much incident until he entered Columbia, on the 
17th of February. He was detained in his progress 
by having to repair and corduroy the roads, and re- 
build the bridges. There was constant skirmishing 
and fighting between the cavalry of the two armies, 
but this did not retard the advance of the infantry. 
Four days, also, were lost in making complete the 
destruction of the most important railroads south of 
Columbia ; there was also some delay caused by the 
high water, and the destruction of the bridges on 
the line of the road. A formidable river had to be 
crossed near Columbia, and that in the face of a 
small garrison under General Wade Hampton. 


There was but little delay, however, further than 
that caused by high water in the stream. Hampton 
left as Sherman approached, and the city was found 
to be on fire. 

There has since been a great deal of acrimony 
displayed in discussions of the question as to who 
set Columbia on fire. Sherman denies it on the 
part of his troops, and Hampton denies it on the 
part of the Confederates. One thing is certain : as 
soon as our troops took possession, they at once 
proceeded to extinguish the flames to the best of 
their ability with the limited means at hand. In 
any case, the example set by the Confederates 
in burning the village of Chambersburg, Pa., a 
town which was not garrisoned, would seem to make 
a defence of the act of firing the seat of government 
of the State most responsible for the conflict then 
raging, not imperative. 

The Confederate troops having vacated the city, the 
mayor took possession, and sallied forth to meet the 
commander of the National forces for the purpose 
of surrendering the town, making terms for the pro- 
tection of property, etc. Sherman paid no attention 
at all to the overture, but pushed forward and took 
the town without making any conditions whatever 
with its citizens. He then, however, co-operated 
with the mayor in extinguishing the flames and 
providing for the people who were rendered desti- 


tute by this destruction of their homes. When he 
left there he even gave the mayor five hundred head 
of cattle to be distributed among the citizens, to 
tide them over until some arrangement could be 
made for their future supplies. He remained in 
Columbia until the roads, public buildings, work- 
shops and everything that could be useful to the 
enemy were destroyed While at Columbia, Sher- 
man learned for the first time that what remained 
of Hood's army was confronting him, under the 
command of General Beauregard. 

Charleston was evacuated on the 18th of Feb- 
ruary, and Foster garrisoned the place. Wilming- 
ton was captured on the 2 2d. Columbia and Che- 
raw farther north, were regarded as so secure from 
invasion that the wealthy people of Charleston and 
Augusta had sent much of their valuable property 
to these two points to be stored. Among the 
goods sent there were valuable carpets, tons of old 
Madeira, silverware, and furniture. I am afraid 
much of these goods fell into the hands of our 
troops. There was found at Columbia a large 
amount of powder, some artillery, small-arms and 
fixed ammunition. These, of course, were among 
the articles destroyed. While here, Sherman also 
learned of Johnston's restoration to command. 
The latter was given, as already stated, all troops 
in North and South Carolina. After the comple- 


tion of the destruction of public property about 
Columbia, Sherman proceeded on his march and 
reached Cheraw without any special opposition 
and without incident to relate. The railroads, of 
course, were thoroughly destroyed on the way. 
Sherman remained a day or two at Cheraw ; and, 
finally, on the 6th of March crossed his troops over 
the Pedee and advanced straight for Fayetteville. 
Hardee and Hampton were there, and barely escaped. 
Sherman reached Fayetteville on the nth of March. 
He had dispatched scouts from Cheraw with letters 
to General Terry, at Wilmington, asking him to send 
a steamer with some supplies of bread, clothing and 
other articles which he enumerated. The scouts got 
through successfully, and a boat was sent with the 
mail and such articles for which Sherman had asked 
as were in store at Wilmington ; unfortunately, how- 
ever, those stores did not contain clothing. 

Four days later, on the 15th, Sherman left Fay- 
etteville for Goldsboro. The march, now, had to be 
made with great caution, for he was approaching 
Lees army and nearing the country that still re- 
mained open to the enemy. Besides, he was con- 
fronting all that he had had to confront in his 
previous march up to that point, reinforced by the 
garrisons along the road and by what remained of 
Hood's army. Frantic appeals were made to the 
people to come in voluntarily and swell the ranks of 

Vol. 11. — 27 


our foe. I presume, however, that Johnston did not 
have in all over 35,000 or 40,000 men. The people 
had grown tired of the war, and desertions from the 
Confederate army were much more numerous than 
the voluntary accessions. 

There was some fighting at Averysboro on the 
1 6th between Johnston's troops and Sherman's, with 
some loss ; and at Benton ville on the 19th and 2 1st of 
March, but Johnston withdrew from the contest be- 
fore the morning of the 2 2d. Sherman's loss in 
these last engagements in killed, wounded, and miss- 
ing, was about sixteen hundred. Sherman's troops 
at last reached Goldsboro on the "123d of the month 
and went into bivouac ; end there his men were des- 
tined to have a long rest. Schofield was there to 
meet him with the troops which had been sent to 

Sherman was no longer in danger. He had John- 
ston confronting him ; but with an army much in- 
ferior to his own, both in numbers and morale. He 
had Lee to the north of him with a force largely 
superior ; but I was holding Lee with a still greater 
force, and had he made his escape and gotten down 
to reinforce Johnston, Sherman, with the reinforce- 
ments he now had from Schofield and Terry, would 
have been able to hold the Confederates at bay for 
an indefinite period. He was near the sea-shore 
with his back to it, and our navy occupied the har- 


bors. He had a railroad to both Wilmington and 
New Bern, and his flanks were thoroughly protected 
by streams, which intersect that part of the country 
and deepen as they approach the sea. Then, too, 
Sherman knew that if Lee should escape me I would 
be on his heels, and he and Johnston together would 
be crushed in one blow if they attempted to make a 
stand. With the loss of their capital, it is doubtful 
whether Lee's army would have amounted to much 
as an army when it reached North Carolina. John- 
ston's army was demoralized by constant defeat and 
would hardly have made an offensive movement, 
even if they could have been induced to remain on 
duty. The men of both Lee's and Johnston's armies 
were, like their brethren of the North, as brave as 
men can be ; but no man is so brave that he may 
not meet such defeats and disasters as to discourage 
him and dampen his ardor for any cause, no matter 
how just he deems it. 



ON the last of January, 1865, peace commission- 
ers from the so-called Confederate States pre- 
sented themselves on our lines around Petersburg, 
and were immediately conducted to my headquarters 
at City Point. They proved to be Alexander H. 
Stephens, Vice-President of the Confederacy, Judge 
Campbell, Assistant-Secretary of War, and R. M. 
T. Hunter, formerly United States Senator and then 
a member of the Confederate Senate. 

It was about dark when they reached my head- 
quarters, and I at once conducted them to the 
steamer Mary Martin, a Hudson River boat which 
was very comfortably fitted up for the use of pas- 
sengers. I at once communicated by telegraph with 
Washington and informed the Secretary of War and 

e President of the arrival of these commissioners 


and that their object was to negotiate terms of peace 
between the United States and, as they termed 
it, the Confederate Government I was instructed 
to retain them at City Point, until the President, or 
some one whom he would designate, should come to 
meet them. They remained several days as guests 
on board the boat I saw them quite frequently, 
though I have no recollection of having had any 
conversation whatever with them on the subject of 
their mission. It was something I had nothing to 
do with, and I therefore did not wish to express any 
views on the subject For my own part I never had 
admitted, and never was ready to admit, that they 
were the representatives of a government. There 
had been too great a waste of blood and treasure to 
concede anything of the kind. As long as they re- 
mained there, however, our relations were pleasant 
and I found them all very agreeable gentlemen. I 
directed the captain to furnish them with the best the 
boat afforded, and to administer to their comfort 
in every way possible. No guard was placed over 
them and no restriction was put upon their move- 
ments ; nor was there any pledge asked that they 
would not abuse the privileges extended to them. 
They were permitted to leave the boat -when they 
felt like it, and did so, coming up on the bank and 
visiting me at my headquarters. 

I had never met either of these gentlemen before 


the war, but knew them well by reputation and 
through their public services, and I had been a par- 
ticular admirer of Mr. Stephens. I had always sup- 
posed that he was a very small man, but when I saw 
him in the dusk of the evening I was very much sur- 
prised to find so large a man as he seemed to be. 
When he got down on to the boat I found that he 
was wearing a coarse gray woollen overcoat, a manu- 
facture that had been introduced into the South dur- 
ing the rebellion. The cloth was thicker than any- 
thing of the kind I had ever seen, even in Canada. 
The overcoat extended nearly to his feet, and was so 
large that it gave him the appearance of being an 
average-sized man. He took this off when he reached 
the cabin of the boat, and I was struck with the ap- 
parent change in size, in the coat and out of it 

After a few days, about the 2d of February, I re- 
ceived a dispatch from Washington, directing me to 
send the commissioners to Hampton Roads to meet 
the President and a member of the cabinet. Mr. 
Lincoln met them there and had an interview of 
short duration. It was not a great while after they 
met that the President visited me at City Point. He 
spoke of his having met the commissioners, and said 
he had told them that there would be no use in 
entering into any negotiations unless they would 
recognize, first : that the Union as a whole must be 
forever preserved, and second : that slavery must be 


abolished. If they were willing to concede these two 
points, then he was ready to enter into negotiations 
and was almost willing to hand them a blank sheet 
of paper with his signature attached for them to fill 
in the terms upon which they were willing to live 
with us in the Union and be one people. He always 
showed a generous and kindly spirit toward the 
Southern people, and I never heard him abuse an 
enemy. Some of the cruel things said about Presi- 
dent Lincoln, particularly in the North, iised to 
pierce him to the heart ; but never in my presence 
did he evince a revengeful disposition — and I saw a 
great deal of him at City Point, for he seemed glad to 
get away from the cares and anxieties of the capital. 
Right here I might relate an anecdote of Mr. 
Lincoln. It was on the occasion of his visit to me 
just after he had talked with the peace commis- 
sioners at Hampton Roads. After a little conver- 
sation, he asked me if I had seen that overcoat of 
Stephens's. I replied that I had. " Well," said he, 
11 did you see him take it off ? " I said yes. " Well," 
said he, " didn't you think it was the biggest shuck and 
the littlest ear that ever you did see ? " Long after- 
wards I told this story to the Confederate General 
J. B. Gordon, at the time a member of the Senate. 
He repeated it to Stephens, and, as I heard after- 
wards, Stephens laughed immoderately at the simile 
of Mr. Lincoln. 


The rest of the winter, after the departure of the 
peace commissioners, passed off quietly and unevent- 
fully, except for two or three little incidents. On 
one occasion during this period, while I was visiting 
Washington City for the purpose of conferring with 
the administration, the enemy's cavalry under Gen- 
eral Wade Hampton, passing our extreme left and 
then going to the south, got in east of us. Before 
their presence was known, they had driven off a large 
number of beef cattle that were grazing in that section. 
It was a fair capture, and they were sufficiently needed 
by the Confederates. It was only retaliating for 
what we had done, sometimes for many weeks at 
a time, when out of supplies — taking what the Con- 
federate army otherwise would have gotten. As 
appears in this book, on one single occasion we cap- 
tured five thousand head of cattle which were cross- 
ing the Mississippi River near Port Hudson on their 
way from Texas to supply the Confederate army in 
the East. 

One of the most anxious periods of my experience 
during the rebellion was the last few weeks before 
Petersburg. I felt that the situation of the Confed- 
erate army was such that they would try to make an 
escape at the earliest practicable moment, and I was 
afraid, every morning, that I would awake from my 
sleep to hear that Lee had gone, and that nothing 
was left but a picket line. He had his railroad by 


the way of Danville south, and I was afraid that he 
was running off his men and all stores and ordnance 
except such as it would be necessary to carry with 
him for his immediate defence. I knew he could 
move much more lightly and more rapidly than I, and 
that, if he got the start, he would leave me behind so 
that we would have the same army to fight again 
farther south — and the war might be prolonged an- 
other year. 

I was led to this fear by the fact that I could not 
see how it was possible for the Confederates to hold 
out much longer where they were. There is no doubt 
that Richmond would have been evacuated much 
sooner than it was, if it had not been that it was the 
capital of the so-called Confederacy, and the fact of 
evacuating the capital would, of course, have had a 
very demoralizing effect upon the Confederate army. 
When it was evacuated (as we shall see further on), 
the Confederacy at once began to crumble and fade 
away. Then, too, desertions were taking place, not 
only among those who were with General Lee in the 
neighborhood of their capital, but throughout the 
whole Confederacy. I remember that in a conver- 
sation with me on one occasion long prior to this, 
General Butler remarked that the Confederates 
would find great difficulty in getting more men for 
their army ; possibly adding, though I am not certain 
as to this, " unless they should arm the slave." 


The South, as we all knew, were conscripting 
every able-bodied man between the ages of eighteen 
and forty-five ; and now they had passed a law for 
the further conscription of boys from fourteen to 
eighteen, calling them the junior reserves, and men 
from forty-five to sixty to be called the senior re- 
serves. The latter were to hold the necessary points 
not in immediate danger, and especially those in the 
rear. General Butler, in alluding to this conscrip- 
tion, remarked that they were thus " robbing both 
the cradle and the grave," an expression which I 
afterwards used in writing a letter to Mr. Wash- 

It was my belief that while the enemy could get 
no more recruits they were losing at least a regi- 
ment a day, taking it throughout the entire army, 
by desertions alone. Then by casualties of war, 
sickness, and other natural causes, their losses were 
much heavier. It was a mere question of arithmetic 
to calculate how long they could hold out while that 
rate of depletion was going on. Of course long be- 
fore their army would be thus reduced to nothing the 
army which we had in the field would have been 
able to capture theirs. Then too I knew from the 
great number of desertions, that the men who had 
fought so bravely, so gallantly and so long for the 
cause which they believed in — and as earnestly, I take 
it, as our men believed in the cause for which they 



were fighting — had lost hope and become despon- 
dent. Many of them were making application to be 
sent North where they might get employment until 
the war was over, when they could return to their 
Southern homes. 

For these and other reasons I was naturally very 
impatient for the time to come when I could com- 
mence the spring campaign, which I thoroughly be- 
lieved would close the war. 

There were two considerations I had to observe, 
however, and which detained me. One was the fact 
that the winter had been one of heavy rains, and the 
roads were impassable for artillery and teams. It 
was necessary to wait until they had dried sufficient- 
ly to enable us to move the wagon trains and artil- 
lery necessary to the efficiency of an army operating 
in the enemy's country. The other consideration 
was that General Sheridan with the cavalry of the 
Army of the Potomac was operating on the north 
side of the James River, having come down from 
the Shenandoah. It was necessary that I should 
have his cavalry with me, and I was therefore 
obliged to wait until he could join me south of the 
James River. 

Let us now take account of what he was doing. 

On the 5th of March I had heard from Sheridan. 
He had met Early between Staunton and Char- 
lottesville and defeated him, capturing nearly his 



entire command. Early and some of his officers 
escaped by finding refuge in the neighboring houses 
or in the woods. 

On the 1 2th I heard from him again. He had 
turned east, to come to White House. He could 
not go to Lynchburg as ordered, because the rains 
had been so very heavy and the streams were so very 
much swollen. He had a pontoon train with him, 
but it would not reach half way across some of the 
streams, at their then stage of water, which he would 
have to get over in going south as first ordered. 

I had supplies sent around to White House for 
him, and kept the depot there open until he arrived. 
We had intended to abandon it because the James 
River had now become our base of supplies. 

Sheridan had about ten thousand cavalry with him, 
divided into two divisions commanded respectively 
by Custer and Devin. General Merritt was acting 
as chief of cavalry. Sheridan moved very light, 
carrying only four days' provisions with him, with a 
larger supply of coffee, salt and other small rations, 
and a very little else besides ammunition. They 
stopped at Charlottesville and commenced tearing 
up the railroad back toward Lynchburg. He also 
sent a division along the James River Canal to de- 
stroy locks, culverts, etc. All mills and factories 
along the lines of march of his troops were de- 
stroyed also. 


Sheridan had in this way consumed so much time 
that his making a march to White House was now 
somewhat hazardous. He determined therefore to 
fight his way along the railroad and canal till he was 
as near to Richmond as it was possible to get, or 
until attacked. He did this, destroying the canal as 
far as Goochland, and the railroad to a point as near 
Richmond as he could get. On the ioth he was at 
Columbia. Negroes had joined his column to the 
number of two thousand or more, and they assisted 
considerably in the work of destroying the railroads 
and the canal. His cavalry was in as fine a condition 
as when he started, because he had been able to find 
plenty of forage. He had captured most of Early's 
horses and picked up a good many others on the 
road. When he reached Ashland he was assailed 
by the enemy in force. He resisted their assault 
with part of his command, moved quickly across the 
South and North Anna, going north, and reached 
White House safely on the 19th. 

The time for Sherman to move had to be fixed 
with reference to the time he could get away from 
Goldsboro where he then was. Supplies had to be 
got up to him which would last him through a long 
march, as there would probably not be much to be 
obtained in the country through which he would 
pass. I had to arrange, therefore, that he should 
start from where he was, in the neighborhood of 


Goldsboro, on the 18th of April, the earliest day at 
which he supposed he could be ready. 

Sherman was anxious that I should wait where I 
was until he could come up, and make a sure thing 
of it ; but I had determined to move as soon as the 
roads and weather would admit of my doing so. I 
had been tied down somewhat in the matter of 
fixing any time at my pleasure for starting, until 
Sheridan, who was on his way from the Shenan- 
doah Valley to join me, should arrive, as both his 
presence and that of his cavalry were necessary to 
the execution of the plans which I had in mind. 
However, having arrived at White House on the 
19th of March, I was enabled to make my plans. 

Prompted by my anxiety lest Lee should get away 
some night before I was aware of it, and having the 
lead of me, push into North Carolina to join with 
Johnston in attempting to crush out Sherman, I had, 
as early as the 1st of the month of March, given 
instructions to the troops around Petersburg to 
keep a sharp lookout to see that such a movement 
should not escape their notice, and to be ready to 
strike at once if it was undertaken. 

It is now known that early in the month of March 
Mr. Davis and General Lee had a consultation 
about the situation of affairs in and about Richmond 
and Petersburg, and they both agreed that these 
places were no longer tenable for them, and that 


they must get away as soon as possible. They, 
too, were waiting for dry roads, or a condition of 
the roads which would make it possible to move. 

General Lee, in aid of his plan of escape, and 
to secure a wider opening to enable them to reach 
the Danville Road with greater security than he 
would have in the way the two armies were situated, 
determined upon an assault upon the right of our 
lines around Petersburg. The night of the 24th of 
March was fixed upon for this assault, and General 
Gordon was assigned to the execution of the plan. 
The point between Fort Stedman and Battery 
No. 10, where our lines were closest together, was 
selected as the point of his attack. The attack was 
to be made at night, and the troops were to get pos- 
session of the higher ground in the rear where they 
supposed we had intrenchments, then sweep to the 
right and left, create a panic in the lines of our 
army, and force me to contract my lines. Lee hoped 
this would detain me a few days longer and give 
him an opportunity of escape. The plan was well 
conceived and the execution of it very well done in- 
deed, up to the point of carrying a portion of our 

Gordon assembled his troops under the cover of 
night, at the point at which they were to make their 
charge, and got possession of our picket-line, entirely 
without the knowledge of the troops inside of our 


main line of intrenchments ; this reduced the dis- 
tance he would have to charge over to not much 
more than fifty yards. For some time before the 
deserters had been coming in with great frequency, 
often bringing their arms with them, and this the 
Confederate general knew. Taking advantage of 
this knowledge he sent his pickets, with their arms, 
creeping through to ours as if to desert. When 
they got to our lines they at once took possession 
and sent our pickets to the rear as prisoners. In 
the main line our men were sleeping serenely, as 
if in great security. This plan was to have been 
executed and much damage done before daylight; 
but the troops that were to reinforce Gordon had 
to be brought from the north side of the James 
River and, by some accident on the railroad on their 
way over, they were detained for a considerable 
time ; so that it got to be nearly daylight before 
they were ready to make the charge. 

The charge, however, was successful and almost 
without loss, the enemy passing through our lines 
between Fort Stedman and Battery No. 10. Then 
turning to the right and left they captured the fort 
and the battery, with all the arms and troops in 
them. Continuing the charge, they also carried 
batteries Eleven and Twelve to our left, which 
they turned toward City Point. 

Meade happened to be at City Point that night 


and this break in his line cut him off from all com- 
munication with his headquarters. Parke, however, 
commanding the 9th corps when this breach took 
place, telegraphed the facts to Meade's headquarters, 
and learning that the general was away, assumed com- 
mand himself and with commendable promptitude 
made all preparations to drive the enemy back. Gen- 
eral Tidball gathered a large number of pieces of ar- 
tillery and planted them in rear of the captured works 
so as to sweep the narrow space of ground between 
the lines very thoroughly. Hartranft was soon out 
with his division, as also was Willcox. Hartranft to 
the right of the breach headed the rebels off in that 
direction and rapidly drove them back into Fort 
Stedman. On the other side they were driven 
back into the intrenchments which they had cap- 
tured, and batteries eleven and twelve were retaken 
by Willcox early in the morning. 

Parke then threw a line around outside of the 
captured fort and batteries, and communication was 
once more established. The artillery fire was kept 
up so continuously that it was impossible for the 
Confederates to retreat, and equally impossible for 
reinforcements to join them. They all, therefore, 
fell captives into our hands. This effort of Lee's 
cost him about four thousand men, and resulted in 
their killing, wounding and capturing about two 

thousand of ours. 
Vol. 11.— 28 


After the recapture of the batteries taken by the 
Confederates, our troops made a charge and car- 
ried the enemy's intrenched picket line, which they 
strengthened and held. This, in turn, gave us but 
a short distance to charge over when our attack 
came to be made a few days later. 

The day that Gordon was making dispositions for 
this attack (24th of March) I issued my orders for 
the movement to commence on the 29th. Ord, with 
three divisions of infantry and Mackenzie's cavalry, 
was to move in advance on the night of the 27th, 
from the north side of the James River and take 
his place on our extreme left, thirty miles away. 
He left Weitzel with the rest of the Army of the 
James to hold Bermuda Hundred and the north of 
the James River. The engineer brigade was to be 
left at City Point, and Parke's corps in the lines 
about Petersburg.* 

Ord was at his place promptly. Humphreys and 
Warren were then on our extreme left with the 
2d and 5th corps. They were directed on the ar- 
rival of Ord, and on his getting into position in 
their places, to cross Hatcher's Run and extend out 
west toward Five Forks, the object being to get into 
a position from which we could strike the South 
Side Railroad and ultimately the Danville Railroad. 

* See orders to Major-Generals Meade, Ord, and Sheridan, March 24th, 


There was considerable fighting in taking up these 
new positions for the 2d and 5th corps, in which the 
Army of the James had also to participate some- 
what, and the losses were quite severe. 

This was what was known as the battle of White 
Oak Road. 







SHERIDAN reached City Point on the 26th day 
of March. His horses, of course, were jaded 
and many of them had lost their shoes. A few days 
of rest were necessary to recuperate the animals 
and also to have them shod and put in condition 
for moving. Immediately on General Sheridan's 
arrival at City Point I prepared his instructions 
for the move which I had decided upon. The 
movement was to commence on the 29th of the 

After reading the instructions I had given him, 
Sheridan walked out of my tent, and I followed to 
have some conversation with him by himself — not in 
the presence of anybody else, even of a member 
of my staff. In preparing his instructions I contem- 
plated just what took place ; that is to say, capturing 
Five Forks, driving the enemy from Petersburg and 


Richmond and terminating the contest before sepa- 
rating from the enemy. But the Nation had already 
become restless and discouraged at the prolongation 
of the war, and many believed that it would never 
terminate except by compromise. Knowing that un- 
less my plan proved an entire success it would be in- 
terpreted as a disastrous defeat, I provided in these 
instructions that in a certain event he was to cut 
loose from the Army of the Potomac and his base 
of supplies, and living upon the country proceed 
south by the way of the Danville Railroad, or near it, 
across the Roanoke, get in the rear of Johnston, who 
was guarding that road, and co-operate with Sher- 
man in destroying Johnston ; then with these com- 
bined forces to help carry out the instructions which 
Sherman already had received, to act in co-opera- 
tion with the armies around Petersburg and Rich- 

I saw that after Sheridan had read his instructions 
he seemed somewhat disappointed at the idea, pos- 
sibly, of having to cut loose again from the Army of 
the Potomac, and place himself between the two 
main armies of the enemy. I said to him : "Gen- 
eral, this portion of your instructions I have put in 
merely as a blind ; " and gave him the reason for 
doing so, heretofore described. I told him that, as a 
matter of fact, I intended to close the war right here, 
with this movement, and that he should go no 


farther. His face at once brightened up, and slap- 
ping his hand on his leg he said : " I am glad to hear 
it, and we can do it." 

Sheridan was not however to make his movement 
against Five Forks until he got further instructions 
from me. 

One day, after the movement I am about to de- 
scribe had commenced, and when his cavalry was on 
our extreme left and far to the rear, south, Sheridan 
rode up to where my headquarters were then estab- 
lished, at Dabney's Mills. He met some of my staff 
officers outside, and was highly jubilant over the pros- 
pects of success, giving reasons why he believed this 
would prove the final and successful effort. Al- 
though my chief-of-staff had urged very strongly that 
we return to our position about City Point and in 
the lines around Petersburg, he asked Sheridan to 
come in to see me and say to me what he had been 
saying to them. Sheridan felt a little modest about 
giving his advice where it had not been asked ; so 
one of my staff came in and told me that Sheridan 
had what they considered important news, and sug- 
gested that I send for him. I did so, and was glad 
to see the spirit of confidence with which he was im- 
bued. Knowing as I did from experience, of what 
great value that feeling of confidence by a commander 
was, I determined to make a movement at once, 
although on account of the rains which had fallen 



after I had started out the roads were still very heavy. 
Orders were given accordingly. 

Finally the 29th of March came, and fortunately 
there having been a few days free from rain, the sur- 
face of the ground was dry, giving indications that 
the time had come when we could move. On that 
date I moved out with all the army available after 
leaving sufficient force to hold the line about Peters- 
burg. It soon set in raining again however, and in 
a very short time the roads became practically im- 
passable for teams, and almost so for cavalry. 
Sometimes a horse or mule would be standing 
apparently on firm ground, when all at once one foot 
would sink, and as he commenced scrambling to 
catch himself all his feet would sink and he would 
have to be drawn by hand out of the quicksands so 
common in that part of Virginia and other southern 
States. It became necessary therefore to build cor- 
duroy roads every foot of the way as we advanced, to 
move our artillery upon. The army had become so 
accustomed to this kind of work, and were so well 
prepared for it, that it was done very rapidly. The 
next day, March 30th, we had made sufficient progress 
to the south-west to warrant me in starting Sheridan 
with his cavalry over by Dinwiddie with instructions 
to then come up by the road leading north-west to 
Five Forks, thus menacing the right of Lee's line. 

This movement was made for the purpose of ex- 


tending our lines to the west as far as practicable 
towards the enemy's extreme right, or Five Forks. 
The column moving detached from the army still in 
the trenches was, excluding the cavalry, very small 
The forces in the trenches were themselves extend- 
ing to the left flank. Warren was on the extreme 
left when the extension began, but Humphreys was 
marched around later and thrown into line between 
him and Five Forks. 

My hope was that Sheridan would be able to carry 
Five Forks, get on the enemy's right flank and rear, 
and force them to weaken their centre to protect their 
right so that an assault in the centre might be suc- 
cessfully made. General Wright's corps had been 
designated to make this assault, which I intended to 
order as soon as information reached me of Sheri- 
dan's success. He was to move under cover as close 
to the enemy as he could get. 

It is natural to suppose that Lee would under- 
stand my design to be to get up to the South Side 
and ultimately to the Danville Railroad, as soon as he 
had heard of the movement commenced on the 29th. 
These roads were so important to his very existence 
while he remained in Richmond and Petersburg, 
and of such vital importance to him even in case of 
retreat, that naturally he would make most strenuous 
efforts to defend them. He did on the 30th send 
Pickett with five brigades to reinforce Five Forks. 


He also sent around to the right of his army some 
two or three other divisions, besides directing that 
other troops be held in readiness on the north side 
of the James River to come over on call. He came 
over himself to superintend in person the defence of 
his right flank. 

Sheridan moved back to Dinwiddie Court-House 
on the night of the 30th, and then took a road lead- 
ing north-west to Five Forks. He had only his cav- 
alry with him. Soon encountering the rebel cavalry 
he met with a very stout resistance. He gradually 
drove them back however until in the neighborhood 
of Five Forks. Here he had to encounter other 
troops besides those he had been contending with, 
and was forced to give way. 

In this condition of affairs he notified me of what 
had taken place and stated that he was falling back 
toward Dinwiddie gradually and slowly, and asked 
me to send Wright's corps to his assistance. I re- 
plied to him that it was impossible to send Wright's 
corps because that corps was already in line close up 
to the enemy, where we should want to assault when 
the proper time came, and was besides a long dis- 
tance from him ; but the 2d (Humphreys's) and 5th 
(Warren's) corps were on our extreme left and a 
little to the rear of it in a position to threaten the 
left flank of the enemy at Five Forks, and that I 
would send Warren. 


Accordingly orders were sent to Warren to move 
at once that night (the 31st) to Dinwiddie Court 
House and put himself in communication with Sheri- 
dan as soon as possible, and report to him. He was 
very slow in moving, some of his troops not starting 
until after 5 o'clock next morning. When he did 
move it was done very deliberately, and on arriving at 
Gravelly Run he found the stream swollen from the 
recent rains so that he regarded it as not fordable. 
Sheridan of course knew of his coming, and being 
impatient to get the troops up as soon as possible, 
sent orders to him to hasten. He was also hastened 
or at least ordered to move up rapidly by General 
Meade. He now felt that he could not cross that 
creek without bridges, and his orders were changed 
to move so as to strike the pursuing enemy in flank 
or get in their rear ; but he was so late in getting 
up that Sheridan determined to move forward with- 
out him. However, Ayres's division of Warren's 
corps reached him in time to be in the fight all day, 
most of the time separated from the remainder of 
the 5th corps and fighting directly under Sheridan. 

Warren reported to Sheridan about 11 o'clock 
on the 1st, but the whole of his troops were not up 
so as to be much engaged until late in the afternoon. 
Griffin's division in backing to get out of the way of 
a severe cross fire of the enemy was found march- 
ing away from the fighting. This did not continue 


long, however ; the division was brought back and 
with Ayres's division did most excellent service dur- 
ing the day. Crawford's division of the same corps 
had backed still farther off, and although orders 
were sent repeatedly to bring it up, it was late be- 
fore it finally got to where it could be of material 
assistance. Once there it did very excellent service. 

Sheridan succeeded by the middle of the after- 
noon or a little later, in advancing up to the point 
from which to make his designed assault upon Five 
Forks itself. He was very impatient to make the 
assault and have it all over before night, because the 
ground he occupied would be untenable for him in 
bivouac during the night Unless the assault was 
made and was successful, he would be obliged to re- 
turn to Dinwiddie Court- House, or even further than 
that for the night 

It was at this junction of affairs that Sheridan 
wanted to get Crawford's division in hand, and he 
also wanted Warren. He sent staff officer after 
staff officer in search of Warren, directing that 
general to report to him, but they were unable to 
find him. At all events Sheridan was unable to get 
that officer to him. Finally he went himself. He 
issued an order relieving Warren and assigning 
Griffin to the command of the 5th corps. The troops 
were then brought up and the assault successfully 


I was so much dissatisfied with Warren's dilatory 
movements in the battle of White Oak Road and 
in his failure to reach Sheridan in time, that I was 
very much afraid that at the last moment he would 
fail Sheridan. He was a man of fine intelligence, 
great earnestness, quick perception, and could make 
his dispositions as quickly as any officer, under dif- 
ficulties where he was forced to act. But I had be- 
fore discovered a defect which was beyond his con- 
trol, that was very prejudicial to his usefulness in 
emergencies like the one just before us. He could 
see every danger at a glance before he had en- 
countered it He would not only make prepara- 
tions to meet the danger which might occur, but he 
would inform his commanding officer what others 
should do while he was executing his move. 

I had sent a staff officer to General Sheridan to 
call his attention to these defects, and to say that as 
much as I liked General Warren, now was not a time 
when we could let our personal feelings for any one 
stand in the way of success ; and if his removal was 
necessary to success, not to hesitate. It was upon 
that authorization that Sheridan removed Warren. 
I was very sorry that it had been done, and regretted 
still more that I had not long before taken occasion 
to assign him to another field of duty. 

It was dusk when our troops under Sheridan went 
over the parapets of the enemy. The two armies 


were mingled together there for a time in such man- 
ner that it was almost a question which one was 
going to demand the surrender of the other. Soon, 
however, the enemy broke and ran in every direc- 
tion ; some six thousand prisoners, besides artillery 
and small-arms in large quantities, falling into our 
hands. The flying troops were pursued in different 
directions, the cavalry and 5th corps under Sheridan 
pursuing the larger body which moved north-west 

This pursuit continued until about nine o'clock at 
night, when Sheridan halted his troops, and knowing 
the importance to him of the part of the enemy's 
line which had been captured, returned, sending the 
5th corps across Hatcher's Run to just south-west of 
Petersburg, and facing them toward it. Merritt, 
with the cavalry, stopped and bivouacked west of 
Five Forks. 

This was the condition which affairs were in on 
the night of the 1st of April. I then issued orders 
for an assault by Wright and Parke at four o'clock 
on the morning of the 2d. I also ordered the 2d 
corps, General Humphreys, and General Ord with 
the Army of the James, on the left, to hold them- 
selves in readiness to take any advantage that could 
be taken from weakening in their front. 

I notified Mr. Lincoln at City Point of the success 
of the day ; in fact I had reported to him during the 
day and evening as I got news, because he was so 

Parke and bright storm the enemy's line. 447 

much interested in the movements taking place that 
I wanted to relieve his mind as much as I could. I 
notified Weitzel on the north side of the James River, 
directing him, also, to keep close up to the enemy, 
and take advantage of the withdrawal of troops from 
there to promptly enter the city of Richmond. 

I was afraid that Lee would regard the possession 
of Five Forks as of so much importance that he 
would make a last desperate effort to retake it, risk- 
ing everything upon the cast of a single die. It was 
for this reason that I had ordered the assault to 
take place at once, as soon as I had received the 
news of the capture of Five Forks. The corps com- 
manders, however, reported that it was so dark that 
the men could not see to move, and it would be im- 
possible to make the assault then. But we kept up 
a continuous artillery fire upon the enemy around 
the whole line including that north of the James 
River, until it was light enough to move, which was 
about a quarter to five in the morning. 

At that hour Parke's and Wright's corps moved 
out as directed, brushed the abatis from their front as 
they advanced under a heavy fire of musketry and ar- 
tillery, and went without flinching directly on till they 
mounted the parapets and threw themselves inside 
of the enemy's line. Parke, who was on the right, 
swept down to the right and captured a very con- 
siderable length of line in that direction, but at that 


point the outer was so near the inner line which 
closely enveloped the city of Petersburg that he 
could make no advance forward and, in fact, had 
a very serious task to turn the lines which he had 
captured to the defence of his own troops and to 
hold them ; but he succeeded in this. 

Wright swung around to his left and moved to 
Hatcher's Run, sweeping £very thing before him. 
The enemy had traverses in rear of his captured 
line, under cover of which he made something of a 
stand, from one to another, as Wright moved on ; 
but the latter met no serious obstacle. As you pro- 
ceed to the left the outer line becomes gradually 
much farther from the inner one, and along about 
Hatchers Run they must be nearly two miles apart. 
Both Parke and Wright captured a considerable 
amount of artillery and some prisoners — Wright 
about three thousand of them. 

In the meantime Ord and Humphreys, in obedi- 
ence to the instructions they had received, had suc- 
ceeded by daylight, or very early in the morning, in 
capturing the intrenched picket-lines in their front ; 
and before Wright got up to that point, Ord had 
also succeeded in getting inside of the enemy's in- 
trenchments. The second corps soon followed; and 
the outer works of Petersburg yrere in the hands of 
the National troops, never to be wrenched from them 
again. When Wright reached Hatchers Run, he 


sent a regiment to destroy the South Side Railroad 
just outside of the city. 

My headquarters were still at Dabney's saw-mills. 
As soon as I received the news of Wright's success, 
I sent dispatches announcing the fact to all points 
around the line, including the troops at Bermuda 
Hundred and those on the north side of the James, 
and to the President at City Point. Further dis- 
patches kept coming in, and as they did I sent the 
additional news to these points. Finding at length 
that they were all in, I mounted my horse to join 
the troops who were inside the works. When I ar- 
rived there I rode my horse over the parapet just 
as Wright's three thousand prisoners were coming 
out. I was soon joined inside by General Meade 
and his staff. 

Lee made frantic efforts to recover at least part 
of the lost ground. Parke on our right was repeat- 
edly assaulted, but repulsed every effort. Before 
noon Longstreet was ordered up from the north side 
of the James River thus bringing the bulk of Lee's 
army around to the support of his extreme right As 
soon as I learned this I notified Weitzel and directed 
him to keep up close to the enemy and to have 
Hartsuff, commanding the Bermuda Hundred front, 
to do the same thing, and if they found any break 
to go in ; Hartsuff especially should do so, for this 
would separate Richmond and Petersburg. 

Vol. 11 — 29 


Sheridan, after he had returned to Five Forks, 
swept down to Petersburg, coming in on our left 
This gave us a continuous line from the Appomattox 
River below .the city to the same river above. At 
eleven o'clock, not having heard from Sheridan, I 
reinforced Parke with two brigades from City Point 
With this additional force he completed his captured 
works for better defence, and built back from his 
right, so as to protect his flank. He also carried in 
and made an abatis between himself and the enemy. 
Lee brought additional troops and artillery against 
Parke even after this was done, and made several 
assaults with very heavy losses. 

The enemy had in addition to their intrenched 
line close up to Petersburg, two enclosed works 
outside of it, Fort Gregg and Fort Whitworth. We 
thought it had now become necessary to carry them 
by assault. About one o'clock in the day, Fort 
Gregg was assaulted by Foster's division of the 
24th corps (Gibbon's), supported by two brigades 
from Ord's command. The battle was desperate 
and the National troops were repulsed several 
times ; but it was finally carried, and immediately 
the troops in Fort Whitworth evacuated the place. 
The guns of Fort Gregg were turned upon the 
retreating enemy, and the commanding officer with 
some sixty of the men of Fort Whitworth surren- 


I had ordered Miles in the morning to report 
to Sheridan. In moving to execute this order he 
came upon the enemy at the intersection of the 
White Oak Road and the Claiborne Road. The en- 
emy fell back to Sutherland Station on the South 
Side, Road and were followed by Miles. This posi- 
tion, naturally a strong and defensible one, was 
also strongly intrenched. Sheridan now came up and 
Miles asked permission from him to make the assault, 
which Sheridan gave. By this time Humphreys 
had got through the outer works in his front, and 
came up also and assumed command over Miles, who 
commanded a division in his corps. I had sent an 
order to Humphreys to turn to his right and move 
towards Petersburg. This order he now got, and 
started off, thus leaving Miles alone. The latter 
made two assaults, both of which failed, and he had 
to fall back a few hundred yards. 

Hearing that Miles had been left in this position, I 
directed Humphreys to send a division back to his 
relief. He went himself. 

Sheridan before starting to sweep down to Peters- 
burg had sent Merritt with his cavalry to the west to 
attack some Confederate cavalry that had assembled 
there. Merritt drove them north to the Appomattox 
River. Sheridan then took the enemy at Suther- 
land Station on the reverse side from where Miles 
was, and the two together captured the place, with a 


large number of prisoners and some pieces of artil- 
lery, and put the remainder, portions of three Confed- 
erate corps, to flight. Sheridan followed, and drove 
them until night, when further pursuit was stopped. 
Miles bivouacked for the night on the ground which 
he with Sheridan had carried so handsomely by as- 
sault. I cannot explain the situation here better 
than by giving my dispatch to City Point that even- 

Botdtox Road, xea& PnnsmG, 

April 2, 1865. — 4.40 p.m. 

COL05XL T. S. Bo wns. 


We are now up and have a continuous line of troops, and in a 
few hours will be intrenched from the Appomattox below Peters- 
burg to the river above. Heth's and Wilcox's divisions, such 
part of them as were not captured, were cut off from town, either 
designedly on their part or because they could not help it. 
Sheridan with the cavalry and 5th corps is above them. Miles s 
division, 2d corps, was sent from the White Oak Road to Suther- 
land Station on the South Side Railroad, where he met them, and 
at last accounts was engaged with them. Not knowing whether 
Sheridan would get up in time, General Humphreys was sent with 
another division from here. The whole captures since the 
army started out gunning will amount to not less than twelve 
thousand men, and probably fifty pieces of artillery. I do not 
know the number of men and guns accurately however. * * * 
I think the President might come out and pay us a visit to- 





During the night of April 2d our line was in- 
trenched from the river above to the river below. I 
ordered a bombardment to be commenced the next 
morning at five a.m., to be followed by an assault 
at six o'clock ; but the enemy evacuated Petersburg 
early in the morning 




GENERAL MEADE and I entered Peters- 
burg on the morning of the 3d and took a 
position under cover of a house which protected 
us from the enemies musketry which was flying 
thick and fast th.ere. As we would occasionally look 
around the corner we could see the streets and the 
Appomattox bottom, presumably near the bridge, 
packed with the Confederate army. I did not have 
artillery brought up, because I was sure Lee was try- 
ing to make his escape, and I wanted to push imme- 
diately in pursuit. At all events I had not the heart 
to turn the artillery upon such a mass of defeated 
and fleeing men, and I hoped to capture them soon. 
Soon after the enemy had entirely evacuated 
Petersburg, a man came in who represented himsielf 
to be an engineer of the Army of Northern Virginia. 
He said that Lee had for some time been at work 


preparing a strong enclosed intrenchment, into 
which he would throw himself when forced out of 
Petersburg, and fight his final battle there ; that he 
was actually at that time drawing his troops from 
Richmond, and falling back into this prepared 
work. This statement was made to General Meade 
and myself when we were together. I had already 
given orders for the movement up the south side of 
the Appomattox for the purpose of heading off Lee ; 
but Meade was so much impressed by this man's 
story that he thought we ought to cross the Appo- 
mattox there at once and move against Lee in his 
new position. I knew that Lee was no fool, as he 
would have been to have put himself and his army 
between two formidable streams like the James and 
Appomattox rivers, and between two such armies as 
those of the Potomac and the James. Then these 
streams coming together as they did to the east of 
him, it would be only necessary to close up in the 
west to have him thoroughly cut off from all sup- 
plies or possibility of reinforcement. It would only 
have been a question of days, and not many of them, 
if he had taken the position assigned to him by the 
so-called engineer, when he would have been obliged 
to surrender his army. Such is one of the ruses re- 
sorted to in war to deceive your antagonist. My 
judgment was that Lee would necessarily have to 
evacuate Richmond, and that the only course for 


him to pursue would be to follow the Danville Road 
Accordingly my object was to secure a point on thai 
road south of Lee, and I told Meade this. He sug- 
gested that if Lee was going that way we would 
follow him. My reply was that we did not want to 
follow him ; we wanted to get ahead of him and cut 
him off, and if he would only stay in the position he 
(Meade) believed him to be in at that time, I wanted 
nothing better ; that when we got in possession of 
the Danville Railroad, at its crossing of the Appo- 
mattox River, if we still found him between the two 
rivers, all we had to do was to move eastward 
and close him up. That we would then have all the 
advantage we could possibly have by moving directly 
against him from Petersburg, even if he remained in 
the position assigned him by the engineer officer. 

I had held most of the command aloof from the in- 
trenchments, so as to start them out on the Danville 
Road early in the morning, supposing that Lee would 
be gone during the night During the night I strength- 
ened Sheridan by sending him Humphreys's corps. 

Lee, as we now know, had advised the authorities 
at Richmond, during the day, of the condition of 
affairs, and told them it would be impossible for him 
to hold out longer than night, if he could hold out 
that long. Davis was at church when he received 
Lee's dispatch. The congregation was dismissed 
with the notice that there would be no evening 


service. The rebel government left Richmond about 
two o'clock in the afternoon of the 2d. 

At night Lee ordered his troops to assemble at 
Amelia Court House, his object being to get away, 
join Johnston if possible, and to try to crush Sherman 
before I could get there. As soon as I was sure of 
this I notified Sheridan and directed him to move out 
on the Danville Railroad to the south side of the Ap- 
pomattox River as speedily as possible. He replied 
that he already had some of his command nine 
miles out I then ordered the rest of the Army of 
the Potomac under Meade to follow the same road 
in the morning. Parke's corps followed by the 
same road, and the Army of the James was directed 
to follow the road which ran alongside of the South 
Side Railroad to Burke's Station, and to repair the 
railroad and telegraph as they proceeded. That 
road was a 5 feet gauge, while our rolling stock 
was all of the 4 feet %]/ 2 inches gauge ; consequently 
the rail on one side of the track had to be taken up 
throughout the whole length and relaid so as to con- 
form to the gauge of our cars and locomotives. 

Mr. Lincoln was at City Point at the time, and 
had been for some days. I would have let him know 
what I contemplated doing, only while I felt a strong 
conviction that the move was going to be successful, 
yet it might not prove so ; and then I would have 
only added another to the many disappointments he 


had been suffering for the past three years. But 
when we started out he saw that we were moving- 
for a purpose, and bidding us Godspeed, remained 
there to hear the result 

The next morning after the capture of Petersburg, 
I telegraphed Mr. Lincoln asking him to ride out 
there and see me, while I would await his arrival. I 
had started all the troops out early in the morning, 
so that after the National army left Petersburg 
there was not a soul to be seen, not even an animal 
in the streets. There was absolutely no one there, 
except my staff officers and, possibly, a small escort 
of cavalry. We had selected the piazza of a deserted 
house, and occupied it until the President arrived. 

About the first thing that Mr. Lincoln said to me, 
after warm congratulations for the victory, and 
thanks both to myself and to the army which had ac- 
complished it, was : " Do you know, general, that I 
have had a sort of a sneaking idea for some days 
that you intended to do something like this." Our 
movements having been successful up to this point, I 
no longer had any object in concealing from the 
President all my movements, and the objects I had 
in view. He remained for some days near City 
Point, and I communicated with him frequently and 
fully by telegraph. 

Mr. Lincoln knew that it had been arranged for 
Sherman to join me at a fixed time, to co-operate in 


the destruction of Lee's army. I told him that I 
had been verv anxious to have the Eastern armies 
vanquish their old enemy who had so long resisted 
all their repeated and gallant attempts to subdue 
them or drive them from their capital The Western 
armies had been in the main successful until they 
had conquered all the territory from the Mississippi 
River to the State of North Carolina, and were 
now almost ready to knock at the back door of Rich- 
mond, asking admittance. I said to him that if the 
Western armies should be even upon the field, opera- 
ting against Richmond and Lee, the credit would be 
given to them for the capture, by politicians and 
non-combatants from the section of country which 
those troops hailed from. It might lead to disagree- 
able bickerings between members of Congress of 
the East and those of the West in some of their de- 
bates. Western members might be throwing it up 
to the members of the East that in the suppression 
of the rebellion they were not able to capture an 
army, or to accomplish much in the way of contribu- 
ting toward that end, but had to wait until the 
Western armies had conquered all the territory south 
and west of them, and then come on to help them 
capture the only army they had been engaged 


Mr. Lincoln said he saw that now, but had never 
thought of it before, because his anxiety was so 


great that he did not care where the aid came from 
so the work was done. 

The Army of the Potomac has every reason to be 
proud of its four years' record in the suppression of 
the rebellion. The army it had to fight was the 
protection to the capital of a people which was at- 
tempting to found a nation upon the territory of the 
United States. Its loss would be the loss of the 
cause. Every energy, therefore, was put forth by 
the Confederacy to protect and maintain their capi- 
tal. Everything else would go if it went. Lee's 
army had to be strengthened to enable it to main- 
tain its position, no matter what territory was 
wrested from the South in another quarter. 

I never expected any such bickering as I have in- 
dicated, between the soldiers of the two sections; 
and, fortunately, there has been none between the 
politicians. Possibly I am the only one who thought 
of the liability of such a state of things in advance. 

When our conversation was at an end Mr. Lincoln 
mounted his horse and started on his return to City 
Point, while I and my staff started to join the army, 
now a good many miles in advance. Up to this 
time I had not received the report of the capture of 

Soon after I left President Lincoln I received a 
dispatch from Generel Weitzel which notified me 
that he had taken possession of Richmond at about 


8.15 o'clock in the morning of that day, the 3d, and 
that he had found the city on fire in two places. 
The city was in the most utter confusion. The 
authorities had taken the precaution to empty all 
the liquor into the gutter, and to throw out the pro- 
visions which the Confederate government had left, 
for the people to gather up The city had been 
deserted by the authorities, civil and military, with- 
out any notice whatever that they were about to 
leave. In fact, up to the very hour of the evacuation 
the people had been led to believe that Lee had 
gained an important victory somewhere around 

Weitzel's command found evidence of great de- 
moralization in Lee's army, there being still a great 
many men and even officers in the town. The city 
was on fire. Our troops were directed to extinguish 
the flames, which they finally succeeded in doing. 
The fire had been started by some one connected 
with the retreating army. All authorities deny that 
it was authorized, and I presume it was the work of 
excited men who were leaving what they regarded as 
their capital and may have felt that it was better to 
destroy it than have it fall into the hands of their 
enemy. Be that as it may, the National troops found 
the city in flames, and used every effort to extinguish 


The troops that had formed Lee's right, a great 


many of them, were cut off from getting back into 
Petersburg, and were pursued by our cavalry so hotly 
and closely that they threw away caissons, ammuni- 
tion, clothing, and almost everything to lighten their 
loads, and pushed along up the Appomattox River 
until finally they took water and crossed over. 

I left Mr. Lincoln and started, as I have already 
said, to join the command, which halted at Suther- 
land Station, about nine miles out. We had still 
time to march as much farther, and time was an ob- 
ject ; but the roads were bad and the trains belong- 
ing to the advance corps had blocked up the road so 
that it was impossible to get on. Then, again, our 
cavalry had struck some of the enemy and were pur- 
suing them ; and the orders were that the roads 
should be given up to the cavalry whenever they 
appeared. This caused further delay. 

General Wright, who was in command of one of 
the corps which were left back, thought to gain time 
by letting his men go into bivouac and trying to 
get up some rations for them, and clearing out the 
road, so that when they did start they would be un- 
interrupted. Humphreys, who was far ahead, was 
also out of rations. They did not succeed in getting 
them up through the night ; but the Army of the 
Potomac, officers and men, were so elated by the 
reflection that at last they were following up a 
victory to its end, that they preferred marching 


without rations to running a possible risk of letting 
the enemy elude them. So the march was resumed 
at three o'clock in the morning. 

Merritt's cavalry had struck the enemy at Deep 
Creek, and driven them north to the Appomattox, 
where, I presume, most of them were forced to 

On the morning of the 4th I learned that Lee had 
ordered rations up from Danville for his famishing 
army, and that they were to meet him at Farmville. 
This showed that Lee had already abandoned the 
idea of following the railroad down to Danville, but 
had determined to go farther west, by the way of 
Farmville. I notified Sheridan of this and directed 
him to get possession of the road before the supplies 
could reach Lee. He responded that he had already 
sent Crook's division to get upon the road between 
Burkes ville and Jetersville, then to face north and 
march along the road upon the latter place ; and he 
thought Crook must be there now. The bulk of 
the army moved directly for Jetersville by two 

After I had received the dispatch from Sheridan 
saying that Crook was on the Danville Road, I im- 
mediately ordered Meade to make a forced march 
with the Army of the Potomac, and to send Parke's 
corps across from the road they were on to the 
South Side Railroad, to fall in the rear of the Army 


of the James and to protect the railroad which that 
army was repairing as it went along. 

Our troops took possession of Jetersville and in 
the telegraph office, they found a dispatch from Lee, 
ordering two hundred thousand rations from Dan- 
ville. The dispatch had not been sent, but Sheri- 
dan sent a special messenger with it to Burkesville 
and had ifr forwarded from there. In the meantime, 
however, dispatches from other sources had reached 
Danville, and they knew there that our army was on 
the line of the road ; so that they sent no further 
supplies from that quarter. 

At this time Merritt and Mackenzie, with the 
cavalry, were off between the road which the Army 
of the Potomac was marching on and the Appo- 
mattox River, and were attacking the enemy in 
flank. They picked up a great many prisoners and 
forced the abandonment of some property. 

Lee intrenched himself at Amelia Court House, 
and also his advance north of 'Jetersville, and sent 
his troops out to collect forage. The country was 
very poor and afforded but very little. His foragers 
scattered a great deal ; many of them were picked 
up by our men, and many others never returned 
to the Army of Northern Virginia. 

Griffin's corps was intrenched across the railroad 
south of Jetersville, and Sheridan notified me of 
the situation. I again ordered Meade up with all 

Vol. 11 — 30 



dispatch, Sheridan having but the one corps of 
infantry with a little cavalry confronting Lee s entire 
army. Meade, always prompt in obeying orders, 
now pushed forward with great energy, although 
he was himself sick and hardly able to be out of 
bed. Humphreys moved at two, and Wright at 
three o'clock in the morning, without rations, as I 
have said, the wagons being far in the rear. 

I stayed that night at Wilson's Station on the 
South Side Railroad. On the morning of the 5th 
I sent word to Sheridan of the progress Meade 
was making, and suggested that he might now 
attack Lee. We had now no other objective 
than the Confederate armies, and I was anxious 
to close the thing up at once. 

On the 5th I marched again with Ord's com- 
mand until within about ten miles of Burkesville, 
where I stopped to let his army pass. I then received 
from Sheridan the following dispatch : 

" The whole of Lee's army is at or near Amelia Court House, 
and on this side of it. General Davies, whom I sent out to 
Painesville on their right flank, has just captured six pieces of 
artillery and some wagons. We can capture the Army of North- 
ern Virginia if force enough can be thrown to this point, and then 
advance upon it. My cavalry was at Burkesville yesterday, and 
six miles beyond, on the Danville Road, last night. General Lee 
is at Amelia Court House in person. They are out of rations, or 
nearly so. They were advancing up the railroad towards Burkes- 
ville yesterday, when we intercepted them at this point." 


It now became a life and death struggle with Lee 
to get south to his provisions. 

Sheridan, thinking the enemy might turn off im- 
mediately towards Farmville, moved Davies's bri- 
gade of cavalry out to watch him. Davies found 
the movement had already commenced. He at- 
tacked and drove away their cavalry which was 
escorting wagons to the west, capturing and 
burning 180 wagons. He also captured five 
pieces of artillery. The Confederate infantry then 
moved against him and probably would have 
handled him very roughly, but Sheridan had sent 
two more brigades of cavalry to follow Davies, and 
they came to his relief in time. A sharp engage- 
ment took place between these three brigades of 
cavalry and the enemy's infantry, but the latter 
was repulsed. 

Meade himself reached Jetersville about two 
o'clock in the afternoon, but in advance of all his 
troops. The head of Humphreys's corps followed in 
about an hour afterwards. Sheridan stationed the 
troops as they came up, at Meade's request, the latter 
still being very sick. He extended two divisions of 
this corps off to the west of the road to the left 
of Griffin's corps, and one division to the right. 
The cavalry by this time had also come up, andi 
they were put still farther off to the left, Sheridan 
feeling certain that there lay the route by which« 


the enemy intended to escape. He wanted to at- 
tack, feeling that if time was given, the enemy would 
get away ; but Meade prevented this, preferring to 
wait till his troops were all up. 

At this juncture Sheridan sent me a letter which 
had been handed to him by a colored man, with a 
note from himself saying that he wished I was there 
myself. The letter was dated Amelia Court House, 
April 5th, and signed by Colonel Taylor. It was to 
his mother, and showed the demoralization of the 
Confederate army. Sheridan's note also gave me the 
information as here related of the movements of that 
day. I received a second message from Sheridan 
on the 5th, in which he urged more emphatically 
the importance of my presence. This was brought 
to me by a scout in gray uniform. It was written 
on tissue paper, and wrapped up in tin-foil such as 
chewing tobacco is folded in. This was a precau- 
tion taken so that if the scout should be captured he 
could take this tin-foil out of his pocket and putting 
it into his mouth, chew it It would cause no 
surprise at all to see a Confederate soldier chewing 
tobacco. It was nearly night when this letter was 
received. I gave Ord directions to continue his 
march to Burkesville and there intrench himself for 
the night, and in the morning to move west to cut 
off all the roads between there and Farmville. 

I then started with a few of my staff and a very 


small escort of cavalry, going directly through the 
woods, to join Meade's army. The distance was 
about sixteen miles ; but the night being dark our 
progress was slow through the woods in the absence 
of dirett roads. However, we got to the outposts 
about ten o'clock in the evening, and after some 
little parley convinced the sentinels of our identity 
and were conducted in to where Sheridan was bivou- 
acked. We talked over the situation for some 
little time, Sheridan explaining to me what he 
thought Lee was trying to do, and that Meade's 
orders, if carried out, moving to the right flank, 
would give him the coveted opportunity of escaping 
us and putting us in rear of him. 

We then together visited Meade, reaching his 
headquarters about midnight. I explained to Meade 
that we did not want to follow the enemy ; we 
wanted to get ahead of him, and that his orders 
would allow the enemy to escape, and besides that, 
I had no doubt that Lee was moving right then. 
Meade changed his orders at once. They were now 
given for an advance on Amelia Court House, at 
an early hour in the morning, as the army then lay ; 
that is, the infantry being across the railroad, most 
of it to the west of the road, with the cavalry swung 
out still farther to the left 





THE Appomattox, going westward, takes a long 
sweep to the south-west from the neighborhood 
of the Richmond and Danville Railroad bridge, and 
then trends north-westerly. Sailor's Creek, an insig- 
nificant stream, running northward, empties into the 
Appomattox between the High Bridge and Jeters- 
ville. Near the High Bridge the stage road from 
Petersburg to Lynchburg crosses the Appomattox 
River, also on a bridge. The railroad runs on the 
north side of the river to Farmville, a few miles west, 
and from there, recrossing, continues on the south 
side of it. The roads coming up from the south-east 
to Farmville cross the Appomattox River there on 
a bridge and run on the north side, leaving the 
Lynchburg and Petersburg Railroad well to the 

Lee, in pushing out from Amelia Court House, 
availed himself of all the roads between the Danville 


Road and Appomattox River to move upon, and 
never permitted the head of his columns to stop be- 
cause of any fighting that might be going on in his 
rear. In this way he came very near succeeding in 
getting to his provision trains and eluding us with 
at least part of his army. 

As expected, Lee's troops had moved during the 
night before, and our army in moving upon Amelia 
Court House soon encountered them. There was 
a good deal of fighting before Sailor's Creek was 
reached. Our cavalry charged in upon a body of 
theirs which was escorting a wagon train in order to 
get it past our left A severe engagement ensued, in 
which we captured many prisoners, and many men 
also were killed and wounded. There was as much 
gallantry displayed by some of the Confederates in 
these little engagements as was displayed at any time 
during the war, notwithstanding the sad defeats of 
the past week. 

The armies finally met on Sailor's Creek, when a 
heavy engagement took place, in which infantry, ar- 
tillery and cavalry were all brought into action. Our 
men on the right, as they were brought in against 
the enemy, came in on higher ground, and upon his 
flank, giving us every advantage to be derived from 
the lay of the country. Our firing was also very 
much more rapid, because the enemy commenced his 
retreat westward and in firing as he retreated had to 


turn around every time he fired. The enemy's loss 
was very heavy, as well in killed and wounded as 
in captures. Some six general officers fell into our 
hands in this engagement, and seven thousand men 
were made prisoners. This engagement was com- 
menced in the middle of the afternoon of the 6th, 
and the retreat and pursuit were continued until 
nightfall, when the armies bivouacked upon the 
ground where the night had overtaken them. 

When the move towards Amelia Court House had 
commenced that morning, I ordered Wright's corps, 
which was on the extreme right, to be moved to 
the left past the whole army, to take the place of 
Griffin's, and ordered the latter at the same time 
to move by and place itself . on the right The 
object of this movement was to get the 6th corps, 
Wright's, next to the cavalry, with which they had 
formerly served so harmoniously and so efficiently 
in the valley of Virginia. 

The 6th corps now remained with the cavalry and 
under Sheridan's direct command until after the sur- 

Ord had been directed to take possession of all 
the roads southward between Burkesville and the 
High Bridge. On the morning of the 6th he sent 
Colonel Washburn with two infantry regiments with 
instructions to destroy High Bridge and to return 
rapidly to Burkesville Station ; and he prepared him- 



self to resist the enemy there. Soon after Washburn 
had started Ord became a little alarmed as to his 
safety and sent Colonel Read, of his staff, with about 
eighty cavalrymen, to overtake him and bring him 
back. Very shortly after this he heard that the head 
of Lee's column had got up to the road between him 
and where Washburn now was, and attempted to 
send reinforcements, but the reinforcements could 
not get through. Read, however, had got through 
ahead of the enemy. He rode on to Farmville and 
was on his way back again when he found his return 
cut off, and Washburn confronting apparently the 
advance of Lee's army. Read drew his men up into 
line of battle, his force now consisting of less than 
six hundred men, infantry and cavalry, and rode along 
their front, making a speech to his men to inspire 
them with the same enthusiasm that he himself felt 
He then gave the order to charge. This little 
band made several charges, of course unsuccessful 
ones, but inflicted a loss upon the enemy more than 
equal to their own entire number. Colonel Read fell 
mortally wounded, and then Washburn ; and at the 
close of the conflict nearly every officer of the com- 
mand and most of the rank and file had been either 
killed or wounded. The remainder then surrendered. 
The Confederates took this to be only the advance 
of a larger column which had headed them off, and 
so stopped to intrench ; so that this gallant band 


of six hundred had checked the progress of a strong 
detachment of the Confederate army. 

This stoppage of Lee's column no doubt saved 
to us the trains following. Lee himself pushed on 
and crossed the wagon road bridge near the High 
Bridge, and attempted to destroy it He did set 
fire to it, but the flames had made but little head- 
way when Humphreys came up with his corps and 
drove away the rear-guard which had been left 
to protect it while it was being burned up. Hum- 
phreys forced his way across with some loss, and 
followed Lee to the intersection of the road cross- 
ing at Farmville with the one from Petersburg 
Here Lee held a position which was very strong, 
naturally, besides being intrenched. Humphreys 
was alone, confronting him all through the day, 
and in a very hazardous position. He put on a 
bold face, however, and assaulted with some loss, 
but was not assaulted in return. 

Our cavalry had gone farther south by the way of 
Prince Edward's Court House, along with the 5th 
corps (Griffin's), Ord falling in between Griffin 
and the Appomattox. Crook's division of cavalry 
and Wright's corps pushed on west of Farmville. 
When the cavalry reached Farmville they found 
that some of the Confederates were in ahead of 
them, and had already got their trains of provi- 
sions back to that point ; but our troops were in 


time to prevent them from securing anything to 
eat, although they succeeded in again running the 
trains off, so that we did not get them for some time. 
These troops retreated to the north side of the 
Appomattox to join Lee, and succeeded in destroy- 
ing the bridge after them. Considerable fighting 
ensued there, between Wright's corps and a portion 
of our cavalry and the Confederates, but finally the 
cavalry forded the stream and drove them away. 
Wright built a foot-bridge for his men to march over 
on and then marched out to the junction of the roads 
to relieve Humphreys, arriving there that night I 
had stopped the night before at Burkesville Junc- 
tion. Our troops were then pretty much all out of 
the place, but we had a field hospital there, and 
Ord's command was extended from that point 
towards Farmville. 

Here I met Dr. Smith, a Virginian and an officer 
of the regular army, who told me that in a conversa- 
tion with General Ewell, one of the prisoners and a 
relative of his, Ewell had said that when we had got 
across the James River he knew their cause was lost, 
and it was the duty of their authorities to make the 
best terms they could while they still had a right to 
claim concessions. The authorities thought differ- 
ently, however. Now the cause was lost and they 
had no right to claim anything. He said further, 
that for every man that was killed after this in the 


war somebody is responsible, and it would be but 
very little better than murder. He was not sure 
that Lee would consent to surrender his army with- 
out being able to consult with the President, but he 
hoped he would. 

I rode in to Farmville on the 7th, arriving there 
early in the day. Sheridan and Ord were pushing 
through, away to the south. Meade was back 
towards the High Bridge, and Humphreys confront- 
ing Lee as before stated. After having gone into 
bivouac at Prince Edward's Court House, Sheridan 
learned that seven trains of provisions and forage 
were at Appomattox, and determined to start 
at once and capture them ; and a forced march was 
necessary in order to get there before Lee's army 
could secure them. He wrote me a note telling me 
this. This fact, together with the incident related 
the night before by Dr. Smith, gave me the idea of 
opening correspondence with General Lee on the 
subject of the surrender of his army. I therefore 
wrote to him on this day, as follows : 

Headquarters Armies of the U. S., 

5 p.m., Apiil 7, 1S65. 
General R. E. Lee, 

Commanding C. S. A. 

The results of the last week must convince you of the hope- 
lessness of further resistance on the part of the Army of Northern 
Virginia in this struggle. I feel that it is so, and regard it as 
my duty to shift from myself the responsibility of any further 


effusion of blood, by asking of you the surrender of that portion 
of the Confederate States army known as the Army of Northern 


Lieut. -General. 

Lee replied on the evening of the same day as 
follows : 

Aprils 1865. 

General : — I have received your note of this day. Though 
not entertaining the opinion you express on the hopelessness of 
further resistance on the part of the Army of Northern Virginia, 
I reciprocate your desire to avoid useless effusion of blood, and 
therefore before considering your proposition, ask the terms you 
will offer on condition of its surrender. 

R E. LEE, 


Lieut. -General U. S. Grant, 

Commanding Armies of the U. S. 

This was not satisfactory, but I regarded it as 
deserving another letter and wrote him as follows : 

Aptil%, 1865. 
General R. E. Lee, 

Commanding C. S. A. 

Your note of last evening in reply to mine of same date, asking 
the condition on which I will accept the surrender of the Army 
of Northern Virginia is just received. In reply I would say 
that, peace being my great desire, there is but one condition I 
would insist upon, namely : that the men and officers surrendered 
shall be disqualified for taking up arms again against the Govern- 
ment of the United States until properly exchanged. I will meet 

480 PMMSMfAL muans 0* U. &. GZAMT. 

you, or will designate oft ccts to meet any ofli ceis you 
for the same purpose, at any point agreeable to you, for the pur- 
pose of arranging definitely the terms upon which die 
of the Ann j of Northern Virginia win be received. 

u. s. grant, 

Lee's army was rapidly crumbling. Many of his 
soldiers had enlisted from that part of the State 
where they now were, and were continually dropping 
out of the ranks and going to their homes. I know 
that I occupied a hotel almost destitute of furni- 
ture at Farmville, which had probably been used 
as a Confederate hospital. The next morning when 
I came out I found a Confederate colonel there, 
who reported to me and said that he was the pro- 
prietor of that house, and that he was a colonel of a 
regiment that had been raised in that neighborhood 
He said that when he came along past home, he 
found that he was the only, man of the regiment 
remaining with Lee's army, so he just dropped out, 
and now wanted to surrender himself. I told him to 
stay there and he would not be molested. That was 
one regiment which had been eliminated from Lee's 
force by this crumbling process. 

Although Sheridan had been marching all day, 
his troops moved with alacrity and without any 
straggling. They began to see the end of what 
they had been fighting four years for. Nothing 


seemed to fatigue them. They were ready to move 
without rations and travel without rest until the end. 
Straggling had entirely ceased, and every man was 
now a rival for the front The infantry marched 
about as rapidly as the cavalry could. 

Sheridan sent Custer with his division to move 
south of Appomattox Station, which is about five 
miles south-west of the Court House, to get west of 
the trains and destroy the roads to the rear. They 
got there the night of the 8th, and succeeded par- 
tially ; but some of the train men had just discovered 
the movement of our troops and succeeded in run- 
ning off three of the trains. The other four were 
held by Custer. 

The head of Lee's column came marching up there 
on the morning of the 9th, not dreaming, I suppose, 
that there were any Union soldiers near. The Con- 
federates were surprised to find our cavalry had pos- 
session of the trains. However, they were desperate 
and at once assaulted, hoping to recover them. In 
the me\6e that ensued they succeeded in burning 
one of the trains, but not in getting anything from 
it. Custer then ordered the other trains run back 
on the road towards Farmville, and the fight con- 

So far, only our cavalry and the advance of Lee's 
army were engaged. Soon, however, Lee's men 
were brought up from the rear, no doubt expecting 

Vol. n — 31 


they had nothing to meet but our cavalry. But our 
infantry had pushed forward so rapidly that by the 
time the enemy got up they found Griffin's corps 
and the Army of the James confronting them. A 
sharp engagement ensued, but Lee quickly set up 
a white flag. 


negotiations at appomattox — interview with lee 
at Mclean's house — the terms of surrender — 

lee's surrender interview with lee after 

the surrender, 

ON the 8th I had followed the Army of the Poto- 
mac in rear of Lee. I was suffering very 
severely with a sick headache, and stopped at a farm- 
house on the road some distance in rear of the main 
body of the army. I spent the night in bathing my 
feet in hot water and mustard, and putting mustard 
plasters on my wrists and the back part of my neck, 
hoping to be cured by morning. During the night I 
received Lee's answer to my letter of the 8th, inviting 
an interview between the lines on the following 
morning.* But it was for a different purpose from 
that of surrendering his army, and I answered him 
as follows : 

Headquarters Armies of the U. S., 

Apilt), 1865. 
General R. E. Lee, 

Commanding C. S. A. 

Your note of yesterday is received. As I have no authority to 
treat on the subject of peace, the meeting proposed for ten a.m. 

* See Appendix. 



to-day could lead to no good. I will state, however, General, the 
I am eq'-Lally anxious for peace with yourself, and the whole Xort 
entertains the same feeling. The terms upon which peace can b 
had are well understood. By the South laying down their arm 
they will hasten that most desirable event, save thousands c 
human lives, and hundreds of millions of property not yet dc 
stroyed. Sincerely hoping that all our difficulties may be settlet 
without the loss of another life, I subscribe myself, etc, 



I proceeded at an early hour in the morning, stil 
suffering with the headache, to get to the head o 
the column. I was not more than two or thre< 
miles from Appomattox Court House at the time 

but to go direct I would have to pass through Lee' 
army, or a portion of it. I had therefore to movi 
south in order to get upon a road coming up fron 
another direction. 

When the white flag was put out by Lee, a 
already described, I was in this way moving toward 
Appomattox Court House, and consequently coul< 
not be communicated with immediately, and be in 
formed of what Lee had done. Lee, therefore, sen 
a flae to the rear to advise Meade and one to th< 
front to Sheridan, saying that he had sent a message 
to me for the purpose of having a meeting to con 
suit about the surrender of his army, and asked foi 
a suspension of hostilities until I could be communi 
cated with. As they had heard nothing of this until 


the fighting had got to be severe and all going against 
Lee, both of these commanders hesitated very con- 
siderably about suspending hostilities at all. They 
were afraid it was not in good faith, and we had the 
Army of Northern Virginia where it could not escape 
except by some deception. They, however, finally 
consented to a suspension of hostilities for two 
hours to give an opportunity of communicating 
with me in that time, if possible. It was found that, 
from the route I had taken, they would probably 
not be able to communicate with me and get an 
answer back within the time fixed unless the mes- 
senger should pass through the rebel lines, 

Lee, therefore, sent an escort with the officer 
bearing this message through his lines to me. 

Afttt/g, 1865. 

General : — I received your note of this morning on the picket- 
line whither I had come to meet you and ascertain definitely 
what terms were embraced in your proposal of yesterday with 
reference to the surrender of this army. I now request an inter- 
view in accordance with the offer contained in your letter of yes- 
terday for that purpose. 

R. E. LEE, General. 
Lieutenant-General U. S. Grant, 

Commanding U. S. Armies. 

When the officer reached me I was still suffering 
with the sick headache ; but the instant I saw the 
contents of the note I was cured. I wrote the fol- 
lowing note in reply and hastened on : 


A+i/g, 1865. 
General R. £. Lee, 

Commanding C S. Annies. 

Your note of this date is but this moment (11.50 a.m.) received, 
in consequence of my having passed from the Richmond and 
Lynchburg road to the Farmville and Lynchburg road. I am at 
this writing about four miles west of Walker's Church and will 
push forward to the front for the purpose of meeting you. Notice 
sent to me on this road where you wish the interview to take place 
will meet me. 



I was conducted at once to where Sheridan was 
located with his troops drawn up in line of battle 
facing the Confederate army near by. They were 
very much excited, and expressed their view that this 
was all a ruse employed to enable the Confederates to 
get away. They said they believed that Johnston 
was marching up from North Carolina now, and Lee 
was moving to join him ; and they would whip the 
rebels where they now were in five minutes if I 
would only let them go in. But I had no doubt about 
the good faith of Lee, and pretty soon was conducted 
to where he was. I found him at the house of a Mr. 
McLean, at Appomattox Court House, with Colonel 
Marshall, one of his staff officers, awaiting my arrival. 
The head of his column was occupying a hill, on a 
portion of which was an apple orchard, beyond a 
little valley which separated it from that on the 


under ihc direction of Bvt. Brig. Gm. N. Mici 

BvL M*J. Genl A. A HumPHSBvi. 
Brig. Gcn'l & Chief of Engi 

^■■■,w- ■""- 

J * 



crest of which Sheridan's forces were drawn up in 
line of battle to the south. 

Before stating what took place between General 
Lee and myself, I will give all there is of the story 
of the famous apple tree. 

Wars produce many stories of fiction, some of 
which are told until they are believed to be true. The 
war of the rebellion was no exception to this rule, 
and the story of the apple tree is one of those fic- 
tions based on a slight foundation of fact. As I 
have said, there was an apple orchard on the side of 
the hill occupied by the Confederate forces. Run- 
ning diagonally up the hill was a wagon road, which, 
at one point, ran very near one of the trees, so that 
the wheels of vehicles had, on that side, cut off the 
roots of this tree, leaving a little embankment 
General Babcock, of my staff, reported to me that 
when he first met General Lee he was sitting upon 
this embankment with his feet in the road below 
and his back resting against the tree. The story 
had no other foundation than that. Like many 
other stories, it would be very good if it was only 

I had known General Lee in the old army, and 
had served with him in the Mexican War ; but did 
not suppose, owing to the difference in our age and 
rank, that he would remember me ; while I would 
more naturally remember him distinctly, because he 

■ ■ . ■• I 1 

» v.. 

1 ■ ■>.'•. 

• • ' I . " I "I 

; ■ r 

ii ; 

i ■ • » . 

. ■ »'. 



was the chief of staff of General Scott in the Mexi- 
can Wan 

When I had left camp that morning I had not ex- 
pected so soon the result that was then taking place, 
and consequently was in rough garb. I was with- 
out a sword, as I usually was when on horseback on 
the field, and wore a soldier's blouse for a coat, with 
the shoulder straps of mjrrank to indicate to the 
army who I was. When I went into the house I 
found General Lee, We greeted each other, and 
after shaking hands took our seats. I had my staff 
with me, a good portion of whom were in the room 
during the whole of the interview. 

What General Lee's feelings were I do not know. 
As he was a man of much dignity, with an impassible 
face, it was impossible to say whether he felt in- 
wardly glad that the end had finally come, or felt sad 
over the result, and was too manly to show it. 
Whatever his feelings, they were entirely concealed 
from my observation ; but my own feelings, which 
had been quite jubilant on the receipt of his let- 
ter, were sad and depressed. I felt like anything 
rather than rejoicing at the downfall of a foe who 
had fought so long and valiantly, and had suffered 
so much for a cause, though that cause was, I 
believe, one of the worst for which a people ever 
fought, and one for which there was the least 
excuse. I do not question, however, the sincerity 


of the great mass of those who were opposed to 

General Lee was dressed in a full uniform which 
was entirely new, and was wearing a sword of con- 
siderable value, very likely the sword which had 
been presented by the State of Virginia ; at all 
events, it was an entirely different sword from the 
one that would ordinarily be worn in the field In 
my rough traveling suit, the uniform of a private 
with the straps of a lieutenant-general, I must have 
contrasted very strangely with a man so handsomely 
dressed, six feet high and of faultless form. But 
this was not a matter that I thought of until after- 

We soon fell into a conversation about old army 
times. He remarked that he remembered me very 
well in the old army ; and I told him that as a 
matter of course I remembered him perfectly, but 
from the difference in our rank and years (there 
being about sixteen years' difference in our ages), I 
had thought it very likely that I had not attracted 
his attention sufficiently to be remembered by him 
after such a long interval. Our conversation grew 
so pleasant that I almost forgot the object of our 
meeting. After the conversation had run on in this 
style for some time, General Lee called my attention 
to the object of our meeting, and said that he • had 
asked for this interview for the purpose of getting 



from me the terms I proposed to give his army. I 
said that I meant merely that his army should lay 
down their arms, not to take them up again during 
the continuance of the war unless duly and properly 
exchanged. He said that he had so understood my 

Then we gradually fell off again into conversation 
about matters foreign to the subject which had 
brought us together. This continued for some little 
time, when General Lee again interrupted the course 
of the conversation by suggesting that the terms I 
proposed to give his army ought to be written out 
I called to General Parker, secretary on my staff, 
for writing materials, and commenced writing out the 
following terms : 

Appomattox C. H., Va., 

Apl 9th, 1865. 
Gen. R. E. Lee, 

Comd'g C. S. A. 
Gen : In accordance with the substance of my letter to you of 
the 8th inst, I propose to receive the surrender of the Army of 
N. Va. on the following terms, to wit : Rolls of all the officers and 
men to be made in duplicate. One copy to be given to an officer 
designated by me, the other to be retained by such officer or 
officers as you may designate. The officers to give their individual 
paroles not to take up arms against the Government of the United 
States until properly exchanged, and each company or regimental 
commander sign a like parole for the men of their commands. 
The arms, artillery and public property to be parked and stacked, 
and turned over to the officer appointed by me to receive them. 
This will not embrace the side-arms of the officers, nor their 


private horses or baggage. This done, each officer and man will 
be allowed to return to their homes, not to be disturbed by United 
States authority so long as they observe their paroles and the laws 
in force where they may reside. 

Very respectfully, 


Lit. Gen. 

When I put my pen to the paper I did not know 
the first word that I should make use of in writing 
the terms. I only knew what was in my mind, and I 
wished to express it clearly, so that there could be no 
mistaking it As I wrote on, the thought occurred to 
me that the officers had their own private horses and 
effects, which were important to them, but of no value 
to us ; also that it would be an unnecessary humili- 
ation to call upon them to deliver their side arms. 

No conversation, not one word, passed between 
General Lee and myself, either about private prop- 
erty, side arms, or kindred subjects. He appeared 
to have no objections to the terms first proposed ; or 
if he had a point to make against them he wished to 
wait until they were in writing to make it When 
he read over that part of the terms about side arms, 
horses and private property of the officers, he re- 
marked, with some feeling, I thought, that this would 
have a happy effect upon his army. 

Then, after a little further conversation, General 
Lee remarked to me again that their army was 


organized a little differently from the army of the 
United States (still maintaining by implication that 
we were two countries) ; that in their army the 
cavalrymen and artillerists owned their own horses ; 
and he asked if he was to understand that the men 
who so owned their horses were to be permitted 
to retain them. I told him that as the terms were 
written they would not ; that only the officers were 
permitted to take their private property. He then, 
after reading over the terms a second time, re- 
marked that that was clear. 

I then said to him that I thought this would be 
about the last battle of the war — I sincerely hoped 
so ; and I said further I took it that most of the 
men in the ranks were small farmers. The whole 
country had been so raided by the two armies 
that it was doubtful whether they would be able 
to put in a crop to carry themselves and their 
families through the next winter without the aid 
of the horses they were then riding. The United 
States did not want them and I would, therefore, 
instruct the officers I left behind to receive the 
paroles of his troops to let every man of the Con- 
federate army who claimed to own a horse or mule 
take the animal to his home. Lee remarked again 
that this would have a happy effect. 

He then sat down and wrote out the following 
letter : 


Headquarters Army of Northern Virginia, 

Aptil 9, 1865. 

General : — I received your letter of this date containing the 
terms of the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia as pro- 
posed by you. As they are substantially the same as those ex- 
pressed in your letter of the 8th inst., they are accepted. I will 
proceed to designate the proper officers to carry the stipulations 
into effect. 

R. E. LEE, General 

Lieut. -General U. S. Grant. 

While duplicates of the two letters were being 
made, the Union generals present were severally 
presented to General Lee. 

The much talked of surrendering of Lee's sword 
and my handing it back, this and much more that 
has been said about it is the purest romance. The 
word sword or side arms was not mentioned by either 
of us until I wrote it in the terms. There was no 
premeditation, and it did not occur to me until the 
moment I wrote it down. If I had happened to omit 
it, and General Lee had called my attention to it, I 
should have put it in the terms precisely as I acceded 
to the provision about the soldiers retaining their 

General Lee, after all was completed and before 
taking his leave, remarked that his army was in a 
very bad condition for want of food, and that they 
were without forage ; that his men had been living 
for some days on parched corn exclusively, and that 


he would have to ask me for rations and forage. I 
told him " certainly," and asked for how many men 
he wanted rations. His answer was " about twenty- 
five thousand : " and I authorized him to send his 
own commissary and quartermaster to Appomattox 
Station, two or three miles away, where he could have, 
out of the trains we had stopped, all the provisions 
wanted. As for forage, we had ourselves depended 
almost entirely upon the country for that 

Generals Gibbon, Griffin and Merritt were desig- 
nated by me to carry into effect the paroling of Lee's 
troops before they should start for their homes — 
General Lee leaving Generals Longstreet, Gordon 
and Pendleton for them to confer with in order to 
facilitate this work. Lee and I then separated as 
cordially as we had met, he returning to his own 
lines, and all went into bivouac for the night at 

Soon after Lee's departure I telegraphed to Wash- 
ington as follows : 

Headquarters Appomattox C. H., Va., 

April 9M, 1865, 4.30 p.m. 

Hon. E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War, 


General Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia this 
afternoon on terms proposed by myself. The accompanying ad- 
ditional correspondence will show the conditions fully. 


Lieut. -General. 



When news of the surrender first reached our 
lines our men commenced firing a salute of a hun- 
dred guns in honor of the victory. I at once sent 
word, however, to have it stopped. The Confeder- 
ates were now our prisoners, and we did not want to 
exult over their downfall. 

I determined to return to Washington at once, 
with a view to putting a stop to the purchase of sup- 
plies, and what I now deemed other useless outlay 
of money. Before leaving, however, I thought I 

Note. — The fac-simile of the terms of Lee's surrender inserted 
at this place, was copied from the original document furnished the 
publishers through the courtesy of General Ely S. Parker, Military 
Secretary on General Grant's staff at the time of the surrender. 

Three pages of paper were prepared in General Grant's mani- 
fold order book on which he wrote the terms, and the interlinea- 
tions and erasures were added by General Parker at the suggestion 
of General Grant. After such alteration it was handed to General 
Lee, who put on his glasses, read it, and handed it back to General 
Grant. The original was then transcribed by General Parker 
upon official headed paper and a copy furnished General Lee. 

The fac-simile herewith shows the color of the paper of the 
original document and all interlineations and erasures. 

There is a popular error to the effect that Generals Grant and 
Lee each signed the articles of surrender. The document in the 
form of a letter was signed only by General Grant, in the parlor 
of McLean's house while General Lee was sitting in the room, and 
General Lee immediately wrote a letter accepting the terms and 
handed it to General Grant. This letter is copied on page 494* 











would like to see General Lee again ; so next morn- 
ing I rode out beyond our lines towards his head- 
quarters, preceded by a bugler and a staff-officer 
carrying a white flag. 

Lee soon mounted his horse, seeing who it 
was, and met me. We had there between the 
lines, sitting on horseback, a very pleasant conversa- 
tion of over half an hour, in the course of which Lee 
said to me that the South was a big country and 
that we might have to march over it three or four 
times before the war entirely ended, but that we 
would now be able to do it as they could no longer 
resist us. He expressed it as his earnest hope, how- 
ever, that we would not be called upon to cause more 
loss and sacrifice of life ; but he could not foretell the 
result. I then suggested to General Lee that there was 
not a man in the Confederacy whose influence with 
the soldiery and the whole people was as great as his, 
and that if he would now advise the surrender of all 
the armies I had no doubt his advice would be fol- 
lowed with alacrity. But Lee said, that he could not 
do that without consulting the President first. I 
knew there was no use to urge him to do anything 
against his ideas of what was right. 

I was accompanied by my staff and other offi- 
cers, some of whom seemed to have a great 
desire to go inside the Confederate lines. They 
finally asked permission of Lee to do so for the 

.Vol. 11 —32 


purpose of seeing some of their old army friends, 
and the permission was granted. They went over, 
had a very pleasant time with their old friends, and 
brought some of them back with them when they 

When Lee and I separated he went back to his 
lines and I returned to the house of Mr. McLean. 
Here the officers of both armies came in great num- 
bers, and seemed to enjoy the meeting as much as 
though they had been friends separated for a long 
time while fighting battles under the same flag. For 
the time being it looked very much as if all thought 
of the war had escaped their minds. After an hour 
pleasantly passed in this way I set out on horseback, 
accompanied by my staff and a small escort, for 
Burkesville Junction, up to which point the railroad 
had by this time been repaired. 


morale of the two armies relative conditions 

of the north and south — president lincoln 

visits richmond arrival at washington 

president Lincoln's assassination — president 
Johnson's policy, 

AFTER the fall of Petersburg, and when the 
armies of the Potomac ajid the J ames were in 
motion to head off Lee's army, the morale of the 
National troops had greatly improved. There was 
no more straggling, no more rear guards. The men 
who in former times had been falling back, were now, 
as I have already stated, striving to get to the front 
For the first time in four weary years they felt that 
they were now nearing the time when they could 
return to their homes with their country saved. On 
the other hand, the Confederates were more than 
correspondingly depressed. Their despondency in- 
creased with each returning day, and especially after 
the battle of Sailor's Creek. They threw away their 
arms in constantly increasing numbers, dropping out 
of the ranks and betaking themselves to the woods 
in the hope of reaching their homes. I have already 


instanced the case of the entire disintegration of a 
regiment whose colonel I met at Farmville. As a 
result of these and other influences, when Lee finally 
surrendered at Appomattox, there were only 28,356 
officers and men left to be paroled, and many of 
these were without arms. It was probably this latter 
fact which gave rise to the statement sometimes 
made, North and South, that Lee surrendered a 
smaller number of men than what the official figures 
show. As a matter of official record, and in addition 
to the number paroled as given above, we captured 
between March 29th and the date of surrender 19,132 
Confederates, to say nothing of Lee's other losses, 
killed, wounded and missing, during the series of 
desperate conflicts which marked his headlong and 
determined flight. The same record shows the 
number of cannon, including those at Appomattox, 
to have been 689 between the dates named. 

There has always been a great conflict of opinion 
as to the number of troops engaged in every battle, 
or all important battles, fought between the sections, 
the South magnifying the number of Union troops 
engaged and belittling their own. Northern writers 
have fallen, in many instances, into the same error. 
I have often heard gentlemen, who were thoroughly 
loyal to the Union, speak of what a splendid fight 
the South had made and successfully continued for 
four years before yielding, with their twelve million 


of people against our twenty, and of the twelve 
four being colored slaves, non-combatants. I will 
add to their argument. We had many regiments of 
brave and loyal men who volunteered under great 
difficulty from the twelve million belonging to the 

But the South had rebelled against the National 
government It was not bound by any constitutional 
restrictions. The whole South was a military camp. 
The occupation of the colored people was to furnish 
supplies for the army. Conscription was resorted to 
early, and embraced every male from the age of 
eighteen to forty-five, excluding only those physically 
unfit to serve in the field, and the necessary number 
of civil officers of State and intended National gov- 
ernment. The old and physically disabled furnished 
a good portion of these. The slaves, the non-com- 
batants, one-third of the whole, were required to 
work in the field without regard to sex, and almost 
without regard to age. Children from the age of 
eight years could and did handle the hoe ; they were 
not much older when they began to hold the plough. 
The four million of colored non-combatants were 
equal to more than three times their number in the 
North, age for age and sex for sex, in supplying food 
from the soil to support armies. Women did not 
work in the fields in the North, and children attended 


The arts of peace were carried on in the North. 
Towns and cities grew during* the war. Inventions 
were made in all kinds of machinery to increase the 
products of a day's labor in the shop, and in the 
field. In the South no opposition was allowed to 
the government which had been set up and which 
would have become real and respected if the rebellion 
had been successful. No rear had to be protected. 
All the troops in service could be brought to the 
front to contest every inch of ground threatened 
with invasion. The press of the South, like the 
people who remained at home, were loyal to the 
Southern cause. 

In the North, the country, the towns and the cities 
presented about the same appearance they do in 
time of peace. The furnace was in blast, the shops 
were filled with workmen, the fields were cultivated, 
not only to supply the population of the North and 
the troops invading the South, but to ship abroad to 
pay a part of the expense of the war. In the North 
the press was free up to the point of open treason. 
The citizen could entertain his views and express 
them. Troops were necessary in the Northern 
States to prevent prisoners from the Southern army 
being released by outside force, armed and set at 
large to destroy by fire our Northern cities. Plans 
were formed by Northern and Southern citizens to 
burn our cities, to poison the water supplying them, 


to spread infection by importing clothing from in- 
fected regions, to blow up our river and lake steam- 
ers — regardless of the destruction of innocent lives. 
The copperhead disreputable portion of the press 
magnified rebel successes, and belittled those of the 
Union army. It was, with a large following, an aux- 
iliary to the Confederate army. The North would 
have been much stronger with a hundred thousand 
of these men in the Confederate ranks and the rest 
of their kind thoroughly subdued, as the Union senti- 
ment was in the South, than we were as the battle 
was fought. 

As I have said, the whole South was a military 
camp. The colored people, four million in number, 
were submissive, and worked in the field and took 
care of the families while the able-bodied white 
men were at the front fighting for a cause destined 
to defeat. The cause was popular, and was enthu- 
siastically supported by the young men. The con- 
scription took all of them. Before the war was 
over, further conscriptions took those between four- 
teen and eighteen years of age as junior reserves, 
and those between forty-five and sixty as senior re- 
serves. It would have been an offence, directly 
after the war, and perhaps it would be now, to ask 
any able-bodied man in the South, who was between 
the ages of fourteen and sixty at any time during 
the war, whether he had been in the Confederate 


army. He would assert that he had, or account for 
his absence from the ranks. Under such circum- 
stances it is hard to conceive how the North showed 
such a superiority of force in every battle fought. I 
know they did not. 

During 1862 and '3, John H. Morgan, a partisan 
officer, of no military education, but possessed of 
courage and endurance, operated in the rear of the 
Army of the Ohio in Kentucky and Tennessee, 
He had no base of supplies to protect, but was at 
home wherever he went The army operating 
against the South, on the contrary, had to protect 
its lines of communication with the North, from 
which all supplies had to come to the front. 
Every foot of road had to be guarded by troops 
stationed at convenient distances apart. These 
guards could not render assistance beyond the 
points where stationed. Morgan was foot-loose and 
could operate where his information — always correct 
— led him to believe he could do the greatest dam- 
age. During the time he was operating in this way 
he killed, wounded and captured several times the 
number he ever had under his command at any 
one time. He destroyed many millions of prop- 
erty in addition. Places he did not attack had to 
be guarded as if threatened by him. Forrest, an 
abler soldier, operated farther west, and held from 
the National front quite as many men as could be 


spared for offensive operations. It is safe to say 
that more than half the National army was engaged 
in guarding lines of supplies, or were on leave, sick 
in hospital or on detail which prevented their bear- 
ing arms. Then, again, large forces were employed 
where no Confederate army confronted them. I 
deem it safe to say that there were no large en- 
gagements where the National numbers compen- 
sated for the advantage of position and intrench- 
ment occupied by the enemy. 

While I was in pursuit of General Lee, the Presi- 
dent went to Richmond in company with Admiral 
Porter, and on board his flagship. He found the 
people of that city in great consternation. The 
leading citizens among the people who had re- 
mained at home surrounded him, anxious that some- 
thing should be done to relieve them from suspense. 
General Weitzel was not then in the city, having 
taken offices in one of the neighboring villages after 
his troops had succeeded in subduing the conflagra- 
tion which they had found in progress on entering 
the Confederate capital. The President sent for 
him, and, on his arrival, a short interview was had 
on board the vessel, Admiral Porter and a leading 
citizen of Virginia being also present. After this 
interview the President wrote an order in about 
these words, which I quote from memory : " General 
Weitzel is authorized to permit the body calling 



itself the Legislature of Virginia to meet for the 
purpose of recalling the Virginia troops from the 
Confederate armies." 

Immediately some of the gentlemen composing 
that body wrote out a call for a meeting and had it 
published in their papers. This call, however, went 
very much further than Mr. Lincoln had contem- 
plated, as he did not say the " Legislature of Vir- 
ginia" but "the body which called itself the Legisla- 
ture of Virginia." Mjr. Stanton saw the call as pub- 
lished in the Northern papers the very next issue and 
took the liberty of countermanding the order author- 
izing any meeting of the Legislature, or any other 
body, and this notwithstanding the fact that the 
President was nearer the spot than he was. 

This was characteristic of Mr. Stanton. He was 
( a man who never questioned his own authority, and 
who always did in war time what he wanted to do. 
He was an able constitutional lawyer and jurist; 
but the Constitution was not an impediment to him 
while the war lasted. In this latter particular I en- 
tirely agree with the view he evidently held. The 
Constitution was not framed with a view to any 
such rebellion as that of 186 1-5. While it did not 
authorize rebellion it made no provision against it. 
Yet the right to resist or suppress rebellion is as in- 
herent as the right of self-defence, and as natural as 
the right of an individual to preserve his life when 


in jeopardy. The Constitution was therefore in 
abeyance for the time being, so far as it in any way 
affected the progress and termination of the war. 

Those in rebellion against the government of the 
United States were not restricted by constitutional 
provisions, or any other, except the acts of their 
Congress, which was loyal and devoted to the cause 
for which the South was then fighting. It would 
be a hard case when one-third of a nation, united 
in rebellion against the national authority, is entirely 
untrammeled, that the other two-thirds, in their 
efforts to maintain the Union intact, should be re- 
strained by a Constitution prepared by our ancestors 
for the express, purpose of insuring the permanency 
of the confederation of the States. 

After I left General Lee at Appomattox Station, 
I went with my staff and a few others directly to 
Burkesville Station on my way to Washington. 
The road from Burkesville back having been newly 
repaired and the ground being soft, the train got off 
the track frequently, and, as a result, it was after 
midnight of the second day when I reached City 
Point. As soon as possible I took a dispatch-boat 
thence to Washington City. 

While in Washington I was very busy for a time 
in preparing the necessary orders for the new 
state of affairs ; communicating with my different 
commanders of separate departments, bodies of 


troops, etc. But by the 14th I was pretty well 
through with this work, so as to be able to visit 
my children, who were then in Burlington, New 
Jersey, attending school. Mrs. Grant was with me 
in Washington at the time, and we were invited 
by President and Mrs. Lincoln to accompany them 
to the theatre on the evening of that day. I replied 
to the President's verbal invitation to the effect, 
that if we were in the city we would take great 
pleasure in accompanying them ; but that I was 
very anxious to get away and visit my children, 
and if I could get through my work during the 
day I should do so. I did get through and started 
by the evening train on the 14th, sending Mr. 
Lincoln word, of course, that I would not be at 
the theatre. 

At that time the railroad to New York entered 
Philadelphia on Broad Street ; passengers were con- 
veyed in ambulances to the Delaware River, and 
then ferried to Camden, at which point they took 
the cars again. When I reached the ferry, on the 
east side of the City of Philadelphia, I found 
people awaiting my arrival there ; and also dis- 
patches informing me of the assassination of the 
President and Mr. Seward, and of the probable 
assassination of the Vice-President, Mr. Johnson, 
and requesting my immediate return. 

It would be impossible for me to describe the 


feeling that overcame me at the news of these assas- 
sinations, more especially the assassination of the 
President. I knew his goodness of heart, his 
generosity, his yielding disposition, his desire to 
have everybody happy, and above all his desire to 
see all the people of the United States enter again 
upon the full privileges of citizenship with equality 
among all I knew also the feeling that Mr. John- 
son had expressed in speeches and conversation 
against the Southern people, and I feared that his 
course towards them would be such as to repel, and 
make them unwilling citizens ; and if they became 
such they would remain so for a long while. I felt 
that reconstruction had been set back, no telling how 

I immediately arranged for getting a train to take 
me back to Washington City ; but Mrs. Grant was 
with me ; it was after midnight and Burlington was 
but an hour away. Finding that I could accompany 
her to our house and return about as soon as they 
would be ready to take me from the Philadelphia 
station, I went up with her and returned imme- 
diately by the same special train. The joy that I 
had witnessed among the people in the street and 
in public places in Washington when I left there, 
had been turned to grief ; the city was in reality 
a city of mourning. I have stated what I believed 
then the effect of this would be, and my judgment 


now is that I was right. I believe the South would 
have been saved from very much of the hardness of 
feeling that was engendered by Mr. Johnson's course 
towards them during the first few months of his 
administration. Be this as it may, Mr. Lincoln's 
assassination was particularly unfortunate for the 
entire nation. 

Mr. Johnson's course towards the South did en- 
gender bitterness of feeling. His denunciations of 
treason and his ever-ready remark, " Treason is a 
crime and must be made odious," was repeated to all 
those men of the South who came to him to get some 
assurances of safety so that they might go to work 
at something with the feeling that what they ob- 
tained would be secure to them. He uttered his 
denunciations with great vehemence, and as they 
were accompanied with no assurances of safety, many 
Southerners were driven to a point almost beyond 

The President of the United States is, in a large 
degree, or ought to be, a representative of the feel- 
ing, wishes and judgment of those over whom he 
presides ; and the Southerners who read the denun- 
ciations of themselves and their people must have 
come to the conclusion that he uttered the senti- 
ments of the Northern people ; whereas, as a 
matter of fact, but for the assassination of Mr. 
Ljncoln, I believe the great majority of the North- 


ern people, and the soldiers unanimously, would 
have been in favor of a speedy reconstruction on 
terms that would be the least humiliating to the 
people who had rebelled against their government. 
They believed, I have no doubt, as I did, that be- 
sides being the mildest, it was also the wisest, policy. 

The people who had been in rebellion must neces- 
sarily come back into the Union, and be incorpo- 
rated as an integral part of the nation. Naturally 
the nearer they were placed to an equality 
with the people who had not rebelled, the more 
reconciled they would feel with their old antagonists, 
and the better citizens they would be from the begin- 
ning. They surely would not make good citizens if 
they felt that they had a yoke around their necks. 

I do not believe that the majority of the Northern 
people at that time were in favor of negro suffrage. 
They supposed that it would naturally follow the 
freedom of the negro, but that there would be a 
time of probation, in which the ex-slaves could pre- 
pare themselves for the privileges of citizenship be- 
fore the full right would be conferred ; but Mr. John- 
son, after a complete revolution of sentiment, seemed 
to regard the South not only as an oppressed people, 
but as the people best entitled to consideration of any 
of our citizens. This was more than the people who 
had secured to us the perpetuation of the Union 
were prepared for, and they became more radical in 


their views. The Southerners had the most power 
in the executive branch, Mr. Johnson having gone 
to their side ; and with a compact South, and such 
sympathy and support as they could get from the 
North, they felt that they would be able to control 
the nation at once, and already many of them acted 
^s if they thought they were entitled to do so. 

Thus Mr. Johnson, fighting Congress on the one 
hand, and receiving the support of the South on the 
other, drove Congress, which was overwhelmingly 
republican, to the passing of first one measure and 
then another to restrict his power. There being a 
solid South on one side that was in accord with the 
political party in the North which had sympathized 
with the rebellion, it finally, in the judgment of Con- 
gress and of the majority of the legislatures of the 
States, became necessary to enfranchise the negro, in 
all his ignorance. In this work, I shall not discuss the 
question of how far the policy of Congress in this 
particular proved a wise one. It became an absolute 
necessity, however, because of the foolhardiness of 
the President and the blindness of the Southern people 
to their own interest. As to myself, while strongly 
favoring the course that would be the least humili- 
ating to the people who had been in rebellion, I 
had gradually worked up to the point where, with 
the majority of the people, I favored immediate 


sherman and johnston — johnston^ surrender to 
sherman capture of mobile — wilson's expe- 
dition capture of jefferson davis general 

thomas's qualities — estimate of general 


WHEN I left Appomattox I ordered General 
Meade to proceed leisurely back to Burkes- 
ville Station with the Army of the Potomac and the 
Army of the James, and to go into camp there until 
further orders from me. General Johnston, as has 
been stated before, was in North Carolina confront- 
ing General Sherman. It could not be known posi- 
tively, of course, whether Johnston would surrender 
on the news of Lee's surrender, though I supposed 
he would ; and if he did not, Burkesville Station was 
the natural point from which to move to attack him. 
The army which I could have sent against him was 
superior to his, and that with which Sherman con- 
fronted him was also superior ; and between the two 
he would necessarily have been crushed, or driven 
away. With the loss of their capital and the Army 
of Northern Virginia it was doubtful whether John- 

Vol. II —33 


ston's men would have had the spirit to stand. My 
belief was that he would make no such attempt ; but 
I adopted this course as a precaution against what 
might happen, however improbable. 

Simultaneously with my starting from City Point, 
I sent a messenger to North Carolina by boat with 
dispatches to General Sherman, informing him of 
the surrender of Lee and his army ; also of the 
terms which I had given him ; and I authorized 
Sherman to give the same terjns to Johnston if the 
latter chose to accept them. The country is familiar 
with the terms that Sherman agreed to conditionally, 
because they embraced a political question as well 
as a military one and he would therefore have to 
confer with the government before agreeing to them 

General Sherman had met Mr. Lincoln at City 
Point while visiting there to confer with me about 
our final movement, and knew what Mr. Lincoln 
had said to the peace commissioners when he met 
them at Hampton Roads, viz. : that before he could 
enter into negotiations with them they would have 
to agree to two points: one being that the Union 
should be preserved, and the other that slavery 
should be abolished ; and if they were ready to con- 
cede these two points he was almost ready to sign his 
name to a blank piece of paper and permit them to 
fill out the balance of the terms upon which we 


would live together. He had also seen notices in 
the newspapers of Mr. Lincoln's visit to Richmond, 
and had read in the same papers that while there he 
had authorized the convening of the Legislature of 

Sherman thought, no doubt, in adding to the 
terms that I had made with General Lee, that he was 
but carrying out the wishes of the President of the 
United States. But seeing that he was going beyond 
his authority, he made it a point that the terms were 
only conditional. They signed them with this under- 
standing, and agreed to a truce until the terms could 
be sent to Washington for approval ; if approved by 
the proper authorities there, they would then be 
final; if not approved, then he would give due notice, 
before resuming hostilities. As the world knows, 
Sherman, from being one of the most popular gen- 
erals of the land (Congress having even gone so far 
as to propose a bill providing for a second lieutenant- 
general for the purpose of advancing him to that 
grade), was denounced by the President and Secre- 
tary of War in very bitter terms. Some people 
went so far as to denounce him as a traitor — a most 
preposterous term to apply to a man who had ren- 
dered so much service as he had, even supposing 
he had macle a mistake in granting such terms as 
he did to Johnston and his army. If Sherman had 
taken authority to send Johnston with his army 


home, with their arms to be put in the arsenals of 
their own States, without submitting the question 
to the authorities at Washington, the suspicions 
against him might have some foundation. But the 
feeling against Sherman died out very rapidly, and 
it was not many weeks before he was restored to 
the fullest confidence of the American people. 

When, some days after my return to Washington, 
President Johnson and the Secretary of War received 
the terms which General Sherman had forwarded for 
approval, a cabinet meeting was immediately called 
and I was sent for. There seemed to be the greatest 
consternation, lest Sherman would commit the gov- 
ernment to terms which they were not willing to 
accede to and which he had no right to grant. A 
message went out directing the troops in the South 
not to obey General Sherman. I was ordered to 
proceed at once to North Carolina and take charge 
of matters there myself. Of course I started with- 
out delay, and reached there as soon as possible. I 
repaired to Raleigh, where Sherman was, as quietly 
as possible, hoping to see him without even his 
army learning of my presence. 

When I arrived I went to Sherman's headquarters, 
and we were at once closeted together. I showed 
him the instructions and orders under which I visited 
him. I told him that I wanted him to notify General 
Johnston that the terms which they had conditionally 


agreed upon had not been approved in Washington, 
and that he was authorized to offer the same terms 
I had given General Lee. I sent Sherman to do 
this himself. I did not wish the knowledge of my 
presence to be known to the army generally ; so I 
left it to Sherman to negotiate the terms of the sur- 
render solely by himself, and without the . enemy 
knowing that I was anywhere near the field. As 
soon as possible I started to get away, to leave Sher- 
man quite free and untrammelled. 

At Goldsboro\ on my way back, I met a mail, con- 
taining the last newspapers, and I found in them 
indications of great excitement in the North over 
the terms Sherman had given Johnston ; and harsh 
orders that had been promulgated by the President 
and Secretary of War. I knew that Sherman must 
see these papers, and I fully realized what great 
indignation they would cause him, though I do not 
think his feelings could have been more excited than 
were my own. But like the true and loyal soldier 
that he was, he carried out the instructions I had 
given him, obtained the surrender of Johnston's 
army, and settled down in his camp about Raleigh, 
to await final orders. 

There were still a few expeditions out in the South 
that could not be communicated with, and had to be 
left to act according to the judgment of their respec- 
tive commanders. With these it was impossible to 


tell how the news of the surrender of Lee and John- 
ston, of which they must have heard, might affect 
their judgment as to what was best to do. 

The three expeditions which I had tried so hard to 
get off f rfcm the commands of Thomas and Canby did 
finally get off : one under Canby himself, against Mo- 
bile, late in March ; that under Stoneman from East 
Tennessee on the 20th ; and the one under Wilson, 
starting from Eastport, Mississippi, on the 2 2d of 
March. They were all eminently successful, but 
without any good result Indeed much valuable 
property was destroyed and many lives lost at a time 
when we would have liked to spare them. The war 
was practically over before their victories were 
gained. They were so late in commencing operations, 
that they did not hold any troops away that other- 
wise would have been operating against the armies 
which were gradually forcing the Confederate armies 
to a surrender. The only possible good that we may 
have experienced from these raids was by Stonemans 
getting near Lynchburg about the time the armies 
of the Potomac and the James were closing in on 
Lee at Appomattox. 

Stoneman entered North Carolina and then pushed 
north to strike the Virginia and Tennessee Rail- 
road. He got upon that road, destroyed its bridges 
at different places and rendered the road useless to 
the enemy up to within a few miles of Lynchburg. 


His approach caused the evacuation of that city 
about the time we were at Appomattox, and was 
the cause of a commotion we heard of there. He 
then pushed south, and was operating in the rear 
of Johnston's army about the time the negotia- 
tions were going on between Sherman and John- 
ston for the latter's surrender. In this raid Stone- 
man captured and destroyed a large amount of 
stores, while fourteen guns and nearly two thousand 
prisoners were the trophies of his success. 

Canby appeared before Mobile on the 27th of 
March. The city of Mobile was protected by two 
forts, besides other intrenchments — Spanish Fort, 
on the east side of the bay, and Fort Blakely, 
north of the city. These forts were invested. On 
the night of the 8th of April, the National troops 
having carried the enemy's works at one point, 
Spanish Fort was evacuated ; and on the 9th, the 
very day of Lee's surrender, Blakely was carried 
by assault, with a considerable loss to us. On the 
nth the city was evacuated. 

I had tried for more than two years to have an 
expedition sent against Mobile when its possession 
by us would have been of great advantage. It 
finally cost lives to take it when its possession 
was of no importance, and when, if left alone, it 
would within a few days have fallen into our hands 
without any bloodshed whatever 



Wilson moved out with full 12,000 men, well 
equipped and well armed. He was an energetic 
officer and accomplished his work rapidly. Forrest 
was in his front, but with neither his old-time army 
nor his old-time prestige. He now had princi- 
pally conscripts. His conscripts were generally old 
men and boys. He had a few thousand regular 
cavalry left, but not enough to even retard mate- 
rially the progress of Wilsons cavalry. Selma fell 
on the 2d of April, with a large number of prisoners 
and a large quantity of war material, machine shops, 
etc., to be disposed of by the victors. Tuscaloosa, 
Montgomery and West Point fell in quick succession. 
These were all important points to the enemy by 
reason of their railroad connections, as depots of 
supplies, and because of their manufactories of war 
material. They were fortified or intrenched, and 
there was considerable fighting before they were 
captured. Macon surrendered on the 21st of April. 
Here news was received of the negotiations for the 
surrender of Johnston's army. Wilson belonged 
to the military division commanded by Sher- 
man, and of course was bound by his terms. 
This stopped all fighting. 

General Richard Taylor had now become the 
senior Confederate officer still at liberty east of 
the Mississippi River, and on the 4th of May he 
surrendered everything within the limits of this 



extensive command. General E. Kirby Smith sur- 
rendered the trans-Mississippi department on the 
26th of May, leaving no other Confederate army at 
liberty to continue the war. 

Wilson's raid resulted in the capture of the fugi- 
tive president of the defunct confederacy before he 
got out of the country. This occurred at Irwinsville, 
Georgia, on the nth of May. For myself, and I 
believe Mr. Lincoln shared the feeling, I would have 
been very glad to have seen Mr. Davis succeed in 
escaping, but for one reason : I feared that if not 
captured, he might get into the trans- Mississippi 
region and there set up a more contracted confeder- 
acy. The young men now out of homes and out of 
employment might have rallied under his standard 
and protracted the war yet another year. The 
Northern people were tired of the war, they were 
tired of piling up a debt which would be a further 
mortgage upon their homes. 

Mr. Lincoln, I believe, wanted Mr. Davis to 
escape, because he did not wish to deal with the 
matter of his punishment. He knew there would 
be people clamoring for the punishment of the ex- 
Confederate president, for high treason. He thought 
blood enough had already been spilled to atone for 
our wickedness as a nation. At all events he did 
not wish to be the judge to decide whether more 
should be shed or not. But his own life was sacri- 



ficed at the hands of an assassin before the ex- 
president of the Confederacy was a prisoner in the 
hands of the government which he had lent all his 
talent and all his energies to destroy. 

All things are said to be wisely directed, and for the 
best interest of all concerned. This reflection does 
not, however, abate in the slightest our sense of be- 
reavement in the untimely loss of so good and great 
a man as Abraham Lincoln. 

He would have proven the best friend the South 
could have had, and saved much of the wrangling 
and bitterness of feeling brought out by reconstruc- 
tion under a President who at first wished to revenge 
himself upon Southern men of better social stand- 
ing than himself, but who still sought their recog- 
nition, and in a short time conceived the idea and 
advanced the proposition to become their Moses to 
lead them triumphantly out of all their difficulties. 

The story of the legislation enacted during the 
reconstruction period to stay the hands of the 
President is too fresh in the minds of the people to 
be told now, Much of it, no doubt, was unconsti- 
tutional ; but it was hoped that the laws enacted 
would serve their purpose before the question of 
constitutionality could be submitted to the judiciary 
and a decision obtained. These laws did serve their 
purpose, and now remain "a dead letter" upon the 
statute books of the United States, no one taking 






interest enough in them to give them a passing 

Much was said at the time about the garb Mr. 
Davis was wearing when he was captured I cannot 
settle this question from, personal knowledge of the 
facts ; but I have been under the belief, from infor- 
mation given to me by General Wilson shortly after 
the event, that when Mr. Davis learned that he was 
surrounded by our cavalry he was in his tent dressed 
in a gentleman's dressing gown. Naturally enough, 
Mr. Davis wanted to escape, and would not reflect 
much how this should be accomplished provided it 
might be done successfully. If captured, he would 
be no ordinary prisoner. He represented all there 
was of that hostility to the government which had 
caused four years of the bloodiest war — and the 
most costly in other respects of which history makes 
any record. Every one supposed he would be tried 
for treason if captured, and that he would be exe- 
cuted. Had he succeeded in making his escape in 
any disguise it would have been adjudged a good 
thing afterwards by his admirers. 

As my official letters on file in the War Depart- 
ment, as well as my remarks in this book, reflect 
upon General Thomas by dwelling somewhat upon 
his tardiness, it is due to myself, as well as to 
him, that I give my estimate of him as a soldier. 
The same remark will apply also in the case of 


General Canby. I had been at West Point with 
Thomas one year, and had known him later in the 
old army. He was a man of commanding appear- 
ance, slow and deliberate in speech and action ; sen- 
sible, honest and brave. He possessed valuable 
soldierly qualities in an eminent degree. He gained 
the confidence of all who served under him, and 
almost their love. This implies a very valuable 
quality. It is a quality which calls out the most 
efficient services of the troops serving under the 
commander possessing it. 

Thomas's dispositions were deliberately made, and 
always good. He could not be driven from a point he 
was given to hold. He was not as good, however, in 
pursuit as he was in action. I do not believe that 
he could ever have conducted Sherman's army from 
Chattanooga to Atlanta against the defences and 
the commander guarding that line in 1864. On the 
other hand, if it had been given him to hold the 
line which Johnston tried to hold, neither that gene- 
ral nor Sherman, nor any other officer could have 
done it better. 

Thomas was a valuable officer, who richly de- 
served, as he has received, the plaudits of his coun- 
trymen for the part he played in the great tragedy 
of 1861-5. 

General Canby was an officer of great merit. He 
was naturally studious, and inclined to the law. 


There have been in the army but very few, if any, 
officers who took as much interest in reading and 
digesting every act of Congress and every regula- 
tion for the government of the army as he. His 
knowledge gained in this way made him a most 
valuable staff officer, a capacity in which almost all 
his army services were rendered up to the time of 
his being assigned to the Military Division of the 
Gulf. He was an exceedingly modest officer, 
though of great talent and learning. I presume 
his feelings when first called upon to command 
a large army against a fortified city, were some- 
what like my own when marching a regiment 
against General Thomas Harris in Missouri in 1861. 
Neither of us would have felt the slightest trepi- 
dation in going into battle with some one else com- 
manding. Had Canby been in other engagements 
afterwards, he would, I have no doubt, have ad- 
vanced without any fear arising from a sense of the 
responsibility. He was afterwards killed in the lava 
beds of Southern Oregon, while in pursuit of the hos- 
tile Modoc Indians. His character was as pure as his 
talent and learning were great His services were 
valuable during the war, but principally as a bureau 
officer. I have no idea that it was from choice that 
his services were rendered in an office, but because 
of his superior efficiency there. 


the end of the war the march to washington 

one of Lincoln's anecdotes — grand review at 
washington— characteristics of lincoln and 

stanton estimate of the different corps 


THINGS began to quiet down, and as the cer- 
tainty that there would be no more armed re- 
sistance became clearer, the troops in North Carolina 
and Virginia were ordered to march immediately to 
the capital, and go into camp there until mustered out 
Suitable garrisons were left at the prominent places 
throughout the South to insure obedience to the 
laws that might be enacted for the government of 
the several States, and to insure security to the lives 
and property of all classes. I do not know how far 
this was necessary, but I deemed it necessary, at 
that time, that such a course should be pursued. I 
think now that these garrisons were continued after 
they ceased to be absolutely required ; but it is not 
to be expected that such a rebellion as was fought 
between the sections from 1861 to 1865 could termi- 


nate without leaving many serious apprehensions 
in the mind of the people as to what should be 

Sherman marched his troops from Goldsboro, up 
to Manchester, on the south side of the James 
River, opposite Richmond, and there put them in 
camp, while he went back to Savannah to see what 
the situation was there. 

It was during this trip that the last outrage was 
committed upon him. Halleck had been sent to 
Richmond to command Virginia, and had issued 
orders prohibiting even Sherman's own troops from 
obeying his, Sherman's, orders. Sherman met the 
papers on his return, containing this order of Hal- 
leck, and very justly felt indignant at the outrage. 
On his arrival at Fortress Monroe returning from 
Savannah, Sherman received an invitation from 
Halleck to come to Richmond and be his guest. 
This he indignantly refused, and informed Halleck, 
furthermore, that he had seen his order. He also 
stated that he was coming up to take command of 
his troops, and as he marched through it would 
probably be as well for Halleck not to show himself, 
because he (Sherman) would not be responsible for 
what some rash person might do through indig- 
nation for the treatment he had received. Very 
soon after that, Sherman received orders from me to 
proceed to Washington City, and to go into camp on 


the south side of the city pending the mustering-out 
of the troops. 

There was no incident worth noting in the march 
northward from Goldsboro, to Richmond, or in that 
from Richmond to Washington City. The army, 
however, commanded by Sherman, which had been 
engaged in all the battles of the West and had 
marched from the Mississippi through the Southern 
States to the sea, from there to Goldsboro, and 
thence to Washington City, had passed over many 
of the battle-fields of the Army of the Potomac, thus 
having seen, to a greater extent than any other body 
of troops, the entire theatre of the four years' war 
for the preservation of the Union. 

The march of Sherman's army from Atlanta to 
the sea and north to Goldsboro, while it was 
not accompanied with the danger that was antici- 
pated, yet was magnificent in its results, and 
equally magnificent in the way it was conducted. 
It had an important bearing, in various ways, 
upon the great object we had in view, that of 
closing the war. All the States east of the Missis- 
sippi River up to the State of Georgia, had felt the 
hardships of the war. Georgia, and South Carolina, 
and almost all of North Carolina, up to this time, 
had been exempt from invasion by the Northern 
armies, except upon their immediate sea coasts. 
Their newspapers had given such an account of 

Vol. 11 — 34 


Confederate success, that the people who remained 
at home had been convinced that the Yankees had 
been whipped from first to last, and driven from 
pillar to post, and that now they could hardly be 
holding out for any other purpose than to find a 
way out of the war with honor to themselves. 

Even during this march of Sherman's the news- 
papers in his front were proclaiming daily that his 
army was nothing better than a mob of men who 
were frightened out of their wits and hastening, 
panic-stricken, to try to get under the cover of our 
navy for protection against the Southern people. As 
the army was seen marching on triumphantly, how- 
ever the minds of the people became disabused and 
they saw the true state of affairs. In turn they 
became disheartened, and would have been glad to 
submit without compromise. 

Another great advantage resulting from this 
march, and which was calculated to hasten the end, 
was the fact that the great storehouse of Georgia 
was entirely cut off from the Confederate armies. 
As the troops advanced north from Savannah, the 
destruction of the railroads in South Carolina and 
the southern part of North Carolina, further cut off 
their resources and left the armies still in Virginia 
and North Carolina dependent for supplies upon a 
very small area of country, already very much ex- 
hausted of food and forage. 


In due time the two armies, one from Burkesville 
Junction and the other from the neighborhood of 
Raleigh, North Carolina, arrived and went into 
camp near the Capital, as directed. The troops 
were hardy, being inured to fatigue, and they ap- 
peared in their respective camps as ready and fit 
for duty as they had ever been in their lives. I doubt 
whether an equal body of men of any nation, take 
them man for man, officer for officer, was ever 
gotten together that would have proved their equal 
in a great battle. 

The armies of Europe are machines : the men 
are brave and the officers capable ; but the majority 
of the soldiers in most of the nations of Europe are 
taken from a class of people who are not very intel- 
ligent and who have very little interest in the contest 
in which they are called upon to take part. Our 
armies were composed of men who were able to 
read, men who knew what they were fighting for, 
and could not be induced to serve as soldiers, ex- 
cept in an emergency when the safety of the nation 
was involved, and so necessarily must have been 
more than equal to men who fought merely because 
they were brave and because they were thoroughly 
drilled and inured to hardships. 

There was nothing of particular importance oc- 
curred during the time these troops were in camp 
before starting North. 


I remember one little incident which I will relate 
as an anecdote characteristic of Mr. Lincoln. It oc- 
curred a day after I reached Washington, and about 
the time General Meade reached Burkesville with 
the army. Governor Smith of Virginia had left Rich- 
mond with the Confederate States government, and 
had gone to Danville. Supposing I was necessarily 
with the army at Burkesville, he addressed a letter 
to me there informing me that, as governor of the 
Commonwealth of the State of Virginia, he had 
temporarily removed the State capital from Rich- 
mond to Danville, and asking if he would be per- 
mitted to perform the functions of his office there 
without molestation by the Federal authorities. I 
give this letter only in substance. He also in- 
quired of me whether in case he was not allowed 
to perform the duties of his office, he with a few 
others might not be permitted to leave the country 
and go abroad without interference. General Meade 
being informed that a flag of truce was outside his 
pickets with a letter to me, at once sent out and 
had the letter brought in without informing the 
officer who brought it that I was not present. He 
read the letter and telegraphed me its contents. 
Meeting Mr. Lincoln shortly after receiving this dis- 
patch, I repeated its contents to him. Mr. Lincoln, 
supposing I was asking for instructions, said, in re- 
ply to that part of Governor Smith's letter which 


inquired whether he with a few friends would be 
permitted to leave the country unmolested, that his 
position was like that of a certain Irishman (giving 
the name) he knew in Springfield who was very pop- 
ular with the people, a man of considerable promise, 
and very much liked. Unfortunately he had acquired 
the habit of drinking, and his friends could see that 
the habit was growing on him. These friends deter- 
mined to make an effort to save him, and to do this 
they drew up a pledge to abstain from all alcoholic 
drinks. They asked Pat to join them in signing the 
pledge, and he consented. He had been so long out 
of the habit of using plain water as a beverage that 
he resorted to soda-water as a substitute. After a 
few days this began to grow distasteful to him. So 
holding the glass behind him, he said : " Doctor, 
couldn't you drop a bit of brandy in that unbe- 
knownst to myself." 

I do not remember what the instructions were the 
President gave me, but I know that Governor Smith 
was not permitted to perform the duties of his 
office. I also know that if Mr. Lincoln had been 
spared, there would have been no efforts made to 
prevent any one from leaving the country who 
desired to do so. He would have been equally will- 
ing to permit the return of the same expatriated 
citizens after they had time to repent of their 


On the 1 8th of May orders were issued by the 
adjutant-general for a grand review by the Presi- 
dent and his cabinet of Sherman's and Meade's 
armies. The review commenced on the 23d and 
lasted two days. Meade's army occupied over six 
hours of the first day in passing the grand stand 
which had been erected in front of the President's 
house. Sherman witnessed this review from the 
grand stand which was occupied by the President 
and his cabinet. Here he showed his resentment for 
the cruel and harsh treatment that had unneces- 
sarily been inflicted upon him by the Secretary of 
War, by refusing to take his extended hand 

Sherman's troops had been in camp on the south 
side of the Potomac. During the night of the 23d 
he crossed over and bivouacked not far from the 
Capitol. Promptly at ten o'clock on the morning of 
the 24th, his troops commenced to pass in review. 
Sherman's army made a different appearance from 
that of the Army of the Potomac. The latter had 
been operating where they received directly from the 
North full supplies of food and clothing regularly: 
the review of this army therefore was the review of 
a body of 65,000 well-drilled, well-disciplined and 
orderly soldiers inured to hardship and fit for any 
duty, but without the experience of gathering their 
own food and supplies in an enemy's country, and 
of being ever on the watch. Sherman's army was 


not so well-dressed as the Army of the Potomac, 
but their marching could not be excelled ; they 
gave the appearance of men who had been thor- 
oughly drilled to endure hardships, either by long 
and continuous marches or through exposure to any 
climate, without the ordinary shelter of a camp. 
They exhibited also some of the order of march 
through Georgia where the " sweet potatoes sprung 
up from the ground" as Shermans army went 
marching through. In the rear of a company there 
would be a captured horse or mule loaded with 
small cooking utensils, captured chickens and other 
food picked up for the use of the men. Negro 
families who had followed the army would sometimes 
come along in the rear of a company, with three or 
four children packed upon a single mule, and the 
mother leading it. 

The sight was varied and grand : nearly all day 
for two successive days, from the Capitol to the 
Treasury Building, could be seen a mass of orderly 
soldiers marching in columns of companies. The 
National flag was flying from almost every house and 
store ; the windows were filled with spectators ; the 
door-steps and side-walks were crowded with colored 
people and poor whites who did not succeed in 
securing better quarters from which to get a view 
of the grand armies. The city was about as full 
of strangers who had come to see the sights as it 


usually is on inauguration day when a new President 
takes his seat 

It may not be out of place to again allude to Presi- 
dent Lincoln and the Secretary of War, Mr. Stanton, 
who were the great conspicuous figures in the exec- 
utive branch of the government There is no great 
difference of opinion now, in the public mind, as to 
the characteristics of the President With Mr. Stan- 
ton the case is different They were the very oppo- 
site of each other in almost every particular, except 
that each possessed great ability. Mr. Lincoln 
gained influence over men by making them feel that 
it was a pleasure to serve him. He preferred 
yielding his own wish to gratify others, rather than 
to insist upon having his own way. It distressed 
him to disappoint others. In matters of public 
duty, however, he had what he wished, but in the 
least offensive way. Mr. Stanton never questioned 
his own authority to command, unless resisted. He 
cared nothing for the feeling of others. In fact it 
seemed to be pleasanter to him to disappoint than 
to gratify. He felt no hesitation in assuming the 
functions of the executive, or in acting without 
advising with him. If his act was not sustained, he 
would change it — if he saw the matter would be fol- 
lowed up until he did so. 

It was generally supposed that these two officials 
formed the complement of each other. The Secre- 


tary was required to prevent the Presidents being 
imposed upon. The President was required in the 
more responsible place of seeing that injustice was 
not done to others. I do not know that this view 
of these two men is still entertained by the majority 
of the people. It is not a correct view, however, in 
my estimation. Mr. Lincoln did not require a guar- 
dian to aid him in the fulfilment of a public trust. 

Mr. Lincoln was not timid, and he was willing to 
trust his generals in making and executing their 
plans. The Secretary was very timid, and it was 
impossible for him to avoid interfering with the 
armies covering the capital when it was sought to 
defend it by an offensive movement against the army 
guarding the Confederate capital. He could see our 
weakness, but he could not see that the enemy was 
in danger. The enemy would not have been in 
danger if Mr. Stanton had been in the field. These 
characteristics of the two officials were clearly shown 
shortly after Early came so near getting into the 

Among the army and corps commanders who served 
with me during the war between the States, and 
who attracted much public attention, but of whose 
ability as soldiers I have not yet given any estimate, 
are Meade, Hancock, Sedgwick, Burnside, Terry and 
Hooker. There were others of great merit, such 
as Griffin, Humphreys, Wright and Mackenzie. Of 


those first named, Burnside at one time had com* 
mand of the Army of the Potomac, and later of 
the Army of the Ohio. Hooker also commanded 
the Army of the Potomac for a short time. 

General Meade was an officer of great merit, 
with drawbacks to his usefulness that were beyond 
his control. He had been an officer of the engineer 
corps before the war, and consequently had never 
served with troops until he was over forty-six years 
of age. He never had, I believe, a command of 
less than a brigade. He saw clearly and distinctly 
the position of the enemy, and the topography of 
the country in front of his own position. His first 
idea was to take advantage of the lay of the ground, 
sometimes without reference to the direction we 
wanted to move afterwards. He was subordinate 
to his superiors in rank to the extent that he could 
execute an order which changed his own plans 
with the same zeal he would have displayed if the 
plan had been his own. He was brave and con- 
scientious, and commanded the respect of all who 
knew him. He was unfortunately of a temper that 
would get beyond his control, at times, and make 
him speak to officers of high rank in the most offen- 
sive manner. No one saw this fault more plainly 
than he himself, and no one regretted it more. 
This made it unpleasant at times, even in battle, for 
those around him to approach him even with infor- 


mation. In spite of this defect he was a most valua- 
ble officer and deserves a high place in the annals 
of his country. 

General Burnside was an officer who was gen- 
erally liked and respected. He was not, however, 
fitted to command an army. No one knew this bet- 
ter than himself. He always admitted his blunders, 
and extenuated those of officers under him beyond 
what they were entitled to. It was hardly his fault 
that he was ever assigned to a separate command. 

Of Hooker I saw but little during the war. I had 
known him very well before, however. Where I did 
see him, at Chattanooga, his achievement in bring- 
ing his command around the point of Lookout 
Mountain and into Chattanooga Valley was bril- 
liant. I nevertheless regarded him as a dangerous 
man. He was not subordinate to his superiors. He 
was ambitious to the extent of caring nothing for the 
rights of others. His disposition was, when engaged 
in battle, to get detached from the main body of the 
army and exercise a separate command, gathering to 
his standard all he could of his juniors. 

Hancock stands the most conspicuous figure of all 
the general officers who did not exercise a separate 
command. He commanded a corps longer than any 
other one, and his name was never mentioned as hav- 
ing committed in battle a blunder for which he was 
responsible. He was a man of very conspicuous 


personal appearance. Tall, well-formed and, at the 
time of which I now write, young and fresh-looking; 
he presented an appearance that would attract the 
attention of an army as he passed His genial dis-' 
position made him friends, and his personal courage 
and his presence with his command in the thickest 
of the fight won for him the confidence of troops 
serving under him. No matter how hard the fight, 
the 2d corps always felt that their commander was 
looking after them. 

Sedgwick was killed at Spottsylvania before I had 
an opportunity of forming an estimate of his quali- 
fications as a soldier from personal observation. I 
had known him in Mexico when both of us were 
lieutenants, and when our service gave no indica- 
tion that either of us would ever be equal to the 
command of a brigade. He stood very high in the 
army, however, as an officer and a man. He was 
brave and conscientious. His ambition was not 
great, and he seemed to dread responsibility. He 
was willing to do any amount of battling, but always 
wanted some one else to direct. He declined the 
command of the Army of the Potomac once, if not 

General Alfred H. Terry came into the army as a 
volunteer without a military education. His way was 
won without political influence up to an important 
separate command — the expedition against Fort 


Fisher, in January, 1865. His success there was 
most brilliant, and won for him the rank of brig- 
adier-general in the regular army and of major- 
general of volunteers. He is a man who makes 
friends of those under him by his consideration of 
their wants and their dues. As a commander, he 
won their confidence by his coolness in action and 
by his clearness of perception in taking in the situa- 
tion under which he was placed at any given time. 

Griffin, Humphreys, and Mackenzie were good 
corps commanders, but came into that position so 
near to the close of the war as not to attract 
public attention. All three served as such, in the 
last campaign of the armies of the Potomac and 
the James, which culminated at Appomattox Court 
House, on the 9th of April, 1865. The sudden 
collapse of the rebellion monopolized attention to 
the exclusion of almost everything else. I regarded 
Mackenzie as the most promising young officer in 
the army. Graduating at West Point, as he did, 
during the second year of the war, he had won his 
way up to the command of a corps before its close. 
This he did upon his own merit and without 


THE cause of the great War. of the Rebellion 
against the United States will have to be at- 
tributed to slavery. For some years before the war 
began it was a trite saying among some politicians 
that " A state half slave and half free cannot exist." 
All must become slave or all free, or the state will 
go down. I took no part myself in any such view of 
the case at the time, but since the war is over, re- 
viewing the whole question, I have come to the con- 
clusion that the saying is quite true. 

Slavery was an institution that required unusual 
guarantees for its security wherever it existed ; and 
in a country like ours where the larger portion of it 
was free territory inhabited by an intelligent and 
well-to-do population, the people would naturally 
have but little sympathy with demands upon them 
for its protection. Hence the people of the South 
were dependent upon keeping control of the 
general government to secure the perpetuation of 
their favorite institution. They were enabled to 
maintain this control long after the States where 
slavery existed had ceased to have the controlling 

conclusion. 543 

power, through the assistance they received from odd 
men here and there throughout the Northern States. 
They saw their power waning, and this led them to 
encroach upon the prerogatives and independence of 
the Northern States by enacting such laws as the 
Fugitive Slave Law. By this law every Northern 
man was obliged, when properly summoned, to turn 
out and help apprehend the runaway slave of a 
Southern man. Northern marshals became slave- 
catchers, and Northern courts had to contribute to 
the support and protection of the institution. 

This was a degradation which the North would 
not permit any longer than until they could get the 
power to expunge such laws from the statute books. 
Prior to the time of these encroachments the great 
majority of the people of the North had no particu- 
lar quarrel with slavery, so long as they were not 
forced to have it themselves. But they were not 
willing to play the rol£ of police for the South in the 
protection of this particular institution. 

In the early days of the country, before we had 
railroads, telegraphs and steamboats — in a word, 
rapid transit of any sort — the States were each al- 
most a separate nationality. At that time the sub- 
ject of slavery caused but little or no disturbance to 
the public mind. But the country grew, rapid tran- 
sit was established, and trade and commerce between 
the States got to be so much greater than before, that 


the power of the National government became more 
felt and recognized and, therefore, had to be enlisted 
in the cause of this institution. 

It is probably well that we had the war when we 
did. We are better off now than we would have 
been without it, and have made more rapid progress 
than we otherwise should have made. The civilized 
nations of Europe have been stimulated into unusual 
activity, so that commerce, trade, travel, and thorough 
acquaintance among people of different nationalities, 
has become common ; whereas, before, it was but the 
few who had ever had the privilege of going beyond 
the limits of their own country or who knew anything 
about other people. Then, too, our republican insti- 
tutions were regarded as experiments up to the break- 
ing out of the rebellion, and monarchical Europe 
generally believed that our republic was a rope of 
sand that would part the moment the slightest strain 
was brought upon it. Now it has shown itself cap- 
able of dealing with one of the greatest wars that was 
ever made, and our people have proven themselves 
to be the most formidable in war of any nationality. 

But this war was a fearful lesson, and should teach 
us the necessity of avoiding wars in the future. 

The conduct of some of the European states dur- 
ing our troubles shows the lack of conscience of com- 
munities where the responsibility does not come upon 
a single individual. Seeing a nation that extended 

conclusion. 545 

from ocean to ocean, embracing the better part of 
a continent, growing as we were growing in popula- 
tion, wealth and intelligence, the European nations 
thought it would be well to give us a check. We 
might, possibly, after a while threaten their peace, 
or, at least, the perpetuity of their institutions. 
Hence, England was constantly finding fault with 
the administration at Washington because we were 
not able '.o keep up an effective blockade. She 
also joined, at first, with France and Spain in set- 
ting up an Austrian prince upon the throne in Mex- 
ico, totally disregarding any rights or claims that 
Mexico had of being treated as an independent 
power. It is true they trumped up grievances as 
a pretext, but they were only pretexts which can 
always be found when wanted. 

Mexico, in her various revolutions, had been un- 
able to give that protection to the subjects of 
foreign nations which she would have liked to give, 
and some of her revolutionary leaders had forced 
loans from them. Under pretence of protecting 
their citizens, these nations seized upon Mexico as a 
foothold for establishing a European monarchy upon 
our continent, thus threatening our peace at home. 
I, myself, regarded this as a direct act of war against 
the United States by the powers engaged, and sup- 
posed as a matter of course that the United States 
would treat it as such when their hands were free to 

Vol. ii — 35 


strike. I often spoke of the matter to Mr. Lincoln 
and the Secretary of War, but never heard any special 
views from them to enable me to judge what they 
thought or felt about it I inferred that they felt a 
good deal as I did, but were unwilling to commit them- 
selves while we had our own troubles upon our hands. 

All of the powers except France very soon with- 
drew from the armed intervention for the establish- 
ment of an Austrian prince upon the throne of Mex- 
ico ; but the governing people of these countries 
continued to the close of the war to throw obstacles 
in our way. After the surrender of Lee, therefore, 
entertaining the opinion here expressed, I sent Sheri- 
dan with a corps to the Rio Grande to have him 
where he might aid Juarez in expelling the French 
from Mexico. These troops got off before they 
could be stopped ; and went to the Rio Grande, where 
Sheridan distributed them up and down the river, 
much to the consternation of the troops in the 
quarter of Mexico bordering on that stream. This 
soon led to a request from France that we should 
withdraw our troops from the Rio Grande and to nego- 
tiations for the withdrawal of theirs. Finally Bazaine 
was withdrawn from Mexico by order of the French 
Government. From that day the empire began to 
totter. Mexico was then able to maintain her inde- 
pendence without aid from us. 

France is the traditional ally and friend of the 

conclusion, 547 

United States. I did not blame France for her 
part in the scheme to erect a monarchy upon the 
ruins of the Mexican Republic. That was the 
scheme of one man, an imitator without genius or 
merit.' He had succeeded in stealing the govern- 
ment of his country, and made a change in its 
form against the wishes and instincts of his people. 
He tried to play the part of the first Napoleon, 
without the ability to sustain that rol£. He sought 
by new conquests to add to his empire and his 
glory ; but the signal failure of his scheme of con- 
quest was the precursor of his own overthrow. 

Like our own war between the States, the Franco- 
Prussian war was an expensive one; but it was 
worth to* France all it cost her people. It was the 
completion of the downfall of Napoleon III. The 
beginning was when he landed troops on this con- 
tinent. Failing here, the prestige of his name — all 
the prestige he ever had — was gone. He must 
achieve a success or fall. He tried to strike down 
his neighbor, Prussia — and fell. 

I never admired the character of the first Na- 
poleon ; but I recognize his great genius. His 
work, too, has left its impress for good on the 
face of Europe. The third Napoleon could have 
no claim to having done a good or just act. 

To maintain peace in the future it is necessary 
to be prepared for war. There can scarcely be a 


possible chance of a conflict, such as the last one, 
occurring among our own people again ; but, grow- 
ing as we are, in population, wealth and military 
power, we may become the envy of nations which 
led us in all these particulars only a few years 
ago ; and unless we are prepared for it we may 
be in danger of a combined movement being some 
day made to crush us out. Now, scarcely twenty 
years after the war, we seem to have forgotten the 
lessons it taught, and are going on as if in the 
greatest security, without the power to resist an in- 
vasion by the fleets of fourth-rate European powers 
for a time until we could prepare for them. 

We should have a good navy, and our sea-coast 
defences should be put in the finest possible condi- 
tion. Neither of these cost much when it is con- 
sidered where the money goes, and what we get in 
return. Money expended in a fine navy, not only 
adds to our security and tends to prevent war in the 
future, but is very material aid to our commerce with 
foreign nations in the meantime. Money spent upon 
sea-coast defences is spent among our own people, 
and all goes back again among the people. The work 
accomplished, too, like that of the navy, gives us a 
feeling of security. 

England's course towards the United States during 
the rebellion exasperated the people of this country 
very much against the mother country. I regretted 

conclusion. 549 

it England and the United States are natural 
allies, and should be the best of friends. They speak 
one language, and are related by blood and other ties. 
We together, or even either separately, are better 
qualified than any other people to establish com- 
merce between all the nationalities of the world, 

England governs her own colonies, and particu- 
larly those embracing the people of different races 
from her own, better than any other nation. She is 
just to the conquered, but rigid. She makes them 
self-supporting, but gives the benefit of labor to the 
laborer. She does not seem to look upon the col- 
onies as outside possessions which she is at liberty 
to work for the support and aggrandizement of the 
home government. 

The hostility of England to the United States 
during our rebellion was not so much real as it was 
apparent. It was the hostility of the leaders of one 
political party. I am told that there was no time 
during the civil war when they were able to get up 
in England a demonstration in favor of secession, 
while these were constantly being gotten up in favor 
of the Union, or, as they called it, in favor of the 
North. Even in Manchester, which suffered so fear- 
fully by having the cotton cut off from her mills, 
they had a monster demonstration in favor of the 
North at the very time when their workmen were 
almost famishing. 



It is possible that the question of a conflict 
between races may come up in the future, as did 
that between freedom and slavery before. The con- 
dition of the colored man within our borders may 
become a source of anxiety, to say the least But 
he was brought to our shores by compulsion, and he 
now should be considered as having as good a right 
to remain here as any other class of our citizens. It 
was looking to a settlement of this question that 
led me to urge the annexation of Santo Domingo 
during the time I was President of the United 

Santo Domingo was freely offered to us, not only 
by the administration, but by all the people, almost 
without price. The island is upon our shores, is 
very fertile, and is capable of supporting fifteen mil- 
lions of people. The products of the soil are so 
valuable that labor in her fields would be so compen- 
sated as to enable those who wished to go there to 
quickly repay the cost of their passage. I took it 
that the colored people would go there in great num- 
bers, so as to have independent states governed by 
their own race. They would still be States of the 
Union, and under the protection of the General 
Government ; but the citizens would be almost 
wholly colored. 

By the war with Mexico, we had acquired, as we 
have seen, territory almost equal in extent to that 



we already possessed. It was seen that the volun- 
teers of the Mexican war largely composed the 
pioneers to settle up the Pacific coast country. 
Their numbers, however, were scarcely sufficient to 
be a nucleus for the population of the important points 
of the territory acquired by that war. After our 
rebellion, when so many young men were at liberty 
to return to their homes, they found they were not 
satisfied with the farm, the store, or the work-shop 
of the villages, but wanted larger fields. The mines 
of the mountains first attracted them ; but after- 
wards they found that rich valleys and productive 
grazing and farming lands were there. This territory, 
the geography of which was not known to us at 
the close of the rebellion, is now as well mapped as 
any portion of our country. Railroads traverse it 
in every direction, north, south, east, and west. 
The mines are worked. The high lands are used 
for grazing purposes, and rich agricultural lands are 
found in many of the valleys. This is the work of 
the volunteer. It is probable that the Indians would 
have had control of these lands for a century yet but 
for the war. We must conclude, therefore, that wars 
are not always evils unmixed with some good. 

Prior to the rebellion the great mass of the people 
were satisfied to remain near the scenes of their 
birth. In fact an immense majority of the whole 
people did not feel secure against coming to want 


should they move among entire strangers. So much 
was the country divided into small communities that 
localized idioms had grown up, so that you could 
almost tell what section a person was from by hear- 
ing him speak. Before, new territories were settled 
by a " class " ; people who shunned contact with 
others ; people who, when the country began to 
settle up around them, would push out farther 
from civilization. Their guns furnished meat, and 
the cultivation of a very limited amount of the soil, 
their bread and vegetables. All the streams 
abounded with fish. Trapping would furnish pelts to 
be brought into the States once a year, to pay for 
necessary articles which they could not raise — powder, 
lead, whiskey, tobacco and some store goods. Oc- 
casionally some little articles of luxury would enter 
into these purchases — a quarter of a pound of tea, 
two or three pounds of coffee, more of sugar, some 
playing cards, and if anything was left over of the 
proceeds of the sale, more whiskey. 

Little was known of the topography of the 
country beyond the settlements of these frontiers- 
men. This is all changed now. The war begot a 
spirit of independence and enterprise. The feeling 
now is, that a youth must cut loose from his old sur- 
roundings to enable him to get up in the world. 
There is now such a commingling of the people 
that particular idioms and pronunciation are no longer 

conclusion. 553 

localized to any great extent ; the country has filled 
up " from the centre all around to the sea " ; rail- 
roads connect the two oceans and all parts of the 
interior ; maps, nearly perfect, of every part of the 
country are now furnished the student of geography. 

The war has made us a nation of great power 
and intelligence. We have but little to do to pre- 
serve peace, happiness and prosperity at home, and 
the respect of other nations. Our experience ought 
to teach us the necessity of the first ; our power se- 
cures the latter. 

I feel that we are on the eve of a new era, when 
there is to be great harmony between the Federal 
and Confederate. I cannot stay to be a living wit- 
ness to the correctness of this prophecy ; but I feel 
it within me that it is to be so. The universally 
kind feeling expressed for me at a time when it 
was supposed that each day would prove my last, 
seemed to me the beginning of the answer to " Let 
us have peace." 

The expressions of these kindly feelings were not 
restricted to a section of the country, nor to a divi- 
sion of the people. They came from individual citi- 
zens of all nationalities ; from all denominations — 
the Protestant, the Catholic, and the Jew ; and from 
the various societies of the land — scientific, educa- 
tional, religious, or otherwise. Politics did not en- 
ter into the matter at all. 




I am not egotist enough to suppose all this sig- 
nificance should be given because I was the object 
of it. But the war between the States was a very 
bloody and a very costly war. One side or . the 
other had to yield principles they deemed dearer 
than life before it could be brought to an end. I 
commanded the whole of the mighty host engaged 
on the victorious side. I was, no matter whether 
deservedly so or not, a representative of that side of 
the controversy. It is a significant and gratifying 
fact that Confederates should have joined heartily 
in this spontaneous move. I hope the good feeling 
inaugurated may continue to the end. 





Headquarters Armies of the United States, 
Washington, D. C, July 22, 1865. 

Hon. E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War. 

Sir : — I have the honor to submit the following report of the 
operations of the Armies of the United States from the date of my 
appointment to command the same. 

From an early period in the rebellion I had been impressed with 
the idea that active and continuous operations of all the troops 
that could be brought into the field, regardless of season and 
weather, were necessary to a speedy termination of the war. The 
resources of the enemy and his numerical strength were far infe- 
rior to ours : but as an offset to this, we had a vast territory, with 
a population hostile to the government, to garrison, and long lines 
of river and railroad communications to protect, to enable us to 
supply the operating armies. 

The armies in the East and West acted independently and with- 
out concert, like a balky team, no two ever pulling together, ena- 
bling the enemy to use to great advantage his interior lines of com- 
munication for transporting troops from East to West, reinforcing 


the army most vigorously pressed, and to furlough large numbers, 
during seasons of inactivity on our part, to go to their homes and 
do the work of producing, for the support of their armies. It was 
a question whether our numerical strength and resources were not 
more than balanced by these disadvantages and the enemy's su- 
perior position. 

From the first, I was firm in the conviction that no peace could 
be had that would be stable and conducive to the happiness of the 
people, both North and South, until the military power of the re- 
bellion was entirely broken. 

I therefore determined, first, to use the greatest number of troops 
practicable against the armed force of the enemy ; preventing him 
from using the same force at different seasons against first one and 
then another of our armies, and the possibility of repose for refit- 
ting and producing necessary supplies for carrying on resistance. 
Second, to hammer continuously against the armed force of the 
enemy and his resources, until by mere attrition, if in no other 
way, there should be nothing left to him but an equal submission 
with the loyal section of our common country to the constitution 
and laws of the land. 

These views have been kept constantly in mind, and orders 
given and campaigns made to carry them out. Whether they 
might have been better in conception and execution is for the 
people, who mourn the loss of friends fallen, and who have to pay 
the pecuniary cost, to say. All I can say is, that what I have done 
has been done conscientiously, to the best of my ability, and in 
what I conceived to be for the best interests of the whole country. 

At the date when this report begins, the situation of the contend- 
ing forces was about as follows : The Mississippi River was strong- 
ly garrisoned by Federal troops, from St. Louis, Missouri, to its 
mouth. The line of the Arkansas was also held, thus giving us 
armed possession of all west of the Mississippi, north of that stream. 
A few points in Southern Louisiana, not remote from the river, 
were held by us, together with a small garrison at and near the 
mouth of the Rio Grande. All the balance of the vast territory of 
Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas was in the almost undisputed pos- 
session of the enemy, with an army of probably not less than 
eighty thousand effective men, that could have been brought into 


the field had there been sufficient opposition to have brought them 
out. The let-alone policy had demoralized this force so that 
probably but little more than one-half of it was ever present in 
garrison at any one time. But the one-half, or forty thousand men, 
with the bands of guerillas scattered through Missouri, Arkansas, 
and along the Mississippi River, and the disloyal character of much 
of the population, compelled the use of a large number of troops 
to keep navigation open on the river, and to protect the loyal peo- 
ple to the west of it. To the east of the Mississippi we held sub- 
stantially with the line of the Tennessee and Holston rivers, 
running eastward to include nearly all of the State of Tennessee. 
South of Chattanooga, a small foothold had been obtained in 
Georgia, sufficient to protect East Tennessee from incursions from 
the enemy's force at Dalton, Georgia. West Virginia was sub- 
stantially within our lines. Virginia, with the exception of the 
northern border, the Potomac River, a small area about the mouth 
of James River, covered by the troops at Norfolk and Fort Mon- 
roe, and the territory covered by the Army of the Potomac lying 
along the Rap i dan, was in the possession of the enemy. Along the 
sea-coast footholds had been obtained at Plymouth, Washington, 
and New Bern, in North Carolina ; Beaufort, Folly and Morris 
Islands, Hilton Head, Fort Pulaski, and Port Royal, in South 
Carolina ; Fernandina and St. Augustine, in Florida. Key West 
and Pensacola were also in our possession, while all the important 
ports were blockaded by the navy. The accompanying map, a 
copy of which was sent to General Sherman and other commanders 
in March, 1864, shows by red lines the territory occupied by us at 
the beginning of the rebellion, and at the opening of the campaign 
of 1864, while those in blue are the lines which it was proposed to 

Behind the Union lines there were many bands of guerillas and 
a large population disloyal to the government, making it necessary 
to guard every foot of road or river used in supplying our armies. 
In the South, a reign of military despotism prevailed, which made 
every man and boy capable of bearing arms a soldier ; and those 
who could not bear arms in the field acted as provosts for collect- 
ing deserters and returning them. This enabled the enemy to 
bring almost his entire strength into the field. 


The enemy had concentrated the bulk of his forces east of the 
Mississippi into two armies, commanded by Generals R. E. Lee 
and J. E. Johnston, his ablest and best generals. The army com- 
manded by Lee occupied the south bank of the Rapidan, extend- 
ing from Mine Run westward, strongly intrenched, covering and 
defending Richmond, the rebel capital, against the Army of the 
Potomac. The army under Johnston occupied a strongly in- 
trenched position at Dalton, Georgia, covering and defending At- 
lanta, Georgia, a place of great importance as a railroad centre, 
against the armies under Major-General W. T. Sherman. la 
addition to these armies he had a large cavalry force under For- 
rest, in North-east Mississippi ; a considerable force, of all arms, 
in the Shenandoah Valley, and in the western part of Virginia and 
extreme eastern part of Tennessee ; and also confronting our sea- 
coast garrisons, and holding blockaded ports where we had no 
foothold upon land. 

These two armies, and the cities covered and defended by them, 
were the main objective points of the campaign. 

Major-General W. T. Sherman, who was appointed to the com- 
mand of the Military Division of the Mississippi, embracing all the 
armies and territory east of the Mississippi River to the Alleghanies 
and the Department of Arkansas, west of the Mississippi, had the 
immediate command of the armies operating against Johnston. 

Major-General George G. Meade had the immediate command 
of the Army of the Potomac, from where I exercised general 
supervision of the movements of all our armies. 

General Sherman was instructed to move against Johnston's 
army, to break it up, and to go into the interior of the enemy's 
country as far as he could, inflicting all the damage he could upon 
their war resources. If the enemy in his front showed signs of 
joining Lee, to follow him up to the full extent of his ability, while 
I would prevent the concentration of Lee upon him, if it was in 
the power of the Army of the Potomac to do so. More specific 
written instructions were not given, for the reason that I had 
talked over with him the plans of the campaign, and was satisfied 
that he understood them and would execute them to the fullest 
extent possible. 

Major-General N. P. Banks, then on an expedition up Red 


River against Shreveport, Louisiana (which had been organized 
previous to my appointment to command), was notified by me on 
the 15th of March, of the importance it was that Shreveport should 
be taken at the earliest possible day, and that if he found that the 
taking of it would occupy from ten to fifteen days' more time than 
General Sherman had given his troops to be absent from their com- 
mand, he would send them back at the time specified by General 
Sherman, even if it led to the abandonment of the main object of 
the Red River expedition, for this force was necessary to move- 
ments east of the Mississippi ; that should his expedition prove 
successful, he would hold Shreveport and the Red River with such 
force as he might deem necessary, and return the balance of his 
troops to the neighborhood of New Orleans, commencing no move 
for the further acquisition of territory, unless it was to make that 
then held by him more easily held ; that it might be a part of the 
spring campaign to move against Mobile ; that it certainly would 
be, if troops enough could be obtained to make it without em- 
barrassing other movements ; that New Orleans would be the 
point of departure for such an expedition ; also, that I had di- 
rected General Steele to make a real move from Arkansas, as sug- 
gested by him (General Banks), instead of a demonstration, as 
Steele thought advisable. 

On the 31st of March, in addition to the foregoing notification 
and directions, he was instructed as follows : 

" 1st. If successful in your expedition against Shreveport, that you turn over 
the defence of the Red River to General Steele and the navy. 

" 2d. That you abandon Texas entirely, with the exception of your hold 
upon the Rio Grande. This can be held with four thousand men, if they will 
turn their attention immediately to fortifying their positions. At least one- 
half of the force required for this service might be taken from the colored 

"3d. By properly fortifying on the Mississippi River, the force to guard it 
from Port Hudson to New Orleans can be reduced to ten thousand men, if not 
to a less number. Six thousand more would then hold all the rest of the terri- 
tory necessary to hold until active operations can again be resumed west of the 
river. According to your last return, this would give you a force of over thirty 
thousand effective men with which to move against Mobile. To this I expect 
to add five thousand men from Missouri. If, however, you think the force here 
stated too small to hold the territory regarded as necessary to hold possession 
of, I would say concentrate at least twenty-five thousand men of your present 


command for operations against Mobile. With these and such — H t! w nt as I 
can give yon from elsewhere, lose no time in ■—*»«£ * Ap m^. * ^.^ ^ to be 
followed by an attack npoo Mobile. Two or more iroo-dads will be ordered 
to report to Admiral Farragut. This gives him a strong naval fleet with which 
to co-operate. Yon can make yonr own arrangements with the admiral for ms 
co-operation, and select yonr own tine of approach. My own idea of the mat- 
ter is that Pascagoula should be yonr base ; but, from your long service in the 
Gulf Department, yon will know best about the matter. It is intended that 
yonr movements shall be co-operathre with movements elsewhere, and yon 
not now start too soon. AH I would now add is, that you commence the 
Generation of your forces at once. P r eset v e a profound secrecy of what you 
intend doing, and start at the earliest possible moment. 

" U. S. GRANT, fim tenant-General. 

" Major-General N. P. Banks." 

Major-General Meade was instructed that Lee's army would be 
his objective point ; that wherever Lee went he would go also. 
For his movement two plans presented themselves : One to cross 
the Rapidan below Lee, moving by his right flank ; the other 
above, moving by his left Each presented advantages over the 
other, with corresponding objections. By crossing above, Lee 
would be cut off from all chance of ignoring Richmond or going 
north on a raid. But if we took this route, all we did would have 
to be done whilst the rations we started with held out ; besides, it 
separated us from Butler, so that he could not be directed how to 
co-operate. If we took the other route, Brandy Station could be 
used as a base of supplies until another was secured on the York 
or James rivers. Of these, however, it was decided to take the 
lower route. 

The following letter of instruction was addressed to Major- 
General B. F. Butler : 

" Fort Monroe, Virginia, April 2, 1864. 

" General : — In the spring campaign, which it is desirable shall commence at 
as early a day as practicable, it is proposed to have co-operative action of all 
the armies in the field, as far as this object can be accomplished. 

" It will not be possible to unite our armies into two or three large ones to 
act as so many units, owing to the absolute necessity of holding on to the terri- 
tory already taken from the enemy. But, generally speaking, concentration 
can be practically effected by armies moving to the interior of the enemy's 
country from the territory they have to guard. By such movement, they inter* themselves between the enemy and the country to be guarded, thereby re- 


ducing the number necessary to guard important points, or at least occupy the 
attention of a part of the enemy's force, if no greater object is gained. Lee's 
army and Richmond being the greater objects towards which our attention 
must be directed in the next campaign, it is desirable to unite all the force we 
can against them. The necessity of covering Washington with the Army of 
the Potomac, and of covering your department with your army, makes it im- 
possible to unite these forces at the beginning of any move. I propose, there- 
fore, what comes nearest this of anything that seems practicable : The Army 
of the Potomac will act from its present base, Lee's army being the objective 
point. You will collect all the forces from your command that car. be spared 
from garrison duty — I should say not less than twenty thousand effective men — 
to operate on the south side of James River, Richmond being your objective 
point. To the force you already have will be added about ten thousand men 
from South Carolina, under Major-General Gillmore, who will command them 
in person. Major-General W*. F. Smith is ordered to report to you, to com- 
mand the troops sent into the field from your own department. 

" General Gillmore will be ordered to report to you at Fortress Monroe, 
with all the troops on transports, by the 1 8th instant, or as soon thereafter as 
practicable. Should you not receive notice by that time to move, you will 
make such disposition of them and your other forces as you may deem best cal- 
culated to deceive the enemy as to the real move to be made. 

" When you are notified to move, take City Point with as much force as pos- 
sible. Fortify, or rather intrench, at once, and concentrate all your troops for 
the field there as rapidly as you can. From City Point directions cannot be 
given at this time for your further movements. 

" The fact that has already been stated — that is, that Richmond is to be your 
objective point, and that there is to be co-operation between your force and 
the Army of the Potomac — must be your guide. This indicates the necessity 
of your holding close to the south bank of the James River as you advance. 
Then, should the enemy be forced into his intrenchments in Richmond, the 
Army of the Potomac would follow, and by means of transports the two armies 
would become a unit. 

" All the minor details of your advance are left entirely to your direction. 
If, however, you think it practicable to use your cavalry south of you, so as to 
cut the railroad about Hicksford, about the time of the general advance, it 
would be of immense advantage. 

1 ' You will please forward for my information, at the .earliest practicable day, 
all orders, details, and instructions you may give for the execution of this 

" U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General. 

" Major-General B. F. Butler." 

On the 1 6th these instructions were substantially reiterated. On 

the 19th, in order to secure full co-operation between his army 
Vol. 11 — 36 


and that of General Meade, he was informed that I expected him 
to move from Fort Monroe the same day that General Meade 
moved from Culpeper. The exact time I was to telegraph him 
as soon as it was fixed, and that it would not be earlier than the 
27th of April ; that it was my intention to fight Lee between Cul- 
peper and Richmond, if he would stand. Should he, however, 
fall back into Richmond, I would follow up and make a junction 
with his (General Butler's) army on the James River ; that, could 
I be certain he would be able to invest Richmond on the south 
side, so as to have his left resting on the James, above the city, I 
would form the junction there ; that circumstances might make 
this course advisable anyhow ; that he should use every exertion 
to secure footing as far up the south side of the river as he could, 
and as soon as possible after the receipt of orders to move ; that 
if he could not carry the city, he should at least detain as large a 
force there as possible. 

In co-operation with the main movements against Lee and 
Johnston, I was desirous of using all other troops necessarily kept 
in departments remote from the fields of immediate operations, 
and also those kept in the background for the protection of our 
extended lines between the loyal States and the armies operating 
against them. 

A very considerable force, under command of Major-General 
Sigel, was so held for the protection of West Virginia, and the 
frontiers of Maryland and Pennsylvania. Whilst these troops 
could not be withdrawn to distant fields without exposing the 
North to invasion by comparatively small bodies of the enemy, 
they could act directly to their front, and give better protection 
than if lying idle in garrison. By such a movement they would 
either compel the enemy to detach largely for the protection of 
his supplies and lines of communication, or he would lose them. 
General Sigel was therefore directed to organize all his available 
force into two expeditions, to move from Beverly and Charleston, 
under command of Generals Ord and Crook, against the East 
Tennessee and Virginia Railroad. Subsequently, General Ord 
having been relieved at his own request, General Sigel was in- 
structed, at his own suggestion, to give up the expedition by Bev- 
erly, and to form two columns, one under General Crook, on the 


Kanawha, numbering about ten thousand men, and one on the 
Shenandoah, numbering about seven thousand men. The one 
on the Shenandoah to assemble between Cumberland and the 
Shenandoah, and the infantry and artillery advanced to Cedar 
Creek with such cavalry as could be made available at the mo- 
ment, to threaten the enemy in the Shenandoah Valley, and ad- 
vance as far as possible ; while General Crook would take pos- 
session of Lewisburg with part of his force and move down the 
Tennessee Railroad, doing as much damage as he could, destroy- 
ing the New River Bridge and the salt-works, at Saltville, Va. 

Owing to the weather and bad condition of the roads, opera- 
tions were delayed until the 1st of May, when, everything being 
in readiness and the roads favorable, orders were given for a gen- 
eral movement of all the armies not later than the 4th of May. 

My first object being to break the military power of the rebel- 
lion, and capture the enemy's important strongholds, made me de- 
sirous that General Butler should succeed in his movement against 
Richmond, as that would tend more than anything else, unless it 
were the capture of Lee's army, to accomplish this desired result 
in the East. If he failed, it was my determination, by hard fight- 
ing, either to compel Lee to retreat, or to so cripple him that he 
could not detach a large force to go north, and still retain enough 
for the defence of Richmond. It was well understood, by both 
Generals Butler and Meade, before starting on the campaign, that 
it was my intention to put both their armies south of the James 
River, in case of failure to destroy Lee without it. 

Before giving General Butler his instructions, I visited him at 
Fort Monroe, and in conversation pointed out the apparent im- 
portance of getting possession of Petersburg, and destroying rail- 
road communication as far south as possible. Believing, however, 
in the practicability of capturing Richmond unless it was re- 
inforced, I made that the objective point of his operations. As 
the Army of the Potomac was to move simultaneously with him, 
Lee could not detach from his army with safety, and the enemy 
did not have troops elsewhere to bring to the defence of the city 
in time to meet a rapid movement from the north of James River. 

I may here state that, commanding all the armies as I did, I 
tried, as far as possible, to leave General Meade in independent 


command of the Army of the Potomac My instructions far that 
army were all through him, and were general in their nature, leav- 
ing all the details and the execution to him. The campaigns that 
followed proved him to be the right man in the right place. His 
commanding always in the presence of an officer superior to him 
in rank, has drawn from him much of that public attention that 
his zeal and ability entitle him to, and which he would otherwise 
have received. 

The movement of the Army of the Potomac commenced early 
on the morning of the 4th of May, under the immediate direction 
and .orders of Major-General Meade, pursuant to instructions. 
Before night, the whole army was across the Rapidan (the fifth 
and sixth corps crossing at Germania Ford, and the second 
corps at Ely's Ford, the cavalry, under Major-General Sheri- 
dan, moving in advance,) with the greater part of its trains, num- 
bering about four thousand wagons, meeting with but slight oppo- 
sition. The average distance travelled by the troops that day was 
about twelve miles. This I regarded as a great success, and it 
removed from my mind the most serious apprehensions I had 
entertained, that of crossing the river in the face of an active, 
large, well-appointed, and ably commanded army, and how so 
large a train was to be carried through a hostile country, and pro- 
tected. Early on the 5th, the advance corps (the fifth, Major- 
General G. K. Warren commanding,) met and engaged the enemy 
outside his intrenchments near Mine Run. The battle raged furi- 
ously all day, the whole army being brought into the fight as fast 
as the corps could be got upon the field, which, considering the 
density of the forest and narrowness of the roads, was done with 
commendable promptness. 

General Burnside, with the ninth corps, was, at the time the 
Army of the Potomac moved, left with the bulk of his corps at the 
crossing of the Rappahannock River and Alexandria Railroad, 
holding the road back to Bull Run, with instructions not to move 
until he received notice that a crossing of the Rapidan was secured, 
but to move promptly as soon as such notice was received. This 
crossing he was apprised of on the afternoon of the 4th. By six 
o'clock of the morning of the 6th he was leading his corps into 
action near the Wilderness Tavern, some of his troops having 


marched a distance of over thirty miles, crossing both the Rappa- 
hannock and Rapidan rivers. Considering that a large proportion, 
probably two-thirds of his command, was composed of new troops, 
unaccustomed to marches, and carrying the accoutrements of a 
soldier, this was a remarkable march. 

The battle of the Wilderness was renewed by us at five o'clock 
on the morning of the 6th, and continued with unabated fury until 
darkness set in, each army holding substantially the same position 
that they had on the evening of the 5th. After dark, the enemy 
made a feeble attempt to tum our right flank, capturing several 
hundred prisoners and creating considerable confusion. But the 
promptness of General Sedgwick, who was personally present and 
commanded that part of our line, soon reformed it and restored 
order. On the morning of the 7 th, reconnoissances showed that 
the enemy had fallen behind his intrenched lines, with pickets to 
the front, covering a part of the battle-field. From this it was 
evident to my mind that the two days' fighting had satisfied him 
of his inability to further maintain the contest in the open field, 
notwithstanding his advantage of position, and that he would wait 
an attack behind his works. I therefore determined to push on 
and put my whole force between him and Richmond ; and orders 
were at once issued for a movement by his right flank. On the 
night of the 7th, the march was commenced towards Spottsylvania 
Court House, the fifth corps mcJving on the most direct road. 
But the enemy having become apprised of our movement, and 
having the shorter line, was enabled to reach there first. On the 
8th, General Warren met a force of the enemy, which had been 
sent out to oppose and delay his advance, to gain time to fortify 
the line taken up at Spottsylvania. This force was steadily driven 
back on the main force, within the recently constructed works, 
after considerable fighting, resulting in severe loss to both sides. 
On the morning of the 9th, General Sheridan started on a raid 
against the enemy's lines of communication with Richmond. The 
9th, 10th, and nth were spent in manoeuvring and fighting, with- 
out decisive results. Among the killed on the 9th was that able 
and distinguished soldier Major-General John Sedgwick, com- 
manding the sixth army corps. Major-General H. G. Wright 
succeeded him in command. Early on the morning of the 12 th 


a general attack was made on the enemy in position. The second 
corps,. Major-General Hancock commanding, carried a salient of 
his line, capturing most of Johnson's division of E well's corps 
and twenty pieces of artillery. But the resistance was so obstinate 
that the advantage gained did not prove decisive. The 13th, 
14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, and 18th, were consumed in manoeuvring 
and awaiting the arrival of reinforcements from Washington. 
Deeming it impracticable to make any further attack upon the 
enemy at Spottsylvania Court House, orders were issued on the 
iSth with a view to a movement to the North Anna, to commence 
at twelve o'clock on the night of the 19th. Late in the afternoon 
of the 19th, E well's corps came out of its works on our extreme 
right flank ; but the attack was promptly repulsed, with heavy 
loss. This delayed the movement to the North Anna until the 
night of the 21st, when it was commenced. But the enemy again, 
having the shorter line, and being in possession of the main roads, 
was enabled to reach the North Anna in advance of us, and took 
position behind it. The fifth corps reached the North Anna on 
the afternoon of the 23d, closely followed by the sixth corps. 
The second and ninth corps got up about the same time, the 
second holding the railroad bridge, and the ninth lying between 
that and Jericho Ford. General Warren effected a crossing the 
same afternoon, and got a position without much opposition. 
Soon after getting into position he was violently attacked, but re- 
pulsed the enemy with great slaughter. On the 25th, General 
Sheridan rejoined the Army of the Potomac from the raid on 
which he started from Spottsylvania, having destroyed the depots 
at Beaver Dam and Ashland stations, four trains of cars, large 
supplies of rations, and many miles of' railroad-track ; recaptured 
about four hundred of our men on their way to Richmond as pris- 
oners of war ; met and defeated the enemy's cavalry at Yellow 
Tavern ; carried the first line of works around Richmond 'but 
finding the second line too strong to be carried by assault', re- 
crossed to the north bank of the Chickahominy at Meadow Bridge 
under heavy fire, and moved by a detour to Haxall's Landing, 
on the James River, where he communicated with General Butler. 
This raid had the effect of drawing off the whole of the enemy's 
cavalry force, making it comparatively easy to guard our trains. 


General Butler moved his main force up the James River, in 
pursuance of instructions, on the 4th of May, General Gillmore 
having joined him with the tenth corps. At the same time he sent 
a force of one thousand eight hundred cavalry, by way of West 
Point, to form a junction with him wherever he might get a foot- 
hold, and a force of three thousand cavalry, under General Kautz, 
from Suffolk, to operate against the road south of Petersburg and 
Richmond. On the 5 th, he occupied, without opposition, both 
City Point and Bermuda Hundred, his movement being a com- 
plete surprise. On the 6th, he was in position with his main army, 
and commenced intrenching. On the 7th he made a reconnois- 
sance against the Petersburg and Richmond Railroad, destroying 
a portion of it after some fighting. On the 9th he telegraphed as 
follows : 

" Headquarters, near Bermuda Landing, 

May 9, 1864. 
" Hon. E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War. 

" Our operations may be summed up in a few words. With one thousand 
seven hundred cavalry we have advanced up the Peninsula, forced the Chicka- 
hominy, and have safely brought them to their present position. These were 
colored cavalry, and are now holding our advance pickets towards Richmond. 

"General Kautz, with three thousand cavalry from Suffolk, on the same 
day with our movement up James River, forced the black Water, burned the 
railroad bridge at Stony Creek, below Petersburg, cutting into Beauregard's 
force at that point. 

" We have landed here, intrenched ourselves, destroyed many miles of rail- 
road, and got a position which, with proper supplies, we can hold out against 
the whole of Lee's army. I have ordered up the supplies. 

44 Beauregard, with a large portion of his force, was left south by the cutting 
of the railroads by Kautz. That portion which reached Petersburg under Hill 
I have whipped to-day, killing and wounding many, and taking many pris- 
oners, after a severe and well-contested fight. 

" General Grant will not be troubled with any further reinforcements to 
Lee from Beauregard's force. 

" BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major-General." 

On the evening of the 13th and morning of the 14th he carried 
a portion of the enemy's first line of defences at Drury's Bluff, or 
Fort Darling, with small loss. The time thus consumed from the 
6th lost to us the benefit of the surprise and capture of Richmond 
and Petersburg, enabling, as it did, Beauregard to collect his loose 


forces in North and South Carolina, and bring them to the defence 
of those places. On the 16th, the enemy attacked General Butler 
in his position in front of Drury's Bluff. He was forced back, or 
drew back, into his intrenchments between the forks of the James 
and Appomattox rivers, the enemy intrenching strongly in his 
front, thus covering his railroads, the city, and all that was valu- 
able to him. His army, therefore, though in a position of great 
security, was as completely shut off from further operations directly 
against Richmond rs if it had been in a bottle strongly corked. It 
required but a comparatively small force of the enemy to hold it 

On the 12th, General Kautz, with his cavalry, was started on a 
raid against the Danville Railroad, which he struck at Coalfield, 
Powhatan, and Chula Stations, destroying them, the railroad-track, 
two freight trains, and one locomotive, together with large quan- 
tities of commissary and other stores ; thence, crossing to the 
South Side Road, struck it at Wilson's, Wellsville, and Black's and 
'White's Stations, destroying the road and station-houses ; thence 
he proceeded to City Point, which he reached on the 18th. 

On the 19th of April, and prior to the movement of General 
Butler, the enemy, with a land force under General Hoke and an 
iron-clad ram, attacked Plymouth, N. C, commanded by General 
H. W. Wessells, and our gunboats there ; and, after severe fighting, 
the place was carried by assault, and the entire garrison and arma- 
ment captured. The gunboat Smithfield was sunk, and the Miami 

The army sent to operate against Richmond having hermetically 
sealed itself up at Bermuda Hundred, the enemy was enabled to 
bring the most, if not all, the reinforcements brought from the 
south by Beauregard against the Army of the Potomac. In ad- 
dition to this reinforcement, a very considerable one, probably 
not less than fifteen thousand men, was obtained by calling in the 
scattered troops under Breckinridge from the western part of 

The position of Bermuda Hundred was as easy to defend as it was 
difficult to operate from against the enemy. I determined, there- 
fore, to bring from it all available forces, leaving enough only to 
secure what had been gained ; and accordingly, on the 2 2d, I 


directed that they be sent forward, under command of Major-Gen- 
eral W. F. Smith, to join the Army of the Potomac. 

On the 24th of May, the 9th army corps, commanded by 
Major-General A. E. Burnside, was assigned to the Army of the 
Potomac, and from this time forward constituted a portion of 
Major-General Meade's command. 

Finding the enemy's position on the North Anna stronger than 
either of his previous ones, I withdrew on the night of the 26th 
to the north bank of the North Anna, and moved via Hanover 
Town to turn the enemy's position by his right. 

Generals Torbert's and Merritt's divisions of cavalry, under 
Sheridan, and the 6th corps, led the advance ; crossed the Pamun- 
key River at Hanover Town, after considerable fighting, and on 
the 28th the two divisions of cavalry had a severe, but successful 
engagement with the enemy at Hawes's Shop. On the 29th and 
30th we advanced, with heavy skirmishing, to the Hanover Court 
House and Cold Harbor Road, and developed the enemy's posi- 
tion north of the Chickahominy. Late on the evening of the last 
day the enemy came out and attacked our left, but was repulsed 
with very considerable loss. An attack was immediately ordered 
by General Meade, along his whole line, which resulted in driving 
the enemy from a part of his intrenched skirmish line. 

On the 31st, General Wilson's division of cavalry destroyed the 
railroad bridges over the South Anna River, after defeating the 
enemy's cavalry. General Sheridan, on the same day, reached 
Cold Harbor, and held it until relieved by the 6th corps and 
General Smith's command, which had just arrived, via White 
House, from General Butler's army. 

On the 1 st day of June an attack was made at five p.m. by the 
6th corps and the troops under General Smith, the other corps 
being held in readiness to advance on the receipt of orders. This 
resulted in our carrying and holding the enemy's first line of 
works in front of the right of the 6th corps, and in front of 
General Smith. During the attack the enemy made repeated 
assaults on each of the corps not engaged in the main attack, but 
was repulsed with heavy loss in every instance. That night he 
made several assaults to regain what he had lost in the day, but 
failed. The 2d was spent in getting troops into position for an 


rji cc. "fist yL C+l ±e yL oc Jttic wie again assanked the 
«i*=.y i ▼ irk*. =i cze icce cc drrratr aim from his position. In 
zzjk vziirr.zt -»ir j:» wis hearr. wrrile tsar oc the cnemr. I hare 
rasr-n v- leiier*. wis cocpaniiTeiy tgii. It was the only general 
sr^&ik =a*it free r:.* Raciias. tj tbe Tames which did not indict 
. zc*l zzxt ?z&=LT a'j&a lo cccizKasaie Cor oar own losses, I would 

* * * 

ac: :*t urji*T5tȣ 25 saying siar ill prevkxis attacks resulted in 
v ;t vri-a ts :,«^r ansa, or accomplished as much as I had hoped 
zz',rz th-tta : L^t they ir.^icaed upon the enemy severe losses, 
which :.fmit<L ui the end, to the complete overthrow of the re- 

Frcm the proximity of the enemy to his defences around Rich- 
mond, i: was impossible, by any dank movement, to interpose be- 
tween him and the citv. I was still in a condition to either move bv 
his left flack, and invest Richmond from the north side, or continue 
my move by his right flank to the south side of the James. 
While the former might have been better as a covering for Wash- 
ington, yet a full survey of all the ground satisfied me that it would 
be impracticable to hold a line north and east of Richmond that 
would protect :he Fredericksburg Railroad, a long, vulnerable 
line, which would exhaust much of our strength to guard, and that 
would have to be protected to supply the army, and would leave 
open to the enemy all his lines of communication on the south 
hide of the James. My idea, from the start, had been to beat Lee's 
army north of Richmond, if possible. Then, after destroying his 
lines of communication north of the James River, to transfer the 
army to the south side, and besiege Lee in Richmond, or follow 
hirn south if he should retreat. After the battle of the Wilderness, 
it was evident that the enemy deemed it of the first importance to 
run no risks with the army he then had. He acted purely on the 
defensive, behind breastworks, or feebly on the offensive imme- 
diately in front of them, and where, in case of repulse, he could 
easily retire behind them. Without a greater sacrifice of life than I 
was willing to make, all could not be accomplished that I had de- 
signed north of Richmond. I therefore determined to continue to 
hold substantially the ground we then occupied, taking advantage of 
any favorable circumstances that might present themselves, until 
the cavalry could be sent to Charlottesville and Gordonsville to 

APPENDIX. 5 7 1 

effectually break up the railroad connection between Richmond 
and the Shenandoah Valley and Lynchburg ; and when the cavalry 
got well off, to move the army to the south side of the James 
River, by the enemy's right flank, where I felt I could cut off all 
his sources of supply, except by the canal. 

On the 7th, two divisions of cavalry, under General Sheridan, 
got off on the expedition against the Virginia Central Railroad, 
with instructions to Hunter, whom I hoped he would meet near 
Charlottesville, to join his forces to Sheridan's, and after the 
work laid out for them was thoroughly done, to join the Army of 
the Potomac by the route laid down in Sheridan's instructions. 

On the 10th of June, General Butler sent a force of infantry, 
under General Gillmore, and of cavalry under General Kautz, to 
capture Petersburg, if possible, and destroy the railroad and com- 
mon bridges across the Appomattox. The cavalry carried the 
works on the south side, and penetrated well in towards the town, 
but were forced to retire. General Gillmore, finding the works 
which he approached very strong, and deeming an assault im- 
practicable, returned to Bermuda Hundred without attempting 

Attaching great importance to the possession of Petersburg, I 
sent back to Bermuda Hundred and City Point, General Smith's 
command by water, via the White House, to reach there in ad- 
vance of the Army of the Potomac. This was for the express 
purpose of securing Petersburg before the enemy, becoming aware 
of our intention, could reinforce the place. 

The movement from Cold Harbor commenced after dark on 
the evening of the 12th. One division of cavalry, under General 
Wilson, and the 5 th corps, crossed the Chickahominy at Long 
Bridge, and moved out to White Oak Swamp, to cover the crossings 
of the other corps. The advance corps reached James River, at 
Wilcox's Landing and Charles City Court House, on the night of 
the 13th. 

During three long years the Armies of the Potomac and North- 
ern Virginia had been confronting each other. In that time they 
had fought more desperate battles than it probably ever before 
fell to the lot of two armies to fight, without materially changing 
the vantage ground of either. The Southern press and people, 


with more shrewdness than was displayed in the North, finding 
that they had failed to capture Washington and march on to New 
York, as they had boasted they would do, assumed that they only 
defended their Capital and Southern territory. Hence, Antietam, 
Gettysburg, and all the other battles that had been fought, were 
by them set down as failures on our part, and victories for them. 
Their army believed this. It produced a morale which could only 
be overcome by desperate and continuous hard fighting. The 
battles of the Wilderness, Spottsylvania, North Anna and Cold 
Harbor, bloody and terrible as they were on our side, were even 
more damaging to the enemy, and so crippled him as to make him 
wary ever after of taking the offensive. His losses in men were 
probably not so great, owing to the fact that we were, save in 
the Wilderness, almost invariably the attacking party ; and when 
he did attack, it was in the open field. The details of these bat- 
tles, which for endurance and bravery on the part of the soldiery, 
have rarely been surpassed, are given in the report of Major-Gen- 
eral Meade, and the subordinate reports accompanying it. 

During the campaign of forty-three days, from the Rapidan to 
the James River, the army had to be supplied from an ever- 
shifting base, by wagons, over narrow roads, through a densely 
wooded country, with a lack of wharves at each new base* from 
which to conveniently discharge vessels. Too much credit can- 
not, therefore, be awarded to the quartermaster and commissary 
departments for the zeal and efficiency displayed by them. 
Under the general supervision of the chief quartermaster, Briga- 
dier-General R. Ingalls, the trains were made to occupy all the 
available roads between the army and our water-base, and but 
little difficulty was experienced in protecting them. 

The movement in the Kanawha and Shenandoah valleys, under 
General Sigel, commenced on the ist of May. General Crook, 
who had the immediate command of the Kanawha expedition, di- 
vided his forces into two columns, giving one, composed of cavalry, 
to General Averell. They crossed the mountains by separate routes. 
Averell struck the Tennessee and Virginia Railroad, near Wythe- 
ville, on the ioth, and proceeding to New River and Christians- 
burg, destroyed the road, several important bridges and depots, 
including New River Bridge, forming a junction with Crook at 


Union on the 15th. General Sigel moved up the Shenandoah Val- 
ley, met the enemy at New Market on the 15 th, and, after a severe 
engagement, was defeated with heavy loss, and retired behind Cedar 
Creek. Not regarding the operations of General Sigel as satis- 
factory, I asked his removal from command, and Major-General 
Hunter was appointed to supersede him. His instructions were 
embraced in the following dispatches to Major-General H. W. 
Halleck, chief of staff of the army : 

" Near Spottsylvania Court House, Va., 

May 20, 1864. 


The enemy are evidently relying for supplies greatly on such as are 
brought over the branch road running through Staunton. On the whole, 
therefore, I think it would be better for General Hunter to move in that direc- 
tion ; reach Staunton and Gordonsville or Charlottesville, if he does not meet 
too much opposition. If he can hold at bay a force equal to his own, he will 
be doing good service. • • * 

" U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-Geaeral. 

" Major-General H. W. Halleck." 

Jericho Ford, Va., May 25, 1864. 

" If Hunter can possibly get to Charlottesville and Lynchburg, he should do 
so, living on the country. The railroads and canal should be destroyed beyond 
possibility of repairs for weeks. Completing this, he could find his way back 
to his original base, or from about Gordonsville join this army. 

" U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General. 

" Major-General H. W. Halleck." 

General Hunter immediately took up the offensive, and, moving 
up the Shenandoah Valley, met the enemy on the 5th of June 
at Piedmont, and, after a battle of ten hours, routed and de- 
feated him, capturing on the field of battle one thousand five 
hundred men, three pieces of artillery, and three hundred stand 
of small arms. On the 8th of the same month he formed a junc- 
tion with Crook and Averell at Staunton, from which place he 
moved direct on Lynchburg, via Lexington, which place he reached 
and invested on the 16th day of June. Up to this time he was very 
successful ; and but for the difficulty of taking with him suffi- 
cient ordnance stores over so long a march, through a hostile 


country, he would, no doubt, have captured that, to the enemy 
important, point. The destruction of the enemy's supplies and 
manufactories was very great. To meet this movement under 
General Hunter, General Lee sent a force, perhaps equal to a 
corps, a part of which reached Lynchburg a short time before 
Hunter. After some skirmishing on the 17th and 18th, General 
Hunter, owing to a want of ammunition to give battle, retired from 
before the place. Unfortunately, this want of ammunition left him 
no choice of route for his return but by way of Kanawha. This 
lost to us the use of his troops for several weeks from the defence 
of the North. 

Had General Hunter moved by way of Charlottesville, instead 
of Lexington, as his instructions contemplated, he would have 
been in a position to have covered the Shenandoah Valley against 
the enemy, should the force he met have seemed to endanger it 
If it did not, he would have been within easy distance of the 
James River Canal, on the main line of communication between 
Lynchburg and the force sent for its defence. I have never taken 
exception to the operations of General Hunter, and am not now 
disposed to find fault with him, for I have no doubt he acted 
within what he conceived to be the spirit of his instructions and 
the interests of the service. The promptitude of his movements 
and his gallantry should entitle him to the commendation of his 

To return to the Army of the Potomac : The 2d corps com- 
menced crossing the James River on the morning of the 14th by 
ferry-boats at Wilcox's Landing. The laying of the pontoon- 
bridge was completed about midnight of the 14th, and the crossing 
of the balance of the army was rapidly pushed forward by both 
bridge and ferry. 

After the crossing had commenced, I proceeded by steamer to 
Bermuda Hundred to give the necessary orders for the immediate 
capture of Petersburg. 

The instructions to General Butler vere verbal, and were for 
him to send General Smith immediately, that night, with all the 
troops he could give him without sacrificing the position he then 
held. I told him that I would return at once to the Army of the 
Potomac, hasten its crossing, and throw it forward to Petersburg 


by divisions as rapidly as it could be done ; that we could re- 
inforce our armies more rapidly there than the enemy could bring 
troops against us. General Smith got off as directed, and con- 
fronted the enemy's pickets near Petersburg before daylight next 
morning, but for some reason that I have never been able to sat- 
isfactorily understand, did not get ready to assault his main lines 
until near sundown. Then, with a part of his command only, he 
made the assault, and carried the lines north-east of Petersburg 
from the Appomattox River, for a distance of over two and a half 
miles, capturing fifteen pieces of artillery and three hundred pris- 
oners. This was about seven p.m. Between the line thus cap- 
tured and Petersburg there were no other works, and there was 
no evidence that the enemy had reinforced Petersburg with a 
single brigade from any source. The night was clear — the moon 
shining brightly — and favorable to further operations. General 
Hancock, with two divisions of the 2d corps, reached General 
Smith just after dark, and offered the service of these troops as 
he (Smith) might wish, waiving rank to the named commander, 
who he naturally supposed knew best the position of affairs, and 
what to do with the troops. But instead of taking these troops and 
pushing at once into Petersburg, he requested General Hancock 
to relieve a part of his line in the captured works, which was done 
before midnight. 

By the time I arrived the next morning the enemy was in force. 
An attack was ordered to be made at six o'clock that evening by 
the troops under Smith and the 2d and 9th corps. It required 
until that time for the 9th corps to get up and into position. 
The attack was made as ordered, and the fighting continued 
with but little intermission until six o'clock the next morning, and 
resulted in our carrying the advance and some of the main works 
of the enemy to the right (our left) of those previously captured 
by General Smith, several pieces of artillery, and over four hun- 
dred prisoners. 

The 5th corps having got up, the attacks were renewed and 
persisted in with great vigor on the 17th and i8th. but only resulted 
in forcing the enemy into an interior line, from which he could 
not be dislodged. The advantages of position gained by us were 
very great. The army chen proceeded to envelop Petersburg 


towards the South Side Railroad, as far as possible without attack- 
ing fortifications. 

On the 1 6th the enemy, to reinforce Petersburg, withdrew from 
a part of his intrenchment in front of Bermuda Hundred, expect- 
ing, no doubt, to get troops from north of the James to take the 
place of those withdrawn before we could discover it. General 
Butler, taking advantage of this, at once moved a force on the 
railroad between Petersburg and Richmond. As soon as I was 
apprised of the advantage thus gained, to retain it I ordered two 
divisions of the 6th corps, General Wright commanding, that 
were embarking at Wilcox's Landing, under orders for City Point, 
to report to General Butler at Bermuda Hundred, of which Gen- 
eral Butler was notified, and the importance of holding a position 
in advance of his present line urged upon him. 

About two o'clock in the afternoon General Butler was forced 
back to the line the enemy had withdrawn from in the morning. 
General Wright, with his two divisions, joined General Butler on 
the forenoon of the 17th, the latter still holding with a strong 
picket-line the enemy's works. But instead of putting these divi- 
sions into the enemy's works to hold them, he permitted them 
to halt and rest some distance in the rear of his own line. Be- 
tween four and five o'clock in the afternoon the enemy attacked 
and drove in his pickets and re-occupied his old line. 

On the night of the 20th and morning of the 21st a lodgment 
was effected by General Butler, with one brigade of infantry, on 
the north bank of the James, at Deep Bottom, and connected by 
pontoon-bridge with Bermuda Hundred. 

On the 19th, General Sheridan, on his return from his expedi- 
tion against the Virginia Central Railroad, arrived at the White 
House just as the enemy's cavalry was about to attack it, and 
compelled it to retire. The result of this expedition was, that Gen- 
eral Sheridan met the enemy's cavalry near Trevilian Station, on 
the morning of the nth of June, whom he attacked, and after an 
obstinate contest drove from the field in complete rout. He left 
his dead and nearly all his wounded in our hands, and about four 
hundred prisoners and several hundred horses. On the 12th he 
destroyed the railroad from Trevilian Station to Louisa Court 
House. This occupied until three o'clock p. m., when he advanced 


in the direction of Gordonsville. He found the enemy reinforced 
by infantry, behind well-constructed rifle-pits, about five miles 
from the latter place, and too strong to successfully assault. On 
the extreme right, however, his reserve brigade carried the ene- 
my's works twice, and was twice driven therefrom by infantry. 
Night closed the contest. Not having sufficient ammunition to 
continue the engagement, and his animals being without forage 
(the country furnishing but inferior grazing), and hearing nothing 
from General Hunter, he withdrew his command to the north side 
of the North Anna, and commenced his return march, reaching 
White House at the time before stated. After breaking up the 
depot at that place, he moved to the James River, which he 
reached safely after heavy fighting. He commenced crossing 
on the 25th, near Fort Powhatan, without further molestation, 
and rejoined the Army of the Potomac. 

On the 2 2d, General Wilson, with his own division of cavalry of 
the Army of the Potomac, and General Kautz's division of cavalry 
of the Army of the James, moved against the enemy's railroads 
south of Richmond. Striking the Weldon Railroad at Reams's 
Station, destroying the depot and several miles of the road, and 
the South Side road about fifteen miles from Petersburg, to near 
Nottoway Station, where he met and defeated a force of the ene- 
my's cavalry. He reached Burkesville Station on the afternoon of 
the 23d, and from there destroyed the Danville Railroad to 
Roanoke Bridge, a distance of twenty-five miles, where he found 
the enemy in force, and in a position from which he could not 
dislodge him. He then commenced his return march, and on 
the 28th met the enemy's cavalry in force at the Weldon Railroad 
crossing of Stony Creek, where he had a severe but not decisive 
engagement. Thence he made a detour from his left with a view 
of reaching Reams's Station (supposing it to be in our possession). 
At this place he was met by the enemy's cavalry, supported by in- 
fantry, and forced to retire, with the loss of his artillery and trains. 
In this last encounter, General Kautz, with a part of his command, 
became separated, and made his way into our lines. General 
Wilson, with the remainder of his force, succeeded in crossing 
the Nottoway River and coming in safely on our left and rear. 
The damage to the enemy in this expedition more than compen- 
Vol. 11 —37 


sated for the losses we sustained. It severed all connection by 
railroad with Richmond for several weeks. 

With a view of cutting the enemy's railroad from near Rich- 
mond to the Anna rivers, and making him wary of the situation 
of his army in the Shenandoah, and, in the event of failure in 
this, to take advantage of his necessary withdrawal of troops from 
Petersburg, to explode a mine that had been prepared in front of 
the 9th corps and assault the enemy's lines at that place, on the 
night of the 26th of July the 2d corps and two divisions of the 
cavalry corps and Kautz's cavalry were crossed to the north 
bank of the James River and joined the force General Butler had 
there. On the 27 th the enemy was driven from his intrenched 
position, with the loss of four pieces of artillery. On the 28th 
our lines were extended from Deep Bottom to New Market Road, 
but in getting this position were attacked by the enemy in heavy 
force. The fighting lasted for several hours, resulting in consid- 
erable loss to both sides. The first object of this move having 
failed, by reason of the very large force thrown there by the 
enemy, I determined to take advantage of the diversion made, by 
assaulting Petersburg before he could get his force back there. 
One division of the 2d corps was withdrawn on the night of the 
28th, and moved during the night to the rear of the iSth 
corps, to relieve that corps in the line, that it might be foot-loose 
in the assault to be made. The other two divisions of the 2d 
corps and Sheridan's cavalry were crossed over on the night of 
the 29th and moved in front of Petersburg. On the morning of 
the 30th, between four and five o'clock, the mine was sprung, 
blowing up a battery and most of a regiment, and the advance of 
the assaulting column, formed of the 9th corps, immediately 
took possession of the crater made by the explosion, and the line 
for some distance to the right and left of it, and a detached line 
in front of it, but for some cause failed to advance promptly to 
the ridge beyond. Had they done this, I have every reason to 
believe that Petersburg would have fallen. Other troops were 
immediately pushed forward, but the time consumed in getting 
them up enabled the enemy to rally from his surprise (which had 
been complete), and get forces to this point for its defence. The 
captured line thus held being untenable, and of no advantage to 


us, the troops were withdrawn, but not without heavy loss. Thus 
terminated in disaster what promised to be the most successful 
assault of the campaign. 

Immediately upon the enemy's ascertaining that General Hun- 
ter was retreating from Lynchburg by way of the Kanawha River, 
thus laying the Shenandoah Valley open for raids into Maryland 
and Pennsylvania, he returned northward and moved down that 
valley. As soon as this movement of the enemy was ascertained, 
General Hunter, who had reached the Kanawha River, was di- 
rected to move his troops without delay, by river and railroad, to 
Harper's Ferry ; but owing to the difficulty of navigation by 
reason of low water and breaks in the railroad, great delay was 
experienced in getting there. It became necessary, therefore, to 
find other troops to check this movement of the enemy. For 
this purpose the 6th corps was taken from the armies operating 
against Richmond, to which was added the 19th corps, then 
fortunately beginning to arrive in Hampton Roads from the Gulf 
Department, under orders issued immediately after the ascertain- 
ment of the, result of the Red River expedition. The garrisons of 
Baltimore and Washington were at this time made up of heavy- 
artillery regiments, hundred days' men, and detachments from 
the invalid corps. One division under command of General 
Ricketts, of the 6th corps, was sent to Baltimore, and the remain- 
ing two divisions of the 6th corps, under General Wright, were 
subsequently sent to Washington. On the 3d of July the enemy 
approached Martinsburg. General Sigel, who was in command of 
our forces there, retreated across the Potomac at Shepherdstown ; 
and General Weber, commanding at Harper's Ferry, crossed the 
river and occupied Maryland Heights. On the 6th the enemy 
occupied Hagerstown, moving a strong column towards Frederick 
City. General Wallace, with Ricketts's division and his own com- 
mand, the latter mostly new and undisciplined troops, pushed out 
from Baltimore with great promptness, and met the enemy in force 
on the Monocacy, near the crossing of the railroad bridge. His 
force was not sufficient to insure success, but he fought the enemy 
nevertheless, and although it resulted in a defeat to our arms, yet 
it detained the enemy, and thereby served to enable General 
Wright to reach Washington with two divisions of the 6th corps, 


and the advance of the 19th corps, before him. From Mono- 
cacy the enemy moved on Washington, his cavalry advance 
reaching Rockville on the evening of the 10th. On the 12th a 
reconnoissance was thrown out in front of Fort Stevens, to ascer- 
tain the enemy's position and force. A severe skirmish ensued, 
in which we lost about two hundred and eighty in killed and 
wounded. The enemy's loss was probably greater. He com- 
menced retreating during the night. Learning the exact condition 
of affairs at Washington, I requested by telegraph, at forty- five 
minutes past eleven p.m., on the 12th, the assignment of Major- 
General H. G. Wright to the command of all the troops that could 
be made available to operate in the field against the enemy, and 
directed that he should get outside of the trenches with all the 
force he could, and push Early to the last moment. General 
Wright commenced the pursuit on the 13th ; on the 18th the 
enemy was overtaken at Snicker's Ferry, on the Shenandoah, 
when a sharp skirmish occurred ; and on the 20th, General 
Averell encountered and defeated a portion of the rebel army at 
Winchester, capturing four pieces of artillery and several hundred 

Learning that Early was retreating south towards Lynchburg or 
Richmond, I directed that the 6th and 19th corps be got back to 
the armies operating against Richmond, so that they might be used 
in a movement against Lee before the return of the troops sent by 
him into the valley ; and that Hunter should remain in the She- 
nandoah Valley, keeping between any force of the enemy and 
Washington, acting on the defensive as much as possible. I felt 
that if the enemy had any notion of returning, the fact would be 
developed before the 6th and 19th corps could leave Washington. 
Subsequently, the 19th corps was excepted from the order to re- 
turn to the James. 

About the 25th it became evident that the enemy was again ad- 
vancing upon Maryland and Pennsylvania, and the 6th corps, then 
at Washington, was ordered back to the vicinity of Harper's Ferry. 
The rebel force moved down the valley, and sent a raiding party 
into Pennsylvania which on the 30th burned Chambersburg, and 
then retreated, pursued by our cavalry, towards Cumberland. 
They were met and defeated by General Kelley, and with dimin- 


ished numbers escaped into the mountains of West Virginia. From 
the time of the first raid the telegraph wires were frequently down 
between Washington and City Point, making it necessary to trans- 
mit messages a part of the way by boat. It took from twenty-four 
to thirty-six hours to get dispatches through and return answers 
back ; so that often orders would be given, and then information 
would be received showing a different state of facts from those on 
which they were based, causing a confusion and apparent contra- 
diction of orders that must have considerably embarrassed those 
who had to execute them, and rendered operations against the 
enemy less effective than they otherwise would have been. To 
remedy this evil, it was evident to my mind that some person 
should have the supreme command of all the forces in the Depart- 
ments of West Virginia, Washington, Susquehanna, and the Middle 
Department, and I so recommended. 

On the 2d of August, I ordered General Sheridan to report in 
person to Major-General Halleck, chief of staff, at Washington, 
with a view to his assignment to the command of all the forces 
against Early. At this time the enemy was concentrated in the 
neighborhood of Winchester, while our forces, under General Hun- 
ter, were concentrated on the Monocacy, at the crossing of the 
Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, leaving open to the enemy Western 
Maryland and Southern Pennsylvania. From where I was, I hesi- 
tated to give positive orders for the movement of our forces at 
Monocacy, lest by so doing I should expose Washington. There- 
fore, on the 4th, I left City Point to visit Hunter's command, and 
determine for myself what was best to be done. On arrival there, 
and after consultation with General Hunter, I issued to him the 
following instructions : 

" Monocacy Bridge, Maryland, 

August 5, 1864—8 P.M. 

11 General : — Concentrate all your available force without delay in the vi- 
cinity of Harper's Ferry, leaving only such railroad guards and garrisons for 
public property as may be necessary. Use, in this concentrating, the railroad, 
if by so doing time can be saved. From Harper's Ferry, if it is found that the 
enemy has moved north of the Potomac in large force, push north, following 
him and attacking him wherever found ; follow him, if driven south of the Po- 
tomac, as long as it is safe to do so. If it is ascertained that the enemy has 


but a small force north of the Potomac, then push south with the main force, 
detaching under a competent commander a sufficient force to look after the 
raiders, and drive them to their homes. In detaching such a force, the brigade 
of cavalry now en route from Washington via Rockville may be taken into ac- 

" There are now on their way to join you three other brigades of the best 
cavalry, numbering at least five thousand men and horses. These will be in- 
structed, in the absence of further orders, to join you by the south side of the 
Potomac. One brigade will probably start to-morrow. In pushing up the 
Shenandoah Valley, where it is expected you will have to go first or last, it is 
desirable that nothing should be left to invite the enemy to return. Take all 
provisions, forage, and stock wanted for the use of your command ; such as 
cannot be consumed, destroy. It is not desirable that the buildings should be 
destroyed — they should rather be protected ; but the people should be informed 
that, so long as an army can subsist among them, recurrences of these raids 
must be expected, and we are determined to stop them at all hazards. 

" Bear in mind, the object is to drive the enemy south ; and to do this, you 
want to keep him always in sight. Be guided in your course by the course he 

" Make your own arrangements for supplies of all kinds, giving regular 

vouchers for such as may be taken from loyal citizens in the country through 

which you march. 

" U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General. 

"Major-General D. Hunter." 

The troops were immediately put in motion, and the advance 
reached Halltown that night. 

General Hunter having, in our conversation, expressed a will- 
ingness to be relieved from command, I telegraphed to have Gen- 
eral Sheridan, then at Washington, sent to Harper's Ferry by the 
morning train, with orders to take general command of "all the 
troops in the field, and to call on General Hunter at Monocacy, 
who would turn over to him my letter of instructions. I remained 
at Monocacy until General Sheridan arrived, on the morning of 
the 6th, and, after a conference with him in relation to military 
affairs in that vicinity, I returned to City Point by way of Wash- 

On the 7th of August, the Middle Department, and the Depart- 
ments of West Virginia, Washington, and Susquehanna, were con- 
stituted into the " Middle Military Division," and Major-General 
Sheridan was assigned to temporary command of the same. 

Two divisions of cavalry, commanded by Generals Torbert and 


Wilson, were sent to Sheridan from the Army of the Potomac. 
The first reached him at Harper's Ferry about the nth of August. 

His operations during the month of August and the fore part of 
September were both of an offensive and defensive character, re- 
sulting in many severe skirmishes, principally by the cavalry, in 
which we were generally successful, but no general engagement 
took place. The two armies lay in such a position — the enemy on 
the west bank of the Opequon Creek covering Winchester, and our 
forces in front of Berryville — that either could bring on a battle 
at any time. Defeat to us would lay open to the enemy the States 
of Maryland and Pennsylvania for long distances before another 
army could be interposed to check him. Under these circum- 
stances I hesitated about allowing the initiative to be taken. Final- 
ly, the use of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, and the Chesa- 
peake and Ohio Canal, which were both obstructed by the enemy, 
became so indispensably necessary to us, and the importance of 
relieving Pennsylvania and Maryland from continuously threatened 
invasion so great, that I determined the risk should be taken. 
But fearing to telegraph the order for an attack without knowing 
more than I did of General Sheridan's feelings as to what would 
be the probable result, I left City Point on the 15 th of September 
to visit him at his headquarters, to decide, after conference with 
him, what should be done. I met him at Charlestown, and he 
pointed out so distinctly how each army lay ; what he could do 
the moment he was authorized, and expressed such confidence of 
success, that I saw there were but two words of instructions neces- 
sary — Go in ! For the conveniences of forage, the teams for sup- 
plying the army were kept at Harper's Ferry. I asked him if he 
could get out his teams and supplies in time to make an attack on 
the ensuing Tuesday morning. His reply was, that he could be- 
fore daylight on Monday. He was off promptly to time, and I 
may here add, that the result was such that I have never since 
deemed it necessary to visit General Sheridan before giving him 

Early on the morning of the i9«:h, General Sheridan attacked 
General Early at the crossing on the Opequon Creek, and after a 
most sanguinary and bloody battle, lasting until ^v\t o'clock in the 
evening, defeated him with heavy loss, carrying his entire position 


from Opequon Creek to Winchester, capturing several thousand 
prisoners and five pieces of artillery. The enemy rallied, and 
made a stand in a strong position at Fisher's Hill, where he was 
attacked, and again defeated with heavy loss on the 20th [2 2d]. 
Sheridan pursued him with great energy through Harrisonburg, 
Staunton, and the gaps of the Blue Ridge. After stripping the 
upper valley of most of the supplies and provisions for the rebel 
army, he returned to Strasburg, and took position on the north 
side of Cedar Creek. 

Having received considerable reinforcements, General Early 
again returned to the valley, and, on the 9th of October, his 
cavalry encountered ours near Strasburg, where the rebels were 
defeated, with the loss of eleven pieces of artillery and three 
hundred and fifty prisoners. On the night of the 18th, the enemy 
crossed the mountains which separate the branches of the 
Shenandoah, forded the North Fork, and early on the morning of 
the 19th, under cover of the darkness and the fog, surprised and 
turned our left flank, and captured the batteries which enfiladed 
our whole line. Our troops fell back with heavy loss and in much 
confusion, but were finally rallied between Middletown and New- 
town. At this juncture, General Sheridan, who was at Winchester 
when the battle commenced, arrived on the field, arranged his 
lines just in time to repulse a heavy attack of the enemy, and im- 
mediately assuming the offensive, he attacked in turn with great 
vigor. The enemy was defeated with great slaughter, and the loss 
of most of his artillery and trains, and the trophies he had cap- 
tured in the morning. The wreck of his army escaped during the 
night, and fled in the direction of Staunton and Lynchburg. 
Pursuit was made to Mount Jackson. Thus ended this, the 
enemy's last attempt to invade the North via the Shenandoah 
Valley. I was now enabled to return the 6th corps to the Army 
of the Potomac, and to send one division from Sheridan's army to 
the Army of the Jam*s, and another to Savannah, Georgia, to hold 
Sherman's new acquisitions on the sea-coast, and thus enable him 
to move without detaching from his force for that purpose. 

Reports from various sources led me to believe that the enemy 
had detached three divisions from Petersburg to reinforce Early 
in the Shenandoah Valley. I therefore sent the 2d corps and 


Gregg's division of cavalry, of the Army of the Potomac, and a 
force of General Butler's army, on the night of the 13th of August, 
to threaten Richmond from the north side of the James, to prevent 
him from sending troops away, and, if possible, to draw back those 
sent. In this move we captured six pieces of artillery and several 
hundred prisoners, detained troops that were under marching 
orders, and ascertained that but one division (Kershaw's), of the 
three reputed detached, had gone. 

The enemy having withdrawn heavily from Petersburg to resist 
this movement, the 5 th corps, General Warren commanding, was 
moved out on the 18th, and took possession of the Weldon Rail- 
road. During the day he had considerable fighting. To regain 
possession of the road, the enc?my made repeated and desperate 
assaults, but was each time repulsed with great loss. On the night 
of the 20th, the troops on the north side of the James were with- 
drawn, and Hancock and Gregg returned to the front at Peters- 
burg. On the 25th, the 2d corps and Gregg's division of cavalry, 
while at Reams's Station destroying the railroad, were attacked, 
and after desperate fighting, a part of our line gave way, and five 
pieces of artillery fell into the hands of the enemy. 

By the 12th of September, a branch railroad was completed from 
the City Point and Petersburg Railroad to the Weldon Railroad, 
enabling us to supply, without difficulty, in all weather, the army 
in front of Petersburg. 

The extension of our lines across the Weldon Railroad com- 
pelled the enemy to so extend his, that it seemed he could have 
but few troops north of the James for the defence of Richmond. 
On the night of the 28th, the 10th corps, Major-General Birney, 
and the 18th corps, Major-General Ord commanding, of General 
Butler's army, were crossed to the north side of the James, and 
advanced on the morning of the 29th, carrying the very strong 
fortifications and intrenchments below Chaffin's Farm, known as 
Fort Harrison, capturing fifteen pieces of artillery, and the New 
Market Road and intrenchments. This success was followed up 
by a gallant assault upon Fort Gilmer, immediately in front of the 
Chaffin Farm fortifications, in which we were repulsed with heavy 
loss. Kautz's cavalry was pushed forward on the road to the 
right of this, supported by infantry, and reached the enemy's inner 


line, but was unable to get further. The position captured from 
the enemy was so threatening to Richmond, that I determined to 
hold it. The enemy made several desperate attempts to dislodge 
us, all of which were unsuccessful, and for which he paid dearly. 
On the morning of the 30th, General Meade sent out a reconnois- 
sance, with a view to attacking the enemy's line, if it was found 
sufficiently weakened by withdrawal of troops to the north side. 
In this reconnoissance we captured and held the enemy's works 
near Poplar Spring Church. In the afternoon, troops moving to 
get to the left of the point gained were attacked by the enemy in 
heavy force, and compelled to fall back until supported by the 
forces holding the captured works. Our cavalry under Gregg was 
also attacked, but repulsed the enemy with great loss. 

On the 7th of October, the e::emy attacked Kautz's cavalry 
north of the James, and drove it back with heavy loss in killed, 
wounded, and prisoners, and the loss of all the artillery — eight or 
nine pieces. This he followed up by an attack on our intrenched 
infantry line, but was repulsed with severe slaughter. On the 
13th, a reconnoissance was sent out by General Butler, with a view 
to drive the enemy from some new works he was constructing, 
which resulted in very heavy loss to us. 

On the 27th, the Army of the Potomac, leaving only sufficient 
men to hold its fortified line, moved by the enemy's right flank. 
The 2d corps, followed by two divisions of the 5th corps, with 
the cavalry in advance and covering our left flank, forced a pas- 
sage of Hatcher's Run, and moved up the south side of it towards 
the South Side Railroad, until the 2d corps and part of the cavalry 
reached the Boydton Plank Road where it crosses Hatcher's Run. 
At this point we were six miles distant from the South Side Rail- 
road, which I had hoped by this movement to reach and hold. 
But finding that we had not reached the end of the enemy's forti- 
fications, and no place presenting itself for a successful assault by 
which he might be doubled up and shortened, I determined to with- 
draw to within our fortified line. Orders were given accordingly. 
Immediately upon receiving a report that General Warren had 
connected with General Hancock, I returned to my headquarters. 
Soon after I left the enemy moved out across Hatcher's Run, in 
the gap between Generals Hancock and Warren, which was not 


closed as reported, and made a desperate attack on General 
Hancock's right and rear. General Hancock immediately faced 
his corps to meet it, and after a bloody combat drove the enemy 
within his works, and withdrew that night to his old position. 

In support of this movement, General Butler made a demon- 
stration on the north side of the James, and attacked the enemy 
on the Williamsburg Road, and also on the York River Railroad. 
In the former he was unsuccessful ; in the latter he succeeded in 
carrying a work which was afterwards abandoned, and his forces 
withdrawn to their former positions. 

From this time forward the operations in front of Petersburg 
and Richmond, until the spring campaign of 1865, were confined 
to the defence and extension of our lines, and to offensive move- 
ments for crippling the enemy's lines of communication, and to 
prevent his detaching any considerable force to send south. By 
the 7th of February, our lines were extended to Hatcher's Run, 
and the Weldon Railroad had been destroyed to Hicksford. 

General Sherman moved from Chattanooga on the 6th of May, 
with the Armies of the Cumberland, Tennessee, and Ohio, com- 
manded, respectively, by Generals Thomas, McPherson, and 
Schofield, upon Johnston's army at Dalton ; but finding the 
enemy's position at Buzzard's Roost, covering Dalton, too strong 
to be assaulted, General McPherson was sent through Snake Gap 
to turn it, while Generals Thomas and Schofield threatened it in 
front and on the north. This movement was successful. Johnston, 
finding his retreat likely to be cut off, fell back to his fortified 
position at Resaca, where he was attacked on the afternoon of May 
15 th. A heavy battle ensued. During the night the enemy re- 
treated south. Late on the 17th, his rear- guard was overtaken 
near Adairsville, and heavy skirmishing followed. The next 
morning, however, he had again disappeared. He was vigorously 
pursued, and was overtaken at Cassville on the 19th, but during 
the ensuing night retreated across the Etowah. While these 
operations were going on, General Jefferson C. Davis's division of 
Thomas's army was sent to Rome, capturing it with its forts and 
artillery, and its valuable mills and foundries. General Sherman, 
having given his army a few days' rest at this point, again put it in 
motion on the 23d, for Dallas, with a view of turning the difficult 


pass at Allatoona. On the afternoon of the 25th, the advance, 
under General Hooker, had a severe battle with the enemy, driving 
him back to New Hope Church, near Dallas. Several sharp en- 
counters occurred at this point. The most important was on the 
28th, when the enemy assaulted General McPherson at Dallas, but 
received a terrible and bloody repulse. 

On the 4th of June, Johnston abandoned his intrenched 
position at New Hope Church, and retreated to the strong posi- 
tions of Kenesaw, Pine, and Lost mountains. He was forced to 
yield the two last-named places, and concentrate his army on 
Kenesaw, where, on the 27th, Generals Thomas and McPherson 
made a determined but unsuccessful assault. On the night of the 
2d of July, Sherman commenced moving his army by the right 
flank, and on the morning of the 3d, found that the enemy, in con- 
sequence of this movement, had abandoned Kenesaw and retreated 
across the Chattahoochee. 

General Sherman remained on the Chattahoochee to give his 
men rest and get up stores until the 17th of July, when he resumed 
his operations, crossed the Chattahoochee, destroyed a large por- 
tion of the railroad to Augusta, and drove the enemy back to 
Atlanta. At this place General Hood succeeded General John- 
ston in command of the rebel army, and assuming the offensive- 
defensive policy, made several severe attacks upon Sherman in the 
vicinity of Atlanta, the most desperate and determined of which 
was on the 22d of July. About one p.m. of this day the brave, 
accomplished, and noble-hearted McPherson was killed. General 
Logan succeeded him, and commanded the Army of the Tennes- 
see through this desperate battle, and until he was superseded by 
.Major-General Howard, on the 26th, with the same success and 
ability that had characterized him in the command of a corps or 

In all these attacks the enemy was repulsed with great loss. 
Finding it impossible to entirely invest the place, General Sher- 
man, after securing his line of communications across the Chatta- 
hoochee, moved his main force round by the enemy's left flank 
upon the Montgomery and Macon roads, to draw the enemy 
from his fortifications. In this he succeeded, and after defeating 
the enemy near Rough-and-Ready, Jonesboro, and Lovejoy's, 


forcing him to retreat to the south, on the 2d of September occu- 
pied Atlanta, the objective point of his campaign. 

About the time of this move, the rebel cavalry, under Wheeler, 
attempted to cut his communications in the rear, but was repulsed 
at Dalton, and driven into East Tennessee, whence it proceeded 
west to McMinnville, Murfreesboro', and Franklin, and was finally 
driven south of the Tennessee. The damage done by this raid 
was repaired in a few days. 

During the partial investment of Atlanta, General Rousseau 
joined General Sherman with a force of cavalry from Decatur, 
having made a successful raid upon the Atlanta and Montgomery 
Railroad, and its branches near Opelika. Cavalry raids were also 
made by Generals McCook, Garrard, and Stoneman, to cut the 
remaining railroad communication with Atlanta. The first two 
were successful — the latter, disastrous. 

General Sherman's movement from Chattanooga to Atlanta was 
prompt, skilful, and brilliant. The history of his flank move- 
ments and battles during that memorable campaign will ever be 
read with an interest unsurpassed by anything in history. 

His own report, and those of his subordinate commanders, ac- 
companying it, give the details of that most successful cam- 

He was dependent for the supply of his armies upon a single- 
track railroad from Nashville to the point where he was operating. 
This passed the entire distance through a hostile country, and 
every foot of it had to be protected by troops. The cavalry force 
of the enemy under Forrest, in Northern Mississippi, was evidently 
waiting for Sherman to advance far enough into the mountains of 
Georgia, to make a retreat disastrous, to get upon this line and de- 
stroy it beyond the possibility of further use. To guard against 
this danger, Sherman left what he supposed to be a sufficient 
force to operate against Forrest in West Tennessee. He directed 
General Washburn, who commanded there, to send Brigadier- 
General S. D. Sturgis in command of this force to attack him. On 
the morning of the ioth of June, General Sturgis met the enemy 
near Guntown, Mississippi, was badly beaten, and driven back in 
utter rout and confusion to Memphis, a distance of about one 
hundred miles, hotly pursued by the enemy. By this, however, 


the enemy was defeated in his designs upon Sherman's line of 
communications. The persistency with which he followed up 
this success exhausted him, and made a season for rest and repairs 
necessary. In the meantime, Major-General A. J. Smith, with 
the troops of the Army of the Tennessee that had been sent by 
General Sherman to General Banks, arrived at Memphis on their 
return from Red River, where they had done most excellent ser- 
vice. He was directed by General Sherman to immediately take 
the offensive against Forrest. This he did with the promptness 
and effect which has characterized his whole military career. On 
the 14th of July, he met the enemy at Tupelo, Mississippi, and 
whipped him badly. The fighting continued through three days. 
Our loss was small compared with that of the enemy. Having 
accomplished the object of his expedition, General Smith returned 
to Memphis. 

During the months of March and April this same force under 
Forrest annoyed us considerably. On the 24th of March it cap- 
tured Union City, Kentucky, and its garrison, and on the 24th 
attacked Paducah, commanded by Colonel S. G. Hicks, 40th 
Illinois Volunteers. Colonel H., having but a small force, with- 
drew to the forts near the river, from where he repulsed the 
enemy and drove him from the place. 

On the 13th of April, part of this force, under the rebel General 
Buford, summoned the garrison of Columbus, Kentucky, to sur- 
render, but received for reply from Colonel Lawrence, 34th New 
Jersey Volunteers, that being placed there by his Government 
with adequate force to hold his post and repel all enemies from it, 
surrender was out of the question. 

On the morning of the same dav Forrest attacked Fort Pillow. 
Tennessee, garrisoned by a detachment of Tennessee cavalry and 
the 1st Regiment Alabama colored troops, commanded by Major 
Booth. The garrison fought bravely until about three o'clock in 
the afternoon, when the enemy carried the works by assault ; and, 
after our men threw down their arms, proceeded to an inhuman 
and merciless massacre of the garrison. 

On the 14th, General Buford, having failed at Columbus, ap- 
peared before Paducah, but was again driven off. 

Guerillas and raiders, seemingly emboldened by Forrest's 


operations, were also very active in Kentucky. The most noted 
of these was Morgan. With a force of from two to three thou- 
sand cavalry, he entered the State through Pound Gap in the latter 
part of May. On the nth of June they attacked and captured 
Cynthiana, with its entire garrison. On the 12th he was overtaken 
by General Burbridge, and completely routed with heavy loss, 
and was finally driven out of the State. This notorious guerilla 
was afterwards surprised and killed near Greenville, Tennessee, 
and his command captured and dispersed by General Gillem. 

In the absence of official reports of the commencement of the 
Red River expedition, except so far as relates to the movements of 
the troops sent by General Sherman under General A. J. Smith, I 
am unable to give the date of its starting. The troops under Gen- 
eral Smith, comprising two divisions of the 16th and a detach- 
ment of the 17th array corps, left Vicksburg on the 10th of 
March, and reached the designated point on Red River one day 
earlier than that appointed by General Banks. The rebel forces 
at Fort de Russy, thinking to defeat him, left the fort on the 
14th to give him battle in the open field ; but, while occupying 
the enemy with skirmishing and demonstrations, Smith pushed 
forward to Fort de Russy, which had been left with a weak gar- 
rison, and captured it with its garrison — about three hundred and 
fifty men, eleven pieces of artillery, and many small-arms. Our 
loss was but slight. On the 15th he pushed forward to Alexan- 
dria, which place he reached on the 18th. On the 21st he had 
an engagement with the enemy at Henderson's Hill, in which he 
defeated him, capturing two hundred and ten prisoners and four 
pieces of artillery. 

On the 28th, he again attacked and defeated the enemy under 
the rebel General Taylor, at Cane River. By the 26th, General 
Banks had assembled his whole army at Alexandria, and pushed 
forward to Grand Ecore. On the morning of April 6th he moved 
from Grand Ecore. On the afternoon of the 7th, he advanced 
and met the enemy near Pleasant Hill, and drove him from the 
field. On the same afternoon the enemy made a stand eight 
miles beyond Pleasant Hill, but was again compelled to retreat. 
On the 8th, at Sabine Cross Roads and Peach Hill, the enemy 
attacked and defeated his advance, capturing nineteen pieces of 


artillery and an immense amount of transportation and stores. 
During the night, General Banks fell back to Pleasant Hill, where 
another battle was fought on the 9th, and the enemy repulsed 
with great loss. During the night, General Banks continued his 
retrograde movement to Grand Ecore, and thence to Alexandria, 
which he reached on the 27 th of April. Here a serious difficult]! 
arose in getting Admiral Porter's fleet which accompanied the ex- 
pedition, over the rapids, the water having fallen so much since 
they passed up as to prevent their return. At the suggestion of 
Colonel (now Brigadier-General) Bailey, and under, his superin- 
tendence, wing-dams were constructed, by which the channel was 
contracted so that the fleet passed down the rapids in safety. 

The army evacuated Alexandria on the 14th of May, after con- 
siderable skirmishing with the enemy's advance, and reached Mor- 
ganzia and Point Coupee near the end of the month. The dis- 
astrous termination of this expedition, and the lateness of the sea- 
son, rendered impracticable the carrying out of my plans of a 
movement in force sufficient to insure the capture of Mobile. 

On the 23d of March, Major-General Steele left Little Rock with 
the 7 th army corps, to co-operate with General Banks's expedition 
on the Red River, and reached Arkadelphia on the 28th. On the 
1 6th of April, after driving the enemy before him, he was joined, 
near Elkin's Ferry, in Washita County, by General Thayer, who 
had marched from Fort Smith. After several severe skirmishes, 
in which the enemy was defeated, General Steele reached Camden, 
which he occupied about the middle of ApnI. 

On learning the defeat and consequent retreat of General Banks 
on Red River, and the loss of one of his own trains at Mark's 
Mill, in Dallas County, General Steele determined to fall back to 
the Arkansas River. He left Camden on the 26th of April, and 
reached Little Rock on the 2d of May. On the 30th of April, the 
enemy attacked him while crossing Saline River at Jenkins's Ferry, 
but was repulsed with considerable loss. Our loss was about six 
hundred in killed, wounded and prisoners. 

Major-General Canby, who had been assigned to the command 
of the " Military Division of the West Mississippi," was therefore 
directed to send the 19th army corps to join the armies operating 
against Richmond, and to limit the remainder of his command to 


such operations as might be necessary to hold the positions and 
lines of communications he then occupied. 

Before starting General A. J. Smith's troops back to Sherman, 
General Canby sent a part of it to disperse a force of the enemy 
that was collecting near the Mississippi River. General Smith met 
and defeated this force near Lake Chicot on the 5th of June. Our 
loss was about forty killed and seventy wounded. 

In the latter part of July, General Canby sent Major-General 
Gordon Granger, with such forces as he could collect, to co-oper- 
ate with Admiral Farragut against the defences of Mobile Bay. 
On the 8th of August, Fort Gaines surrendered to the combined 
naval and land forces. Fort Powell was blown up and abandoned. 

On the 9th, Fort Morgan was invested, and, after a severe bom- 
bardment, surrendered on the 23d. The total captures amounted 
to one thousand four hundred and sixty-four prisoners, and one 
hundred and four pieces of artillery. 

About the last of August, it being reported that the rebel Gen- 
eral Price, with a force of about ten thousand men, had reached 
Jacksonport, on his way to invade Missouri, General A. J. Smith's 
command, then en route from Memphis to join Sherman, was or- 
dered to Missouri. A cavalry force was also, at the same time, 
sent from Memphis, under command of Colonel Winslow. This 
made General Rosecrans's forces superior to those of Price, and no 
doubt was entertained he would be able to check Price and drive 
him back ; while the forces under General Steele, in Arkansas, 
would cut off his retreat. On the 26th day of September, Price 
attacked Pilot Knob and forced the garrison to retreat, and thence 
moved north to the Missouri River, and continued up that river 
towards Kansas. General Curtis, commanding Department of 
Kansas, immediately collected such forces as he could to repel 
the invasion of Kansas, while General Rosecrans's cavalry was 
operating in his rear. 

The enemy was brought to battle on the Big Blue and defeated, 
with the loss of nearly all his artillery and trains and a large num- 
ber of prisoners. He made a precipitate retreat to Northern Ar- 
kansas. The impunity with which Price was enabled to roam over 
the State of Missouri for a long time, and the incalculable mischief 
done by him, shows to how little purpose a superior force may be 
Vol. 11 —38 


used. There is no reason why General Rosecrans should not have 
concentrated his forces, and beaten and driven Price before the 
latter reached Pilot Knob. 

September 20th, the enemy's cavalry, under Forrest, crossed the 
Tennessee near Waterloo, Alabama, and on the 23d attacked the 
garrison at Athens, consisting of six hundred men, which capitu- 
lated on the 24th. Soon after the surrender two regiments of re- 
inforcements arrived, and after a severe fight were compelled to 
surrender. Forrest destroyed the railroad westward, captured the 
garrison at Sulphur Branch trestle, skirmished with the garrison at 
Pulaski on the 27th, and on the same day cut the Nashville and 
Chattanooga Railroad near Tullahoma and Dechard. On the 
morning of the 30th, one column of Forrest's command, under Bu- 
ford, appeared lx f ore Huntsville, and summoned the surrender of 
the garrison. Receiving an answer in the negative, he remained 
in the vicinity of the place until next morning, when he again sum- 
moned its surrender, and received the same reply as on the night 
before. He withdrew in the direction of Athens, which place had 
been regarrisoned, and attacked it on the afternoon of the 1st of 
October, but without success. On the morning of the 2d he re- 
newed his attack, but was handsomely repulsed. 

Another column under Forrest appeared before Columbia on 
the morning of the 1st, but did not make an attack. On the 
morning of the 3d he moved towards Mount Pleasant. While 
these operations were going on, every exertion was made by 
General Thomas to destroy the forces under Forrest before he 
could recross the Tennessee, but was unable to prevent his es- 
cape to Corinth, Mississippi. 

In September, an expedition under General Burbridge was 
sent to destroy the salt-works at Saltville, Virginia. He met the 
enemy on the 2d of October, about three miles and a half from 
Saltville, and drove him into his strongly intrenched position 
around the salt-works, from which he was unable to dislodge 
him. During the night he withdrew his command and returned 
to Kentucky. 

General Sherman, immediately after the fall of Atlanta, put 
his armies in camp in and about the place, and made all prep- 
arations for refuting and supplying them for future service. 



The great length of road from Atlanta to the Cumberland 
River, however, which had to be guarded, allowed the troops 
but little rest. 

During this time Jefferson Davis made a speech in Macon, 
Georgia, which was reported in the papers of the South, and 
soon became known to the whole country, disclosing the plans 
of the enemy, thus enabling General Sherman to fully meet them. 
He exhibited the weakness of supposing that an army that had 
been beaten and fearfully decimated in a vain attempt at the 
defensive, could successfully undertake the offensive against the 
army that had so often defeated it. 

In execution of this plan, Hood, with this army, was soon re- 
ported to the south-west of Atlanta. Moving far to Sherman's 
right, he succeeded in reaching the railroad about Kig Shanty, and 
moved north on it. 

General Sherman, leaving a force to hold Atlanta, with the re- 
mainder of his army fell upon him and drove him to Gadsden, Ala- 
bama. Seeing the constant annoyance he would have with the 
roads to his rear if he attempted to hold Atlanta, General Sher- 
man proposed the abandonment and destruction of that place, with 
all the railroads leading to it, and telegraphed me as follows : 

" Centreville, Georgia, 

October I o— noon. 
•' Dispatch al>out Wilson just received. Hood is now crossing Coosa River, 
twelve miles below Rome, bound west. If he passes over the Mobile and Ohio 
road, had I not better execute the plan of my letter sent by Colonel Forter, and 
leave General Thomas with the troops now in Tennessee, to defend the State ? 
He will have an ample force when the reinforcements ordered reach Nash- 

"W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General. 


For a full understanding of the plan referred to in this dispatch, 
I quote from the letter sent by Colonel Porter : " I will therefore 
give my opinion, that your army and Canby's should be rein- 
forced to the maximum ; that after you get Wilmington, you 
strike for Savannah and the river ; that Canby be instructed to 
hold the Mississippi River, and send a force to get Columbus, 
Georgia, either by the way of the Alabama or the Appaiachicola, 


and that I keep Hood employed and put my army in final order 
for a march on Augusta, Columbia, and Charleston, to be ready as 
soon as Wilmington is sealed as to commerce, and the city of Sa- 
vannah is in our possession." This was in reply to a letter of mine 
of date September 1 2th, in answer to a dispatch of his containing 
substantially the same proposition, and in which I informed him 
of a proposed movement against Wilmington, and of the situation 

in Virginia, etc. 

" City Point, Virginia, 

October 11, 1864 — 11 A.M. 

" Your dispatch of October 10th received. Does it not look as if Hood was 
going to attempt the invasion of Middle Tennessee, using the Mobile and Ohio 
and Memphis and Charleston roads to supply his base on the Tennessee River, 
about Florence or Decatur ? If he does this, he ought to be met and prevented 
from getting north of the Tennessee River. If you were to cut loose, I do not 
believe you would meet Hood's army, but would *be bushwhacked by all the 
old men and little boys, and such railroad guards as are still left at home. 
Hood would probably strike for Nashville, thinking that by going north he 
could inflict greater damage upon us than we could upon the rebels by going 
south. If there is any way of getting at Hood's army, I would prefer that, but 
I must trust to your own judgment. I find I shall not be able to send a force 
from here to act with you on Savannah. Your movements, therefore, will be 
ndependent of mine ; at least until the fall of Richmond takes place. I am 
afraid Thomas, with such lines of road as he has to protect, could not prevent 
Hood from going north. With Wilson turned loose, with all your cavalry, you 
will find the rebels put much more on the defensive than heretofore. 

" U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General. 

" Major-General W r . T. Sherman." 

" Kingston, Georgia, 

October 11 — 11 A.M. 

" Hood moved his army from Palmetto Station across by Dallas and Cedar- 
town, and is now on the Coosa River, south of Rome. He threw one corps on 
ny road at Acworth, and I was forced to follow. I hold Atlanta with the 20th 
corps, and have strong detachments along my line. This reduces my active 
force to a comparatively small army. We cannot remain here on the defensive. 
With the twenty-five thousand men, and the bold cavalry he has, he can con- 
stantly break my roads. I would infinitely prefer to make a wreck of the road, 
and of the country from Chattanooga to Atlanta, including the latter city — send 
back all my wounded and worthless, and with my effective army, move through 
Georgia, smashing things, to the sea. Hood may turn into Tennessee and 
Kentucky, but I believe he will be forced to follow me. Instead of my being 
on the defensive, I would be on the offensive ; instead of guessing at what he 


means to do, he would have to guess at my plans. The difference in war is 
full twenty-five per cent. I can make Savannah, Charleston, or the mouth of 
the Chattahoochee. 

" Answer quick, as I know we will not have the telegraph long. 

"W. T.SHERMAN, Major-General. 

"Lieutenant-General Grant." 

" City Point, Virginia, 

October n. 1864 — 11.30 P.M. 

" Your dispatch of to-day received. If you are satisfied the trip to the sea- 
coast can be made, holding the line of the Tennessee River firmly, you may 
make it, destroying all the railroad south of Dalton or Chattanooga, as you 
think Vst. 

" U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General. 

"Major-General W. T. Sherman." 

It was the original design to hold Atlanta, and by getting 
through to the coast, with a garrison left on the southern railroads, 
leading east and west, through Georgia, to effectually sever the 
east from the west. In other words, cut the would-be Confed- 
eracy in two again, as it had been cut once by our gaining posses- 
sion of the Mississippi River. General Sherman's plan virtually 
effected this object. 

General Sherman commenced at once his preparations for his 
proposed movement, keeping his army in position in the mean- 
time to watch Hood. Becoming satisfied that Hood had moved 
westward from Gadsden across Sand Mountain, General Sherman 
sent the 4th corps, Major-General Stanley commanding, and the 
23d corps, Major-General Schofield commanding, back to Chat- 
tanooga to report to Major-General Thomas, at Nashville, whom 
he had placed in command of all the troops of his military division, 
save the four army corps and cavalry division he designed to move 
with through Georgia. With the troops thus left at his disposal, 
there was little doubt that General Thomas could hold the line of 
the Tennessee, or, in the event Hood should force it, would be 
able to concentrate and beat him in battle. It was therefore 
readily consented to that Sherman should start for the sea- 

Having concentrated his troops at Atlanta by the 14th of 
November, he commenced his march, threatening both Augusta 


and Macon. His coming-out point could not be definitely fixed 
Having to gather his subsistence as he marched through the 
country, it was not impossible that a force inferior to his own 
might compel him to head for such point as he could reach, in- 
stead of such as he might prefer. The blindness of the enemy, 
however, in ignoring his movement, and sending Hood's army, the 
only considerable force he had west of Richmond and east of the 
Mississippi River, northward on an offensive campaign, left the 
whole country open, and Sherman's route to his own choice. 

How that campaign was conducted, how little opposition was 
met with, the condition of the country through which the armies 
passed, the capture of Fort McAllister, on the Savannah River, 
and the occupation of Savannah on the 21st of December, are all 
clearly set forth in General Sherman's admirable report. 

Soon after General Sherman commenced his march from At- 
lanta, two expeditions, one from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and one 
from Vicksburg, Mississippi, were started by General Canby to cut 
the enemy's lines of communication with Mobile and detain troops 
in that field. General Foster, commanding Department of the 
South, also sent an expedition, via Broad River, to destroy the 
railroad between Charleston and Savannah. The expedition from 
Vicksburg, under command of Brevet Brigadier-General E. I). 
Osband (colonel 3d United States colored cavalry), captured, on 
the 27th of November, and destroyed the Mississippi Central 
Railroad bridge and trestle-work over Big Black River, near Can- 
ton, thirty miles of the road, and two locomotives, besides large 
amounts of stores. The expedition from Baton Rouge was with- 
out favorable results. The expedition from the Department of 
the South, under the immediate command of Brigadier-General 
John P. Hatch, consisting of about five thousand men of all arms, 
including a brigade from the navy, proceeded up Broad River and 
debarked at Boyd's Neck on the 29th of November, from where it 
moved to strike the railroad at Grahamsville. At Honey Hill, 
about three miles from Grahamsville, the enemy was found and 
attacked in a strongly fortified position, which resulted, after 
severe fighting, in our repulse with a loss of seven hundred and 
forty-six in killed, wounded, and missing. During the night 
General Hatch withdrew. On the 6th of December General 


Foster obtained a position covering the Charleston and Savannah 
Railroad, between the Coosawhatchie and Tulifinny rivers. 

Hood, instead of following Sherman, continued his move north- 
ward, which seemed to me to be leading to his certain doom. At 
all events, had I had the power to command both armies, I should 
not have changed the orders under which he seemed to be acting. 
On the 26th of October, the advance of Hood's army attacked the 
garrison at Decatur, Alabama, but failing to carry the place, with- 
drew towards Courtland, and succeeded, in the face of our cavalry, 
in effecting a lgdgment on the north side of the Tennessee River, 
near Florence. On the 28th, Porrest reached the Tennessee, at 
Fort Heiman, and captured a gunboat and three transports. On 
the 2d of November he planted batteries above and below John- 
sonville, on the opposite side of the river, isolating three gunboats 
and eight transports. On the 4th the enemy opened his batteries 
upon the place, and was replied to from the gunboats and the gar- 
rison. The gunboats becoming disabled were set on fire, as also 
were the transports, to prevent their falling into the hands of the 
enemy. About a million and a half dollars' worth of stores and 
property on the levee and in storehouses was consumed by fire. 
On the 5th the enemy disappeared and crossed to the north side 
of the Tennessee River, above Johnson ville, moving towards 
Clifton, and subsequently joined Hood. On the night of the 5th, 
General Schofield, with the advance of the 23d corps, reached 
Johnsonville, but finding the enemy gone, was ordered to Pulaski, 
and put in command of all the troops there, with instructions to 
watch the movements of Hood and retard his advance, but not to 
risk a general engagement until the arrival of General A. J. Smith's 
command from Missouri, and until General Wilson could get his 
cavalry remounted. 

On the 19th, General Hood continued his advance. General 
Thomas, retarding him as much as possible, fell back towards 
Nashville for the purpose of concentrating his command and gain- 
ing time for the arrival of reinforcements. The enemy coming 
up with our main force, commanded by General Schofield, at 
Franklin, on the 30th, assaulted our works repeatedly during the 
afternoon until late at night, but were in every instance repulsed. 
His loss in this battle was one thousand seven hundred and fifty 


killed, seven hundred and two prisoners, and three thousand eight 
hundred wounded. Among his losses were six general officers 
killed, six wounded, and one captured. Our entire loss was two 
thousand three hundred. This was the first serious opposition the 
enemy met with, and I am satisfied was the fatal blow to all his 
expectations. During the night, General Schofield fell back to- 
wards Nashville. This left the field to the enemy — not lost by 
battle, but voluntarily abandoned — so that General Thomas's 
whole force might be brought together. The enemy followed up 
arid commenced the establishment of his line in front of Nashville 
on the 2d of December. 

As soon as it was ascertained that Hood w r as crossing the Ten- 
nessee River, and that Price was going out of Missouri, General 
Rosecrans was ordered to send to General Thomas the troops of 
General A. J. Smith's command, and such other troops as he could 
spare. The advance of this reinforcement reached Nashville on 
the 30th of November. 

On the morning of the 15 th December, General Thomas at- 
tacked Hood in position, and, in a battle lasting two days, defeated 
and drove him from the field in the utmost confusion, leaving in 
our hands most of his artillery and many thousand prisoners, in- 
cluding four general officers. 

Before the battle of Nashville I grew very impatient over, as it 
appeared to me, the unnecessary delay. This impatience was in- 
creased upon learning that the enemy had sent a force of cavalry 
across the Cumberland into Kentucky. I feared Hood would 
cross his whole army and give us great trouble there. After 
urging upon General Thomas the necessity of immediately assum- 
ing the offensive, I started West to superintend matters there in 
person. Reaching Washington City, I received General Thomas's 
dispatch announcing his attack upon the enemy, and the result as 
far as the battle had progressed. I was delighted. All fears and 
apprehensions were dispelled. 1 am not yet satisfied but that 
General Thomas, immediately upon the appearance of Hood be- 
fore Nashville, and before he had time to fortify, should have 
moved out with his whole force and given him battle, instead of 
waiting to remount his cavalry, which delayed him until the inclem- 
ency of the weather made it impracticable to attack earlier than 


he did. But his final defeat of Hood was so complete, that it will 
be accepted as a vindication of that distinguished officer's judg- 

After Hood's defeat at Nashville he retreated, closely pursued 
by cavalry and infantry, to the Tennessee- River, being forced to 
abandon many pieces of artillery and most of his transportation. 
On the 28th of December our advanced forces ascertained that he 
had made good his escape to the south side of the river. 

About this time, the rains having set in heavily in Tennessee 
and North Alabama, making it difficult to move army transporta- 
tion and artillery, General Thomas stopped the pursuit by his 
main force at the Tennessee River. A small force of cavalry, 
under Colonel W. J. Palmer, 15th Pennsylvania Volunteers, con- 
tinued to follow Hood for some distance, capturing considerable 
transportation and the enemy's pontoon-bridge. The details of 
these operations will be found clearly set forth in General Thomas's 

A cavalry expedition, under Brevet Major-General Grierson, 
started from Memphis on the 21st of December. On the 25th he 
surprised and captured Forrest's dismounted camp at Verona, 
Mississippi, on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, destroyed the rail- 
road, sixteen cars loaded with wagons and pontoons for Hood's 
army, four thousand new English carbines, and large amounts of 
public stores. On the morning of the 28th he attacked and cap- 
tured a force of the enemy at Egypt, and destroyed a train of 
fourteen cars ; thence turning to the south-west, he struck the 
Mississippi Central Railroad at Winona, destroyed the factories 
and large amounts of stores at Bankston, and the machine-shops 
and public property at Grenada, arriving at Vicksburg January 5th. 

Duiing these operations in Middle Tennessee, the enemy, with 
a force under General Breckinridge, entered East Tennessee. 
On the 13th of November he attacked General Gillem, near 
Morristown, capturing his artillery and several hundred prisoners. 
Gillem, with what was left of his command, retreated to Knoxville. 
Following up his success, Breckinridge moved to near Knoxville, 
but withdrew on the 18th, followed by General Ammen. Under 
the directions of General Thomas, General Stoneman concentrated 
the commands of Generals Burbridge and Gillem near Bean's 


Station, to operate against Breckinridge, and destroy or drive him 
into Virginia — destroy the salt-works at Saltville, and the railroad 
into Virginia as far as he could go without endangering his com- 
mand. On the 1 2th of December he commenced his movement, 
capturing and dispersing the enemy's forces wherever he met them. 
On the 1 6th he struck the enemy, under Vaughn, at Marion, com- 
pletely routing and pursuing him to Wytheville, capturing all his 
artillery, trains, and one hundred and ninety-eight prisoners ; and 
destroyed Wytheville, with its stores and supplies, and the exten- 
sive lead -works near there. Returning to Marion, he met a force 
under Breckinridge, consisting, among other troops, of the garrison 
of Saltville, that had started in pursuit. He at once made 
arrangements to attack it the next morning ; but morning found 
Breckinridge gone. He then moved directly to Saltville, and 
destroyed the extensive salt-works at that place, a large amount 
of stores, and captured eight pieces of artillery. Having thus suc- 
cessfully executed his instructions, he returned General Burbridge 
to Lexington and General Gillem to Knoxville. 

Wilmington, North Carolina, was the most important sea-coast 
port left to the enemy through which to get supplies from abroad, 
and send cotton and ether products out by blockade-runners, be- 
sides Ivein^; a i»Li» e of i^reat strategic value. The navv had been 
making strenuous exertions to seal the harbor of Wilmington, but 
with only partial efiei :. The nature of the outlet of Caj>e Fear 
River was such, that it required watching for so great a distance 
that, without possession of the land north of New Inlet, or Fort 
Fisher, it was impossible for the navy to entirely close the harbor 
against the entrance of blockade-runners. 

To secure the possession of this land required the co-operation 
A a land force, which I agreed to furni>h. Immediately com- 
menced the assemblage in Hampton Roads, under Admiral I). IV 
IViur. if the most formidable armada ever collected for concen- 
tration uivn cne eh en point. This necessarilv attracted the at- 
ter.tion o: the enemy, as well a> that of the loyal North : and 
through the imprudence of the jublic press, and very likely of 
officers o: both branches of service, the exact object of the ex- 
pedition became a subject of common discussion in the news- 
paivrs both North and South. The enemy, thus warned, prepared 


to meet it. This caused a postponement of the expedition until 
the later part of November, when, being again called upon by 
Hon. G. V. Fox, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, I agreed to fur- 
nish the men required at once, and went myself, in company with 
Major-General Butler, to Hampton Roads, where we had a con- 
ference with Admiral Porter as to the force required and the time 
of starting. A force of six thousand five hundred men was re- 
garded as sufficient. The time of starting was not definitely 
arranged, but it was thought all would be ready by the 6th of 
December, if not before. Learning, on the 30th of November, 
that Bragg had gone to Georgia, taking with him most of the forces 
about Wilmington, I deemed it of the utmost importance that the 
expedition should reach its destination before the return of Bragg, 
and directed General Butler to make all arrangements for the de- 
parture of Major-General Weitzel, who had been designated to 
command the land forces, so that the navy might not be detained 
one moment. 

On the 6th of December, the following instructions were given : 

"City Point, Virginia, December b, 1864. 

" General : — The first object of the expedition under General Weitzel is to 
close to the enemy the port of Wilmington. If successful in this, the second 
will be to capture Wilmington itself. There are reasonable grounds to hope 
for success, if advantage can be taken of the absence of the greater part of the 
enemy's forces now looking after Sherman in Georgia. The directions you 
have given for the numbers and equipment of the expedition are all right, ex- 
cept in the unimportant matter of where they embark and the amount of in- 
trenching tools to be taken. The object of the expedition will be gained by 
effecting a landing on the main land between Cape Fear River and the Atlantic, 
north of the north entrance to the river. Should such landing be effected 
while the enemy still holds Fort Fisher and the batteries guarding the entrance 
to the river, then the troops should intrench themselves, and, by co-operating 
with the navy, effect the reduction and capture of those places. These in our 
hands, the navy could enter the harbor, and the port of Wilmington would be 
sealed. Should Fort Fisher and the point of land on which it is built fall into 
the hands of our troops immediately on landing, then it will be worth the at- 
tempt to capture Wilmington by a forced march and surprise. If time is con- 
sumed in gaining the first object of the expedition, the second will become a 
matter of after consideration. 

44 The details for execution are intrusted to you and the officer immediately 
in command of the troops. 


" Should the troops under General Weitzel fail to effect a landing at or near 
Fort Fisher, they will be returned to the armies operating against Richmond 
without delay. 

" U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General. 

"Major-General B. F. Butler." 

General Butler commanding the army from which the troops 
were taken for this enterprise, and the territory within which they 
were to operate, military courtesy required that all orders and 
instructions should go through him. They were so sent ; but 
General Weitzel has since officially informed me that he never re- 
ceived the foregoing instructions, nor was he aware of their ex- 
istence, until he read General Butler's published official report of 
the Fort Fisher failure, with my indorsement and papers accom- 
panying it. I had no idea of General Butler's accompanying the 
expedition until the evening before it got off from Bermuda 
Hundred, and then did not dream but that General Weitzel had 
received all the instructions, and would be in command. I rather 
formed the idea that General Butler was actuated by a desire to 
witness the effect of the explosion of the powder-boat. The ex- 
pedition was detained several days at Hampton Roads, awaiting 
the loading of the powder-boat. 

The importance of getting the Wilmington expedition off with- 
out any delay, with or without the powder-boat, had been urged 
upon General Butler, and he advised to so notify Admiral Porter. 

The expedition finally got off on the 13th of December, and ar- 
rived at the place of rendezvous, off New Inlet, near Fort Fisher, 
on the evening of the 15th. Admiral Porter arrived on the evening 
of the 1 8th, having put in at Beaufort to get ammunition for the 
monitors. The sea becoming rough, making it difficult to land 
troops, and the supply of water and coal being about exhausted, 
the transport fleet put back to Beaufort to replenish ; this, with the 
state of the weather, delayed the return to the place of rendezvous 
until the 24th. The powder-boat was exploded on the morning 
of the 24th, before the return of General Butler from Beaufort ; 
but it would seem, from the notice taken of it in the Southern 
newspapers, that the enemy were never enlightened as to the 
object of the explosion until they were informed by the Northern 


On the 25 th a landing was effected without opposition, and a 
reconnoissance, under Brevet Brigadier-General Curtis, pushed up 
towards the fort. But before receiving a full report of the result 
of this reconnoissance, General Butler, in direct violation of the 
instructions given, ordered the re-embarkation of the troops and 
the return of the expedition. The re-embarkation was accom- 
plished by the morning of the 27th. 

On the return of the expedition, officers and men — among them 
Brevet Major-General (then Brevet Brigadier-General) N. M. 
Curtis, First- Lieutenant G. W. Ross, 117th Regiment New York 
Volunteers, First- Lieutenant William H. Walling, and Second-Lieu- 
tenant George Simpson, 14 2d New York Volunteers — voluntarily 
reported to me that when recalled they were nearly into the fort, 
and, in their opinion, it could have been taken without much loss. 

Soon after the return of the expedition, I received a dispatch 
from the Secretary of the Navy, and a letter from Admiral Porter, 
informing me that the fleet was still off Fort Fisher, and expressing 
the conviction that, under a proper leader, the place could be 
taken. The natural supposition with me was, that when the troops 
abandoned the expedition, the navy would do so also. Finding it 
had not, however, I answered on the 30th of December, advising 
Admiral Porter to hold on, and that I would send a force and 
make another attempt to take the place. This time I selected 
Brevet Major-General (now Major-Gcneral) A. H. Terry to com- 
mand the expedition. The troops composing it consisted of the 
same that composed the former, with the addition of a small 
brigade, numbering about one thousand five hundred, and a small 
siege train. The latter it was never found necessary to land. I 
communicated direct to the commander of the expedition the fol- 
lowing instructions : 

" City Point, Virginia, January 3, 1865. 

" General : — The expedition intrusted to your command has been fitted out 
to renew the attempt to capture Fort Fisher, N. C. , and Wilmington ultimately, 
if the fort falls. You will then proceed with as little delay as possible to the 
naval fleet lying off Cape Fear River, and report the arrival of yourself and 
command to Admiral D. D. Porter, commanding North Atlantic Blockading 

"It is exceedingly desirable that the most complete understanding should 
exist between yourself and the naval commander. I suggest, therefore, that 


you consult with Admiral Porter freely, and get from him the part to be per- 
formed b each branch of the public service, so that there may be unity of 
action. 1 would be well to have the whole programme laid down in writing. 
I have served with Admiral Porter, and know that you can rely on his judgment 
and his nerve to undertake what he proposes. I would, therefore, defer to him 
as much as is consistent with your own responsibilities. The first object to be 
attained is to get a firm position on the spit of land on which Furt Fisher is 
built, from which you can operate against that fort. You want to look to the 
practicability of receiving your supplies, and to defending yourself against 
superior forces sent against you by any of the avenues left open to the enemy. 
If such a position can be obtained, the siege of Fort Fisher will not be 
abandoned until its reduction L accomplished, or another plan of campaign is 
ordered from these headquarters. 

"My own views arc. that if you effect a landing, the navy ought to run a 
portion of their fleet into Cape Fear River, while the balance of it operates on 
the outside. Land forces cannot invest Fort Fisher, or cut it off from supplies 
or reinforcements, while the river is in possession of the enemy. 

11 A siege-train will be loaded on vessels and sent to Fort Monroe, in readi- 
ness to be sent to you if required All other supplies can be drawn from Beau- 
fort as you need them. 

" Keep the fleet of vessels with you until your position is assured. When 
you find they can be spared, order them back, or such of them as you can spare, 
to Fort Monroe, to report for orders. 

" In case of failure to effect a landing, bring your command back to Beau- 
fort, and report to these headquarters for further instructions. You will not 
debark at Beaufort until so directed. 

44 General Sheridan has been ordered to send a division of troops to Baltimore 
and place them on sea-going vc^ ds. These troops will be brought to Fort 
Monroe and kept there on the vessels until you are heard from. Should you 
reqiirc them, they will be sent to you. 

44 U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General. 

" Brevet Major-General A. II. Terry." 

Lieutenant-Colonel C. B. Comstock, aide-de-camp (now brevet 
brigadier-general), who accompanied the former expedition, was 
assigned, in orders, as chief-engineer to this. 

It will b'j seen that these instructions did not differ materially 
from those given for the first expedition ; and that in neither in- 
stance was there an order to assault Fort Fisher. This was a 
matter left entirely to the discretion of the commanding officer. 

The expedition sailed from Tort Monroe on the morning of the 
6th, arriving at the rendezvous, off Beaufort, on the 8th, where, 
owing to the difficulties of the weather, it lay until the morning of 

^ APPENDIX. bo 1 / 

the 1 2th, when it got under way and reached its destination that 
evening. Under cover of the fleet, the disembarkation of the 
troops commenced on the morning of the 13th, and by three o'clock 
p.m. was completed without loss. On the 14th a reconnois- 
sance was pushed to within five hundred yards of Fort Fisher, and 
a small advance work taken possession of and turned into a de- 
fensive line against any attempt that might be made from the fort. 
This reconnoissance disclosed the fact that the front of the work 
had been seriously injured by the navy fire. In the afternoon of 
the 15th the fort was assaulted, and after most desperate fighting 
was captured, with its entire garrison and armament. Thus was 
secured, by the combined efforts of the navy and army, one of the 
most important successes of the war. Our loss was : killed, one 
hundred and ten ; wounded, five hundred and thirty-six. On 
the 1 6th and 17th the enemy abandoned and blew up Fort Cas- 
well and the works on Smith's Island, which were immediately 
occupied by us. This gave us entire control of the mouth of the 
Cape Fear River. 

At my request, Major-General B. F. Butler was relieved, and 
Major-General E. (). C. Ord assigned to the Department of Vir- 
ginia and North Carolina. 

The defence of the line of the Tennessee no longer requiring 
the force which had beaten and nearly destroyed the only army 
now threatening it, I determined to find other fields of operation 
for General Thomas's surplus troops — fields from which they 
would co-operate with other movements. General Thomas was 
therefore directed to collect all troops, not essential to hold his 
communications at Eastport, in readiness for orders. On the 7th 
of January, General Thomas was directed, if he was assured of the 
departure of Hood south from Corinth, to send General Schofield 
with his corps east with as little delay as possible. This direction 
was promptly complied with, and the advance of the corps reached 
Washington on the 23d of the same month, whence it was sent to 
Fort Fisher and New Bern. On the 26th he was directed to send 
General A. J. Smith's command and a division of cavalry to re- 
port to General Canby. By the 7th of February the whole force 
was en raute for its destination. 

The State of North Carolina was constituted into a military de« 


partment, and General Schofield assigned to command, and placed 
under the orders of Major-General Sherman. The following in- 
structions were given him : 

" Cl 1 Y Point, V a. , January 3i,i S65. 

" General : — * * * Your movements are intended as co-operative with 
Sherman's through the States of South and North Carolina. The first point to 
be attained is to secure Wilmington. Goldsbnro' will then be your objective 
point, moving either from Wilmington or New Bern, or both, as you deem 
best. Should you not be able to reach Goldsboro*, you will advance on the 
line or lines of railway connecting that place with the sea-coast — as near to it 
as you can, building the road behind you. The enterprise under you has two 
objects : the first is to give General Sherman material aid, if needed, in his 
march north ; the second, to open a base of supplies for him on his line of 
inarch. As soon, therefore, as you can determine which of the two points, 
Wilmington or New Bern, you can best use for throwing supplies from, to the 
interior, you will commence the accumulation of twenty days' rations and forage 
for sixty thousand men and twenty thousand animals. You will get of these as 
many as you can house and protect to such point in the interior as you may 
be able to occupy. I believe General Palmer has received some instructions 
direct from General Sherman on the subject of securing supplies for his army. 
You will learn what steps he has taken, and l-e governed in your requisitions 
accordingly. A supply of ordnance store* will al>o be necessary. 

*' Make all requisitions uj>on the chiefs of their respective departments in 
the field wiih me at City Point. Communicate with me by every opportunity, 
and should you deem it necessary at any time, send a special boat to Fortress 
Monroe, from which point you can communicate by telegraph. 

"The supplies referred to in these instructions are exclusive of those re- 
quired for your own command. 

" The movements of the enemy may justify, or even make it your impera- 
tive duty, to cut loose from your base, and strike for the interior to aid Sher- 
man. In such case you will act on your own judgment without waiting for in- 
structions. You will report, however, what you purpose doing. The details 
for carrying out the>e instructions are necessarily left to you. I would urge, 
however, if I did not know that you are already fully alive to the importance 
of it, prompt action. Sherman may be looked for in the neighborhood of 
Goldsboro' any time from the 22d to the 2Sth of February ; this limits your 
time very materially. 

** If rolling-stock is not secured in the capture of Wilmington, it can be 
supplied from Washington. A large force of railroad men have already been 
sent to Beaufort, and other mechanics will go to Fort Fisher in a day or two. 
On this point I have informed you by telegraph. 

" U.S.GRANT, Lieutcnant-Ccneral. 

" Major General J. M. Schofield." 


Previous to giving these instructions I had visited Fort Fisher, 
accompanied by General Schofield, for the purpose of seeing for 
myself the condition of things, and personally conferring with 
General Terry and Admiral Porter as to what was best to be 

Anticipating the arrival of General Sherman at Savannah — his 
army entirely foot-loose, Hood being then before Nashville, Ten- 
nessee, the Southern railroads destroyed, so that it would take 
several months to re-establish a through line from west to east, 
and regarding the capture of Lee's army as the most important 
operation towards closing the rebellion — I sent orders to General 
Sherman on the 6th of December, that after establishing a base on 
the sea-coast, with necessary garrison, to include all his artillery 
and cavalry, to come by water to City Point with the balance of 
his command. 

On the 1 8th of December, having received information of the 
defeat and utter rout of Hood's army by General Thomas, and 
that, owing to the great difficulty of procuring ocean transporta- 
tion, it would take over two months to transport Sherman's army, 
and doubting whether he might not contribute as much towards 
the desired result by operating from where he was, I wrote to him 
to that effect, and asked him for his views as to what would be best 
to do. A few days after this I received a communication from 
General Sherman, of date 16th December, acknowledging the re- 
ceipt of my order of the 6th, and informing me of his preparations 
to carry it into effect as soon as he could get transportation. Also 
that he had expected, upon reducing Savannah, instantly to march 
to Columbia, South Carolina, thence to Raleigh, and thence to report 
to me ; but that this would consume about six weeks' time after 
the fall of Savannah, whereas by sea he could probably reach me 
by the middle of January. The confidence he manifested in this 
letter of being able to march up and join me pleased me, and, 
without waiting for a reply to my letter of the 18th, I directed him, 
on the 28th of December, to make preparations to start, as he 
proposed, without delay, to break up the railroads in North and 
South Carolina, and join the armies operating against Richmond as 
soon as he could. 

On the 2 1 st of January I informed General Sherman that I had 
Vol. 11 — 39 


ordered the 23d corps, Major-General Schofield commanding, 
east ; that it numbered about twenty-one thousand men ; that we 
had at Fort Fisher, about eight thousand men ; at New Bern, 
about four thousand ; that if Wilmington was captured, General 
Schofield would go there ; if not, he would be sent to New Bern ; 
that, in either event, all the surplus force at both points would 
move to the interior towards Goldsboro', in co-operation with his 
movement ; that from either point railroad communication could 
be run out ; and that all these troops would be subject to his orders 
as he came into communication with them. 

In obedience to his instructions, General Schofield proceeded to 
reduce Wilmington, North Carolina, in co-operation with the navy 
under Admiral Porter, moving his forces up both sides of the 
Cape Fear River. Fort Anderson, the enemy's main defence on 
the west bank of the river, was occupied on the morning of the 
19th, the enemy having evacuated it after our appearance be- 
fore it. 

After fighting on 20th and 21st, our troops entered Wilmington 

on the morning of the 2 2d, the enemy having retreated towards 
Goldsboro' during the night. Preparations were at once made for 
a movement on Goldsboro' in two columns — one from Wilming- 
ton, and the other from New Hern — and to repair the railroad 
leading there from each place, as well as to supply General Sher- 
man by Cape Fear River, towards Fayetteville, if it became 
necessary. The column from New Bern was attacked on the 
8th of March, at Wise's Forks, and driven back with the loss of 
several hundred prisoners. On the nth the enemy renewed his 
attack upon our intrenched position, but was repulsed with severe 
loss, and fell back during the night. On the 14th the Neuse 
River was crossed and Kinston occupied, and on the 21st Golds- 
boro' was entered. The column from Wilmington reached Cox's 
Bridge, on the Neuse River, ten miles above Goldsboro', on the 


By the 1st of February, General Sherman's whole army was in 
motion from Savannah. He captured Columbia, South Carolina, 
on the 17th ; thence moved on Goldsboro', North Carolina, via 
Fayettevilh*, reaching the latter place on the 12th of March, open- 
ing up communication with General Schofield by way of Cape 


Fear River. On the 15th he resumed his march on Goldsboro'. 
He met a force of the enemy at Averysboro', and after a severe 
fight defeated and compelled it to retreat. Our loss in this engage- 
ment was about six hundred. The enemy's loss was much greater. 
On the 1 8th the combined forces of the enemy, under Joe 
Johnston, attacked his advance at Bentonville, capturing three 
guns and driving it back upon the main body. General Siocum, 
who was in the advance, ascertaining that the whole of Johnston's 
army was m the front, arranged his troops on the defensive, in- 
trenched himself and awaited reinforcements, which were pushed 
forward. On the night of the 21st the enemy retreated to Smithfiejd, 
leaving his dead and wounded in our hands. From there Sherman 
continued to Goldsboro', which place had been occupied by Gen- 
eral Schofield on the 21st (crossing the Neuse River ten miles 
above there, at Cox's Bridge, where General Terry had got pos- 
session and thrown a pontoon-bridge on the 2 2d), thus forming a 
junction with the columns from New Bern and Wilmington. 

Among the important fruits of this campaign was the fall of 
Charleston, South Carolina. It was evacuated by the enemy on 
the night of the 17th of February, and occupied by our forces on 
the 18th. 

On the morning of the 31st of January, General Thomas was 
directed to send a cavalry expedition, under General Stoneman, 
from East Tennessee, to penetrate South Carolina well down 
towards Columbia, to destroy the railroads and military resources 
of the country, and return, if he was able, to East Tennessee by 
way of Salisbury, North Carolina, releasing our prisoners there, if 
possible. Of the feasibility of this latter, however, General Stone- 
man was to judge. Sherman's movements, I had no doubt, would 
attract the attention of all the force the enemy could collect, and 
facilitate the execution of this. General Stoneman was so late in 
making his start on this expedition (and Sherman having passed 
out of the State of South Carolina), on the 27th of February I 
directed General Thomas to change his course, and order him 
to repeat his raid of last fall, destroying the railroad towards 
Lynchburg as far as he could. This would keep him between 
our- garrisons in East Tennessee and the enemy. I regarded it 
not impossible that in the event of the enemy being driven from 


Richmond, he might fall back to Lynchburg and attempt a raid 
north through East Tennessee. On the 14th of February the fol- 
lowing communication was sent to General Thomas : 

'•City Point, Va., February 14, 1865. 

' ' General Canby is preparing a movement from Mobile Bay against Mobile 
and the interior of Alabama. His force will consist of about twentv thousand 
men, besides A. J. Smith's command. The cavalry you have sent to Canby 
will be debarked at Vicksburg. It, with the available cavalry already in that 
section, will move from there eastward, in co-operation. Hood's army has been 
terribly reduced by the severe punishment you gave it in Tennessee, by deser- 
tion consequent upon their defeat, and now by the withdrawal of many of them 
to oppose Sherman. (I take it a large portion of the infantry has been so with- 
drawn. It is so asserted in the Richmond papers, and a member of the rebel 
Congress said a few days since in a speech, that one-half of it had been 
brought to South Carolina to oppose Sherman ) This being true, or even if it 
is not true, Canby's movement will attract all the attention of the enemy, and 
leave the advance from your standpoint easy. I think it advisable, therefore, 
that you prepare as much of a cavalry force as you can spare, and hold it in readi- 
ness to go south. The object would be threefold : first, to attract as much of 
the enemy's force as possible, to insure success to Canby ; second, to destroy 
the enemy's line of communications and military resources ; third, to destroy 
or capture their forces brought into the field. Tuscaloosa and Selma would 
probably be the points to direct the expedition against. This, however, would 
not be so important as the mere fact of penetrating deep into Alabama. Dis- 
cretion should be left to the officer commanding the expedition to go where, 
according to the information he may receive, he will best secure the objects 
named above. 

11 Now that your force lias been so much depleted, I do not know what num- 
ber of men you can put into the field. If not more than five thousand men, 
however, all cavalry, I think it will be sufficient. It is not desirable that you 
should start this expedition until the one leaving Vicksburg has been three or 
four days out, or even a week. I do not know when it will start, but will in- 
form you by telegraph as soon as I learn. If you should hear through other 
sources before hearing from me, you can act on the information received. 

" To insure success your cavalry should go with as little wagon-train as pos- 
sible, relying upon the country for supplies. I would also reduce the number 
of guns to a battery, or the number of batteries, and put the extra teams to 
the guns taken. No guns or caissons should be taken with less than eight 

" Please inform me by telegraph, on receipt of this, what force you think you 
will be able to send under these directions. 

41 U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-Geperal. 

"Major-General G. H. Thomas." 


On the 15 th, he was directed to start the expedition as soon 
after the 20th as he could get it off. 

I deemed it of the utmost importance, before a general move- 
ment of the armies operating against Richmond, that all communi- 
cations with the city, north of James River, should be cut off. 
The enemy having withdrawn the bulk of his force from the 
Shenandoah Valley and sent it south, or replaced troops sent 
from Richmond, and desiring to reinforce Sherman, if practicable, 
whose cavalry was greatly inferior in numbers to that of the 
enemy, I determined to make a move from the Shenandoah, which, 
if successful, would accomplish the first at least, and possibly 
the latter of these objects. I therefore telegraphed General 
Sheridan as follows : 

"City Point, Va., Fehrttary 20, 1865 — 1 p.m. 

*' General: — As soon as it is possible to travel, I think you will have no 

difficulty about reaching Lynchburg with a cavalry force alone. From there 

you could destroy the railroad and canal in every direction, so as to be of no 

further use to the rebellion. Sufficient cavalry should be left behind to look 

after Mosby's gang. From Lynchburg, if information you might get there 

would justify it, you will strike south, heading the streams in Virginia to the 

westward of Danville, and push on and join General Sherman. This additional 

raid, with one now about starting from East Tennessee under Stoneman, 

numbering four or five thousand cavalry, one from Vicksburg, numbering 

seven or eight thousand cavalry, one from Eastport, Mississippi, ten thousand 

cavalry, Canby from Mobile Bay, with about thirty-eight thousand mixed 

troops, these three latter pushing for Tuscaloosa, Selma, and Montgomery, 

and Sherman with a large army eating out the vitals of South Carolina, is all 

that will be wanted to leave nothing for the rebellion to stand upon. I would 

advise you to overcome great obstacles to accomplish this. Charleston was 

evacuated on Tuesday last. 

" U. S. GRANT, Lieutcnant-Gcneral. 

" Major-General P. H. Sheridan." 

On the 25 th I received a dispatch from General Sheridan, in- 
quiring where Sherman was aiming for, and if I could give him 
definite information as to the points he might be expected to move 
on, this side of Charlotte, North Carolina. In answer, the follow- 
ing telegram was sent him : 

"City Point, Va., February 25, 1865. 

" General: — Sherman's movements will depend on the amount of opposi- 
ton he meets with from the enemy. If strongly opposed, he may possibly 


have to fall back to Georgetown, S. C. , and fit out for a new start. I think, 
however, all danger for the necessity of going to that point has passed. I be- 
lieve he has passed Charlotte. He may take Fayetteville on his way to Golds- 
boro\ If you reach Lynchburg, you will have to be guided in your after 
movements by the information you obtain. Before you could possibly reach 
Sherman, I think you would find him moving from Goldsboro' towards Raleigh, 
or engaging the enemy strongly posted at one or the other of these places, 
with railroad communications opened from his army to Wilmington or New 


" U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant- General. 

" Major-General P. H. Sheridan." 

General Sheridan moved from Winchester on the 27th of Feb- 
ruary, with two divisions of cavalry, numbering about five thou- 
sand each. On the 1st of March he secured the bridge, which 
the enemy attempted to destroy, across the middle fork of the 
Shenandoah, at Mount Crawford, and entered Staunton on the 2d, 
the enemy having retreated on Waynesboro'. Thence he pushed 
on to Waynesboro', where he found the enemy in force in an in- 
trenched position, under General Early. Without stopping to 
make a reconnoissance, an immediate attack was made, the posi- 
tion was carried, and sixteen hundred prisoners, eleven pieces of 
artillery, with horses and caissons complete, two hundred wagons 
and teams loaded with subsistence, and seventeen battle- flags, weie 
captured. The prisoners, under an escort of fifteen hundred men, 
were sent back to Winchester. Thence he marched on Charlottes- 
ville, destroying effectually the railroad and bridges as he went, 
which place he reached on the 3d. Here he remained two days, 
destroying the railroad towards Richmond and Lynchburg, includ- 
ing the large iron bridges over the north and south forks of the 
Rivanna River and awaited the arrival of his trains. This neces- 
sary delay caused him to abandon the idea of capturing Lynchburg. 
On the morning of the 6th, dividing his force into two columns, he 
sent one to Scottsville, whence it inarched up the James River 
Canal to New Market, destroying every lock, and in many places 
the bank of the canal. From here a force was pushed out from 
this column to Duiguidsville, to obtain possession of the bridge 
across the James River at that place, but failed. The enemy 
burned it on our approach. The enemy also burned the bridge 
across the river at Hardwicksville. The other column moved 

APPENDIX. 6 1 5 

down the railroad towards Lynchburg, destroying it as far as Am- 
herst Court House, sixteen miles from Lynchburg ; thence across 
the country, uniting with the column at New Market. The river 
being very high, his pontoons would not reach across it ; and the 
enemy having destroyed the bridges by which he had hoped to 
cross the river and get on the South Side Railroad about Farm- 
ville, and destroy it to Appomattox Court House, the only thing 
left for him was to return to Winchester or strike a base at the 
White House. Fortunately, he chose the latter. From New- 
Market he took up his line of march, following the canal towards 
Richmond, destroying every lock upon it and cutting the banks 
wherever practicable, to a point eight miles east of Goochland, 
concentrating the whole force at Columbia on the ioth. Here he 
rested one day, and sent through by scouts information of his 
whereabouts and purposes, and a request for supplies to meet him 
at White House, which reached me on the night of the 12th. An 
infantry force was immediately sent to get possession of White 
House, and supplies were forwarded. Moving from Columbia in 
a direction to threaten Richmond, to near Ashland Station, he 
crossed the Annas, and after having destroyed all the bridges and 
many miles of the railroad, proceeded down the north bank of the 
Pamunkey to White House, which place he reached on the 19th. 

Previous to this the following communication was sent to Gen- 
eral Thomas : 

" City Point, Virginia, 

March 7, 1S65 — 9.30 A.M. 

" General : — I think it will be advisable now for you to repair the railroad 
in East Tennessee, and throw a good force up to Bull's Gap and fortify there. 
Supplies at Knoxville could always be got forward as required. With Bull's 
Gap fortified, you can occupy as outposts about all of East Tennessee, and be 
prepared, if it should be required of you in the spring, to make a campaign to- 
wards Lynchburg, or into North Carolina. I do not think Stoneman should 
break the road until he gets into Virginia, unless it should be to cut off rolling- 
stock that may be caught west of that. 

" U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General. 

" Major General G. H. Thomas/ 1 

Thus it will be seen that in March, 1865, General Canby was 
moving an adequate force against Mobile and the army defending 
it under General Dick Taylor ; Thomas was pushing out two large 

616 personal memoirs; of u. s. grant. 

and well-appointed cavalry expeditions — one from Middle Tennes- 
see under Brevet Major-General Wilson against the enemy's vital 
points in Alabama, the other from East Tennessee, under Major- 
General Stoneman, towards Lynchburg— and assembling the re- 
mainder of his available forces, preparat jry to commence offensive 
operations from East Tennessee ; General Sheridan's cavalry was 
at White House ; the armies of the Potomac and James were con- 
fronting the enemy, under Lee, in his defences of Richmond and 
Petersburg ; General Sherman with his armies, reinforced by 
that of General Schofield, was at Goldsboro' ; General Pope was 
making preparations for a spring campaign against the enemy 
under Kirby Smith and Price, west of the Mississippi ; and 
General Hancock was concentrating a force in the vicinity of 
Winchester, Virginia, to guard against invasion or to operate of- 
fensively, as might prove necessary. 

After the long march by General Sheridan's cavalry over 
winter roads, it was necessary to rest and refit at White House. 
At this time the greatest source of uneasiness to me was the 
fear that the enemy would leave his strong lines about Peters- 
burg and Richmond for the puqx>se of uniting with Johnston, 
before he was driven from them by battle, or I was prepared 
to make an effectual pursuit. On the 24th of March, General 
Sheridan moved from White House, crossed the James River at 
Jones's Landing, and formed a junction with the Army of the Poto- 
mac in front of Petersburg on the 27th. During this move, Gen- 
eral Ord sent forces to cover the crossings of the Chickahominy. 

On the 24th of March the following instructions for a general 
movement of the armies operating against Richmond were issued : 

•' City Point, Virginia, 

Manh 24. 1S65. 

"C.kmrw — On the 2oth instant the armies operating against Richmond 
will Iv mo\ed b\ our left, for the double purj>ose of turning the enemy out of 
hNpie^nt jMMiion around Petersburg, and to insure the success of the cav- 
alry urdii Ceneral which will start at the same time in its efforts 
to reach a: % d d»-<!rov :1k- South Side and Danville railroads. Two corps of 
the Aism ot the Potomac will be moved at tir>t in two columns, taking the 
two nu In cro>.N| •£ H.itchcr*> Run. nearest where the present line held by 
us strikes that >:rv.nn. I »th moving towards Uinwiddie Court House. 

" The vavaltv under General Sheridan, joined by the division now under 

APPENDIX. 6 1 7 

General Davies, will move at the same time by the Weldon Road and the 
Jerusalem Plank Road, turning west from the latter before crossing the Not- 
toway, and west with the whole column before reaching Stony . Creek. 
General Sheridan will then move independently, under other instructions 
which will be given him. All dismounted cavalry belonging to the Army 
of the Potomac, and the dismounted cavalry from the Middle Military Divi- 
sion not required for guarding property belonging to their arm of service, will 
report to Brigadier-General Benham, to be added to the defences of City 
Point. Major-General Parke will be left in command of all the army left for 
holding the lines about Petersburg and City Point, subject of course to orders 
from the commander of the Army of the Potomac. The 9th army corps will be 
left intact, to hold the present line of works so long as the whole line now oc- 
cupied by us is held. If, however, the troops to the left of the 9th corps are 
withdrawn, then the left of the corps may be thrown back so as to occupy the 
position held by the army prior to the capture of the Weldon Road. All troops 
to the left of the 9th corps will be held in readiness to move at the shortest no- 
tice by such route as may be designated when the order is given. 

"General Ord will detach three divisions, two white and one colored, or so 
much of them as he can, and hold his present lines, and march for the present 
left of the Army of the Potomac. In the absence of further orders, or until 
further orders are given, the white divisions will follow the left column of the 
Army of the Potomac, and the colored division the right column. During the 
movement Major-General Wcitzel will be left in command of all the forces re- 
maining behind from the Army of the James. 

'* The movement of troops from the Army of the James will commence on 
the night of the 27th instant. General Ord will leave behind the minimum 
number of cavalry necessary for picket duty, in the absence of the main army. 
A cavalry expedition, from General Ord's command, will also be started from 
Suffolk, to leave there on Saturday, the 1st of April, under Colonel Sumner, 
for the purpose of cutting the railroad about Hicksford. This, if accomplished, 
will have to be a surprise, and therefore from three to five hundred men will be 
sufficient. They should, however, be supported by all the infantry that can be 
spared from Norfolk and Portsmouth, as far out as to where the cavalry crosses 
the Blackwatcr. The crossing should probably be at Uniten. Should Colonel 
Sumner succeed in reaching the Weldon Road, he will be instructed to do all 
the damage possible to the triangle of roads between Hicksford, Weldon, and 
Gaston. The railroad bridge at Weldon being fitted up for the passage of car- 
nages, it might be -practicable to destroy any accumulation of supplies the 
enemy may have collected south of the Roanoke. All the troops will move with 
four days' rations in haversacks and eight days' in wagons. To avoid as much 
hauling as possible, and to give the Army of the James the same number of 
days' supplies with the Army of the Potomac, General Ord will direct his com- 
missary and quartermaster to have sufficient supplies delivered at the terminus 
of the road to fill up in passing. Sixty rounds of ammunition per man will be 
taken in wagons, and as much grain as the transportation on hand will carty, 


after taking the specified amount of other supplies. The densely wooded 
country in which the army has to operate making the use of much artillery im- 
practicable, the amount taken with the army will be reduced to six or eight 
guns to each division, at the option of the army commanders. 

" All necessary preparations for carrying these directions into operation may 
be commenced at once. The reserves of the 9th corps should be massed as 
much as possible. While I would not now order an unconditional attack on 
the enemy's line by them, they should be ready and should make the attack if 
the enemy weakens his line in their front, without waiting for orders. In case 
they carry the line, then the whole of the 9th corps could follow up so as to join 
or co-operate with the balance of the army. To prepare for this, the 9th corps 
will have rations issued to them, same as the balance of the army. General 
Weitzel will keep vigilant watch upon his front, and if found at all practicable 
to break through at any point, he will do so. A success north of the James 
should be followed up with great promptness. An attack will not be feasible 
unless it is found that the enemy has detached largely. In that case it may be 
regarded as evident that the enemy are relying upon their local reserves princi- 
pally for the defence of Richmond. Preparations may be made for abandoning 
all the line north of the James, except inclosed works — only to be abandoned, 
however, after a break is made in the lines of the enemy. 

4 'By these instructions a large part of the armies operating against Rich- 
mond is left behind. The enemy, knowing this, may, as an only chance, strip 
their line* to the merest skeleton, in the hope of advantage not being taken of 
it. while they hurl everything against the moving column, and return. It 
cannot be impressed too strongly upon commanders of troops left in the 
trencher net to allow this to occur without taking advantage of it. The very 
fact of the enemy coming out to attack, if he does so, might be regarded as 
almost conclusive evidence of such a weakening of his lines. I would have 
it particularly enjoined upon corps commanders that, in case of an attack 
from the enemy, those no: attacked are not to wait for orders from the 
commanding officer of the army to which they belong, but that they will move 
promptly, arid notify the commander of their action. I would also enjoin the 
same action on the part of division commanders when other parts of their 
corps are engaged. In like manner, I would urge the importance of fol- 
lowing up a repulse of the enemy. 

" U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General. 

" M vi^r-Gfnf.rvls Mkai>k. Ori\ and Sheridan." 

Earlv on the morning of the 2^th the enemv assaulted our 
lines in front of the 9th coq^s (which held from the Appomat- 
tox River towards our left , and carried Fort Stedman, and a 
part or the line to the right and left of it, established themselves 
and turned the guns of the fort against us ; but our troops on 
either flank held their ground until the reserves were brought 

APPENDIX. 6 1 9 

up, when the enemy was driven back with a heavy loss in killed 
and wounded, and one thousand nine hundred prisoners. Our 
loss was sixty-eight killed, three hundred and thirty-seven 
wounded, and five hundred and six missing. General Meade at 
once ordered the other corps to advance and feel the enemy in 
their respective fronts. Pushing forward, they captured and held 
the enemy's strongly intrenched picket-line in front of the 2d 
and 6th corps, and eight hundred and thirty-four prisoners. The 
enemy made desperate attempts to retake this line, but without 
success. Our loss in front of these was fifty-two killed, eight hun- 
dred and sixty-four wounded, and two hundred and seven miss- 
ing. The enemy's loss in killed and wounded was far greater. 

General Sherman having got his troops all quietly in camp 
about Goldsboro\ and his preparations for furnishing supplies to 
them perfected, visited me at City Point on the 27th of March, 
and stated that he would be ready to move, as he had previously 
written me, by the 10th of April, fully equipped and rationed for 
twenty days, if it should become necessary to bring his command 
to bear against Lee's army, in co-operation with our forces in front 
of Richmond and Petersburg. General Sherman proposed in this 
movement to threaten Raleigh, and then, by turning suddenly to 
the right, reach the Roanoke at Gaston or thereabouts, whence he 
could move on to the Richmond and Danville Railroad, striking it 
in the vicinity of Burkesvilie, or join the armies operating against 
Richmond, as might be deemed best Tnis plan he was directed 
to carry into execution, if he received no further directions in the 
meantime. 1 explained to him the movement I had ordered to 
commence on the 29th of March. That if it should not prove as 
entirely successful as I hoped, I would cut the cavalry loose to 
destroy the Danville and South Side railroads, and thus deprive 
the enemy of further supplies, and also to prevent the rapid con- 
centration of Lee's and Johnston's armies. 

I had spent days of anxiety lest each morning should bring the 
report that the enemy had retreated the night before. I was firmly 
convinced that Sherman's crossing the Roanoke would be the 
signal for Lee to leave. With Johnston and him combined, a 
long, tedious, and expensive campaign, consuming most of the 
summer, might become necessary. By moving out I would put 


the army in better condition for pursuit, and would at least, by 
the destruction of the Danville Road, retard the concentration of 
the two armies of Lee and Johnston, and cause the enemy to 
abandon much material that he might otherwise save. I therefore 
determined not to delay the movement ordered. 

On the night of the 27 th, Major-General Ord, with two divisions 
of the 24th corps, Major-General Gibbon commanding, and one 
division of the 25th corps, Brigadier-General Birney commanding, 
and Mackenzie's cavalry, took up his line of march in pursuance 
of the foregoing instructions, and reached the position assigned 
him near Hatcher's Run on the morning of the 29th. On the 28th 
the following instructions were given to General Sheridan : 

"City Point, Va., March 28, 1865. 

41 General : — The 5th array corps will move by the Vaughn Road at three 
A.M. to-morrow morning. The 2d moves at about nine A.M., having but 
about three miles to march to reach the point designated for it to take on the 
right of the 5th corps, after the latter reaching Dinwiddie Court House. Move 
your cavalry at as early an hour as you can, and without being confined to any 
particular road or roads. You may go out by the nearest roads in rear of the 
5th corps, pass by its left, and passing near to or through I>inwiddie, reach the 
right and rear of the enemy as soon as you can. It is not the intention to 
attack the enemy in his intrenched position, but to force him out, if possible. 
Should he come out and attack us. or get himself where he can be attacked, 
move in with your entire force in your own way, and with the full reliance that 
the army will engage or follow, as circumstances will dictate. I shall be on 
the field, and will probably be able to communicate with you. Should I not 
do so, and you find that the enemy keeps within his main intrenched line, you 
may cut loose and push for the Danville Road. If you find it practicable, I 
would like you to cross the South Side Road, between Petersburg and Burkes- 
ville, and destroy it to some extent. I would not advise much detention, how- 
ever, until you reach the Danville Road, which I would like you to strike as 
near to the Appomattox as possible. Make your destruction on that road as 
complete as possible. You can then pass on to the South Side Road, west of 
Burkesville, and destroy that in like manner. 

44 After having accomplished the destruction of the two railroads, which are 
now the only avenues of supply to Lee's army, you may return to this army, 
selecting your road further south, or you may goon into North Carolina and join 
General Sherman. Should you select the latter course, get the information to 
me as early as possible, so that I may send orders to meet you at Goldsboro'. 

" U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant -General. 

* 4 Major-Generaj. P. II. Sheridan." 


On the morning of the 29th the movement commenced. At 
night the cavalry was at Dinwiddie Court House, and the left of 
our infantry line extended to the Quaker Road, near its inter- 
section with the Boydton Plank Road. The position of the troops 
from left to right was as follows : Sheridan, Warren, Humphreys, 
Ord, Wright, Parke. 

Everything looked favorable to the defeat of the enemy and the 

capture of Petersburg and Richmond, if the proper effort was 

made. I therefore addressed the following communication to 

General Sheridan, having previously informed him verbally not to 

cut loose for the raid contemplated in his orders until he received 

notice from me to do so : 

" Gravelly Creek, March 29, 1865. 

" General : — Our line is now unbroken from the Appomattox to Dinwiddie. 
We are all ready, however, to give up all, from the Jerusalem Plank Road to 
Hatcher's Run, whenever the forces can be used advantageously. After getting 
into line south of Hatcher's, we pushed forward to find the enemy's position. 
General Griffin was attacked near where the Quaker Road intersects the Boydton 
Road, but repulsed it easily, capturing about one hundred men. Humphreys 
reached Dabney's Mill, and was pushing on when last heard from. 

*' I now feel like ending the matter, if it is possible to do so, before going 
back. I do not want you, therefore, to cut loose and go after the enemy's 
roads at present. In the morning push around the enemy, if you can, and get 
on to his right rear. The movements of the enemy's cavalry may, of course, 
modify your action. We will act all together as one army here, until it is seen 
what can be done with the enemy. The signal-officer at Cobb's Hill reported, 
at half-past eleven A.M., that a cavalry column had passed that point from 
Richmond towards Petersburg, taking forty minutes to pass. 

" U. S. GRANT, Licutenant-Gencral. 

" Major-General P. H . Sheridan." 

From the night of the 29th to the morning of the 31st the rain 
fell in such torrents as to make it impossible to move a wheeled 
vehicle, except as corduroy roads were laid in front of them. 
During the 30th, Sheridan advanced from Dinwiddie Court House 
towards Five Forks, where he found the enemy in full force. Gen- 
eral Warren advanced and extended his line across the Boydton 
Plank Road to near the White Oak Road, with a view of getting 
across the latter ; but, finding the enemy strong in his front and 
extending beyond his left, was directed to hold on where he was, 
and fortify. General Humphreys drove the enemy from his front 


into his main line on the Hatcher, near Burgess's Mills. Generals 
Ord, Wright, and Parke made examinations in their fronts to de- 
termine the feasibility of an assault on the enemy's lines. The 
two latter reported favorably. The enemy confronting us as he 
did, at every point from Richmond to our extreme left. I conceived 
his lines must be weakly held, and could be penetrated if my 
estimate of his forces was correct. I determined, therefore, to 
extend our line no farther, but to reinforce General Sheridan with 
a corps of infantry, and thus enable him to cut loose and turn the 
enemy's right flank, and with the other corps assault the enemy's 
lines. The result of the offensive effort of the enemy the week 
before, when he assaulted Fort Stedman, particularly favored 
this. The enemy's intrenched picket-line captured by us at that 
time threw the lines occupied by the belligerents so close together 
at some points that it was but a moment's run from one to the 
other. Preparations were at once made to relieve General Hum- 
phreys's corps, to report to General Sheridan ; but the condition of 
the roads prevented immediate movement. On the morning of 
the 31st, General Warren reported favorably to getting possesions 
of the White Oak Road, and was directed to do so. To accom- 
plish this, he moved with one division, instead of his whole corps, 
which was attacked by the enemy in superior force and driven 
back on the 2d division before it had time to form, and it, in turn, 
forced back uj>on the 3d division, when the enemy was checked. 
A division of the 2d corps was immediately sent to his support, 
the enemy driven back with heavy loss, and possession of the 
White ( )ak Road gained. Sheridan advanced, and with a portion 
of his cavalry got possession of the Five Forks ; but the enemy, 
after the affair with the 5th corps, reinforced the rebel cavalry, 
defending that point with infantry, and forced him back towards 
Dinwiddie Court House. Here General Sheridan displayed great 
generalship. Instead of retreating with his whole command on 
the main army, to tell the story of superior forces encountered, he 
deployed his cavalry on foot, leaving only mounted men enough to 
take charge of the horses. This compelled the enemy to deploy 
over a vast extent of wooded and broken country, and made his 
progress slow. At this juncture he dispatched to me what had 
taken place, and that he w T as dropping back slowly on Dinwiddie 


Court House. General Mackenzie's cavalry and one division of 
the 5th corps were immediately ordered to his assistance. Soon 
after receiving a report from General Meade that Humphreys 
could hold our position on the Boydton Road, and that the other 
two divisions of the 5 th corps could go to Sheridan, they were so 
ordered at once. Thus the operations of the day necessitated the 
sending of Warren, because of his accessibility, instead of Hum- 
phreys, as was intended, and precipitated intended movements. 
On the morning of the 1st of April, General Sheridan, reinforced 
by General Warren, drove the enemy back on Five Forks, where, 
late in the evening, he assaulted and carried his strongly fortified 
position, capturing all his artillery and between five and six 
thousand prisoners. 

About the close of this battle, Brevet Major-General Charles 
Griffin relieved Major-General Warren in command of the 5th 
corps. The report of this reached me after nightfall. Some 
apprehensions filled my mind lest the enemy might desert 
his lines during the night, and by falling upon General Sheridan 
before assistance could reach him, drive him from his position and 
open the way for retreat. To guard against this, General Miles's 
division of Humphreys's corps was sent to reinforce him, and a 
bombardment was commenced and kept up until four o'clock in 
the morning (April 2), when an assault was ordered on the enemy's 
lines. General Wright penetrated the lines with his whole corps, 
sweeping everything before him, and to his left towards Hatcher's 
Run, capturing many guns and several thousand prisoners. He 
was closely followed by two divisions of General Ord's command, 
until he met the other division of General Ord's that had suc- 
ceeded in forcing the enemy's lines near Hatcher's Run. Generals 
Wright and Ord immediately swung to the right, and closed all 
of the enemy on that side of them in Petersburg, while General 
Humphreys pushed forward with two divisions and joined General 
Wright on the left. General Parke succeeded in carrying the 
enemy's main line, capturing guns and prisoners, but was unable 
to carry his inner line. General Sheridan being advised of the 
condition of affairs, returned General Miles to his proper com- 
mand. On reaching the enemy's lines immediately surrounding 
Petersburg, a portion of General Gibbon's corps, by a most gallant 


charge, captured two strong inclosed works — the most salient and 
commanding south of Petersburg — thus materially shortening the 
line of investment necessary for taking in the city. The enemy 
south of Hatcher's Run retreated westward to Sutherland's Sta- 
tion, where they were overtaken by Miles's division. A severe en- 
gagement ensued, and lasted until both his right and left flanks 
were threatened by the approach of General Sheridan, who was 
moving from Ford's Station towards Petersburg, and a division 
sent by General Meade from the front of Petersburg, when he 
broke in the utmost confusion, leaving in our hands his guns and 
many prisoners. This force retreated by the main road along the 
Appomattox River. During the night of the 2d the enemy evacu- 
ated Petersburg and Richmond, and retreated towards Danville. 
On the morning of the 3d pursuit was commenced. General 
Sheridan pushed for the Danville Road, keeping near the Appo- 
mattox, followed by General Meade with the 2d and 6th corps, 
while General Ord moved for Burkesville, along the South Side 
Road ; the 9th corps stretched along that road behind him. On 
the 4th, General Sheridan struck the Danville Road near Jeters- 
ville, where he learned that Lee was at Amelia Court House. He 
immediately intrenched himself and awaited the arrival of Gen- 
eral Meade, who reached there the next day. General Ord 
reached Burkesville on the evening of the 5th. 

On the morning of the 5th, I addressed Major-General Sherman 
the following communication : 

"Wilson's Station, Aptil 5. 1865. 

" General : — All indications now are that Lee will attempt to reach Dan- 
ville with the remnant of his force. Sheridan, who was up with him last night, 
reports all that is left, horse, foot, and dragoons, at twenty thousand, much de- 
moralized. We hope to reduce this number one-half. I shall push on to 
Burkesville, and if a stand is made at Danville, will in a very few days go 
there. If you can possibly do so, push on from where you are, and let us 
see if we cannot tini>h the job with Lee's and Johnston's armies. Whether 
it will be better for you to strike for Greensboro', or nearer to Danville, 
you will bj better able to judge when you receive this. Rebel armies now 
are the only strategic points to strike at. 

" U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General. 

" Major-General W. T. Sherman." 

On the morning of the 6th, it was found that General Lee was 


moving west of Jetersville, towards Danville. General Sheridan 
moved with his cavalry (the 5th corps having been returned to 
General Meade on his reaching Jetersville) to strike his flank, fol- 
lowed by the 6th corps, while the 2d and 5 th corps pressed hard 
after, forcing him to abandon several hundred wagons and several 
pieces of artillery. General Ord advanced from Burkesville to- 
wards Farmville, sending two regiments of infantry and a squad- 
ron of cavalry, under Brevet Brigadier- General Theodore Read, to 
reach and destroy the bridges. This advance met the head of 
Lee's column near Farmville, which it heroically attacked and de- 
tained until General Read was killed and his small force over- 
powered. This caused a delay in the enemy's movements, and 
enabled General Ord to get well up with the remainder of his 
force, on meeting which, the enemy immediately intrenched him- 
self. In the afternoon, General Sheridan struck the enemy south 
of Sailors' Creek, captured sixteen pieces of artillery and about 
four hundred wagons, and detained him until the 6th corps got 
up, when a general attack of infantry and cavalry was made, which 
resulted in the capture of six or seven thousand prisoners, among 
whom were many general officers. The movements of the 2d 
corps and General Ord's command contributed greatly to the day's 

On the morning of the 7 th the pursuit was renewed, the cavalry, 
except one division, and the 5 th corps moving by Prince Edward's 
Court House ; the 6th corps, General Ord's command, and one 
division of cavalry, on Farmville ; and the 2d corps by the High 
Bridge Road. It was soon found that the enemy had crossed to 
the north side of the Appomattox ; but so close was the pursuit, 
that the 2d corps got possession of the common bridge at High 
Bridge before the enemy could destroy it, and immediately crossed 
over. The 6th corps and a division of cavalry crossed at Farm- 
ville to its support. 

Feeling now that General Lee's chance of escape was utterly 
hopeless, I addressed him the following communication from 
Farmville : 

"April 7, 1865. 

" General : — The result of the last week must convince you of the hopeless- 
ness of further resistance on the part of the Army of Northern Virginia in this 

Vol. 11 —40 


struggle. I feel that it is so, and regard it as my duty to shift from myself the 
responsibility of any farther effusion of blood, by asking of you the surrender 
of that portion of the Confederate States army known as the Army of Northern 

44 U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General 
t€ General R. E. Lee." 

Early on the morning of the 8th, before leaving, I received at 
Farmville the following : 

" April 7, 1S65. 

" General : — I have received your note of this date. Though not enter- 
taining the opinion you express on the hopelessness of further resistance on the 
part of the Army of Northern Virginia, I reciprocate your desire to avoid use- 
less effusion of blood, and therefore, before considering your proposition, ask 
the terms you will offer on condition of its surrender. 

"R. E. LEE, General. 

'* Lieutenant-General U. S. Grant." 

To this I immediately replied : 

" April 8, 1S65. 

44 General : — Your note of last evening, in reply to mine of same date, ask- 
ing the condition on which I will accept the surrender of the Army of Northern 
Virginia, is just received. In reply, I would say, that fxace being my great de- 
sire, there is but one condition I would insist upon — namely, That the men 
and officers surrendered shall be disqualified for taking up arms again against 
the Government of the United States until properly exchanged. I will meet 
you, or will designate officers to meet any officers you may name for the same 
purpose, at any point agreeable to you, for the purpose of arranging definitely 
the terms upon which the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia will be 


44 U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General. 

44 General R. E. Lee." 

Early on the morning of the 8th the pursuit was resumed. 
General Meade followed north of the Appomattox, and General 
Sheridan, with all the cavalry, pushed straight for Appomattox 
Station, followed by General Ord's command and the 5th corps. 
During the day General Meade's advance had considerable fight- 
ing with the enemy's rear-guard, but was unable to bring on a 
general engagement. Late in the evening General Sheridan 
struck the railroad at Appomattox Station, drove the enemy from 
there, and captured twenty-five pieces of artillery', a hospital-train, 
and four trains of cars loaded with supplies for Lee's army. Dur- 


ing this day I accompanied General Meade's column, and about 
midnight received the following communication from General 
Lee : 

" April 8, 1865. 

" General :— I received, at a late hour, your note of to-day. In mine of 
yesterday I did not intend to propose the surrender of the Army of Northern 
Virginia, but to ask the terms of your proposition. To be frank, I do not 
think the emergency has arisen to call for the surrender of this army ; but as 
the restoration of peace should be the sole object of all, I desired to know 
whether your proposals would lead to that end. I cannot, therefore, meet you 
with a view to surrender the Army of Northern Virginia ; but as far as your 
proposal may affect the Confederates States forces under my command, and 
tend to the restoration of peace, I should be pleased to meet you at ten A.M. to- 
morrow on the old stage-road to Richmond, between the picket-lines of the 

two armies. 

" R. E. LEE, General. 

* Lieutenant-General U. S. Grant." 

Early on the morning of the 9th I returned him an answer as 
follows, and immediately started to join the column south of the 
Appomattox : 

"Aprils T865. 

" General : — Your note of yesterday is received. I have no authority to 

treat on the subject of peace ; the meeting proposed for ten A. M. to-day could 

lead to no good. I will state, however, general, that I am equally anxious for 

peace with yourself, and the whole North entertains the same feeling. The 

terms upon which peace can be had are well understood. By the South laying 

down their arms they will hasten that most desirable event, save thousands of 

human lives, and hundreds of millions of property not yet destroyed. Seriously 

hoping that all our difficulties may be settled without the loss of another life, 

I subscribe myself, etc. 

" U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General. 

" General R. E. Lee." 

On the morning of the 9th, General Ord's command and the 5th 
corps reached Appomattox Station just as the enemy was making 
a desperate effort to break through our cavalry. The infantry was 
at once thrown in. Soon after a white flag was received, request- 
ing a suspension of hostilities pending negotiations for a sur- 

Before reaching General Sheridan's headquarters, I received the 
following from General Lee: 


44 April 9, 1865. 

" General : — I received your note of this morning on the picket-line, whither 
I had come to meet you, and ascertain definitely what terms were embraced in 
your proposal of yesterday with reference to the surrender of this army. I 
now ask an interview, in accordance with the offer contained in your letter of 
yesterday, for that purpose. 

«' R. E LEE, General. 

" Lieutenant-General U. S. Grant.*' 

The interview was held at Appomattox Court-House, the result 
of which is set forth in the following correspondence : 

Appomattox Court-House, Virginia, April 9, 1865. 

" General : — In accordance with the substance of my letter to you of the 
8th instant, I propose to receive the surrender of the Army of Northern 
Virginia on the following terms, to wit : Rolls of all the officers and men to be 
made in duplicate, one copy to be given to an officer to be designated by me, 
the other to be retained by such officer or officers as you may designate. The 
officers to give their individual paroles not to take up arms against the Govern- 
ment of the United States until properly exchanged ; and each company or 
regimental commander sign a like parole for the men of their commands. The 
arms, artillery, and public property to be parked and stacked, and turned over 
to the officers appointed by me to receive them. This will not embrace the 
side-arms of the officers, nor their private horses or baggage. This done, each 
officer and man will be allowed to return to his home, not to be disturbed 
by United States authority so long as they observe their paroles and the laws 
in force where they may reside. 

44 U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant. General. 

"General R. E. Lee." 

" Headquarters Army of Northern Virginia, Apifg, 1865. 

44 General :— I have received your letter of this date containing the terms of 
surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia as proposed by you. As they are 
substantially the same as those expressed in your letter of the 8th instant, they 
are accepted. I will proceed to designate the proper officers to carry the 
stipulations into effect. 

" R. E. LEE, General. 

•' Lieutenant-General U. S. Grant." 

The command of Major-General Gibbon, the 5th army corps 
under Griffin, and Mackenzie's cavalry, were designated to remain 
at Appomattox Court-House until the paroling of the surrendered 
army was completed, and to take charge of the public property. 


The remainder of the army immediately returned to the vicinity 
of Burkesville. 

General Lee's great influence throughout the whole South 
caused his example to be followed, and to-day the result is that 
the armies lately under his leadership are at their Jiomes, desiring 
peace and quiet, and their arms are in the hands of our ordnance 

On the receipt of my letter of the 5 th, General Sherman moved 
directly against Joe Johnston, who retreated rapidly on and 
through Raleigh, which place General Sherman occupied on the 
morning of the 1 3th. The day preceding, news of the surrender 
of General Lee reached him at Smithfield. 

On the 14th a correspondence was opened between General 
Sherman and General Johnston, which resulted on the 18th in an 
agreement for a suspension of hostilities, and a memorandum or 
basis for peace, subject to the approval of the President. This 
agreement was disapproved by the President on the 21st, which 
disapproval, together with your instructions, was communicated 
to General Sherman by me in person on the morning of the 24th, 
at Raleigh, North Carolina, in obedience to your orders. Notice 
was at once given by him to General Johnston for the termination 
of the truce that had been entered into. On the 25th another 
meeting between them was agreed upon, to take place on the 
25th, which terminated in the surrender and disbandment of 
Johnston's army upon substantially the same terms as were given 
to General Lee. 

The expedition under General Stoneman from East Tennessee 
got off on the 20th of March, moving by way of Boone, North 
Carolina, and struck the railroad at Wytheville, Chambersburg, 
and Big Lick. The force striking .it at Big Lick pushed on to 
within a few miles of Lynchburg, destroying the important bridges, 
while with the main force he effectually destroyed it between New 
River and Big Lick, and then turned for Greensboro', on the 
North Carolina Railroad ; struck that road and destroyed the 
bridges between Danville and Greensboro', and between Greens- 
boro' and the Yadkin, together with the depots of supplies along 
it, and captured four hundred prisoners. . At Salisbury he attacked 
and defeated a force of the enemy under General Gardiner, captur- 


ing fourteen pieces of artillery and one thousand three hundred 
and sixty-four prisoners, and destroyed large amounts of army 
stores. At this place he destroyed fifteen miles of railroad and 
the bridges towards Charlotte. Thence he moved to Slatersville. 

General Canby, who had been directed in January to make 
preparations for a movement from Mobile Bay against Mobile and 
the interior of Alabama, commenced his movement on the 20th 
of March. The 16th corps, Major-General A. J. Smith com- 
manding, moved from Fort Gaines by water to Fish River ; the 
13th corps, under Major-General Gordon Granger, moved from 
Fort Morgan and joined the 16th corps on Fish River, both mov- 
ing thence on Spanish Fort and investing it on the 27th ; while 
Major-General Steele's command moved from Pensacola, cut the 
railroad leading from Tensas to Montgomery, effected a junction 
with them, and partially invested Fort Blakely. After a severe 
bombardment of Spanish Fort, a part of its line was carried on 
the 8th of April. During the night the enemy evacuated the fort 
Fort Blakely was carried by assault on the 9th, and many prison- 
ers captured ; our loss was considerable. These successes practi- 
cally opened to us the Alabama River, and enabled us to approach 
Mobile from the north. On the night of the nth the city was 
evacuated, and was taken possession of by our forces on the 
morning of the 12th. 

The expedition under command of Brevet Major-General Wil- 
oon, consisting of twelve thousand five hundred mounted men, 
was delayed by rains until March 2 2d, when it moved from Chick- 
asaw, Alabama. On the 1st of April, General Wilson encountered 
the enemy in force under Forrest near Ebenezer Church, drove 
him in confusion, captured three hundred prisoners and three 
guns, and destroyed the central bridge over the Cahawba River. 
On the 2d he attacked and captured the fortified city of Selma, 
defended by Forrest, with seven thousand men and thirty-two guns, 
destroyed the arsenal, armory, naval foundry, machine-shops, 
vast quantities of stores, and captured three thousand prisoners. 
On the 4th he captured and destroyed Tuscaloosa. On the 10th 
he crossed the Alabama River, and after sending information 
of his operations to General Canby, marched on Montgomery, 
which place he occupied on the 14th, the enemy having aban- 


doned it. At this place many stores and five steamboats fell into 
our hands. Thence a force marched direct on Columbus, and 
another on West Point, both of which places were assaulted and 
captured on the 16th. At the former place we got one thousand 
five hundred prisoners and fifty-two field-guns, destroyed two gun- 
boats, the navy yard, foundries, arsenal, many factories, and much 
other public property. At the latter place we got three hundred 
prisoners, four guns, and destroyed nineteen locomotives and three 
hundred cars. On the 20th he took possession of Macon, Georgia, 
with sixty field-guns, one thousand two hundred militia, and five 
generals, surrendered by General Howell Cobb. General Wilson, 
hearing that Jeff. Davis was trying to make his escape, sent forces 
in pursuit and succeeded in capturing him on the morning of 
May nth. 

On the 4th day of May, General Dick Taylor surrendered to 
General Canby all the remaining rebel forces east of the Missis- 

A force sufficient to insure an easy triumph over the enemy un- 
der Kirby Smith, west of the Mississippi, was immediately put in 
motion for Texas, and Major-General Sheridan designated for its 
immediate command ; but on the 26th day of May, and before 
they reached their destination, General Kirby Smith surrendered 
his entire command to Major-General Canby. This surrender did 
not take place, however, until after the capture of the rebel Presi- 
dent and Vice-President ; and the bad faith was exhibited of first 
disbanding most of his army and permitting an indiscriminate 
plunder of public property. 

Owing to the report that many of those lately in arms against 
the government had taken refuge upon the soil of Mexico, carry- 
ing with them arms rightfully belonging to the United States, 
which had been surrendered to us by agreement — among them 
some of the leaders who had surrendered in person — and the dis- 
turbed condition of affairs on the Rio Grande, the orders for 
troops to proceed to Texas were not changed. 

There have been severe combats, raids, expeditions, and move- 
ments to defeat the designs and purposes of the enemy, most of 
them reflecting great credit on our arms, and which contributed 
greatly to our final triumph, that I have not mentioned. Many of 


these will be found clearly set forth in the reports herewith sub- 
mitted ; some in the telegrams and brief dispatches announcing 
them, and others, I regret to say, have not as yet been officially 

For information touching our Indian difficulties, I would respect- 
fully refer to the reports of the commanders of departments in 
which they have occurred. 

It has been my fortune to see the armies of both the West and 
the East fight battles, and from what I have seen I know there is 
no difference in their fighting qualities. All that it was possible 
for men to do in battle they have done. The Western armies 
commenced their battles in the Mississippi Valley, and received 
the final surrender of the remnant of the principal army opposed 
to them in North Carolina. The armies of the East commenced 
their battles on the river from which the Army of the Potomac 
derived its name, and received the final surrender of their old 
antagonists at Appomattox Court House, Virginia. The splendid 
achievements of each have nationalized our victories, removed all 
sectional jealousies (of which we have unfortunately experienced 
too much), and the cause of crimination and recrimination that 
might have followed had either section failed in its duty. All have 
a proud record, and all sections can well congratulate themselves 
and each other for having done their full share in restoring the 
supremacy of law over every foot of territory belonging to the 
United States. Let them hope for perpetual peace and harmony 
with that enemy, whose manhood, however mistaken the cause, 
drew forth such herculean deeds of valor. 

I have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 








Abercrombis, General, II, 284. 
Adams, Colonel, II, 171. 
Albertis, Major, death of, I, 126. 
Ames, Adelbert, General, II, 393 ; at 

capture of Fort Fisher, 397, 398. 
Anderson, G T., General, II, 329. 
Anderson, R. H., General, at battle 

of Wilderness, II, 200; 211 ; 212 ; 

213 ; 214 ; 215 ; 216 : at battle of 

Spottsylvania, 220, 221 ; 265; 266. 
Anderson, Richard, Lieutenant, I, 

180 ; 184. 
Arkansas Post, capture of, I, 439-440. 
Army of Invasion, organization of, I, 


Army of Northern Virginia, composi- 
tion of. II, 184-187. 

Army of Occupation, character of, I, 

Army of the Potomac, composition of, 

II, 180-183 ; quartermaster's corps 

of, 188, 190 ; intrenchments of, 204- 

205 ; telegraph system of, 205-207 ; 

signal service of, 207-208 ; losses 

of, 290. 
Atlanta, Ga , Sherman's campaign 

against, II, 163-174 ; battle of, 

108 ; capture of, 174. 
Augur, Lieutenant, I, 75; 77. 
Averell, General, II, 131 ; 147 ; 236 ; 

287 ; 300 ; 303. 
Ayres, General, II, 236 ; 443 ; 444. 

Babcock. Colonel, II, 230 ; Gen- 
eral, 488. 

Badeau. General, applies to War De- 
partment for copy of letter from 
Grant offering his services to Gov- 
ernment, I, 240 ; unearths facts in 
relation to Halleck's removal of 
Grant from command, 328 ; state- 
ments made by, 340, 354, 370, 543, 
II, 152, 342. 

Bailey, Doctor, I, 32 ; 33. 

Bailey, Major, I, 36. 

Baird, General, II, 63 ; at battle of 
Chattanooga, 77, 82. 

Banks, Major-General, I, 491 ; 500 ; 
524 ; 544 ; receives surrender of 
Port Hudson, 568 ; 574 ; 575 ; 
579 ; 58o ; 581 ; II, 18 ; 107 ; no; 
120 ; 130 ; 132 ; 134 ; 135 ; his 
Red River expedition, 139, 140, 
146; 159 J i°2 ; 238 ; 307. 

Barlow, General, at battle of Wilder- 
ness, II, 197 ; at battle of Spottsyl- 
vania, 222, 224, 225 ; 230 ; at bat- 
tle of Cold Harbor, 270, 271. 

Barnard, General, II, 150; 151 ; 152; 
400 ; 403. 

Barrett, Major, attempts to capture 
Grant, I, 268. 

Barringer, General, II, 256. 

Baxter, Captain, I, 336 ; 337. 

Baxter, General, at battle of Wilder- 
ness, II, 194. 

Bazaine, Genera], II, 546. 

Beauregard, P. G. T. , Lieutenant, at 
battle of Cerro Gordo, I, 131 ; dif- 
fers with A. S. Johnston in views, 
361 „ 362 ; succeeds Johnston in com- 
mand at Shiloh, 362 ; his reports of 
losses, 366, 367 ; makes efforts to 
obtain reinforcements, 374 ; is rein- 
forced, 376 ; orders the evacuation 
of Corinth, 380 ; is superseded by 
Bragg, 401 ; II, 141 ; 150 ; 227 ; 
240 ; 296 ; 297 ; 314 ; 358 ; 416. 

Belknap, Colonel, I, 173. 

Bell, General, at capture of Fort 
Fisher, II, 398 ; is killed, 399. 

Belmont, battle of, I, 270-280. 

Benham, Brigadier-General, II, 289 ; 
is killed, 333. 

Benjamin, Lieutenant, I, 74 ; 76 ; 77 ; 



Benton, Thomas H., Senator, I, 122 ; 

Big Black River Bridge, battle of, I, 

Birney, General, at battle of Wilder- 
ness, II, 194, 200; at battle of 
Spottsylvania, 222, 224 ; 230 ; 234 ; 
239 ; at battle of Cold Harbor, 270 ; 
283; 299; 321; 333. 

Blair, Frank P., leads Free- soil De- 
mocracy of St. Louis, I, 212 ; pre- 
vents St. Louis from going into 
rebel hands, 234 ; raises a regiment 
and takes command of it, 235 ; at 
occupation of Grand Gulf, 494 ; 
503; 506; 509; 510; 512; 515; 
at battle of Champion Hill, 517, 
520 ; at battle of Big Black River 
Bridge, 523, 527 ; at siege of Vicks- 
burg, 533, 543, 544 ; General, his 
bravery and obedience, 573, 574 ; 
II, 46 ; 166 ; 352 ; 353. 

Blair, Governor, I, 403. 

Bliss, Captain, I, 83 ; Colonel, 206. 

Boggs, Harry, I, 211 ; 212. 

Bowen, General, I, 482 ; 483 ; at sur- 
render of Vicksburg, 556, 557, 558, 

Bowers, T. S., Colonel, II, 145 ; 452. 

Bragg, General, I, 3S4 ; 396 : 397 ; 

401 ; 405 ; 407 ; 535 ; 579 ; H. x 9 ; 

20; 21 ; 22; 24 ; 39; 51 ; 55 ; 60; 
61 ; 75 ; at battle of Chattanooga, 
77, 78, 81, 82 ; 84 ; 85 ; his charac- 
ter and disposition, 86, 87 ; 90 ; 95 ; 
96; 97; 112 ; 368 ; 371 ; 392. 

Brannan, J. M., General, II, 66. 

Breckinridge, Mr., I, 216 ; General, 
II, 250 ; 301. 

Breese, Commander, at capture of Fort 
Fisher, II, 397. 

Brooke, Colonel, at battle of Wilder- 
ness, II, 198. 

Brooks, Captain Horace, I, 157. 

Brooks, General, at battle of Cold 
Harbor, II, 271. 

Brough, Governor, II, 18. 

Brown, B. Gratz, Colonel, I, 256 ; 257. 

Brown, George, Lieutenant-Command- 
er, I, 464. 

Brown, Governor, II. 345 ; 347 ; 365. 

Brown, Jacob, Major. I, 91 ; 99. 

Brown, John, character of. I, 20. 

Buchanan, James, I. 215 ; President, 
helplessness of administration of, 
226 ; 309 ; 462. 

Buckland, Colonel, I, 333; 334. 

Buckner, S. B., 1, 181 ; 184 ; General, 
285 ; surenders Fort Donelson, 310, 
311, 312, 313, 314 ; II. 61 ; 96. 

Buell, Don Carlos, Brigadier-General, 
commands Department of the Ohio, 
I, 285 ; 318 ; 319 ; 320 ; 321 ; 323 ; 

331 ; 332 ; 334 ; 335 ; 336 ; at 

battle of Shiloh, 344, 345, 347, 
348, 349. 350, 354. 355 ; charac- 
ter of, 358, 359 ; 361 ; 366 ; 370 ; 

371 ; 372 ; 382 ; 383 ; 394 ; 397 ; 

398 ; 401 ; 403 ; 405 ; 414 ; is suc- 
ceeded by Rosecrans, 420 ; II, 119 ; 

Bull-fighting, I, 175-178. 

Bureau, Freedman's, origin of, I, 424- 

Burn ham, General, is killed, II, 333. 

Buraside, General, I, 384 ; 545 ; II, 27 ; 

28 ; 44 ; 46 ; 48 ; 49 ; 50 ; 53 ; 59 ; 
60 ; 62 ; 64 ; 73 ; 75 ; 84 ; 89 ; 90 ; 

9 1 ; 92 ; 93 ; 94 ; 95 ; 9* ; 99 ; 1C 5 ; 

113 ; 119 ; 128 ; 131 ; 136 ; 140 ; 

* 145 ; 183 ; 192 ; 193 ; at battle of 
Wilderness, 196, 198, 200,201 ; 208; 
214 ; 217 , at battle of Spottsylvania, 
218, 220, 222, 225 ; 228 ; 229 ; 
231 ; 232 ; 235 ; 240 ; 242 ; 244 ; 
245 ; at battle of North Anna, 248, 
249 ; 250 ; 251 ; 256 ; 258 ; 259 ; 
260 ; 263 ; 266 ; 268 ; 269 ; at 
battle of Cold Harbor, 271, 272 
283 ; 288 ; 289 ; 297 ; 299 ; 307 
311 ; 312 ; 313 ; 314 ; 537 
his ability, 539. 

Butler, B. F., General, II, 127 

132 ; 133 ; 135 ; 136 ; 138 ; ^40 ; 

147 ; operates on James River, 148, 
150, 151, 152; his earnestness, 152 ; 
154 J 155 ; I 5 (i ; 19 1 *» captures City 



Point, 208 ; 211 

; 226 ; 227 ; 

236 ; 

238 ; 241 ; 254 ; 

265 ; 280 ; 


288 ; 292 ; 293 ; 

294 ; 296 ; 

30S ; 

310 ; 341 ; 371 ; 

3S8 ; 390 ; 

392 ; 

393 ; 394 ; 425 ; 


Butler, William O., 

General, I, 

109 ; 


Campbell, Judge, II, 420. 
Camp Salubrity. I, 52-53 ; 56-60. 
Canby, General, II, 121 ; 159 ; 238 ; 

348 ; 350 ; 404 ; 405 ; 408 ; 409 ; 

410 ; 411 ; 5:8 ; 519 ; his charac- 
ter and ability, 525, 526. 

Capron, Colonel. II, 171. 

Carlin, General, II. 73. 

Carr, General, I, 483 ; 510 ; 512 ; at 



battle of Champion's Hill, 518, 520 ; 

523 ; 524. 

Carroll, Colonel, at battle of Wilder- 
ness, II, 194, 200 ; 234 ; 235. 

Casey, Captain, at battle of Chapul- 
tepec, I, 154. 

Cass, General, II, 332. 

Caves of Mexico, visit to, I, 184- 1 90. 

Cerro Gordo, battle of, I, 132-133. 

Chamberlain, J. L., Colonel, II, 297 ; 
promoted to brigadier-generalcy on 
the field, 298. 

Champion's Hill, battle of, I, 516-521. 

Chandlfr, Zachariah, elected mayor of 
Detroit, I, 193. 

Chapultepec, battle of, I, 154. 

Charleston, S. C, evacuation of, II, 

Chattanooga, Tenn., II, 32. 

Chattanooga, battle of, II, 76-82. 

Cheatham, General, II, 377 ; 378. 

Childs, Lieutenant- Colonel, at battle 
of Palo Alto, I, 94. 

Church, Professor, I, 51. 

Churubusco, battle of, I, 145. 

Clarke, General, at capture of San 
Antonio, I, 144. 

Clay. Mr., Grant's admiration for, I, 

Cleburne, General, II, 90 ; 91. 

Cold Harbor, battle of, II, 270-272 ; 
reflections upon, 276. 

Columbia, S. C, burning of, II, 415. 

Comstock, Captain, at siege of Vicks- 
burg, I. 537 ; II, 103 ; 104 ; Colo- 
nel, 211 ; 230 ; 284 ; 286. 

Contreras, battle of, I, 143. 

Corinth, Miss., occupation of, I, 380 ; 
battle of, 416-420. 

Corpus Christi, Texas, I, 64. 

Corse, General, at battle of Chatta- 
nooga, II, 76 ; his efficiency, 77, 
355; 356. 

Courage, I, 59 ; 92-93 ; 248-250. 

Crawford, General, II, 213 ; 239 ; 
246 ; at battle of North Anna, 249 ; 
at battle of Five Forks, 444. 

Crittenden, George, Captain, I, 181. 

Crittenden, General, at battle of Shiloh, 
I» 348, 350 ; II, 22 ; 119 ; at battle 
of North Anna, 249. 

Crocker, M. M.. Brigadier-General, I, 
421 ; 481 ; 486 ; at battle of Ray- 
mond, 497 ; his ability, 497, 498 ; at 
capture of Jackson, 504, 506; 510 ; 
at battle of Champion's Hill, 516, 
5*7» 5i8 ; 573- 

Crook, Brigadier-General, II, 131 ; 

*35 ; 147 J 191 J 287 ; 300 ; 303 ; 

316 ; 464 ; 476. 
Cross, Major, I, 90. 
Cruft, General, II, 70; at battle of 

Lookout Mountain, 71 ; 85. 
Cullum, General, I, 317. 
Curtis, General, I, 429. 
Curtis, N. M., General, II, 393 ; 394 ; 

at capture of Fort Fisher, 397, 398 ; 

seriously wounded, 399. 
Cushing, Brigadier-General, I, 173. 
Custer, General, at battle of Wilder- 
ness, II, 202 ; 259 ; 301 ; 339 ; 

428; 481. 
Cutler, General, II, 214 ; 233 ; 246. 

Dahlgren, Admiral. II, 402. 
Dana, C. A., I, 486; 583; II, 19; 

26 ; 51 ; 94. 
Da vies, General, I, 404 ; II, 466 ; 

Davis, Jefferson, I, 223 ; is elected 

president of Confederacy, 227 ; 361 ; 

II, 39 ; 85 ; his military capacity, 

87. 88 ; 344 ; 345 ; 340 ; 347 J 354 ; 

355 ; 365 ; 412 ; 430 ; 456 ; 478 ; 

497 ; is captured, 522 ; 524. 
Davis, Jefferson C, Colonel, I, 260 ; 

II, 73 ; 82 ; 83 ; 85 ; 352. 
De Loche, Mr., I, 388 ; 389. 
Dennis, Colonel, I, 400. 
Dent, F. T., I, 46 ; Colonel, II, 285 ; 

Dent, Julia, becomes acquainted with 

Grant, I, 46 ; is engaged to Grant, 

50 ; corresponds with Grant, 51 ; 

marries Grant, 193. 
Devens, General, at battle of Cold 

Harbor, II, 271. 
Devin, Colonel, II, 428. 
Dix, Major, I, 74 ; 75. 
Dodge, G. M., General, II, 46 ; 47 ; 

48 ; 169 ; 235 ; his efficiency, 352. 
Dole, General, II, 233. 
Donaldson, J. L., General, II, ^79. 
Donelson, Fort, capture of, I, 294- 

Douglas. Stephen A., I, 216 ; Senator, 

238 ; II, 122. 
Draper, Mr., II, 400. 
Dueling, Grant's opinion of, I, 59. 
Duncan, Colonel, opposes Scott, I, 

172, 173 
Dunn, William M. , Captain, I, 567 ; 

Lieutenant, II, 371. 
Duty, Grant's ideas of, I, 459. 



Early, General, at battle of Wilder- 
ness, II, 202 ; 215 ; at battle of 
Spottsylvania, 218 ; 220 ; 221 ; 239 
260 ; 287 ; 304 ; 305 ; 306 ; 315 
316 ; 318 ; 321 ; 326 ; 327 ; 329 

331 ; 333 ; 336 ; 338 ; 339 ; 340 

427 ; 428 ; 429 ; 537. 
Eaton, Chaplain, organizes labor of 

freedmen, I, 425. 
Egan, General, at battle of North 

Anna, II, 248. 
Ellet, Colonel, I, 464. 
Emory, Major-General, II, 306 ; 308 ; 

England, attitude of, II, 548-549. 

Ewell, Lieutenant, I, 49 ; General, II, 
191 ; at battle of Spottsylvania, 220; 
239 ; 240 ; 287 ; 477. 

Ewing, General, II, 59 ; at battle of 
Missionary Ridge, 68. 

Farragut. Admiral, runs batteries 
at Port Hudson, I, 464. 

Ferrero, General, II, 240 ; 288 ; 313. 

Five Forks, battle of, II, 444-446. 

Floyd, Secretary, scatters army and 
sends arms South, I, 226 ; General, 
his inefficiency as a soldier, 294, 
308 ; his unfaithfulness as a civil 
officer, 309 ; escapes from Fort Don- 
elson, 310, 313, 314; 324. 

Foote, Flag-officer, I, 2S7 ; at capture 
of Fort Henry, 283 ; at capture of 
Fort Donelson, 298, 301, 302, 303, 

304 : 317- 

Forrest, General, escapes from Fort 
Donelson, I, 310, 313, 314 ; 432 ; 
II, 108; 109; no; his bravery, 
129 ; 137 ; captures Fort Pillow, 
138 ; 306 ; 307 ; his ability, 346 ; 
347 ; 354 ; 3 8 3 I bis courage and 
capacity, 410; 504 ; 521. 

Fort Fisher, capture of, II, 396-399. 

Fort Henry, capture of, I, 288-2g2. 

Fort Pillow, Forrest's capture of, II, 

Foster, John G., Lieutenant, I, 132 ; 
General, II, 99; 101 ; 113; 370; 
373 ; 400 ; 402 ; 408 ; 412 ; 416 ; 

Foulk, Philip, I, 23S ; 239. 

France, attitude of, II, 546-547. 

Franklin, battle of, II, 378. 

Fremont, General. I. 264; 268 ; takes 
command in field, 269 ; is super- 
seded by Halleck, 284; 459; II, 

Fuller, General, II, 169. 
Fyfle, Colonel, I, 3J0. 

Gaines, General, I, 120. 

Galena, III., Grant's residence at, I, 

Gardner, Frank, I, 78 ; General, sur- 
renders Port Hudson, 568. 

Garland, Lieutenant-Colonel, I, 104 ; 
at battle of Monterey, 112; 141; 
142 ; 143 ; 144 ; is seriously wound- 
ed, 162. 

Garrard, General, II, 169. 

Garrett, Robert, II, 329. 

Geary, General, II, 37 ; at battle of 
Wauhatchie, 40, 41 ; 54 ; 70 ; at 
battle of Lookout Mountain, 71, 72 ; 

Georgetown, O. , Grant's boyhood at, 
I, 24-31 ; notable facts in regard to, 


Getty, General, II, 192 ; 193 ; at bat- 
tle of Wilderness, 194 ; 338 ; 339. 

Gibbon, General, at battle of Wilder- 
ness, II, 197, 200 ; at battle of 
Spottsylvania. 222 ; 230 ; 234 ; 235 ; 
239 ; at battle of Cold Harbor, 270, 
271 ; 450; 495. 

Gillmore, General, II, 128; 130 5131; 

132 ; 135- 

Gore, Captain, I, 155. 

Gordon, J. B., General, II, 256 ; 423 ; 
431 ; 432 ; 434 ; 495. 

Grand Gulf, occupation of. I, 490. 

Granger, Gordon, General, I. 401 ; 
402 ; 403 ; II, 63 ; at battle of 
Chattanooga, 82 ; 84 ; 89 ; 90 ; 91 ; 
92 ; 93 ; 105 ; 41a 

Granger, R. S , General, II, 379, 

Grant, Frederick D.. assists in prepar- 
ing Memoirs, I. 9; 247; 248 ; is with 
Grant in campaign and siege of 
Vicksburg. 486, 487 ; II, no; 115. 

Grant, Jesse R., lives with Judge Tod, 
I, 19, 20 ; his education, 21 ; estab- 
lishes himself in business at Raven- 
na, O., 21 ; moves to Point Pleasant, 
O., 21 ; contributes to newspapers, 
22 ; his interest in politics. 22 ; 
marries Hannah Simpson, 24 ; his 
interest in education of his children, 
25 ; cultivates land, 26 ; moves to 
Bethel, O., 40 ; 212 ; 215 ; 216. 

Grant, Lawson, I, 22. 

Grant, Matthew, I, 17. 

Grant, Noah, I, 18. 

Grant, Noah, Captain, I, 18 ; 19. 



Grant, Peter, I, 19 ; 20. 

Grant, Samuel, I, 17. 

Grant, Solomon, I, 18 ; 19. 

Grant, U. S., is injured by a fall, I, 
7 ; loses financial resources, 7 ; 
writes for Century Magazine ^ 7 ; is 
seriously ill, 8 ; his ancestry, 17-19 ; 
his birth, at Point Pleasant, O., 24 ; 
moves to Georgetown, O. , 24 ; his 
early educational opportunities, 24- 
25 ; his progress at school, 25 ; his 
early tastes and occupations, 26-31 ; 
is appointed to West Point, 32 ; 
goes to West Point, 37-38 ; is ad- 
mitted to West Point, 38 ; is dis- 
contented, 38 ; his class rank, 39- 
41 ; enjoys his first furlough, 40 ; 
has a presentiment of future great- 
ness, 40 ; chooses between arms of 
service, 42 ; leaves West Point, 42 ; 
serves at Jefferson Barracks, 45- 50 ; 
becomes acquainted with Julia Dent, 
46 ; is engaged to Julia Dent, 50 ; 
corresponds with Julia Dent, 51 ; 
applies for assistant professorship at 
West Point, 51 ; serves at Camp 
Salubrity, 52-60 ; goes to Corpus 
Christ i with his regiment, 61-64 » 
visits Austin, 74-76 ; marches to 
the Rio Grande, 84-89 ; is promoted 
to second-lieutenancy, 78 ; at bat- 
tle of Palo Alto, 93-96 ; commands 
a company, 97-98 ; at battle of 
Resaca de la Pal ma, 97-9S ; his re- 
flections on his destiny, 103 ; acts 
as quartermaster and commissary, 
105 ; at battle of Monterey, no- 
117 ; at siege of Vera Cruz, 127- 
128 ; at battle of Cerro Gordo, 132- 
133 ; at battle of Contreras, 143 ; 
at battle of Churubusco, 145 ; at 
battle of Molino del Rey, 1 51-153 ; 
at battle of Chapultepec, 154 ; at 
San Cosme, 155-159 ; is promoted 
to first-lieutenancy, 162 ; visits Po- 
pocatepetl, 180-184 \ visits Caves* 
of Mexico, 184-190 ; marries Julia 
Dent, 193 ; serves at Detroit, 193 ; 
goes to Pacific coast with his regi- 
ment, 194-199 ; is stationed in Cali- 
fornia, 200-202 ; in Oregon Terri- 
tory, 202-206 ; is promoted to 
captaincy, 206 ; resigns his position 
in army and joins his family, 210 ; 
builds a house, 211 ; engages in 
real estate business in St Louis, 
211 ; is candidate for office of 

county engineer, 211 ; enters his 
father's store at Galena, 111., as 
clerk ; 212 ; casts his first vote, 
215 ; presides at a Union meeting, 
230 ; declines a captaincy of volun- 
teers, 23 1 ; assists the adjutant-gen- 
eral of Illinois, 233-238 ; offers his 
services to the Government, 239- 
240 ; is appointed colonel of 21st 
Illinois regiment, 242 ; moves in 
various directions with his regiment, 
246-250 ; takes command of a sub- 
district, 25 x ; is stationed at Mexi- 
co, Mo., 251-253; is appointed 
brigadier-general, 254 ; at Ironton, 
Mo , 256-257 ; at Jefferson City, 
Mo., 258-260; is assigned to com- 
mand of District of South-east Mis- 
souri, 261 ; seizes Paducah, 264- 
266 ; at battle of Belmont, 270- 
280 ; narrowly escapes death, 279 ; 
captures Fort • Henry, 28S-292 ; 
captures Fort Donelson, 294-315 ; 
is promoted to major-generalship of 
volunteers, 316 ; is relieved of com- 
mand, 325-326 ; is restored to com- 
mand, 327 ; is injured by fall of a 
horse, 333-334 ; at battle of Shiloh, 
338-352 ; is struck by a bullet, 353 ; 
narrowly escapes being made a pris- 
oner, 388-390 ; at battle of Iuka, 
410-413 ; at battle of Corinth, 416- 
420 ; is put in command of Depart- 
ment of the Tennessee, 421 ; begins 
campaign against Vicksburg, 422 ; 
employs freedmen, 424-426 ; is 
criticised by newspapers, 458-459 ; 
at attack on Grand Gulf, 474-476 ; 
captures Port Gibson, 485 ; occu- 
pies Grand Gulf, 490 ; at battle of 
Raymond, 497 ; captures Jackson, 
Miss., 499-506 ; at tattle of Cham- 
pion's Hill, 516-521 ; at battle of 
Black River Bridge, 526 ; relieves 
McClernand of command, 546 ; 
receives surrender of Vicksburg, 
532-563 ; is injured by fall of a 
horse, 581-582 ; is ordered to Cairo, 
583-584 ; is appointed to command 
of Military Division of the Missis- 
sippi, II, 18 ; at battle of Wau- 
hatchie, 40-41 ; at battle of Mis- 
sionary Ridge, 68 ; at battle of 
Lookout Mountain, 71-73 ; at battle 
of Chattanooga, 76-82 ; is thanked 
by President Lincoln, 98 ; receives 
thanks of Congress, 100 ; antago- 

niies Stanton, 103-105 ; is comtnis. 
stoned lieutenant-general, 114-] 
narrowly escapes capture, 141-I43 
at battle of Wilderness, 193-203 
at battle of Spottsylvsnia, 317-93; 
at battle of North Anna, 348-249 
at battle of Cold Harbor, 370 » ... 
receives surrender of Lee 488-4 . 
Grant, U. &, Mrs.. I, 194 ; 347 ; I r 


it battle of Wilderness, 
356; aw; 381 ; 335. 

Gresham, General, II, 168. 

Gtierton, Colonel, I, 488; 489; 11, 

Griffin, General, II, 333 ; 336 ; 346 J 

443 ; at battle of Five Forks, 444 ; 

465 ; 467 ; 473 ; 476 ; 483 ; 49s; 537; 

Grose, Colonel, at battle of Lookout 

Mountain, II, 7* 
Gwin, Commander, I, 347. 

Haouxman, Gbmkml, I, 410. 

Hains, Lieutenant, I, 468 ; 536 ; 537. 

Halleck. H. W., Major-General, su- 
persedes Fremont, I, 384 ; 285 ; 
387; 396; 317; 334; removes 
Grant from command of an expedi- 
tion, 325, 336 ; 337 J 338 ; 370 ; as- 
sumes command in field, 371 ; 373 ; 
377 1 380; occupies Corinth, j;si ; 
365 ; is appointed to command of all 
the Union armies, 393,393; 394; 396; 
403 ; 4<>3;4I7 1430 1437; 430; 43' ; 
457 ; supports Grant against news- 
paper criticism, 460 ; 49 a : 5°o ; 5^3: 
524;S3S; S<6: 573:578: his dis].- 
tion, 579 ; 583 ; 5B3 ; II, :fi ; 20 ; 

aa ; 30 ; 35 : 59; 73; 84; "a; "91 

123; r33: '38; 139; M71 "o; 
333: 337; 238; 239; ast; 252; 
253 ; 260; 379; 383; 384; 396; 317; 

320 ; 323 ; 337 ; 337 ; 403 ; 528. 

Hamer, Thomas I_, secures Grmi's 
appointment to West Point, I, 33, 
34 ; his ability, 103. 

Hamilton, C. S., Major-General, I, 
421 ; 433. 

Hampton, Wade, General, II, 301 ; 

303 ; 309 ; 414 ; 415 -.417; 434- 

Hancock, W. S., General, II, 1S0 : 
183 ; 188 ; 193 ; 193 ; at battte of 
Wilderness, 194, 195, 196, 197, igB, 
199, 300, 301 ; 308; 310; 314 : 215 ; 
316 ; 317 ; at battle of Spottsylvania, 

3l8, 330. 231, 333, 333, 934; 218; 

aag; 230 ; 231 ; 333 ; 333 ; 335 ; 330; 

338 ; 339 ; 340 ; 343 ; 343; 344 i 345! 

at battle of North Anna, 348, 349 ; 

859 ; 35s ; 3$° ; 958 ; 359; 360; a6a; 

263 ; 306 ; 368 ; 269 ; at battle of 

Cold Harbor, 270, 372 ; 373 ; 383 ; 

288 ; 889; 394; 295; 396; 398; 

399 ; 31° : 319 ; 331 ; 325 ; 34a ; 

343 ! 537 ; bis ability and courage, 


II. 17 

Harney, General, I, 138. 
Harris, Thomas, Colonel, I, 849; 

350; General, II, 536. 
Hartranft. General. II. 433. 
HartsufT, General, II, 449. 
Haslett, Lieutenant. I, 53. 
Hatch, Colonel. I. 488 : 489. 
Hatch, General, II, 373- 
Hawkins, Major, I, 353. 
Hayes, K. I)., General, his gallantry 

and efficiency, II, 540, 341. 
Hays, Alexander. General, at battle of 

Wilderness, his gallantry, II, 194. 
Haien. General, ft, 36 ; 37 ; captures 

Fort McAllister, 370. 
Hebert, Colonel, I, 192. 
Heck man, General, II, 334. 
Herron, General, at siege of Vicks- 

bnnj. I, 545. 548. 
Heth, General, at battle of Wilder- 
ness, II, 194 ;45 a . 
Hill, General, II, 191 ; at battle of 

Wilderness, 195, 196, 198, 199 ; 

312 ; 315 ; 337 ; 346 ; at battle of 

North Anna, 349. 
Hillyer, Captain. I, 255 ; 305 ; 459. 
Hinks, General, II, 293. 
Hoffman, Colonel, at capture of San 

Antonio, I, 144. 
Hoke, General, II, 341 ; 350 ; 396 ; 

392 ; 393- 
Holly Springs, Miss., occupation of, 

I, 427 ; loss of, 432. 

Holmes, Captain, I, 78 ; toa ; Gen- 
eral, 565 ; 566. 
Hood, General, supersedes Johnston, 

II, 167; 16S ; 174; 344; his methods, 
345: 34&; 347; 348; 3S<>; 35': 
354 ; 355 ; 356 ; 357 : 358 ; 359 : 
373 ; 377 ; at battle of Franklin, 
378 ; 379 ; 380 ; 382 ; 383 ; at battle 
of Nashville, 3S4, 3B5, 386; 403; 
405 ; 413 ; 416 ; 417. 



Hooker, General, II, 35 ; 36 : 37 ; 
38 ; at battle of Wauhatchie, 40, 41; 

5i; 53; 55*. 56; 57; 58; 66; 69; 
70 ; at battle of Lookout Mountain, 
7 2 \ 73 I 75 J at battle of Chattanoo- 
ga, 78, 80 ; 83 ; 84 ; 88 ; 90 ; 91 ; 
167 ; 537 ; 538 ; his character, 539. 

Horses, Grant's experience with, I, 
27-30 ; 50 ; 86 ; 333-334 ; 581-582. 

Hoskins, Lieutenant, at battle of Mon- 
terey, I, in. 

Hovey, General, I, 428 ; 483 ; 509 ; 
510; 512; 513; 515; at battle of 
Champion's Hill, 516, 517, 518, 519, 

Howard, B. B., I, 230. 

Howard, O. O., General, II, 28 ; 35 ; 
37 ; at battle of Wauhatchie, 40 ; 
53 ; 54 ; 60 ; 63 ; 69 ; 83 ; 85 ; 352 ; 

353 ; 361. 

Hudson, Captain, II, 405. 

Humphreys. General. II, 233 ; 235 ; 
343 ; at battle of White Oak Road, 
434; 440; 442; 446; 448; 451; 452; 

456 ; 463 ; 466 ; 467 ; 476 ; 477 ; 

478 ; 537 ; 541. 

Hunt, Henry J., General, II, 181. 
Hunter, General, I, 296 ; 316 ; 459 ; 

II, 238 ; 251 ; 273 ; 281 ; 282 ; 283 ; 
' 287; 300 ; 301 ; 302 ; 303 ; 304 ; 317; 

318 ; 319 ; 320 ; 321. 
Hunter, R. M. T., II, 420. 
Hurlbut, General, I, 332 ; at battle of 

Shiloh, 338, 345, 35<>> 366; 386; 

at battle of Corinth, 416, 417, 418, 

419 ; 441 ; 494 ; 508 ; 535 ; 544 ; 

545 ; 582 ; II, 107 ; 108. 

Indians, their treatment by Hudson's 
Bay Company, their manner of 
trading, I, 204 ; their remedy for 
disease, 205-206. 

Ingalls, Rufus, General, II, 188. 

Iuka, battle of, I, 410-413. 

Intrigue, political, I, 1 19-122. 

Jackson, Claiborn, Governor, I, 

225 ; 234. 
Jackson, General, attempts to capture 

Grant, I, 388, 389, 390. 

Jackson, Miss., capture of, I, 499-506. 
efferson Barracks, St. Louis, I, 45. 
Jenkins, General, at battle of Wilder* 

ness, II, 199. 
Johnson, Andrew, Governor. II, 27 ; 
Vice-President, 508 ; President, 509 ; 

his course toward the South, 510, 
511, 512 ; 515 ; 516 ; 517 ; 523 ; 534. 

Johnson, R. D., General, II, 233. 
ohnson, Richard W., General, II, 63; 

Johnston, A. S., General, I, 192 ; 
309 ; 310 ; 322 ; 323 ; 324 ; 33* i 
333 ; 345 ; his ability, 359, 360, 361, 
362 ; 363 ; 376. 

Johnston, Joseph £., General, I, 192, 
500 ; 504; 505 ; 506 ; 507 ; 508 ; 509 ; 
511 ; 522 ; 530; 535; 540; 545J 548; 
549; 5535 5555 556; 559J 565 , 566 ; 
567; 576; 580; II, 20; 112; 119; 
120; 129; 131; 134; 146; 159; 160; 
162; 163 ; 164 ; 165; 166; is relieved 
from command, his tactics, 167 ; 
208 ; 237 ; 344 ; his policy, 345 ; 
355 ; his ability, is put in command 
of troops in North and South Caro- 
lina, 412; 416; 418; 419; 430; 437; 
458;486; 513; 5M; 5i5» 516; sur- 
renders to Sherman, 517; 518; 519; 

521; 525. 
Johnston, William Preston, Colonel, I, 

314; 363. 
Jones, W. S., General, II, 283. 

Juarez, President, II, 546. 

Judah, Lieutenant, at battle of San 

Cosme, I, 155. 

Kautz, A. V., General, I, 36; II, 

226; 293; 310; 333; 341. 
Kearney, Philip, Captain. I, 146; 192. 
Kearney, Steven, Colonel, I, 45. 
Kelley, General, II, 316. 
Kelly, Miss, I, 19. 
Kilpatrick, General, II. 172. 
Kimball, General, I, 544. 
King, Major, I, 36. 
Kitching, Colonel, II, 239. 

Lagow, C.B., Lieutenant, 1, 254; 255. 
Lake Providence, I, 448-449. 
Lauman, General, I, 494; at siege of 

Vicksburg, 534. 545* 

Lawler, General, I, 524; at battle of 
Black River Bridge, 526. 

Ledlie, General, II, 313; 314. 

Lee, Fitz-Hugh, General, II, 301. 

Lee, Robert E., Captain, I, 131; 192; 
General, 579; 580; II,- 100; 123; 
129; 131; 132; 135; 136; 137; Mi; 
146; 148; 153; 154; 156; 157; 181: 
183; 187; 191; at battle of Wilder- 
ness, 196, 197, 199. 200, 201, 202, 
203; 208; 211; 212; 213; 2x4; 215; 



217; at battle of Spottsylvania, 2x8, 
220, 22T, 222, 225; 226; 227; 231; 
232; 233; 234 ; 236; 237; 238; 230; 
240 ; 241 ; 242; 244 ; 246; at battle 
of North Anna, 249; 250; 251; 252; 
253; 255; 256; 258; 259; 260; 262; 
265; 269; at battle of Cold Harbor, 
272; 273 ; 274; 275; 279; 280; 281; 
285; 287; his advantages n a com- 
mander, 291, 292; 294; 301; 504; 
9o8; 309; 310; 315; 321; 323; 324; 
325; 326; 327; 333; 334; 335; 343; 
401; 404; 405; 412; 417; 4i8; 419; 

424; 425 ; 430; 431 ; 433; 439; 440; 
442; 447; 449; 450; 454; 455; 456; 
458; 460; 461; 462; 464; 465; 466; 

467; 469; 470; 472; 474; 476; 477; 

478; 479> 48o ; 481 ; 482; 483 ; 484; 
485 ; 486 ; surrenders Army of North- 
ern Virginia, .488, 489, 490, 491, 

492, 493. 494. 495; 496; 497; 498; 

499; 500; 505; 507; 513 ; 514 ; 515; 
517; 5*8; 519; 546. 

Lee, Stephen D.. General, II, 377. 

Leggett, M. D., Colonel, I, 400; 
Brigadier-General, 421 ; 549. 

Lincoln, Abraham, I, 216; goes to 
Washington as President elect, 227, 
228 ; takes oath to maintain Union, 
229; 254; his hopefulness of 
Union cause, 406 ; sends congratula- 
tory letter to Grant, 419:430; 446 
459; supports Grant against news 
paper criticism, 460; 567; 578; II 
49; 59 * 73* 89; thanks Grant, 98 
99; 115; 121; 122; 123; 133; 141 
142; 143; 235; 237; 318; 332; 333 
366; 367; 375J 394; 42o; 421; 422 
his generosity and kindness, 423 

446; 4495 452; 458; 4595 46o; 46i 
463; 505; 506; is assassinated, 508 
509; 510; 514; 5'5'» 5 2 2; reflections 
in regard to, 523 ; anecdote about, 
532; 533; contrasted with Stanton, 

536, 537; 546. 

Lincoln, Mrs., II, 508. 

Logan, John A., is elected to Congress, 
I, 244; his political attitude, 245; 
General, his influence in his Congres- 
sional district, 246; 379; 472; 481; 
484; 485; 489; at occupation of 
Grand Gulf, 49°: his ability, 497; 
504; 510; at battle of Champion's 
Hill, 516, 517, 520 ; at siege of 
Vicksburg, 552, 558; 564; 573; II, 
112; 116; 16S ; 170; 352; 353; 354; 
382 ; 383. 

Longstreet, General, at battle of Warn- 
hatchie, II, 40 ; 42 ; 43 ; 49 ; 50 ; 
51 ; 52; 60 ; 61 ; 85 ; 86 ; his 
character, 87 ; 90 ; 92 ; 94 ; 95 ; 
9°: 99; 105; 112; 113; 114:191; 
at battle of Wilderness, 195, 196, 
197, 198 ; is seriously wounded, 199; 

211 ; 338 ; 449 ; 495- 

Lookout Mountain, battle of, II, 71- 

Loomis, General, at battle of Chat- 
tanooga, II, 76. 

Loomis, Mr., I, 233. 

Loring, General, I, 482 ; 520. 

London, Colonel, I, 36. 

Lovell, Mansfield, I, 181; General, 

Lather, Lieutenant, I, 96. 

Lyon, N., Captain, I, 234 ; 235, 

Mackenzie, Genual, II, 434 ; 465 ; 
537 ; his abffity, 541. 

Macon, Ga., capture of, II, $21. 

Mansfield, Major, I, 109 ; 192. 

Markland, A. H., Colonel, II, 371. 

Marshall, Colonel, I. 36. 

Marshall, Colonel, II, 486. 

Marsh, C. C, Colonel, I, 262 ; Brig- 
adier-General, 421. 

Mason, Rodney, Colonel, surrenders 
Clarksville, I, 398, 390. 

Matamoras, Mex., skirmish at, I, 9a 

Martindale, General, at battle of Cold 
Harbor, II, 271. 

McArthur, General, I, 404 ; 517 ; at 
siege of Vicksburg, 534. 

McCall, Captain, I, 79 ; 85 ; at battle 
of Resaca de la Palma, 97 ; 192. 

McCandless, William, Colonel, II, 235. 

McCausland, General, II, 316. 

McClellan, George B., Lieutenant, at 
battle of Cerro Gordo, I, 132 ; Gen- 
eral, 241 ; 285 ; 325 ; orders Grant 
relieved from duty, 327 ; 459 ; II, 

McClernand, John A., I, 244 ; 246 ; 
General, 286 ; at capture of Fort 
Henry, 288 ; at capture of Fort 
Donelson, 298, 299, 300, 305, 306, 
314 ; 332 ; at battle of Shiloh, 338, 

343. 345, 350, 357, 366, 367 ; 371 ; 
421 ; 426 ; 430 ; 432 ; 437 ; at cap- 
ture of Arkansas Post, 439; his 
fitness to command, 440 ; 441 ; 442 ; 
446 ; 459 ; 465 ; 466 ; 468 ; 470 ; 
474 : 476 ; 477 ; 480 ; 481 ; 482 ; 
483 ; 484 ; at occupation of Grand 



Gulf, 49° ; 491 : 493 J 494 ; 495 I 
496 , 497 ; 500 ; 501 ; 5©3 ; 506 ; 

508 ; 509; 510; 512; 513 ; 515; 

517 ; 519 ; 523 ; 528 ; 529 ; at siege 
of Vicksburg, 531, 534, 545. 54°. 

McCook, A. McD., General, at battle 
of Shiloh, I, 348, 350, 354, 355 \ II. 
22 ; 119; 171. 

McGroierty. General, I, 36. 

McKinzie, Captain, at battle of Cha- 
pultepec, I, 154. 

McLean, Mr., II, 486 ; 496 ; 498. 

McPherson, Colonel, I, 332 ; 335 ; 
337 ; at battle of Shiloh, 353 ; Gene- 
ral, at battle of Corinth, 416, 417 ; 
is promoted to major-gen eralcy, 421 ; 
423 ; 428 ; 444 ; 447 ; 449; 469 ; 470 ; 
471 ; 474 ; 480 ; 481 ; 483 ; 484; 
486 ; 4S9 ; at occupation of Grand 
Gulf, 490 ; 493 ; 494 ; 495 ; 496 ; 
at battle of Raymond, 497 ; at cap- 
ture of Jackson, 499, 500, 501, 503, 
504, 505, 506 ; 508 ; 509 ; 510 ; 512 ; 
5 X 3 I 515 ; at battle of Champion's 
Hill, 516, 517, 518, 520 ; 523 ; 524 ; 
at battle of Black River Bridge, 
526 ; 527 ; 528 ; 529 ; 531 ; at 
siege of Vicksburg* 533, 534, 546, 

557, 558 ; 582 ; 583 ; II, 24 ; 48 
107; 116; 158; 159; 162; 163 
is killed, his character and ability 
169; 353- 

Meade, George G., Lieutenant, I, no 
General, II, 116; 117 ; 118 ; 134 
140 ; 144 ; 145 ; 154 ; 192 ; 193 
at battle of Wilderness, 194, 195 
208 ; 210 ; 213 ; 216 ; at battle of 
Spottsylvania, 220, 223; 228 ; 232 
233 : 234 ; 235 ; 242 ; 245 ; 250 
254 ; 262 ; 268 ; 270 ; 272 ; 284 
286 ; 294 ; 296 ; 299 ; 303 ; 305 
307 I 308 ; 310; 3" ; 312 ; 313 
315 J 322 ; 334 ; 335 \ 341 ; 343 
432 ; 433 ; 434 ; 443 ; 449 ; at cap 
ture of Petersburg, 454 ; 455 ; 456 
458 ; 464 ; 465 ; 466 ; 467 ; 468 
469 ; 478 ; 484 ; 513 ; 532 ; 534 
537 ; his character and ability, 538 

Merritt, General, II, 213 ; 428 ; 446 

451 ; 464 ; 465 ; 495- 

Mersy, Colonel, II, 169. 

Mexicans, their bravery and patriotism, 

I, 168-169 ; their amusments, 175- 

179 ; 188. 
Mexico under Spanish rule, I, 65-67. 
Mexico, City of, capture of, I, 162. 
Miles, General, II, 451 ; 452. 

Vol. 11. — 41 

Missionary Ridge, battle of, II, 68. 
Mitchell, General, I, 319. 
Mobile. Ala., capture of, II, 519. 
Molino del Rey, battle of, I, 1 51-153. 
Monterey, Mex. , movement of forces to, 

I, 104-107 ; preparation for attack' 
ing, 109-110; battle of, I10-117. 

Montgomery, Ala., capture of, II, 521. 
Montgomery, Colonel, I, 556. 
Morales, General, surrenders Vera 

Cruz, I, 127. 
Morgan, General, II, 351. 
Morgan, John H., General, II, 504. 
Morrison, William R., Colonel, I, 300. 
Morris, Thomas, I, 32 ; 34. 
Mosby, John S., Colonel, II, 141 ; his 

character and ability, 142. 
Mott, General, at battle of Wilderness, 

II, 194, 199, 200 ; at battle of Spott- 
sylvania, 220, 222, 223, 224, 225 ; 
228 ; 229 ; 230 ; 234. 

Mower, J. A., Brigadier-General, I, 

421; 545. 
Mules, branding and breaking, I, 79- 

Mulligan, Colonel, I, 258 

Murphy, Colonel, I, 406 ; 407 ; 432 ; 

433 ; his character, 434. 

Napoleon I. II, 547. 
Napoleon III, II, 547. 
Nashville, battle of, II, 384-386. 
Navy under Admiral Porter, efficiency 

of, 1, 574- 
Negley, General, II, 119. 
Nelson, General, I, 296; 318; 319 y 

320; 321 ; 335 ; 347 ; at battle of 

Shiloh, 350 ; 365. 
Newton, General, II, 164 ; 167. 
North Anna, battle of, II, 248-249. 

O'Fallon, John, Colonel, I, 46. 
Oglesby, Richard J., Colonel, I, 264 ;. 
270 ; 271 ; 281 ; at battle of Corinth r 

Oliver, W. S-, Colonel, I, 472. 
Ord, General, I, 404 ; 407 ; 408 ; at 

battle of Iuka, 410, 41 1, 4x2, 413 ; 

at battle of Corinth, 417, 418; at 

capture of Vicksburg, 558 ; 566? 

576 ; 581 ; II. 131 ; 135 ; 3" ; 313 ; 

333 ; is seriously wounded, 334 ; at 
battle of White Oak Road, 434 ; 446 ;. 
448 ; 450 ; 466 ; 468 ; 473 ; 474 ; 476 ; 

477 ; 478. 
Osterhaus, General, 1, 483 ',.484 ; 509 ; 
510 ; 512 ; 5x3 ; at battle of Cham- 



pion's Hill, 518, 520; 523; 524; 
546 ; II, 64 ; 70 ; at battle of Look- 
out Mountain, 71 ; 84 ; 353. 
Owen, General, at battle of Wilder- 
ness, II, 194. 

Paducah, Ky., capture of, I, 264-266. 

Page, Captain, at battle of Palo Alto, 
I, 96. 

Palmer, John M., Colonel, I, 248; Gen- 
eral, II, 36 ; 56 ; 63 ; 83 ; 90 ; 92 ; 

Palo Alto, battle of, I, 93-96. 

Parke, General, I, 545 ; II, 334 ; 433 ; 

434 ; 446; 447 ;443 ;44Q ; 450 J 458 ; 

Parker, General, II, 491 ; 496. 

Parties, secret political, Grant's opin- 
ion of, I, 213. 

Patterson, General, I, 130. 

Payne, Mr., I, 27 ; 28. 

Pemberton, Lieutenant, I, 159; Gen- 
eral, 420 ; 423 ; 42S ;43i ; 433 ; 434 ; 

435 i 437 ; 478 ; 495 ; 496 ; 499 ; 5«> ; 
503; 507; 509; 5io; 511; 513; at 
battle of Champion's Hill, 516, 520 ; 
522 ; 530 ; 545 ; 548 ; 549 ; 553 I 555 ; 
55 6 : 557; 558; 559; 56i; surren- 
ders Vicksburg, 563 ; 564 ; 565 ; 568 ; 

569; 576; 580; 581. 

Pendleton, General, II, 495. 

Pennybacker, Colonel, at capture of 
Fort Fisher, II, 398 ; is seriously 
wounded, 399. 

Perote, Mex , capture of, I, 135. 

Petersburg, Va. , investment of, II, 299; 
explosion of mine before, 313; cap- 
ture of, 454. 

Pleasonton, Alfred, General. II, 134. 

Pleasants, Colonel. II, 307. 

Pickett, General, II, 244 ; 250 ; 440. 

Pierce, Colonel, at battle of North 
Anna, II, 248. 

Pierce, General Franklin, I, 146 ; 147. 

Pillow, General, r.t battle of Cerro 
Gordo, I, 133 ; 137 ; at battle of 
Chapultepec, 154 ; opposes Scott, 
172 ; 173 ; 294 ; 309 ; escapes from 
Fort Donelson, 310 ; 313 ; 314 ; 324. 

Pittsburg Landing, Tenn., I, 330-338. 

Prime, Captain, at siege of Vicksburg, 

I, 536. 
Point Pleasant, O., Grant's birth at, 

I. 24. 
Politics before War of Rebellion, I, 

212-228 ; Grant's participation in, 


Polk, Bishop, General, I, 281 ; II, 108. 
Polk President, I, 121 ; 122 ; 172. 
Pope, John, General, I, 238 ; 251 ; 371; 

372 ; 374 ; 377 ; 378 ; 379 ; 382 ; 405. 
Porter, Admiral, I, 429 ; at capture 
of Arkansas Post, 439, 440 ; 453 ; 
454 ; 461 ; 462 ; runs Vicksburg 
batteries, 463, 464 ; attacks Grand 

Gulf, 475,476 ; 477 ; 478; 490; 500; 

at siege of Vicksburg, 537, 544, 554, 
559, 574; II. 27; 37i; 39o; 392; 

394 ; 395 ; 396 ; at capture of Fort 
Fisher, 397 ; 505. 

Porter, Andrew, Captain, I, 181; 185. 

Porter, Lieutenant-Colonel, II, 349. 

Porter, Theodric, Lieutenant, I, 90. 

Porter, William, Captain, I, 290. 

Port Gibson, Miss., capture of, I, 485. 

Port Hudson, La., surrender of, I, 568. 

Potter, General, II, 231; at battle of 
North Anna, 249; 297; 313. 

Prentiss, B. M., General, supersedes 
Grant, I, 257; is disaffected, 262, 
263; his bravery and devotion, 264; 
332 ; at battle of Shiloh, 338 ; is 
captured, 340; 342; 346; 366; 370; 
defends Helena, 535 ; 565 ; 566. 

Price, Sterling, General, I, 25S; 270; 

395 I 397 ; 405 ; captures Iuka, 406, 
407 ; 40S ; 410; 416; 434; 580; 

II, 350. 

Quin'by, General, I, 452 ; 531. 
Quitman, General, I, 137 ; 143 ; 155 : 

Ralston, Mr., I, 29. 

Ransom, General, I, 517 ; his ability, 

527: 533 ; 573 ; 5So ; II, 353- 
Rawlins, John A., I, 230 ; 255 ; 256 ; 

Colonel, 543. 
Raymond, battle of, I, 497. 
Read, Colonel, II, 474. 
Resaca de la Palma, battle of, I, 96- 

Revolution, right of, I, 219. 
Reynolds, Lieutenant-Governor, I, 

Rice, J. C, General, at battle of 

Spottsylvania, killed, II, 223. 
Richmond, Va., capture of, II, 461- 

Ricketts, General, II, 305. 
Riley, General, at capture of San 

Antonio, I, 144. 
Ringgold, Major, at battle of Palo 

Alto, I, 96. 



Rockwell, Mrs., I, 1 8. 

Rosecrans, General, I, 404 ; 406 ; 407; 

408 ; at battle of Iuka, 410 ; 411 ; 

412 ; 413 ; at battle of Corinth, 

416, 417. 418, 419, 420 ; 434 ; 535 ; 

582 ; 583; II, 18 ; 19 ; 20; 21 ; 

22 ; 24 ; is superseded by Thomas, 

26 ; 28 ; 29 : 35 ; 357. 
Ross, Colonel, I, 396 ; General, 450 ; 

451 ; 452. 

Rosser, General, at battle of Wilder- 
ness, II, 195 ; 336. 
Rousseau, General, II, 169. 
Rowley, Captain, I, 337 ; II, 144 ; 

Russell, General, II, 256. 

Rust. General, at battle of Corinth, I, 


Sailor's Creek, battle of, II, 472- 

San Antonio, Mex., capture of, I, 144. 

San Cosme, battle of, I, 155-159. 

Sanders, Captain, I, log. 

San Francisco, Cal., early days of, I, 

200-202 ; 207-209. 
Santa Anna, President, I, 54; 55; 132; 

133; J 34J 147; 149; evacuates City 

of Mexico, 159; 171. 
Santo Domingo, II. 550. 
Savannah. Ga., siege of, II, 369-374; 

capture of, 374. 
Schenck, Captain, I, 194. 
Schofield, General, I, 58c; II, 112; 

113; 114; 158; 159; 162; 166; 172; 

357; 377; 378; 379*. 403; 404; 412; 
413; 418. 
Scott, VVinfield S., General, his personal 
appearance, I, 41; his aspirations, 
119; political opposition to, 119, 120, 
121, 122; assumes command of army 
of invasion, 122; 126; 129; 131; 132; 
135; contrasted with N Taylor, 138, 
139; 143; his tactics, 145; 147; 148; 
149; 150; 151; 154; 161; his wisdom 
and discretion, 163; 164; his general- 
ship, 165, 166, 167; 170; 171; 172; 
is relieved of command in field, 

173; 174; 179; H. 489- 
Sedgwick, John. General, II. 181; 

188; 190; 192; at battle of Wilder- 
ness. 196, 201, 202; 208; 210; 214; 
217; at battle of Spottsylvania, is 
killed, 220; 537; his bravery and 
conscientiousness, 540. 

Slavery, II, 542 543. 

Selma, Ala., capture of, II, 521. 

Semmes, Lieutenant, at battle of San 
Cosme, I, 155. 

Seward, Mr., I, 222; is assassinated, 
II, 508. 

Shendan, P. H., Colonel, I, 396; Gen- 
eral, 402; 403; II, 63; at battle of 
Chattanooga, 78, 79, 81, 82; 133; 
makes first raid against Lee, 153, 
154. *55, 156, I57; 1 75;i8i; at bat- 
tle of Wilderness, 195, 197, 198, 
210; 211; 212; 213; 218; 227; 237; 
252; 256; 259; 260; 262; 263; 264; 
265; 269; 282; 283; 287; 300; 301; 
302; 303; 310; 312; 317; 318; 319; 
320; 321; 322; 326; 327; 328; 329; 
is congratulated by Grant, 331; 332; 

333; 335J 336; 337; 338; his ride to 
Winchester, 339; 340; 409; 427; 428; 
429; 430; 434; 436; 437; 438; 440; 
442; 443; at battle of Five Forks, 
444, 445, 446; 450; 451; 452; 456; 
458; 464; 465; 466; 467; 468; 469; 
473; 478; 480; 481; 484; 486; 488; 
Sherman, General, offers assistance 
to Grant, I, 315; 331; 332; 333; 
334; 3371 338; 339; his ability, is 
wounded, 343; at battle of Shiloh, 
345. 346, 348, 350, 355. 357, 366, 

367, 37o? 379; 385; 39^; 404; 423; 
427; 428; 429; 430; 431; attempts 
to capture Vicksburg, 437, 438; 
captures Arkansas Post, 439, 440; 

441; 453: 454; 468; 47i;478; 48i; 
486; 492; 493; 494; 495; 496; at 
capture of Jackson, 499, 500, 501, 
503, 504, 505, 506; 507; 503; 510; 
5ii; 512; 515; 522; 523; 527; 528; 
529; 531; at siege of Vicksburg, 534, 
541, 542, 543, 546, 548, 556; 566; 
567; 576; 5771 582; 583; II, 24; 27; 
is assigned to command of Army of 
the Tennessee, 30; 44; 45; 46; 49; 

50; 51; 52; 53; 541 55; 56; 58; 59; 60; 
64; 66; 67; at battle of Missionary 
Ridge, 68; 69; 72; 73; 74; 75; at 
battle of Chattanooga, 76, 77, 78, 80, 
82; 83; 85; 88; 90; 92; 93; 94; 96; 
99; 105; 106; 107: 108; 109; no; 
112; 113; 114; 116; 117; succeeds 
Grant in command of Division of the 
Mississippi, 118; 119; 120; 121; 125; 
129; 130; 134; 137; 139; 140; 147; 
I 53'» 158; 159; 160; 162; conducts 
campaign against Atlanta, 163, 164, 
166, 167, 169, 170, 171, 172, 174; 
captures Atlanta, 174; 175; 191; 208; 



234; 235; 237; 250; 251; 26 ; 307; 
308; 322; 323; 326; 343; his march 
to the sea, 344-37&; 4°°; 4<>i; 402; 
403; receives resolutions of thanks 
from Congress, 405; 406; 408; 409; 
410; 411; 4121413; 414; 415; 416; 
417; 418; 419; 429; 430; 437; 458; 
459; 513; 5*4; 515; 5 J 6; receives sur- 
render of Johnston, his loyalty, 517; 
519; 521; 525; 52S; 529, 53o; 534; 

Sherman, Mrs., II, 372. 
Shields, General, at battle of Churu- 

busco, I, 145. 
Shiloh, battle of, I, 338-370. 
Shirk, Commander, at battle of Shiloh, 

I, 347- 
Sibley, Captain, I, 1S1; 1S5. 

Sigel, General, II, 131; 132; 135; 140; 

147; 238; 241; 251; 303. 
Simpson, Hannah, ancestry of, I, 22, 

23; marries Jesse R. Grant, 24. 
Simpson, John, I, 23. 
Slaughter, Lieutenant, I, 198; 199. 
Slocum, H. W., General, II, 35; 174; 

352; 3^1. 
Smith, A. J., General, I, 483; 487; 
509; 510; 512; at battle of Champion's 
Hill, 517, 51S; at siege of Vicksburg, 

54s. 557. 553, 559; n. J39; l6 3; 
307; 357; 379; 405. 

Smith, C. F., Captain, I, 42; 97; Gen- 
eral, 266; 270; 2S5; 2S6; his ability, 
2S7; 2SS; 291; 292; 29S; 301; 305; 
at capture of Fort Donelson, 306, 
30S, 310; 316; 317; 3".S; 320; 321; 
Halleck's estimate of, 328; 332; 338. 

Smith, Dr., I, 3S8. 

Smith, Dr., II, 477; 47S. 

Smith. Giles A., General, II, 66; 69. 

Smith, Governor, II. 532; 533. 

Smith, G. \.., Lieutenant, I, 131; 
General, II. 365. 

Smith. John E.. Brigadier-General, I, 
421; 4S4; II, 67; at battle of Mission- 
ary Ridge, 6S; at battle of Chatta- 
nooga. 70, 77. 

Smith, Kirby. General, II, 323; sur- 
renders, 522. 

Smith, Morgan L., General. II. 66; 
67; at capture of Missionary Ridge, 
(>>: at battle of Chattanooga, 76; S3. 

Smith, Sidney. Lieutenant, I. 125; 162. 

Smith, Si:oy. General, L 545; II, 10S; 

Smith, Watson. Lieutenant-Com- 
mander, I. 451. 

Smith, \V. F., Brigadier-General, II, 
29; 3i; 35; 36; 37; at battle of 
Wauhatchie, 41; 58; 66; Major- 
General, 97; 98; 131; 133; 135; 
254; 262; 205; 266; 268; 269; at 
battle of Cold Harbor, 271, 272; 
273; 283; 285; 288. 

South, attitude of, before War, I, 219- 
228; advantages of, at beginning of 
War, 282-283; boldness of. during 
War, 444; benefit of War to, II, 39- 
40; bravery and gallantry of, 426. 

Spottsylvania, battle of , II, 217-225. 

Stager, General, II, 103; 104. 

Stanley, General, II, 112; 357; at 
battle of Franklin, 378 ; 4x4. 

Stannard, General, II, 333 ; 334. 

Stanton, Secretary, II, 18; 19; 26; 
59 ; 98 ; 103 ; 104 ; his disposition, 
105 ; 121 ; 122 ; 123 ; 141 ; 234 ; 

237; 317; 327; 342; 399; 400; 
403 ; 420 ; 495 ; 506 ; 515 ; 516 ; 

5 J 7 I 534 ; contrasted with Lincoln, 
536, 537 ; 54b. 
States, European, conduct of, II, 544- 

Steedman, General, II, 379. 

Steele, General, I. 471; 512; 566; 

576 ; 577 ; II, 130 ; 134 ; 139 ; J s8 ; 

Stephens, Alexander H., II, 420 : 422 ; 

Stevens, Colonel, II, 333. 

Stevens, Isaac I., Lieutenant. I, 131. 
Stevenson, Carter L., General, II, 70. 
Stevenson, J. D., Brigadier-General. I, 

421 ; 506. 
Stevenson. T- G . General, at battle of 

Spottsylvania. is killed. II, 222. 
Stewart. General, II, 377. 
Stone. C. P., Lieutenant. I, 181 ; 184. 
Stoneman, General, II. 170; 171; 

172 ; 409 ; 413 ; 51S ; 519 
Stuart, General, at battle of Shiloh, I. 

33$ ; 453- 
Stuart, J. E B. . General, II, 154 ; 155; 

at battle of Wilderness, 19S. 
Sturgi*. General, II, 306. 
Sullivan, J. C, Brigadier-General, I. 

470; 49:. 
Swinton, Mr., II, 143; 144; 145. 

Taylor, Colonel, II, 468. 

Taylor, Riehard, General, I, 544; 554 ; 

surrenders, II, 521. 
Tavlor, Zacharv. General, commands 

army of occupation, L 67 ; 71 ; pre- 



vents plundering. 85 ; 92 ; 93 ; 94 ; 
95 » 97 J 99 » n * s bravery and mod- 
esty, 100 ; 101 ; 102 ; 107 ; no ; 120 ; 
121 ; 122 ; 123 ; 134 ; contrasted 
with Scott, 138, 139 ; 164 ; his gen- 
eralship, 167; 168; is elected Presi- 
dent, 174. 

Territt, Lieutenant, at battle of Monte- 
rey, I, 116. 

Terry, Alfred H., General. II. 388; 
395 ; at capture of Fort Fisher, 396, 
397. 398 ; promoted to brigadier- 
generalcy in regular army, 399 ; 404 ; 
413 ; 417 ; 418 ; 537 ; his character, 

540, 541. 

Texas, condition of. before Mexican 
War, I, 54 ; occupation of, by 
United States troops, 67 ; transpor- 
tation in, 69 ; game in, 75-76 ; wild 
horses in, 87. 

Thayer, Colonel, at capture of Fort 
Donelson. I, 298 ; 299 ; 301 ; 302 ; 
306; 307. 

Thomas, George H., Major-General, I, 
286 ; 323 ; 366 ; 371 ; 379 ; 414 ; II, 
19; 22; supersedes Rosecrans, 26; 
27 ; 28 ; 31 ; 35 ; 50 ; 5 1 ; 52 ; 53 ; 
55 ; 56 ; 58 ; 59 I °3 ; 66 ; 69 ; at 
battle of Lookout Mountain, 72 ; 75 ; 
at battle of Chattanooga, 77, 7$, 79, 
80, 81, S2 ; 84 ; 89 ; 90 ; 91 ; 92 ; 
99; 112; 113; 114; 158; 159; 
162 ; 163 ; 343 ; 351 ; 357 ; 358 ; 
359 ; 372 ; 377 ; 378 ; 379 ; 380 ; 

382 ; 383 ; 384 ; 403 ; 404 ; 405 ; 

410 ; 411 ; 412 ; 413 ; 414 ; 5*8 ; his 

ability, 524, 525. 
Thompson, Jacob. I, 462. 
Thompson, Jeff., Colonel, I, 261 ; 263 ; 

Thornton, Captain. I. 89. 
Tidball, General, II, 433. 
Tilghman, Lloyd, General, I, 267 ; is 

captured, 292. 
Tod, Governor, I, 19. 
Tod, Judge, I, 19; 20. 
Tod, Mrs., I, 20. 
Torbert, A. T. A., Brigadier-General, 

II, 182 ; 256. 
Tower, Z. B., Lieutenant, I, 131 ; 

181 ; General, II. 379. 
Townsend, General. I, 240. 
Towson, Brevet Brigadier-General, I, 

Trist. Nicholas P., negotiates treaty 

with Mexico, I, 147 ; 148 ; 171; 172. 
Tuscaloosa, Ala., capture of, II, 521. 

Tattle, General, I, 505. 

Twiggs, Colonel, I, 100 ; 109 ; Gen- 
eral, 130 ; 137 ; 138. 

Tyler. Mr?., II. 250. 

Tyler, President, approves bill for an- 
nexation of Texas. I. 58. 

Tyler, Robert O. , Brigadier-General, 
II, 239. 

Upton, Emory, Colonel, at battle 
of Spottsylvania, II, 223, 224 ; is 
promoted to brigadier-generalcy and 
seriously wounded, 225 ; 234 ; 235 ; 

Van Buren, Martin, President, I, 

Van Dom, General, I, 376 ; 395 ; 405 ; 

408; at battle of Iuka, 410, 411; 

415 ; at battle of Corinth, 416. 417, 

418, 419 ; captures Holly Springs, 

432 ; 433 ; 435 ; 438. 

Van Duzer, II, 385. 

Vera Cruz, seige of, I, 127-128. 

Vicksburg, Miss., movements against, 

I, 422-531 ; siege of, 532-562 ; sur- 
render of, 563. 

Villepigue, General, at battle of Cor- 
inth, I, 416. 
Vose, Colonel, I, 6a 

Wadsworth, General, at battle of 
Wilderness, II, 194, 196 ; 197 ; 
is mortally wounded and captured, 
199 ; 213. 

Walke, Captain, I, 293 ; 300 ; 301. 

Wallace, Lew., General, at capture of 
Fort Donelson, I, 298, 299, 301, 
305, 306, 312 ; 332 ; 334 ; 336 ; 337 ; 
at battle of Shiloh, 346, 347, 348, 

350, 35i. 352, 3°6; 371 ; II, 304; 

305 ; 306. 
Wallace, W. H. L., Colonel, I, 270 ; 

Brigadier-General, 332 ; 335 ; his 

ability, 339; 346 ; 351. 
Wallace, W. H. L., Mrs., I, 351. 
Wallen, Lieutenant, I, 96. 
Ward, General, at battle of Wilderness, 

II, 200. 

War, Mexican, injustice of, I, 53-56 ; 
assemblage of troops for, 67 ; acts 
of troops to provoke, 68 ; forces at 
beginning of, 84 ; first movement of 
troops in, 84-89 ; skirmish at Mata- 
moras, 90 ; battle of Palo Alto, 93- 
96 ; armaments of contending forces, 
95 ; battle of Resaca de la Palma, 



96-98 ; movement of forces to Mon- 
terey, 104-107 ; preparation for at- 
tacking Monterey, 1 09-1 10; battle 
of Monterey, 1 10-117 ; movement 
of army to Vera Cruz, 1 21-126 ; 
siege of Vera Cruz, 127-128 ; battle 
of Cerro Gordo, 132-133 ; capture 
of Perote, 135 ; raising of additional 
troops, 137 ; battle of Contreras, 
143 ; capture of San Antonio, 144 ; 
battle of Churubusco, 145 ; negotia- 
tions for peace, 147 ; battle of 
Molino del Rey, 151-153 ; battle of 
Chapultepec, 154; battle of San 
Cosme, 155-159 ; capture of City of 
Mexico, 162 ; treaty of peace signed, 
172 ; treaty of peace ratified, 192. 
War of Rebellion, Reflections on, I, 
170 ; secession of States, 229 ; loss 
of Fort Sumter, 229 ; first call for 
troops, 229 ; second call for troops, 
242 ; battle of Belmont, 270-280 ; 
capture of Fort Henry, 288-292 ; 
capture of Fort Donelson, 294-315 ; 
battle of Shiloh, 338-370 ; occupa- 
tion of Corinth, 380 ; discouraging 
indications, 406 ; battle of Iuka, 
410-413 ; battle of Corinth, 416- 
420 ; loss of Holly Springs, 432 ; 
capture of Arkansa: Post. 439-440 ; 
capture of Port Gibson, 4S5 ; occu- 
pation of Grand Gulf, 490 ; battle 
of Raymond. 497 ; capture of Jack- 
son, 499-506 ; battle of Champion's 
Hill, 516-521 ; battle of Black River 
Bridge, 526 ; capture of Vicksburg, 
53 2 -5 3 '- battle of Gettysburg, 567 ; 
capture of Port Hudson, 56S ; battle 
of Wauhatchie, II, 40-41 ; battle of 
Missionary Ridge. 68 ; battle of 
Lookout Mountain, 71-73 ; battle of 
Chattanooga, 76-82 ; loss of Fort 
Pillow, 138 ; battle of Atlanta, 168 ; 
occupation of Atlanta, 174 ; battle 
of Wilderness, 193-203 ; battle of 
Spottsylvania, 217-225 ; battle of 
North Anna, 248-249 ; battle of 
Cold Harbor, 270-272 ; Sherman's 
march to the sea, 344-376 ; capture 
of Savannah, 374 ; battle of Franklin, 
378 ; battle of Nashville, 384-386 ; 
capture of Fort Fisher, 396-399 ; at- 
tempt to negotiate peace, 420-423 ; 
battle of White Oak Road, 434-435 ; 
battle of Five Forks, 444-446 ; cap- 
ture of Richmond. 461-462 ; battle 
of Sailor's Creek, 472-473 ; surren- 

der of Lee, 488-495 ; surrender of 
Johnston, 517 ; capture of Mobile, 
519 ; capture of Selma, Tuscaloosa, 
Montgomery, West Point, and 
Macon, 521 ; surrender of Taylor, 

521 ; surrender of E. Kirby Smith, 

522 ; capture of Jefferscn Davis, 
C22 ; review of Sherman's and 
Meade's armies, 534-535 ; cause of, 
542-543 ; reflections on, 544-554- 

Warren, G. K., Geneial. II, 180:181; 
188; 191; 192; at battle of Wilder- 
ness, 193, J 96, 201, 203; 208; 210; 
2ii;2i3; his methods, 214, 215; 216; 
217; at battle of Spottsylvania, 220, 
222, 223, 224; 228; 229; 230; 231; 
232; 233; 235; 236; 230; 240; 244; 
245; 246; at battle of North Anna, 
248, 249; 254; 256; 258; 259; 260; 
262; 265; 266; 26S; 269; at battle 
of Cold Harbor, 271, 272; 283; 288; 
289; 299; 312; 313; 323; 324; 334; 
335; at battle of W r hite Oak Road, 
434; 440; 442; 443; is relieved of 
command, 444; his defects, 445. 

Washburn, C. C., General, I, 428; 

Washburn, Colonel, II, 473; 474. 

Washburne, E. B., I, 230; 231; 238; 

II, 143; 144; 426. 
Watts, Major, I, 572. 
Wauhatchie, battle of, II, 4C--IJ. 
Wayne, Hairv. General, II. 36*;; 36S. 
Webster. J. D. , Colonel, at capture of 

Fort Donelson, I, 307, 30S; at battle 

of Shiloh, 345. 347- 
Weitzel. General. II. 334: 3$S; 393; 

434; 447; 449; captures Richmond. 

461. 462; 505. 
West Point, Ala., capture of. II, 521. 
West Point, N. Y., Grant's stay at, I. 

Wheeler, General, II, 49'. i~2; 347". 

368; 411. 
White. Chilton, I, 29, Colonel, 36. 
White. John IX, I, 29; 31. 
Whiting*. General, II. 39 2 - 
White Oak Road, battle of, II, 434- 

Wilcox, Cadmus M., General, II. 452 

Wilderness, battle of, 11,193-203; com- 
ments on, 204. 

Willcox, Orlando B., General. II, 59; 
61; 75; S4; at battle of Spottsylvania, 

217: 313: 433- 
Williams, A. S., General, II, 352. 

Williams, Captain, I, 116. 



Williams, Thomas, General, I, 446. 

Wilmington, N. C.*, capture of, II, 

Wilson, J. H., Lieutenant-Colonel, I, 
449; 45o; 485; II, 94; General, 156; 
181; 188; 192; at battle of Wilder- 
ness, 194, 195; 213; 255; 256; 263; 
268; 289; 303; 358; 3771 518; 521; 
522; 524. 

Wolves, I, 77-78. 

Wood. T. J.. General, I, 366; II, 63; 
at battle of Chattanooga, 78, 79, 81, 

Worth, William J., General, I, 100; 
101; 109; at battle of Monterey, 113; 
his temperament, 123, 124; 130; 135; 
136; 137; 141. 143; : 49; his relations 
with Scott, 151; at battle of Molino 
del Rey, 152; at battle of San 

Cosme. 155, 157, 158, 159; 161; op- 
poses Scott, 172; 173. 
Wright, H. G., General, II, 192; at 
battle of Spottsylvania, 220, 222, 
223, 224, 225; 228; 229; 230; 231; 
232; 233; 234; 235; 236; 238; 242; 
244; 245; 246; at battle of North 
Anna, 248; 254; 255; 256; 258; 259; 
260; 262; 263; 264; 265; 266; 268; 
269; at battle of Cold Harbor, 271, 
272; 273; 283; 288; 289; 299; 305; 
306; 308; 315; 316; 335; 338; 340; 
440; 442; 446; 447; 448; 449; 463; 
466; 473; 476; 477; 537. 

Yates, Richard, Governor, I, 232; 

233; 242. 
Yazoo Pass, operations at, I, 450-455. 
Young, P. M. B., General, II, 263. 


P*gfe &7. tin* 2^ ( page 89, line 9, read Little Colorado for Colorado. 

ne 25, 

ne 2, 
ne 2d, 

Page 93, 1 
Page 108, 1 
Page 173, 1 
Page 17S, I 
Page 1S8, line 15, 
Page 258, line 5, 
Page 293, line 10, 
Page 299, line 4, 
Page 494. line 27, 

ne 5, read May 









for March. 

" 1847. 

14 surgeon. 

" Clackos. 

" Clacko. 

" Stirling. 

" Walke. 

' ' Tennessee. 

" 8th. 




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