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Title: Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant — Volume 2
Author: Grant, Ulysses S. (Ulysses Simpson), 1822-1885
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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The reply (to my telegram of October 16, 1863, from Cairo, announcing my
arrival at that point) came on the morning of the 17th, directing me to
proceed immediately to the Galt House, Louisville, where I would meet an
officer of the War Department 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
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 between 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
special 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 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 assigned
Thomas to his place.  I accepted the latter.  We reached Louisville
after night and, if I remember 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 recover.  He never did.

A day was spent in Louisville, the Secretary giving 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 exhausted, and I left the hotel to spend
the evening away, both Mrs. Grant (who was with me) and myself having
relatives living in Louisville.  In the course of the evening Mr.
Stanton received a dispatch 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 defensive.  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
suggesting 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 capture.  General Halleck strongly approved the
suggestion, 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 replied 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.
Finally he did move, on the 24th of June, but ten days afterwards
Vicksburg surrendered, and the troops sent from Bragg were free to

It was at this time that I recommended to the general-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 constantly
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 necessarily come from Bragg.  My judgment
was overruled, and the troops under my command were dissipated over
other parts of the country where it was thought they could render the
most service.

Soon it was discovered in Washington that Rosecrans 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 beyond Chattanooga. If he had stopped and
intrenched, and made himself strong there, all would have been right and
the mistake of not moving earlier 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 Chickamauga, 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, overlooking
Chattanooga. He also occupied Lookout Mountain, west of the town, which
Rosecrans had abandoned, 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 line.

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

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 demoralization.

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,
increasing the distance to over sixty miles.

This country afforded but little food for his animals, 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 soldiers were in the habit of saying, with
a faint facetiousness, that they were living on "half rations of hard

Nothing could be transported but food, and the troops were without
sufficient shoes or other clothing 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 probable that any of
the army would have reached the railroad as an organized body, if
followed by the enemy.

On the receipt of Mr. Dana's dispatch Mr. Stanton 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 returned 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 Rosecrans.  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 delivered 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
assembled 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 convoy 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 Bridgeport, 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 thousands of starved mules
and horses.  At Jasper, some ten or twelve miles from Bridgeport, there
was a halt.  General O. O. Howard had his headquarters there.  From this
point I telegraphed Burnside 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 occupying
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, up 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 roadway 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 Chattanooga 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

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 themselves, and thought it would
be inhuman to kill any of them except in self-defence.

That night I issued orders for opening the route to Bridgeport--a
cracker line, as the soldiers appropriately 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 Tennessee, 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 hundred 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
Chickamauga River; west of Lookout Mountain is Lookout 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 summit, where it ends in a
palisade thirty or more feet in height.  On the gently sloping ground,
between the upper and lower palisades, there is a single farmhouse,
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. Lookout 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 addition to this there was an intrenched line in
Chattanooga 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 passing of a train loaded with ammunition
and medical 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 11th and 12th corps, commanded respectively by Generals
Howard and Slocum, Hooker in command of the whole, from the Army of the
Potomac to reinforce Rosecrans.  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 troops.

On the 24th of October, after my return to Chattanooga, 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 of the Cumberland, was ordered to move
down the river on the north side, by a back road, until opposite
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. Eighteen 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 Bridgeport 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 eighteen 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 Chattanooga, 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, surprised the picket guard, and captured most of it.  By
seven o'clock the whole of Smith's force was ferried 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 Lookout 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 afternoon 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 Bridgeport 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 steamers 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 abundance of ammunition was brought up, and a
cheerfulness prevailed not before enjoyed in many weeks.  Neither
officers nor men looked upon themselves any longer as doomed.  The weak
and languid appearance 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 correspondingly 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 destruction was only a
question of time."  But the dispositions were not "faithfully
sustained," and I doubt not but thousands of men engaged in trying to
"sustain" them now rejoice that they were not.  There was no time during
the rebellion when I did not think, and often say, that the South was
more to be benefited by its defeat than the North.  The latter 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 the 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
degraded, 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 expensive 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 appreciated its importance, and hastened to try to recover
the line from us.  His strength on Lookout Mountain was not equal to
Hooker's command in the valley 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 fired 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.  Before 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 uproar Hooker's
teamsters became frightened and deserted their teams.  The mules also
became frightened, 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

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,
captured.  In the night engagement of the 28th-9th 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

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 enters 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

The most friendly relations seemed to exist between 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 Longstreet'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



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 supplies along the line had long since been
exhausted.  His animals, too, had been starved, and their carcasses
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 11th 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

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 convoyed 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
Tennessee, 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, abandoned the work he was engaged upon and
pushed on at once.  On the 1st 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 subsequently 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 destroyed, 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
pioneers--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 along
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.
Blacksmith 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
repairing 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 stock 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 hundred 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 condition 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
protection 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.  Reinforcements 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 expelling the enemy from Missionary Ridge and about

On the 4th of November Longstreet left our front with about fifteen
thousand troops, besides Wheeler's 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 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 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 encourage
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 ammunition 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 telegraphed 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

"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 confirm 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 being 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 16th.  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 conceive 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

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
(*15), except the dates, which could 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 instructed to send Howard's
corps to the north side of the Tennessee, thence up behind the hills on
the north side, and to go into camp opposite Chattanooga; with the
remainder of the command, Hooker was, at a time to be afterwards
appointed, to ascend the western slope between the upper and lower
palisades, and so get into Chattanooga valley.

The plan of battle was for Sherman to attack the enemy's right flank,
form a line across it, extend our left over South Chickamauga River so
as to 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 expeditious 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 Chattanooga--North
Chickamauga, taking its rise in Tennessee, flowing 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 unknown 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 Chickamauga,
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
Tennessee, where Missionary Ridge would strike it if prolonged, 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 absolutely essential to us so
long as Chattanooga was besieged.  It was the key to our line for
supplying the army.  But it was not essential after the enemy was
dispersed from our front, or even after the battle for this purpose was
begun.  Hooker's orders, therefore, were designed to get his force past
Lookout 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 evacuation.  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
Mountain until we got through with the troops on Missionary Ridge.  By
marching Hooker to the north side of the river, thence up the stream,
and recrossing 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 unquestionably cause the
evacuation by the enemy of his line across the valley and on Lookout
Mountain.  Hooker's order was changed accordingly.  As explained
elsewhere, the original order had to be reverted 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 Ridge.

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 16th, and started back
the same evening to hurry up his command, fully appreciating the
importance of time.

His march was conducted with as much expedition 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
(Ewing's) 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 President, 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 22d, 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 position farther up the valley than Knoxville
--about Maynardville--and was still in telegraphic communication with the
North.  A dispatch was received from him saying that he was threatened
from the east.  The following was sent in reply:

"If you can communicate with General Burnside, say to him that our
attack on Bragg will commence in the morning.  If successful, such a
move will be made as I think will relieve East Tennessee, if he can hold
out.  Longstreet passing through our lines to Kentucky need not cause
alarm.  He would find the country so bare that he would lose his
transportation and artillery before reaching Kentucky, and would meet
such a force before he got through, that he could not return."

Meantime, Sherman continued his crossing without intermission as fast as
his troops could be got up.  The crossing had to be effected in full
view of the enemy on the top of Lookout Mountain.  Once over, however,
the troops soon disappeared behind the detached hill on the north side,
and would not come to view again, either to watchmen on Lookout Mountain
or Missionary Ridge, until they emerged between the hills to strike the
bank of the river.  But when Sherman's advance reached a point opposite
the town of Chattanooga, Howard, who, it will be remembered, had been
concealed behind the hills on the north side, took up his line of march
to join the troops on the south side.  His crossing was in full view
both from Missionary Ridge and the top of Lookout, and the enemy of
course supposed these troops to be Sherman's.  This enabled Sherman to
get to his assigned position without discovery.



On the 20th, when so much was occurring to discourage--rains falling so
heavily as to delay the passage of troops over the river at Brown's
Ferry and threatening the entire breaking of the bridge; news coming of
a battle raging at Knoxville; of Willcox being threatened by a force
from the east--a letter was received from Bragg which contained these
words:  "As there may still be some non-combatants in Chattanooga, I
deem it proper to notify you that prudence would dictate their early
withdrawal." Of course, I understood that this was a device intended to
deceive; but I did not know what the intended deception was.  On the
22d, however, a deserter came in who informed me that Bragg was leaving
our front, and on that day Buckner's division was sent to reinforce
Longstreet at Knoxville, and another division started to follow but was
recalled.  The object of Bragg's letter, no doubt, was in some way to
detain me until Knoxville could be captured, and his troops there be
returned to Chattanooga.

During the night of the 21st the rest of the pontoon boats, completed,
one hundred and sixteen in all, were carried up to and placed in North
Chickamauga. The material for the roadway over these was deposited out
of view of the enemy within a few hundred yards of the bank of the
Tennessee, where the north end of the bridge was to rest.

Hearing nothing from Burnside, and hearing much of the distress in
Washington on his account, I could no longer defer operations for his
relief.  I determined, therefore, to do on the 23d, with the Army of the
Cumberland, what had been intended to be done on the 24th.

The position occupied by the Army of the Cumberland had been made very
strong for defence during the months it had been besieged.  The line was
about a mile from the town, and extended from Citico Creek, a small
stream running near the base of Missionary Ridge and emptying into the
Tennessee about two miles below the mouth of the South Chickamauga, on
the left, to Chattanooga Creek on the right.  All commanding points on
the line were well fortified and well equipped with artillery.  The
important elevations within the line had all been carefully fortified
and supplied with a proper armament.  Among the elevations so fortified
was one to the east of the town, named Fort Wood.  It owed its
importance chiefly to the fact that it lay between the town and
Missionary Ridge, where most of the strength of the enemy was.  Fort
Wood had in it twenty-two pieces of artillery, most of which would reach
the nearer points of the enemy's line.  On the morning of the 23d
Thomas, according to instructions, moved Granger's corps of two
divisions, Sheridan and T. J. Wood commanding, to the foot of Fort Wood,
and formed them into line as if going on parade, Sheridan on the right,
Wood to the left, extending to or near Citico Creek.  Palmer, commanding
the 14th corps, held that part of our line facing south and southwest.
He supported Sheridan with one division (Baird's), while his other
division under Johnson remained in the trenches, under arms, ready to be
moved to any point. Howard's corps was moved in rear of the centre.  The
picket lines were within a few hundred yards of each other.  At two
o'clock in the afternoon all were ready to advance.  By this time the
clouds had lifted so that the enemy could see from his elevated position
all that was going on.  The signal for advance was given by a booming of
cannon from Fort Wood and other points on the line.  The rebel pickets
were soon driven back upon the main guards, which occupied minor and
detached heights between the main ridge and our lines.  These too were
carried before 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
captured. 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 day.

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

By the night of the 23d Sherman's command was in a position to move,
though one division (Osterhaus'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 accordingly 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 generally 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
Cumberland, 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
Sherman's artillery horses for this purpose, Thomas having none.

At two o'clock in the morning, November 24th, Giles A. Smith pushed out
from the North Chickamauga 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 attention 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
purpose.  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 built.

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, however, 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
Chickamauga connecting the troops left on that side with their comrades
below, and all the infantry and artillery were on the south bank of the

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 columns.  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 Mountain 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 afternoon General Giles A. Smith was severely wounded and
carried from the field.

Thomas having done on the 23d what was expected 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 regiments 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.
Stevenson 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 Chattanooga with the summit.

Early on the morning of the 24th Hooker moved Geary's division,
supported by a brigade of Cruft's, up Lookout Creek, to effect a
crossing.  The remainder 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 the pickets guarding it.  This attracted
the enemy so that Geary's movement farther up was not observed.  A heavy
mist obscured him from the view of the troops on the top of the
mountain.  He crossed the creek almost unobserved, 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 captured.

While the operations at the bridge were progressing, 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 mountain.  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 palisade to the mouth of
Chattanooga Creek.

Thomas and I were on the top of Orchard Knob.  Hooker's advance now made
our line a continuous 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 palisade.  The day was
hazy, so that Hooker's operations 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 Lookout 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 telegraphed to Washington:  "The fight
to-day progressed favorably.  Sherman carried the end of Missionary
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, besides 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 Burnside 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 Chickamauga to guard the pontoons as they were
deposited in the river, and to prevent all ingress or egress of
citizens.  On the night of the 24th his division, having 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 Burnside.
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 directly to Rossville and
operate against the left and rear of the force on Missionary Ridge.
Thomas was not to move until Hooker had reached Missionary 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--presumably 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
Missionary Ridge; Loomis along the west base, supported 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 carried 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 threatened 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 position 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 command, 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 reformed,
when they charged and drove the attacking party back to his

Seeing the advance, repulse, and second advance of J. E. Smith from the
position I occupied, I directed 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 eye of
the enemy to reach its position.  Bragg at once commenced massing 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 compelling Bragg to mass
in that direction also.

The enemy had evacuated Lookout Mountain during 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 destruction above named.  He was detained four hours crossing
Chattanooga Creek, and thus was lost the immediate advantage I expected
from his forces.  His reaching Bragg's flank and extending across it was
to be the signal for Thomas's assault of the ridge.  But Sherman's
condition was getting so critical that the assault for his relief could
not be delayed 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 (*16). 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 to make the charge
was near where Thomas and I stood, but concealed from view by an
intervening 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 moment's notice.  I told him
to make the charge at once.  He was off in a moment, and in an
incredibly 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
captured 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 pursuers caused the
enemy to fire high to avoid killing their own men.  In fact, on that
occasion the Union soldier nearest the enemy was in the safest position.
Without awaiting further orders or stopping 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 (*17) 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 expended.  The
pursuit continued until the crest was reached, and soon our men were
seen climbing over the Confederate barriers at different points in front
of both Sheridan's and Wood's divisions.  The retreat of the enemy along
most of his line was precipitate 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 Missionary 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 dispositions 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 Granger, commander of the corps making the
assault, 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
pursuit 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 confronting 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 daylight 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 Chickamauga, and to
move forward to Chickamauga Station.  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 ordered 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 command was directed to follow Howard at daylight
in the morning to get on to the railroad towards Graysville.

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, extending 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 moment 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 ammunition in their cartridge-boxes, and four days' rations in

In the battle of Chattanooga, troops from the Army of the Potomac, from
the Army of the Tennessee, and from the Army of the Cumberland
participated.  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 commanders,
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 divisions of his own army, Howard's corps
from the Army of the Potomac, and Jefferson C. Davis's division 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 defiant 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

The victory at Chattanooga was won against great odds, considering the
advantage the enemy had of position, and was accomplished more easily
than was expected by reason of Bragg's making several grave mistakes:
first, in sending away his ablest corps commander with over twenty
thousand troops; second, 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 difference 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-informed 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 frequent trouble. As a subordinate he was always on the
lookout to catch his commanding officer infringing 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 lieutenant 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 entitled to, and
that it was the duty of the quartermaster to fill it.  As quartermaster
he still persisted that he was right.  In this condition of affairs
Bragg referred the whole matter to the commanding 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 Knoxville 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 saw Mr. Davis prided himself on his military
capacity.  He says so himself, 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.  Before 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
arrangement of the subject-matter was made by him between the 10th and
18th of July, 1885.



Chattanooga now being secure to the National 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 preparations for sending troops to the
relief of Burnside at the very earliest moment after securing
Chattanooga. 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
circumstances 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 also.

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 stampede 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 27th, 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 acting as rear-guard to cover the retreat.

When Hooker moved from Rossville toward Ringgold Palmer's division took
the road to Graysville, and Sherman moved by the way of Chickamauga
Station toward the same point.  As soon as I saw the situation at
Ringgold I sent a staff officer 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 Burnside 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 Chattanooga. 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 unnecessarily.  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 prisoners and much abandoned property on the route.  I went back in
the evening to Graysville with Sherman, 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 indicated 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 ammunition, 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 directed him to march
to the relief of Knoxville.  I also gave him the problem that we had to
solve--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 return from Graysville,
having sent out detachments on the railroad which runs from Dalton to
Cleveland 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 become satisfied that Burnside would
not be rescued if his relief depended upon General Granger's movements.

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
rations 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 existence 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, Colonel 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 Holston 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 artillery, 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 abandoned.

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 communication 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 reinforcements
were coming to me.  Knoxville was of no earthly use to him while
Chattanooga was in our hands.  If he should capture Chattanooga,
Knoxville with its garrison would have fallen into his hands without a
struggle.  I 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
reinforce Longstreet.  He also started another division 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
Bragg's 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
Tennessee River to the relief of Knoxville and that Longstreet was
therefore in danger.  But the first great blunder, detaching Longstreet,
cannot be accounted for in any way I know of.  If he had captured
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 probably have been the last battle fought for the
preservation of the Union.

General William F. Smith's services in these battles had been such that
I thought him eminently entitled to promotion.  I was aware that he had
previously been named by the President for promotion 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 appointment 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 relieved (*18) without further
bloodshed.  The safety of Burnside's army and the loyal people of East
Tennessee had been the subject of much anxiety to the President for
several months, during which time he was doing all he could to relieve
the situation; sending a new commander (*19) with a few thousand troops
by the way of Cumberland Gap, and telegraphing 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 overpowered:  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 subsisted his army for the entire winter
off East Tennessee. Foster now relieved Burnside.  Sherman made
disposition of his troops along the Tennessee 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 telegraphic
communications cut so as to throw me out of communication with both my
command and Washington.

Nothing occurred at Nashville worthy of mention during the winter, (*20)
so I set myself to the task of having 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 enemy'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 Augusta to Atlanta and thence south-west.  I
was preparing to hold Atlanta with a small garrison, and it was my
expectation to push through to Mobile if that city was in our
possession:  if not, to Savannah; 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 against 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 Strawberry 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 thermometer 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, Kentucky, 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 as I had found it on my first trip
to Chattanooga over Waldron's Ridge.  The road had been cut up to as
great a depth as clay could be by mules and wagons, and in that
condition frozen; so that the ride of six days from Strawberry Plains to
Lexington over these holes and knobs in the road was a very cheerless
one, and very disagreeable.

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 complimentary 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 Nashville 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 dispatches 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 at 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 immediately under, and had to report to the War
Department 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 forwarded from there.  As I have said, it was necessary for me also
to have an operator during this inspection who had possession of this
cipher to enable me to telegraph to my division and to the War
Department 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
certainly would be punished. Finally, seeing that punishment 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 Department, he yielded.  When I
returned from Knoxville I found quite a commotion.  The operator had
been reprimanded very severely and ordered to be relieved.  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 certainly 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 disagreeable difference
between the Secretary of War and myself that occurred until the war was
over, when we had another little spat.  Owing to his natural 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-general'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 remonstrated 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 proposed 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 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 Mississippi, to the limits
of his own department and where most of his army still remained, for the
purpose 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 approved heartily.

About the 10th of January Sherman was back in Memphis, where Hurlbut
commanded, and got together 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 1st 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 General Polk's being at Meridian, and of the strength and
disposition of his command.

Forrest had about 4,000 cavalry with him, composed of thoroughly
well-disciplined men, who under so able a leader were very effective.
Smith's command was nearly double that of Forrest, but not equal, man to
man, for the lack of a successful experience 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, however, there were indications of the concentration of
Confederate infantry, and he was obliged to keep his army close
together.  He had no serious engagement; but he met some of the enemy
who destroyed a few of his wagons about Decatur, Mississippi, 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, Alabama. He spent several days in Meridian in
thoroughly 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 because 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 1st as expected, had not left until the
11th.  Smith did meet Forrest, but the result was decidedly in Forrest's

Sherman had written a letter to Banks, proposing a co-operative movement
with him against Shreveport, subject to my approval.  I disapproved of
Sherman's going himself, because I had other important 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

My eldest son, who had accompanied me on the Vicksburg campaign and
siege, had while there contracted 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
permitted 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 regularly with all parts of my division and with Washington,
just as though I had remained at Nashville.

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
threatening 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 Johnston 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 directed 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 movement 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 Burnside until Schofield relieved him
(*21), 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, adopting that view,
countermanded the orders for pursuit of Longstreet.

On the 12th 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 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 22d 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 Longstreet 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
success, 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 became a law on the 26th of February.  My
nomination 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 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 concurrence."

To this I replied:  "Mr. President, I accept the commission, with
gratitude for the high honor conferred.  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 responsibilities 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 10th I visited the headquarters of the Army of the Potomac at
Brandy Station; then returned to Washington, and pushed west at once to
make my arrangements for turning over the commands there and giving
general directions for the preparations to be made for the spring

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
situation 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 headquarters 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 importance to the whole
nation that the feeling or wishes of no one person should stand in the
way of selecting 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 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
command of all the armies, was in supreme command of the Army of the
Potomac--except from the authorities at Washington.  All other general
officers 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 necessity 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
11th I returned to Washington 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 before to return to my old command in
the West and to meet Sherman whom I had telegraphed to join me in

Sherman assumed command of the military division 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
losing 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 command 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
restoration to duty of officers who had been relieved from important
commands, namely McClellan, Burnside 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 Cleveland
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 campaign 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. (*22) The plan therefore was for Sherman to attack Johnston and
destroy his army if possible, to capture Atlanta 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 Confederacy 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 lands.

In regard to restoring officers who had been relieved 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 directed,
however, that he should make no assignment 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 degradation to accept
the assignment offered.  I understood 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 old 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 Culpeper Court-House, a few miles south of the
headquarters 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
favorably 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 between Lincoln and Douglas a few years before, when they were
rival candidates for the United States Senate.  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 Congress, 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 himself to use all the power of the government in rendering
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 between 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 suggest that the same streams would protect
Lee's flanks while he was shutting us up.

I did not communicate my plans to the President, nor did I to the
Secretary of War or to General 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 substantially 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, Washington 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 enemy.

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 reported to Sherman and were subject to his orders.  This
arrangement, however, insured the better protection 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 respective jurisdictions without
awaiting the orders of the division commander.

In the East the opposing forces stood in substantially 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 Northern 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
dissatisfaction with whatever victories were gained because 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 commanded 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 narrow,
and very bad after the least rain.  Such an enemy was not, of course,
unprepared with adequate fortifications 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
discipline 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 General 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 reinforcement.  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 Chattanooga. Beside these main armies the
Confederates 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 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, Johnston's army and Atlanta being his objective
points. (*23)  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 Tennessee 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 through that channel as well while advancing as by remaining
near Harper's Ferry.  Every mile he advanced also gave us possession of
stores on which Lee relied.  Butler was to advance by the James River,
having Richmond and Petersburg as his objective.

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 invited his views.
They were very much such as I intended to direct, and as I did direct
(*24), 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
accomplishing 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 day, and on his arrival was assigned
to the command of the cavalry corps with the Army of the Potomac.  This
relieved General 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 commander.

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 objective.

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. (*25)  If by his right--my left--the
Potomac, Chesapeake Bay and tributaries would furnish us an easy hauling
distance 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 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 supplies 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 capture
the forts or any part of the garrison.  On the first intelligence of
Forrest's raid I telegraphed Sherman 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.

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 garrison 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 approximate 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 demonstrate to the Northern
people that negro soldiers cannot cope with Southerners."  Subsequently
Forrest 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 Arkansas.  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 himself 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 part in the programme as laid down. Nor was Smith
returned until long after the movements of May, 1864, had been begun.
The services 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
expedition 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 expedition.

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 Rappahannock.  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
Richmond.  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 conjunction 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
moving the army there on transports.  Richmond was fortified and
intrenched so perfectly that one man inside to defend was more than
equal to five outside 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 reinforce
it, and with the balance moved on to Washington. 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 occasion, 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 Warrenton Junction, a heavy cloud of
dust was seen to the east of the road as 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 minutes 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
supposed.  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 detachment in the rear of
an opposing army, and so near the border of hostilities, as long as he
did without 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 ordered 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 advancing 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
distance south, through the battle in the Wilderness and, I think, to
Spottsylvania. He was accompanied 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 expressed 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 regularity 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 correspondents 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 corresponding 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,
however, 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 headquarters.  A short time before midnight I gave him verbal
instructions for the night.  Three days later I read in a Richmond paper
a verbatim report of these instructions.

A few nights still later (after the first, and possibly after the
second, day's fighting in the Wilderness) General Meade came to my tent
for consultation, 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 conversation 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
conversation 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 question 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.



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
produce 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 eliminated the use of forty thousand veterans
whose cooperation 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 announcement
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 Tennessee
Railroad at Dublin and destroyed a depot of supplies, besides tearing up
several miles of road and burning the bridge over New River.  Having
accomplished this they recrossed the Alleghanies to Meadow Bluffs and
there awaited further orders.

Butler embarked at Fort Monroe with all his command, 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 enemy.

This was the accomplishment of the first step contemplated in my
instructions to Butler.  He was to act from here, looking to Richmond as
his objective point.  I had given him to understand that I should aim to
fight Lee between the Rapidan and Richmond if he would stand; but should
Lee fall back into Richmond I would follow up and make a junction of the
armies of the Potomac and the James on the James River.  He was directed
to secure a footing 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
neglected to attack Petersburg, which was almost defenceless.  About the
11th he advanced slowly until he reached the works at Drury's Bluff,
about half way between Bermuda Hundred and Richmond.  In the mean time
Beauregard had been gathering reinforcements.  On the 16th he attacked
Butler with great vigor, and with such success as to limit very
materially the further usefulness of the Army of the James as a distinct
factor in the campaign.  I afterward 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 already gained and maintain a
threatening front toward the rear of the Confederate capital.

The position which General Butler had chosen between the two rivers, the
James and Appomattox, 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 protected by
the James River, his left by the Appomattox, 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 for General Butler's movement in co-operation with mine,
now that I was getting so near Richmond; or, if I could not, whether his
position was strong enough to justify me in withdrawing some of his
troops and having them brought round by water to White House to join me
and reinforce the Army of the Potomac.  General Barnard reported the
position very strong for defensive purposes, 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 between 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.  He replied that it was
impracticable, because the enemy had substantially the same line 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 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 attract attention--as
this did, very much to the annoyance, 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 history; 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 trying period of the war for the
preservation of the Union. General Butler certainly gave his very
earnest support to the war; and he gave his own best efforts personally
to the suppression of the rebellion.

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
intimately associated and connected as to be substantially 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 operations 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 Rapidan.

On the 8th of May, just after the battle of the Wilderness and when we
were moving on Spottsylvania 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, Charlottesville 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 telegraphic 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 expected.  It was
sixteen days before he got back to the Army of the Potomac.

The course Sheridan took was directly to Richmond.  Before night Stuart,
commanding the Confederate cavalry, came on to the rear of his command.
But the advance kept on, crossed the North Anna, and at Beaver Dam, a
station on the Virginia Central Railroad, recaptured four hundred Union
prisoners on their way to Richmond, destroyed the road and used and
destroyed a large amount of subsistence and medical stores.

Stuart, seeing that our cavalry was pushing towards Richmond, abandoned
the pursuit on the morning of the 10th and, by a detour and an
exhausting 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 11th arrived in
Stuart's front.  A severe engagement ensued 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 captured.

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 having subsided troops
were sent out to attack his rear.

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 Confederates he found there. The enemy
was held back from the stream by the fire of the troops not engaged in
bridge building.

On the 13th 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 17th, 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 improvised and the cavalry crossed
over it.  On the 22d 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 captured 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 weeks.



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

The movements of the armies, as I have stated in a former chapter, were
to be simultaneous, I fixing 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 preparing for the task which
was assigned him to accomplish in the spring campaign.  McPherson lay at
Huntsville with about twenty-four thousand men, guarding those points of
Tennessee which were regarded as most worth holding; Thomas, with over
sixty thousand men of the Army of the Cumberland, 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 himself 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 starting, an accumulation of supplies
forward to Chattanooga, 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 supplies.  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
mountainous all the way to Atlanta, abounding in mountain 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 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 Sherman there and prevent him from getting any further.  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 Sherman's 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

Then, again, Sherman had lent Banks two divisions 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 absorb troops to
no purpose to the end of the war.  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 narrowing 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 Johnston, 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 Johnston'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 railroad for
all of his supplies, and as of course the railroad 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 mountainous 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
contrary, weeks were spent at some; and about Atlanta more than a month
was consumed.

It was the 23d of May before the road was finished up to the rear of
Sherman's army and the pursuit 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 preparations 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 fortified, 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 particularly with the cavalry.  By the 4th of
June Johnston found that he was being hemmed in so rapidly that he drew
off and Allatoona was left in our possession.

Allatoona, being an important place, was strongly intrenched for
occupation by our troops before advancing farther, and made a secondary
base of supplies.  The railroad was finished up to that point, the
intrenchments completed, storehouses 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 divisions of veterans who had been on

Johnston had fallen back to Marietta and Kenesaw 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 considerable 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 enemy'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.  Sherman
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

About the 5th of July he was besieged again, Sherman getting easy
possession of the Chattahoochee 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

Here Johnston made a stand until the 17th, 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 commanding.  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 part, 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

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 commanders, the enemy was
about to assume the offensive.  On the 20th he came out and attacked the
Army of the Cumberland most furiously.  Hooker's 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
22d.  At first the battle went very much in favor of the Confederates,
our troops being somewhat surprised.  While our troops were advancing
they were struck in flank, and their flank was enveloped.  But they had
become too thorough veterans to be thrown into irreparable confusion by
an unexpected attack when off their guard, and soon they were in order
and engaging the enemy, with the advantage now of knowing where their
antagonist was.  The field of battle continued to expand until it
embraced about seven miles of ground.  Finally, however, and before
night, the enemy was driven back into the city (*26).

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.  Rousseau 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 22d 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. 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

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 unsuccessful 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 prisoners about Andersonville. There were painful
stories 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 sympathy
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 reporting 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 movement 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 Sherman 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 exceedingly reprehensible.

About the same time Wheeler got upon our railroad north of Resaca and
destroyed it nearly up to Dalton.  This cut Sherman off from
communication with the North for several days.  Sherman responded to
this attack on his lines of communication 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 22d.  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 movement on the
25th of August, and on the 1st of September 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 valuable in our hands, and

The next morning at daylight General H. W. Slocum, who was commanding
north of the city, moved in and took possession of Atlanta, and notified
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 extending out of the city for
some distance to the right.

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 general who
commanded and the army which had executed it. Sherman had on this
campaign some bright, wide-awake division and brigade commanders whose
alertness added a host to the efficiency of his command.

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
number of these traders to one for each of his three armies.

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 Republicans 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 North.



Soon after midnight, May 3d-4th, the Army of the Potomac moved out from
its position north Rapidan, to start upon that memorable campaign,
destined to result in the capture of the Confederate 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, single season.  The losses
inflicted, and endured, were destined to be severe; but the armies now
confronting each other had already been in deadly conflict 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
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 capture
Philadelphia, New York, and the National 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 contemplation by the loyal
North. They had also come near losing their own capital on at least one
occasion.  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 single year,
and to accomplish all that had been anticipated 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 haversacks, 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 crossings 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 infantry except along the roads.  All
bridges were naturally destroyed before the National troops came to

The Army of the Potomac was composed of three infantry and one cavalry
corps, commanded respectively by Generals W. S. Hancock, G. K. Warren,
(*27) 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 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 division 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 cavalry 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 undoubtedly a surprise to Lee.  The
fact that the movement was unopposed proves this.

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

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 Rapidan 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

There are two roads, good for that part of Virginia, 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 are also roads from east of the battle-field
running to Spottsylvania Court House, one from Chancellorsville,
branching at Aldrich's; the western branch going by Piney Branch Church,
Alsop's, 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 direct, 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 parallel to the Wilderness.  This gave him unusual facilities,
for that country, for concentrating his forces to his right.  These
roads strike the road from Germania Ford in the Wilderness.

As soon as the crossing of the infantry was assured, the cavalry pushed
forward, Wilson's division by Wilderness Tavern to Parker's store, on
the Orange Plank Road; Gregg to the left towards Chancellorsville.
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
sundown.  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 evening 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 division 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 ammunition, 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 afternoon and
night in a deserted house near the river.

Orders had been given, long before this movement 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 before.

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 1.15 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 intrenchments at Mine Run.

Here at night dispatches were received announcing 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, Longstreet to follow on the
same road.  Longstreet was at this time--middle of the afternoon--at
Gordonsville, 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 bivouacking 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 Parker's 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 roads.

Burnside had moved promptly on the 4th, on receiving 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
5th.  Meade moved his headquarters on to Old Wilderness 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.  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 position 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, commanded 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 remained 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 Mexican war, a portion of the time in the same regiment.
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 division of cavalry to Todd's
Tavern in search of Wilson.  This was fortunate.  He found Wilson
engaged 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 aggressive.
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 Wadsworth, 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 threatening his left flank, sent a division of infantry, commanded
by General Barlow, with all his artillery, to cover the approaches by
which Longstreet was expected.  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 confusion.

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 confusion 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 ordered to attack, but was not
able to accomplish much.

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 happened
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 respective 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 position until, along in the afternoon,
Longstreet came upon him.  The retreating column of Hill meeting
reinforcements that had not yet been engaged, became encouraged and
returned with them.  They were enabled, from the density of the forest,
to approach within a few hundred yards of our advance before being
discovered.  Falling upon a brigade of Hancock's 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 intrenched.  In this engagement
the intrepid Wadsworth 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 command 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 purpose of
reforming.  Hancock sent a brigade to clear his front of all remnants
that might be left of Longstreet'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 fury.  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 Hancock's

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
maintained for about half an hour.  Then a part of Mott's division and
Ward's brigade of Birney's division 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
temporary.  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 confusion, and his personal
efforts failed to restore order.  These facts, however, were learned
subsequently, 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 exhausted their ammunition and
did not have time to replenish from the train, which was at some

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 front.

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

The troops on Sedgwick's right had been sent to enforce our left.  This
left our right in danger of being turned, and us of being cut off from
all present base of supplies.  Sedgwick had refused his right and
intrenched it for protection against attack.  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 precautions 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, engaged, 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 Germania 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 intrenched 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 forward on the
timber.  Thus the digging they did counted in making a depression to
stand in, and increased the elevation in front of them.  It was
wonderful 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 telegraph and signal corps.  Nothing could be
more complete than the organization and discipline of this body of brave
and intelligent men.  Insulated wires--insulated 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
telegraph 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 headquarters, 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 brigade 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 intervals the wire would be attached to
trees, or some other permanent object, so that one pole was sufficient
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 headquarters 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 telegraph.

The signal service was used on the march.  The men composing this corps
were assigned to specified 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 sometimes take too long a time to
make translations of intercepted dispatches for us to receive any
benefit from them.  But sometimes they gave useful information.

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 rapidly to Richmond to crush Butler before I could get there.

My order for this movement was as follows:

HEADQUARTERS ARMIES OF THE U. S., May 7, 1864, 6.30 A.M.


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

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 destination.

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.

U. S. GRANT, Lieut.-General.

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 withdrew from the
front of the enemy, and was soon followed by Sedgwick.  Warren's march
carried him immediately behind the works where Hancock's command 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 Hancock's 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 cheering 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 indicate 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 Richmond 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 Longstreet's corps--now commanded by Anderson--to
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 Lee's orders had been obeyed as given; but it is certain 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 Rapidan 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 before 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 Sheridan 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 cavalry 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 commanded by Cutler--drove the enemy back some

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
support.  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, received 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 engagement.  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
perceptions, 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 acquainted with my move, but
still thought that the Army of the Potomac had gone to Fredericksburg.
Indeed, he informed the authorities at Richmond he had possession of
Spottsylvania and was on my flank. Anderson was in possession of
Spottsylvania, through no foresight of Lee, however.  Early only found
that he had been following us when he ran 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 route.

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 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 confronting the enemy.  This hour, and Hancock's capacity to
use his whole force when necessary, would, no doubt, have enabled him to
crush Anderson before 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 position, 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 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.  Warren and Hancock came by
the Brock Road.  Sedgwick crossed the Ny at Catharpin Furnace. Burnside
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 Willcox's 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 between 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
were 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
Burnside 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 Hancock's corps, Mott commanding, was left at Todd's when
the corps first came up; but in the afternoon 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 sharpshooters.  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 corps.

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.  Accordingly on the morning of the 10th, 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
extreme 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 10th, 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

Lee had weakened the other parts of his line to meet this movement of
Hancock's, and I determined 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 Warren, 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 himself.  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

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 Hancock's corps, to move simultaneously.
The movement was prompt, and in a few minutes the fiercest of struggles
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.

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 decided, but the advantage was
lost by the feeble action of Mott.  Upton with his assaulting party
pushed forward and crossed the enemy's intrenchments.  Turning 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 Hancock, 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 prisoners 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 officers on the field for special acts of gallantry.  By this
authority I conferred the rank of brigadier-general upon Upton on the
spot, and this act was confirmed 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, completely 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 fighting 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 separated 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 position.

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 11th there was no battle and but little firing; none except by
Mott who made a reconnoissance to ascertain if there was a weak point in
the enemy's line.

I wrote the following letter to General Halleck:

NEAR SPOTTSYLVANIA C. H., May 11, 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 result 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 four
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.

U. S. GRANT, Lieut.-General.

And also, I received information, through the War Department, from
General Butler that his cavalry under Kautz had cut the railroad south
of Petersburg, 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 executed in the
manner I have already described.



In the reconnoissance made by Mott on the 11th, a salient was discovered
at the right centre. I determined that an assault should be made at that
point. (*28) 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 heavily, and the road was
difficult, so that it was midnight when he reached the point where he
was to 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 (*29) 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.  Hancock 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 receiving information from all points.
Hancock put 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
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
reinforce 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

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 brigade and one regiment, with heavy losses
elsewhere.(*30)  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 intrenched 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 remaining 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 unmistakable
signs of being strongly Union that I 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

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 position 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 division.

During this day I wrote to Washington recommending Sherman and Meade
(*31) for promotion to the grade of Major-General in the regular army;
Hancock 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 appointment had to be
confirmed by the Senate on the nomination 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 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
Wright's 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 14th-15th 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 communication with the outside except by courier.  This
condition of affairs, however, was of but short duration.

I wrote Halleck:

NEAR SPOTTSYLVANIA C. H., May 16, 1864, 8 A.M.


We have had five days almost constant rain without any prospect yet of
it clearing up.  The roads have now become so impassable that ambulances
with wounded men can no longer run between here and Fredericksburg.  All
offensive operations necessarily 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.

U. S. GRANT, Lieut.-General.

The condition of the roads was such that nothing was done on the 17th.
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
discouraging 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, relieved, 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
cooperation of the navy in changing our base of supplies from
Fredericksburg to Port Royal, on the Rappahannock.

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 Ewell'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 Kitching'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

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.

Warren had been ordered to get on Ewell's flank and in his rear, to cut
him off from his intrenchments.  But 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 by 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 General
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.
Beauregard had come up from the south with troops to guard the
Confederate capital when it was in danger.  Butler being driven back,
most of the troops could be sent to Lee. Hoke was no longer needed in
North Carolina; and Sigel's troops having gone back to Cedar Creek,
whipped, many troops could be spared from the valley.

The Wilderness and Spottsylvania battles convinced me that we had more
artillery than could ever be brought into action at any one time.  It
occupied much of the road in marching, and taxed the trains in bringing
up forage.  Artillery is very useful 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 advantageously used.  In fact, before reaching the James River
I again reduced the artillery with the army largely.

I believed that, if one corps of the army was exposed 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:

NEAR SPOTTSYLVANIA C. H., VA., May 18, 1864.

MAJOR-GENERAL MEADE, 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 general 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 intrench.

Suitable directions will at once be given for all trains and surplus
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
cultivated.  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 officers 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 speedily driven away, and several hundred captured.  Warren
followed on the morning of the 21st, and reached Guiney's Station that
night without molestation.  Burnside and Wright were retained at
Spottsylvania to keep up the appearance of an intended assault, and to
hold Lee, if possible, while Hancock and Warren should get start enough
to interpose 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 opportunity.  He seemed really to be misled as to my designs; but
moved by his interior line--the Telegraph Road--to make sure of keeping
between his capital and the Army of the Potomac.  He never again had
such an opportunity of dealing a heavy blow.

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 without an attempt to dislodge the
enemy.  The night of the 21st 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 Wright's 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 22d 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 during the 22d.  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

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
five 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

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.

U. S. GRANT, 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 sharpshooters.
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 artillery
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 following, 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 prisoners
left in our hands. By night Wright's corps was up ready to reinforce

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 intrenched, on the north side.  Hancock sent
two brigades, Egan's and Pierce's, to the right and left, and when
properly disposed they charged simultaneously.  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.  Several hundred
prisoners were captured.  The hour was so late that Hancock did not
cross until next morning.

Burnside's corps was moved by a middle road running between those
described above, and which strikes the North Anna at Ox Ford, midway
between 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 heavily.  When joined to Warren's corps he
was no further molested.  Burnside still guarded Ox Ford from the north

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 reinforced, largely. About this
time the very troops whose coming I had predicted, had arrived or were
coming in.  Pickett with a full division from Richmond 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 22d or 23d I received dispatches from Washington saying that
Sherman had taken Kingston, 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 25th 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 possible, living upon the
country and cutting the railroads 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
unless 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 Richmond.  I had no expectation now, however, of succeeding 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

On the 26th I informed the government at Washington of the position of
the two armies; of the reinforcements the enemy had received; of the
move I proposed to make (*32); and directed that our base of supplies
should be shifted to White House, on the Pamunkey.  The wagon train and
guards moved directly from Port Royal to White House.  Supplies moved
around by water, guarded by the navy.  Orders had previously been sent,
through Halleck, 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 accomplish it, I issued the following order:

QUARLES' MILLS, VA., May 25, 1864.


Direct Generals Warren and Wright to withdraw all their teams and
artillery, not in position, to the north side of the river to-morrow.
Send that belonging to General Wright's corps as far on the road to
Hanover Town as it can go, without attracting attention 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 5th and 6th corps.  Hancock 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.  I think
it would be well to make a heavy cavalry demonstration on the enemy's
left, to-morrow afternoon, also.

U. S. GRANT, 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 army.

Under cover of night our right wing was withdrawn to the north side of
the river, Lee being completely deceived by Wilson's feint.  On the
afternoon 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 impression 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 prisoners.  Thus a position was secured south of the Pamunkey.

Russell stopped at the crossing while the cavalry pushed on to Hanover
Town.  Here Barringer's, formerly Gordon's, brigade of rebel cavalry was
encountered, 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 recrossed; then taking up
the pontoons and destroying 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 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 movement 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 Richmond.  There are two roads
leading there; the most direct and shortest one crossing the
Chickahominy at Meadow Bridge, near the Virginia Central 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 Burnside's 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 reconnoitre towards
Mechanicsville to find Lee's position.  At Hawes' Shop, just where the
middle road leaves the direct road to Richmond, he encountered the
Confederate cavalry dismounted and partially intrenched.  Gregg attacked
with his division, 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
successful, 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, because our
infantry was near.

On the 29th a reconnoissance was made in force, to find the position of
Lee.  Wright's 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 Burnside was held in reserve. Our advance was
pushed forward three miles on the left with but little fighting.  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 Totopotomoy, 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 Warren 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.

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 HAWES' SHOP, VA., 6.40 P.M., May 30, 1864.


General Smith will debark his force at the White House tonight 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. Sheridan 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

I want Sheridan to send a cavalry force of at least half a brigade, if
not a whole brigade, at 5 A.M. in the morning, to communicate 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 precautions that would be
taken to protect him.

The night of the 30th Lee's position was substantially from Atlee's
Station on the Virginia Central Railroad south and east to the vicinity
of Cold Harbor.  Ours was:  The left of Warren's corps was on the Shady
Grove Road, extending to the Mechanicsville Road and about three miles
south of the Totopotomoy.  Burnside to his right, then Hancock, and
Wright on the extreme right, extending 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 skirmish with Young's cavalry brigade.  The
enemy attacked 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 determined 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 commenced 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

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 1st 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

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
1st 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 division
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 movement 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 1st of June Anderson, who commanded the corps on
Lee's left, was seen moving along Warren's front.  Warren was ordered to
attack him vigorously 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 forgotten 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 capturing seven or eight hundred prisoners.

While this was going on, the enemy charged Warren 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 Warren 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 attacks with the view of
dispossessing us of the important position we had gained, but without
effecting their object.

Hancock was moved from his place in line during the night and ordered to
the left of Wright.  I expected 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
occurred, 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.  Sherman, in his
memoirs, relates an anecdote of his campaign to Atlanta that well
illustrates this point.  The rebel cavalry lurking in his rear to burn
bridges and obstruct his communications had become so disgusted at
hearing trains go whistling by within a few hours after a bridge had
been burned, that they proposed 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 powder."

Sheridan was engaged reconnoitring the banks of the Chickahominy, to
find crossings and the condition 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 reinforce more
threatened points by drawing from that quarter or if a favorable
opportunity should present itself.

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.  Notwithstanding all the
resistance of the enemy and the natural obstructions to overcome, he
carried a position 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
artillery had been captured here, and several hundred prisoners.  The
guns were immediately turned against the men who had just been using
them.  No (*33) 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 running towards his front, sufficiently deep
to protect men in it from cross fire, and somewhat from a direct 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 advanced 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 disposition to leave his defences far behind

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 different 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 cooperation of
Hancock's and Smith's corps.  Smith 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.


Commanding A. P.

The opinion of corps commanders not being sanguine of success in case an
assault is ordered, you may direct a suspension of farther advance for
the present.  Hold our most advanced positions and strengthen them.
Whilst on the defensive our line may be contracted from the right if

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 effectually it will be better to keep the enemy out of the
intrenchments 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.

U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.

The remainder of the day was spent in strengthening 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 without 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 dictate that some
provision should be made to provide against such 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.

U. S. GRANT, Lieut.-General.

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 answered
this immediately by saying:

COLD HARBOR, VA., June 6, 1864.

GENERAL R. E. 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.

U. S. GRANT, Lieut.-General.

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, 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 suspension 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 extended to such parties as you may wish to
send out on the same duty without further application.

U. S. GRANT, 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

COLD HARBOR, VA., 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 delivered,
after the hour which had been given for the removal of the dead and
wounded had expired; 10.45 P.M. was the hour 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
understanding.  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 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 nugatory, I remain,

U. S. GRANT, 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 22d of May,
1863, at Vicksburg.  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, endurance, 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 Mississippi,
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 tropical 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 elsewhere 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 comfort.



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. (*34)
Preparations for this were promptly commenced. The move was a hazardous
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 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 relief.  Then too he might spare
troops enough to send against Hunter who was approaching Lynchburg,
living upon the country he passed through, and without ammunition
further than what he carried 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 with 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 communicate with Hunter and to
break up the Virginia Central Railroad and the James River Canal, on the
7th of June, taking instructions to Hunter to come back with him (*35).
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 importance to the enemy,
furnishing and carrying a large per cent. of all the supplies for the
Army of Northern Virginia and the people of Richmond.  Before Sheridan
got off on the 7th news was received from Hunter reporting his advance
to Staunton and successful 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 extended his left now to the Chickahominy,
and Warren was withdrawn to Cold Harbor.  Wright was directed 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

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.  Halleck was at this time instructed to send all
reinforcements to City Point.

On the 11th I wrote:

COLD HARBOR, VA., June 11, 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 crossing 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 the Chickahominy to take to you the 18th corps.  The corps will leave
its position in the trenches as early in the evening, tomorrow, 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 balance 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 Point.

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, going by the way of Richmond.

The balance of the force will not be more than one day behind, unless
detained by the whole of Lee's army, in which case you will be strong

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, however, 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 what 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.

U. S. GRANT, Lieut.-General.

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.


COLD HARBOR, VA., June 11,1864.

MAJOR-GENERAL G. G. MEADE, 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

The movement will be made as heretofore agreed upon, that is, the 18th
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 5th 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.

U. S. GRANT, Lieut.-General.

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


About this time word was received (through the Richmond papers of the
11th) that Crook and Averell had united and were moving east.  This,
with the news of Hunter's 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 Lee's
communications and supplies. Much of his cavalry was sent after
Sheridan, and Early with Ewell's entire corps was sent to the Valley.
Supplies 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

On the 12th 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 behind, and drove away the cavalry pickets.  A pontoon 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 advance that
might be made from the other side.  Warren followed the cavalry, and by
the morning of the 13th 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 cavalry.

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 emergency.  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

As soon as Warren's corps was over the Chickahominy 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 commenced 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--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 progress of the campaign about 40,000 reinforcements were
received.  At the crossing of the James River June 14th-15th the army
numbered about 115,000.  Besides the ordinary losses incident to a
campaign of six weeks' nearly constant fighting or skirmishing, about
one-half of the artillery was sent back to Washington, and many men were
discharged by reason 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, hospital 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
leading to our flanks and rear.  We were also operating in a country
unknown to us, and without competent guides or maps showing the roads

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 (*36) 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 pay.

Estimated in the same manner as ours, Lee had not less than 80,000 men
at the start.  His reinforcements 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 natural 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
circumstances 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 estimated 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
uncommon 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, except 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 vessels 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 gunboats 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, and 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 purpose of directing a movement against
Petersburg, while our troops of the Army of the Potomac were crossing.

I had sent General W. F. Smith back from Cold Harbor by the way of White
House, thence on steamers to City Point for 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 Confederate 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 position.

I returned down the river to where 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
Petersburg; 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 Hancock's 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 received a note from General W. F. Smith, asking him to come on.
This seems to be the first information 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.

Smith arrived in front of the enemy's lines early in the forenoon of the
15th, 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 distance 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 possession 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 command 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 assaults.

Up to this time Beauregard, who had commanded south of Richmond, had
received no reinforcements, except Hoke's division from Drury's
Bluff,(*37) which 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 17th 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.  During the night, however, Beauregard fell back
to the line which had been already selected, and commenced fortifying
it.  Our troops advanced on the 18th 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 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 detached 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 the 18th, 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 Weldon road.  The enemy passed in
between these two corps and attacked vigorously, and with very serious
results to the National troops, who were then withdrawn from their
advanced position.

The Army of the Potomac was given the investment of Petersburg, while
the Army of the James held Bermuda Hundred and all the ground we
possessed 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 Staunton where he captured a great many prisoners, besides
killing and wounding a good many men.  After the battle he formed a
junction at Staunton with Averell and Crook, who had come up from the
Kanawha, or Gauley River.  It was supposed, 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
Potomac.  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 divisions, 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 movement 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 commence 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 11th, Sheridan moved into Trevilian Station, and
the following day proceeded to tear up the road east and west.  There
was considerable 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 some of
the prisoners he had captured here, that General Hunter was about
Lynchburg, 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 12th, 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 Trevilian, and these necessarily fell into
the hands of the enemy.

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 22d of June, bringing the garrison 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 division 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, Wilson'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 repaired.

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 wished.

General Hunter who had been appointed to succeed 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 enemy'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, 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 the way of the Gauley and Kanawha rivers, thence up
the Ohio River, returning 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
surplus 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 precarious, and Wallace moved with
commendable promptitude 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 reception.  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.  Finding that
Wallace had gone to the front with his command, 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 11th.

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 about
Richmond, had about this time arrived at Fortress 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 11th.  The 19th
corps was commanded by Major-General Emory.

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 commenced to retreat,
Wright following.  There is no telling how much this 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 command of some of our cavalry in Mississippi
and handled him very roughly, gaining a very great victory over him.
This left Forrest free to go almost where he pleased, and to cut the
roads in rear of Sherman who was then advancing.  Sherman was abundantly
able to look after the army 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.  Two
divisions under A. J. Smith had been sent to Banks in Louisiana some
months before.  Sherman ordered these back, with directions 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 substance;
but receiving my directions for this order to Smith, he repeated it.

On the 25th of June General Burnside had commenced 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 position 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 bottom of this ravine the work commenced.  The position was
unfavorable in this particular: that the enemy's line at that point was
re-entering, so that its front was commanded by their own lines both to
the right and left.  Then, too, the ground was sloping upward back of
the Confederate line for a considerable 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.

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

I concluded, then, a few days later, to do something in the way of
offensive movement myself, having 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 Hancock's 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 destroy 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 (*38) on the 24th directing how I wanted the assault conducted,
which orders he amplified into general 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 necessary.  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, requiring 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 balance 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 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 perfectly so far as making
ready was concerned.  Burnside 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 Burnside selected it to
make the assault.  Meade interfered 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

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, commenced 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 Petersburg, 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 precaution 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 expected 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 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, before Lee could get his forces
back, to destroy fifteen or twenty miles of the Weldon Railroad.  But
misfortunes 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 Potomac, then he sent McCausland across to
Chambersburg, Pa., to destroy that town.  Chambersburg 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 storehouse 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
heretofore to guard that outlet to the north, partly because of the
incompetency of some of the commanders, 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 to this.  I started Sheridan at once for that field of
operation, and on the following day sent another division of his

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 1st of August when I sent reinforcements
for the protection of Washington, I sent the following orders:


August 1, 1864, 11.30 A.M.


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

U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.

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, operating against Early, and sent me the following very
characteristic dispatch:

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 direction.  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 Hunter's 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 Harper's 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 scattered 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. (*39)  I told him that
Sheridan was in Washington, and still another division was on its way;
and suggested that he establish the headquarters 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 entirely.  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 better 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, giving him, at the same time, the
written instructions which had been prepared for General 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 Pennsylvania 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 would.

To prevent as much as possible these reinforcements 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 tolerably hard
fighting; although it was my object and my instructions that anything
like a battle should be avoided, unless opportunities should present
themselves 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 quarter, 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 supposed had gone to
the valley was still at Richmond, because we had captured six or seven
hundred prisoners 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 Sherman, who was now near
Atlanta, wanted reinforcements.  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

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 Petersburg 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 attempts to dislodge
Warren's corps, but without success, and with heavy loss.

As soon as Warren was fortified and reinforcements 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
Railroad as having been lost to him; but along about the 24th or 25th he
made renewed attempts to recapture 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 went out of our possession
from the 18th of August to the close of the war.



We had our troops on the Weldon Railroad contending against a large
force that regarded 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
detachments 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 points.

On the 10th 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 infantry and a
considerable cavalry force to strengthen Early.  It was important that
Sheridan should be informed of this, so I sent the information to
Washington 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 messenger, 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 defensive.

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 Washington, 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 pocket.

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, provisions and
rations for the men were wanted, trains would be made up to deliver the
stores to the commissaries and quartermasters encamped at Winchester.
Knowing that he, in making preparations to move at a given day, would
have to bring up wagons trains from Harper's Ferry, I asked him if he
could be ready to get off by the following Tuesday.  This was on Friday.
"O Yes," he said, he "could be off before daylight on Monday."  I told
him then to make the attack at that time and according to his own plan;
and I immediately started to return to the army about Richmond.  After
visiting 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 and I told him I thought that by the Wednesday he
might send his workmen out on his road.  I gave him no further
information however, and he had no suspicion of how I expected to have
the road cleared for his workmen.

Sheridan moved at the time he had fixed upon.  He met Early at the
crossing of Opequon Creek, a most decisive victory--one which the
country.  Early had invited this attack 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 other divisions (leaving but two in their
camps) to march to Martinsburg for the purpose 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 information.  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 extended across.  But Sheridan turned both his flanks
and again sent him speeding up the valley, following 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 deserters.  Finally,
on the 25th, Early turned from the valley eastward, leaving Sheridan at
Harrisonburg 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 required 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 victory.

I had reason to believe that the administration was a little afraid to
have a decisive battle at that time, for fear it might go against us and
have a bad effect on the November elections. The convention which had
met and made its nomination of the Democratic candidate for the
presidency had declared the war a failure.  Treason was talked as boldly
in Chicago at that convention as ever been in Charleston.  It was a
question whether the government would then have had the power to make
arrests and punish those who 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 President 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 army.  Cass was pursuing the Indians so closely that the
first thing he knew he found himself in 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 President 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 Chaffin's
Bluff; Birney with the 10th 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, however, they were unsuccessful.

The enemy's lines were very strong and very intricate. 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 succeeded 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 assigned to the
command of the 18th corps.  During the night Lee reinforced his troops
about Fort Gilmer, which was at the right of Fort Harrison, by eight
additional brigades from Petersburg, 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 assaults upon us General Stannard, a gallant
officer who was defending Fort Harrison, lost an arm. Our casualties
during these operations amounted to 394 killed, I,554 wounded and 324

Whilst this was going on General Meade was instructed 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 scattering 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 Warren, 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 themselves, intrenching a new line about a mile in front of
the enemy.  This advanced Warren's position on the Weldon Railroad very

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 reduction of his own force, the surplus to be
sent where it could be of more use.  I approved of his suggestion, 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 Washington 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 expectations, 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 there.

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 number 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

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 follows:

CITY POINT, VA., October 14, 1864.--12.30 P.M.


What I want is for you to threaten the Virginia Central Railroad 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 defensive operations.  You need not therefore send
here more than one division of cavalry.

U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.

Sheridan having been summoned to Washington City, started on the 15th
leaving Wright in command.  His army was then at Cedar Creek, some
twenty miles south of Winchester.  The next morning while at Front
Royal, Sheridan received a dispatch from Wright, saying that a dispatch
from Longstreet to Early had been intercepted.  It directed 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 cavalry up
the valley to join Wright.

On the 18th 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 maintained a firm and steady front, falling
back to Middletown where it took a position and made a stand.  The
cavalry went to the rear, seized the roads leading 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 members 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, reminding them that they were going the wrong way.
His presence soon restored confidence.  Finding themselves 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.
Everything 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
commanded from first to last.

On more than one occasion in these engagements General R. B. Hayes, who
succeeded me as President of the United States, bore a very honorable
part.  His conduct on the field was marked by conspicuous 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
Congress, ought to be scalped."  Having entered the army as a Major of
Volunteers at the beginning of the war, General Hayes attained by
meritorious service the rank of Brevet Major-General before its close.

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 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 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 advanced of our troops not
getting nearer than within six miles of the point aimed for.  Seeing the
impossibility 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 demonstration on the north side of
the James River in order to support this move, by detaining there the
Confederate troops who were on that side. He succeeded 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 coming up against
their lines in place.

This closed active operations around Richmond for the winter. Of course
there was frequent skirmishing between pickets, but no serious battle
was fought near either Petersburg or Richmond. It would prolong this
work to give a detailed account 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 expectation,
at the time, that in the final operations Hancock 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 support 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 accompany 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 22d. 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 show, 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 unmeasured terms, even insinuating that their
loyalty to the Southern cause was doubtful.  So far as General Johnston
is concerned, I think Davis did him a great injustice in this
particular.  I had know 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 espoused.  There, as I have said,
I think that his policy was the best one that could have been pursued 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 government with soldiers to
back it, and the war could have been protracted, no matter to what
extent 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 Georgia 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 people.  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

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 Tennessee and
Kentucky which Mr. Davis had assured his hearers at Palmetto and Macon
would take place.  He ordered Forrest (about the ablest cavalry general
in the South) north for this purpose; and Forrest 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 number of transports,
something the accomplishment of which is very hard to account for.
Hood's army had been weakened by Governor Brown's withdrawing 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 excellent 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 reinforcements 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 information 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 10th I telegraphed Sherman as follows:

CITY POINT, VA., Sept. 10, 1864.


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 matter.

U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-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

On the 12th I sent a special messenger, one of my own staff, with a
letter inviting Sherman's views about the next campaign.

CITY POINT, VA., Sept. 12, 1864.

MAJOR-GENERAL W. T.  SHERMAN, Commanding Mill Division of the

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 forward 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 Wilmington.

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 everything can be got ready.  It will probably be
the 5th of October before any of the plans herein indicated will be

If you have any promotions to recommend, send the names forward and I
will approve them. * * *

U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.

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 arranged
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.


I have directed all recruits and new troops from the Western States to
be sent to Nashville, to receive their further orders from you.  * * *

U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.

On the 29th Sherman sent Thomas back to Chattanooga, and afterwards to
Nashville, with another division (Morgan's) of the advanced army.
Sherman 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

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, consolidated 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, commanded by Generals Jeff. C. Davis and A. S. Williams.
Generals Logan and Blair commanded the two corps composing the right
wing.  About this time they left to take part in the presidential
election, 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
resume his command and to proceed with it throughout 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 Savannah.

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 Tennessee, 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 commanding 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 conceived that he had done his full duty as commander in
that engagement; and I can bear testimony, from personal observation,
that he had proved himself 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 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 divisions 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, according 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
existing 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 Atlanta 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 store located at
them. Allatoona, for instance, was defended by a small force of men
under the command of General 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 necessarily consumed in reaching Corse, would be
so great that all occupying the intrenchments might be dead.  Corse was
a man who would never surrender.  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 Sherman first realized that with the forces at his
disposal, the keeping open of his line of communication with the North
would be impossible if he expected to retain any force with which to
operate offensively beyond Atlanta.  He proposed, therefore, 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 artillery 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 authorizing 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 Chattanooga.
To strengthen Thomas he sent Stanley (4th corps) back, and also ordered
Schofield, commanding 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 circumstances, might be expected to arrive
there long before 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 strengthened 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 quartermaster's and other
departments who could be put in the intrenchments in front of Nashville,
for its defence.  Also, Wilson was there with ten thousand dismounted
cavalrymen, who were being equipped for the field.  Thomas had at this
time about forty-five thousand men without any of the reinforcements
here above enumerated.  These reinforcements gave him  altogether about
seventy thousand men, without counting what might be added by the new
levies already spoken of.

About this time Beauregard arrived upon the field, not to supersede Hood
in command, but to take general charge over the entire district in which
Hood and Sherman were, or might be, operating.  He made the most frantic
appeals to the citizens for assistance to be rendered in every way:  by
sending reinforcements, by destroying supplies on the line of march of
the invaders, by destroying the bridges over which they would have to
cross, and by, in every way, obstructing the roads to their front. But
it was hard to convince the people of the propriety of destroying
supplies which were so much needed by themselves, and each one hoped
that his own possessions might escape.

Hood soon started north, and went into camp near Decatur, Alabama, where
he remained until the 29th of October, but without making an attack on
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 navigable, 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, collecting supplies of food, forage and
ammunition. All of these had to come from a considerable distance south,
because the region in which he was then situated was mountainous, with
small valleys which produced but little, and what they had produced had
long since been exhausted.  On the 1st 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 10th
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, Sherman himself remaining over a day to
superintend the work, and see that it was well done. Sherman's orders
for this campaign were perfect.  Before starting, 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 perform 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
increase 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 injunctions 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 precisely the same
as if they had been purchased.  The captures consisted largely of
cattle, sheep, poultry, some bacon, cornmeal, often molasses, and
occasionally 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 marvellous.  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 capture 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
proceeded 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 bloodhound."  "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 necessary hardship they would
seem to imply, I do not believe there was much unwarrantable pillaging
considering that we were in the enemy's territory and without any
supplies except such as the country afforded.

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 march.

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 sufficient to
even retard the progress of Sherman's army.

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 attributed
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 Sherman's movements pictured him
as in the most deplorable condition:  stating that his men were
starving, 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
particularly 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
commanding 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 debates were
exciting, and were upon the subject of the situation the South was in at
that time, particularly the State of Georgia.  They went so far as to
repeal, after a spirited and acrimonious debate, the ordinance of

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
surprising 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 Sherman's 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 annoyance but no great detention.
Our cavalry and Wheeler's had a pretty severe engagement, in which
Wheeler was driven towards Augusta, thus giving the idea that Sherman
was probably making for that point.

Millen was reached on the 3d of December, and the march was resumed the
following day for Savannah, the final objective. Bragg had now been sent
to Augusta with some troops.  Wade Hampton was there also trying to
raise cavalry sufficient to destroy 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.  Sherman proceeded at once on his
arrival to invest the place, and found that the enemy had placed
torpedoes 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 Savannah commenced. Sherman then,
before proceeding any further with operations for the capture of the
place, started with some troops to open communication 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 shipboard could be made available.  Fort McAllister was
soon captured by an assault made by General Hazen's division.
Communication was then established 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 purpose of sending Sherman
siege guns, and also if he should find he had them to spare, supplies of
clothing, 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 Department, 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, indicating 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 forwarded 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 prevented from detaching
against you.  I think not one man has gone from here, except some twelve
or fifteen hundred dismounted 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 get your
views after you have established yourself on the sea-coast. With your
veteran army I hope to get control of the only two through routes from
east to west possessed by the enemy before the fall of Atlanta.  The
condition will be filled by holding Savannah and Augusta, or by holding
any other port to the east of Savannah and Branchville.  If Wilmington
falls, a force from there can co-operate with you.

Thomas has got back into the defences of Nashville, with Hood close upon
him.  Decatur has been abandoned, and so have all the roads except the
main one leading to Chattanooga.  Part of this falling back was
undoubtedly necessary and all of it may have been.  It did not look so,
however, to me.  In my opinion, Thomas far outnumbers Hood in infantry.
In cavalry, Hood has the advantage in morale and numbers.  I hope yet
that Hood will be badly crippled if not destroyed.  The general news you
will learn from the papers better than I could give it.

After all becomes quiet, and roads become so bad up here that there is
likely to be a week or two when nothing can be done, I will run down the
coast to see you.  If you desire it, I will ask Mrs. Sherman to go with

Yours truly, U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General

I quote this letter because it gives the reader a full knowledge of the
events of that period.

Sherman now (the 15th) returned to Savannah to complete its investment
and insure the surrender of the garrison.  The country about Savannah is
low and marshy, and the city was well intrenched from the river above to
the river below; and assaults could not be made except along a
comparatively narrow causeway. For this reason assaults must have
resulted in serious destruction of life to the Union troops, with the
chance of failing altogether. Sherman 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 receiving 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 communication 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 purpose of
making arrangements with the latter officer to go through by one of the
numerous channels running 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 communication.

While arranging for this movement, and before the 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 doubting 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. Circumstances made the plan on which
Sherman expected to act impracticable, as as commander of the forces he
necessarily had to devise a new on which would give more promise of
success: consequently he recommended the destruction of the railroad
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
propriety of the campaign he was about 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
possible 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.



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
respectively by Stephen D. Lee, Stewart and Cheatham.  These, with his
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 movement 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 skirmish 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 bivouacked, 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 Confederate
generals led their men in the repeated charges, and the loss among them
was of unusual 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 missing.

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 preparations to receive Hood.
The road to Chattanooga was still well guarded with strong garrisons at
Murfreesboro, 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. Granger's, which he had drawn from the front.  His
quartermaster's men, about ten thousand in number, had been organized
and armed under the command of the chief quartermaster, General J. L.
Donaldson, and placed in the fortifications 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
unaccountable--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 behind 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 movements being always so deliberate
and so slow, though effective in defence.

I consequently urged Thomas in frequent dispatches sent from City
Point(*41) 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 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, gallant and efficient officer, I gave him an order to
proceed to Nashville to relieve Thomas.  I directed 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 designating the time of
his movement.  I concluded to wait until that time. He did move, and was
successful from the start.  This was on the 15th of December.  General
Logan was at Louisville at the time this movement was made, and
telegraphed the fact to Washington, and proceeded no farther himself.

The battle during the 15th was severe, but favorable 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 disorder, routed and broken,
leaving their dead, their 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
retreated.  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.  They had got but a
few miles beyond the scene of the battle when they found the enemy's
cavalry dismounted and behind intrenchments 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 following morning.  They were too late.  The enemy
already had possession of Franklin, and was beyond them. It now became a
chase in which the Confederates 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 torrent, impassable except on bridges.
Unfortunately, either 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 foreign governments,
particularly the British Government, 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 expedition
against Fort Fisher for the purpose of capturing it.

To show the difficulty experienced in maintaining the blockade, I will
mention a circumstance that took place at Fort Fisher after its fall.
Two English blockade runners came in at night.  Their commanders, not
supposing the fort had fallen, worked their way through all our fleet
and got into the river unobserved.  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
Terry 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 they 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 instructions 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
expedition 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
prevailed, 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
prepared. 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
replenish.  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 explosion 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 gunboats.

Fort Fisher was situated upon a low, flat peninsula 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 thirteen 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 garrisoned by four companies of infantry, one light
battery 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 reinforcements the moment they saw our troops landing.  The Governor
of North Carolina called for everybody 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 Hoke's 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 advance.

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 leaving 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 Butler's troops under General Adelbert Ames
effected a landing out of range of the fort without difficulty.  This
was accomplished 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 advance, captured 228 of the reserves.
These prisoners 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 rear.

Upon these reports Butler determined to withdraw 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 informed 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 Beaufort 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 instructions to him, or to the officer who went in command
of the expedition, were explicit in the statement that to effect a
landing would be of itself a great victory, and if one should be
effected, the foothold must not be relinquished; on the contrary, a
regular 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 are 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.

U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.

Porter sent dispatches to the Navy Department in which he complained
bitterly of having been abandoned by the army just when the fort was
nearly in our possession, and begged that our troops might be sent back
again to cooperate, but with a different commander.  As soon as I heard
this I sent a messenger 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 would 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
object 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 necessary 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 Porter and have entire
harmony between army and navy, because the work before them would
require the best efforts of both arms of service. They arrived off
Beaufort on the 8th. A heavy storm, however, prevented a landing at
Forth Fisher until the 13th.  The navy prepared itself for attack about
as before, and 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 following morning was up within two miles of the
fort with a respectable abatis in front of his line. His artillery was
all landed on that day, the 14th.  Again Curtis's brigade of Ame's
division 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

Terry now saw Porter and arranged for an assault on the following day.
The two commanders arranged their signals so that they could communicate
with each other from time to time as they might have occasion.  At day
light the fleet commenced its firing.  The time agreed upon for the
assault was the middle of the afternoon, and Ames who commanded 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, Pennypacker's following Curtis, and Bell, who
commanded the 3d brigade of Ames's division, following Pennypacker.  But
the fort was not yet captured though the parapet was gained.

The works were very extensive.  The large parapet 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 continued 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 engagement the
sailors, who had been repulsed in their assault on the bastion, rendered
the best service they could by reinforcing Terry's northern line--thus
enabling 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 110
killed and 536 wounded.

In this assault on Fort Fisher, Bell, one of the brigade commanders, was
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 confirmed him; and soon after I recommended him for a
brigadier-generalcy in the regular army, and it was given to him for
this victory.



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 campaign.  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 Foster's 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 General Sherman.  He remained some time with the
general, 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

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
Carolina.  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 transports 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 require a long time to
collect the transports, he suggested 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 destroyed 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 Carolina 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 exhausted of
both forage and food.  I approved Sherman's suggestion therefore at

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 existence 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 Admiral 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

This provision was made to enable him to fall back upon the sea coast,
in case he should encounter 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.


MAJOR-GENERAL W. T. SHERMAN, Commanding Mill Div. of the Mississippi.

GENERAL:--Your letters brought by General Barnard were received 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 Cincinnati.  The corps
numbers over twenty-one thousand men.  I was induced to do this because
I did not believe Thomas could possibly 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
behind.  When Hood had crossed the Tennessee, and those in pursuit 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 coolness and honesty, but he is
not good on a pursuit.  He also reported his troops fagged, and that it
was necessary to equip up.  This report and a determination to give the
enemy no rest determined 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 Goldsboro' in co-operation with
your movements.  From either point, railroad communications can be run
out, there being here abundance 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 meantime, 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 ship-board, at any point on the
sea-coast, ready for you, let me know it.

Yours truly, U. S. GRANT, Lieut.-General.

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,
although, like myself, he had been very much disappointed 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 debris cleared up,
commencing the work by removing the piling and torpedoes from the river,
and taking up all 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
movement 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
determined at first that they would 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 Carolina,
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 Carolina, being the first objective;
Fayetteville, North Carolina, the second; and Goldsboro, or
neighborhood, the final one, unless something further should be
determined upon.  The right wing went from Pocotaligo, and the left from
about Hardeeville on the Savannah River, both columns taking a pretty
direct route for Columbia.  The cavalry, however, were to threaten
Charleston on the right, and Augusta 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

On the 18th of January I ordered Canby, 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 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. * * * This additional raid, with one starting from East
Tennessee under Stoneman, numbering about four or five thousand cavalry;
one from Eastport, Mississippi, 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 evacuated
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 suggested 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 difficult 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 however.

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 expedition 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 another 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 Department
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 * * *
informing 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 winter, 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 expected 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 Mobile 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 positions as can be supplied by water.  By this means alone
you can occupy positions from which the enemy'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, consisted 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 forwarded 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 administration (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 Charlotteville 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 22d 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 deflection 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 Carolina railroads being the same as the Virginia railroads had
been altered too; these cars and locomotives 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 Stoneman 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
12th of March, he did push down through the north-western end of South
Carolina, creating some consternation.  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 concentrate 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. Sherman's
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 rebuild 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
protection 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 destitute 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, workshops and everything that could be
useful to the enemy were destroyed.  While at Columbia, Sherman 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 February, and Foster garrisoned
the place.  Wilmington was captured on the 22d. Columbia and Cheraw
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 completion 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 11th 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, however, those
stores did not contain clothing.

Four days later, on the 15th, Sherman left Fayetteville for Goldsboro.
The march, now, had to be made with great caution, for he was
approaching Lee's army and nearing the country that still remained open
to the enemy.  Besides, he was confronting 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 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 16th between Johnston's
troops and Sherman's, with some loss; and at Bentonville on the 19th and
21st of March, but Johnston withdrew from the contest before the morning
of the 22d.  Sherman's loss in these last engagements in killed,
wounded, and missing, was about sixteen hundred.  Sherman's troops at
last reached Goldsboro on the 23d of the month and went into bivouac;
and there his men were destined to have a long rest.  Schofield was
there to meet him with the troops which had been sent to Wilmington.

Sherman was no longer in danger.  He had Johnston confronting him; but
with an army much inferior 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 reinforcements 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 harbors.  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 Johnson 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.  Johnston'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 commissioners from the so-called
Confederate States presented 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. Hunt, formerly
United States Senator and then a member of the Confederate Senate.

It was about dark when they reached my headquarters, and I at once
conducted them to the steam Mary Martin, a Hudson River boat which was
very comfortably fitted up for the use of passengers.  I at once
communicated by telegraph with Washington and informed the Secretary of
War and the President of the arrival of these commissioners and that
their object was to negotiate terms of peace between he 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 remained 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 movements; 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
particular admirer of Mr. Stephens.  I had always supposed that he was a
very small man, but when I saw him in the dusk of the evening I was very
much surprised 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 manufacture that had been introduced into the South during
the rebellion.  The cloth was thicker than anything 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 apparent change in size, in the coat and
out of it.

After a few days, about the 2d of February, I received 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
President Lincoln, particularly in the North, used 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
commissioners at Hampton Roads.  After a little conversation, he asked
me if I had seen that overcoat of Stephens's.  I replied that I had.
"Well," said he, "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 afterwards 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 afterwards, 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 uneventfully, 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 General 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 Confederate army otherwise would have gotten.
As appears in this book, on one single occasion we captured five
thousand head of cattle which were crossing 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 Confederate 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 another 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 conversation 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 reserves.  The latter were to hold the necessary
points not in immediate danger, and especially those in the rear.
General Butler, in alluding to this conscription, remarked that they
were thus "robbing both the cradle and the grave," an expression which I
afterwards used in writing a letter to Mr. Washburn.

It was my belief that while the enemy could get no more recruits they
were losing at least a regiment 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 before 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 despondent.  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 commence the spring campaign, which I thoroughly
believed 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 sufficiently to enable us to move
the wagon trains and artillery 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 Charlottesville 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 12th 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 destroy locks, culverts etc.  All mills and factories along the
lines of march of his troops were destroyed 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 10th 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 Shenandoah 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 strike at once if it was

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 and
Petersburg, and they both agreed 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 possession 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 indeed, 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 distance 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 communication 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 command himself and with commendable
promptitude made all preparations to drive the enemy back.  General
Tidball gathered a large number of pieces of artillery 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 captured, 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.

After the recapture of the batteries taken by the Confederates, our
troops made a charge and carried 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

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
arrival 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.  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 somewhat, 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 contemplated just what took place; that is
to say, capturing Five Forks, driving the enemy from Petersburg and
Richmond and terminating the contest before separating 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 unless my plan proved an entire
success it would be interpreted 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 cooperate with Sherman in destroying Johnston; then with these
combined forces to help carry out the instructions which Sherman already
had received, to act in cooperation with the armies around Petersburg
and Richmond.

I saw that after Sheridan had read his instructions he seemed somewhat
disappointed at the idea, possibly, 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: "General, 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
slapping 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 describe 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 established, at
Dabney's Mills.  He met some of my staff officers outside, and was
highly jubilant over the prospects of success, giving reasons why he
believed this would prove the final and successful effort.  Although 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 suggested that I send for him.
I did so, and was glad to see the spirit of confidence with which he was
imbued. 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 surface 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 Petersburg.  It soon set in raining again however,
and in a very short time the roads became practically impassable 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 corduroy 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 extending 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 extending 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
successfully made.  General Wright's corps had been designated to make
this assault, which I intended to order as soon as information reached
me of Sheridan'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 understand 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

Sheridan moved back to Dinwiddie Court-House on the night of the 30th,
and then took a road leading north-west to Five Forks.  He had only his
cavalry 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 replied 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 distance 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
Sheridan 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 without 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 marching away from the
fighting.  This did not continue long, however; the division was brought
back and with Ayres's division did most excellent service during 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 before 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 afternoon 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 return 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 made.

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 difficulties where he was forced to act.  But I had before
discovered a defect which was beyond his control, 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 encountered it.
He would not only make preparations 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
manner 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
direction; 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 themselves 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 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,
risking 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
commanders, however, reported that it was so dark that the men could not
see to move, and it would be impossible 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 artillery, 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
considerable 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
everything 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 proceed to the left the outer line becomes gradually much farther
from the inner one, and along about Hatcher's 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 obedience to the instructions they
had received, had succeeded 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 intrenchments.  The second corps soon followed; and the
outer works of Petersburg were in the hands of the National troops,
never to be wrenched from them again.  When Wright reached Hatcher's
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 dispatches 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 arrived 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 repeatedly 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.

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 surrendered.

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 enemy fell back to
Sutherland Station on the South Side Road and were followed by Miles.
This position, 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 Petersburg 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 Sutherland 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 artillery, and put the
remainder, portions of three Confederate 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 assault.  I cannot explain the situation here
better than by giving my dispatch to City Point that evening:

BOYDTON ROAD, NEAR PETERSBURG, April 2, 1865.--4.40 P.M.


We are now up and have a continuous line of troops, and in a few hours
will be intrenched from the Appomattox below Petersburg 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 Sutherland 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 tomorrow.

U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.

During the night of April 2d our line was intrenched 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 Petersburg on the morning of the 3d and took
a position under cover of a house which protected us from the enemy's
musketry which was flying thick and fast there.  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 trying to make his escape, and I wanted to push immediately
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 himself 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 Appomattox 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 supplies 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 resorted 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 that
road south of Lee, and I told Meade this.  He suggested 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 Appomattox 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 intrenchments, 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 strengthened
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 Appomattox 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 8 1/2 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 conform 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 accomplished 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

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 very 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 Richmond, asking
admittance.  I said to him that if the Western armies should be even
upon the field, operating 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
disagreeable bickerings between members of Congress of the East and
those of the West in some of their debates.  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 contributing 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 with.

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 attempting 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 capital.  Everything else
would go if it went. Lee's army had to be strengthened to enable it to
maintain its position, no matter what territory was wrested from the
South in another quarter.

I never expected any such bickering as I have indicated, 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 Richmond.

Soon after I left President Lincoln I received a dispatch from General
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 provisions which the
Confederate government had left, for the people to gather up.  The city
had been deserted by the authorities, civil and military, without 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 Petersburg.

Weitzel's command found evidence of great demoralization 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 them.

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, ammunition,
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 Sutherland Station, about nine miles out.  We
had still time to march as much farther, and time was an object; but the
roads were bad and the trains belonging 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 pursuing 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 uninterrupted.  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 Burkesville 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 roads.

After I had received the dispatch from Sheridan saying that Crook was on
the Danville Road, I immediately 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 Danville.  The dispatch had not been sent, but Sheridan sent a
special messenger with it to Burkesville and had it 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
Appomattox 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 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 command 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 Northern 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
Burkesville yesterday, when we intercepted them at this point."

It now became a life and death struggle with Lee to get south to his

Sheridan, thinking the enemy might turn off immediately towards
Farmville, moved Davies's brigade of cavalry out to watch him. Davies
found the movement had already commenced.  He attacked 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
engagement 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, and 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 attack, 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 precaution
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 direct 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 bivouacked.  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 insignificant stream,
running northward, empties into the Appomattox between the High Bridge
and Jetersville.  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 left.

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 because 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, artillery 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 commenced 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 surrender.

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 himself 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 command 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 headway 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.  Humphreys forced his way across with some loss,
and followed Lee to the intersection of the road crossing 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 provisions 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 destroying 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 Junction.  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 conversation 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 differently,
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 without 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 confronting 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

HEADQUARTERS ARMIES OF THE U. S., 5 P.M., April 7, 1865.

GENERAL R. E. LEE Commanding C. S. A.

The result of the last week must convince you of the hopelessness 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 Virginia.

U. S. GRANT, Lieut.-General.

Lee replied on the evening of the same day as follows:

April 7, 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, General.

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:

April 8, 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 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 received.

U. S. GRANT, Lieut.-General.

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 furniture 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 proprietor 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

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 partially; but some of the train men
had just discovered the movement of our troops and succeeded in running
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 Confederates were surprised to find our cavalry had possession of
the trains.  However, they were desperate and at once assaulted, hoping
to recover them.  In the melee 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

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 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.



On the 8th I had followed the Army of the Potomac in rear of Lee.  I was
suffering very severely with a sick headache, and stopped at a farmhouse
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. (*43)  But it was for a different purpose from that of
surrendering his army, and I answered him as follows:


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. 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.  Sincerely hoping that all our difficulties
may be settled without the loss of another life, I subscribe myself,

U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.

I proceeded at an early hour in the morning, still suffering with the
headache, to get to the head of the column.  I was not more than two or
three miles from Appomattox Court House at the time, but to go direct I
would have to pass through Lee's army, or a portion of it.  I had
therefore to move south in order to get upon a road coming up from
another direction.

When the white flag was put out by Lee, as already described, I was in
this way moving towards Appomattox Court House, and consequently could
not be communicated with immediately, and be informed of what Lee had
done.  Lee, therefore, sent a flag to the rear to advise Meade and one
to the front to Sheridan, saying that he had sent a message to me for
the purpose of having a meeting to consult about the surrender of his
army, and asked for a suspension of hostilities until I could be
communicated 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 considerably 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 messenger should pass through the rebel

Lee, therefore, sent an escort with the officer bearing this message
through his lines to me.

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 request an interview in accordance with the offer
contained in your letter of yesterday for that purpose.

R. E. LEE, General.


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 following note in reply and hastened on:

April 9, 1865.

GENERAL R. E. LEE, Commanding C. S. Armies.

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.

U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.

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 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 fictions
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.
Running 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 true.

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 was the chief of staff of General Scott in
the Mexican War.

When I had left camp that morning I had not expected so soon the result
that was then taking place, and consequently was in rough garb.  I was
without 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 my rank
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 inwardly 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 letter, 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 us.

General Lee was dressed in a full uniform which was entirely new, and
was wearing a sword of considerable 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

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 letter.

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


Ap 19th, 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, U. S. GRANT, Lt. 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
humiliation to call upon them to deliver their side arms.

No conversation, not one word, passed between General Lee and myself,
either about private property, 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 remarked, with
some feeling, I thought, that this would have a happy effect upon his

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, remarked 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
Confederate 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:


GENERAL:--I received your letter of this date containing the terms of
the 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 inst., they are accepted.  I will proceed to designate the proper
officers to carry the stipulations into effect.


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 horses.

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 designated 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 Appomattox.

Soon after Lee's departure I telegraphed to Washington as follows:

HEADQUARTERS APPOMATTOX C. H., VA., April 9th, 1865, 4.30 P.M.

HON. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War, Washington.

General Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia this afternoon on
terms proposed by myself.  The accompanying additional correspondence
will show the conditions fully.

U. S. GRANT, Lieut.-General.

When news of the surrender first reached our lines our men commenced
firing a salute of a hundred guns in honor of the victory.  I at once
sent word, however, to have it stopped.  The Confederates 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 supplies, and what I now deemed other useless
outlay of money.  Before leaving, however, I thought I (*44) would like
to see General Lee again; so next morning I rode out beyond our lines
towards his headquarters, 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 conversation 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, however, 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 followed 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 officers, 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 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 returned.

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
numbers, 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.



After the fall of Petersburg, and when the armies of the Potomac and the
James 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 increased 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 South.

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 government.  The old and
physically disabled furnished a good portion of these.  The slaves, the
non-combatants, 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 school.

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 infected regions, to blow up our river and
lake steamers--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 auxiliary 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 sentiment
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 enthusiastically supported by the young men.  The
conscription took all of them.  Before the war was over, further
conscriptions took those between fourteen and eighteen years of age as
junior reserves, and those between forty-five and sixty as senior
reserves.  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
circumstances 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 damage.  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
property 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 bearing arms.
Then, again, large forces were employed where no Confederate army
confronted them.  I deem it safe to say that there were no large
engagements where the National numbers compensated for the advantage of
position and intrenchment occupied by the enemy.

While I was in pursuit of General Lee, the President 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 remained at home surrounded him, anxious that
something 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 conflagration
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 contemplated, as he did not
say the "Legislature of Virginia" but "the body which called itself the
Legislature of Virginia." Mr. Stanton saw the call as published in the
Northern papers the very next issue and took the liberty of
countermanding the order authorizing 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 entirely agree with the view he evidently held.  The
Constitution was not framed with a view to any such rebellion as that of
1861-5.  While it did not authorize rebellion it made no provision
against it.  Yet the right to resist or suppress rebellion is as
inherent 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 restrained 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 conveyed 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 dispatches 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 assassinations, 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. Johnson 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 far.

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 immediately 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 engender 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
obtained 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 endurance.

The President of the United States is, in a large degree, or ought to
be, a representative of the feeling, wishes and judgment of those over
whom he presides; and the Southerners who read the denunciations of
themselves and their people must have come to the conclusion that he
uttered the sentiments of the Northern people; whereas, as a matter of
fact, but for the assassination of Mr. Lincoln, I believe the great
majority of the Northern 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 besides
being the mildest, it was also the wisest, policy.

The people who had been in rebellion must necessarily come back into the
Union, and be incorporated 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 beginning.
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 prepare themselves for the
privileges of citizenship before the full right would be conferred; but
Mr. Johnson, 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 as
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 Congress
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 humiliating to the people
who had been in rebellion, I gradually worked up to the point where,
with the majority of the people, I favored immediate enfranchisement.



When I left Appomattox I ordered General Meade to proceed leisurely back
to Burkesville 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 confronting
General Sherman.  It could not be known positively, 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
confronted 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
Johnston's men would have 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 terms 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 definitely.

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 concede 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 Virginia.

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 understanding, 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 generals 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 Secretary 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 rendered so much
service as he had, even supposing he had made 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 government 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 matter there
myself. Of course I started without 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

When I arrived I went to Sherman's headquarters, and we were at once
closeted together.  I showed him the instruction 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
surrender 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 Sherman quite free and untrammelled.

At Goldsboro', on my way back, I met a mail, containing 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 respective commanders.  With these it was impossible to tell
how the news of the surrender of Lee and Johnston, 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 from the
commands of Thomas and Canby did finally get off:  one under Canby
himself, against Mobile, late in March; that under Stoneman from East
Tennessee on the 20th; and the one under Wilson, starting from Eastport,
Mississippi, on the 22d 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 otherwise 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
Stoneman's 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 Railroad.  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
negotiations were going on between Sherman and Johnston for the latter's
surrender.  In this raid Stoneman 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 11th 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 principally conscripts.  His conscripts were
generally old men and boys.  He had a few thousand regular cavalry left,
but not enough to even retard materially the progress of Wilson's
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 Sherman, 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 surrendered 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 fugitive president of the
defunct confederacy before he got out of the country. This occurred at
Irwinsville, Georgia, on the 11th 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 confederacy.  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 sacrificed 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 bereavement 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
reconstruction under a President who at first wished to revenge himself
upon Southern men of better social standing than himself, but who still
sought their recognition, 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 unconstitutional; 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 thought.

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 information 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 executed.  Had he succeeded in making his escape in any
disguise it would have been adjudged a good thing afterwards by his

As my official letters on file in the War Department, 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
appearance, slow and deliberate in speech and action; sensible, 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 general nor Sherman, nor any other officer could have
done it better.

Thomas was a valuable officer, who richly deserved, as he has received,
the plaudits of his countrymen 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 regulation 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 somewhat like my own when
marching a regiment against General Thomas Harris in Missouri in 1861.
Neither of us would have felt the slightest trepidation in going into
battle with some one else commanding.  Had Canby been in other
engagements afterwards, he would, I have no doubt, have advanced 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
hostile 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.



Things began to quiet down, and as the certainty that there would be no
more armed resistance 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 terminate without leaving many serious
apprehensions in the mind of the people as to what should be done.

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

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 Halleck, 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
indignation 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

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
anticipated, 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 Mississippi 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 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 newspapers 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, however, 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 exhausted 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 appeared 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

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 intelligent 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, except 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 occurred 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 occurred a day after I reached
Washington, and about the time General Meade reached Burkesville with
the army.  Governor Smith of Virginia had left Richmond 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 Richmond
to Danville, and asking if he would be permitted to perform the
functions of his office there without molestation by the Federal
authorities.  I give this letter only in substance.  He also inquired 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
dispatch, I repeated its contents to him.  Mr. Lincoln, supposing I was
asking for instructions, said, in reply 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
popular 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
determined 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 unbeknownst 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 willing to
permit the return of the same expatriated citizens after they had time
to repent of their choice.

On the 18th of May orders were issued by the adjutant-general for a
grand review by the President 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 unnecessarily 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 thoroughly
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 Sherman's 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 President Lincoln and the
Secretary of War, Mr. Stanton, who were the great conspicuous figures in
the executive 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. Stanton the case is different.  They were the very
opposite 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 followed up until he did

It was generally supposed that these two officials formed the complement
of each other.  The Secretary was required to prevent the President's
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 guardian 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 capital.

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 command 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 conscientious, 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 offensive 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
information.  In spite of this defect he was a most valuable officer and
deserves a high place in the annals of his country.

General Burnside was an officer who was generally liked and respected.
He was not, however, fitted to command an army.  No one knew this better
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 bringing his command around the point of Lookout Mountain and into
Chattanooga Valley was brilliant.  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 having 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
disposition 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 qualifications as a soldier from personal
observation.  I had known him in Mexico when both of us were
lieutenants, and when our service gave no indication 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 oftener.

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 brigadier-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 situation 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 influence.


The cause of the great War of the Rebellion against the United Status
will have to be attributed 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, reviewing the whole
question, I have come to the conclusion 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 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 particular quarrel with slavery, so long
as they were not forced to have it themselves.  But they were not
willing to play the role 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 almost a separate nationality.  At that time the subject of slavery
caused but little or no disturbance to the public mind.  But the country
grew, rapid transit 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 institutions were regarded as experiments up to the breaking
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 capable 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 during our troubles shows the
lack of conscience of communities where the responsibility does not come
upon a single individual.  Seeing a nation that extended from ocean to
ocean, embracing the better part of a continent, growing as we were
growing in population, 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 to keep up an
effective blockade.  She also joined, at first, with France and Spain in
setting up an Austrian prince upon the throne in Mexico, 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 unable 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 supposed as a matter of course that the United States would treat it
as such when their hands were free to 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 themselves while we had our own troubles upon our

All of the powers except France very soon withdrew from the armed
intervention for the establishment of an Austrian prince upon the throne
of Mexico; 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 Sheridan
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 negotiations 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 independence without aid from us.

France is the traditional ally and friend of the 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
government 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 role.  He sought by
new conquests to add to his empire and his glory; but the signal failure
of his scheme of conquest 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 continent.  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

I never admired the character of the first Napoleon; 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, growing 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 invasion
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 condition.  Neither of these cost much when it is
considered 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

England's course towards the United States during the rebellion
exasperated the people of this country very much against the mother
country.  I regretted 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
commerce between all the nationalities of the world.

England governs her own colonies, and particularly 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 colonies as outside possessions which she
is at liberty to work for the support and aggrandizement of the home

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 fearfully 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
condition 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 States.

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 millions
of people.  The products of the soil are so valuable that labor in her
fields would be so compensated 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 numbers, 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 volunteers 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 afterwards 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 hearing 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.  Occasionally 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 frontiersmen.  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 surroundings 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 localized to any great extent;
the country has filled up "from the centre all around to the sea";
railroads 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 preserve 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 secures 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 witness 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 expression of these kindly feelings were not restricted to a section
of the country, nor to a division of the people.  They came from
individual citizens of all nationalities; from all denominations--the
Protestant, the Catholic, and the Jew; and from the various societies of
the land--scientific, educational, religious or otherwise.  Politics did
not enter into the matter at all.

I am not egotist enough to suppose all this significance 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.




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 inferior 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 without concert,
like a balky team, no two ever pulling together, enabling the enemy to
use to great advantage his interior lines of communication 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 superior 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 rebellion was entirely

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 refitting 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 contending
forces was about as follows:  The Mississippi River was strongly
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 possession 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 people to the
west of it.  To the east of the Mississippi we held substantially 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 substantially 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
Monroe, and the territory covered by the Army of the Potomac lying along
the Rapidan, 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 occupy.

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 collecting deserters and returning them.
This enabled the enemy to bring almost his entire strength into the

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 commanded by Lee
occupied the south bank of the Rapidan, extending 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 intrenched position at Dalton, Georgia, covering and
defending Atlanta, Georgia, a place of great importance as a railroad
centre, against the armies under Major-General W. T. Sherman.  In
addition to these armies he had a large cavalry force under Forrest, 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 command 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 command, 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 movements 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 embarrassing other
movements; that New Orleans would be the point of departure for such an
expedition; also, that I had directed General Steele to make a real move
from Arkansas, as suggested 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 troops.

"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 territory 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 additions as I can
give you from elsewhere, lose no time in making a demonstration, to be
followed by an attack upon Mobile.  Two or more iron-clads will be
ordered to report to Admiral Farragut.  This gives him a strong naval
fleet with which to co-operate.  You can make your own arrangements with
the admiral for his co-operation, and select your own line of approach.
My own idea of the matter is that Pascagoula should be your base; but,
from your long service in the Gulf Department, you will know best about
the matter.  It is intended that your movements shall be co-operative
with movements elsewhere, and you cannot now start too soon.  All I
would now add is, that you commence the concentration of your forces at
once.  Preserve a profound secrecy of what you intend doing, and start
at the earliest possible moment.

"U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.

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 cooperate.  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

The following letter of instruction was addressed to Major-General B. F.

"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 cooperative
action of all the armies in the field, as far as this object can be

"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 territory 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 interpose themselves between the enemy
and the country to be guarded, thereby reducing 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
impossible to unite these forces at the beginning of any move. I
propose, therefore, 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 can 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 command 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 18th 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 calculated 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
possible.  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.

"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 order.

"U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.

On the 16th these instructions were substantially reiterated. On the
19th, in order to secure full co-operation between his army 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 Culpeper 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 instructed at his own suggestion, to give up
the expedition by Beverly, 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 moment, to threaten the enemy in the
Shenandoah Valley, and advance as far as possible; while General Crook
would take possession of Lewisburg with part of his force and move down
the Tennessee Railroad, doing as much damage as he could, destroying the
New River Bridge and the salt-works, at Saltville, Va.

Owing to the weather and bad condition of the roads, operations were
delayed until the 1st of May, when, everything being in readiness and
the roads favorable, orders were given for a general movement of all the
armies not later than the 4th of May.

My first object being to break the military power of the rebellion, and
capture the enemy's important strongholds, made me desirous 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 fighting, 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 importance of
getting possession of Petersburg, and destroying railroad communication
as far south as possible.  Believing, however, in the practicability of
capturing Richmond unless it was reinforced, 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 for that army were all through
him, and were general in their nature, leaving 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 Sheridan, moving in advance,) with the greater part of its
trains, numbering about four thousand wagons, meeting with but slight
opposition.  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 protected.  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
furiously 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

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
Rappahannock 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
turn 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 7th, 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 moving 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 11th were spent in
manoeuvring and fighting, without decisive results.  Among the killed on
the 9th was that able and distinguished soldier Major-General John
Sedgwick, commanding the sixth army corps.  Major-General H. G. Wright
succeeded him in command.  Early on the morning of the 12th 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 Ewell'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 15th 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, Ewell'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 repulsed 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 prisoners 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), recrossed
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 foothold, and a force of three thousand cavalry,
under General Kautz, from Suffolk, to operate against the road south of
Petersburg and Richmond.  On the 5th, he occupied, without opposition,
both City Point and Bermuda Hundred, his movement being a complete
surprise.  On the 6th, he was in position with his main army, and
commenced intrenching.  On the 7th he made a reconnoissance against the
Petersburg and Richmond Railroad, destroying a portion of it after some
fighting.  On the 9th he telegraphed as follows:


"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
Chickahominy, 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
railroad, 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.

"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 prisoners, 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 valuable to him.  His army, therefore, though in
a position of great security, was as completely shut off from further
operations directly against Richmond as if it had been in a bottle
strongly corked.  It required but a comparatively small force of the
enemy to hold it there.

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 quantities 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 armament captured.  The gunboat
Smithfield was sunk, and the Miami disabled.

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 addition 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 Virginia.

The position of Bermuda Hundred was as easy to defend as it was
difficult to operate from against the enemy.  I determined, therefore,
to bring from it all available forces, leaving enough only to secure
what had been gained; and accordingly, on the 22d, I directed that they
be sent forward, under command of Major-General 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 Pamunkey 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 position 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 1st 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 attack on the 3d.  On the 3d of June we again assaulted the enemy's
works, in the hope of driving him from his position.  In this attempt
our loss was heavy, while that of the enemy, I have reason to believe,
was comparatively light.  It was the only general attack made from the
Rapidan to the James which did not inflict upon the enemy losses to
compensate for our own losses.  I would not be understood as saying that
all previous attacks resulted in victories to our arms, or accomplished
as much as I had hoped from them; but they inflicted upon the enemy
severe losses, which tended, in the end, to the complete overthrow of
the rebellion.

From the proximity of the enemy to his defences around Richmond, it was
impossible, by any flank movement, to interpose between him and the
city.  I was still in a condition to either move by his left flank, 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 Washington, 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 the 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 side 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 him 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 immediately 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 designed 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 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 common 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 impracticable, returned to Bermuda Hundred without
attempting one.

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 advance 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 5th 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 Northern 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 battles, which for endurance and bravery on the part of
the soldiery, have rarely been surpassed, are given in the report of
Major-General 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 cannot, 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, Brigadier-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 1st of May.  General Crook, who had the immediate
command of the Kanawha expedition, divided 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 Wytheville, on the 10th, and proceeding to New River and
Christiansburg, 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 Valley, met
the enemy at New Market on the 15th, and, after a severe engagement, was
defeated with heavy loss, and retired behind Cedar Creek.  Not regarding
the operations of General Sigel as satisfactory, I asked his removal
from command, and Major-General Hunter appointed to supersede him.  His
instructions were embraced in the following dispatches to Major-General
H. W. Halleck, chief of staff of the army:


*        *        *        *        *        *        * "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 direction; 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-General.

"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.

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 defeated 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 junction 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
sufficient 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 country.

To return to the Army of the Potomac:  The 2d corps commenced 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

The instructions to General Butler were 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 reinforce our armies more rapidly there than the
enemy could bring troops against us.  General Smith got off as directed,
and confronted the enemy's pickets near Petersburg before daylight next
morning, but for some reason that I have never been able to
satisfactorily 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 prisoners.  This was about
seven P.M. Between the line thus captured 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
hundred prisoners.

The 5th corps having got up, the attacks were renewed and persisted in
with great vigor on the 17th and 18th, 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 then
proceeded to envelop Petersburg towards the South Side Railroad as far
as possible without attacking fortifications.

On the 16th the enemy, to reinforce Petersburg, withdrew from a part of
his intrenchment in front of Bermuda Hundred, expecting, 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 General 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 divisions into the enemy's works to hold
them, he permitted them to halt and rest some distance in the rear of
his own line. Between 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

On the 19th, General Sheridan, on his return from his expedition 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 General Sheridan met the enemy's
cavalry near Trevilian Station, on the morning of the 11th 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 enemy'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 22d, 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 enemy'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 infantry, 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
compensated 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 Richmond 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 27th 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 considerable 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 18th 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 Hunter was
retreating from Lynchburg by way of the Kanawha River, thus laying the
Shenandoah Valley open for raid 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 directed 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 ascertainment 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 remaining 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 Shepherdtown; and General Weber, commanding at Harper's
Ferry, crossed the occupied Hagerstown, moving a strong column towards
Frederick City.  General Wallace, with Rickett's division and his own
command, 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
division of the 6th corps, and the advance of the 19th corps, before
him.  From Monocacy 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 ascertain 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 commenced 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 prisoners.

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 Shenandoah 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 form the order to
return to the James.

About the 25th it became evident that the enemy was again advancing 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 diminished 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 transmit
messages a part of the way by boat.  It took from twenty-four to
thirty-six hours to get dispatches through and return answers would be
received showing a different state of facts from those on which they
were based, causing confusion and apparent contradiction 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
Department 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 Hunter, 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
hesitated to give positive orders for the movement of our forces at
Monocacy, lest by so doing I should expose Washington. Therefore, 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

"MONOCACY BRIDGE, MARYLAND, August 5, 1864--8 P.M.

"GENERAL:--Concentrate all your available force without delay in the
vicinity 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 Potomac, 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 the cavalry now en route from Washington via Rockville
may be taken into account.

"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
instructed, 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, recurrence of theses 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 takes.

"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.

The troops were immediately put in motion, and the advance reached
Halltown that night.

General Hunter having, in our conversation, expressed a willingness to
be relieved from command, I telegraphed to have General 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

On the 7th of August, the Middle Department, and the Departments of West
Virginia, Washington, and Susquehanna, were constituted 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 11th of August.

His operations during the month of August and the fore part of September
were both of an offensive and defensive character, resulting 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
circumstances I hesitated about allowing the initiative to be taken.
Finally, the use of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, and the Chesapeake
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 15th 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 necessary--Go in!  For the conveniences of forage, the
teams for supplying 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 before
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 orders.

Early on the morning of the 19th, General Sheridan attacked General
Early at the crossing on the Opequon Creek, and after a most sanguinary
and bloody battle, lasting until five 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 [22d].  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
Newtown.  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 immediately 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 captured 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 James, 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 5th corps, General Warren commanding, was moved out on the
18th, and took possession of the Weldon Railroad.  During the day he had
considerable fighting.  To regain possession of the road, the enemy 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 withdrawn, and Hancock and Gregg returned to the front at
Petersburg.  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

The extension of our lines across the Weldon Railroad compelled 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 reconnoissance 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 enemy 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 passage 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 Railroad, which I had hoped by this movement to
reach and hold.  But finding that we had not reached the end of the
enemy's fortifications, and no place presenting itself for a successful
assault by which he might be doubled up and shortened, I determined to
withdraw 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 demonstration 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

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 movements 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, commanded, 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 15th.
A heavy battle ensued.  During the night the enemy retreated 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 give 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 encounters 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 positions 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 consequence of
this movement, had abandoned Kenesaw and retreated across the

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 portion of the railroad to
Augusta, and drove the enemy back to Atlanta. At this place General Hood
succeeded General Johnston 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 Tennessee 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 division.

In all these attacks the enemy was repulsed with great loss. Finding it
impossible to entirely invest the place, General Sherman, after securing
his line of communications across the Chattahoochee, 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
occupied 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 movements 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, accompanying
it, give the details of that most successful campaign.

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 destroy 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 10th 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 service.  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 captured 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, withdrew 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 surrender, 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

On the morning of the same day 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, appeared 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 thousand cavalry, he entered the State
through Pound Gap in the latter part of May.  On the 11th 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 General Smith, comprising two
divisions of the 16th and a detachment of the 17th army 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 garrison, 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 Alexandria, 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 27th of April.  Here a serious
difficulty arose in getting Admiral Porter's fleet which accompanied the
expedition, 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 superintendence, 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 considerable
skirmishing with the enemy's advance, and reached Morganzia and Point
Coupee near the end of the month.  The disastrous termination of this
expedition, and the lateness of the season, 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 7th
army corps, to  cooperate with General Banks's expedition on the Red
River, and reached Arkadelphia on the 28th.  On the 16th 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

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

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-operate 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 bombardment,
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 General
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 ordered 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 number of
prisoners.  He made a precipitate retreat to Northern Arkansas.  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, show to how
little purpose a superior force may be 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 capitulated on the 24th.
Soon after the surrender two regiments of reinforcements 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
Buford, appeared before 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 summoned 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 renewed 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
escape to Corinth, Mississippi.

In September, an expedition under General Burbridge was sent to destroy
the saltworks 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 preparations for refitting
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 reported to
the south-west of Atlanta. Moving far to Sherman's right, he succeeded
in reaching the railroad about Big Shanty, and moved north on it.

General Sherman, leaving a force to hold Atlanta, with the remainder of
his army fell upon him and drove him to Gadsden, Alabama. Seeing the
constant annoyance he would have with the roads to his rear if he
attempted to hold Atlanta, General Sherman proposed the abandonment and
destruction of that place, with all the railroads leading to it, and
telegraphed me as follows:

"CENTREVILLE, GEORGIA", October 10--noon.

"Dispatch about 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 Porter, 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 Nashville.

"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
reinforced 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 Appalachicola, 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 Savannah is in our possession."  This was in reply to a letter of
mine of date September 12th, 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,


"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 independent 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.

"KINGSTON, GEORGIA, "October 11--11 A.M.

"Hood moved his army from Palmetto Station across by Dallas and
Cedartown, and is now on the Coosa River, south of Rome.  He threw one
corps on my 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 constantly 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.

"CITY POINT, VIRGINIA, "October 11,1864--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 best.

"U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.

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 Confederacy in two again, as it had
been cut once by our gaining possession 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 meantime 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 Chattanooga 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-coast.

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, instead 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 Atlanta, 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. D. 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 Canton, thirty miles
of the road, and two locomotives, besides large amounts of stores.  The
expedition from Baton Rouge was without 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 northward, 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, withdrew towards Courtland, and succeeded,
in the face of our cavalry, in effecting a lodgment on the north side of
the Tennessee River, near Florence.  On the 28th, Forrest reached the
Tennessee, at Fort Heiman, and captured a gunboat and three transports.
On the 2d of November he planted batteries above and below Johnsonville,
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 garrison.  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 store 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 Johnsonville,
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
was put in command of all the troopers there, with instruction 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 gaining 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 towards 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 and commenced the establishment of his
line in front of Nashville on the 2d of December.

As soon as it was ascertained that Hood was crossing the Tennessee
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 15th December, General Thomas attacked Hood in
position, and, in a battle lasting two days, defeated and drove him from
the field in the utmost confusion, leaving in our hand most of his
artillery and many thousand prisoners, including four general officers.

Before the battle of Nashville I grew very impatient over, as it
appeared to me, the unnecessary delay.  This impatience was increased
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 assuming 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.  I am not yet satisfied but
that General Thomas, immediately upon the appearance of Hood before
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 inclemency 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 judgment.

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 transportation 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, continued to follow Hood for some distance,
capturing considerable transportation and all the enemy's
pontoon-bridge.  The details of these operations will be found
clearly set forth in General Thomas's report.

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 railroad, 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
captured 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.

During the 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 command.  On the 12th of
December he commenced his movement, capturing and dispersing the enemy's
forces wherever he met them.  On the 16th he struck the enemy, under
Vaughn, at Marion, completely 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 extensive 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 successfully 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 other products out by blockade-runners, besides being a place of
great strategic value.  The navy had been making strenuous exertions to
seal the harbor of Wilmington, but with only partial effect.  The nature
of the outlet of Cape 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 of a
land force, which I agreed to furnish.  Immediately commenced the
assemblage in Hampton Roads, under Admiral D. D. Porter, of the most
formidable armada ever collected for concentration upon one given point.
This necessarily attracted the attention of the enemy, as well as that
of the loyal North; and through the imprudence of the public press, and
very likely of officers of both branches of service, the exact object of
the expedition became a subject of common discussion in the newspapers
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 furnish the men required at once, and
went myself, in company with Major-General Butler, to Hampton Roads,
where we had a conference with Admiral Porter as to the force required
and the time of starting.  A force of six thousand five hundred men was
regarded 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 departure 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 6, 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, except in the unimportant matter of where
they embark and the amount of intrenching 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 attempt to capture Wilmington by a forced march and
surprise.  If time is consumed in gaining the first object of the
expedition, the second will become a matter of after consideration.

"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.

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 received the foregoing
instructions, nor was he aware of their existence, until he read General
Butler's published official report of the Fort Fisher failure, with my
indorsement and papers accompanying 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 expedition was
detained several days at Hampton Roads, awaiting the loading of the

The importance of getting the Wilmington expedition off without 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 arrived 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 18th, 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 press.

On the 25th 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 accomplished by the morning of the

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-Lieutenant George
Simpson, 142d 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-General) A. H. Terry to
command 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 following 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 Squadron.

"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 performed by each branch of the public service, so that there may
be unity of action.  It 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 Fort 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 is accomplished, or
another plan of campaign is ordered from these headquarters.

"My own views are, 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.

"A siege-train will be loaded on vessels and sent to Fort Monroe, in
readiness to be sent to you if required.  All other supplies can be
drawn from Beaufort 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
Beaufort, and report to these headquarters for further instructions.
You will not debark at Beaufort until so directed.

"General Sheridan has been ordered to send a division of troops to
Baltimore and place them on sea-going vessels.  These troops will be
brought to Fort Monroe and kept there on the vessels until you are heard
from.  Should you require them, they will be sent to you.

"U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.

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 be seen that these instructions did not differ materially from
those given for the first expedition, and that in neither instance 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 Fort 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 the 12th,
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 reconnoissance was pushed to within five hundred
yards of Fort Fisher, and a small advance work taken possession of and
turned into a defensive 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 16th and the 17th the
enemy abandoned and blew up Fort Caswell 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, Mayor-General B. F. Butler was relieved, and
Major-General E. O. C. Ord assigned to the Department of Virginia 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 report to General
Canby.  By the 7th of February the whole force was en route for its

The State of North Carolina was constituted into a military department,
and General Schofield assigned to command, and placed under the orders
of Major-General Sherman.  The following instructions were given him:

"CITY POINT, VA., January 31, 1865.

"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.  Goldsboro' 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 march.  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 be
governed in your requisitions accordingly.  A supply of ordnance stores
will also be necessary.

"Make all requisitions upon the chiefs of their respective departments
in the field with 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

"The supplies referred to in these instructions are exclusive of those
required for your own command.

"The movements of the enemy may justify, or even make it your imperative
duty, to cut loose from your base, and strike for the interior to aid
Sherman.  In such case you will act on your own judgment without waiting
for instructions.  You will report, however, what you purpose doing.
The details for carrying out these 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 28th 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, Lieutenant-General.

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 done.

Anticipating the arrival of General Sherman at Savannah his army
entirely foot-loose, Hood being then before Nashville, Tennessee, 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 18th 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 transportation, 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 receipt 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 21st of January I informed General Sherman that I had 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 before it.

After fighting on 20th and 21st, our troops entered Wilmington on the
morning of the 22d, the enemy having retreated towards Goldsboro' during
the night.  Preparations were at once made for a movement on Goldsboro'
in two columns--one from Wilmington, and the other from New Bern--and to
repair the railroad leading there from each place, as well as to supply
General Sherman 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 11th 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 Goldsboro' was entered. The column from Wilmington
reached Cox's Bridge, on the Neuse River, ten miles above Goldsboro', on
the 22d.

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 Fayetteville, reaching the
latter place on the 12th of March, opening 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
engagement was about six hundred.  The enemy's loss was much greater.
On the 18th 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 Slocum, who was in the advance
ascertaining that the whole of Johnston's army was in the front,
arranged his troops on the defensive, intrenched himself and awaited
reinforcements, which were pushed forward.  On the night of the 21st the
enemy retreated to Smithfield, leaving his dead and wounded in our
hands.  From there Sherman continued to Goldsboro', which place had been
occupied by General Schofield on the 21st (crossing the Neuse River ten
miles above there, at Cox's Bridge, where General Terry had got
possession and thrown a pontoon-bridge on the 22d), 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 Stoneman 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
following 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 twenty
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 desertion 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 withdrawn.  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 readiness 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.  Discretion
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.

"Now that your force has been so much depleted, I do not know what
number 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 inform 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
possible, 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 horses.

"Please inform me by telegraph, on receipt of this, what force you think
you will be able to send under these directions.

"U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.

On the 15th, 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 movement of the
armies operating against Richmond, that all communications 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 the objects.  I therefore telegraphed General Sheridan as

"CITY POINT, VA., February 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 Virgina 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 give thousand cavalry,
one from Vicksburg, numbering seven or eight thousand cavalry, one from
Eastport, Mississippi, then 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 1st.

"U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.

On the 25th I received a dispatch from General Sheridan, inquiring 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 following telegram was sent him:

"CITY POINT, VA., February 25, 1865.

"GENERAL:--Sherman's movements will depend on the amount of opposition
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 believe he has passed Charlotte.  He may take Fayetteville on
his way to Goldsboro'.  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 Bern.

"U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.

General Sheridan moved from Winchester on the 27th of February, with two
divisions of cavalry, numbering about five thousand 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 to Waynesboro'.  Thence
he pushed on to Waynesboro', where he found the enemy in force in an
intrenched position, under General Early.  Without stopping to make a
reconnoissance, an immediate attack was made, the position 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, were captured.  The prisoners,
under an escort of fifteen hundred men, were sent back to Winchester.
Thence he marched on Charlottesville, 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, including the large iron bridges over the north and south
forks of the Rivanna River and awaited the arrival of his trains.  This
necessary 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 marched 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
down the railroad towards Lynchburg, destroying it as far as Amherst
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 Farmville, 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 10th.  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 General Thomas:

"CITY POINT, VIRGINIA, March 7, 1865--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 towards 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.

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 and well-appointed cavalry
expeditions--one from Middle Tennessee 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 remainder of his available forces, preparatory to
commence offensive operations from East Tennessee; General Sheridan's
cavalry was at White House; the armies of the Potomac and James were
confronting 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 offensively, 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 Petersburg and Richmond for the purpose of
uniting with Johnston, and 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 Potomac in
front of Petersburg on the 27th.  During this move, General 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, March 24, 1865.

"GENERAL:  On the 29th instant the armies operating against Richmond
will be moved by our left, for the double purpose of turning the enemy
out of his present position around Petersburg, and to insure the success
of the cavalry under General Sheridan, which will start at the same
time, in its efforts to reach and destroy the South Side and Danville
railroads.  Two corps of the Army of the Potomac will be moved at first
in two columns, taking the two roads crossing Hatcher's Run, nearest
where the present line held by us strikes that stream, both moving
towards Dinwiddie Court House.

"The cavalry under General Sheridan, joined by the division now under
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
Nottoway, 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
Division 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 occupied 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
notice 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 Weitzel
will be left in command of all the forces remaining 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 Blackwater.  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 carriages, 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
commissary 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 carry, 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 impracticable, 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 principally 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.

"By these instructions a large part of the armies operating against
Richmond is left behind.  The enemy, knowing this, may, as an only
chance, strip their lines 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 trenches not 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 not attacked are not to wait for orders from the commanding
officer of the army to which they belong, but that they will move
promptly, and 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
following up a repulse of the enemy.

"U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.

Early on the morning of the 25th the enemy assaulted our lines in front
of the 9th corps (which held from the Appomattox River towards our
left), and carried Fort Stedman, and a part of 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 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 hundred and sixty-four wounded, and two hundred and seven
missing.  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 Burkesville, or join the armies
operating against Richmond, as might be deemed best.  This plan he was
directed to carry into execution, if he received no further directions
in the meantime.  I 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 concentration 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 27th, 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.

"GENERAL:--The 5th army 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 Dinwiddie, 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 Burkesville, and destroy it to some extent.  I would not
advise much detention, however, 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.

"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 go on 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.

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 intersection 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, Lieutenant-General.

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. General 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 determine 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 Humphreys'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
possession of the White Oak Road, and was directed to do so.  To
accomplish 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
upon 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 Oak 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 was 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 5th 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 Humphreys, 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 succeeded 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 command.  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 Station,
where they were overtaken by Miles's division.  A severe engagement
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
evacuated 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 Appomattox, 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 Jetersville, where he learned that Lee was at Amelia Court
House.  He immediately intrenched himself and awaited the arrival of
General 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, April 5, 1865.

"GENERAL:  All indications now are that Lee will attempt to reach
Danville 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 demoralized.  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 finish 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 be better able
to judge when you receive this.  Rebel armies now are the only strategic
points to strike at.

"U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.

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, followed by the 6th corps,
while the 2d and 5th corps pressed hard after, forcing him to abandon
several hundred wagons and several pieces of artillery.  General Ord
advanced from Burkesville towards Farmville, sending two regiments of
infantry and a squadron 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
detained until General Read was killed and his small force overpowered.
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 himself.  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 success.

On the morning of the 7th the pursuit was renewed, the cavalry, except
one division, and the 5th 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
Farmville 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
hopelessness 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 Virginia.

"U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.

Early on the morning of the 8th, before leaving, I received at Farmville
the following:

"April 7, 1865.

"GENERAL:  I have received your note of this date.  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, General.

To this I immediately replied:

"April 8, 1865.

"GENERAL:--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 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 the Northern Virginia will be received.

"U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.

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 ahead for Appomattox Station, followed by
General Ord's command and the 5th corps. During the day General Meade's
advance had considerable fighting 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.  During
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 the surrender of the Army
of Northern Virginia; but as far as your proposal may affect the
Confederate 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.

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:

"April 9, 1865.

"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.

On this 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, requesting a suspension of
hostilities pending negotiations for a surrender.

Before reaching General Sheridan's headquarters, I received the
following from General Lee:

"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.

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 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 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.

"U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.


"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.

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 homes, desiring peace and quiet, and
their arms are in the hands of our ordnance officers.

On the receipt of my letter of the 5th, General Sherman moved directly
against Joe Johnston, who retreated rapidly on and through Raleigh,
which place General Sherman occupied on the morning of the 13th.  The
day preceding, news of the surrender of General Lee reached him at

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 26th,
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
Greensboro' 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, capturing 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 commanding, 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 moving
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 prisoners captured; our loss was considerable.  These
successes practically opened to us the Alabama River, and enabled us to
approach Mobile from the north.  On the night of the 11th 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 Wilson, consisting
of twelve thousand five hundred mounted men, was delayed by rains until
March 22d, when it moved from Chickasaw, 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 abandoned 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 gunboats, 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 11th.

On the 4th day of May, General Dick Taylor surrendered to General Canby
all the remaining rebel forces east of the Mississippi.

A force sufficient to insure an easy triumph over the enemy under 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 President 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, carrying 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 disturbed 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 movements 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 submitted; some in the telegrams and
brief dispatches announcing them, and others, I regret to say, have not
as yet been officially reported.

For information touching our Indian difficulties, I would respectfully
refer to the reports of the commanders of departments in which they have

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, U. S.
GRANT, Lieutenant-General.



(*1) Afterwards General Gardner, C.S.A.

(*2) General Garland expressed a wish to get a message back to
General Twiggs, his division commander, or General Taylor, to
the effect that he was nearly out of ammunition and must have
more sent to him, or otherwise be reinforced.  Deeming the
return dangerous he did not like to order any one to carry it,
so he called for a volunteer.  Lieutenant Grant offered his
services, which were accepted.--PUBLISHERS.

(*3) Mentioned in the reports of Major Lee, Colonel Garland and
General Worth.--PUBLISHERS.

(*4) NOTE.--It had been a favorite idea with General Scott for a
great many years before the Mexican war to have established in
the United States a soldiers' home, patterned after something of
the kind abroad, particularly, I believe, in France.  He
recommended this uniformly, or at least frequently, in his
annual reports to the Secretary of War, but never got any
hearing.  Now, as he had conquered the state, he made
assessments upon the different large towns and cities occupied
by our troops, in proportion to their capacity to pay, and
appointed officers to receive the money.  In addition to the sum
thus realized he had derived, through capture at Cerro Gordo,
sales of captured government tobacco, etc., sums which swelled
the fund to a total of about $220,000.  Portions of this fund
were distributed among the rank and file, given to the wounded
in hospital, or applied in other ways, leaving a balance of some
$118,000 remaining unapplied at the close of the war.  After the
war was over and the troops all home, General Scott applied to
have this money, which had never been turned into the Treasury
of the United States, expended in establishing such homes as he
had previously recommended.  This fund was the foundation of the
Soldiers' Home at Washington City, and also one at Harrodsburgh,

The latter went into disuse many years ago.  In fact it never
had many soldiers in it, and was, I believe, finally sold.

(*5) The Mexican war made three presidential candidates, Scott,
Taylor and Pierce--and any number of aspirants for that high
office.  It made also governors of States, members of the
cabinet, foreign ministers and other officers of high rank both
in state and nation.  The rebellion, which contained more war in
a single day, at some critical periods, than the whole Mexican
war in two years, has not been so fruitful of political results
to those engaged on the Union side.  On the other side, the side
of the South, nearly every man who holds office of any sort
whatever, either in the state or in the nation, was a
Confederate soldier, but this is easily accounted for from the
fact that the South was a military camp, and there were very few
people of a suitable age to be in the army who were not in it.

(*6) C. B. Lagow, the others not yet having joined me.

(*7) NOTE.--Since writing this chapter I have received from Mrs.
W. H. L. Wallace, widow of the gallant general who was killed in
the first day's fight on the field of Shiloh, a letter from
General Lew. Wallace to him dated the morning of the 5th.  At
the date of this letter it was well known that the Confederates
had troops out along the Mobile & Ohio railroad west of Crump's
landing and Pittsburg landing, and were also collecting near
Shiloh.  This letter shows that at that time General Lew.
Wallace was making preparations for the emergency that might
happen for the passing of reinforcements between Shiloh and his
position, extending from Crump's landing westward, and he sends
it over the road running from Adamsville to the Pittsburg
landing and Purdy road.  These two roads intersect nearly a mile
west of the crossing of the latter over Owl Creek, where our
right rested.  In this letter General Lew. Wallace advises
General W. H. L. Wallace that he will send "to-morrow" (and his
letter also says "April 5th," which is the same day the letter
was dated and which, therefore, must have been written on the
4th) some cavalry to report to him at his headquarters, and
suggesting the propriety of General W. H. L. Wallace's sending a
company back with them for the purpose of having the cavalry at
the two landings familiarize themselves with the road so that
they could "act promptly in case of emergency as guides to and
from the different camps."

This modifies very materially what I have said, and what has
been said by others, of the conduct of General Lew. Wallace at
the battle of Shiloh.  It shows that he naturally, with no more
experience than he had at the time in the profession of arms,
would take the particular road that he did start upon in the
absence of orders to move by a different road.

The mistake he made, and which probably caused his apparent
dilatoriness, was that of advancing some distance after he found
that the firing, which would be at first directly to his front
and then off to the left, had fallen back until it had got very
much in rear of the position of his advance.  This falling back
had taken place before I sent General Wallace orders to move up
to Pittsburg landing and, naturally, my order was to follow the
road nearest the river.  But my order was verbal, and to a staff
officer who was to deliver it to General Wallace, so that I am
not competent to say just what order the General actually

General Wallace's division was stationed, the First brigade at
Crump's landing, the Second out two miles, and the Third two and
a half miles out.  Hearing the sounds of battle General Wallace
early ordered his First and Third brigades to concentrate on the
Second.  If the position of our front had not changed, the road
which Wallace took would have been somewhat shorter to our right
than the River road.



(*8) NOTE:  In an article on the battle of Shiloh which I wrote
for the Century Magazine, I stated that General A. McD. McCook,
who commanded a division of Buell's army, expressed some
unwillingness to pursue the enemy on Monday, April 7th, because
of the condition of his troops.  General Badeau, in his history,
also makes the same statement, on my authority.  Out of justice
to General McCook and his command, I must say that they left a
point twenty-two miles east of Savannah on the morning of the
6th.  From the heavy rains of a few days previous and the
passage of trains and artillery, the roads were necessarily deep
in mud, which made marching slow.  The division had not only
marched through this mud the day before, but it had been in the
rain all night without rest.  It was engaged in the battle of
the second day and did as good service as its position
allowed.  In fact an opportunity occurred for it to perform a
conspicuous act of gallantry which elicited the highest
commendation from division commanders in the Army of the
Tennessee.  General Sherman both in his memoirs and report makes
mention of this fact.  General McCook himself belongs to a family
which furnished many volunteers to the army.  I refer to these
circumstances with minuteness because I did General McCook
injustice in my article in the Century, though not to the extent
one would suppose from the public press.  I am not willing to do
any one an injustice, and if convinced that I have done one, I
am always willing to make the fullest admission.

(*9) NOTE.--For gallantry in the various engagements, from the
time I was left in command down to 26th of October and on my
recommendation, Generals McPherson and C. S. Hamilton were
promoted to be Major-Generals, and Colonels C. C. Marsh, 20th
Illinois, M. M. Crocker, 13th Iowa J. A. Mower, 11th Missouri,
M. D. Leggett, 78th Ohio, J. D. Stevenson, 7th Missouri, and
John E. Smith, 45th Illinois, to be Brigadiers.

(*10) Colonel Ellet reported having attacked a Confederate
battery on the Red River two days before with one of his boats,
the De Soto.  Running aground, he was obliged to abandon his
vessel.  However, he reported that he set fire to her and blew
her up.  Twenty of his men fell into the hands of the enemy.
With the balance he escaped on the small captured steamer, the
New Era, and succeeded in passing the batteries at Grand Gulf
and reaching the vicinity of Vicksburg.

(*11) One of Colonel Ellet's vessels which had run the blockade
on February the 2d and been sunk in the Red River.

(*12) NOTE.--On this occasion Governor Richard Yates, of
Illinois, happened to be on a visit to the army and accompanied
me to Carthage.  I furnished an ambulance for his use and that
of some of the State officers who accompanied him.

(*13) NOTE.--When General Sherman first learned of the move I
proposed to make, he called to see me about it.  I recollect
that I had transferred my headquarters from a boat in the river
to a house a short distance back from the levee.  I was seated
on the piazza engaged in conversation with my staff when Sherman
came up.  After a few moments' conversation he said that he would
like to see me alone.  We passed into the house together and shut
the door after us.  Sherman then expressed his alarm at the move
I had ordered, saying that I was putting myself in a position
voluntarily which an enemy would be glad to manoeuvre a year--or
a long time--to get me in.  I was going into the enemy's country,
with a large river behind me and the enemy holding points
strongly fortified above and below.  He said that it was an
axiom in war that when any great body of troops moved against an
enemy they should do so from a base of supplies, which they would
guard as they would the apple of the eye, etc.  He pointed out
all the difficulties that might be encountered in the campaign
proposed, and stated in turn what would be the true campaign to
make.  This was, in substance, to go back until high ground
could be reached on the east bank of the river; fortify there
and establish a depot of supplies, and move from there, being
always prepared to fall back upon it in case of disaster.  I
said this would take us back to Memphis.  Sherman then said that
was the very place he would go to, and would move by railroad
from Memphis to Grenada, repairing the road as we advanced.  To
this I replied, the country is already disheartened over the
lack of success on the part of our armies; the last election
went against the vigorous prosecution of the war, voluntary
enlistments had ceased throughout most of the North and
conscription was already resorted to, and if we went back so far
as Memphis it would discourage the people so much that bases of
supplies would be of no use:  neither men to hold them nor
supplies to put in them would be furnished.  The problem for us
was to move forward to a decisive victory, or our cause was
lost.  No progress was being made in any other field, and we had
to go on.

Sherman wrote to my adjutant general, Colonel J. A. Rawlins,
embodying his views of the campaign that should be made, and
asking him to advise me to at least get the views of my generals
upon the subject.  Colonel Rawlins showed me the letter, but I
did not see any reason for changing my plans.  The letter was
not answered and the subject was not subsequently mentioned
between Sherman and myself to the end of the war, that I
remember of.  I did not regard the letter as official, and
consequently did not preserve it.  General Sherman furnished a
copy himself to General Badeau, who printed it in his history of
my campaigns.  I did not regard either the conversation between
us or the letter to my adjutant-general as protests, but simply
friendly advice which the relations between us fully
justified.  Sherman gave the same energy to make the campaign a
success that he would or could have done if it had been ordered
by himself.  I make this statement here to correct an impression
which was circulated at the close of the war to Sherman's
prejudice, and for which there was no fair foundation.

(*14) Meant Edward's Station.

(*15) CHATTANOOGA, November 18, 1863.


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
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


CHATTANOOGA, November 18, 1863.


All preparations should be made for attacking the enemy's
position on Missionary Ridge by Saturday at daylight.  Not being
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
Chickamauga; 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 readiness to move wherever ordered.  This
division should show itself as threateningly as possible on the
most practicable line for making an attack up the valley.  Your
effort then will be to form a junction with Sherman, making your
advance well towards the northern end of Missionary Ridge, and
moving as near simultaneously 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 necessary.  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 unnecessarily 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.


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

(*17) CHATTANOOGA, November 24,1863.


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 cooperation.  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



(*18) WASHINGTON, D. C.,
December 8, 1863, 10.2 A.M.


Understanding that your lodgment at Knoxville and at Chattanooga
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


President U. S.

(*19) General John G. Foster.

(*20) During this winter the citizens of Jo Davies County, Ill.,
subscribed for and had a diamond-hilled 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.

December 29, 1863.


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.


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


April 4, 1864.

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 present
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
Orleans; 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
necessary 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 operations
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 operate 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

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.

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 25th 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

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 himself he can hold a leg while some one
else skins.

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


(*24) See instructions to Butler, in General Grant's report,

April 9, 1864.

Com'd'g Army of the Potomac.

For information and as instruction to govern your preparations
for the coming campaign, the following is communicated
confidentially 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,
however, 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 ultimate
aim.  If successful he will secure the line from Chattanooga 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
preparations 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 Tennessee 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 tributaries
would furnish us an easy line over which to bring all supplies to
within easy hauling distance 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 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 supplies
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 capture the forts or any
part of the garrison.  On the first intelligence of Forrest's
raid I telegraphed Sherman 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.

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 garrison 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
commanded 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 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

There will be naval co-operation on the James River, and
transports 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
baggage 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
headquarters 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
contingency should be made at once.  If not wanted there, there
is every probability they will be wanted on the James River or

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.



(*26) General John A. Logan, upon whom devolved the command of
the Army of the Tennessee during this battle, in his report gave
our total loss in killed, wounded and missing at 3,521; and
estimated that of the enemy to be not less than 10,000:  and
General G. M. Dodge, graphically describing to General Sherman
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 brigades and
three divisions; and brought back eight battle flags from the




MAJOR-GENERAL GEORGE G. MEADE, Commanding Army of the Potomac.

MAJ.-GEN. W. S. HANCOCK, commanding Second Army Corps.

     First Division, Brig.-Gen. Francis C. Barlow.
          First Brigade, Col. Nelson A. Miles.
          Second Brigade, Col. Thomas A. Smyth.
          Third Brigade, Col. Paul Frank.
          Fourth Brigade, Col. John R. Brooke.

     Second Division, Brig.-Gen. John Gibbon.
          First Brigade, Brig.-Gen. Alex. S. Webb.
          Second Brigade, Brig.-Gen. Joshua T. Owen.
          Third Brigade, Col. Samuel S. Carroll.

     Third Division, Maj.-Gen. David B. Birney.
          First Brigade, Brig.-Gen. J. H. H. Ward.
          Second Brigade, Brig.-Gen. Alexander Hays.

     Fourth Divisin, Brig.-Gen. Gershom Mott.
          First Brigade, Col. Robert McAllister.
          Second Brigade, Col. Wm. R. Brewster.

          Artillery Brigade, Col. John C. Tidball.

MAJ.-GEN. G. K. WARREN, commanding Fifth Army Corps.

     First Division, Brig.-Gen. Charles Griffin.
          First Brigade, Brig.-Gen. Romeyn B. Ayres.
          Second Brigade, Col. Jacob B. Sweitzer.
          Third Brigade, Brig.-Gen. J. J. Bartlett.

     Second Division, Brig.-Gen. John C. Robinson.
          First Brigade, Col. Samuel H. Leonard.
          Second Brigade, Brig.-Gen. Henry Baxter.
          Third Brigade, Col. Andrew W. Denison.

     Third Division, Brig.-Gen. Samuel W. Crawford.
          First Brigade, Col. Wm McCandless.
          Third Brigade, Col. Joseph W. Fisher.

     Fourth Division, Brig.-Gen. James S. Wadsworth.
          First Brigade, Brig.-Gen. Lysander Cutler.
          Second Brigade Brig.-Gen. James C. Rice.
          Third Brigade, Col. Roy Stone

          Artillery Brigade, Col. S. S. Wainwright.

MAJ.-GEN. JOHN SEDGWICK, commanding Sixth Army Corps.

     First Division, Brig.-Gen. H. G. Wright.
          First Brigade, Col. Henry W. Brown.
          Second Brigade, Col. Emory Upton.
          Third Brigade, Brig.-Gen. D. A. Russell.
          Fourth Brigade, Brig.-Gen. Alexander Shaler.

     Second Division, Brig.-Gen. George W. Getty.
          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. Eustis.

     Third Division, Brig.-Gen. James Ricketts.
          First Brigade, Brig.-Gen. Wm. H. Morris.
          Second Brigade, Brig.-Gen. T. Seymour.

          Artillery Brigade, Col. C. H. Tompkins

MAJ.-GEN. P. H. SHERIDAN, commanding Cavalry Corps.

     First Division, Brig.-Gen. A. T. A. Torbert.
          First Brigade, Brig.-Gen. G. A. Custer.
          Second Brigade, Col. Thos. C. Devin.
          Reserve Brigade, Brig.-Gen. Wesley Merritt

     Second Division, Brig.-Gen. D. McM. Gregg.
          First Brigade, Brig.-Gen. Henry E. Davies, Jr.
          Second Brigade, Col. J. Irvin Gregg.

     Third Division, Brig.-Gen. J. H. Wilson.
          First Brigade, Col. T. M. Bryan, Jr.
          Second Brigade, Col. Geo. H. Chapman.

MAJ.-GEN. A. E. BURNSIDE, commanding Ninth Army Corps.

     First Division, Brig.-Gen. T. G. Stevenson.
          First Brigade, Col. Sumner Carruth.
          Second Brigade, Col. Daniel Leasure.

     Second Division, Brig.-Gen. Robert B. Potter.
          First Brigade, Col. Zenas R. Bliss.
          Second Brigade, Col. Simon G. Griffin.

     Third Division, Brig.-Gen. Orlando Willcox.
          First Brigade, Col. John F. Hartranft.
          Second Brigade, Col. Benj. C. Christ.

     Fourth Division, Brig.-Gen. Edward Ferrero.
          First Brigade, Col. Joshua K. Sigfried.
          Second Brigade, Col. Henry G. Thomas.

          Provisional Brigade, Col. Elisha G. Marshall.

BRIG.-GEN. HENRY J. HUNT, commanding Artillery.

     Reserve, Col. H. S. Burton.
          First Brigade, Col. J. H. Kitching.
          Second Brigade, Maj. J. A. Tompkins.
          First Brig. Horse Art., Capt. J. M. Robertson.
          Second Brigade, Horse Art., Capt. D. R. Ransom.
          Third Brigade, Maj. R. H. Fitzhugh.

          Provost Guard, Brig.-Gen. M. R. Patrick.
          Volunteer Engineers, Brig.-Gen. H. W. Benham.


Organization of the Army of Northern Virginia, Commanded by
GENERAL ROBERT E. LEE, August 31st, 1834.

    First Army Corps:  LIEUT.-GEN. R. H. ANDERSON, Commanding.

     Brig.-Gen. Seth M. Barton's Brigade. (a)
     Brig.-Gen. M. D. Corse's      "
          "     Eppa Hunton's      "
          "     Wm. R. Terry's     "

MAJ.-GEN. C. W. FIELD'S Division. (b)
     Brig.-Gen. G. T. Anderson's Brigade
           "    E. M. Law's (c)     "
           "    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

     Brig.-Gen. H. T. Hays' Brigade. (e)
         "      John Pegram 's   "   (f)
         "      Gordon's         "   (g)
     Brig.-Gen. R. F. Hoke's     "

     Stonewall Brig. (Brig.-Gen. J. A. Walker). (h)
     Brig.-Gen. J M Jones' Brigade. (h)
         "      Geo H. Stewart's "  (h)
         "      L. A. Stafford's "  (e)

MAJ.-GEN. R. E. RODES' Division.
     Brig.-Gen. J. Daniel's Brigade. (i)
         "      Geo. Dole's      "   (k)
         "      S. D. Ramseur's Brigade.
         "      C. A. Battle's   "
         "      R. D. Johnston's " (f)

    Third Army Corps:  LIEUT.-GEN. A. P. HILL, Commanding.

MAJ.-GEN. WM. MAHONE'S Division. (l)
     Brig.-Gen. J. C. C. Sanders' Brigade.
                Mahone's             "
     Brig.-Gen. N. H. Harris's       "  (m)
        "       A. R. Wright's       "
        "       Joseph Finegan's     "

MAJ.-GEN. C. M. WILCOX'S Division.
     Brig.-Gen. E. L. Thomas's Brigade (n)
        "       James H. Lane's   "
        "       Sam'l McCowan's   "
        "       Alfred M. Scale's "

MAJ.-GEN. H. HETH'S Division. (o)
     Brig.-Gen. J. R. Davis's Brigade.
        "       John R. Cooke's  "
        "       D. McRae's       "
        "       J. J. Archer's   "
        "       H. H. Walker's   "

           _unattached_:  5th Alabama Battalion.

  Cavalry Corps:  LIEUTENANT-GENERAL WADE HAMPTON, Commanding.(p)

     Brig.-Gen. W. C. Wickham's Brigade
        "      L. L. Lomax's      "

MAJ.-GEN. M. C. BUTLER'S Division.
     Brig.-Gen. John Dunovant's Brigade.
        "       P. M. B. Young's   "
        "       Thomas L. Rosser's "

MAJ.-GEN. W. H. F. LEE'S Division.
     Brig.-Gen. Rufus Barringer's Brigade.
        "      J. R. Chambliss's    "

  Artillery Reserve:  BRIG.-GEN. W. N. PENDLETON, Commanding.

     Cabell's Battalion.
          Manly's Battery.
          1st Co. Richmond Howitzers.
          Carleton's Battery.
          Calloway's Battery.

     Haskell's Battalion.
          Branch's Battery.
          Nelson's    "
          Garden's    "
          Rowan       "

     Huger's Battalion.
          Smith's Battery.
          Moody      "
          Woolfolk   "
          Parker's   "
          Taylor's   "
          Fickling's "
          Martin's   "

     Gibb's Battalion.
          Davidson's Battery.
          Dickenson's   "
          Otey's        "


     Braxton's Battalion.
          Lee Battery.
          1st Md. Artillery.
          Stafford    "
          Alleghany   "

     Cutshaw's Battalion.
          Charlotteville Artillery.
          Staunton           "
          Courtney           "

     Carter's Battalion.
          Morris Artillery.
          Orange      "
          King William Artillery.
          Jeff Davis        "

    Nelson's Battalion.
          Amherst Artillery.
          Milledge     "
          Fluvauna     "

     Brown's Battalion.
          Powhatan Artillery.
          2d Richmond Howitzers.
          3d    "         "
          Rockbridge Artillery.
          Salem Flying Artillery.


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

     Richardson's Battalion.
          Lewis Artillery.
          Donaldsonville Artillery.
          Norfolk Light       "
          Huger               "

     Mclntosh 's Battalion.
          Johnson's Battery.
          Hardaway Artillery.
          Danville      "
          2d Rockbridge Artillery.

     Pegram's Battalion.
          Peedee Artillery.
          Fredericksburg Artillery.
          Letcher             "
          Purcell Battery.
          Crenshaw's Battery.

     Poague's Battalion.
          Madison Artillery.
          Albemarle    "
          Brooke       "
          Charlotte    "

(a) COL. W. R. Aylett was in command Aug. 29th, and probably at
above date.
(b) Inspection report of this division shows that it also
contained Benning's and Gregg's Brigades. (c) Commanded by
Colonel P. D. Bowles.
(d) Only two brigadier-generals reported for duty; names not

Organization of the Army of the Valley District.
(e) Constituting York's Brigade.
(f) In Ramseur's Division.
(g) Evan's Brigade, Colonel E. N. Atkinson commanding, and
containing 12th Georgia Battalion.
(h) The Virginia regiments constituted Terry's Brigade, Gordon's
(i) Grimes' Brigade.
(k) Cook's    "

(l) Returns report but one general officer present for duty;
name not indicated.
(m) Colonel Joseph M. Jayne, commanding.
(n) Colonel Thomas J. Simmons, commanding. (o) Four
brigadier-generals reported present for duty; names not
(p) On face of returns appears to have consisted of Hampton's,
Fitz-Lee's, and W. H. F. Lee's Division, and Dearing's Brigade.

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

May II, 1864.--3 P.M.

Commanding Army of the Potomac.

Move three divisions of the 2d corps by the rear of the 5th 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.
will send one or two staff officers over to-night to stay with
Burnside, and impress him with the importance of a prompt and
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 commenced one hour earlier and had been
heartily entered into by Mott's division and the 9th corps.


May 11, 1864.-4 P.M.

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.

I send two of my staff officers, Colonels Comstock and Babcock,
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 advantage
of any diversion caused by yours and Hancock's attack, and will
push in their whole force if any opportunity presents itself.


May 12, 1864, 6.30 P.M.

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,
including 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.


(*31) SPOTTSYLVANIA C. H., May 13, 1864.

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; 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
recognition.  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
Humphreys to the rank of Major-General.

General Meade has more than met my most sanguine expectations.
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.


(*32) QUARLES' MILLS, VA., May 26, 1864.

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.

To make a direct attack from either wing would cause a slaughter
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
therefore 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,
belonging 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 division 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 rapidly 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 contributed largely to the feeling
of confidence inspired in our men, and to break down that of the

We are destroying all the rails we can on the Central and
Fredericksburg 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 probably 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.


(*33) NEAR COLD HARBOR, June 3, 1864, 7 A.M.

Commanding A. P.

The moment it becomes certain that an assault cannot succeed,
suspend the offensive; but when one does succeed, push it
vigorously 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.


(*34) 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 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 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 River, 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

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
intrenchments, but that it can beat and drive the enemy wherever
and whenever he can be found without this protection.


(*35) COLD HARBOR, VA., June 6, 1864.


Commanding Dept. W. Va.

General Sheridan leaves here to-morrow morning, with
instructions 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.
According to the instructions I sent to General Halleck for your
guidance, 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 Staunton and Lynchburg, you immediately
turn east by the most practicable road.  From thence move
eastward along the line of the road, destroying it completely
and thoroughly, until you join General Sheridan.  After the work
laid out for General Sheridan and yourself is thoroughly done,
proceed to join the Army of the Potomac 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 detach a cavalry force to destroy the canal.
Lose no opportunity to destroy the canal.




Wilderness, May 5th to 7th | 2,261 | 8,785 | 2,902 |13,948 |
Spottsylvania, May 8th to 21st | 2,271 | 9,360 | 1,970 | 13,601|
North Anna, May 23d to 27th | 186 | 792 | 165 | 1,143 |
Totopotomoy, May 27th to 31st | 99 | 358 | 52 | 509 | Cold
Harbor, May 31st to June 12th | 1,769 | 6,752 | 1,537 |10,058 |
Total ................  | 6,586 | 26,047 | 6,626 | 39,259 |

(*37) CITY POINT, VA., June 17, 1864.  11 A.M.

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.

Too much credit cannot be given to the troops and their
commanders 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.


(*38) CITY POINT, VA., July 24, 1864.

Commanding, etc.

The engineer officers who made a survey of the front from
Bermuda Hundred report against the probability of success from
an 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 absolute 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 through.

To the right and left of the point of assault all the artillery
possible 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 moment's notice either to their front or
to follow the main assault, as they should receive orders.  One
thing, however, should be impressed 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 Hundred 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

        *        *        *        *        *        *        *

Whether we send an expedition on the road or assault at
Petersburg, Burnside's mine will be blown up....


(*39) See letter, August 5th, Appendix.

(*40) See Appendix, letters of Oct. 11th.

(*41) CITY POINT, VA., December 2,1864.

Nashville Tenn.

If Hood is permitted to remain quietly about Nashville, you will
lose all the road back to Chattanooga and possibly have to
abandon the line of the Tennessee.  Should he attack you it is
all well, but if he does not you should attack him before he
fortifies.  Arm and put in the trenches your quartermaster
employees, citizens, etc.


CITY POINT, VA., December 2, 1864.--1.30 P.M.

Nashville, Tenn.

With your citizen employees armed, you can move out of Nashville
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 injury 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


CITY POINT, VA., December 5, 1864.

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
Forrest, Hood should be attacked where he is.  Time strengthens
him in all possibility as much as it does you.


CITY POINT, VA., December 6, 1864--4 P.M.

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.


CITY POINT, VA., December 8, 1864.--8.30 P.M.

Nashville, Tenn.

Your dispatch of yesterday received.  It looks to me evident the
enemy are trying to cross the Cumberland River, and are
scattered.  Why not attack at once?  By all means avoid the
contingency 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.

Nashville, Tenn.

If you delay attack longer the mortifying spectacle will be
witnessed of a rebel army moving for the Ohio River, and you
will 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


WASHINGTON, D. C., December 15, 1864.

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


(*42) See orders to Major-General Meade, Ord, and Sheridan,
March 24th, Appendix.

(*43) See Appendix.

(*44) 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 manifold
order book on which he wrote the terms, and the interlineations
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

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.

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