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Edward Porter Alexander, Military memoirs of a Confederate: a critical narrative, Chapter 1: from the U. S.A. Into the C. S.A. (search)
eir immense war canoes. This vessel was directed to take us to Port Townsend, and there the Cortes, which ran between San Francisco and Vancouver's Island, would call and get us. We sailed from Steilacoom City in the afternoon of April 9, 1861. Four years later, to an hour, I saw Gen. Lee ride back to his lines from Appomattox Court House, where he had just surrendered his army. On April 12 we took the Cortes, and, after touching at Squimault and Portland, we reached San Francisco on the 20th. We were too late to catch the Panama steamer of that date, as we had hoped, and the next boat was May 1. As our steamer made fast to the wharf all my personal plans were upset. A special messenger, waiting on the wharf, came aboard and handed me an order by telegraph and Pony Express relieving me from duty with my company, and ordering me to report to Lt. McPherson in charge of Alcatraz Island, San Francisco harbor. I was very sorry to receive this order, as it deprived me of transpo
Edward Porter Alexander, Military memoirs of a Confederate: a critical narrative, Chapter 2: the battle of Bull Run (July, 1861) (search)
ng the afternoon; but although the railroad had promised to deliver all four brigades in Manassas by sunrise Saturday, the 20th, only two more regiments, the 7th and 8th Ga., of Bartow's brigade — about 1400 men — were sent. The cavalry and artiller The trouble was that the railroad had no relays of employees, and was unable to hold its men at constant work. On the 20th Johnston himself went with the 4th Ala., the 2d Miss., and two companies of the 11th Miss., about a thousand men. These weehind Ewell, on our right flank. Jackson's brigade also arrived and was placed in reserve behind Mitchell's Ford. On the 20th Johnston arrived in person, also the 7th and 8th Ga. of Bartow's brigade, the 4th Ala., and the 2d Miss. of Bee's. These te bringing Johnston's army, and reported the facts and his conclusions to McDowell, not only on the 19th, but again on the 20th. The suggestions were received very coolly, and no steps were taken to find out. From Centreville the Warrenton pike r
Edward Porter Alexander, Military memoirs of a Confederate: a critical narrative, Chapter 11: second Manassas (search)
until the 20th, and orders were issued accordingly. Doubtless, Lee found it hard to believe that Pope, so soon after his boasting order, and still sooner after the victory he had claimed at Cedar Mountain, would now turn his back and fly without firing a shot; but, later on that day, there came reports of activity and stir among the enemy's camps, and on the 19th Lee and Longstreet, going up the mountain to see for themselves, saw Pope's whole army march away to the Rappahannock. On the 20th Lee's advance took place, but although the march was rapidly made in hopes of overtaking some delayed portion of the enemy, the hopes proved vain. On the north side of the Rappahannock, Pope found such advantages of position that, although for five precious days Lee sought diligently by feints and demonstrations to find a favorable opening, his efforts were vain. But to do nothing was to lose the campaign. By a bold raid of Stuart's, however, Lee now had the good luck to turn the tables
Edward Porter Alexander, Military memoirs of a Confederate: a critical narrative, Chapter 19: battle of Chickamauga (search)
t 925 miles, with imperfect connections through some cities and some changes of gauge. The infantry was given precedence, and my battalion was marched to Petersburg, where it took trains about 4 P. M., Thursday, Sept. 17. At 2 A. M., Sunday, the 20th, we reached Wilmington, 225 miles in 58 hours. Here we changed cars and ferried the river, leaving at 2 P. M. The battle of Chickamauga was being fought upon the 19th and 20th, only five of our nine brigades having arrived in time to participate. ce. Second, he was now receiving reenforcements, averaging nearly a brigade a day. On the 19th, only Hood with three of Longstreet's veteran brigades had reached the field. Longstreet, in person with two more, arrived in time to take part on the 20th. McLaws with four more brigades of infantry and 26 guns of the reserve artillery were close behind, and were enough to have turned the evenly balanced scale in the battle. On Sept. 15, Rosecrans's army was west of the Chickamauga, and had its
Edward Porter Alexander, Military memoirs of a Confederate: a critical narrative, Chapter 20: battle of the Wilderness (search)
gle, Grant seems to have exhausted the possibilities on the Spottsylvania lines, and for his next effort he decided to lay a snare for Lee. It was thought that if Hancock's corps was sent off about 20 miles on the line of the Fredericksburg R. R., that Lee would be tempted to attack it and endeavor to crush it while isolated. Grant, having every preparation made for a rapid march, might follow and attack Lee before he could intrench himself. Hancock, accordingly, marched at nightfall on the 20th, and, by midday of the 21st, Barlow had crossed the Mattapony and began to intrench at Milford Station, the rest of the 2d corps following. Next morning, the 5th corps marched about 10 A. M., and the 6th and 9th followed later in the day. Lee never knew of the trap set for him. When he was informed of Hancock's appearance at Milford by signal stations and cavalry detachments, he supposed it to be an effort to pass him on the flank. Little time was wasted. Wilcox drove in the 6th corps s
Edward Porter Alexander, Military memoirs of a Confederate: a critical narrative, Chapter 23: the fall of 1864 (search)
a. Confident language by a military commander is not usually regarded as evidence of competence. It is vain to speculate on what might have happened had Johnston been left in command. Had Lee been commanderin-chief, he would not have been relieved, as was indicated by his restoring Johnston to command on his taking that position in February. But it is a fact that Johnston had never fought but one aggressive battle, the battle of Seven Pines, which was phenomenally mismanaged. On the 20th and 21st, Hood attacked Sherman, but was defeated, and after a month of minor operations was finally, on Sept. 1, compelled to evacuate Atlanta. Meanwhile, a naval expedition, sent under Farragut against Mobile, had captured the forts commanding the harbor of that city on Aug. 23. These two events, the capture of Mobile and Atlanta, following each other within a few days, came at perhaps the period of the greatest political depression of the administration. On Aug. 23, Mr. Lincoln had writ