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Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, The Passing of the Armies: The Last Campaign of the Armies., Biographical note. (search)
activity of his brother Thomas, late Colonel of the Twentieth Maine, and the skill and tireless fidelity of the regimental surgeon, Dr. Shaw. During the last campaign of the war, General Chamberlain, with two brigades, led the advance of the infantry with Sheridan, and in the fight on the Quaker Road he was twice wounded and his horse was shot under him. For his conspicuous gallantry in this action, he was promoted to the brevet rank of Major-General. In the fight at White Oak Road, March 31st, although seriously disabled by wounds, General Chamberlain distinguished himself by recovering a lost field; while in the battle of Five Forks, of April 1st, his promptitude and skillful handling of troops received again official commendation. In the final action near Appomattox Court House on the ninth of April, Chamberlain was called by General Sheridan to replace the leading division of cavalry, and the first flag of truce from Longstreet came to Chamberlain's headquarters. His Corps
Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, The Passing of the Armies: The Last Campaign of the Armies., Chapter 3: the White Oak Road. (search)
eridan's cavalry did not long hold this position. Grant's despatch to Meade, March 31st, Rebellion Records, Serial 97, p. 339. General Grant's wishes, as now und Contrasts are sometimes illumining. When our assault on the enemy's right, March 31st, was followed by General Miles' attack on the Claiborne entrenchments on the s you so direct. This is to be compared with Meade's order of 10.30 A. M., March 31st through General Webb: see ante. It is impossible to think that Warren knehe object of the orders I have received. See this despatch of 10.55 P. M., March 31st. War Records, Serial 97, p. 367. General Warren, in his testimony before the de to make that distinct announcement to Sheridan. (Despatch of 10.34 P. M., March 31st.) To this Meade replies that he had ordered the Fifth Corps to Sheridan, and preme commanders being at such distance from the fields of operation on the 31st of March, that it was impossible to have a complete mutual understanding at the minu
Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, The Passing of the Armies: The Last Campaign of the Armies., Chapter 4: Five Forks. (search)
ntedly severe, and that all of us would have to help make up for that day's damage. This was in a despatch sent by Grant to Sheridan at about 2 P. M. on the 31st of March, just as I was advancing, after Ayres' repulse. This read: Warren's and Miles' Divisions are now advancing. I hope your cavalry is up where it will be of assWe had a habit, perhaps, drawn from dire experience, and, for which we had also Grant's quite recent sanction, The order to entrench on the White Oak Road, March 31st. See War Papers, vol. i., p. 235. when we had carried a vital point or had to hold one, to entrench. But Sheridan does not entrench. He pushes on, carrying the Southside Road at Sutherland's the day before. The right of the enemy's entrenchments on the Claiborne Road after they were driven in on the afternoon of March 31st was by no means strongly held. Testimony of General Hunton, Warren Court Records, p. 629. Indeed, the very first thing we did the next morning after Five Forks
Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, The Passing of the Armies: The Last Campaign of the Armies., Chapter 5: the week of flying fights. (search)
rwards regretted giving up this division, as I believe the enemy could at the time have been crushed at Sutherland's depot. I returned to Five Forks, and marched out the Ford Road towards Hatcher's Run. Two things are to be noted here: the reason why Sheridan did not join the attack here, but released himself from the fight and Miles from his jurisdiction; and also his belief that this was the place at which to crush the enemy. Some of the rest of us had thought the same way on the 31st of March. This testimony is also confirmed by the opinion of the modest Humphreys, who cannot help saying that if the Second Corps could have been permitted to continue its march in the morning, the whole force of the enemy there would probably have been captured. This cumulative testimony shows what was lost by the antipathy of polarities, in the presence of Miles, the mysterious repellant. In reflecting on the probabilities of Meade's motive in ordering Humphreys away from Miles' Division
Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, The Passing of the Armies: The Last Campaign of the Armies., Chapter 6: Appomattox. (search)
ich we piled our dead for breastworks so that the living might stay and live. Here too come Gordon's Georgians and Hoke's North Carolinians, who stood before the terrific mine explosion at Petersburg, and advancing retook the smoking crater and the dismal heaps of dead-ours more than theirs-huddled in the ghastly chasm. Here are the men of McGowan, Hunton, and Scales, who broke the Fifth Corps lines on the White Oak Road, and were so desperately driven back on that forlorn night of March 31St by my thrice-decimated brigade. Now comes Anderson's Fourth Corps, only Bushrod Johnson's Division left, and this the remnant of those we fought so fiercely on the Quaker Road two weeks ago, with Wise's Legion, too fierce for its own good. Here passes the proud remnant of Ransom's North Carolinians which we swept through Five Forks ten days ago,--and all the little that was left of this division in the sharp passages at Sailor's Creek five days thereafter. Now makes its last fr
Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, The Passing of the Armies: The Last Campaign of the Armies., Chapter 7: the return of the Army. (search)
crape on arm and sword-hilt. It had a certain majesty of tone,that returning army of august memories. A solemn march it was,--past so many fields from which visions arose linking life with the immortal. First past the Five Forks not far away, at the Ford Station where a month before we had forced back Fitzhugh Lee and caught the last train out of Petersburg under Confederate auspices; then Sutherland's, ten miles farther, which we were so strangely prevented from making our own on the 31st of March, and where the gallant Miles two days afterwards made a maelstrom of the outrushing currents of Lee's broken army; then passing the focal point where three roads crossing made a six-pointed star, behind Burgess' Mill, and the Quaker Road where my stubborn little First Brigade made the costly overture of the last campaign; then moving along that well-worn road between the Boydton Plank and the Appomattox so graven in our brain, so grave in history. All forsaken and silent now, the thund