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Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, The Passing of the Armies: The Last Campaign of the Armies. 108 0 Browse Search
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Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, The Passing of the Armies: The Last Campaign of the Armies., Chapter 2: the overture. (search)
miles,--a circumstance which gave the Confederates the great advantage of three to one in effective numbers. It will be observed that we had abundance of commanders independent among each other,--Sheridan, Meade, and Ord commanding the Army of the James, subordinate only to Grant who was present in the field. The result of this the sequel will show. We were all good friends,--those who were to constitute the turning column. Warren of our Fifth Corps had once commanded the Second; Humphreys of the Second had formerly commanded a division in the Fifth; Miles, division commander in the Second, had won his spurs in the Fifth; Meade, commanding the army, had been corps commander of the Fifth. Crook's cavalry division of our army, now about to go to Sheridan, had been our pet and pride; Sheridan was an object of admiration and awe. Of the Fifth Corps, the division commanders of the First and Second were Griffin and Ayres of the regular artillery, and veterans of the Mexican
Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, The Passing of the Armies: The Last Campaign of the Armies., Chapter 3: the White Oak Road. (search)
Plank Road, which the Fifth Corps occupied as far as its crossing of Gravelly Run. Meantime, Humphreys with the Second Corps, advanced on the right of the road, and pressing the Confederate picketsto do with shaping our energies for action. The despatch was the following: As Warren and Humphreys advance, thus shortening their line, I think the former had better move by the left flank as fhis way valiantly close up to the enemy's works in that part of their line. Miles reported to Humphreys that he was ahead of the Fifth Corps, which subsequently bore off to the left of him and left k: I think his suggestion the best thing we can do under existing circumstances — that is, let Humphreys relieve Griffin, and let Warren move on to the White Oak Road, and endeavor to turn the enemy's right. To this Grant replied at 8.35: It will just suit what I intended to propose — to let Humphreys relieve Griffin's Division, and let that move further to the left. Warren should get himself
Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, The Passing of the Armies: The Last Campaign of the Armies., Chapter 4: Five Forks. (search)
e Oak Road would have been one blade of the shears, and Ord and Wright and Parke on the main line the other, and the hard and costly ten days chase and struggle would have been spared so many noble men. Lee would not have got a day's start of us in the desperate race. Sheridan cutting the enemy's communications and rolling up their scattering fugitives would have shown his great qualities, and won conspicuous, though not supreme honors. Warren would have shared the glories of his corps. Humphreys and Wright with their veterans of the Second and Sixth, whose superb action compelled the first flag of truce contemplating Lee's surrender, would not have stood idly around the headquarters' flag of the Army of the Potomac, with Longstreet's right wing brought to bay before them, waiting till Lee's final answer to Grant should come through Sheridan to the Fifth Corps front, where Ord, of the Army of the James, commanded. And Meade, the high-born gentleman and high-born soldier, would hav
Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, The Passing of the Armies: The Last Campaign of the Armies., Chapter 5: the week of flying fights. (search)
ur army upon the outer Petersburg defenses. Humphreys, learning of this at about nine o'clock, att probabilities of Meade's motive in ordering Humphreys away from Miles' Division when Sheridan was west of them, and also just at the time when Humphreys was returning from the direction of Petersbu him. He adds, in terms implying censure of Humphreys: I directed Humphreys to send a division bacmself. It required considerable boldness in Humphreys to go himself with one of his divisions. Wae ratio seems the same as that of Warren and Humphreys to their commands,--the instinctive dignity imity. He dispatches Grant: I have ordered Humphreys to move out at all hazards at 3 A. M.; but i now well on its way around our left flank. Humphreys caught sight of some of Lee's rear columns mounded by the enemy. Had Lee but understood Humphreys's situation, he might have destroyed the Sec have been rapidly concentrated according to Humphreys's earnest suggestion, and Meade's intention,[27 more...]
Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, The Passing of the Armies: The Last Campaign of the Armies., Chapter 6: Appomattox. (search)
tten General Lee a letter from Farmville, and sent it through General Humphreys' lines, asking Lee to surrender his army. Lee answered at onof the 8th, Grant wrote to Lee a second letter, delivered through Humphreys' skirmish line and Fitzhugh Lee's rear-guard, proposing to meet h-Lee being now in his immediate presence, so to speak, close upon Humphreys' skirmish line,--for reasons which he has not made fully apparentwenty-mile ride over to Sheridan, leaving great responsibility on Humphreys and Wright. Lee was repeatedly sending word to Humphreys asking Humphreys asking for a truce pending consideration of proposals for surrender. Humphreys answered that he had no authority to consent to this, but, on the coHumphreys answered that he had no authority to consent to this, but, on the contrary, must press him to the utmost; and at last, in answer to Lee's urgency, he even had to warn General Lee that he must retire from a posended. For Lee in the meantime has sent a further letter through Humphreys to Grant, asking an interview on the basis of Grant's last lette
Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, The Passing of the Armies: The Last Campaign of the Armies., Chapter 7: the return of the Army. (search)
de to the Gettysburg campaign. This is the procession that passes as we pass. Pensively we crossed the Aquia Creek, old debouchure from Washington of all that food for death, and of the spectral gayeties of what is called life. Plunging now into lower levels we found a hard road to travel, and crossing the Choppawamsic and Quantico, we went down with the sun in dreary bivouac at Dumfries. The roads were bad; pressing feet and heavy hoofs and cutting wheels had made them worse. General Humphreys, following with the Second Corps, thoughtful ever for his men, and as an accomplished engineer scorning such crude conditions, sent out two entire divisions to repair the road before he would undertake to move, and even then was forced to take another route. In our movement on this morning of the Ith of May General Griffin leading out with the artillery sent the pioneers of the Third Division following to move with the artillery and help it along, while sending the pioneers of the Fir
Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, The Passing of the Armies: The Last Campaign of the Armies., Chapter 9: the last review. (search)
before the year was outshot dead at the head of your commands; of the rest, every one desperately wounded in the thick of battle; I last of all, but here to-day, with you, earthly or ethereal forms. Waes Hael!--across the rifts of vision--Be whole again, my thirteen! What draws near heralded by tumult of applause, but when well-recognized greeted with mingled murmurs of reverence? It is the old Second Corps --of Sumner and of Hancock,--led now by one no less honored and admired,--Humphreys, the accomplished, heroic soldier, the noble and modest man. He rides a snow-white horse, followed by his well-proved staff, like-mounted, chief of them the brilliant Frank Walker, capable of higher things, and Joe Smith, chief commissary, with a medal of honor for gallant service beyond duty,--a striking group, not less to the eye in color and composition, than to the mind in character. Above them is borne the corps badge, the cloverleaf,--peaceful token, but a triple mace to foes,dear t
Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, The Passing of the Armies: The Last Campaign of the Armies., Chapter 11: the disbandment. (search)
s. This was very unjust to merit as well as injurious as policy. We had seen considerable lack of equity in this matter before the close of the war in the unevenness of scale on which different commanders secured brevets for their subordinates. One result of this was the relative injustice among those holding similar commands in different corps. Warmhearted generals like Sheridan would be generous in their recommendation. Others of a severer temperament would move more slowly. Clearseeing Humphreys, just and zealous for truth, protested against this inequality and tried to resist it, by recommending only for distinguished merit. But the key-note had been set; and to grant brevets for merit only would work practical injustice considering that others had been so promoted on other grounds. I have to confess that in some vexation of spirit I resolved to keep up with the best in recommending this honor for the officers of my division at the close of the war. But in the meantime th