received by way of Washington, saying that General Butler had reached the junction of the James and Appomattox rivers the night of the 5th, had surprised the enemy, and successfully disembarked his troops, and that Sherman was moving out against Johnston in Georgia, and expected that a battle would be fought on the 7th.
All preparations for the night march had now been completed.
The wagon-trains were to move at 4 P. M., so as to get a start of the infantry, and then go into park and let thtween him and Richmond.
At noon a package of despatches from Washington reached headquarters, and were eagerly read.
They announced that Sherman's columns were moving successfully in northwestern Georgia, that Resaca was threatened, and that Joe Johnston was steadily retreating.
A report from Butler, dated the 5th, stated that he had landed at City Point, and reports of the 6th and 7th announced that he had sent out reconnoitering parties on the Petersburg Railroad, and had despatched troops
the rain continued, and the difficulties of moving became still greater.
Important despatches were received from the other armies.
They informed the general-in-chief that General Averell's cavalry had cut a portion of the East Tennessee Railroad, and had also captured and destroyed a depot of supplies in West Virginia.
Butler reported that he had captured some works near Drewry's Bluff, on the James River.
The next day, the 16th, came a despatch from Sherman saying that he had compelled Johnston to evacuate Dalton and was pursuing him closely.
Sheridan reported that he had destroyed a portion of the Virginia Central and the Fredericksburg railroads in Lee's rear, had killed General J. E. B. Stuart, completely routed his cavalry, and captured a portion of the outer lines of Richmond.
He said he might possibly have taken Richmond by assault, but, being ignorant of the operations of General Grant and General Butler, and knowing the rapidity with which the enemy could throw troops ag
al Grant, she seemed greatly surprised, and in a rather excited manner informed the other lady of the fact.
The younger lady, whose name was Mrs. Tyler, said that she was the wife of a colonel in the Confederate army, who was serving with General Joe Johnston in the West; but she had not heard from him for some time, and she was very anxious to learn through General Grant what news he had from that quarter.
The general said, Sherman is advancing upon Rome, and ought to have reached that placeher-in-law of the younger one, said very sharply: General Sherman will never capture that place.
I know all about that country, and you have n't an army that will ever take it. We all know very well that Sherman is making no headway against General Johnston's army.
We could see that she was entertaining views which everywhere prevailed in the South.
The authorities naturally put the best face upon matters, and the newspapers tried to buoy up the people with false hopes.
It was not surprisi
It was rumored at one time that Hill's corps had been detached from Lee's front, and there was some anxiety to know whether it had been sent to Early or to Johnston, who was opposing Sherman; but the rumor was soon found to be groundless.
Grant's orders now were to press the enemy in Maryland with all vigor, to make a boldeived through the lines gave very conflicting accounts of the operations on Sherman's front, and indicated that there was a great demand for the reinforcement of Johnston, and expressed the belief that there would be vigorous movements made to break Sherman's communications.
In a despatch to Halleck Grant said: If he [Sherman] ca Virginia was to start Sheridan on a raid to cut the railroads southwest of Richmond.
Important news reached headquarters on July 17 to the effect that General Joe Johnston had been relieved from duty, and General Hood put in command of the army opposed to Sherman.
General Grant said when he received this information: I know
n North Carolina.
Schofield's orders were afterward changed, and he rendezvoused at Alexandria, Virginia, instead of Annapolis.
The Army of the Potomac and the Army of the James were to watch Lee, and at the proper time strike his army a crushing blow, or, if he should suddenly retreat, to pursue him and inflict upon him all damage possible, and to endeavor to head off and prevent any portion of his army from reaching North Carolina as an organized force capable of forming a junction with Johnston and opposing Sherman.
Some of these operations were delayed longer than was expected, and a few changes were made in the original plan; but they were all carried into effect with entire success, and the military ability of the general-in-chief never appeared to better advantage than in directing these masterly movements, which covered a theater of war greater than that of any campaigns in modern history, and which required a grasp and comprehension which have rarely been possessed even by
ut that if he did there would be a hot pursuit.
Sherman assured the President that in such a contingency his army, by acting on the defensive, could resist both Johnston and Lee till Grant could reach him, and that then the enemy would be caught in a vise and have his life promptly crushed out. Mr. Lincoln asked if it would not b headquarters.
General Rawlins expressed the opinion around the camp-fire, on the morning of the 30th, that no forage could be hauled out to our cavalry; that Joe Johnston might come up in our rear if we remained long in our present position; that the success of turning Lee's right depended on our celerity; that now he had been en time to make his dispositions to thwart us; and that it might be better to fall back, and make a fresh start later on. General Grant replied by saying that if Johnston could move rapidly enough in such weather to reach us, he (Grant) would turn upon him with his whole command, crush him, and then go after Lee; and that as soon
my of the Potomac caught but a few hours' sleep, and at three the next morning was again on the march.
The pursuit had now become swift, unflagging, relentless.
Sheridan, the inevitable, as the enemy had learned to call him, was in advance, thundering on with his cavalry, followed by Griffin and the rest of the Army of the Potomac; while Ord was swinging along toward Burkeville to head off Lee from Danville, to which point it was naturally supposed he was pushing in order to unite with Joe Johnston's army.
April 4 was another active day; the troops were made to realize that this campaign was to be won by legs; that the great walking-match had begun, and success depended upon which army could make the best distance record.
Grant rode this day with Ord's troops.
Meade was quite sick, and had to take at times to an ambulance; but his loyal spirit never flagged, and all his orders breathed the true spirit of a soldier.
That night General Grant camped at Wilson's Station on the South