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Colonel Theodore Lyman, With Grant and Meade from the Wilderness to Appomattox (ed. George R. Agassiz), chapter 4 (search)
ot dare trust them in the line of battle. Ah, you may make speeches at home, but here, where it is life or death, we dare not risk it. They have been put to guard the trains and have repulsed one or two little cavalry attacks in a creditable manner; but God help them if the grey-backed infantry attack them! . . . As General Grant sat under a pine tree, stoically smoking his briarwood pipe, I heard him say: To-night Lee will be retreating south. The day before, Grant told Meade that Joe Johnston would have retreated after two such days' punishment. He recognized the difference of the Western Rebel fighting.--Lyman's Journal, May 6. Ah! General, Robert Lee is not Pemberton; he will retreat south, but only far enough to get across your path, and then he will retreat no more, if he can help it. In fact, orders were out for the whole army to move at dark on Spotsylvania Court House. But Lee knew it all: he could see the waggons moving, and had scouts besides. As night fell, his t
Colonel Theodore Lyman, With Grant and Meade from the Wilderness to Appomattox (ed. George R. Agassiz), chapter 9 (search)
sortie. On April 1, Sheridan won a brilliant victory at Five Forks. Grant followed this up by attacking all along the line the next day. The result of the engagement was that the Confederate Army was cut in halves, and Grant established himself between the two parts. Lee's position was untenable; Richmond and Petersburg were abandoned that night. Retreat was still open toward the westward. Accordingly, Lee withdrew along the line of the Richmond and Danville railroad, hoping to join Johnston, who was opposing Sherman's advance from the south. As a last resort, Lee planned to retreat to the mountains of Virginia, where he thought he might continue the war indefinitely. The Union Army followed close on the heels of the retreating southerners. The chase was continued for eighty miles. In the neighborhood of Appomattox Court House, the cavalry under Sheridan got across the railroad in front of the enemy. Lee was unable to break through. Hemmed in, with his men worn out and sta