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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)
lled at Atlanta in July, 1864. My resignation was duly accepted, and notice reached me in August, before the mails to the South through Kentucky were entirely discontinued. We sailed on May 1 in the Golden Age, crossed the Isthmus on the 14th, and arrived in New York on steamer Champion on the 24th, having lost two days in a severe gale. We landed early, and had intended remaining in New York for a day or two, but while we had been upon our journey, events had been in progress. President Lincoln had called for 75,000 troops. All of the border states had refused to furnish troops, and had taken part with those which had seceded, and a small Federal army had been collected at Washington. On the night before our arrival a part of this force was marched across into Virginia, and occupied Alexandria. Col. Ellsworth, commanding the leading regiment, had entered a hotel and torn down a secession flag from its roof. The proprietor, Jackson, had shot Ellsworth dead as he came dow
Edward Porter Alexander, Military memoirs of a Confederate: a critical narrative, Chapter 3: fall and winter of 1861 (search)
ken in conjunction with the disaster at Ball's Bluff, gradually gave rise in Mr. Lincoln's mind to a loss of confidence in him as a leader which was never fully restored, and which materially influenced the course of events. Lincoln was now accumulating a force which seemed enormous. The expense incurred was certainly very gre0 men, which he said would take the blockading batteries without firing a gun. Lincoln submitted, but his discontent was increased. Meanwhile winter put in its aposed to make his next advance upon Richmond, from Fortress Monroe as a base, Mr. Lincoln gave but reluctant consent, as it involved the removal of a large body of trress Monroe. Early in April, however, under some strong political pressure, Mr. Lincoln detached Blenker's division, about 10,000 men, from McClellan's force and seand aggressiveness, and the fierceness of his attack, all tended to increase Mr. Lincoln's reluctance to see Washington stripped of any force available for its defen
Edward Porter Alexander, Military memoirs of a Confederate: a critical narrative, Chapter 4: Yorktown and Williamsburg (search)
an, who could have rushed the position anywhere. He contented himself, however, with some cannonading and sharp-shooting. Of course, he was still under the Pinkerton delusion as to the enemy's strength. Magruder, who was expecting reenforcements, made the bravest possible display, exhibiting the same troops repeatedly at different points. It was just at this juncture, when a great success was in McClellan's grasp, had he had the audacity to risk something, that the news reached him that Lincoln had taken from him McDowell's 37,000 men. This, doubtless, had its effect in discouraging him and leading him to resort to siege operations against Yorktown instead of attempting to pass the position by main force. Meanwhile, Johnston had been summoned to Richmond, and had advised Davis that a defence of Yorktown involved great risk, and at best could gain no important result. He advocated its abandonment, and the concentration at Richmond of all forces from Virginia to Georgia. With
Edward Porter Alexander, Military memoirs of a Confederate: a critical narrative, Chapter 6: Jackson's Valley campaign (search)
s McDowell. Jackson attacks front Royal. Banks Retreats. Winchester captured. cavalry not at hand. Steuart's Faux Pas. Jackson's report. McDowell's delay. Lincoln keeps Sunday. panic in Washington. Jackson keeps Sunday. Jackson's retreat. race down the Valley. death of Ashby. Port Republic, June 8. cross Keys, June 8ndria. Everything, however, was ready by the night of the 24th, and McDowell was anxious to march on Sunday, the 25th. But a third day's delay now ensued from Mr. Lincoln's superstitious feeling that his chances of success might be improved by showing some special regard for the Sabbath. McDowell's official report says: O. Meanwhile, Jackson, having gone into camp about noon on Sunday, the 25th, when his infantry and artillery could no longer pursue the enemy, felt moved, even as Lincoln had done, to recognize the Sabbath by making up for the services missed in the morning. His official report says:-- On the following day (the 26th), divine
Edward Porter Alexander, Military memoirs of a Confederate: a critical narrative, chapter 8 (search)
dutyto be performed seems to concern himself rather than his command, and to be entirely personal in character. Evidently, Jackson excused not only himself, but his troops also, because it was Sunday. He certainly considered attendance upon divine service an important duty of the first magnitude. He confidently believed that marked regard for the Sabbath would often be followed by God's favor upon one's secular enterprises. If so, why not upon a battle or a campaign? We have seen even Lincoln share the same belief when he stopped the advance of McDowell from Fredericksburg on Sunday, and thus broke up McClellan's campaign, as has been told. (See p. 101.) The rebuilding of Grapevine bridge was not a serious matter. Lee clearly anticipated no delay there whatever. Jackson's engineer, early Sunday morning, reported that it would be finished in two hours. There was a ford close by, and other bridges within a few miles, but most of Jackson's troops spent the entire day in camp.
Edward Porter Alexander, Military memoirs of a Confederate: a critical narrative, chapter 9 (search)
the shore and from gunboats. Of course, there was much commotion in the Federal camps, but the actual damage done was trifling. Some 40 casualties are reported among the Federals, and two or three among the Confederate artillerists. The next day the Federals established themselves on the South Side. The strategic advantages of a position astraddle of the James River have already been referred to (page 61, Chap. III.), but they were not yet generally appreciated. Fortunately for us, Lincoln and Halleck recalled McClellan and his army to Washington without ever realizing them; although McClellan had tried hard to impress them upon his superiors. Fortunately, too, for us, Gen. S. G. French, in command at Petersburg, saw and appreciated the threat of the position, and immediately began the construction of a line of intrenchments about that city. These intrenchments, in 1864, defeated some attempts at surprise; and at last enabled Beauregard, with two divisions, to withstand the
Edward Porter Alexander, Military memoirs of a Confederate: a critical narrative, Chapter 10: Cedar Mountain (search)
oves. Jackson moves. Cedar Mountain. the night action. Jackson's ruse. casualties. The close of the Seven Days found both armies greatly in need of rest. Lincoln called upon the governors of the Northern States for 300,000 more men, and bounties, State and Federal, were offered to secure them rapidly. They were easily obt Petersburg, as already mentioned, threw lines around that city, from the river below to the river above. Just at the beginning of the Seven Days Battles, President Lincoln had called from the West Maj.-Gen. John Pope, and placed him in command of the three separate armies of Fremont and Banks, in the Valley of Virginia, and McD McClellan's army. But Fremont protested, asked to be relieved, and practically retired from active service. Meanwhile, after the discomfiture of McClellan, Mr. Lincoln felt the want of a military advisor, and, on July 11, appointed Gen. Halleck commander-in-chief of all the armies of the United States, and summoned him to Wash
Edward Porter Alexander, Military memoirs of a Confederate: a critical narrative, Chapter 11: second Manassas (search)
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 and come into possession of Pope's private despatch book, with copies of his most important correspondence with Lincoln, Halleck, and others. Stuart had gotten Lee's permission to try to burn a railroad bridge over Cedar Run, near Catlett's Station, some 12 miles in rear of Pope's army. With about 1500 cavalry and two guns, he crossed the Rappahannock at Waterloo Bridge, above Pope's right flank, on Aug. 22, and pushed on through Warrenton toward Catlett's Station. A terrific rain-storm came on late in the afternoon, and in it the command captured the enemy's picket and surprised the Federal encampments.
Edward Porter Alexander, Military memoirs of a Confederate: a critical narrative, Chapter 12: Boonsboro or South Mountain, and Harper's Ferry (search)
urbances; but he was deprived of his army on Sept. 2, when McClellan was assigned to the defense of Washington, and the command of all the troops engaged in it. As this included the whole of both armies, Pope was left without a man. Yet neither Lincoln nor Halleck had confidence in McClellan, and there was great reluctance to use him. Only the day before he had been instructed that he had nothing to do with the troops engaged in active operations under Gen. Pope, but that his command was limith of Stevens, and the disorderly retreat of Pope's forces within the fortifications, had demoralized the government. McClellan alone was supposed to have the confidence of the army. It was the day of his triumph, and one of humiliation to both Lincoln and Halleck. Yet McClellan was out of place. He would have been an excellent chief of staff, but was unfit for the command of an army. He was as utterly without audacity, as Lee was full of it. His one fine quality was his ability to organi
Edward Porter Alexander, Military memoirs of a Confederate: a critical narrative, Chapter 14: fall of 1862 (search)
Lincoln orders advance. a Confederate raid. Lincoln dissatisfied. condition of Confederates. reot to move until he was thoroughly prepared. Lincoln had two months before drawn up his Emancipatin Washington. A few days after the battle, Lincoln had visited the army, and, on parting from Mf the effect of this raid on the mind of President Lincoln, in the following anecdote:— When more, gentlemen, McClellan will be out. Mr. Lincoln had allowed McClellan to decide whether hiso Md. and Pa. if it was left uncovered. Both Lincoln and Halleck thought his fears groundless and s the Confederates needed them much more. In Lincoln's practical style, he often made pertinent sud cross before he was prepared to support it. Lincoln and Halleck, indeed, had only consented to tht, and Taylor, Franklin's Asst. Adjt.-Gen. Lincoln felt kindly to Burnside and respected him, bu with his fine bearing and frank manners. So Lincoln met the issue and suppressed the order, relie[3 more...]
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