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Philip Henry Sheridan, Personal Memoirs of P. H. Sheridan, General, United States Army . 10 0 Browse Search
General James Longstreet, From Manassas to Appomattox 4 0 Browse Search
The Daily Dispatch: January 5, 1861., [Electronic resource] 2 0 Browse Search
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Browsing named entities in Philip Henry Sheridan, Personal Memoirs of P. H. Sheridan, General, United States Army .. You can also browse the collection for Metz or search for Metz in all documents.

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This sudden change of direction I did not at first understand, but soon learned that it was because of the movements of Marshal MacMahon, who, having united the French army beaten at Worth with three fresh corps at Chalons, was marching to relieve Metz in obedience to orders from the Minister of War at Paris. As we passed along the column, we noticed that the Crown Prince's troops were doing their best, the officers urging the men to their utmost exertions, persuading weary laggards and drivng his trials, however, and in the midst of the correspondence on which he was so intently engaged, he graciously took time to explain that the sudden movement northward from Bar-le-Duc was, as I have previously recounted, the result of information that Marshal MacMahon was endeavoring to relieve Metz by marching along the Belgian frontier; a blundering manoeuvre, remarked the Chancellor, which cannot be accounted for, unless it has been brought about by the political situation of the French.
ooking tired and much bedraggled, as indeed they had reason to be, for from recent rains the roads were very sloppy. Notwithstanding this, however, the troops were pushed ahead with all possible vigor to intercept MacMahon and force a battle before he could withdraw from his faulty movement, for which it has since been ascertained he was not at all responsible. Indeed, those at the royal headquarters seemed to think of nothing else than to strike MacMahon, for, feeling pretty confident that Metz could not be relieved, they manifested not the slightest anxiety on that score. By 8 o'clock, the skies having cleared, the headquarters set out for Grand Pre, which place we reached early in the afternoon, and that evening I again had the pleasure of dining with the King. The conversation at table was almost wholly devoted to the situation, of course, everybody expressing surprise at the maneuver of the French at this time, their march along the Belgian frontier being credited entirely
gency in Paris must be held accountable. The first of these gross faults was the fight at Worth, where MacMahon, before his army was mobilized, accepted battle with the Crown Prince, pitting 50,000 men against 175,000; the next was Bazaine's fixing upon Metz as his base, and stupidly putting himself in position to be driven back to it, when there was no possible obstacle to his joining forces with MacMahon at Chalons; while the third and greatest blunder of all was MacMahon's move to relieve Metz, trying to slip 140,000 men along the Belgian frontier. Indeed, it is exasperating and sickening to think of all this; to think that Bazaine carried into Metz — a place that should have been held, if at all, with not over 25,000 men — an army of 180,000, because it contained, the excuse was, an accumulation of stores. With all the resources of rich France to draw upon, I cannot conceive that this excuse was sincere; on the contrary, I think that the movement of Bazaine must have been inspir
us errors materially shortened the war, though even if prolonged it could, in my opinion, have had ultimately no other termination. As I have previously stated, the first of these blunders was the acceptance of battle by MacMahon at Worth; the second in attaching too much importance to the fortified position of Metz, resulting in three battles-Colombey, Mars-la-Tour, and Gravelotte-all of which were lost; and the third, the absurd movement of MacMahon along the Belgian frontier to relieve Metz, the responsibility for which, I am glad to say, does not belong to him. With the hemming in of Bazaine at Metz and the capture of MacMahon's army at Sedan the crisis of the war was passed, and the Germans practically the victors. The taking of Paris was but a sentiment-the money levy could have been made and the Rhine provinces held without molesting that city, and only the political influences consequent upon the changes in the French Government caused peace to be deferred. I did n