ed that it became vulnerable.
From the Appomattox to the right center the thin gray line was so stretched that it was not as formidable as a well-prepared skirmish line.
Though holding with tenacity to his right, Lee must let the bars down elsewhere.
Thirty-five thousand muskets were guarding thirty-seven miles of intrenchments.
Grant on the night of April 1st was at Dabney's Mill, a mile or two south of Boydton plank road, which runs from Dinwiddie Court House to Petersburg.
Colonel Horace Porter, his aid-de-camp, first gave him the news of Sheridan's success at 9 P. M. that night as he was sitting before a blazing camp fire with his blue cavalry overcoat on and the ever-present cigar in his mouth.
He sent over the field-wires at once orders for an immediate assault along the lines, but subsequently directed the attack to be made at 4 A. M. the next day. All during the night a bombardment was kept up on all portions of the Confederate lines.
At dawn on Sunday, April 2d, Par
A. Rawlins, General Dent, Mrs. Grant's brother, General Badeau later General Grant's biographer-General Comstock, General Horace Porter, General O. E. Babcock, all members of General Grant's staff, often accompanied the general.
General Grant's friof military officers, presented an imposing appearance, as also the officers of the navy, following Admirals Farragut and Porter.
There were then a number of officers of both branches of the service in Washington who had but recently been relieved f daughter Blanche, afterward Mrs. Ames, were delightful hosts who enjoyed having their friends.
General and Mrs. Grant, Admiral and Mrs. Porter, and very many more gave superb dinners and receptions that were no less resplendent than those given eMrs. Porter, and very many more gave superb dinners and receptions that were no less resplendent than those given every winter since.
There was a charm about the dinners given in those days which, it must be admitted, does not characterize such gatherings now. They were less formal but there was more sincere cordiality than is manifested in latter-day social fu
1. Captain Thomas G. Baylor, ordnance corps, having, pursuant to orders from the Secretary of War, relieved Captain Horace Porter from duty at these headquarters, is announced as chief of ordnance for this army, and will at once enter upon theuties.
The general commanding takes this occasion to express his appreciation of the valuable service rendered by Captain Porter during his connection with this army.
His thorough knowledge of the duties of his position, his good judgment and unhen handed me to read.
Chattanooga, Tenn., Nov. 5, 1863. Maj.-Gen. H. W. Halleck, General-in-Chief of the Army. Capt. Horace Porter, who is now being relieved as chief ordnance officer in the Department of the Cumberland, is represented by all ofhe recommendation, and ask that he may be assigned for duty with me. I feel the necessity for just such an officer as Captain Porter is described to be, at headquarters, and, if permitted, will retain him with me if assigned here for duty.
I am, &
e art of war; but he possessed natural executive ability of a high order, and developed qualities which made him exceedingly useful to his chief and to the service.
The rest of the staff consisted of the following officers: Lieutenant-colonel C. B. Comstock, aide-de-camp, an officer of the United States corps of engineers, with a well-deserved reputation for scientific attainments, who had shown great efficiency while serving with General Grant in the Vicksburg campaign.
Lieutenant-colonel Horace Porter, aide-de-camp.
Lieutenant-colonel 0. E. Babcock, aide-de-camp, an accomplished officer of engineers, who had gained an excellent reputation in several campaigns, in which he had been conspicuous for his good judgment and great personal courage.
Lieutenant-colonel F. T. Dent, aide-de-camp, a classmate of General Grant, and brother of Mrs. Grant.
He had served with credit in the Mexican war, and in Scott's advance upon the city of Mexico had been severely wounded, and was t
ell Young, who accompanied him upon his tour.
The language used by General Grant in one of his interviews with Mr. Young is reported as follows: Ingalls in command of troops would, in my opinion, have become a great and famous general. . . . Horace Porter was lost in the staff.
Like Ingalls, he was too useful to be spared.
But as a commander of troops Porter would have risen, in my opinion, to a high command. --Editor.
General Meade was a most accomplished officer.
He had been thoroughlPorter would have risen, in my opinion, to a high command. --Editor.
General Meade was a most accomplished officer.
He had been thoroughly educated in his profession, and had a complete knowledge of both the science and the art of war in all its branches.
He was well read, possessed of a vast amount of interesting information, had cultivated his mind as a linguist, and spoke French with fluency.
When foreign officers visited the front they were invariably charmed by their interviews with the commander of the Army of the Potomac.
He was a disciplinarian to the point of severity, was entirely subordinate to his superiors, and no
e cigar which he had been smoking, wrote the communication.
After reading it over aloud, he handed it to me to take to Atlanta.
It said, among other things: Colonel Porter will explain to you the exact condition of affairs here better than I can do in the limits of a letter. . . . My object now in sending a staff-officer is notce he would roll from side to side and nearly choke with merriment.
That day Sherman wrote to Grant: I have the honor to acknowledge, at the hands of Lieutenant-colonel Porter of your staff, your letter of September 12, and accept with thanks the honorable and kindly mention of the services of this army in the great cause in which we are all engaged.
Then followed three or four pages, closing with the sentence: I will have a long talk with Colonel Porter, and tell him everything that may occur to me of interest to you. In the mean time, know that I admire your dogged perseverance and pluck more than ever.
If you can whip Lee, and I can march to the A
definitely upon the course to be pursued in the West.
Hood had now turned north, and was operating against Sherman's railroad in his rear.
Sherman had left the Twentieth Corps in Atlanta to hold that place, and had marched with the rest of his army as far north as Marietta.
On October 10 Sherman telegraphed Grant: Hood is now crossing the Coosa, twelve miles below Rome, bound west.
If he passes over to the Mobile and Ohio road, had I not better execute the plan of my letter sent by Colonel Porter, and leave General Thomas with the troops now in Tennessee to defend the State?
The situation was such, however, that General Grant disliked to see a veteran army like Sherman's marching away from Hood without first crippling him; and he replied to Sherman the next day (the 11th), saying, among other things: . . . If you were to cut loose, I do not believe you would meet Hood's army, but would be bushwhacked by all the old men, little boys, and such railroad guards as are still left at
lculable importance to the enemy on account of the supplies received from foreign countries.
A large fleet of naval vessels had been put under the command of Admiral Porter, and a force of 6500 men of Butler's army was held in readiness to be placed upon transports and sent to the mouth of the Cape Fear River, under the commandto Fort Fisher, and explode it, in the hope of shaking up the fort so seriously that its parapet would be sufficiently injured greatly to weaken its defense.
Admiral Porter and other naval authorities seemed to favor the project, and General Grant finally agreed to let the experiment be tried, although his own judgment was decidehich he said: Bragg has gone from Wilmington.
I am trying to take advantage of his absence to get possession of that place.
Owing to some preparations that Admiral Porter and General Butler are making to blow up Fort Fisher, and which, while I hope for the best, I do not believe a particle in, there is a delay in getting the ex
uccess to take possession of Wilmington.
It is of the greatest importance that there should be a complete understanding and harmony of action between you and Admiral Porter.
I want you to consult the admiral fully, and to let there be no misunderstanding in regard to the plan of cooperation in all its details.
I served with AdmAdmiral Porter on the Mississippi, and have a high appreciation of his courage and judgment.
I want to urge upon you to land with all despatch, and intrench yourself in a position from which you can operate against Fort Fisher, and not to abandon it until the fort is captured or you receive further instructions from me.
Full instru correspondence between men in high station furnishes a nobler example of genuine, disinterested personal friendship and exalted loyalty to a great cause.
Admiral Porter had withdrawn nearly all the naval vessels from the James River in order to increase his fleet for the Fort Fisher expedition.
Only three or four light gunbo
efinitely decided that Sheridan was to remain with our army, then in front of Petersburg.
Sheridan's command was made separate from the Army of the Potomac, and was to be subject only to direct orders from the general-in-chief.
The cavalry commander had cheerfully given up the command of the Middle Military Division to take the field at the head of the cavalry corps, and General Grant felt that he was entitled to every consideration which could be shown him, The next morning (March 28) Admiral Porter came to headquarters, and in the course of his conversation said to Sherman: When you were in the region of those swamps and overflowed rivers, coming through the Carolinas, didn't you wish you had my gunboats with you?
Yes, answered Sherman; for those swamps were very much like that Western fellow's Fourth of July oration, of which a newspaper said, It was only knee-deep, but spread out over all creation.
One day, on the march, while my men were wading a river which was surrounded for