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Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buell, Battles and Leaders of the Civil War: Volume 2., Lee's attacks north of the Chickahominy. (search)
ratricidal war was the breaking up of ties of friendship and of blood. The troops opposing mine on that murderous field that day were the regulars of General George Sykes, a Southerner by birth, and my room-mate at West Point,--a man admired by all for his honor, courage, and frankness, and peculiarly endeared to me by his social qualities. During the negotiations of the cartel for the exchange of prisoners, intrusted to General Dix and myself, I sent word to General Sykes, through Colonel N. B. Sweitzer, of General McClellan's staff, that had I known that he was in front of me at Cold Harbor, I would have sent some of my North Carolina boys up to take him out of the cold. He replied through the same source: I appreciate the sarcasm, but our time will be next and the tables will be turned. Alas! it was a true prophecy. About 9 P. M. on the 27th, Major H. B. Clitz was f brought into my room at the McGehee house, headquarters for the night, wounded in the leg, and a prisoner. H
Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buell, Battles and Leaders of the Civil War: Volume 2., With the cavalry on the Peninsula. (search)
e his way along various roads infested with the pickets and patrols of the enemy to the bank of the James, where, taking a skiff, with two negroes, he went on board the Galena and communicated to Captain Rodgers the position of the army, and received from the captain a statement of the position of the gun-boats. On the 27th, not satisfied with the picnic appearance of our front on our left, south of the Chickahominy, I reported its perilous condition to McClellan, who at once sent Colonel N. B. Sweitzer, of his staff, to me, and together we rode to the front. As a result, orders were given at once for slashing the forest, and positions for batteries and outposts were determined,--precautions which, three days later, disclosed their value in the battle of Fair Oaks. On the same day (27th) we were scratching the ground away up to our right at Hanover Court House, in invitation to McDowell to come down from Fredericksburg. Almost within his sight, and quite within his hearing, the
chief-engineer; Van Vliet, chief-quartermaster; H. F. Clarke, chief-commissary; Barry, chief of artillery; Meade will be senior topographer; Dr. Tripler, medical director. I have applied for Kingsbury as chief of ordnance, and for Armstrong and Sweitzer as aides-de-camp. I dine with the President to-morrow, where I presume I shall meet Prince Napoleon. . . . You would laugh if you could see the scores of queer letters I receive in these days. I am sorry to say I do not answer any of them; I d dare to attack. We are now ready for them. The news from every quarter to-night is favorable. All goes well. Sept. 4, 1861. I took an early dinner, and then mounted the bay, Sturgis's horse, and rode to McCall's camp at Tennallytown. Sweitzer and Colburn went with me, as usual when hard riding is expected; also the ordinary escort of a sergeant and ten dragoons . . . . Learned that the firing at Great Falls amounted to little, and that the orders I had before given to send another re
Capts. Joseph Kirkland, Arthur McClellan, M. T. McMahon, William P. Mason, and William F. Biddle, aides-de-camp. My personal staff, when we embarked for the Peninsula, consisted of Col. Thomas M. Key, additional aide-de-camp; Col. E. H. Wright, additional aide-de-camp and major 6th U. S. Cavalry; Col. T. T. Gantt, additional aide-de-camp; Col. J. J. Astor, Jr., volunteer aide-de-camp; Lieut.-Col. A. V. Colburn, additional aide-de-camp and captain adjutant-general's department; Lieut.-Col. N. B. Sweitzer, additional aide-de-camp and captain 1st U. S. Cavalry; Lieut.-Col. Edward McK. Hudson, additional aide-de-camp and captain 14th U. S. Infantry; Lieut.-Col. Paul Von Radowitz, additional aide-de-camp; Maj. H. Von Hammerstein, additional aide-de-camp; Maj. W. W. Russell, U. S. Marine Corps; Maj. F. Le Compte, of the Swiss army, volunteer aide-de-camp; Capts. Joseph Kirkland, Arthur McClellan, L. P. d'orleans, R. d'orleans, M. T. McMahon, William P. Mason, Jr., William F. Biddle, an
I started at once for the telegraph-office, and endeavored in vain for some ten or fifteen minutes to arouse the operators at the stations in the direction of the firing. So I ordered twenty of the escort to saddle up, and started off Hudson, Sweitzer, and the Duc de Chartres to learn the state of the case. The firing has ceased now for some minutes, and I am still ignorant as to its whereabouts and cause. Of course I must remain up until I know what it is. I had had Arthur, Wright, Hammers work and render it more safe. We shall soon be raining down a terrible tempest on this devoted place. To-day the enemy sent a flag of truce to Smith, asking a suspension of hostilities to bury the killed of the 16th. The officer who met with Sweitzer acknowledged that their loss was very severe and the bearing of our men admirable. I received to-day a letter from Burnside, which I enclose. . . Franklin arrived yesterday and spent the night in my tent. He is at Ship Point to-night; I exp
ese torpedoes were planted at the close of the evacuation, and mentioned the name of an officer whom he saw engaged in this work. As soon as we had possession of Yorktown the gunboats started up the York river to ascertain whether the transports with Franklin's division could safely ascend, and to capture any of the enemy's transports they could find. If the condition of affairs near Williamsburg justified it, I intended going to West Point by water myself. Early on the 5th I sent Col. Sweitzer and Maj. Hammerstein, of my staff, to the front, to keep me informed of the condition of affairs and the progress of events. I went to Yorktown to expedite the movement by water, and to provide for the transportation of supplies to the troops in advance. Until about one P. M. I learned nothing indicating that the affair at Williamsburg was more than a simple attack upon a rear-guard, but at that hour I received intelligence that the state of the contest was unfavorable and that my pr
so that I was perfectly independent. But none of these foreigners seem to follow so good an example. . . . I had occasion day before yesterday to send a letter to Joe Johnston in reply to a request of us for permission to send in and get the bodies of a couple of generals and half a dozen colonels supposed to be killed. An answer came yesterday apologizing for the delay in replying to my communication (which involved other matters), and also apologizing for some of his people firing at Sweitzer, who carried the flag of truce. Well, whom do you think the letter came from? From no one else than A. P. Hill, major-general commanding the Light Division. . . . I hope we shall have clear weather for a few days, so that it will be possible to move and use artillery, as well as to get it over the river. You have no idea of the state of the ground now ; just as much as a horse can do to make his way! We have pretty quiet times; a little artillery-firing and picket-skirmishing by way of
t so long as the wires work; after that you must exercise your own judgment. All these commands were obeyed. On the 26th orders were sent to all the corps commanders on the right bank of the Chickahominy to be prepared to send as many troops as they could spare on the following day to the left bank of the river. Gen. Franklin received instructions to hold Gen. Slocum's division in readiness, by daybreak of the 27th, and, if heavy firing Gen. Morell. Col. Colburn. Gen. McClellan. Col. Sweitzer. Prince de Joinville. Comte de Paris. Gen. McClellan at Gen. Morell's headquarters, Minor's Hill, Va. should at that time be heard in the direction of Gen. Porter, to move at once to his assistance without further orders. At noon on the 26th the approach of the enemy, who had crossed above Meadow bridge, was discovered by the advanced pickets at that point, and at 12.30 P. M. they were attacked and driven in. All the pickets were now called in, and the regiment and battery at Mechan
was amused at a couple of telegrams yesterday urging me to the offensive — as if I were unwilling to take it myself! It is so easy for people to give advice — it costs nothing! But it is a little more difficult for poor me to create men and means, and to wipe out by mere wishes the forces of the enemy. I confess that I sometimes become provoked. . . . I had quite an adventure in a small way last night that was rather ludicrous. I yesterday sent a flag of truce after some wounded men, Sweitzer going on the boat. Well, it appears that he and the doctor on board, between them, allowed a young English nobleman to come down with them, and Raymond was discreet enough to bring him up to headquarters, and was apparently quite proud of his prize; wished me to see him. Upon inquiry I found that he came from Richmond, had no papers or passports, save a pass from the secesh Secretary of War, and acknowledged that he had surreptitiously slipped into Richmond a couple of weeks ago. This was
Yorktown, 280, 298-302 ; Williamsburg, 320-322, 325 ; in pursuit, 348 ; Fair-Oaks, 379-381, 384; Old Tavern, 392 ; Gaines's Mill, 420, 421 ; Savage's Station, 426-428 ; Glendale, 430, 432, 433 ; Malvern, 433, 437 ; brevetted, 475. In Pope's campaign, 509-513, 516-521, 529, 532, 536-538. In Maryland campaign, 554 ; Crampton's Gap, 558 ; South Mountain, 574, 575, 579, 582 ; Antietam, 584, 586, 588, 590, 592-595, 599-601, 619, 623 ; after Antietam, 622, 624, 630, 659. Sumner, Capt., 576. Sweitzer, Lieut.-Col. N. B., 83, 90, 123. Sykes, Gen. G., 114. In Peninsula, 257; Yorktown, 257, 302 ; in pursuit, 320, 341; Hanover C. H., 371; Gaines's Mill, 416, 417; Malvern, 434. In Pope's campaign, 508, 537. At South Mountain, 561, 574, 575, 582 ; Antietam, 584, 587, 588, 600-, 602. Taft. Capt., 589. Taylor, Gen. G. W., 432, 512. Taylor's Hill, Va , 95. Telegraph, with army, 54 ; miles constructed, 135. Tennallytown. D. C., 66, 79, 90, 516, 519, 520. Tennessee, State, position
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