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y deciding to appoint a commander for the forces in the field that were to operate against Early. On the 31st of July General Grant selected me as this commander, and in obedience to his telegraphic summons I repaired to his headquarters at City Point. In the interview that followed, he detailed to me the situation of affairs on the upper Potomac, telling me that I was to command in the field the troops that were to operate against Early, but that General Hunter, who was at the head of the from command of the cavalry as a corps organization. I arrived at Washington on the 4th of August, and the next day received instructions from General Halleck to report to General Grant at Monocacy Junction, whither he had gone direct from City Point, in consequence of a characteristic despatch from the President indicating his disgust with the confusion, disorder, and helplessness prevailing along the upper Potomac, and intimating that Grant's presence there was necessary. In company w
te from Washington through Snicker's Gap, escorted by a regiment of cavalry: City point, August 12, 1864-9 A. M. Major-General Halleck: Inform General Sheridan thby more specific directions, all showing the earnestness of his purpose. City point, Va., Aug. 16-3:30 P. M., 1864. Major-General Sheridan, Winchester, Va.: IU. S. Grant, Lieutenant-General. headquarters armies of the United States, City point, Aug. 26, 1864.Major-General Sheridan, Charlestown, Va.: In stripping Loud U. S. Grant, Lieutenant-General. headquarters armies of the United States City point, Va., Aug. 26-2:30 P. M.-1864. Major-General Sheridan, Halltown, Va.: Telee march. As I was passing through headquarters armies of the United States, City point, Va., Sept. 4-10 A. M.-1864. Major-General Sheridan, Charlestown, Va.: In e hardship upon Union men as possible. U. S. Grant, Lieutenant-General. City point, Va., Nov. 9, 1864. Major-General Sheridan, Cedar Creek, Va.: Do you not t
n, whither he was coming to consult with me, caused me to defer action until after I should see him. In our resulting interview at Charlestown, I went over the situation very thoroughly, and pointed out with so much confidence the chances of a complete victory should I throw my army across the Valley pike near Newtown that he fell in with the plan at once, authorized me to resume the offensive, and to attack Early as soon as I deemed it most propitious to do so; and although before leaving City Point he had outlined certain operations for my army, yet he neither discussed nor disclosed his plans, my knowledge of the situation striking him as being so much more accurate than his own. [extract from Grant's Memoirs, page 328.] Before starting I had drawn up a plan of campaign for Sheridan, which I had brought with me; but seeing that he was so clear and so positive in his views, and so confident of success, I said nothing about this, and did not take it out of my pocket, The
faction began to show itself immediately after his arrival at Martinsburg, on the 14th of August, and, except when he was conducting some independent expedition, had been manifested on all occasions since. I therefore thought that the interest of the service would be subserved by removing one whose growing indifference might render the best-laid plans inoperative. headquarters Middle Military division. Harrisonburg, Va., Sept. 25, 1864-11:30 P. M. Lieut-General Grant, Comd'g, &c., City Point, Va.: I have relieved Averell from his command. Instead of following the enemy when he was broken at Fisher's Hill (so there was not a cavalry organization left), he went into camp and let me pursue the enemy for a distance of fifteen miles, with infantry, during the night. P. H. Sheridan, Major-General. The failure of Averell to press the enemy the evening of the 23d gave Early time to collect his scattered forces and take up a position on the east side of the North Fork of the S
breaking up the railroad track. This slight success of the Confederates in West Virginia, and the intelligence that they were contemplating further raids in that section, led me to send Crook there with one division, his other troops going to City Point; and I hoped that all the threatened places would thus be sufficiently protected, but negligence at Beverly resulted in the capture of that station by Rosser on the 11th of January. In the meanwhile, Early established himself with Wharton'ost importance that General Grant should receive these despatches without chance of failure, in order that I might depend absolutely on securing supplies at the White House; therefore I sent the message in duplicate, one copy overland direct to City Point by two scouts, Campbell and Rowan, and the other by Fannin and Moore, who were to go down the James River in a small boat to Richmond, join the troops in the trenches in front of Petersburg, and, deserting to the Union lines, deliver their tidi
ere sent by boat to the dismounted camp near City Point. When all was ready the column set out for quest from General Grant, I left by boat for City Point, Merritt meanwhile conducting the column acrver to the point of rendezvous. The trip to City Point did not take long, and on arrival at army heo the business for which he had called me to City Point, he outlined what he expected me to do; sayieneral Benham to be added to the defenses of City Point. When I had gone over the entire letter t, if the enemy should come down and capture City Point? the question being prompted, doubtless, byIt was late when the Mary Martin returned to City Point, and I spent the night there with General Inumped the track. This delayed my arrival at City Point till near midnight, but on repairing to the headquarters armies of the United States, City Point, Va., March 28, 1865. Major-General P. H. Sherarge of disaster to which he had referred at City Point, and, moreover, that we would surely be ridi[1 more...]
tch absurdity meeting of Grant and Lee the surrender estimate of General Grant. The first report of the battle of Sailor's Creek that General Grant received was, as already stated, an oral message carried by Colonel Price, of my staff. Near midnight I sent a despatch giving the names of the generals captured. These were Ewell, Kershaw, Barton, Corse, Dubose, and Custis Lee. In the same despatch I wrote: If the thing is pressed, I think that Lee will surrender. When Mr. Lincoln, at City Point, received this word from General Grant, who was transmitting every item of news to the President, he telegraphed Grant the laconic message: Let the thing be pressed. The morning of the 7th we moved out at a very early hour, Crook's division marching toward Farmville in direct pursuit, while Merritt and Mackenzie were ordered to Prince Edward's Court House to anticipate any effort Lee might make to escape through that place toward Danville, since it had been discovered that Longstreet had
hat part of Louisiana held by the enemy, to the Union in the shortest practicable time, in a way most effectual for securing permanent peace. To do this, you will be given all the troops that can be spared by MajorGeneral Canby, probably twenty-five thousand men of all arms; the troops with Major-General J. J. Reynolds, in Arkansas, say twelve thousand, Reynolds to command; the Fourth Army Corps, now at Nashville, Tennessee, awaiting orders; and the Twenty-Fifth Army Corps, now at City Point, Virginia, ready to embark. I do not wish to trammel you with instructions; I will state, however, that if Smith holds out, without even on ostensible government to receive orders from or to report to, he and his men are not entitled to the considerations due to an acknowledged belligerent. Theirs are the conditions of outlaws, making war against the only Government having an existence over the territory where war is now being waged. You may notify the rebel commander west of the Missi