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General Horace Porter, Campaigning with Grant, Chapter 3 (search)
he East Tennessee, Virginia, and Georgia Railroad. His movement was expected to keep Lee from withdrawing troops from the valley, and reinforcing his principal army, known as the Army of Northern Virginia. Butler was directed to move up the James River, and endeavor to secure Petersburg and the railways leading into it, and, if opportunity offered, to seize Richmond itself. Burnside, with the Ninth Corps, which had been moved from Annapolis into Virginia, was to support the Army of the Poto wind. The French would call it a briquet. While the two generals were talking, and a number of staff-officers sitting by listening, telegrams were received from Washington saying that Sherman had advanced in Georgia, Butler had ascended the James River, and Sigel's forces were moving down the valley of Virginia. These advances were in obedience to General Grant's previous orders. He said: I don't expect much from Sigel's movement; it is made principally for the purpose of preventing the en
General Horace Porter, Campaigning with Grant, Chapter 5 (search)
k mean alongside of it, and he finally grew so untrustworthy that it was unsafe even to believe the contrary of what he said. At 3 P. M. despatches were received by way of Washington, saying that General Butler had reached the junction of the James and Appomattox rivers the night of the 5th, had surprised the enemy, and successfully disembarked his troops, and that Sherman was moving out against Johnston in Georgia, and expected that a battle would be fought on the 7th. All preparationsnother road. It was after these movements that General Grant uttered the aphorism, Accident often decides the fate of battle. At 11:30 A. M. General Grant sent a telegram to Halleck, saying: The best of feeling prevails. . . . Route to the James River . . . not yet definitely marked out. In talking over the situation at headquarters, he said: It looks somewhat as if Lee intends to throw his army between us and Fredericksburg, in order to cut us off from our base of supplies. I would not b
General Horace Porter, Campaigning with Grant, Chapter6 (search)
the purpose of crushing Butler's or Sheridan's forces. This day, May 11, the looked — for despatches arrived, and their contents caused no little excitement at headquarters. The general, after glancing over the reports hurriedly, stepped to the front of his tent, and read them aloud to the staff-officers, who had gathered about him, eager to learn the news from the cooperating armies. Butler reported that he had a strongly intrenched position at Bermuda Hundred, in the angle formed by the James and Appomattox rivers; that he had cut the railroad, leaving Beauregard's troops south of the break, and had completely whipped Hill's force. Sheridan sent word that he had torn up ten miles of the Virginia Central Railroad between Lee's army and Richmond, and had destroyed a large quantity of medical supplies and a million and a half of rations. The general-in-chief expressed himself as particularly pleased with the destruction of the railroad in rear of Lee, as it would increase the diff
General Horace Porter, Campaigning with Grant, Chapter 7 (search)
hus engaged even his servant was not allowed to enter his quarters. The next day, May 15, the rain continued, and the difficulties of moving became still greater. Important despatches were received from the other armies. They informed the general-in-chief that General Averell's cavalry had cut a portion of the East Tennessee Railroad, and had also captured and destroyed a depot of supplies in West Virginia. Butler reported that he had captured some works near Drewry's Bluff, on the James River. The next day, the 16th, came a despatch from Sherman saying that he had compelled Johnston to evacuate Dalton and was pursuing him closely. Sheridan reported that he had destroyed a portion of the Virginia Central and the Fredericksburg railroads in Lee's rear, had killed General J. E. B. Stuart, completely routed his cavalry, and captured a portion of the outer lines of Richmond. He said he might possibly have taken Richmond by assault, but, being ignorant of the operations of Genera
General Horace Porter, Campaigning with Grant, Chapter 8 (search)
ed over it, and then read it to the staff. It announced that Sherman had just captured Rome. The ladies had caught the purport of the communication, although it was not intended that they should hear it. The wife burst into tears, and the mother-in-law was much affected by the news, which was of course sad tidings to both of them. The mother then began to talk with great rapidity and with no little asperity, saying: I came from Richmond not long ago, where I lived in a house on the James River which overlooks Belle Isle; and I had the satisfaction of looking down every day on the Yankee prisoners. I saw thousands and thousands of them, and before this campaign is over I want to see the whole of the Yankee army in Southern prisons. Just then Burnside rode into the yard, dismounted, and joined our party on the porch. He was a man of great gallantry and elegance of manner, and was always excessively polite to the gentler sex. He raised his hat, made a profound bow to the ladi
General Horace Porter, Campaigning with Grant, Chapter 9 (search)
liar manner of teasing officers with whom he was on terms of intimacy, and in this interview he began to joke with his cavalry leader by saying to those who were gathered about him: Now, Sheridan evidently thinks he has been clear down to the James River, and has been breaking up railroads, and even getting a peep at Richmond; but probably this is all imagination, or else he has been reading something of the kind in the newspapers. I don't suppose he seriously thinks that he made such a marchhave the greater part of Butler's troops join in the campaign of the Army of the Potomac. On May 25 he telegraphed orders to Halleck, saying: Send Butler's forces to White House, to land on the north side, and march up to join this army. The James River should be held to City Point, but leave nothing more than is absolutely necessary to hold it, acting purely on the defensive. The enemy will not undertake any offensive operations there, but will concentrate everything here. At the same time
General Horace Porter, Campaigning with Grant, Chapter 10 (search)
to have it ready in case it is wanted. As early as May 26 staff-officers had been sent from the Army of the Potomac to collect all the bridging material at command, and hold it in readiness. This was done in order to be prepared to cross the James River, if deemed best, and attack Richmond and Petersburg from the south side, and carry out the views expressed by Grant in the beginning of the Wilderness campaign as to his movements in certain contingencies. It was seen by him from the operations of the 30th that the enemy was working his way southward by extending his right flank, with a view to securing Old Cold Harbor, and holding the roads running from that point toward the James River and White House. This would cut off Grant's short route to the James in case he should decide to cross that river, and would also command the principal line of communication with his base at White House. Old Cold Harbor was therefore a point much desired by both the contending generals, and the
General Horace Porter, Campaigning with Grant, Chapter 12 (search)
carry out his alternative movement of throwing the entire army south of the James River. Halleck, who was rather fertile in suggestions, although few of them were ctive force to properly guard it. I shall prepare at once to move across the James River, and in the mean time destroy to a still greater extent the railroads north ld in readiness to pull out on short notice, and by rapid marches reach the James River and prepare to cross. I want you to go to Bermuda Hundred, and explain the erved on General McClellan's staff when his army occupied the north bank of the James two years before, and the country for many miles along the river was quite famiabout ten miles below City Point, the latter place being at the junction of the James and Appomattox rivers. Several roads led to the point selected for crossing bos would be safe from its attacks during the contemplated movement across the James River. Nothing was left unthought of by the trained mind of the commander who was
General Horace Porter, Campaigning with Grant, Chapter 13 (search)
n changed from Coles's Landing on the Chickahominy; and on its arrival it embarked for Bermuda Hundred, the position occupied by Butler in the angle between the James River and the Appomattox. A portion of Wilson's division of cavalry which had not accompanied Sheridan pushed forward to Long Bridge on the Chickahominy, fifteen mild where he could be near Warren's movement and communicate promptly with him. That evening he reached Wilcox's Landing, and went into camp on the north bank of the James, at the point where the crossing was to take place. Hancock's corps made a forced march, and reached the river at Wilcox's Landing on the afternoon of June 13.orps and to familiarize ourselves with that part of the country. Upon reaching City Point, headquarters were established on a high bluff at the junction of the James and the Appomattox rivers. I have said that the passage of the James had been effected without the loss of an animal. A proper regard for strict veracity require
General Horace Porter, Campaigning with Grant, Chapter 14 (search)
at Long Bridge on the 13th; . . . that night it marched to Westover. Some prisoners were taken from it on the 14th; have not heard of it since. At 4:30 he sent Beauregard another despatch, saying: Have no information of Grant's crossing the James River, but upon your report have ordered troops up to Chaffin's Bluff. Grant, on the contrary, had ascertained from watchers on Butler's tall signal-tower, which had been erected at Bermuda Hundred, just how many railway-trains with troops had passr-general in the regular army, and each was appointed to that rank. The headquarters camp at City Point was destined to become historic and to be the scene of some of the most memorable events of the war. It was located at the junction of the James and the Appomattox rivers, and was within easy water communication with Fort Monroe and Washington, as well as with Butler's army, which was to occupy positions on both sides of the upper James. The City Point Railroad was repaired, and a branc
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