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General Horace Porter, Campaigning with Grant, Chapter 2 (search)
ured leg no longer disables you. No, he replied; it gives me scarcely any trouble now, although sometimes it feels a little numb. As we rode along he began to speak of his new command, and said: I have watched the progress of the Army of the Potomac ever since it was organized, and have been greatly interested in reading the accounts of the splendid fighting it has done. I always thought the territory covered by its operations would be the principal battle-ground of the war. When I was at Cairo, in 1861, the height of my ambition was to command a brigade of cavalry in this army. I suppose it was my fondness for horses that made me feel that I should be more at home in command of cavalry, and I thought that the Army of the Potomac would present the best field of operations for a brigade commander in that arm of the service. He then changed the subject to Chattanooga, and in speaking of that battle interjected into his descriptions brief criticisms upon the services and character
General Horace Porter, Campaigning with Grant, Chapter 4 (search)
e could follow its features without referring to it again. Besides, he possessed an almost intuitive knowledge of topography, and never became confused as to the points of the compass. He was a natural bushwhacker, and was never so much at home as when finding his way by the course of streams, the contour of the hills, and the general features of the country. I asked him, one day, whether he had ever been deceived as to the points of the compass. He said: Only once-when I arrived at Cairo, Illinois. The effect of that curious bend in the river turned me completely around, and when the sun came up the first morning after I got there, it seemed to me that it rose directly in the west. During a lull in the battle late in the afternoon, General Grant, in company with two staff-officers, strolled over toward the Germanna road. While we stood on the bank of a small rivulet, a drove of beef-cattle was driven past. One of the animals strayed into the stream, and had evidently made
General Horace Porter, Campaigning with Grant, Chapter 8 (search)
officers at headquarters were called up particularly early to start on the march, every one did his utmost to be on time and not keep the general waiting; but, however vigorous the effort, no one could match him in getting on his clothes. There was seldom any occasion for such hurried dressing, but with him it was a habit which continued through life. Bill, the servant who waited on the general, was a notable character. He was entirely a creature of accident. When the general was at Cairo in 1861, Bill suddenly appeared one day at headquarters with two other slave boys, who had just escaped from their former masters in Missouri. They belonged to that class of fugitive blacks who were characterized by those given to artistic comparisons as charcoal sketches from the hands of the old masters. Bill was of a genuine burnt-cork hue, and no white blood contaminated the purity of his lineage. He at once set himself to work without orders, taking care of one of the aides, and by d
General Horace Porter, Campaigning with Grant, Chapter 14 (search)
in these busy days helping to take care of General Grant's correspondence. He wrote an excellent hand, and as one of the military secretaries often overhauled the general's correspondence and prepared answers to his private letters. This evening he was seated at the writing-table in the general's tent, while his chief was standing at a little distance outside talking with some of the staff. A citizen who had come to City Point in the employ of the Sanitary Commission, and who had been at Cairo when the general took command there in 1861, approached the group and inquired: Where is the old man's tent I'd like to get a look at him; have n't seen him for three years. Rawlins, to avoid being interrupted, said, That's his tent, at the same time pointing to it. The man stepped over to the tent, looked in, and saw the swarthy features of Parker as he sat in the general's chair. The visitor seemed a little puzzled, and as he walked away was heard to remark: Yes, that's him; but he's got