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Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buell, Battles and Leaders of the Civil War: The Opening Battles. Volume 1., Incidents of the first Bull Run. (search)
men of leisure or mercantile clerks. About forty were young mechanics, whose mechanical skill was of much service. I had provided them with red flannel shirts at Harper's Ferry, because our uniforms were too fine for camp life and for service in the field.-J. D. I. (my own battery) was at the head of the column, and, being largely composed of young men of high social standing, was especially honored by the ladies of the village, conspicuous among whom were the young daughters of Colonel John A. Washington, late of Mount Vernon. I noticed that some of the young fellows of the battery, lingering round the baskets borne by these young ladies, who bade them die or conquer in the fight, seemed very miserable during the remainder of the march. No doubt many of them, during the battle, felt that it would be better to die on the field than retreat and live to meet those enthusiastic girls again. I make special note of that breakfast because it was the last food any of us tasted till the
The Annals of the Civil War Written by Leading Participants North and South (ed. Alexander Kelly McClure), The First great crime of the War. (search)
may have so overruled in our favor that the infliction of this defeat of a small army, depressing as it was, may have saved us from severer defeat two months afterward. 1No thanks, however, to those who brought on the campaign. In any event, the people were more patient, and afterward bore delays, which they could not understand, with a noble and self-sacrificing spirit. So it happened that the first step taken by the dazed administration, after the battle of Bull Run, was to order to Washington, in command of the Army of the Potomac, the young General McClellan, who had been so far the only general upon whose banners victory for the cause had perched. He at once began a system of organization and distribution of troops, of purchase of material of war, of recommendations of generals to important commands East, West and South, of the erection of field fortifications, which to complete involved a long time, longer far than was suspected by the administration or the people. He and
The Annals of the Civil War Written by Leading Participants North and South (ed. Alexander Kelly McClure), Lee's West Virginia campaign. (search)
rprise. Having been his superior in rank in the old army, he could not suppress a feeling of jealousy General Lee was accompanied by his aides-de-camp, Colonel John A. Washington and Captain Walter H. Taylor. After remaining several days at Huntersville without gaining any positive information from General Loring in regard to thnguished. He brought them with him to the mountains of Virginia. There was not a day when it was possible for him to be out, that the General, with either Colonel Washington or Captain Taylor, might not be seen crossing the mountains, climbing over rocks and crags, to get a view of the Federal position. Ever mindful of the safe had been but little skirmishing, and the Confederate loss had been slight. One circumstance, however, occurred which cast a gloom over the whole army. Colonel J. A. Washington, while making a reconnoissance, fell into an ambuscade, and was killed. He had, by his soldierly qualities and high gentlemanly bearing, gained the este
The Annals of the Civil War Written by Leading Participants North and South (ed. Alexander Kelly McClure), The battle of Beverly ford. (search)
t was, reflects no blame on General Pleasonton; but it is noteworthy how often, in war, operations from a common centre outward are better advised than by the contrary method. Concentration of troops is often so difficult of attainment when the links of connection are once lost. A conspicuous example of this truth has been lately brought to mind by Dr. Lambdin's admirable narrative read at the Centennial celebration of the battle of Germantown, and even now one can but feel sorry for General Washington as a soldier-thinking of him in the fog before Chew's house, with Sullivan and Wayne groping in front, and no tidings as yet of Greene on the Limekiln road, and Armstrong at the mouth of the Wissahickon. If he had spread his battle-fan outward from his centre on the turnpike, unfolding it as he advanced, perhaps no one would have inquired a century after why the good people of Germantown wished to commemorate a defeat. Be that as it may, General Pleasonton was destined to reap some o
The Annals of the Civil War Written by Leading Participants North and South (ed. Alexander Kelly McClure), The draft riots in New York. (search)
e of as orderly, self-possessed, and natty a company as any officer need desire to command. The gallant service they performed in the July riots, and the eagerness displayed by the regular infantry officers in New York during that period to lead them, showed the sterling metal of which they were composed, and justify me in claiming for the Permanent guard of Fort Hamilton the place it is entitled to in the history of that deadly outbreak. On July 4th telegraphic orders were received from Washington to dispatch the two batteries from Fort Hamilton to the Army of the Potomac at Chambersburg, and the Permanent guard thus became the only effective garrison of the post. The aggregate strength of General Brown's command at that time was less than 500. About two o'clock on the afternoon of Monday, July 13th, having occasion to visit the telegraph office just outside the military inclosure of Fort Hamilton, I was informed by the operator that communication with the city had been in some
The Annals of the Civil War Written by Leading Participants North and South (ed. Alexander Kelly McClure), The First shot against the flag. (search)
bearing a white flag — the only means of communication between the fort and the State-appeared off Sumter. She brought two officials, the Secretary of State and the Secretary of War of South Carolina, with a message from the Governor containing a demand for the immediate delivery of the work to the authorities of the State. The interview was characterized by every courtesy, and the demand sustained by earnest verbal representations. It was as firmly declined, and the matter referred to Washington. Long and elaborate discussions between the Secretary of War, Mr. Holt, and the envoy of the Governor, Colonel Hayne, followed. Lieutenant Hall, on behalf of Major Anderson, represented him as secure in his position. The envoy bore a demand for the surrender of the fort. Before this could be presented, nine of the Senators from the cotton States induced Colonel Hayne to postpone the delivery of the communication until they could ascertain whether the President would refrain from reinfo
The Annals of the Civil War Written by Leading Participants North and South (ed. Alexander Kelly McClure), Life in Pennsylvania. (search)
ing General Meade upon the heights the next day. I suggested that this course seemed to be at variance with the plan of the campaign that had been agreed upon before leaving Fredericksburg. He said: If the enemy is there to-morrow, we must attack him. I replied: If he is there, it will be because he is anxious that we should attack him — a good reason, in my judgment, for not doing so. I urged that we should move around by our right to the left of Meade, and put our army between him and Washington, threatening his left and rear, and thus force him to attack us in such position as we might select. I said that it seemed to me that if, during our council at Fredericksburg, we had described the position in which we desired to get the two armies, we could not have expected to get the enemy in a better position for us than that he then occupied; that he was in strong position and would be awaiting us, which was evidence that he desired that we should attack him. I said, further, that his
The Annals of the Civil War Written by Leading Participants North and South (ed. Alexander Kelly McClure), The campaign of Gettysburg. (search)
pecially assigned to it, as I expected to have some desperate work to do. The General assented to my request, and upon my naming the officers, he immediately telegraphed to have them appointed brigadier generals. This was his first dispatch to Washington, and in the afternoon he received the reply making the appointments, and directing the officers to be assigned at once. They were Custer, Merritt, and Farnsworth; all three young captains, and two of them, Custer and Farnsworth, my aides-de-casuit. They captured large trains of wagons, many prisoners, and were in such position that, had General Meade followed Lee on the 4th of July, the surrender of Lee would have been unavoidable. The two great objective points of the war were Washington and Richmond. Had Lee's army captured Washington and held it, the South would have been recognized by the nations of Europe, and the war would have been continued by the North under the greatest disadvantages. When the army of the Potomac ent
The Annals of the Civil War Written by Leading Participants North and South (ed. Alexander Kelly McClure), How Jefferson Davis was overtaken. (search)
at once, with his prisoners, at corps headquarters. When the cavalcade reached the city, the streets were thronged by crowds of rebel citizens, but not one kind greeting was extended to the deserted chieftain or his party. A good dinner was prepared and given to them by my servants, and, after three or four hours rest, they were sent, under strong escort, toward the North, by way of Atlanta, Augusta, and Savannah, arrangements for which had been already made, in pursuance of orders from Washington. Colonel Pritchard, with a detachment of his regiment, was directed to deliver his prisoner safely into the custody of the Secretary of War. I also placed in his charge the person of Clement C. Clay, Jr., for whose arrest a reward had been offered by the President. Mr. Clay surrendered himself at Macon, about the 11th of May, having informed me by telegraph, from Western Georgia, the day before, that he would start for my headquarters without delay. Alexander it. Stephens, Vice Preside
The Annals of the Civil War Written by Leading Participants North and South (ed. Alexander Kelly McClure), The famous fight at Cedar creek. (search)
f the National Capital on the 12th of July, and the subsequent burning of Chambersburg by Early's cavalry, under McCausland, had produced a very considerable civilian panic, attracted the anxious attention of the whole country, and convinced Grant, before Petersburg, that decisive measures were required in the neighborhood of the Potomac if he was to retain his grip on the rebel capital. Accordingly, two small-sized infantry corps (Wright's Sixth and Emory's Nineteenth) were dispatched to Washington via Fortress Monroe, and were soon followed by two divisions (the First and Third) of the already famous cavalry corps of the Army of the Potomac. A new Middle Department was erected, and General P. H. Sheridan, as its commander, was given his first opportunity to earn his spurs in control of a separate army and an independent campaign. By the middle of August, the armies of Sheridan and Early confronted each other in the Valley north of Winchester. Then ensued that brilliant campai
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