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nity of Boonsboroa; the obstinate stand he made once more on the old ground around Upperville as Lee again fell back; the heavy petites guerres of Culpeper; the repulse of Custer when he attacked Charlottesville; the expedition to the rear of General Meade when he came over to Mine Run; the bitter struggle in the Wilderness when General Grant advanced; the fighting all along the Po in Spotsylvania; the headlong gallop past the South Anna, and the bloody struggle near the Yellow Tavern, where ths nerve had in it something splendid and chivalric. It never failed him for a moment on occasions which would have paralysed ordinary commanders. An instance was given in October, 1863. Near Auburn his column was surrounded by the whole of General Meade's army, then retiring before General Lee. Stuart massed his command, kept cool, listened hour after hour as the night passed on, to the roll of the Federal artillery and the heavy tramp of their infantry within a few hundred yards of him, an
irably the objects for which he had been sent to that region. He was placed there as Jackson had been in 1862, to divert a portion of the Federal forces from the great arena of combat in the lowland. By his movements before and after the battle of Kernstown, Jackson, with about four thousand men, kept about twenty-five thousand of the enemy in the Valley. By his movements preceding the battle of Opequon, Early, with eight or ten thousand men, kept between forty and fifty thousand from General Meade's army at Petersburg. That he could meet the Federal force in his front, in a fair pitched battle, was not probably believed by himself or by General Lee. His command was essentially what he calls it, a forlorn hope --the hope that it could cope with its opponents being truly forlorn. As long as that opponent was amused, retarded, or kept at arm's length, all was well. When he advanced to attack in earnest, it was doubtless foreseen that the thirty or forty thousand bayonets would d
iring was spoken of as near Gettysburg. No one then anticipated a battle there-Generals Lee and Meade almost as little as the rest. In spite of the broken-down condition of his command, Stuart m when Longstreet paused on the brow of the hill. Had he gained possession of the Round Top, General Meade's line would have been taken in flank and reverse; he would doubtless have been forced to fee and themselves unimpaired. Longstreet said truly that he desired nothing better than for General Meade to attack his positionthat his men would have given the Federal troops a reception such as t the flanks — the two armies faced each other, and a battle seemed imminent-when one morning General Meade discovered that General Lee was on the south bank of the Potomac. It is said that the Fearmy, where provisions and ammunition were obtainable; and the opposing forces rested. Then General Meade advanced, his great adversary made a corresponding movement, and about the first of August t
John Esten Cooke, Wearing of the Gray: Being Personal Portraits, Scenes, and Adventures of War., From the Rapidan to Frying-Pan in October, 1863. (search)
n to Frying-Pan in October, 1863. I. General Meade's retreat from Culpeper, in October, 1863,w miles off, at Mitchell's Station; and as General Meade was plainly going to advance, it was obvioce of artillery, I believe, was captured. General Meade had swept clean. There were even very feward Warrenton Springs, still aiming to cut General Meade off from Manassas. On the next day commenosed between the two retreating columns of General Meade-infantry, cavalry, and artillery-and theseoor men, and let us say no more about it. General Meade was behind Bull Run fortifying. Thus trous attempt to bring on a pitched battle with Meade. That was his design, as it was General MeadeGeneral Meade's design in coming over to Mine Run in the succeeding December. Both schemes failed. From the hi. The retreat had been admirably managed. General Meade had carried off everything. We did not cat of rain to make a flank movement against General Meade's right beyond the Little River Turnpike.[9 more...]
John Esten Cooke, Wearing of the Gray: Being Personal Portraits, Scenes, and Adventures of War., Major R--‘s little private scout. (search)
t he is master of that weapon; and in the charge he is a perfect thunderbolt. He fingers his pistol and makes the barrels revolve with admirable grace; his salute with the sabre is simply perfection; his air, as he listens to an order from his superior officer, says plainly, All I wish is to know what you want me to do, General — if it can be done it will be done. This air does not deceive. It is well known to the Major's friends that his motto is, Neck or nothing. At Mine Run, when General Meade confronted the Southern lines, the worthy said to me, A soldier's duty is to obey his orders; and if General Stuart told me to charge the Yankee army by myself, I would do it. He would be responsible. It will be seen from the above sketch of the gallant Major, that he is a thorough soldier. In fact he loves his profession, and is not satisfied with performing routine duty. He is fond of volunteering on forlorn hopes, and in desperate emergencieswhen he cannot get at the blue-coats f
John Esten Cooke, Wearing of the Gray: Being Personal Portraits, Scenes, and Adventures of War., Facetiae of the camp: souvenirs of a C. S. Officer. (search)
ral Stuart why General Pleasanton of the U. S. Army had been sent to Georgia? --a dispatch by signal from corps headquarters having communicated that intelligence. Grand tableau when the affair was explained! General Stuart had signalled: Meade's Headquarters are at Wallack's, and Pleasanton's at Cumberland George's --names of persons residing near Culpeper Court-house. The signal flags had said: Meade's headquarters are at Wallack's, and Pleasanton's at Cumberland Georgia! Ii. Meade's headquarters are at Wallack's, and Pleasanton's at Cumberland Georgia! Ii. In November, 1863, Lieutenant — was in an old deserted mansion near Culpeper Court-house, with some prisoners confined in the upper rooms; the enemy not being far distant. While waiting, a blaze shot up from a fire which some soldiers had kindled near, and threw the shadow of the Lieutenant on the wall. Thinking the shadow was a human being he called out: Halt! there! No reply from the intruder. Answer, or I fire! The same silence-when the Lieutenant drew a pistol from his
on a scout to ascertain the number, position, and movements of the Federal forces. Taking with him two companions, he crossed the upper Rapidan, passed the Confederate cavalry pickets, and carefully worked his way toward Mitchell's Station. General Meade had pushed forward his lines to this point a few days before-or rather established large camps there-and this fact, visible from Clark's mountain, made it desirable to ascertain, if possible, his designs. This was S—‘s mission. In due trter-guards walking their posts, and officers in gay uniforms went to and fro, saluted by the sentinels with a present as they passed. The size of the encampments enabled S — to form a tolerably accurate estimate of the amount of force which General Meade had concentrated at this point; and having passed the whole day thus moving cautiously around the spot, thereby discovering all which a mere reconnoissance could reveal, the scout began to look for stragglers, from whom, as his prisoners, he <
o the last. The expected attack soon came. Grant rapidly concentrated his army (amounting, General Meade stated at Appomattox Court-House, to about 140,000 men) on Lee's right, near Burgess' Mill; rs of the opposing forces can only be stated in round numbers. I understood afterwards that General Meade stated the Federal force to amount to about one hundred and forty thousand men. That of Genet-deprived of all reinforcements — it was now weaker than it had probably ever been before. General Meade, it is said, expressed extreme astonishment to General Lee when informed of his small numberwould have long before broken through the Confederate lines. The statement was natural, and General Meade doubtless believed in the ability of the Federal army to have done so; but it is certain thable delay in crossing the Appomattox had given General Grant time to mass a heavy force — as General Meade's report shows-at Burkesville Junction; and if it was General Lee's intention to advance on