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Mine Run (Virginia, United States) (search for this): chapter 6
the repressed feeling of our hearts sprang out towards him. We were ready to blame ourselves if we had been in any way the cause of his trouble. But we thought we had borne a better part than that. We had had a taste of his style of fighting, and we liked it. In some respects it was different from ours; although this was not a case to test all qualities. We had formed some habits of fighting too. Most of us there had been through Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Mine Run, the Wilderness, Spottsylvania, Cold Harbor, Bethesda Church, the North Anna, Petersburg:we had formed habits. We went into a fight with knowledge of what it meant and what was to be done. We went at things with dogged resolution; not much show; not much flare; not much accompaniment of brass instruments. But we could give credit to more brilliant things. We could see how this voice and vision, this swing and color, this vivid impression on the senses, carried the pulse and will of men.
United States (United States) (search for this): chapter 6
General Warren, commanding the Fifth Army Corps, is relieved from duty and will at once report for orders to Lieutenant-General Grant, commanding Armies of the United States. By command of Major-General Sheridan. With almost the agony of death upon his face, Warren approaches Sheridan and asks him if he cannot reconsider the ore active army. The applicant was then a lieutenant-colonel of engineers. The respondent-virtually the defendant — was lieutenant-general of the armies of the United States, --the superior of course, and the commander, of every member of the court, as also of most of the witnesses before it, then in the military service. The next friend and chief witness-called by the applicant, but necessarily for the respondent — was General Grant, ex-President of the United States, who still carried an immense prestige and influence. The traditions of the whole War Department were for sustaining military authority. We could not expect this court to bring in a verdict
Gettysburg (Pennsylvania, United States) (search for this): chapter 6
ighting, and we liked it. In some respects it was different from ours; although this was not a case to test all qualities. We had formed some habits of fighting too. Most of us there had been through Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Mine Run, the Wilderness, Spottsylvania, Cold Harbor, Bethesda Church, the North Anna, Petersburg:we had formed habits. We went into a fight with knowledge of what it meant and what was to be done. We went at things with dogged resolution; nhis entire army, and saved the other quarter by now and then entrenching when put momentarily on the defensive. Ayres does not relish this remark, whether intended for excuse or sarcasm. He answers that his troops, most of them, had fought at Gettysburg, and through the Wilderness, Spottsylvania, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, and the Weldon Railroad, and none of them had ever but once fought behind breastworks. Ibid, p. 450. The unsteadiness of Ayres' skirmishers was no vital matter. It wa
Appomattox (Virginia, United States) (search for this): chapter 6
e Forks alone but by gallant work along our whole confronting line,--which might have been done the day before, and saved the long task of racing day and night, of toils and tribulations and losses recorded and unrecorded, which brought fame to Appomattox, and the end of deeds rewarded and unrewarded. A study of this battle shows vexing provocations, but does not show satisfactory reasons for the removal of General Warren from command of the Fifth Corps. The fact is that much of the dissate of Five Forks was also the battle of the White Oak Road, on an extended front, in an accidental and isolated position, and at a delayed hour. It was successful, owing to the character of the troops, and the skill and vigor of the commander. Appomattox was a glorious result of strong pushing and hard marching. But both could have been forestalled, and all that fighting, together with that at Sailor's Creek, High Bridge, and Farmville have been concentrated in one grand assault, of which the
Rienzi (Mississippi, United States) (search for this): chapter 6
worse thing yet: if we continued advancing in that direction, in another minute we should be catching Ayres' fire on our left flank. He was already in, with his men. Griffin, coming up, detains me a moment. Sheridan greets him well. We flanked them gloriously! he exclaims, with a full-charged smile, implying that all was not over yet. After a minute's crisp remark, Griffin wheels away to the right, and I am left with Sheridan. He was sitting right in the focus of the fire, on his horse Rienzi, --both about the color of the atmosphere, his demon pennon, good or ill, as it might bode, red and white, two-starred, aloft just behind him. The stream of bullets was pouring so thick it crossed my mind that what had been to me a poet's phrase-darkening the air --was founded on dead-level fact. I was troubled for Sheridan. We could not afford to lose him. I made bold to tell him so, and begged him not to stay there;the rest of us would try to take care of things, and from that place he c
Dinwiddie Court House (Virginia, United States) (search for this): chapter 6
the cavalry, though a little piqued at our not going down and picking up what they had left at Dinwiddie the night before, were quite willing we should share whatever they should get to-day. SheridCrawford's Divisions were massed near the house of J. Boisseau, on the road leading from Dinwiddie Court House to Five Forks. Ayres was halted a mile back at the junction of the Brooks Road, which hd in my rear. General Mackenzie's cavalry, of the Army of the James, had been ordered up from Dinwiddie, to cross the White Oak Road and move forward with us covering our right flank. Nevertheless,attle. There was some very remarkable testimony before the court in regard to the fight at Dinwiddie, resulting from anything but infirmity of mind. There were also many inconsistencies concerniing the progress of the battle. They had been on the ground earlier it seems on retiring from Dinwiddie; but for one reason or another they had one by one retired across Hatcher's Run,--looking afte
Spottsylvania (Virginia, United States) (search for this): chapter 6
ts it was different from ours; although this was not a case to test all qualities. We had formed some habits of fighting too. Most of us there had been through Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Mine Run, the Wilderness, Spottsylvania, Cold Harbor, Bethesda Church, the North Anna, Petersburg:we had formed habits. We went into a fight with knowledge of what it meant and what was to be done. We went at things with dogged resolution; not much show; not much flare; not much er by now and then entrenching when put momentarily on the defensive. Ayres does not relish this remark, whether intended for excuse or sarcasm. He answers that his troops, most of them, had fought at Gettysburg, and through the Wilderness, Spottsylvania, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, and the Weldon Railroad, and none of them had ever but once fought behind breastworks. Ibid, p. 450. The unsteadiness of Ayres' skirmishers was no vital matter. It was a trifling circumstance, hardly relevan
Virginia (Virginia, United States) (search for this): chapter 6
d flankers, and march another regiment by the flank on our right, ready to face outwards, and let his other regiment follow in my column. At four o'clock we moved down the Gravelly Run Church Road, our lines as we supposed nearly parallel to the White Oak Road, with Ayres directed on the angle of the enemy's works. Just as we started there came from General Warren a copy of a diagram of the proposed movement. I was surprised at this. It showed our front of Battle-field of Five Forks, Va., April 1, 1865, and of field of operations: showing the operations of the 5th Army Corps. movement to be quite oblique to the White Oak Road,--as much as half a right angle,--with the center of Crawford's Division directed upon the angle, and Ayres, of course, thrown far to the left, so as to strike the enemy's works halfway to Five Forks. Griffin was shown as following Crawford; but the whole direction was such that all of us would strike the enemy's main line before any of us could touch
Bashan (South Carolina, United States) (search for this): chapter 6
20, 1864, War Records, Serial No. 80, p. 26.) Meade was much displeased, too, with Warren for his characteristic remark to the effect that no proper superior commanding officer was present at the time of the Mine explosion, to take control of the whole affair. And now, with Sheridan against him, poor Warren may well have wished at least for David's faculty of putting his grievances into song, with variations on the theme: Many bulls have compassed me about; yea, many strong bulls of Bashan. The troops had enjoyed about four hours of this unwonted rest when, the cavalry having completed its reconnoissance, we were ordered forward. We turned off on a narrow road said to lead pretty nearly to the left of the enemy's defenses at Five Forks on the White Oak Road. Crawford led, followed by Griffin and Ayres,--the natural order for prompt and free movement. The road had been much cut up by repeated scurries of both the contending parties, and was even yet obstructed by cavalr
Farmville (Virginia, United States) (search for this): chapter 6
even the truth made known becomes a consolation. The battle of Five Forks was also the battle of the White Oak Road, on an extended front, in an accidental and isolated position, and at a delayed hour. It was successful, owing to the character of the troops, and the skill and vigor of the commander. Appomattox was a glorious result of strong pushing and hard marching. But both could have been forestalled, and all that fighting, together with that at Sailor's Creek, High Bridge, and Farmville have been concentrated in one grand assault, of which the sharp-edged line along the White Oak Road would have been one blade of the shears, and Ord and Wright and Parke on the main line the other, and the hard and costly ten days chase and struggle would have been spared so many noble men. Lee would not have got a day's start of us in the desperate race. Sheridan cutting the enemy's communications and rolling up their scattering fugitives would have shown his great qualities, and won con
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