credited with the following words, and it is believed they expressed his design: “To
hammer continuously against the armed force of the enemy and his resources, until by mere attrition, if nothing else,” etc. These words make the impression that General Grant
believed he had a serious undertaking on hand, and if his plan did not propose to make a sixty or ninety days affair of it, it certainly did. clearly indicate that his armies were to fight as long as there was a man left, or an armed enemy to oppose.
, after deliberating whether he should cross the Rapidan
above General Lee
's left or below his right flank, decided upon the latter, which he is reported to have said, would “force him back toward Richmond
, somewhere to the north of which he hoped to have a battle.”
It will be seen that he had mistaken his adversary.
The Army of the Potomac, now directed by General Grant
, began to move, twelve A. M., on the 4th of May, for the lower fords of the Rapidan
The Second Corps (Hancock
's) being nearest the river, marched to Ely's ford, while Sedgwick
's and Warren
's (Sixth and Fifth Corps) moved to Germanna ford, six miles above, the last two corps preceded by Wilson
's cavalry; and by one P. M. of the 4th, Warren
's (Fifth) Corps had crossed on a pontoon bridge, and, continuing his march, halted near the intersection of the old pike and Germanna ford road, and went into bivouac.
's (Sixth) Corps crossed later in the afternoon, and camped near the ford.
's cavalry advanced up the old pike to watch any move of the Confederates
from that quarter.
, preceded by Gregg
's cavalry, crossed at Ely's ford, and by nine A. M. on the 4th, was at Chancellorsville
; there went into bivouac, having thrown the cavalry forward toward Todd's Tavern
It is well to observe how accurately posted General Lee
was as to the designs of the enemy, whose movement began at twelve A. M., while his own followed in a few hours-commencing at sunup in some cases, and earlier in others.
's troops moved by the right flank; two divisions of Hill
's Corps (Heth
's and Wilcox
's) down the plank road toward Fredericksburg
, and bivouacked near dark at Vidierville.
had made a long march, having been six miles above the Court-House
's Corps moved on the old pike, and halted for the night near Locust Grove
's Division, of Hill
's Corps, remained behind to guard certain fords on the Rapidan
's two divisions moved from Gordonsville
, to follow, after reaching the plank road, in the rear of Hill
The army, that had been much separated, for convenience of passing the winter, was now being concentrated as it converged upon the