Let your watchword be fight, and let all your orders be fight, fight, fight; bearing in mind that time is as valuable to the General as the Rebel carcasses. It devolves upon you, General, to take the initiative in the forward movement of this grand army; and on you and your noble command must depend, in a great measure, the extent and brilliance of our success. Bear in mind that celerity, audacity, and resolution, are every thing in war; and especially is it tile case with the command you have, and the enterprise on which you are about to embark.These instructions seem to have been at once terse and perspicuous, plainly indicating what was expected, and why it was required; yet leaving ample discretion to him who was to give them effect. Yet it is hard to repress a suspicion that irony lurks in such language, when addressed to an officer like George D. Stoneman. Our cavalry, carefully screening its movements from the enemy, marched two days westward, and had thrown across one division, when a rain raised the river so rapidly that this vanguard was recalled, swimming its horses ; and a succession of April storms kept the streams so full and impetuous, while the roads were rendered so bad, that a fresh advance was postponed to the 27th; Gen. Hooker giving the order for the movement of his infantry and artillery next day. The time was well chosen. Long,--street, with three divisions, had been detached from Lee's army, and was operating against Gen. Peck below the James; and it is not probable that Lee had much, if any, over 60,000 men on the Rappahannock. True, his position at Fredericksburg was
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.