only afterward recalled by my staff officers on my return to camp. On the third of July, 1863, the last day of the battle of Gettysburg, and immediately after the final repulse of the rebels, I urged General Meade to advance his whole army and attack them; but he refused to do so quite angrily, and his remarks showed he did not or would not understand the events that were occurring around him. He directed me to send the cavalry and ascertain if the enemy were retreating, which was done at once, but as the cavalry was at some distance from the army, it was not until eight o'clock the next morning that the first report of the cavalry on the Cashtown road was received, showing the enemy were twenty-two miles off, and getting away as fast as they could. The cavalry was continued in pursuit, but the remainder of the army did not leave Gettysburg for several days after the rebels had left, and were then moved in such a leisurely manner as to show no great anxiety by the commander to overtake the rebels. Very unexpectedly, to the army and to the rebels, the heavy rains caused the Potomac to rise so rapidly that Lee could not cross, and he was again brought face to face with the Army of the Potomac at Falling Water. Every military reason demanded that the rebels should be immediately attacked; for after the three days heavy fighting at Gettysburg, it was a moderate conclusion to arrive at, that the rebels were short of ammunition and could not sustain a protracted fight. General Lee admitted this afterward in his official report, and expected to be attacked; when he says, “our artillery having nearly expended its ammunition,” and again, “the enemy in force reached our front on the twelfth. A position had been previously selected to cover the Potomac from Williamsport to Falling Water, and an attack was awaited during that and the succeeding day. This did not take place, though the two armies were in close proximity, the enemy being occupied in fortifying his own lines.” The army of the Potomac having had all its wants supplied since the battle of Gettysburg, and with the prestige of that battle, was eager for the fight, and was in good condition for it. Here General Meade again refused to attack, and waited a whole day until the rebels had succeeded in crossing the river, and had again escaped. The army thus lost the fruits of all its arduous toils, struggles and triumphs, and the country had entailed upon it a prolonged war for two years more, with its innumerable sacrifices of blood and treasure. In reviewing the battle and campaign of Gettysburg, when we notice that General Meade was absent from the field on the first days' fight, that he was occupied with the idea of retreating on the second day; and that after his indomitable army had repulsed and badly beaten the rebel army on the third day, he refused to allow them to complete their victory; and still later, when fortune again unexpectedly thrust the rebels into his power at Falling Water, he doggedly refused to fight, but waited until they could escape; we are forced to the conclusion, that General Meade was unable to fight the Army of the Potomac as it should have been fought, nor could he avail himself of the advantages which the valor of his troops at times gave him, and that the honors of that campaign are not due to any generalship that he displayed; but to the heroic bravery, patriotism and perseverance of the army. the retreat from Culpepper. General Meade had occupied Culpepper with his army about the middle of September, 1863, General Lee's army being south of the Rapidan. The army had been at Culpepper about a month, when General Meade decided to make an offensive demonstration against Lee; for which purpose Buford's division of cavalry was ordered to cross the Rapidan at Germania ford, and then uncover Raccoon ford, where Newton's corps was to assist him. After Buford had started, and was too far off to be recalled, General Lee put his army in motion toward our right, which so alarmed General Meade that he made his preparations to retreat from Culpepper; and so precipitate were his movements that Buford's division was very near being cut off, while the army was hastily marched to the rear. General Lee, finding he could move General Meade so easily, urged him back as far as Centreville, and when the latter took up a position near that place, Lee contented himself with destroying the railroad we had left behind, and retired on Culpepper. campaign of mine run. The President having ordered General Meade to advance and attack General Lee, Culpepper was again occupied, early in November, 1863, when, shortly after, General Meade projected the campaign of Mine Run, the plan of which was based on the supposition that there was a good road from a mill several miles above Germania ford, to Robertson's tavern, on the Orange Court-house road or turnpike, when the fact was there was no road at all, and the country was extremely difficult to pass through. I knew the country well, and I told General Meade there was no road at that place, and to attempt to march troops through it would jeopardize the campaign; but my report did not appear to make any impression on him. On the evening before the army moved, a gentleman by the name of Smith, who had resided in that neighborhood, and was a loyal man, was in our employ, and who knew the country thoroughly, came to me and said he had heard General Meade intended passing a portion of his army by that mill above the Germania ford; and that if he did so he would get his army into trouble as there was no road at that point. I persuaded Mr. Smith to go and see General Meade, and tell him what he knew of the country; and Mr. Smith afterward told me that he had done
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Table of Contents:
Doc . 16 . operations in Tennessee .
Doc . 19 . the siege of Suffolk, Virginia .
Doc . 36 . General Rousseau 's expedition.
Doc . 59 . battles of Spottsylvania , Va: battle of Sunday , May 8 , 1864 .
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