Campaign of 1863.The Southern history has the following on the campaign in April, 1863, which locates the position of Lieutenant-General Longstreet, viz.:Now they (the rebels) confronted the enemy from the Rappahannock, and hovered upon his flank, within striking distance, to the Potomac, while another portion of our forces manoeuvred almost in the rear, and quite upon the flank, in Norfolk.Longstreet had been promised sixty thousand men for his spring work, and was ready about the last of March to open the campaign for the recovery of Southern Virginia. He ordered Hill and Pettigrew to make a series of demonstrations at Newbern, Little Washington, and other points in North Carolina, with the design of causing troops to be sent from Norfolk, Fortress Monroe, and other localities. In consequence I was ordered, on the tenth of April, to despatch a considerable portion of my force to General Foster. Longstreet, advised of the order and success of his feints, crossed the Blackwater, and on the same day advanced, with about twenty-eight thousand men, upon Suffolk. On the fifteenth of April, Hill discontinued his feints upon Little Washington, and sent those troops to Suffolk. He followed soon after with the remainder of his command. The rebel force in North Carolina was estimated by General Foster as very large, and in my judgment far above the real numbers. If his estimate was correct, there must have been with Longstreet, after the concentration, more than fifty thousand men. Probably forty thousand is a safe estimate; and he had associated with him such able West Pointers as Lieutenant-Generals Hill, Hood and Anderson, and Major-Generals Picket, French and Garnett, &c. The Petersburg Express of the fifteenth of April reflected the Confederate expectations in regard to Longstreet's army, in the following:Our people are buoyant and hopeful, as they ought to be. We have in that direction as gallant an army as was ever mustered under any sun, and commanded by an officer who has won laurels in every engagement, from the first Manassas to that at Fredericksburg. Such an army, commanded by such an officer as Longstreet, may be defeated; but such an event is scarcely within the range of possibility.In spite of the high hopes of the South, the siege was raised during the night of the third of May (twenty-four days), after the construction of from eight to ten miles of covered ways, rifle-pits, field works, and the loss of the celebrated Fauquier battery and some two thousand men. The rebel press, with few exceptions, admitted the failure, and censured Longstreet. The Richmond Examiner, of November twenty-seventh, 1863, pronounced his Knoxville and Suffolk campaigns as parallel failures, and said:It was during the parallel campaign of Longstreet against Suffolk that Hooker made his coup at Chancellorsville; but he found there Jackson, while Grant had to do with Bragg alone.The effective Federal force at the outset was nearly fourteen thousand, with three small wooden gunboats. This was distributed on lines of about twelve miles in extent. No defeat was experienced by our arms.
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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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