previous next
[461]

He then stated, that during the preceding night he had withdrawn the teams and artillery from his right, across the river, and moved them down in the rear of his left, and would commence ‘a forced march for Hanovertown to seize and hold the crossing.’ So he withdrew from Lee's front, on the night of the 26th, and sought another road to Richmond, farther to the southeast. General Lee, having been taken seriously ill, was unable to fall upon Grant on the north side of the North Anna, as he fully intended to do.

Grant had utterly failed to accomplish his purpose, after crossing the North Anna, as was confessed by his lame statement as to the position of Lee's army, and by his withdrawal during the night of the 26th. The remarkable conclusion of his dispatch, of that day northward, is:

Lee's army is really whipped. The prisoners we have show it, and the action of his army shows it unmistakably. A battle with them outside of intrenchments cannot be had. Our men feel that they have gained the morale over the enemy and attack with confidence. I may be mistaken, but I feel that our success over Lee's army is already insured. The promptness and rapidity with which you have forwarded reinforcements have contributed to the feeling of confidence inspired in our men and to break down that of the enemy. We are destroying all the rails we can on the Central and Fredericksburg roads. I want to leave a gap in the roads north of Richmond so big that to get a single track they will have to import rails from elsewhere.

Not quite sure of the future, after having broken so many promises as to a direct march on Richmond, Grant added a postscript: ‘Even if a crossing is not effected at Hanovertown, it will probably be necessary for us to move down the Pamunkey until a crossing is effected;’ and advised that his base of supplies should be changed to the White House, the very place where McClellan had his, when Lee met him in front of Richmond about a year before this time.

It is interesting to recur to Grant's previous dispatches from the North Anna. On the morning of the 24th of May, after Lee had shortened his lines and well punctu-ated them all along with artillery, Grant wrote: ‘The enemy have fallen back from North Anna; we are in pursuit. Negroes who have come in state that Lee is falling back to Richmond. If this is the case, Butler's forces will all be wanted where they are.’ At noon of the next day he wrote: ‘The enemy are evidently making a determined stand between the two Annas. It would ’

Creative Commons License
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.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Hanovertown (Virginia, United States) (2)
North Anna (Virginia, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Fitz Lee (8)
U. S. Grant (5)
George B. McClellan (1)
Ben Butler (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
May 24th (1)
26th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: