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[472] Ewell having been put in command of the troops in Richmond), to march to Charlottesville and thence by rail to Lynchburg, as expeditiously as possible, to intercept Hunter's advance, which he was making, by way of Lexington, toward that important railway center and depot of supplies. Early, by his energetic movements, was enabled to meet Hunter in front of Lynchburg, on the 17th and 18th, and drive him in disaster across to the Valley, at Salem, and into the Appalachians, in continuous retreat to the Kanawha, while he turned northeast and moved on Washington, as related in detail in a subsequent chapter.

After providing a new line of intrenchments, in front of Lee, for his rear guard, Grant, during the night of June 12th, began his retreat; or, as some would call it, his fifth flank movement, but far away from Lee's left, from Cold Harbor to the James. A division of cavalry under Wilson, and his Fifth corps, crossed the Chickahominy at the long bridges and guarded his flank to White Oak swamp, while his other corps, marching farther to the east, reached Wilcox's landing and Charles City Court House on the James, during the night of the 13th, all marching through a country familiar to the army of the Potomac from the operations of McClellan in 1862. On the morning of the 14th, Grant's Second corps began crossing the James, in ferryboats, at Wilcox's wharf, while pontoons were being laid, which were completed by midnight, on which the rest of his army crossed rapidly, and on the 15th, the whole of it was safely concentrated in Butler's rear, on the south side of the James.

The impartial historian, having in hand the records of the leaders of the army of the Potomac and of the army of Northern Virginia, with all their detailed statements, made during and after this bloody campaign from the Rapidan to the James, from May 4 to June 14, 1864, is forced to the conclusion, that, in so far as Grant's leadership was concerned, it was a disastrous failure. He had not accomplished one of his strategic plans, unless that be called one which placed his army on the banks of the James, below Harrison's landing, to which McClellan had retreated after his disastrous campaign of 1862, after a loss of more than 42,000 men from the vast army of over 140,000 which was under his command during the

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