Chapter 31: from the Rapidan to the James.
On the 3rd of May, 1864, the positions of the Confederate Army under General Lee
, and the Federal Army
under Lieutenant General Grant
, were as follows: General Lee
held the southern bank of the Rapidan River
, in Orange County
, with his right resting near the mouth of Mine Run
, and his left extending to Liberty Mills
on the road from Gordonsville
(via Madison CourtHouse) to the Shenandoah Valley; while the crossings of the river on the right, and the roads on the left, were watched by cavalry: Ewell
's corps was on the right, Hill
's on the left, and two divisions of Longstreet
's corps were encamped in the rear, near Gordonsville
's army (composed of the Army of the Potomac under Meade
, and the 9th corps under Burnside
) occupied the north banks of the Rapidan
and Robinson rivers
; the main body being encamped in Culpeper County
and on the Rappahannock River
I am satisfied that General Lee
's army did not exceed 50,000 effective men of all arms.
The report of the Federal Secretary of War
, shows that the “available force present for duty, May 1st, 1864,” in Grant
's army, was 141,166, to-wit: In the Army of the Potomac 120,386, and in the 9th corps 20,780.
The draft in the United States
was being energetically enforced, and volunteering had been greatly stimulated by high bounties.
The Northwestern States had tendered large bodies of troops to serve one hundred days, in order to relieve other troops on garrison and local duty, and this enabled Grant
to put in the field a large number of troops which had been employed on that kind of duty.
It was known that he was receiving heavy reinforcements up to the very time of his movement on the 4th of May, and afterwards; so that the statement of his force on the 1st of May, by