on the appointment of four of his staff to clerical duty in the White House there was another spasmodic outburst of clamor against the military.
Generals Porter, Babcock, and Badeau and Colonel Dent were looked upon with much suspicion when it was announced that they were to be secretaries to the President.
It was considered most hang in the state dining-room.
Congress was more generous in its appropriation for the repairs necessary at this time than it had been previously.
General 0. E. Babcock was authorized to negotiate for many changes, refurnishing and redecorating during the summer of 1869.
The relations between General Logan and President Graefforts of Mrs. Grant to utilize everything that could be retained in the executive mansion, and to make it as attractive with as little expense as possible.
General Babcock had exquisite taste, and had a wonderful ability in the line of duty to which he had been assigned.
Mrs. Grant was so gentle, so kind, and so gracious to eve
high order, and developed qualities which made him exceedingly useful to his chief and to the service.
The rest of the staff consisted of the following officers: Lieutenant-colonel C. B. Comstock, aide-de-camp, an officer of the United States corps of engineers, with a well-deserved reputation for scientific attainments, who had shown great efficiency while serving with General Grant in the Vicksburg campaign.
Lieutenant-colonel Horace Porter, aide-de-camp.
Lieutenant-colonel 0. E. Babcock, aide-de-camp, an accomplished officer of engineers, who had gained an excellent reputation in several campaigns, in which he had been conspicuous for his good judgment and great personal courage.
Lieutenant-colonel F. T. Dent, aide-de-camp, a classmate of General Grant, and brother of Mrs. Grant.
He had served with credit in the Mexican war, and in Scott's advance upon the city of Mexico had been severely wounded, and was twice promoted for gallant and meritorious conduct in battle.
they lasted under the wear and tear to which he subjected them.
His confidence was never for a moment shaken in the outcome of the general engagement in the Wilderness, and he never once doubted his ability to make a forward movement as the result of that battle.
At a critical period of the day he sent instructions to have all the pontoon-bridges over the Rapidan in his rear taken up, except the one at Germanna Ford.
A short time after giving this order he called General Rawlins, Colonel Babcock, and me to him, and asked for a map. As we sat together on the ground, his legs tucked under him, tailor fashion, he looked over the map, and said: I do not hope to gain any very decided advantage from the fighting in this forest.
I did expect excellent results from Hancock's movement early this morning, when he started the enemy on the run; but it was impossible for him to see his own troops, or the true position of the enemy, and the success gained could not be followed up in such a
f Wright, and to make a vigorous assault on the angle at dawn the next morning.
Warren and Wright were ordered to hold their corps as close to the enemy as possible, and to take advantage of any diversion caused by this attack to push in if an opportunity should present itself.
A personal conference was held with the three corps commanders, and every effort made to have a perfect understanding on their part as to exactly what was required in this important movement.
Colonels Comstock and Babcock were directed to go to Burnside that afternoon, and to remain with him during the movements of the next day, in which he was to attack simultaneously with Hancock.
The other members of the staff were sent to keep in communication with the different portions of Hancock's line.
The threatening sky was not propitious for the movement, but in this entertainment there was to be no postponement on account of the weather, and the preparations went on regardless of the lowering clouds and falling
About dark General Grant wished me to make another trip to the extreme right, to assist in the work of withdrawing the troops, as I was particularly familiar with that part of the lines.
Sickness is no excuse in the field, so I started across the river again without making my condition known to the general.
To make matters worse, a thunder-storm came up, accompanied by vivid lightning, and between the flashes the darkness was so impenetrable that it was slow work finding the roads.
Babcock, seeing my condition, volunteered to accompany me, so that if I gave out, the orders I was carrying might still reach their destination.
We remained in the saddle the greater part of the night.
On my return to headquarters a surgeon supplied me liberally with round-shot in the form of quinine pills, which were used so effectively that my fever was soon forced to beat a retreat.
As soon as it was dark the other divisions of Wright's corps had begun the recrossing of the river.
tant practice, wished to see the exact position of the enemy with his own eyes.
He stopped the officers who were riding with him, called on one aide-de-camp, Colonel Babcock, to accompany him, and rode forward rapidly to within a few yards of the bridge.
Before he had gone far a shell exploded just under his horse's neck.
The an of the wire, and as the animal endeavored to free himself the coil became twisted still tighter.
Every one's face now began to wear a still more anxious look.
Babcock, whose coolness under fire was always conspicuous, dismounted, and carefully uncoiled the wire and released the horse.
The general sat still in his saddle, evidently thinking more about the horse than of himself, and in the most quiet and unruffled manner cautioned Babcock to be sure not to hurt the animal's leg. The general soon succeeded in obtaining a clear view of the enemy's line and the exact nature of the ground, and then, much to our relief, retired to a less exposed position.
man, and could not receive this letter in due time, on January 6 the general telegraphed to the President, asking that prompt action be taken in the matter.
The order was made on the 7th, and on the morning of the 8th General Grant directed Colonel Babcock and me to go to General Butler's headquarters, announce the fact to him, and hand him the written order relieving him from command.
We arrived there about noon, found the general in his camp, and by his invitation went with him into his tennter, asking permission to come through our lines.
These gentlemen constituted the celebrated Peace Commission, and were on their way to endeavor to have a conference with Mr. Lincoln.
The desired permission to enter our lines was granted, and Babcock was sent to meet them and escort them to City Point.
Some time after dark the train which brought them arrived, and they came at once to headquarters.
General Grant was writing in his quarters when a knock came upon the door.
In obedience to
ind his intrenchments at Five Forks, which seemed likely.
While we were talking, General Warren, who had accompanied Crawford's division, rode up and reported in person to Sheridan.
It was then eleven o'clock.
A few minutes before noon Colonel Babcock came over from headquarters, and said to Sheridan: General Grant directs me to say to you that if, in your judgment, the Fifth Corps would do better under one of its division commanders, you are authorized to relieve General Warren and orderated by his successes of the morning, and loudly demanded to be permitted to make a general attack on the enemy.
Sheridan told him he didn't believe he had ammunition enough.
Said Devin: I guess I've got enough to give 'em one surge more.
Colonel Babcock now left us to return to headquarters.
About one o'clock it was reported by the cavalry that the enemy was retiring to his intrenched position at Five Forks, which was just north of the White Oak road and parallel to it, his earthworks runn
He handed this to Colonel Babcock of the staff, with directions to take it anied by Sheridan, Ord, and others.
Soon Colonel Babcock's orderly was seen sitting on his horse it of the houses.
He said General Lee and Colonel Babcock had gone into this house half an hour beftion of a crab-brilliant, but not correct.
Babcock dismounted upon coming near, and as he approaretary, came forward, took the despatch which Babcock handed him, and gave it to General Lee.
Afteid he would ride forward on the road on which Babcock had come, but was apprehensive that hostilitine to Meade informing him of the situation.
Babcock wrote accordingly, requesting Meade to maintaed for Appomattox Court-house in company with Babcock, followed by a mounted orderly.
When the par the house.
As he stepped into the hall, Colonel Babcock, who had seen his approach from the windo in a measure, private.
In a few minutes Colonel Babcock came to the front door, and, making a mot[2 more...]
of surrender made in General Grant's manifold writer, the first and third are believed to have been accidentally destroyed.
No trace of them has since been discovered; the second is in the possession of the New York Commandery of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion, which purchased it recently from the widow of General Parker.
The headquarters flag which had been used throughout the entire Virginia campaign General Grant presented to me. With his assent, I gave a portion of it to Colonel Babcock.
It is a singular historical coincidence that McLean's former home was upon a Virginia farm near the battleground of the first Bull Run, and his house was used for a time as the headquarters of General Beauregard.
When it was found that this fight was so popular that it was given an encore, and a second battle of Bull Run was fought the next year on the same ground, Mr. McLean became convinced that the place was altogether lacking in repose, and to avoid the active theater of war h