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Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, The Passing of the Armies: The Last Campaign of the Armies., Chapter 5: the week of flying fights. (search)
tore, across the Appomattox,--Meade with his two corps close upon his rear. We had been now a week in hot pursuit, fighting and marching by sharp turns, on a long road. At noon of this day we halted to give opportunity for General Ord of the Army of the James to have the advance of us upon the road. He had come across from his successful assault on the center of the enemy's entrenchments before Petersburg to join our force and had with him the Twenty-fourth Corps under General Gibbon and Birney's Division of the Twenty-fifth Colored troops,whom we had not seen in the field before. The Fifth Corps was under Sheridan's immediate orders but General Ord being the senior officer present was by army regulations commander of our whole flanking column. He was very courteous to us all and we greeted him heartily. The preference of his corps to ours on the road was but natural considering his rank, and I am sure no one thought of taking offense at it. But we could not resist the thought t
Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, The Passing of the Armies: The Last Campaign of the Armies., Chapter 6: Appomattox. (search)
ross the enemy's front, and with that glorious cavalry alone is holding at bay all that is left of the proudest army of the Confederacy. It has come at last,--the supreme hour. No thought of human wants or weakness now: all for the front; all for the flag, for the final stroke to make its meaning real-these men of the Potomac and the James, side by side, at the double in time and column, now one and now the other in the road or the fields beside. One striking feature I can never forget,--Birney's black men abreast with us, pressing forward to save the white man's country. We did not know exactly what was going on. We did know that our cavalry had been doing splendid work all night, and in fact now was holding at bay Lee's whole remaining army. I was proud to learn that Smith's Brigade-our First Maine Cavalry in the van-had waged the most critical part of the glorious fight. Ord's troops were in lead, pushing for the roar of the guns to bring relief to our cavalry before Le
Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, The Passing of the Armies: The Last Campaign of the Armies., Chapter 9: the last review. (search)
names; knowing, too, the tests of manhood, and the fate of suffering and sacrifice, but knowing most of all the undying spirit which holds fast its loyalty and faces ever forward. This is the division of Mott, himself commanding to-day, although severely wounded at Hatcher's Run on the sixth of April last. These are all that are left of the old commands of Hooker and Kearny, and later, of our noble Berry, of Sickles' Third Corps. They still wear the proud Kearny patch --the red diamond. Birney's Division, too, has been consolidated with Mott's, and the brigades are now commanded by the chivalrous De Trobriand and the sterling soldiers, Pierce of Michigan and McAllister of New Jersey. Their division flag now bears the mingled symbols of the two corps, the Second and Third,--the diamond and the trefoil. Over them far floats the mirage-like vision of them on the Peninsula, and then at Bristow, Manassas, and Chantilly, and again the solid substance of them at Chancellorsville, a
fforts were made to burst through the cavalry cordon, and strike the flank of the moving army. Stuart was, however, in the way. On all the roads was his omnipresent cavairy, under the daring Hampton, Fitz Lee, the gay and gallant cavalier, and others as resolute. Everywhere the advance of the enemy's cavalry was met and driven back, until about the twentieth of June. Then a conclusive trial of strength took place. A grand reconnoitring force, composed of a division of infantry under General Birney, I believe, and several divisions of cavalry, with full supports of artillery, was pushed forward from Aldie; Stuart was assailed simultaneously along about fifteen miles of front; and in spite of his most strenuous efforts, he was forced slowly to fall back toward the Ridge. This was one of the most stubborn conflicts of the war; and on every hill, from the summit of every knoll, Stuart fought with artillery, cavalry, and dismounted sharpshooters, doggedly struggling to hold his ground
The Annals of the Civil War Written by Leading Participants North and South (ed. Alexander Kelly McClure), A campaign with sharpshooters. (search)
the 21st of June. That same night the Sixth (Federal) Corps moved up in rear of the Second Corps, and on a line parallel with it. It thus happened that when General Birney, commanding the Second Corps, swung forward his left more closely to envelop the Confederate works, a gap was created between the Second and Sixth, which wide. General Mahone promptly noticed the bad formation of this part of the line, and himself suggested to General Lee the feasibility of attacking the left flank of Birney, then thrown well forward in the air. The march of Mahone's Division to the front was concealed from the enemy by the nature of the ground over which it passed toood one, and its results might have been very momentous. Mahone, moving cautiously to the front, holding his troops well in hand, furiously assaulted the left of Birney in flank and rear, carrying the line and capturing whole regiments and batteries. Penetrating further in the gap with one of his brigades, he struck the right of
The Annals of the Civil War Written by Leading Participants North and South (ed. Alexander Kelly McClure), Lee and Grant in the Wilderness. (search)
our were from North Carolina, one from South Carolina, one from Georgia and Mississippi each, one made up of Virginia and Tennessee troops. Contending against these on the Union side were, first, Getty's Division, Sixth Corps, soon reinforced by Birney's and Mott's Divisions, of the Second Corps; next, and before five P. M., Carroll's and Owen's Brigades, of Gibbon's Division, Second Corps; following these were two brigades of Barlow's Division, Second Corps; late in the afternoon Wadsworth's Dhe left was the point at which, by common consent, the fiercest dispute took place, I shall, first of all, set forth the sequence of events on that flank. When, at 5 A. M., Hancock opened his attack by an advance of his two right divisions under Birney, together with Getty's command (Owen's and Carroll's Brigades, Gibbon's Division, supporting), and pushed forward on the right and left of the Orange plank road, the onset was made with such vigor, and Lee was yet so weak on that flank, owing to
The Annals of the Civil War Written by Leading Participants North and South (ed. Alexander Kelly McClure), The mistakes of Gettysburg. (search)
nding, immediately sending a force to occupy Round Top Ridge, where a most furious contest was maintained, the enemy making desperate but unsuccessful attempts to secure it. Notwithstanding the stubborn resistance of the Third Corps, under Major General Birney (Major General Sickles having been wounded early in the action), superiority of number of corps of the enemy enabling him to outflank its advanced position, General Birney was compelled to fall back and re-form behind the line originally dGeneral Birney was compelled to fall back and re-form behind the line originally desired to be held. In the meantime, perceiving the great exertions of the enemy, the Sixth Corps (Major General Sedgwick) and part of the First Corps, to which I had assigned Major General Newton, particularly Lockwood's Maryland Brigade, together with detachments from the Second Corps, were brought up at different periods, and succeeded, together with the gallant resistance of the Fifth Corps, in checking, and, finally repulsing, the assault of the enemy. During the heavy assault upon our ex
The Annals of the Civil War Written by Leading Participants North and South (ed. Alexander Kelly McClure), The career of General A. P. Hill. (search)
s ever at his side. Nor was the constancy of this trusted lieutenant ever shaken, or his high courage ever broken. Fate and death overtook this gallant soul at last; but fear or doubt never. At Gettysburg, with Heth and Pender, he opened the engagement, winning a decided victory over the corps of Reynolds and Howard, and capturing the town. In the retreat, his columns again were in the rear. At the Wilderness, with Heth and Wilcox, he kept back for hours the combined forces of Getty, Birney, Mott, Gibbon, and Barlow, inflicting upon them terrible loss, and maintaining his position against repeated assaults in front and flank until night put an end to the deadly contest, and until time had been gained for the march of Longstreet and Anderson to the rescue. Throughout the ceaseless warfare that attended the shifting of Grant's army to the banks of the James, Hill was always to the fore, and always gave a good account of himself and his men. At Petersburg, throughout the so-call
Fitzhugh Lee, General Lee, Chapter 11: Chancellorsville. (search)
wing, he wheeled the remainder upon the left and destroyed it, and then, turning toward the right wing, he directed upon it a terrible onset, and it too was no more. In some places the men in Lee's thin gray line in front of Hooker were six feet apart. Jackson marched rapidly diagonally across the front of Hooker's line of battle, screened from view by the forest and by three regiments of cavalry which had been ordered to mask the movement as well as to precede it. As early as 8 A. M. Birney, of Sickles's corps, reported a continuous column of infantry trains and ambulances passing his front. His division was on Howard's left, whose corps formed the right of the Union army. Sickles sent a battery forward to a commanding position on his front and fired at the moving column, and at 12 M. moved with two of his divisions and Barlow's brigade of Howard's corps and gained the road Jackson was moving on, capturing a few hundred of his men. Howard did not fear an attack on his right,
Fitzhugh Lee, General Lee, Chapter 13: campaign in Virginia.-Bristol Station.-mine Run.-Wilderness. (search)
he was so true, so faithful in all of life's relations. In his death the Army of the Potomac lost an arm. General Horatio G. Wright succeeded to the command of his corps. The Union assault of the 12th was partially successful. There was a salient on Ewell's works, and its Vshape was enwrapped by the Federals. Hancock's corps was brought from Grant's right during the stormy night before and massed twelve hundred yards from the work, and at half-past 4 in the morning, with Barlow's and Birney's divisions in advance, successfully and gallantly stormed the position, capturing General Edward Johnson, one of Ewell's division commanders, between three and four thousand prisoners, and twenty pieces of artillery. Lee had detected the weak point, and had already commenced a line across the base of the triangle. It was well conceived, as his right center would have been pierced and his army divided. This second line received the victorious rush of the Federals, who were in turn driv
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