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Benjamnin F. Butler, Butler's Book: Autobiography and Personal Reminiscences of Major-General Benjamin Butler 1 1 Browse Search
Rebellion Record: a Diary of American Events: Documents and Narratives, Volume 11. (ed. Frank Moore) 1 1 Browse Search
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Benjamnin F. Butler, Butler's Book: Autobiography and Personal Reminiscences of Major-General Benjamin Butler, Chapter 14: in command of the Army of the James. (search)
were landed. The colored troops thus took the first possession of the James, and were intrusted with the duty of keeping open the water communications of the army, which duty was ever after fully done by them, although they were several times attacked by the enemy. We arrived about five o'clock in the evening. As soon as my boat had come to anchor one of my confidential scouts came off to it. He had been at Richmond some weeks, and he brought me a letter from my correspondent there, Miss Van Lieu. He stated that quite all the troops had gone from Richmond to Lee's army, relying upon that city being garrisoned by troops which had shortly before been sent down to North Carolina from there, and were expected back. But they had not yet returned, and if I would send up at once before it was known that I was there, Richmond could be taken without any difficulty. The Southern troops were expected very soon, so that the attack must be made at once. I placed the most implicit relian
t to order forward! when the better judgment of somebody whose duty it was to direct affairs, ordered the brigade back. The movement was begun under an apprehension that the rebels had vacated their works, and was abandoned as soon as it was found they were still there in force. As soon as the rebels perceived this they poured forth the volleys which they were reserving for the advance, into the retiring column, but fortunately they aimed too high and but little harm was done. Lieutenant Van Lieu, Sixteenth Illinois, was severely wounded in this movement. His mother lives in Butler County, Ohio. The Sixty-sixth lost also Lieutenant Williamson, slightly wounded, besides a number of men killed and wounded. Another account. two miles South-West of Ackworth, Georgia, July 7. In lack of events more stirring, such as battles and sieges and triumphal marches, I must write you of the incidents of march, the people, the country, etc. The army is no less prolific in inter