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General Horace Porter, Campaigning with Grant, Chapter 2 (search)
and was not larger than that of some division commanders. The chief of staff was Brigadier-general John A. Rawlins. When the war broke out he was a practising lawyer in Galena, Illinois, and had gg was held in Galena, and Captain Grant, being an ex-army officer, was called upon to preside. Rawlins attended the meeting, and made a stirring and effective speech, declaring it to be the duty of ic of the address, and when he was afterward assigned to the command of a brigade, he appointed Rawlins on his staff. He was at first aide-de-camp, afterward assistant adjutant-general, and finally The general had a high regard for him officially, and was warmly attached to him personally. Rawlins in his youth had worked on a farm, and assisted his father in burning charcoal, obtaining what iam McKee Dunn, Jr., a beardless boy of nineteen, was assigned as an acting aide-de-camp to General Rawlins, but performed general staff duty at headquarters, and under many trying circumstances prov
General Horace Porter, Campaigning with Grant, Chapter 3 (search)
uth side of the river. Warren's corps crossed at Germanna Ford, followed by Sedgwick's, while Hancock's corps made the passage at Ely's Ford. At 8 A. M. the general-in-chief, with his staff, started from headquarters, and set out for Germanna Ford, following Warren's troops. He was mounted upon his bay horse Cincinnati, equipped with a saddle of the Grimsley pattern, which was somewhat the worse for wear, as the general had used it in all his campaigns from Donelson to the present time. Rawlins was on his left, and rode a clay-bank horse he had brought from the West named General Blair, in honor of Frank P. Blair, who commanded a corps in the Army of the Tennessee. General Grant was dressed in a uniform coat and waistcoat, the coat being unbuttoned. On his hands were a pair of yellowish-brown thread gloves. He wore a pair of plain top-boots, reaching to his knees, and was equipped with a regulation sword, spurs, and sash. On his head was a slouch hat of black felt with a plain
General Horace Porter, Campaigning with Grant, Chapter 4 (search)
o say, as long as 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 foll
General Horace Porter, Campaigning with Grant, Chapter 5 (search)
t was Sunday, but the overrunning of the country by contending armies had scattered the little church's congregation. The temple of prayer was voiceless, the tolling of its peaceful bell had given place to the echo of hostile guns, and in the excitement which prevailed it must be confessed that few recalled the fact that it was the Sabbath day. A drum corps in passing caught sight of the general, and at once struck up a then popular negro camp-meeting air. Every one began to laugh, and Rawlins cried, Good for the drummers! What's the fun inquired the general. Why, was the reply, they are playing, Ain't I glad to get out ob de wilderness! The general smiled at the ready wit of the musicians, and said, Well, with me a musical joke always requires explanation. I know only two tunes: one is Yankee Doodle, and the other is n't. Charles A. Dana, Assistant Secretary of War, joined us during the forenoon, coming from Washington by way of Rappahannock Station, and remained at head
General Horace Porter, Campaigning with Grant, Chapter 10 (search)
r to himself. He made no perceptible effort, and used his hands but little to aid him; he put his left foot in the stirrup, grasped the horse's mane near the withers with his left hand, and rose without making a spring, by simply straightening the left leg till his body was high enough to enable him to throw the right leg over the saddle. There was no climbing up the animal's side, and no jerky movements. The mounting was always done in an instant and with the greatest possible ease. Rawlins rode with the general at the head of the staff. As the party turned a bend in the road near the crossing of the Totopotomoy, the general came in sight of a teamster whose wagon was stalled in a place where it was somewhat swampy, and who was standing beside his team beating his horses brutally in the face with the butt-end of his whip, and swearing with a volubility calculated to give a sulphurous odor to all the surrounding atmosphere. Grant's aversion to profanity and his love of horses
General Horace Porter, Campaigning with Grant, Chapter 14 (search)
ondence and prepared answers to his private letters. This evening he was seated at the writing-table in the general's tent, while his chief was standing at a little distance outside talking with some of the staff. A citizen who had come to City Point in the employ of the Sanitary Commission, and who had been at Cairo when the general took command there in 1861, approached the group and inquired: Where is the old man's tent I'd like to get a look at him; have n't seen him for three years. Rawlins, to avoid being interrupted, said, That's his tent, at the same time pointing to it. The man stepped over to the tent, looked in, and saw the swarthy features of Parker as he sat in the general's chair. The visitor seemed a little puzzled, and as he walked away was heard to remark: Yes, that's him; but he's got all-fired sunburnt since I last had a look at him. The general was greatly amused by the incident, and repeated the remark afterward to Parker, who enjoyed it as much as the others
General Horace Porter, Campaigning with Grant, Chapter 15 (search)
at he could afford to move a large portion of his force to his right for the purpose of such an attack. Hancock was much missed from the command of the Second Corps. It was quite natural that Meade should ask Grant to come in person to the lines in front of Petersburg, and it was another indication of the confidence which his subordinate commanders reposed in him. At eight o'clock on the morning of June 24 the general rode to the headquarters of the Army of the Potomac, accompanied by Rawlins, myself, and two others of the staff. In discussing with Meade and some of the corps commanders the events of the two previous days, he gave particular instructions for operations on that part of the line. The guns of the siege-train which he had ordered now began to arrive from Washington. Meade was told that they would be sent to him immediately, and it was decided to spend the next few days in putting the guns and mortars into commanding positions, in the meanwhile permitting the troo
General Horace Porter, Campaigning with Grant, Chapter 17 (search)
hat they would be left to the exercise of an intelligent judgment; that if they did their best, even if they did not succeed, they would never be made scapegoats; and if they gained victories they would be given the sole credit for whatever they accomplished. As soon as Sheridan moved south the enemy was compelled to concentrate in front of him, and the effect was what Grant had predicted — the termination of incursions into Maryland. The general returned to City Point on August 8. Rawlins had broken down in health from the labors and exposures of the campaign, and had been given a leave of absence on August 1, in the hope that he might soon recuperate and return to duty; but he was not able to join headquarters for two months. Already the seeds of consumption had been sown, from which he died while Secretary of War, five years afterward. He was greatly missed by every one at headquarters, and his chief expressed no little anxiety about his illness, although no one then thou
General Horace Porter, Campaigning with Grant, Chapter 20 (search)
ays felt that he could take ample care of himself. General Rawlins had now returned, and it was very gratifying to see thwas still far from well, and said with much distress, when Rawlins was out of earshot, I do not like that cough. When RawlinRawlins learned the plan proposed in regard to Sherman's future movements, he was seriously opposed to it, and presented every possible arguent against it. Rawlins always talked with great force. He had a natural taste for public speaking, and when he beco'clock he poked his head out of his tent, and interrupted Rawlins in the midst of an eloquent passage by crying out: Oh, do bed, all of you! You're keeping the whole camp awake. Rawlins had convinced himself that if Hood kept his army in front a necessity for him either to fall back or to go ahead. Rawlins was possessed of an earnest nature, and was devoted to Genri to Tennessee was exceedingly slow, the general directed Rawlins to go in person to St. Louis, and confer with Rosecrans, t
General Horace Porter, Campaigning with Grant, Chapter 22 (search)
sea to Richmond, it appearing to him, under all the circumstances at that time, that it would be the means of dealing a death-blow to the Confederacy, and prove the quickest method of bringing the war to a close. Late that night the general, Rawlins, Ingalls, and I, with one or two others, were sitting by the camp-fire. The general was seated on a rustic bench as usual, and was wrapped in his blue overcoat. He loved the open air, and nothing but a rain-storm could drive him into his hut. alf wide. After the laughter which followed this story had ceased, the general arose from his seat, threw away the stump of his cigar, and said: Well, I think I'll turn in. Good night, and retired to his sleeping-apartment. After he had gone, Rawlins remarked: The general always likes to tell an anecdote that points a moral on the subject of lying. He hates only two kinds of people, liars and cowards. He has no patience with them, and never fails to show his aversion for them. Ingalls add
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