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nnot name one of Lee's Lieutenant Generals who would not have met this proposition from the War Department with that spirit of co-operation which is so essential in time of war. Moreover, any officer possessed of even a part of that heroic self-reliance so characteristic of Lee and Jackson, would not only have gladly accepted the ninety-one thousand (91,000) men, but, having secured a competent Quarter Master, would soon have found the necessary transportation; would have sent a dispatch to Richmond that he was moving forward, and, God willing, would take from the enemy all else needed to equip the army. Such might have been the result, instead of unremitting demands, upon the part of General Johnston, for an outfit equal to that of United States troops, visions of insuperable difficulties, and vacillations unending. I am now convinced that even the concentration of Polk's Army and Longstreet's Corps, at Dalton, would in no manner have altered the ensuing campaign. If I had had a
different authors, whose representations have not always been accurate, I feel compelled to give an account of the operations of the Army of Tennessee, whilst under my direction. As already mentioned, the order, assigning me to the command of that Army, was received about II p. m., on the 17th of July. My predecessor, unwilling to await even the dawn of day, issued his farewell order that memorable night. In despite of my repeated and urgent appeals to him to pocket all despatches from Richmond, to leave me in command of my own corps, and to fight the battle for Atlanta, he deserted me the ensuing afternoon. He deserted me in violation of his promise to remain and afford me the advantage of his counsel, whilst I shouldered all responsibility of the contest. I reiterate that it is difficult to imagine a commander placed at the head of an Army under more embarrassing circumstances than those against which I was left to contend on the evening of the I8th of July, I864. I was, com
addition required from the surrounding country be promptly made available, and that the means in hand be used with energy proportionate to the country's need. Jefferson Davis. I hereupon decided to operate at the earliest moment possible in the rear of Sherman, as I became more and more convinced of our inability to successfully resist an advance of the Federal Army. I had thought immediately after my arrival at Lovejoy Station that our troops were not disheartened, and telegraphed to Richmond to that effect; but I discovered my error before long, and concluded to resume active operations, move upon Sherman's communications, and avert, if possible, impending disaster from the Confederacy. Before entering into the details of the plan of the contemplated campaign, I will, in brief, consider the indubitable results had I remained in front of Sherman, till he made ready and moved forward. In lieu of dividing his forces, as he did when I eventually marched to his rear, he would ei
d Banks to intrench himself there. He had distinctly forbidden him to advance farther into Virginia. But as soon as General McClellan's back was turned, they wished to make Banks a rival of him, and, supposing that the Army of the Potomac would attract all the force of the enemy, it was thought that Banks might gather some cheap laurels if he were sent into the upper Valley of the Shenandoah. The Aulic Council at Washington thought they might in this way strike a master-stroke, and cause Richmond to fall before McClellan had time to appear before it. If the Confederates had not been in so much hurry, if they had let Banks advance farther, this brave general would have run great risk of being captured with all his force. Banks having miraculously escaped, it was enough to hold Harper's Ferry strongly on one side, and Centreville on the other, to cover Washington. Jackson might have moved between Warrenton Junction and Winchester; he might have pushed cavalry detachments into Wester
y almost every train, until, by the end of May, not less than fifty thousand men — raw and undisciplined, indeed, but mainly of the best material for soldiers — held the line of the Potomac, or guarded the approaches to the capital. And still, from every side, the people of the loyal States were urging more regiments upon the Government, and begging permission to swell the ranks of the Union armies, so as to overmatch any conceivable strength of the rebels. Baltimore was still, and was destined, for years, to remain, the focus and hiding-place of much active though covert treason; her Confederates maintaining constant communication with Richmond, and continually sending men, as well as medicines, percussion caps, and other pressingly needed supplies, to the Rebel armies, mainly across the lower Potomac, through the southern counties of the State; which, being thoroughly patriarchal in their social and industrial polity, preponderantly and ardently sympathized with the Rebel cau
y, about 1 P. M., I determined to withdraw from so unequal a conflict; securing such of the results of the victory of the day before as were practicable. This is pretty fair, but not strictly accordant with the dispatch which he, after sending back from Monterey a request to Gen. Grant for permission to send a mounted party to the battle-field under a flag of truce to bury his dead, and being answered that, owing to the warmth of the weather, they had already been buried, transmitted to Richmond, namely: Corinth, Tuesday, April 8th, 1862. To the Secretary of War, Richmond: We have gained a great and glorious victory. Eight to ten thousand prisoners, and 36 pieces of cannon. These cannon were unquestionably taken on Sunday; but how many of them were retained on Monday and carried off in the retreat, does not appear. It is not probable that Beauregard returned to Corinth with so many or so effective guns as lie had taken thence when he advanced. Buell reenforced Grant
the Bayous Barataria and La Fourche, all needed defenses against an enemy of preponderant naval force; while even the Mississippi required fortifying and watching above as well as below, to render the city entirely safe. Artillery by parks was indispensable; and a good many guns had been supplied from the plunder of the Norfolk Navy Yard, and elsewhere; but most of them were old, of moderate caliber, unrifled, and every way unsuited to the requirements of modern warfare. He telegraphed to Richmond, to Mobile, and other points, for heavier and better cannon; but obtained very New Orleans and its approaches. few, mainly from Pensacola, when that place was abandoned; and had just begun to cast new ones, adapted to his needs, as also to provide himself with iron-clads, when confronted by a military necessity for leaving that part of the country. Lovell, knowing far better than our commanders the essential weakness of his position, and early warned of his danger by the gathering of
with Grant and Sheridan as his antagonists, it was morally certain that all would be made of their advantages that could be. The Army of Virginia--now reduced by desertions and its recent heavy losses, mainly in prisoners, to 35,000 men — was concentrated, from Richmond on the north to Petersburg on the south, at Chesterfield C. H.; thence moving rapidly west-ward to Amelia C. H., where Lee had ordered supplies to meet him by cars from Danville; but where he found none — an order from Richmond having summoned April 2. the train to that city to aid in bearing away the fugitives; and it was taken with-out unloading: so that the over-matched, worsted, retreating, and fainting Rebel soldiery, while endeavoring to evade the fierce pursuit of Sheridan's troopers, must snatch their subsistence from the impoverished, exhausted country. And, while Lee halted here, throughout the 4th and 5th, trying to gather from any and every quarter the means of feeding his famished men, Sheridan, m
General Joseph E. Johnston, Narrative of Military Operations During the Civil War, Chapter 1 (search)
ceived from the cavalry outposts that General Patterson's army had crossed the Potomac below Williamsport, and was marching toward Martinsburg. I determined at once to oppose its advance on that road; and directed the march of the Confederate troops across the country to Bunker's Hill, midway between Martinsburg and Win. chester, to prevent the junction of Patterson's and McClellan's forces. While we were waiting for a guide to lead us by the best road to Bunker's Hill, a courier from Richmond brought me a letter In reply to mine of the 9th. from General Cooper, The Adjutant-General of the Confederate States army. dated June 13th, giving me the President's authority to abandon Harper's Ferry and retire toward Winchester in such a contingency as the present, in the following passages: .. . You will consider yourself authorized, whenever the position of the enemy shall convince you that he is about to turn your position, to destroy every thing at Harper's Ferry which could serve
General Joseph E. Johnston, Narrative of Military Operations During the Civil War, Chapter 4 (search)
hen on the Peninsula, to move upon Richmond by that route. He therefore directed me to make such defensive arrangements as might be necessary in the Department of Northern Virginia, and put my remaining troops in march for Richmond, and then to report to him for further instructions. In obedience to these orders, Major-General Ewell was left with his division and a regiment of cavalry, in observation on the Upper Rappahannock; and Major-General Longstreet was directed to march with his to Richmond. Major-General Jackson was left in the Valley to oppose greatly superior Federal forces, and authorized to call Ewell's division to his assistance in case of necessity; and General Ewell was instructed to comply with such a call. Major-General Smith was instructed to leave a mixed force, equal to a brigade, in front of Fredericksburg, and move towards Richmond with all his remaining troops. On reporting to the President, I was informed by him that my command was to be extended over th
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