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General Horace Porter, Campaigning with Grant, Chapter 2 (search)
s to have made up his mind to keep me here. I will see him to-morrow, and urge the matter in person, answered the general. He then invited me to accompany him to his room, and in the course of a conversation which followed said that he had had Sheridan ordered East to take command of the cavalry of the Army of the Potomac. Sheridan arrived in Washington on April 4. He had been worn down almost to a shadow by hard work and exposure in the field; he weighed only a hundred and fifteen poundSheridan arrived in Washington on April 4. He had been worn down almost to a shadow by hard work and exposure in the field; he weighed only a hundred and fifteen pounds, and as his height was but five feet six inches, he looked anything but formidable as a candidate for a cavalry leader. He had met the President and the officials at the War Department that day for the first time, and it was his appearance on this occasion which gave rise to a remark made to General Grant the next time he visited the department: The officer you brought on from the West is rather a little fellow to handle your cavalry. To which Grant replied, You will find him big enough for
General Horace Porter, Campaigning with Grant, Chapter 3 (search)
of the Potomac consisted of the Second Corps, commanded by Hancock; the Fifth, commanded by Warren; the Sixth, commanded by Sedgwick; and the cavalry corps under Sheridan. Besides these, there was Burnside's separate command, consisting of the Ninth Army Corps. These troops numbered in all about 116,000 present for duty, equippexpress their meaning more briefly. It certainly savored less of the pomp and more of the circumstance of war than the correspondence of European commanders. Sheridan's cavalry had been assigned to the duty of guarding the train of four thousand wagons, and feeling out to the left for the enemy. The head of Burnside's leadingight o'clock in the evening the firing died away, and the troops in the immediate presence of the enemy lay on their arms to await the events of the morning. Sheridan had left a force in the rear sufficient to protect the trains, and had formed the rest of his command so as to confront the enemy's cavalry, which had been move
General Horace Porter, Campaigning with Grant, Chapter 4 (search)
throughout the entire press. The description was so appropriate that the designation clung to him through life. Along the line of Hancock's advance the enemy's dead were everywhere visible; his wounded strewed the roads; prisoners had been captured, and battle-flags had been taken: but Hancock was now compelled to halt and restore the contact between his commands. Before nine o'clock, however, he was pushing out again on the Orange plank-road, and another fierce fight soon began. Sheridan had become engaged in a spirited contest with Stuart's cavalry on the left at Todd's tavern, in which our troops were completely victorious. The sound of this conflict was mistaken for a time for an attack by Longstreet from that direction, and made Hancock anxious to strengthen his exposed left flank. His embarrassments were increased by one of those singular accidents which, though trivial in themselves, often turn the tide of battle. A body of infantry was reported to be advancing up
General Horace Porter, Campaigning with Grant, Chapter 5 (search)
hs it with his troops out of the Wilderness Sheridan ordered to crush Jeb Stuart a Chapter of accto add to the discomfort of the bivouackers. Sheridan's cavalry had had a fight at this place the awere in progress throughout the columns. General Sheridan had ordered his cavalry to move by differ, accuracy, and vividness of description. Sheridan had been sent for by Meade to come to his heaencountered in the forward movement, and when Sheridan appeared went at him hammer and tongs, accusie cavalry block the advance of the infantry. Sheridan was equally fiery, and, smarting under the bead created the trouble by countermanding his (Sheridan's) orders, and that it was this act which hadegarding the movements of the cavalry corps. Sheridan declared with great warmth that he would not p Stuart, General Grant quietly observed, Did Sheridan say that? Well, he generally knows what he ittsylvania in the morning. The cavalry which Sheridan had placed at the bridges over the Po River m[2 more...]
General Horace Porter, Campaigning with Grant, Chapter6 (search)
n the hole after him, and I guess we'll have to wait till he comes out before we know just what he's up to. The general was now awaiting news from Butler and Sheridan with some anxiety. While maturing his plans for striking Lee, he was at the same time keeping a close lookout to see that Lee was not detaching any troops with the purpose of crushing Butler's or Sheridan's forces. This day, May 11, the looked — for despatches arrived, and their contents caused no little excitement at headquarters. The general, after glancing over the reports hurriedly, stepped to the front of his tent, and read them aloud to the staff-officers, who had gathered about ormed by the James and Appomattox rivers; that he had cut the railroad, leaving Beauregard's troops south of the break, and had completely whipped Hill's force. Sheridan sent word that he had torn up ten miles of the Virginia Central Railroad between Lee's army and Richmond, and had destroyed a large quantity of medical supplies
General Horace Porter, Campaigning with Grant, Chapter 7 (search)
an army commander, directing its administration, enforcing discipline, reviewing its court-martial proceedings, etc. I have Burnside's, Butler's, and Sigel's armies to look after in Virginia, to say nothing of our Western armies, and I may make Sheridan's cavalry a separate command. Besides, Meade has served a long time with the Army of the Potomac, knows its subordinate officers thoroughly, and led it to a memorable victory at Gettysburg. I have just come from the West, and if I removed a deest Virginia. Butler reported that he had captured some works near Drewry's Bluff, on the James River. The next day, the 16th, came a despatch from Sherman saying that he had compelled Johnston to evacuate Dalton and was pursuing him closely. Sheridan reported that he had destroyed a portion of the Virginia Central and the Fredericksburg railroads in Lee's rear, had killed General J. E. B. Stuart, completely routed his cavalry, and captured a portion of the outer lines of Richmond. He said h
General Horace Porter, Campaigning with Grant, Chapter 9 (search)
l headquarters were established near Chesterfield Station on May 24. That day Sheridan returned from his memorable cavalry raid, and was warmly greeted by General Gr and twenty-five men in killed, wounded, and missing. One important effect of Sheridan's operations was that he compelled all of the enemy's cavalry to be moved agaie with his cavalry leader by saying to those who were gathered about him: Now, Sheridan evidently thinks he has been clear down to the James River, and has been breaksuppose he seriously thinks that he made such a march as that in two weeks. Sheridan joined in the fun, and replied: Well, after what General Grant says, I do begioubtful as to whether I have been absent at all from the Army of the Potomac. Sheridan had become well bronzed by his exposure to the sun, and looked the picture of s command any rest. He told him of the movements he had in contemplation, and Sheridan saw that all his troopers would be wanted immediately at the front. That e
General Horace Porter, Campaigning with Grant, Chapter 10 (search)
the troops in the new movement to the left. Sheridan, with two divisions of his cavalry, had start and means shelter without fire. On May 28 Sheridan was pushed out toward Mechanicsville to discoe from the Army of the Potomac to prevent it. Sheridan was directed to watch for such a movement, annnection with the movements of the cavalry. Sheridan advanced rapidly upon Old Cold Harbor, attackge that it appeared for a time impossible for Sheridan to hold his position. Finding no troops advaght's corps to make a night march and move to Sheridan's relief. Lee, discovering this, ordered Anderson's corps to Cold Harbor. On Sheridan's front during the night we could distinctly hear the ene after daylight on June 1 the assault began. Sheridan kept quiet till the attacking party came withto the assault, but once more recoiled before Sheridan's well-delivered volleys. Wright had been int they moved promptly into line, and relieved Sheridan's little force, which had been fighting despe
General Horace Porter, Campaigning with Grant, Chapter 12 (search)
he close of the interview he informed us that he would begin the movement that night. The same day on which Comstock and I started from Cold Harbor (June 7), Sheridan had been sent north with two divisions of cavalry to break up the Virginia Central Railroad, and, if practicable, to push west and join General Hunter's force, which was moving down the valley. It was expected that the enemy's cavalry would be compelled to follow Sheridan, and that our large trains would be safe from its attacks during the contemplated movement across the James River. Nothing was left unthought of by the trained mind of the commander who was conducting these formidable terward compiled. From the opening of the campaign, May 4, to the movement across the James, June 12, the total casualties in the Army of the Potomac, including Sheridan's cavalry and Burnside's command, had been: killed, 7621; wounded, 38,339; captured or missing, 8966; total, 54,926. The services of all the men included in the
General Horace Porter, Campaigning with Grant, Chapter 13 (search)
e into his secret in order to make the necessary preparations. The orders for the movement were delivered to commanders in the strictest confidence. Smith's corps began its march that night to White House, its destination having been changed from Coles's Landing on the Chickahominy; and on its arrival it embarked for Bermuda Hundred, the position occupied by Butler in the angle between the James River and the Appomattox. A portion of Wilson's division of cavalry which had not accompanied Sheridan pushed forward to Long Bridge on the Chickahominy, fifteen miles below Cold Harbor. All the bridges on that river had been destroyed, and the cavalry had to dismount and wade across the muddy stream under great difficulty; but they soon succeeded in reaching the opposite bank in sufficient numbers to drive away the enemy's cavalry pickets. A pontoon-bridge was then rapidly constructed. Warren had kept close to the cavalry, and on the morning of the 13th his whole corps had crossed the
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