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ight be the ruling powers when crops grew, and hence did not sow. When our whole army had crossed the Rappahannock, it was drawn up in line, and waited a week for the enemy, hoping to entice them into an engagement; but McClellan refused the challenge, and moved down the stream near the seaboard. To contract our left, all fell back across the Rapidan, and increased the strength of the right against all flanking manoeuvres. Large fleets of transports were gathered at the mouth of the Rappahannock, but few knew their object or destination. Lee, however, who was now commander-in-chief, closely watched the Federal movements, and perceived that while making a show of force along the Lower Rappahannock, they would certainly not attack; their object being to transport their force with great celerity to the Yorktown Peninsula, thinking to surprise Magruder at Yorktown, and quietly seize Richmond before any troops could be marched to oppose them. This undoubtedly was McClellan's design
our side of the fire, without wounding his sensitiveness. Ah you always manage to out-manoeuvre us, said one. Had it not been for Cedar Run, this present disaster would not have befallen us. How so? That is very plain; for if Pope had been able to maintain his position south of the Rappahannock, all McClellan's and Burnside's forces would have reenforced him at Fredericksburgh; instead of that, our men were ordered to Aquia Creek. It was thought we could hold the north bank of the Rappahannock for some short time; but when Pope was forced back on Manassas by Jackson's flank movement, the point of debarkation was again changed to Alexandria — a considerable distance in our rear. Thus your General Lee seemed to understand the anxiety of Pope to be reenforced, and, by rapid movements, prevented the mass of those troops arriving until too late. Well, those which did arrive did not do much, I think. Prisoners from McClellan's men say that the whole army was disaffected, and tha
Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buell, Battles and Leaders of the Civil War: The Opening Battles. Volume 1., Responsibilities of the first Bull Run. (search)
essing great natural advantages. There was no correspondence in relation to selecting a defensive position. I was not seeking one; but, instead, convenient camping-grounds, from which my troops could certainly unite with other Confederate forces to meet McClellan's invasion. I had found and was occupying such grounds, one division being north of Orange Court House, another a mile or two south of it, and two others some six miles east of that place; a division on the south bank of the Rappahannock, and the cavalry beyond the river, and about 13,000 troops in the vicinity of Fredericksburg. Mr. Davis's narrative [of a visit to Fredericksburg at this time, the middle of March.-editors] that follows is disposed of by the proof that, after the army left Manassas, the President did not visit it until about the 14th of May. In The Century magazine for May, 1885, General Johnston, to support his assertion, quoted statements by Major J. B. Washington, Dr. A. M. Fauntleroy, and Colonel
Heros von Borcke, Memoirs of the Confederate War for Independence, Chapter 12: (search)
atable. Very good beer is made from it, and the kernels were frequently employed by us in the preparation of a wretched substitute for coffee. The North Carolina troops were often chaffed by their comrades from other States for being so fond of persimmons — a taste they had in common with the negroes and that remark-able animal the Virginia opossum, which is always fattest when the persimmon season is at its height. The Yankees not making their appearance on the opposite bank of the Rappahannock, we left behind several squadrons and two pieces of artillery to guard the two nearest fords, and went at nightfall with the main body of our troops a few miles farther back, establishing our bivouac in a dense forest of oak and pine. The night set in cold again, and the rain changed to a heavy fall of snow, giving us every prospect of a most uncomfortable time of it. But the accustomed woodfire, with its immense pile of blazing logs, around which General and Staff and escort collected,
and of Alabama, but loved, admired, and cherished by warm hearts in this. When he left the haunts of The Bower, I think he regretted it. But work called him. The fiat had gone forth from Washington that another On to Richmond should be attempted; and where the vultures of war hovered, there was the post of duty for the Horse Artillery. The cavalry crossed the Blue Ridge, and met the advancing column at Aldie-and Pelham was again in his element. Thenceforward, until the banks of the Rappahannock were reached by the cavalry, the batteries of the Horse Artillery disputed every step of ground. The direction of the artillery was left, with unhestitating confidence, by Stuart to the young officer; and those who witnessed, during that arduous movement, the masterly handling of his guns, can tell how this confidence was justified. It was the eye of the great soldier, the hand of the born artillerist, which was evident in his work during those days of struggle. He fell back neither t
John Esten Cooke, Wearing of the Gray: Being Personal Portraits, Scenes, and Adventures of War., A young Virginian and his spurs. (search)
, and lounged carelessly by the fires. One of the men asked him what regiment he belonged to, as if they observed something unfamiliar in his demeanour; but his ready reply, giving the name of some Federal regiment, entirely disarmed suspicion. So much cavalry had taken part in the fight, and had been so much scattered, that W— was set down for one of the many stragglers; and walking by the fires, and the quarter-guard, who stared at, but did not challenge him, he gained the bank of the Rappahannock. He had thus succeeded in his second attempt; but obstacle number three threatened to be more serious. The river before him was broad, deep, black, and cold. The bridge near by was guarded; he heard the sentinel pacing to and fro, and a second at the further extremity. What was to be done? Kill the sentinel by suddenly attacking and seizing his weapon? That, under other circumstances, might have been done; but there was the other sentinel, who would at once give the alarm; then
the future. After the crushing defeat of Chancellorsville, General Hooker cut behind him the pontoons covered with pine boughs, to deaden the noise of his artillery wheels in crossing, and took up a strong position on the northern bank of the Rappahannock to repulse the expected onslaught of his great adversary, Lee. No such attack, however, was intended. Lee preferred to manceuvre his opponent out of Virginia — it was the more bloodless proceeding-and very soon the soldiers of the army undersce more posted in Culpeper. In about six weeks they had marched many hundreds of miles; fought a number of battles; lost about one-third of their force by death in action, or disabling wounds; and were again on the war-harried banks of the Rappahannock. VII. A few words will terminate this sketch of the summer campaign of 1863. Of this great ride with the cavalry through Pennsylvania, the present writer has preserved recollections rather amusing and grotesque, than sad or tragic.
John Esten Cooke, Wearing of the Gray: Being Personal Portraits, Scenes, and Adventures of War., From the Rapidan to Frying-Pan in October, 1863. (search)
ea entered the minds of the enemy, it must have been encouraged by Young's next move. He had held his ground without flinching; and now, as night descended, he ordered camp fires to be built along two miles of front, and bringing up his splendid brass band, played the Bonnie Blue flag and Dixie with defiant animation. This ruse seemed to decide the matter; the Federal commander made no further effort to advance; and in the morning there was not a Federal soldier on the south bank of the Rappahannock. Their corps of infantry and two brigades of cavalry had fallen back in good order: and the laughing Young remained master of the situation. Stuart had pushed on, meanwhile, toward Warrenton Springs, and just as the fight above described commenced, a gallant affair took place above. The enemy were attacked in the town of Jeffersonton, and after a hot fight forced back to Warrenton Springs, where the Jefferson Company again distinguished itself. The attempt was made to charge over t
ails of which are known only to a few persons; and yet it is no exaggeration to say that many thousands would feel an interest in the particulars. I mean the death of Jackson. The minute circumstances attending it have never been published, and they are here recorded as matter of historical as well as personal interest. A few words will describe the situation of affairs when this tragic scene took place. The spring of 1862 saw a large Federal army assembled on the north bank of the Rappahannock, and on the first of May, General Hooker, its commander, had crossed, and firmly established himself at Chancellorsville. General Lee's forces were opposite Fredericksburg chiefly, a small body of infantry only watching the upper fords. This latter was compelled to fall back before General Hooker's army of about one hundred and fifty thousand men, and Lee hastened by forced marches from Fredericksburg toward Chancellorsville, with a force of about thirty thousand men-Longstreet being ab
The scouts On the borders of Scotland, in the good old times, there was a Debatable land --bone of contention between Pict and Anglo-Saxon. In Virginia, lately, there was a similar region, the subject of dispute between Federal and Southron. In Scotland, the menat-arms and barons fought along the banks of the Tweed; in Virginia, Mosby's men and their blue opponents contended on the banks of the Rappahannock. Our Debatable land was, in fact, all that fine and beautiful country lying between the Potomac and the last-named river, over which the opposing armies of the North and the South alternately advanced and retired. This land was the home of the scout; the chosen field of the ranger and the partisan. Mosby was king there: and his liegemen lived as jovial lives as did the followers of Robin Hood in Sherwood Forest, in the old days of Merry England. But the romantic lives of Mosby and his men will not be touched on here. The subject would become enthralling were it to
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