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Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, The Passing of the Armies: The Last Campaign of the Armies., Chapter 1: the situation. (search)
and Danville, leading to important connections in North Carolina; and the Petersburg and Lynchburg, known to us as the Southside, making a junction with the former at Burkeville, about fifty miles from Petersburg, as also from Richmond. On our part, as we gained ground we had unrolled a military railroad, up hill and down, without much grading, and hence exhibiting some remarkable exploits in momentum of mind and machinery. This terminated at the Vaughan Road on the north branch of Rowanty Creek. Meantime Sherman had made his masterly march from the Great River to the Sea, and the even more masterly movement north to Gouldsboro, North Carolina, where with his alert and dashing army he threatened Lee's sea communication and also the flank and rear of his position. It was a curious element in the situation that the astute Confederate General Joe Johnston should come in north of Sherman and interpose his army between Sherman's and ours. This sort of voltaic pile generated som
Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, The Passing of the Armies: The Last Campaign of the Armies., Chapter 2: the overture. (search)
river. South of the Boydton is the Vaughan Road; the first section lying in rear of our main entrenchments, but from our extreme left at Hatcher's Run inclining towards the Boydton Road, being only two miles distant from it at Dinwiddie Court House. Five miles east of this place the Quaker Road, called by persons of another mood, the Military Road, crosses the Vaughan and leads northerly into the Boydton Road midway between Hatcher's Run and Gravelly Run, which at this junction became Rowanty Creek. A mile above the intersection of the Quaker Road with the Boydton is the White Oak Road, leading off from the Boydton at right angles westerly, following the ridges between the small streams and branches forming the headwaters of Hatcher's and Gravelly Runs, through and beyond the Five Forks. This is a meeting-place of roads, the principal of which, called the Ford Road, crosses the White Oak at a right angle, leading from a station on the Southside Railroad, three miles north, to
Blackwater. The benefits derived from this expedition, in the destruction of the Southside and Danville railroads, were considered by General Grant as equivalent for the losses sustained in Wilson's defeat, for the wrecking of the railroads and cars was most complete, occasioning at this time serious embarrassment to the Confederate Government; but I doubt if all this compensated for the artillery and prisoners that fell into the hands of the enemy in the swamps of Hatcher's Run and Rowanty Creek. Wilson's retreat from the perilous situation at Ream's station was a most creditable performance — in the face of two brigades of infantry and three divisions of cavalry-and in the conduct of the whole expedition the only criticism that can hold against him is that he placed too much reliance on meeting our infantry at Ream's station, seeing that uncontrollable circumstances might, and did, prevent its being there. He ought to have marched on the 28th by Jarreit's Station to Peter's b
column had proved almost bottomless, the bogs and quicksands of the adjoining fields demonstrated that to make a detour was to go from bad to worse. In the face of these discouragements we floundered on, however, crossing on the way a series of small streams swollen to their banks. Crook and Devin reached the county-seat of Dinwiddie about 5 o'clock in the evening, having encountered only a small picket, that at once gave way to our advance. Merritt left Custer at Malon's crossing of Rowanty Creek to care for the trains containing our subsistence and the reserve ammunition, these being stuck in the mire at intervals all the way back to the Jerusalem plank-road; and to make any headway at all with the trains, Custer's men often had to unload the wagons and lift them out of the boggy places. Crook and Devin camped near Dinwiddie Court House in such manner as to cover the Vaughn, Flatfoot, Boydton, and Five Forks roads; for, as these all intersected at Dinwiddie, they offered a
Court House Pickett repulsed reinforced by the Fifth Corps battle of Five Forks turning the Confederate left an unqualified success relieving General Warren the Warren Court of inquiry General Sherman's opinion. The night of March 30 Merritt, with Devin's division and Davies's brigade, was camped on the Five Forks road about two miles in front of Dinwiddie, near J. Boisseau's. Crook, with Smith and Gregg's brigades, continued to cover Stony Creek, and Custer was still back at Rowanty Creek, trying to get the trains up. This force had been counted while crossing the creek on the 29th, the three divisions numbering 9,000 enlisted men, Crook having 9,000, and Custer and Devin 5,700. During the 30th, the enemy had been concentrating his cavalry, and by evening General W. H. F. Lee and General Rosser had joined Fitzhugh Lee near Five Forks. To this force was added, about dark, five brigades of infantry-three from Pickett's division, and two from Johnson's-all under command
Benson J. Lossing, Pictorial Field Book of the Civil War. Volume 3., Chapter 20: Peace conference at Hampton Roads.--the campaign against Richmond. (search)
should move around the flank and strike the rear of the enemy. The cavalry, meanwhile, had pushed on from Reams's Station toward Dinwiddie Court-House, and on Rowanty Creek encountered a portion of Wade Hampton's cavalry, dismounted and intrenched. After a spirited skirmish, the bridge over the Creek, and the works, were carried,were made prisoners. Some of the cavalry pressed on to the Court-House and scouted in various directions; and that night the whole cavalry force bivouacked on Rowanty Creek. while Gregg was making these movements, the Second and Fifth Corps were executing their part of the plan. The Confederates were not in very heavy force, ahreys (Fifth and Second) had moved at a very Early hour. The former started at three o'clock in the morning, March 29. and marching well to the left, crossed Rowanty Creek (which is formed by the junction of Hatcher's Run and Gravelly Creek), and soon turning to the right, marched northward along the Quaker road. Humphreys passe
00 cavalry, acting under orders directly from Gen. Grant. The 9th (Parke's) and one of Ord's divisions were left to hold our extended lines under the command of Gen. Parke: all dismounted troopers being ordered to report to Gen. Benham, who guarded our immense accumulation of supplies at City Point. Humphreys crossed Hatcher's run at the Vaughan road; while Warren, moving farther to the left, crossed four miles below, where the stream, since its junction with Gravelly run, has become Rowanty creek; thence moving up by the Quaker road to strike the Boydton plank-road. Sheridan moved nearly south to Dinwiddie C. H.; where, at 5 P. M., he halted for the night. Warren's corps alone encountered any serious resistance this day. Approaching the Confederate lines, Griffin's division, leading, was sharply assailed; but held its ground and repulsed the enemy, taking 100 prisoners. Our loss here was 370 killed and wounded. Warren rested for the night in front of the Rebel intrenchments c
aduke at Batesville, 447; at Guntown. Miss., 621. Warner, Gen., fights at Henderson's Hill, La., 537. Warren, Gen. Fitz Henry, reenforces Banks on Red river, 550. Warren, Gen. George S., at Gaines's Mill, 156; Malvern Hill, 165; Antietain, 208; Chancellorsville, 356; Centerville, 395; commands the 5th corps, 564; at the Wilderness, 567 to 571; charges at Spottsylvania, 572: at Cold Harbor, 580 to 582 ; destroys Weldon Railroad. 726; defeats Pegram at Dabney's mill, 726; fights on Rowanty creek. 730; in fight at Five Forks, 731-2; relieved by Sheridan, 733. Warrenton Junction, operations at, 181; 395. Warrenton Springs, Va., operations at, 182. Washburne, Gen. C. C., 34; at Helena, 35; at Vicksburg, 314; defeated near Opelousas, 340; on Rebel conspiracy, 557. Washington City, force left for defense of, 130-1; McDowell's corps retained for defense of, 131; Gen. Banks in command at, 194; Early menaces and is repulsed from, 605. Washington, Capt., killed at Vicksbur
al James S. Wadsworth; and Captain Gordon Winslow, son of the like lamented Rev. Gordon Winslow. Battle of Quaker road. We left our camp, in rear of the lines at Petersburg, at three A. M., on March twenty-ninth. We moved south, across Rowanty Creek, below the junction of Gravelly and Hatcher's Runs, took the road thence to Dinwiddie Court House, as far as the Quaker Road, then turned up this latter, and crossed Gravelly Run. A sharp engagement took place between a division of the eneal Meade, which I received at 8 P. M. (previously given), would have justified me in destroying the bridge; had it yet been standing intact. I had no pontoons with me now; the supply with which I started on the 29th had been used in bridging Rowanty Creek and the Quaker Road crossing of Gravelly Run, and the boats and engineers were kept there for the service of the trains. At 10.15 P. M., I received, by telegraph, the following dispatch from General Webb, written 9.40 P. M. Since your d
Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 7. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), Engagement at Sappony church-report of General Wade Hampton. (search)
on the ground. They were followed closely for two miles, when, finding they had taken the route to Reams' station, I moved by Stony Creek depot, in order to get on the Halifax road to intercept them, should they attempt to cross below Reams'. Butler's brigade was sent to Malone's crossing, two miles south of Reams' station, and the other brigades were ordered to occupy the roads leading into the Halifax road. I moved up with Chambliss' brigade, following Butler, and soon after crossing Rowanty creek we met an advance of the enemy who had struck the Halifax road between Butler and Chambliss. These were charged and scattered, when another party were reported coming into the same road at Perkins' house. I took a portion of the Thirteenth Virginia, and meeting them, drove them back, and Lieutenant-Colonel Phillips pushed on, getting possession of the bridge over the Rowanty. Finding that a portion of the force which had crossed the creek had taken a road leading east, I sent Colonel
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