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Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, The Passing of the Armies: The Last Campaign of the Armies., Chapter 4: Five Forks. (search)
even the truth made known becomes a consolation. The battle of Five Forks was also the battle of the White Oak Road, on an extended front, in an accidental and isolated position, and at a delayed hour. It was successful, owing to the character of the troops, and the skill and vigor of the commander. Appomattox was a glorious result of strong pushing and hard marching. But both could have been forestalled, and all that fighting, together with that at Sailor's Creek, High Bridge, and Farmville have been concentrated in one grand assault, of which the sharp-edged line along the White Oak Road would have been one blade of the shears, and Ord and Wright and Parke on the main line the other, and the hard and costly ten days chase and struggle would have been spared so many noble men. Lee would not have got a day's start of us in the desperate race. Sheridan cutting the enemy's communications and rolling up their scattering fugitives would have shown his great qualities, and won con
Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, The Passing of the Armies: The Last Campaign of the Armies., Chapter 5: the week of flying fights. (search)
e had intended to go with his army,--towards Farmville, where we had learned from intercepted dispa crossing of the Appomattox five miles below Farmville. Meantime Ewell and Anderson had been bre wagon-trains they captured on the roads to Farmville. Marvelous stories borne through the air, oght of the 6th, Longstreet pushed forward to Farmville, where his men at last got a supply of ratiod Danville, he was sent up the river towards Farmville, and had a sharp engagement with some of Gort the day before. Meantime Grant, now at Farmville, sends word to Humphreys confronting Longstre side of the river, between High Bridge and Farmville, that the Sixth and Twenty-fourth Corps are nd Twenty-fourth could have come around from Farmville by that long route. Meade, indeed, had pseems to have been aware that the bridges at Farmville had been destroyed. So Humphreys, hearing tng been put into exercise in the crossing at Farmville, there can be no question but that the Army [1 more...]
Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, The Passing of the Armies: The Last Campaign of the Armies., Chapter 6: Appomattox. (search)
r legs had done it,--had matched the cavalry as Grant admitted, had cut around Lee's best doings, and commanded the grand halt. But other things too had done it ; the blood was still fresh upon the Quaker Road, the White Oak Ridge, Five Forks, Farmville, High Bridge, and Sailor's Creek; and we take somewhat gravely this compliment of our new commander, of the Army of the James. At last, after pardoning something to the spirit of liberty, we get things quiet along the lines. A truce is agreomattox! It may help to a connected understanding of these closing scenes, if we glance at the movements of that close-pressing column for a day or two before. On the evening of the 7th, General Grant had written General Lee a letter from Farmville, and sent it through General Humphreys' lines, asking Lee to surrender his army. Lee answered at once declining to surrender, but asking the terms Grant would offer. The pursuit being resumed on the morning of the 8th, Grant wrote to Lee a se
Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, The Passing of the Armies: The Last Campaign of the Armies., Chapter 7: the return of the Army. (search)
such mingling of the elements — a kind of icnthyosaurian sleep came at last-dreaming that the whole earth was about this way once, and fully sympathizing with the Hebrew description of it as Tohoo vaw Vohoo, if not exactly without form and void. In the morning the men sighted the few places where they could get splinters enough to make a fire to cook their last ration of pickled pork and gunpowder. Then pulling out at 6 A. M. under chilly rain and lowering clouds, we took the road for Farmville. It was Sunday afternoon when we reached its vicinity, and were welcomed by a sky clear and serene, overlooking the town. The trains were there, and so a breakfast — in literal terms, though belated fact. The clouds had rolled away and field and camp were flooded with sunshine. All the domestic arts were soon in evidence, --largely that of washing-day;--as if we had not had enough in the previous twenty-four hours. Gradually a Sabbath peace stole over the scene. All were at rest, mind
Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, The Passing of the Armies: The Last Campaign of the Armies., Chapter 9: the last review. (search)
we saw at the sunken road at Antietam, the stone wall at Fredericksburg, the wheat-field at Gettysburg, the bloody angle at Spottsylvania, the swirling fight at Farmville, and in the pressing pursuit along the Appomattox before which Lee was forced to face to the rear and answer Grant's first summons to surrender. We know them wek, too, of the fiery mazes of the Wilderness, the deathblasts of Spottsylvania, and murderous Cold Harbor; but also of the brilliant fights at Sailor's Creek and Farmville, and all the splendid action to the victorious end. Here is the seasoned remnant of the Corcoran Legion, the new brigade which, rushing into the terrors of Spott, and Hays' at Gettysburg, who was killed in the Wilderness, Carroll's Brigade at Spottsylvania, where he was severely wounded; Smyth's at Cold Harbor, killed at Farmville. Into this brigade Owen's, too, is now merged. They are a museum of history. Here passes, led by staunch Spaulding, the sterling 19th Maine, once gallant H
er, that such was never his design. His trains were directed to move through Cumberland, Prince Edward, and Campbell, toward Pittsylvania; and the army would naturally keep near enough to protect them, moving southward between the Junction and Farmville. While the troops were resting at Amelia Court-House, and waiting for the rear to come up, the Federal commander must have pushed forward with great rapidity. His cavalry was already scouring the country far in advance of the Confederate colu competent. They fell out of the ranks by hundreds, overcome by hunger and exhaustion; or, what was equally bad, they dropped their heavy guns and cartridge boxes, and straggled along, a useless, cumbrous mob. On the morning of the 7th, beyond Farmville, the Federal cavalry made continuous and desperate onslaughts on the train, throwing everything into confusion. The teamsters, always the least soldierly portion of an army, became panic-stricken, and the terrible roads increased a thousand-fo
The Annals of the Civil War Written by Leading Participants North and South (ed. Alexander Kelly McClure), A campaign with sharpshooters. (search)
wearied and worn battalions of Lee that now moved slowly up the line of the Southside Railroad, contesting the way inch by inch with the determined pursuer. At Farmville a decided stand was made, and here the rear guard was joined by Fitz Lee and his cavalry. The fighting on the retreat, except in rare instances, did not reach the dignity of pitched battles; but one action that took place near Farmville deserves the record it has so far received from no pen or tongue. When the army reached this point, the conduct of operations in the rear was intrusted to Major General Fitz Lee, of cavalry fame; an officer who, after the death of Stuart, ranked first in f his own command as he was yet able to hold together, Fitz Lee stoutly guarded the rear of the retreating army. As the main column passed the bridge in rear of Farmville, Fitz Lee in person held the town, gradually diminishing his front, which was closely pressed by the enemy, till there remained with him but a handful of brave m
The Annals of the Civil War Written by Leading Participants North and South (ed. Alexander Kelly McClure), The battle of fleet Wood. (search)
ersburg, despite very vigorous efforts on the part of General Gregg himself, if I mistake not, for their recovery. No! No! The prestige of success did rest finally and forever with the Federal horsemen, but there were many bright days between times, when the Confederate troopers could exult in conscious victory; and on the last day, glory, as of the setting sun, crowned the arms of the remnant of Fitz Lee's old brigade, when, under the gallant Munford, they made, at the High Bridge, near Farmville, a successful charge --the last charge of the war. No more accomplished commander, no harder fighter than General Gregg was to be found in the Federal army, and no one can afford better than he gracefully to acknowledge the achievements of the Southern Horse. The fight at Brandy Station,! or The battle of Fleetwood, as Stuart called it, was one of the most splendid passages-at-arms which the war furnished. General R. E. Lee was commencing the movement of his army which resulted in th
The Annals of the Civil War Written by Leading Participants North and South (ed. Alexander Kelly McClure), The Black Horse cavalry. (search)
a more indomitable spirit than in these closing scenes of the war. They were in the saddle day and night, marching and fighting without food, and without sleep, in the vain endeavor to protect the Confederate trains from the swarming hordes of the enemy's cavalry. At High bridge, the Black Horse shared, with their comrades of Fitz Lee's Division, the last rays of glory that fell on the Army of Northern Virginia, capturing an infantry brigade, and slaying its commander on the field. Near Farmville, the cavalry repulsed a division of Gregg's cavalry, which came upon them unawares, and nearly succeeded in capturing General Lee. But, instead, in this collision, General Gregg was taken prisoner. On April 9th, General Fitz Lee was ordered to hold the road from Appomattox Court-House to Lynchburg, which he did, in spite of repeated efforts by the enemy's cavalry to wrest it from him, until a flag, conveying the intelligence of a truce, compelled him to pause in his advance upon the enem
Fitzhugh Lee, General Lee, Chapter 15: evacuation of Richmond and the Petersburg lines.--retreat and surrender. (search)
nville, the Southern troops were directed on Farmville, thirty-five miles west, and broke camp on tect the High Bridge between Rice Station and Farmville, and were just in time, as General Ord had slry to burn that bridge and the one above at Farmville. General Theodore Read, of Ord's staff, the divisions of Heth, Wilcox, and Field for Farmville, and that night crossed to the north side ofcorps followed him, crossing the river above Farmville by a deep ford, leaving a force to burn the been assigned, crossed at High Bridge, below Farmville, and so did Mahone with his fine division. At Farmville the Confederates feasted. It was the first occasion since leaving Richmond that rak's cavalry division crossed the river above Farmville, and was immediately charged with great succproposition. The Union commander arrived at Farmville a little before noon on April 7th, establish from the Richmond and Lynchburg road to the Farmville and Lynchburg road, I am, at this writing, a
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