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General Horace Porter, Campaigning with Grant, Chapter 2 (search)
my returning to the field. On the evening of March 8 the President and Mrs. Lincoln gave a public reception at the White House, which I attended. The President stood in the usual reception-room, known as the Blue room, with several cabinet offiodestly with the rest of the crowd toward Mr. Lincoln. He had arrived from the West that evening, and had come to the White House to pay his respects to the President. He had been in Washington but once before, when he visited it for a day soon afd no reference whatever was made to the choice of these two routes. The next day, March 9, the general went to the White House, by invitation of Mr. Lincoln, for the purpose of receiving his commission from the hands of the President. Upon his why he should attract so much attention. The President had given him a cordial invitation to dine that evening at the White House, but he begged to be excused for the reason that he would lose a whole day, which he could not afford at that critical
General Horace Porter, Campaigning with Grant, Chapter 9 (search)
arly's division had also been sent to Lee from the Confederate capital. On the 22d, as soon as Grant had learned the extent of the disaster to Butler's army on the James, he said that Butler was not detaining 10,000 men in Richmond, and not even keeping the roads south of that city broken, and he considered it advisable to have the greater part of Butler's troops join in the campaign of the Army of the Potomac. On May 25 he telegraphed orders to Halleck, saying: Send Butler's forces to White House, to land on the north side, and march up to join this army. The James River should be held to City Point, but leave nothing more than is absolutely necessary to hold it, acting purely on the defensive. The enemy will not undertake any offensive operations there, but will concentrate everything here. At the same time he said: If Hunter can possibly get to Charlottesville and Lynchburg, he should do so, living on the country. The railroads and canals should be destroyed beyond the possi
General Horace Porter, Campaigning with Grant, Chapter 10 (search)
noon Grant received word that transports bringing W. F. Smith's troops from Butler's army were beginning to arrive at White House; and they were ordered to move forward at once, and join the Army of the Potomac. General Grant thought that it was no had secured Old Cold Harbor, and won the game. Smith's corps consisted of 13,000 men. He left about 2500 to guard White House, and with the rest started for the front, reaching there at three o'clock in the afternoon of June 1. At five o'clockht the variety of food at the headquarters mess was increased by the arrival of a supply of oysters received by way of White House. Shell-fish were among the few dishes which tempted the general's appetite, and as he had been living principally on y, and then I can tell better what I am going to do. A large delegation of the Christian Commission had arrived at White House, and was now moving up toward the lines with a supply-train which carried many comforts for the wounded. I saw among
General Horace Porter, Campaigning with Grant, Chapter 12 (search)
a line of march as practicable, and which will at the same time be far enough down-stream to allow for a sufficient distance between it and the present position of Lee's army to prevent the chances of our being attacked successfully while in the act of crossing. You should be guided also by considerations of the width of the river at the point of crossing, and of the character of the country by which it will have to be approached. Early the next morning Comstock and I rode rapidly to White House, and then took a steamboat down the Pamunkey and York rivers, and up the James, reaching Butler's headquarters at Bermuda Hundred the next day. After having obtained a knowledge of the topography along the James, and secured the best maps that could be had, we despatched a message to the general and started down the James on the 10th, making further careful reconnaissances of the banks and the approaches on each side. Comstock and I had served on General McClellan's staff when his army o
General Horace Porter, Campaigning with Grant, Chapter 13 (search)
m At dark on the evening of June 12 the famous march --to the James began. General Grant had acted with his usual secrecy in regard to important movements, and had spoken of his detailed plans to only a few officers upon whose reticence he could rely implicitly, and whom he was compelled to take 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 st
General Horace Porter, Campaigning with Grant, Chapter 15 (search)
general dismounted in a manner which showed that he was pretty stiff from the ride. As he touched the ground he turned and said with a quizzical look, Well, I must acknowledge that animal is pretty rough. Sheridan had arrived on June 20 at White House, on his return from the expedition to the north side of the North Anna River, upon which he had been sent on the 7th. As soon as Lee learned of Hunter's success he sent Breckinridge's troops to oppose him; and hearing that Sheridan had starte was encumbered with a large number of prisoners and wounded, and his supply of ammunition was nearly exhausted, he felt that it would be useless to try to make a junction with Hunter, and decided to return to the Army of the Potomac by way of White House, where ample and much-needed supplies were awaiting him. On his arrival, orders were given that this depot should be broken up on the 22d, and the train of nine hundred wagons which had been left there was crossed to the south side of the Jame
General Horace Porter, Campaigning with Grant, Chapter 17 (search)
be the matter; but as all the men aboard the boat had been killed, we could obtain no satisfactory evidence. It was attributed by most of those present to the careless handling of the ammunition by the laborers who were engaged in unloading it; but there was a suspicion in the minds of many of us that it was the work of some emissaries of the enemy sent into the lines. Seven years after the war, when I was serving with President Grant as secretary, a Virginian called to see me at the White House, to complain that the commissioner of patents was not treating him fairly in the matter of some patents he was endeavoring to procure. In the course of the conversation, in order to impress me with his skill as an inventor, he communicated the fact that he had once devised an infernal machine which had been used with some success during the war; and went on to say that it consisted of a small box filled with explosives, with a clockwork attachment which could be set so as to cause an ex
General Horace Porter, Campaigning with Grant, Chapter 25 (search)
e was going to destroy the canal still further the next day, and then move on the Central and the Fredericksburg railroads, tear them up, and afterward march to White House, where he would like to have forage and rations sent him; and notifying the general that his purpose, unless otherwise ordered, was then to join the Army of thee hut, where they lost no time in making up for lost sleep. The next day General Grant made all preparation for sending supplies and troops to meet Sheridan at White House. The general complimented the scouts warmly upon their success, directed that they be supplied with two good horses and an outfit of clothing, and sent them around to White House on a steamer to await Sheridan there; but on their arrival they could not restrain their spirit of adventure, and rode out through the enemy's country in the direction of the South Anna River until they met their commander. Campbell was only nineteen years of age. Sheridan always addressed him as Boy, and th
General Horace Porter, Campaigning with Grant, Chapter 26 (search)
President Lincoln's last visit to Grant Grant's foresight attack on Fort Stedman the President Tells some anecdotes Mr. Lincoln's kindness to animals Sheridan's final orders the President reviews the Army of the James Sheridan reached White House on March 19, after having made a campaign seldom equaled in activity, through a difficult country and during incessant rains. He had whipped the enemy at all points, captured 17 pieces of artillery and 1600 prisoners, and destroyed 56 canal-lbout 30,000 men were kept virtually on the picket-line, and all the troops were equipped and supplied, ready to make a forced march at a moment's notice in case Lee should be found moving. It was now ascertained that Sheridan could start from White House on March 25 to join the Army of the Potomac, and on the 24th orders were issued for a general movement of the armies operating against Petersburg and Richmond, to begin on the night of the 28th, for the purpose of marching around Lee's right,
General Horace Porter, Campaigning with Grant, Chapter 31 (search)
ped upon him by all. General Grant visited the President, and had a most pleasant interview with him. The next day (Friday) being a cabinet day, he was invited to meet the cabinet officers at their meeting in the forenoon. He went to the White House, receiving the cordial congratulations of all present, and discussed with them the further measures which should be taken for bringing hostilities to a speedy close. In this interview Mr. Lincoln gave a singular manifestation of the effect prabout midnight from the Broad street and Washington Avenue station to the Walnut street wharf on the Delaware River, for the purpose of crossing the ferry and then taking the cars to Burlington. As the general had been detained so long at the White House that he was not able to get luncheon before starting, and as there was an additional ride in prospect, a stop was made at Bloodgood's Hotel, near the ferry, for the purpose of getting supper. The general had just taken his seat with Mrs. Gran
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