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Five Forks, for three-quarters of a mile, with General Custer's division. The enemy are in his immediate fronk. I will hold on here. Possibly they may attack Custer at day-light; if so, have this division attack instar to the White Oak Road. General Merritt's and General Custer's cavalry will charge the enemy's line as soon Five Forks, for three quarters of a mile, with General Custer's division. The enemy are in his immediate froks. I will hold on here. Possibly they may attack Custer at daylight; if so, attack instantly and in full fos two divisions, General Devin on the right and General Custer on the left, General Crook in the rear. During, drove them from two lines of temporary works; General Custer guiding his advance on the widow Gilliam's houswford, of the Fifth corps, and to Generals Merritt, Custer, Devin, and McKenzie of the cavalry, great credit it this time Capehart's and Pennington's brigades of Custer's division came up, and a very handsome fight occur
fore five the Confederates opened fire on Sedgwick's right, and soon the battle was raging along the whole five-mile front. It became a hand-to-hand contest. The Federals advanced with great difficulty. The combatants came upon each other but a few paces apart. Soldiers on one side became hopelessly mixed with those of the other. Artillery played but little part in the battle of the Wilderness. The cavalry of the two armies had one indecisive engagement on the 5th. The next day both Custer and Gregg repulsed Hampton and Fitzhugh Lee in two separate encounters, but Sheridan was unable to follow up the advantage. He had been entrusted with the care of the wagon trains and dared not take his cavalry too far from them. The battle was chiefly one of musketry. Volley upon volley was poured out unceasingly; screaming bullets mingled with terrific yells in the dense woods. The noise became deafening, and the wounded and dying lying on the ground among the trees made a scene of ind
d down the Valley, the undaunted cavaliers of Early came in pursuit. His horsemen kept close to the rear of the Union columns. On the morning of October 9th, the cavalry leader, Rosser, who had succeeded Wickham, found himself confronted by General Custer's division, at Tom's Brook. At the same time the Federal general, Wesley Merritt, fell upon the cavalry of Lomax and Johnson on an adjacent road. The two Union forces were soon united and a mounted battle ensued. The fight continued for twer of an hour of this yelling and struggling, and two-thirds of the Union army broke like a mill-dam and poured across the fields, leaving their accouterments of war and the stiffening bodies of their comrades. Rosser, with the cavalry, attacked Custer and assisted Gordon. Meanwhile, during these same early morning hours, General Early had himself advanced to Cedar Creek by a more direct route. At half-past 3 o'clock his men had come in sight of the Union camp-fires. They waited under cove
d down the Valley, the undaunted cavaliers of Early came in pursuit. His horsemen kept close to the rear of the Union columns. On the morning of October 9th, the cavalry leader, Rosser, who had succeeded Wickham, found himself confronted by General Custer's division, at Tom's Brook. At the same time the Federal general, Wesley Merritt, fell upon the cavalry of Lomax and Johnson on an adjacent road. The two Union forces were soon united and a mounted battle ensued. The fight continued for twer of an hour of this yelling and struggling, and two-thirds of the Union army broke like a mill-dam and poured across the fields, leaving their accouterments of war and the stiffening bodies of their comrades. Rosser, with the cavalry, attacked Custer and assisted Gordon. Meanwhile, during these same early morning hours, General Early had himself advanced to Cedar Creek by a more direct route. At half-past 3 o'clock his men had come in sight of the Union camp-fires. They waited under cove
ed. No record found. October, 1864. October 2, 1864: Waynesboro, Va. Union, portion of Custer's and Merritt's Cav.; Confed., Gen. Early's command. Losses: Union, 50 killed and woundord found. October 9, 1864: Tom's Brook, Fisher's Hill or Strasburg, Va. Union, Merritt's, Custer's and Torbert's Cav.; Confed., Rosser's and Lomax's Cav. Losses: Union, 9 killed, 67 wo Union, Sixth Corps, Eighth Corps, and First and Second Divisions Nineteenth Corps, Merritt's, Custer's, and Torbert's Cav.; Confed., Gen. Jubal Early's army. Losses: Union, 644 killed, 343 15 killed, 35 wounded. November 12, 1864: Newtown and Cedar Springs,Va. Union, Merritt's, Custer's, and Powell's Cav.; Confed., troops of Gen. Early's command. Losses: Union, 84 woundenfed. No record found. December 8-28, 1864: raid to Gordonsville, Va. Union, Merritt's and Custer's Cav.; Confed., Cavalry of Gen. Early's army. Losses: Union, 43 killed and wounded.
gust, 1862. With the close of the second twelve months of the war came the first of the little crop of boy generals, as they were called, nearly all of them young graduates of West Point. The first of the boy generals was Adelbert Ames, of the class of 1861, colonel of the Twentieth Maine, closely followed by Judson Kilpatrick, colonel of the Second New York Cavalry, and by Wesley Merritt, whose star was given him just before Gettysburg, when only twenty-seven. With Merritt, too, came Custer, only twenty-three when he donned the silver stars, and first charged at the head of the Wolverine Brigade on Stuart's gray squadrons at the far right flank at Gettysburg. A few months later and James H. Wilson, Emory Upton, and Ranald Mackenzie, all young, gifted, and most soldierly West Pointers, were also promoted to the stars, as surely would have been gallant Patrick O'Rorke, but for the bullet that laid him low at Gettysburg. That battle was the only one missed by another boy colonel
re were by hundreds, but the boyish look was gone. The days of battle and peril, the scenes of bloodshed and carnage, the sounds of agony or warning—all had left indelible impress. Eyes that have looked three years upon death in every horrible shape, upon gaping wounds and battle-torn bodies, lose gradually and never regain the laughing light of youth. The correspondents of the press filled many a column with description of the boy-faced generals—men like Barlow, Merritt, and curly-haired Custer; but a closer study of the young faces thus pictured would have told a very different story—a story of hours of anxious thought and planning, of long nights of care and vigil, of thrilling days of headlong battle wherein a single error in word or action might instantly bring on disaster. In both East and West, by this time, there were regiments commanded by lads barely twenty years of age, brave boys who, having been leaders among their schoolfellows, on enlistment had been elected or app<
Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 2. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), chapter 4.21 (search)
stianity! The gentleman and scientific soldier is removed from power and disgraced, while the ruffian, robber, house and mill-burner and cattle thief is given higher office, lauded to the skies and made a hero of. It is matter of sincere congratulation that our chivalrous Southern leaders, Lee, Jackson, Stuart, Hampton, Rodes and others, are made of far different material from that which makes up the bloody butcher Grant, the bummer Sherman, the barn-burner Sheridan, the mulatto-women-lover Custer, and the degraded Beast Butler. November 8th Day of election for Northern President. Lincoln received 11,000 majority over McClellan in Baltimore. The Democrats were intimidated and kept away from the polls. November 9th The election news indicates that Lincoln and Stanton's bloody and despotic rule will continue four years more. The renegade Andrew Johnson was rewarded for betraying and deserting his native section, which had time and again heaped undeserved honors on his unw
Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 7. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), General Hampton's report of the battle of Trevylian's depot and subsequent operations. (search)
brigade which had been engaging General Lee having withdrawn from his front, passed his left and got into my rear. This forced me to withdraw in front and to take up a new line. This was soon done, and the brigade which had attacked me in rear (Custer's) was severely punished, for I recalled Rosser's brigade, which charged them in front, driving them back against General Lee, who was moving up to Trevylian's, and capturing many prisoners. In this sudden attack on my rear, the enemy captured some of my led horses, a few ambulances and wagons and three caissons. These were all recaptured by General Rosser and General Lee; the latter taking in addition four caissons and the headquarter wagon of Brigadier-General Custer. My new line being established, I directed General Lee to join me with his command as soon as possible. The enemy tried to dislodge me from my new position but failed, and the relative positions of the opposing forces remained the same during the night. The next day
Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 9. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), Opinion of a United States officer of the Depopulation of Atlanta. (search)
en and children, who had the misfortune to have cherished homes and interests in the captured city. General Sherman notified General Halleck at Washington, on the 4th, of his intention to remove the inhabitants, and concluded his letter with the blood and iron statement: If the people raise a howl against my barbarity and cruelty, I will answer that war is war, and not popularity-seeking. If they want peace, they and their relatives must stop the war. Fancy Sitting Bull, on the eve of General Custer's fatal campaign, saying to General Sherman as Commander of the United States Army, If you want peace, you must teach your white neighbors to deal justly with us. If war simply means killing, and is nothing more than to do the greatest and speediest harm to the enemy, then its modern methods are indefensible, and the giving and taking of quarter a false refinement. Claverhouse taught the maxim that war is war, and invested the story of Glencoe with a tragic interest and at which histor
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