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Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 10. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), General J. A. Early's report of the Gettysburg campaign. (search)
ward; and the fact was that two fresh corps (Slocum's and Sickles's) were very near the battle-field, while a reserve of three or four thousand men (Steinwehr's division) had been left on Cemetery Hill and had not been engaged.--See statement in Swinton's Army of the Potomac, and Doubbleday's testimony, Report on the Conduct of the War, vol. 1, 2d series, p. 309. Having been informed that the greater portion of the rest of our army would move up during the night, and that the enemy's position our left along the crest of Seminary Ridge, west of the town. As there has been much criticism in regard to the management at this battle, and especially in regard to the lateness of the attack on the 2d, I make the following extracts from Swinton's Army of the Potomac. He says:-- Indeed, in entering on the campaign, General Lee expressly promised his corps-commanders that he would not assume a tactical offensive, but force his antagonist to attack him. Having, however, gotten a tast
Edward Porter Alexander, Military memoirs of a Confederate: a critical narrative, Chapter 13: Sharpsburg or Antietam (search)
t. Lee's line of battle. battle of Hooker's corps. Hood's counter-stroke. on Jackson's left. battle of Mansfield's corps. battle of Sumner's corps. Sedgwick Ambuscaded. the artillery fighting. fourth attack prepared. French's advance. Swinton's account. the bloody Lane. Franklin is halted. both sides exhausted. Pleasanton and Porter. Burnside advances. Toombs's good defence. the Bridge carried. the advance upon Sharpsburg. A. P. Hill's counter-stroke. Lee in council. Sept. of the division or any of its brigades or regiments, except the casualties. These, in the five brigades of Wilcox, Mahone, Pryor, Featherstone, and Wright, amounted to 1430 killed, wounded, and missing, —over one-third of the force engaged. Swinton describes the conflict at this period, as follows:— The action here was of a very animated nature, for Hill, being reenforced by the division of Anderson, assumed a vigorous offensive, and endeavored to seize a piece of high ground on the Un
Edward Porter Alexander, Military memoirs of a Confederate: a critical narrative, Chapter 14: fall of 1862 (search)
osite the town by crossing the river above and coming down. Burnside had deliberately changed this plan, after starting on the march. After the battle, his personal responsibility for the changed result was brought home to him unpleasantly. Swinton asserts that Burnside— did not favor operating against Richmond by the overland route, but had his mind turned toward a repetition of McClellan's movement to the Peninsula; and in determining to march to Fredericksburg he cherished the hope ire, and even small streams were impassable torrents. Although desperate efforts were made all during the night to get the pontoons to the river, when morning dawned, not enough for a single bridge had arrived, and five bridges were required. Swinton writes of the situation, as follows: — It would have been judicious in Gen. Burnside to have promptly abandoned a situation that was now hopeless. But it was a characteristic of that general's mind (a characteristic that might be good or ba
Edward Porter Alexander, Military memoirs of a Confederate: a critical narrative, Chapter 17: Gettysburg: second day (search)
its order in time, as it was entirely isolated. Three companies of the 47th Ala. were detached and left on picket at the foot of the mountain. The remaining force was but about 500 men under the command of Col. Oates of the 15th Ala. The mountain had been partially occupied in the morning by the 3d corps, but was vacated when they moved to the front. About 4 P. M., Gen. Warren, seeing the deployment of our lines, had brought up Vincent's brigade of Barnes's division of the 5th corps. Swinton has written that a foot-race occurred for the commanding position, and that a desperate hand-to-hand fight with bayonets and clubbed muskets took place for a half-hour between Hood's Texans and Vincent's men. None of the official reports on either side are consistent with this story. There was some sharp fighting and Vincent was killed, but Oates's small and isolated force was soon outflanked and compelled to retreat to the foot of the mountain. It was not pursued, and, at the foot, it
Edward Porter Alexander, Military memoirs of a Confederate: a critical narrative, Chapter 20: battle of the Wilderness (search)
, there was an enfilade artillery fire that swept through the ranks from the right to the left. And of the 18th corps:— The fire from the right came from a part of the enemy's works against which no part of our attack was directed, and Gen. Smith was unable to keep it down with his artillery. The artillery so complained of was mostly Huger's battalion of 24 guns, which held the line between Pickett's and Field's divisions and was, some of it, used in front of the breastworks. Swinton narrates that some hours after the failure of the first assault, Meade sent instructions to each corps commander to renew the attack without reference to the troops on his right or left; that the order descended through the wonted channels, but was not obeyed — the immobile lines pronounced a verdict against further slaughter. As so told, an entirely erroneous impression is here created. No such silent defiance of orders occurred, or anything like it. But there were, doubtless, in the s
Edward Porter Alexander, Military memoirs of a Confederate: a critical narrative, Chapter 21: the movement against Petersburg (search)
318212 3/4 Enlisting had almost ceased, although stimulated by enormous bounties. A thousand dollars per man was the ordinary price, and single regiments would sometimes take from their counties 1000 men, and draw a million dollars in bounties the day of their muster. There was growing bitterness in political circles in view of the approaching presidential election. The terrible lists of casualties in battle were daily bringing mourning and distress to every hamlet in the country. Swinton (p. 494) writes of this period as follows: — War is sustained quite as much by the moral energy of a people as by its material resources; and the former must be active to bring out and make available the latter. . . . For armies are things visible and formal, circumscribed by time and space, but the soul of war is a power unseen, bound up with the interests, convictions, passions of men. Now so gloomy was the outlook after the action on the Chickahominy, and to such a degree, by conse
Edward Porter Alexander, Military memoirs of a Confederate: a critical narrative, Chapter 23: the fall of 1864 (search)
rks, which proved to be armed with the Spencer magazine-guns. He was quickly repulsed with severe loss, which included Gregg of Texas killed, and Bratton of S. C. wounded. The total Federal casualties for this period, Aug. 1 to Dec. 31, are given as: killed, 2172; wounded, 11,138; missing, 11,311; total, 24,621. The corresponding Confederate losses were probably between 12,000 and 14,000. It will afford a better view of the situation as a whole to glance at those events referred to by Swinton, where he says: — Had not success elsewhere come to brighten the horizon, it would have been difficult to raise new forces to recruit the Army of the Potomac. The first and most important of the events resulting in success elsewhere was President Davis relieving Joseph E. Johnston of the command of the army opposing Sherman at Atlanta, and appointing Hood to succeed him. This step was taken with great reluctance, and under great popular and political pressure brought by Gov. Brown a
n the 18th. the enemy's surprise thereat. Mr. Swinton, Mr. McCabe, and Mr. J. E. Cooke. their erkahominy) to Wilcox Landing, on the James, Swinton's Army of the Potomac, p. 499. where General which had only reached Petersburg at dusk Swinton's Army of the Potomac, p. 509. on that day, turg without delay. R. E. Lee, General. Mr. Swinton, in his Army of the Potomac, is, therefore,f the 18th. This settles the point as to Mr. Swinton's first error. The second, referring to thtersburg or of the line of the Appomattox. Swinton's Army of the Potomac, p. 503. The italics arcould ride over them—a representation, says Mr. Swinton (Army of the Potomac, p. 502), that did notd be withdrawn from his Department. Like Mr. Swinton, who, in most instances, is a careful and ihether Mr. Davis derived his information from Swinton, McCabe, or Cooke, he has certainly ignored ttended with another mournful loss of life. Swinton's Army of the Potomac, p. 511. General Le[5 more...]
of the period of assaults, though no large action had taken place, the rolls of the army showed a loss of 15,000 men. Swinton, Army of the Potomac, p. 515. If we cannot here inscribe the names of all those who figured in that bloody drama, weoment occurred between the two armies then confronting each other until the memorable event so appropriately termed by Mr. Swinton the mine fiasco. Army of the Potomac, p. 518. Being satisfied, says General Meade, in his report, that Lee's army wasit was not in human endurance to hold out in this incessant effort, and the limit had for a time been reached. And Mr. Swinton says: Indeed, the Union army, terribly shaken, as well in spirit as in material substance, by the repeated attackses of victory, notwithstanding the exhausted condition of our men, would be all in our favor; and General Badeau's and Mr. Swinton's admissions now show the correctness of his judgment. Had General Lee attacked General Grant at that moment, the war
those who give a higher number, and accuses them of always exaggerating the National losses. Mr. Swinton, whose account of this expedition agrees with ours, puts the Federal loss at 2500, exclusive of several hundred from the 6th Corps. Swinton's Army of the Potomac, pp. 512, 513. The result of this movement to attempt interruption of our communications was in nowise beneficial to the enemy,fell back, with the loss of his trains and artillery and a considerable number of prisoners. Swinton's Army of the Potomac, p. 513. The statement is confirmed by General Meade's report. Wilson barn them had been pronounced impracticable by the [Federal] chiefs of artillery and engineers. Swinton's Army of the Potomac, p. 515. Beginning south of the Appomattox, these lines encircled the cit 250 men—killed, wounded, and missing— out of about 1500. The Federal loss is reported, by Mr. Swinton, at about 4000 men; by General Meade, at 4400 killed, wounded, and missing, 246 prisoners, 2
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