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March 29th (search for this): chapter 28
ord on his right, and Griffin in rear as a reserve. The corps was to wheel to the left and make its attack upon the angle, and then, moving westward, sweep down in rear of the enemy's intrenched line. The cavalry, principally dismounted, was to deploy in front of the enemy's line and engage his attention, and as soon as it heard the firing of our infantry to make a vigorous assault upon his works. The Fifth Corps had borne the brunt of the fighting ever since the army had moved out on March 29; and the gallant men who composed it, and who had performed a conspicuous part in nearly every battle in which the Army of the Potomac had been engaged, seemed eager once more to cross bayonets with their old antagonists. But the movement was slow, the required formation seemed to drag, and Sheridan, chafing with impatience and consumed with anxiety, became as restive as a racer struggling to make the start. He made every possible appeal for promptness, dismounted from his horse, paced up
attle of five Forks carrying the news of five Forks to Grant Grant Prepares to assault the Petersburg lines capturing the works at Petersburg Grant Writes despatches under fire capture of forts Gregg and Whitworth Early the next morning (April 1) General Grant said to me: I wish you would spend the day with Sheridan's command, and send me a bulletin every half-hour or so, advising me fully as to the progress made. You know my views, and I want you to give them to Sheridan fully. Tell oad, my orderly called out to them the news of the victory. The only response he got was from one of them, who raised his open hand to his face, put his thumb to his nose, and yelled: No, you don't-april fool! I then realized that it was the 1st of April. I had ridden so rapidly that I reached headquarters at Dabney's Mill before the arrival of the last courier I had despatched. General Grant was sitting, with most of the staff about him, before a blazing camp-fire. He wore his blue cavalry
ine of prisoners who had thrown down their arms and were crouching close under the breastworks. Some of them called out: Wha‘ do you want us all to go to Then Sheridan's rage turned to humor, and he had a running talk with the Johnnies as they filed past. Go right over there, he said to them, pointing to the rear. Get right along, now. Oh, drop your guns; you'll never need them any more. You'll all be safe over there. Are there any more of you? We want every one of you fellows. Nearly 1500 were captured at the angle. An orderly here came up to Sheridan, saluted, and said: Colonel Forsyth of your staff is killed, sir. It's no such thing! cried Sheridan. I don't believe a word of it. You'll find Forsyth's all right. Ten minutes later Forsyth rode up. He had been mistaken for the gallant General Winthrop, who had fallen in the assault. Sheridan did not even seem surprised when he saw Forsyth, and merely said: There; I told you so. This incident is mentioned as illustrati
uddy, the fields swampy, the undergrowth dense, and Rienzi, as he plunged and curveted, kept dashing the foam from his mouth and the mud from his heels. Had the Winchester pike been in a similar condition, it is altogether likely that he would not have made his famous twenty miles without breaking his own neck as well as Sheridan's. This historic horse derived his name from the fact that he was presented to Sheridan by the Second Michigan Cavalry in the little town of Rienzi, Mississippi, in 1862. After the famous ride he was sometimes called Winchester. He was of Blackhawk blood. He bore Sheridan in nearly all his subsequent battles. When the animal died in 1878, in his twentieth year, his body was stuffed, and now stands in the museum on Governor's Island. The surviving veterans often decorate his body with flowers on Memorial Day. Mackenzie had been ordered up the Crump road, with directions to turn east on the White Oak road, and whip everything he met on that route. He
ike been in a similar condition, it is altogether likely that he would not have made his famous twenty miles without breaking his own neck as well as Sheridan's. This historic horse derived his name from the fact that he was presented to Sheridan by the Second Michigan Cavalry in the little town of Rienzi, Mississippi, in 1862. After the famous ride he was sometimes called Winchester. He was of Blackhawk blood. He bore Sheridan in nearly all his subsequent battles. When the animal died in 1878, in his twentieth year, his body was stuffed, and now stands in the museum on Governor's Island. The surviving veterans often decorate his body with flowers on Memorial Day. Mackenzie had been ordered up the Crump road, with directions to turn east on the White Oak road, and whip everything he met on that route. He encountered a small cavalry command, and whipped it, according to orders, and then came galloping back to join in the general scrimmage. Soon Ayres's men met with a heavy
. on the Five Forks road not far from J. Boisseau's house. Ayres had his division on this road, having arrived about daylighn ground near the church, and form in order of battle, with Ayres on the left, Crawford on his right, and Griffin in rear as ront, in company with Sheridan and Warren, with the head of Ayres's division, which was on the left. Ayres threw out a skirmAyres threw out a skirmish-line and advanced across an open field which sloped down gradually toward the dense woods just north of the White Oak roae galloping back to join in the general scrimmage. Soon Ayres's men met with a heavy fire on their left flank, and had tobe a sorry soldier who could help following such a leader. Ayres and his officers were equally exposing themselves at all poadied, for such troops could suffer but a momentary check. Ayres, with drawn saber, rushed forward once more with his vetera had moved off in a northerly direction, marching away from Ayres, and leaving a gap between the two divisions. Sheridan bec
E. Babcock (search for this): chapter 28
ind his intrenchments at Five Forks, which seemed likely. While we were talking, General Warren, who had accompanied Crawford's division, rode up and reported in person to Sheridan. It was then eleven o'clock. A few minutes before noon Colonel Babcock came over from headquarters, and said to Sheridan: General Grant directs me to say to you that if, in your judgment, the Fifth Corps would do better under one of its division commanders, you are authorized to relieve General Warren and orderated by his successes of the morning, and loudly demanded to be permitted to make a general attack on the enemy. Sheridan told him he didn't believe he had ammunition enough. Said Devin: I guess I've got enough to give 'em one surge more. Colonel Babcock now left us to return to headquarters. About one o'clock it was reported by the cavalry that the enemy was retiring to his intrenched position at Five Forks, which was just north of the White Oak road and parallel to it, his earthworks runn
Adam Badeau (search for this): chapter 28
that moment was in a fitting mood to dig his elbows into the ribs of the Archbishop of Canterbury, or to challenge the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court to a game of leap-frog. The proprieties of army etiquette were so far forgotten in the enthusiasm of the occasion that as soon as I had thrown myself from my horse I found myself rushing up to the general-in-chief and clapping him on the back with my hand, to his no little astonishment, and to the evident amusement of those about him. Badeau, in his Military history of Ulysses S. Grant, says in referring to this scene: The bearer of the good news was Colonel Horace Porter, one of the most abstemious men in the army; but he came up with so much enthusiasm, clapping the general-in-chief on the back, and otherwise demonstrating his joy, that the officer who shared his tent rebuked him at night for indulging too freely in drink at this critical juncture. But Porter had tasted neither wine nor spirits that day. He was only drunk wit
J. Boisseau (search for this): chapter 28
and he must be responsible for its execution. I have every confidence in his judgment and ability. I hope that there may now be an opportunity of fighting the enemy's infantry outside of their fortifications. I set out with half a dozen mounted orderlies to act as couriers in transmitting field bulletins, and met Sheridan about 10 A. M. on the Five Forks road not far from J. Boisseau's house. Ayres had his division on this road, having arrived about daylight; and Griffin had reached J. Boisseau's between 7 and 8 A. M. I had a full conference with Sheridan, in which he told me that the force in front of him had fallen back early in the morning; that he had pursued with his cavalry, had had several brushes with the enemy, and was driving him steadily back; that he had had his patience sorely tried by the delays which had occurred in getting the infantry to him, but that he was going to make every effort to strike a heavy blow with all the infantry and cavalry as soon as he could
We have but a few hours of daylight left us. My cavalry are rapidly exhausting their ammunition, and if the attack is delayed much longer they may have none left. And then another batch of staff-officers was sent out to gallop through the mud and hurry up the columns. At four o'clock the formation was completed, the order for the assault was given, and the struggle for Pickett's intrenched line began. The Confederate infantry brigades were posted from left to right as follows: Terry, Corse, Steuart, Ransom, and Wallace. General Fitzhugh Lee, commanding the cavalry, had placed W. H. F. Lee's two brigades on the right of the line, Munford's division on the left, and Rosser's in rear of Hatcher's Run, to guard the trains. I rode to the front, in company with Sheridan and Warren, with the head of Ayres's division, which was on the left. Ayres threw out a skirmish-line and advanced across an open field which sloped down gradually toward the dense woods just north of the White Oa
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