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Winchester, Va. (Virginia, United States) (search for this): chapter 28
eterans was now moving right along down the slope toward the woods with a steady swing that boded no good for Pickett's command, earthworks or no earthworks. Sheridan was mounted on his favorite black horse, Rienzi, which had carried him from Winchester to Cedar Creek, and which Buchanan Read made famous for all time by his poem of Sheridan's ride. The roads were muddy, the fields swampy, the undergrowth dense, and Rienzi, as he plunged and curveted, kept dashing the foam from his mouth and tn 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 de
behind 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 Colonup the Gravelly Run Church road to the open ground near the church, and form in order of battle, with Ayres on the left, Crawford 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, ster, Devin, Fitzhugh, and the other cavalry leaders were in their element, and vied with each other in deeds of valor. Crawford's division had moved off in a northerly direction, marching away from Ayres, and leaving a gap between the two divisionsthe capture of the angle I started off toward the right to see how matters were going there. I went in the direction of Crawford's division, on our right. Warren, whose personal gallantry was always conspicuous, had had his horse shot while with th
Rufus Ingalls (search for this): chapter 28
egan to assert itself. During the day I had sent him a bulletin saying: I have noticed among the prisoners and dead many old men whose heads are quite bald. This was mentioned as an evidence that the enemy in recruiting was robbing the grave. Ingalls was sitting with us. His hair had become so thin that he used to part it low behind and comb the stray locks forward, trying to make the rear-guard do picket duty at the front. The general delighted in teasing him on this subject, and looking toward him, he now said to me: When I got your message to-day about the bald-headed men, I showed it to Ingalls, and told him he had better take care and not fall into the hands of the enemy, for that is just the way they would be commenting on his head in their reports. Grant was anxious to have the different commands move against the enemy's lines at once to prevent Lee from withdrawing troops and sending them against Sheridan. Meade was all activity, and so alive to the situation, and so
A. A. Humphreys (search for this): chapter 28
ifth Corps, and Miles's division of the Second Corps, which was sent to him since one this morning, is now sweeping down from the west. All now looks highly favorable. Ord is engaged, but I have not yet heard the result in his front. A cheering despatch was also sent to Sheridan, winding up with the words: I think nothing is now wanting but the approach of your force from the west to finish up the job on this side. Soon Ord was heard from as having broken through the intrenchments. Humphreys, too, had been doing gallant work. At half-past 7 the line in his front was captured, and half an hour later Hays's division of his corps had carried an important earthwork, with three guns and most of the garrison. At 8:30 A. M. a despatch was brought in from Ord saying that some of his troops had just captured the enemy's works south of Hatcher's Run. The general and staff now rode out to the front, as it was necessary to give immediate direction to the actual movements of the troo
ould give general directions. At a quarter past five a message came from Wright that he had carried the enemy's line in his front and was pushing in. Next came news from Parke that he had captured the outer works, with 12 pieces of artillery and 800 prisoners. At 6:40 the general wrote a telegram with his own hand to Mr. Lincoln at City Point, as follows: Both Wright and Parke got through the enemy's line. The battle now rages furiously. Sheridan, with his cavalry, the Fifth Corps, and Miles's division of the Second Corps, which was sent to him since one this morning, is now sweeping down from the west. All now looks highly favorable. Ord is engaged, but I have not yet heard the result in his front. A cheering despatch was also sent to Sheridan, winding up with the words: I think nothing is now wanting but the approach of your force from the west to finish up the job on this side. Soon Ord was heard from as having broken through the intrenchments. Humphreys, too, had bee
at he hoped such a step as that might not become necessary, and then went on to speak of his plan of battle. We all rode on farther to the front, and soon met General Devin of the cavalry, who was considerably elated 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 Oaallant Merritt made a final dash, went over the earthworks with a hurrah, captured a battery of artillery, and scattered everything in front of them. Here Custer, Devin, Fitzhugh, and the other cavalry leaders were in their element, and vied with each other in deeds of valor. Crawford's division had moved off in a northerly direc
W. H. F. Lee (search for this): chapter 28
llace. 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 tations to protect his own detached command from a possible attack by Lee's army in the morning. He said to me that he had just relieved Warrdifferent commands move against the enemy's lines at once to prevent Lee from withdrawing troops and sending them against Sheridan. Meade waidnight to reinforce Sheridan and enable him to make a stand against Lee in case he should move westward in the night. A little after midnigeast, and close up toward the inner-lines which covered Petersburg. Lee had been pushed so vigorously that he seemed for a time to be making them all successfully, and could not be stirred from his position. Lee had ordered Longstreet's command from the north side of the James, as time Miles struck a force of the enemy at Sutherland's Station, on Lee's extreme right, and captured two pieces of artillery and nearly 100
Longstreet (search for this): chapter 28
toward the east, and close up toward the inner-lines which covered Petersburg. Lee had been pushed so vigorously that he seemed for a time to be making but little effort to recover any of his lost ground; but now he made a determined fight against Parke's corps, which was threatening his inner line on his extreme left, and the bridge across the Appomattox. Repeated assaults were made, but Parke resisted them all successfully, and could not be stirred from his position. Lee had ordered Longstreet's command from the north side of the James, and with these troops reinforced his extreme right. General Grant dismounted near a farm-house which stood on a knoll, from which he could get a good view of the field of operations. He seated himself on the ground at the foot of a tree, and was soon busy receiving despatches and writing orders to officers conducting the advance. The position was under fire, and as soon as the group of staff-officers was seen, the enemy's guns began paying
Fitzhugh Lee (search for this): chapter 28
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 Oak road. He soon met with a fire from the edge
ed 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 fire on their left flank, and had to change directions by facing more toward the west. As the troops entered the woods, and moved forward over the boggy ground, and struggled through t
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