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Browsing named entities in Philip Henry Sheridan, Personal Memoirs of P. H. Sheridan, General, United States Army ..

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ins, Fourth Infantry, who, in order that he might rank Nesmith, by some hocus-pocus had been made a brigadier-general, under an appointment from the Governor of Washington Territory. We started from the Dalles October 30, under conditions that were not conducive to success. The season was late for operations; and worse still, the command was not in accord with the commanding officer, because of general belief in his incompetency, and on account of the fictitious rank he assumed. On the second day out I struck a small body of Indians with my detachment of dragoons, but was unable to do them any particular injury beyond getting possession of a large quantity of their winter food, which their hurried departure compelled them to abandon. This food consisted principally of dried salmon-pulverized and packed in sacks made of grass — dried huckleberries, and dried camas; the latter a bulbous root about the size of a small onion, which, when roasted and ground, is made into bread by the
without further injury, he issued orders, the propriety of which must be settled by history, to assault next morning the whole intrenched line, But Lee could not retreat at once. He had not anticipated disaster at Five Forks, and hence was unprepared to withdraw on the moment; and the necessity of getting off his trains and munitions of war, as well as being obliged to cover the flight of the Confederate Government, compelled him to hold on to Richmond and Petersburg till the afternoon of the 2d, though before that Parke, Ord, and Wright had carried his outer intrenchments at several points, thus materially shortening the line of investment. The night of the 1st of April, General Humphreys's corps — the Second-had extended its left toward the White Oak road, and early next morning, under instructions from General Grant, Miles's division of that corps reported to me, and supporting him with Ayres's and Crawford's divisions of the Fifth Corps, I then directed him to advance toward P
an and established his headquarters not far from Germania ford. From that point he was in direct communication with Wilson, whose original instructions from me carried him only as far as Parker's Store, but it being found, during the night of the 4th, that the enemy was apparently unacquainted with the occurrences of the day, Meade directed Wilson to advance in the direction of Craig's Meeting House, leaving one regiment to hold Parker's Store. Wilson with the second brigade encountered Rossursuing force was soon checked, and then driven back to Shady Grove Church, while Wilson's troops fell in behind Gregg's line, somewhat the worse for their morning's adventure. When the Army of the Potomac commenced crossing the Rapidan on the 4th, General J. E. B. Stuart, commanding the Confederate cavalry, began concentrating his command on the right of Lee's infantry, bringing it from Hamilton's crossing and other points where it had been wintering. Stuart's force at this date was a lit
day, April 8, Merritt and Mackenzie united with Crook at Prospect Station, and the cavalry all moved then toward Appomattox depot. Hardly had it started when one of the scouts-Sergeant Whiteinformed me that there were four trains of cars at the depot loaded with supplies for Lee's army; these had been sent from Lynchburg, in compliance with the telegram of Lee's commissary-general, which message, it will be remembered, was captured and transmitted to Lynchburg by two of Young's scouts on the 4th. Sergeant White, who had been on the lookout for the trains ever since sending the despatch, found them several miles west of Appomattox depot, feeling their way along, in ignorance of Lee's exact position. As he had the original despatch with him, and took pains to dwell upon the pitiable condition of Lee's army, he had little difficulty in persuading the men in charge of the trains to bring them east of Appomattox Station, but fearing that the true state of affairs would be learned before
Mr. Gill also took us to see everything else of special interest about the city, and there being much to look at-fine old churches, ancient fortifications, a Roman gateway, etc.-the days slipped by very quickly, though the incessant rains somewhat interfered with our enjoyment. For three or four days all sorts of rumors were rife as to what was doing in Paris, but nothing definite was learned till about the 9th; then Count Bismarck informed me that the Regency had been overthrown on the 4th, and that the Empress Eugenie had escaped to Belgium. The King of Prussia offered her an asylum with the Emperor at Wilhelmshohe, where she ought to go, said the Chancellor, for her proper place is with her husband, but he feared she would not. On the same occasion he also told me that Jules Favre — the head of the Provisional Government-had sent him the suggestion that, the Empire being gone, peace should be made and the Germans withdrawn, but that he (Bismarck) was now compelled to recogn
ted to me with twelve hundred mounted men. Having heard during the night that the enemy had halted on the mountain near the University — an educational establishment on the summit — I directed Watkins to make a reconnoissance and find out the value of the information. He learned that Wharton's brigade of cavalry was halted at the University to cover a moderately large force of the enemy's infantry which had not yet got down the mountain on the other side, so I pushed Watkins out again on the 5th, supporting him by a brigade of infantry, which I accompanied myself. We were too late, however, for when we arrived at the top of the mountain Wharton had disappeared, and though Watkins pursued to Bridgeport, he was able to do nothing more, and on his return reported that the last of the enemy had crossed the Tennessee River and burned the railroad bridge. Nothing further could now be done, so I instructed Watkins to rejoin the division at Cowan, and being greatly fatigued by the hard
was a little more than eight thousand men, organized in two divisions, commanded by Generals Wade Hampton and Fitzhugh Lee. Hampton's division was composed of three brigades, commanded by Generals Gordon, Young, and Rosser; Fitzhugh Lee's division comprised three brigades also, Generals W. H. F. Lee, Lomax, and Wickham commanding them. Information of this concentration, and of the additional fact that the enemy's cavalry about Hamilton's crossing was all being drawn in, reached me on the 5th, which obviated all necessity for my moving on that point as I intended at the onset of the campaign. The responsibility for the safety of our trains and of the left flank of the army still continued, however, so I made such dispositions of my troops as to secure these objects by holding the line of the Brock road beyond the Furnaces, and thence around to Todd's Tavern and Piney Branch Church. On the 6th, through some false information, General Meade became alarmed about his left flank, an
nd four of his best scouts to Burkeville Junction. There they were to separate, two taking the railroad toward Lynchburg and two toward Danville, and as soon as a telegraph station was reached the telegram was to be transmitted as it had been written and the provisions thus hurried forward. Although the Fifth Corps arrived atJettersville the evening of April 4, as did also Crook's and Merritt's cavalry, yet none of the army of the Potomac came up till about 3 o'clock the afternoon of the 5th, the Second Corps, followed by the Sixth, joining us then. General Meade arrived atJettersville an hour earlier, but being ill, requested me to put his troops in position. The Fifth Corps being already intrenched across the Amelia Court House road facing north, I placed the Sixth on its right and the Second on its left as they reached the ground. As the enemy had been feeling us ever since morning, to learn what he was up to I directed Crook to send Davies's brigade on a reconnoissance
the left flank of the army still continued, however, so I made such dispositions of my troops as to secure these objects by holding the line of the Brock road beyond the Furnaces, and thence around to Todd's Tavern and Piney Branch Church. On the 6th, through some false information, General Meade became alarmed about his left flank, and sent me the following note: headquarters Army of the Potomac, May 6, 1864-1 o'clock P. M. Major-General Sheridan, Commanding Cavalry Corps: Your despatch o's Tavern, a spirited fight for the possession of the crossroads at that point, participated in by the enemy's cavalry and Gregg's division, and two brigades of Torbert's division, the latter commanded by Merritt, as Torbert became very ill on the 6th, and had to be sent to the rear. To gain the objective point — the crossroads — I directed Gregg to assail the enemy on the Catharpen road with Irvin Gregg's brigade and drive him over Corbin's bridge, while Merritt attacked him with the Reserve
d would permit Lee's escape, and therefore must be changed, for it was not the aim only to follow the enemy, but to get ahead of him, remarking during the conversation that he had no doubt Lee was moving right then. On this same occasion Meade expressed a desire to have in the proposed attack all the troops of the Army of the Potomac under his own command, and asked for the return of the Fifth Corps. I made no objections, and it was ordered to report to him. When, on the morning of the 6th, Meade advanced toward Amelia Court House, he found, as predicted, that Lee was gone. It turned out that the retreat began the evening of the 5th and continued all night. Satisfied that this would be the case, I did not permit the cavalry to participate in Meade's useless advance, but shifted it out toward the left to the road running from Deatonsville to Rice's station, Crook leading and Merritt close up. Before long the enemy's trains were discovered on this road, but Crook could make but
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