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rmy of Butler at Fort Monroe was his left, Meade's army the center, and mine at Chattanooga his right. Butler was to move against Richmond on the south of James River, Meade straight against Lee, intrenched behind the Rapidan, and I to attack Joe Johnston and push him to and beyond Atlanta. This was as far as human foresight could penetrate. Though Meade commanded the Army of the Potomac, Grant virtually controlled it, and on the 4th of May, 1864, he crossed the Rapidan, and at noon of the 5th attacked Lee. He knew that a certain amount of fighting, killing, had to be done to accomplish his end, and also to pay the penalty of former failures. In the wilderness there was no room for grand strategy, or even minor tactics; but the fighting was desperate, the losses to the Union army being, according to Phisterer, 18,387, Later official compilation, 17, 666.--editors. to the Confederate loss of 11,400--the difference due to Lee's intrenchments and the blind nature of the country in
etter by General Sherman to the editor, printed in that periodical for July, 1887. the figures in the text are from Phisterer's Statistical record. (Charles Scribner's Sons.) by William T. Sherman, General, U. S. A. On the 4th day of March, 1864, General U. S. Grant was summoned to Washington from Nashville to receive his commission of lieutenant-general, the highest rank then known in the United States, and the same that was conferred on Washington in 1798. He reached the capital on the 7th, had an interview for the first time with Mr. Lincoln, and on the 9th received his commission at the hands of the President, who made a short address, to which Grant made a suitable reply. He was informed that it was desirable that he should come east to command all the armies of the United States, and give his personal supervision to the Army of the Potomac. On the 10th he visited General Meade at Brandy Station, and saw many of his leading officers, but he returned to Washington the next
, who made a short address, to which Grant made a suitable reply. He was informed that it was desirable that he should come east to command all the armies of the United States, and give his personal supervision to the Army of the Potomac. On the 10th he visited General Meade at Brandy Station, and saw many of his leading officers, but he returned to Washington the next day and went on to Nashville, to which place he had summoned me, then absent on my Meridian expedition. On February 3d, 186ays Johnston abandoned the strongest possible position and was in full retreat for the Chattahoochee River. We were on his heels; skirmished with his rear at Smyrna Church on the 4th day of July, and saw him fairly across the Chattahoochee on the 10th, covered and protected by the best line of field intrenchments I have ever seen, prepared long in advance. No officer or soldier who ever served under me will question the generalship of Joseph E. Johnston. His retreats were timely, in good orde
ned to Washington the next day and went on to Nashville, to which place he had summoned me, then absent on my Meridian expedition. On February 3d, 1864, General Sherman started from Vicksburg with two columns of infantry under Generals McPherson and Hurlbut, and marched to Meridian, Mississippi, to break up the Mobile and Ohio and the Jackson and Selma railroads. His force was about 20,000 strong. A force of cavalry, 10,000 strong, under General W. Sooy Smith, set out from Memphis on the 11th, intending to cooperate by driving Forrest's cavalry from northern Mississippi, but Smith was headed off by Forrest and defeated in an engagement at West Point, Mississippi, on the 21st. After destroying the railroads on the route, General Sherman abandoned the enterprise, and on February 20th put his troops in motion toward central Mississippi, whence they were transferred, later, to Vicksburg and Memphis.--editors. On the 18th of March he turned over to me the command of the Western armies
icksburg with two columns of infantry under Generals McPherson and Hurlbut, and marched to Meridian, Mississippi, to break up the Mobile and Ohio and the Jackson and Selma railroads. His force was about 20,000 strong. A force of cavalry, 10,000 strong, under General W. Sooy Smith, set out from Memphis on the 11th, intending to cooperate by driving Forrest's cavalry from northern Mississippi, but Smith was headed off by Forrest and defeated in an engagement at West Point, Mississippi, on the 21st. After destroying the railroads on the route, General Sherman abandoned the enterprise, and on February 20th put his troops in motion toward central Mississippi, whence they were transferred, later, to Vicksburg and Memphis.--editors. On the 18th of March he turned over to me the command of the Western armies, and started back for Washington, I accompanying him as far as Cincinnati. Amidst constant interruptions of a business and social nature, we reached the satisfactory conclusion that, a
m of the war. Hood's losses were 15,000 men to Thomas's 3057. Therefore at the end of the year 1864 the conflict at the West was concluded, leaving nothing to be considered in the grand game of war but Lee's army, held by Grant in Richmond, and the Confederate detachments at Mobile and along the sea-board north of Savannah. Of course Charleston, ever arrogant, felt secure; but it was regarded by us as a dead cock in the pit, and fell of itself when its inland communications were cut. In January Fort Fisher was captured by a detachment from the Army of the Potomac, aided by Admiral Porter's fleet, and Wilmington was occupied by Schofield, who had been brought by Grant from Nashville to Washington and sent down the Atlantic coast to prepare for Sherman's coming to Goldsboro‘, North Carolina,--all converging on Richmond. Preparatory to the next move, General Howard was sent from Savannah to secure Pocotaligo, in South Carolina, as a point of departure for the north, and General Sl
February 20th (search for this): chapter 5.35
ssippi, to break up the Mobile and Ohio and the Jackson and Selma railroads. His force was about 20,000 strong. A force of cavalry, 10,000 strong, under General W. Sooy Smith, set out from Memphis on the 11th, intending to cooperate by driving Forrest's cavalry from northern Mississippi, but Smith was headed off by Forrest and defeated in an engagement at West Point, Mississippi, on the 21st. After destroying the railroads on the route, General Sherman abandoned the enterprise, and on February 20th put his troops in motion toward central Mississippi, whence they were transferred, later, to Vicksburg and Memphis.--editors. On the 18th of March he turned over to me the command of the Western armies, and started back for Washington, I accompanying him as far as Cincinnati. Amidst constant interruptions of a business and social nature, we reached the satisfactory conclusion that, as soon as the season would permit, all the armies of the Union would assume the bold offensive by concent
rmy dependent on wagons can operate more than a hundred miles from its base, because the teams going and returning consume the contents of their wagons, leaving little or nothing for the maintenance of the men and animals at the front, who are fully employed in fighting; hence the necessity to forage liberally on the country, a measure which fed our men and animals chiefly on the very supplies which had been gathered near the railroads by the enemy for the maintenance of his own armies. The March to the sea was in strategy only a shift of base for ulterior and highly important purposes. Many an orator in his safe office at the North had proclaimed his purpose to cleave his way to the sea. Every expedition which crossed the Ohio River in the early part of the war headed for the sea; but things were not ripe till the Western army had fought, and toiled, and labored down to Atlanta. Not General William T. Sherman at Atlanta. From a photograph. till then did a March to the sea b
, under General W. Sooy Smith, set out from Memphis on the 11th, intending to cooperate by driving Forrest's cavalry from northern Mississippi, but Smith was headed off by Forrest and defeated in an engagement at West Point, Mississippi, on the 21st. After destroying the railroads on the route, General Sherman abandoned the enterprise, and on February 20th put his troops in motion toward central Mississippi, whence they were transferred, later, to Vicksburg and Memphis.--editors. On the 18th of March he turned over to me the command of the Western armies, and started back for Washington, I accompanying him as far as Cincinnati. Amidst constant interruptions of a business and social nature, we reached the satisfactory conclusion that, as soon as the season would permit, all the armies of the Union would assume the bold offensive by concentric lines on the common enemy, and would finish up the job in a single campaign if possible. The main objectives were Lee's army behind the Rapida
ded for life, and demonstrated a power in the National Government which was irresistible. Therefore, in March, 1865, but one more move was left to Lee on the chessboard of war: to abandon Richmond; make junction with Johnston in North Carolina; fall on me and destroy me if possible — a fate I did not apprehend; then turn on Grant, sure to be in close pursuit, and defeat him. 3ut no! Lee clung to his intrenchments for political reasons, and waited for the inevitable. At last, on the 1st day of April, General Sheridan, by his vehement and most successful attack on the Confederate lines at the Five Forks near Dinwiddie Court House, compelled Lee to begin his last race for life. He then attempted to reach Danville, to make junction with Johnston, but Grant in his rapid pursuit constantly interposed, and finally headed him off at Appomattox, and compelled the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia, which for four years had baffled the skill and courage of the Army of the Potomac a
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