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Turkey Creek (Virginia, United States) (search for this): chapter 8
plateau, and extends about a mile and a half in width and three-quarters of a mile in depth. On the highest ground there is an old-fashioned Virginia house, of brick, in one story. Trees standing thickly supply it with grateful shade. Behind the house, the ground falls away as abruptly as at the Highlands of the Hudson, and the delighted eye ranges over miles and miles of level country, profusely clothed with an almost tropical vegetation, and watered by the James, the Appomattox, and Turkey Creek. It is a scene of rare loveliness and peace; and gunboats, seemingly sleeping at their moorings on the gleaming river, half seen through the screen of foliage, added on that day to the air of repose which brooded over the whole landscape. But no stronger contrast could be presented than by the scene in front. On those broad slopes, in triple concentric lines, with the guns in the intervals and on the higher ground in the rear, the weary Army of the Potomac was rapidly ranging itself.
Williamsburg (Virginia, United States) (search for this): chapter 8
d marched to the swamp, which he crossed at Brackett's Ford. Thus the rear-guard was weakened by the loss of nearly fifteen thousand men, and the situation of General Sumner appeared critical. His position, however, was good, and the troops excellent. The whole of the 2d Corps, said to be the only corps in the army which has never to this day lost a gun or a color, was there, with one division of Franklin's corps. About four o'clock the enemy commenced his attack in large force by the Williamsburg road, which here runs nearly parallel to the railroad. The enemy's left was supported by their boasted iron-clad railroad battery, mounted, according to their newspapers, with a rifled thirty-two. The attack was gallantly met. General Burns, commanding the front line, rendered special service. The reserves were successively sent forward, and the action continued with great obstinacy till after eight in the evening, when the enemy were driven from the field and into the woods beyond, wh
Cold Harbor Creek (Virginia, United States) (search for this): chapter 8
taken, in an arc of a circle, covering the approaches to our bridges of communication. The first line was composed of the divisions of Morell and Sykes, the former on the left, the latter on the right. The division of McCall was posted in reserve, and fifteen companies of cavalry under General Cooke were in rear of the left. The battle-ground was a rolling country, partly wooded and partly open, extending from the descent to the Chickahominy on the left, and curving around, in rear of Coal Harbor, towards the river again. Our artillery was posted on the commanding ground, and in the intervals between the divisions and brigades; and the slope towards the river, on our left, was also swept by the fire of four batteries, one of them of siege-guns, on the right bank of the river. General Stoneman's movable column, comprising most of our cavalry and some picked troops of the other arms, which had been cut off by the rapid advance of Jackson, fell back on White House, and rendered no
Glendale, Va. (Virginia, United States) (search for this): chapter 8
ht on Monday, June 30, is known by the name of the battle of Glendale, or Nelson's Farm. It is a little difficult to be understood, for two reasons. In the first place, the troops of the 2d and 3d Corps were so divided that the army may be said on that day to have been without its corps organization, and to have been an army of divisions, and those divisions, in several instances, were separated from their usual connection. In the second place, though the sharpest fighting was in or near Glendale, yet there was fighting along a line of about five miles, extending from White Oak Swamp to Malvern Hill, and lasting from noon till after dark. The first attack was made on Franklin's position, which was assailed by a concentrated fire of artillery. A very fierce and obstinate artillery-combat took place here, and there was also some infantry-fighting. Our men suffered severely; but repeated attempts of the enemy to cross the swamp were unsuccessful, and General Franklin held the posi
England (United Kingdom) (search for this): chapter 8
nduct campaigns so admirably in their armchairs, and dispose of brigades and divisions as easily as they fold and label their letters — would strive to mangle him with their pens,--weapons more cruel than the tiger's claw or the serpent's tooth,--and point out what he should have done, and should not have done, to have escaped the shame and disgrace of retreating before a rebel foe. Sir John Moore, dying in the arms of victory at the close of a successful retreat, said, I hope the people of England will be satisfied: I hope my country will do me justice. His country, in time, did justice to that great man. Sooner or later, the world comes round to see the truth and do the right; and for the coming of that time General McClellan can afford to wait. But the saddest of all experiences for a commanding general is to lose the confidence of his army. That cup was never put to General McClellan's lips. His soldiers were intelligent enough to understand what he had done, and generous en
Quaker (West Virginia, United States) (search for this): chapter 8
the Pennsylvania Reserves, prolonged our line to the left, crossing the New Market road, and General Hooker's division of the 3d Corps was on the left of McCall. General Sumner, with Sedgwick's division in reserve, was in rear of McCall, on the Quaker road. The first attempt of the enemy was made on Slocum's left; but it was checked by his artillery, and abandoned. Then, passing to their right, the enemy made a fierce onslaught on General McCall, His division speedily gave way, with loss of general officers and guns, and the enemy pressed on so vigorously that their musketry proved fatal on the Quaker road. The centre of our army was nearly pierced, the main road of communication almost in the enemy's power. At this critical moment Sumner hurried to the front some regiments of Sedgwick's division, just returned at the double quick from White Oak Swamp, to which they had been marched in order to support Franklin. A gallant advance was made; Sumner's artillery opened sharply. The
Fairview (Georgia, United States) (search for this): chapter 8
were intended to operate upon the enemy's positions and batteries opposite, or to defend the bridges which connected the two wings of the army. Some of the bridges built by our troops were of no use to us, because the enemy held the debouches, or ground that commanded the road, on the right bank. We could use, on the 25th of June, the following: Bottom's bridge, in rear of our left, and between five and six miles from its front; the railroad bridge; Sumner's upper bridge; Woodbury's, Alexander's, and Duane's bridges. These last afforded a very direct communication between the two wings of the army. As our operations against Richmond were conducted along the roads leading to it from the east and northeast, Bottom's bridge was of little direct service to us. Most of the supplies for the troops on the right bank of the river were brought up by the railroad and over the railroad bridge. As it was now certain that the army was not to be strengthened by any reinforcements from McD
Harrison's Landing (Virginia, United States) (search for this): chapter 8
ng about eleven thousand men, arrived on the 12th and 13th; but these were the only reinforcements that General McClellan received till after the retreat to Harrison's Landing. General McDowell was at this time on the Rappahannock, with about forty thousand men, including McCall's division. He expected to join General McClellal McClellan had made arrangements to have transports, with supplies of provisions and forage, under a convoy of gunboats, sent up James River. They reached Harrison's Landing in time to be of use to the army on its arrival there. Two considerations had led him to adopt this course. First, in case of an advance on Richmond, our a further movement was ordered as soon as the enemy were finally repulsed. By the morning of the following day the whole army was marching rapidly towards Harrison's Landing, on the James River. As there was but one main road, it was necessary to crowd it to its utmost capacity with artillery and cavalry, while the infantry wen
Fredericksburg, Va. (Virginia, United States) (search for this): chapter 8
ahannock, with about forty thousand men, including McCall's division. He expected to join General McClellan, and was most desirous of doing so; for on the 10th of June he wrote to the latter, saying, For the third time I am ordered to join you, and hope this time to get through. * * * * I wish to say I go with the greatest satisfaction, and hope to arrive with my main body in time to be of service. McCall goes in advance, by water. I will be with you in ten days with the remainder, by Fredericksburg. On the 12th he wrote again to General McClellan, telling him that he shall not be with him on so early a day as he had previously announced, but still expecting to join him. It would have been an easy four days march for McDowell's corps to have made the desired junction with the Army of the Potomac; but the junction never was made, and on the 27th of June the corps of McDowell, Fremont, and Banks were consolidated into one body, called the Army of Virginia, and put under the command o
Washington (United States) (search for this): chapter 8
works were delayed, and the labors and exposures of the men greatly increased, by the incessant rains. General McClellan's communications to the authorities at Washington show how he was tried and baffled by the obstinately bad weather. On the 4th of June he telegraphs to the President, Terrible rain-storm during the night and ms not a man to lose any time, and that, sooner or later, he would be a formidable element of danger on our right flank. His communications to the Government at Washington are full of earnest, almost passionate, entreaties for reinforcements, and in them he restates the reasons why he deems it important that his hands should be st had said, in a telegraphic message to the Secretary of War, If I save this army now, I tell you plainly that I owe no thanks to you, or to any other persons in Washington. You have done your best to sacrifice this army. That army he had saved; and the army was conscious of it. But there was nothing of triumph in his own mind; f
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