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etired line. And who rides hither so placidly? It is General Humphreys: he has stolen off and, bless his old soul, has been having a real nice time, right in the line of battle! A pretty little fight, said he gingerly, a pretty little fight. He! he! he! Poor Potter! it wasn't his fault. Our extreme advance was driven back, but the day was a great success, with important strategic bearing. October 2, 1864 Taking up the narrative of the events of this day. The letter was written on the 6th. Abou Ben Butler had quite a stampede last night. Having got so far away from home, he conceived that the whole southern host was massed to crush him, and communicated the same with much eloquence, by the instrumentality of the magnetic telegraph; whereat Major-General Humphreys, Chief-of-Staff, had the brutality to laugh! We made our usual peregrination to Globe Tavern, where we got about 10 o'clock. Here General Meade sent me to look for a new camp, first enquiring if I felt well enoug
, 1864 Grant says I must write a report of the whole campaign, says the General, in the discontented voice of a schoolboy who has been set a long exercise. I can't write a report of the whole campaign. I don't remember anything about some of it. I'm all mixed up about the Tolopotomoy and the Pamunkey and the what-do-you-call-‘em Creek. Hence it came that I was requested to give him some extracts from my valuable archives, and I since have written a lot of notes for him, extending from May 4th to August 28th. He is very quick with his pen, is the General, and possesses a remarkable power of compressing a narrative and still making it clear and telling. November 6, 1864 I was remarking in my last, a week ago to-day, that General Meade spoke of being obliged to write his report. Yes! as you say, it is a pity he can't have some signal success. The Shaws need not be against him on the negros-oldier question, for if he has a bias, it is towards and not against them, and indeed
g hand more than from Meade. As to his being slow, it may be so; but I can't see that Grant, on whom rests this entire campaign, is any faster; yet he is a man of unquestioned military talent. If you knew, as I do, the number of men killed and wounded in this campaign from the Potomac Army alone, you would think that a strong opposition from the enemy had as much as anything to do with the want of crowning success thus far. To show what sort of work we have been through: at the assault of June 3d, at Cool Arbor, we lost, in four or five hours, 6000 men, in killed and wounded only. That is a specimen. Even in our move to the left, the other day, which some would call a reconnaissance, and others heavy skirmishing, we had a list of killed and wounded of not less than 1200. In fact, we cannot stir without losing more men than would make a big battle in the West, and the Rebels, if we have any chance at them, lose as many. Last Sunday, which I was just speaking of, was marked by t
August 28th (search for this): chapter 7
nt says I must write a report of the whole campaign, says the General, in the discontented voice of a schoolboy who has been set a long exercise. I can't write a report of the whole campaign. I don't remember anything about some of it. I'm all mixed up about the Tolopotomoy and the Pamunkey and the what-do-you-call-‘em Creek. Hence it came that I was requested to give him some extracts from my valuable archives, and I since have written a lot of notes for him, extending from May 4th to August 28th. He is very quick with his pen, is the General, and possesses a remarkable power of compressing a narrative and still making it clear and telling. November 6, 1864 I was remarking in my last, a week ago to-day, that General Meade spoke of being obliged to write his report. Yes! as you say, it is a pity he can't have some signal success. The Shaws need not be against him on the negros-oldier question, for if he has a bias, it is towards and not against them, and indeed it would go t
September (search for this): chapter 7
ad when undeceived. He recovered, however, when tendered a cocktail as a peace offering. Lyman's visit to the North proved longer than he expected. For, shortly after his arrival in Beverly, where Mrs. Lyman was passing the summer, he had an attack of malaria which kept him in bed for some time. According to the doctors, The northern air, with the late cool change, had brought to the surface the malaria in the system. Consequently, he was not able to rejoin the army until the end of September. Meanwhile, the gloom was lifting, that had settled on the North after the failure to take Petersburg. For Sherman's capture of Atlanta, and Sheridan's victories over Early in the Shenandoah, had somewhat changed the situation, although the Army of the Potomac still lay before Petersburg, where it hovered for many weary months.] Headquarters, Army of Potomac September 28, 1864 It is late; I am somewhat tired and sleepy; I must be up early to-morrow, and many friends keep coming in
September 29th (search for this): chapter 7
the left towards the Boydton plank road and south-side rail. The strategic object was two-fold: first, to effect threatening lodgments as near as possible to these points, gaining whatever we could by the way; and, secondly, to prevent Lee from reinforcing Early. --Lyman's Journal. I never miss, you see. Rosey drew me aside with an air of mystery and told me that the whole army was ordered to be packed and ready at four the next morning, all prepared to march at a moment's notice. Thursday, September 29. Headquarters contented itself by getting up about half-past 5, which was plenty early enough, as turned out. We rode down to General Hancock's about 9.30. He was camped not far from us, or had been, for now his tents were struck and packed, and there lay the familiar forms of Lieutenant-Colonel Morgan and Major Mitchell, on some boards, trying to make up for their loss of sleep. The cheery Hancock was awake and lively. We here were near the point of the railroad, which excited Ge
September 30th (search for this): chapter 7
y accounts of the operations on the left; desperate fighting, when there was only some trifling skirmish; our troops going to take Petersburg next morning, which indeed didn't enter their minds. Mr. Stanton (who, I will confess, beats everybody for inaccuracy) puts our forces on the south-side railroad! Even the Associated Press man, McGregor, makes such a hopeless muddle, that I despair of seeing any common observation in any one of them. However, here is your accurate account. Friday, September 30. At 8.30 in the morning, the General, with the combative Humphreys and all the Staff, rode towards the left, stopping of course at the irresistible Hancock's. At noon we got to Globe Tavern, which is some six miles from our old Headquarters. Crawford's division still held the works on the Weldon road, while Warren, with two divisions, followed by Parke, with two divisions of the 9th Corps, had moved out to the west, and already we could hear the Rebel artillery shelling our advance.
October 4th (search for this): chapter 7
ything was set, as he would say, for an advance by Griffin's and Ayres's divisions, while Willcox's and Potter's divisions of the 9th Corps were massed at the Gurley house, ready to support. General Gregg made an advance west of Reams' station, and was heavily attacked about 5 P. M., but repulsed them. Their artillery blew up one of his caissons and we could see the cloud of smoke suddenly rise above the trees. This was all for that day in the way of fighting. [Colonel Lyman wrote on October 4 the following paragraph:] October 4, 1864 To-day I have ridden along the new lines with the General, no fighting but a picket skirmish. I see by the papers funny accounts of the operations on the left; desperate fighting, when there was only some trifling skirmish; our troops going to take Petersburg next morning, which indeed didn't enter their minds. Mr. Stanton (who, I will confess, beats everybody for inaccuracy) puts our forces on the south-side railroad! Even the Associated Pr
te what we are doing now, going a couple of miles and fortifying, then going two more and fortifying again; then making a sudden rush, taking a position and a lot of cannon, and again fortifying that. All these moves being a part of what we may call a throttling plan. Their struggles, though often apparently successful, do them thus far no good. They flank us on the Weldon railroad and brush off 2000 prisoners: no use! we hold the road. They flank us again at the Pegram house, and capture 1000 more: no use; we hold the Pegram position and add it to former acquisitions. Then they flank Butler and get eight of his guns; but they have to go back, and Benjamin remains in what General Halleck terms a threatening attitude. . . . Yesterday, Loring, whom I saw over at General Parke's Headquarters, was speaking of the quaint ways of talking among soldiers. Their lines are at peace out there, and the soldiers don't fire; notwithstanding, some sharpshooters, with telescopic rifles, are post
tomac Army alone, you would think that a strong opposition from the enemy had as much as anything to do with the want of crowning success thus far. To show what sort of work we have been through: at the assault of June 3d, at Cool Arbor, we lost, in four or five hours, 6000 men, in killed and wounded only. That is a specimen. Even in our move to the left, the other day, which some would call a reconnaissance, and others heavy skirmishing, we had a list of killed and wounded of not less than 1200. In fact, we cannot stir without losing more men than would make a big battle in the West, and the Rebels, if we have any chance at them, lose as many. Last Sunday, which I was just speaking of, was marked by the arrival of one Alden, a rather dull Captain of the Adjutant-General's Department, who was however a welcome bird to the army, as he brought a large number of brevets for many deserving officers. . . . To my surprise there did appear, or reappear, Major Duane, who has taken to vis
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