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Browsing named entities in Oliver Otis Howard, Autobiography of Oliver Otis Howard, major general , United States army : volume 1.

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me, with so little experience, go with raw troops so far away from the corps as the Rappahannock. Sumner called me in and said that he feared to let me make the reconnoissance. Instantly I begged him to try me. I showed my night work, my preparation, and my safe plan, and said: General, you will never regret having trusted me. Suddenly, with that fierce determination which we always saw him have in battle, he said: Gol go l And I am sure I let no moments waste in setting off. All day, March 29th, covered with a good infantry skirmish line, and scouting broadly with our cavalry, I marched my regiment steadily forward by these means and by the occasional use of the battery from hill to hill driving my old friend's (Stuart's) forces beyond the Rappahannock. My personal friend, Captain George W. Hazzard, commanding the battery, greatly aided in accomplishing the purposes of the expedition. For a while Hazzard had been the colonel of an Indiana regiment, but he left it alleging th
the old time with the new. I record that on March 28, 1864, Sherman again arrived at Chattanooga and went on the next day to Knoxville. There was a newspaper rumor that the Eleventh and Twelfth Corps would be sent back east to the Army of the Potomac. I then wrote: I do not expect we shall go back, because I do not see how we can be spared from this army. I am rather anticipating Jolmston's undertaking some game before long. If he take the initiative he may bother us considerably. March 29th I rode over from Lookout Valley to Chattanooga and paid a visit to General Thomas. In the course of conversation I inquired of him why he did not take a brief leave before the active operations should commence and visit his friends in the North. Oh, he said, I cannot leave; something is sure to get out of order if I go away from my command. It was always so, even when I commanded a post. I had to stick by and attend to everything, or else affairs went wrong. The escaping slaves
ly up the left bank of the York River before Johnston's arrival and before his enemy's reenforcement. That was McClellan's opportunity. On April 1st in all the land satisfactory results were not wanting. The Confederacy had been pushed into narrower limits along its whole northern frontier and along the Mississippi, and important Atlantic and Gulf Coast positions had been captured. In the face of many disasters to the Confederate cause there was much discouragement at Richmond. On March 30th General Robert E. Lee was put in command of all the Confederate armies, but was not expected to go into the field himself. This left General Joseph E. Johnston to command only in our front on the peninsula. A letter from Richmond said: The President (Davis) took an affectionate leave of him (Johnston) the other day; and General Lee held his hand a long time and admonished him to take care of his life. There was no necessity for him to endanger it as had just been done by the brave Al
ecretary of War, and hold him and his corps for a time at Falmouth and Fredericksburg. Could McClellan instinctively have comprehended all this, he doubtless would have been chary of his entreaties and beseechings for more force, would have masked the Confederate troops near Yorktown with a good division, and pushed the remainder of his army rapidly up the left bank of the York River before Johnston's arrival and before his enemy's reenforcement. That was McClellan's opportunity. On April 1st in all the land satisfactory results were not wanting. The Confederacy had been pushed into narrower limits along its whole northern frontier and along the Mississippi, and important Atlantic and Gulf Coast positions had been captured. In the face of many disasters to the Confederate cause there was much discouragement at Richmond. On March 30th General Robert E. Lee was put in command of all the Confederate armies, but was not expected to go into the field himself. This left General
l is now universally lamented. This gallant Confederate commander, once away from Richmond in the turmoil of battle, fogot that affectionate warning. Here, then, we have McClellan and Johnston, each set apart to manipulate a single army — the one the Army of the Potomac and the other the Army of Northern Virginia--no wider range and view demanded of them than a single field of operation and the two contending armies. As McClellan stepped ashore near Fortress Monroe the afternoon of April 2d, Admiral Goldsboro was out in Hampton Roads with his fleet; the entrance to York River was then clear enough of foes, but a terrible soreness was afflicting that naval squadron. There was a waning confidence in wooden vesselsl Only a few days back the long'dreaded Confederate ironclad, the Merrimac, had come like a gigantic, allpowerful monster and destroyed the Congress and the Cumberland and disabled the Minnesota and sent a large percentage of our naval force to the bottom. Nothing but
oined in the singing. It was a pleasure to see the men cross a fordable stream-frequent in that part of Virginia. They waded creeks fifty feet wide. Sometimes, to forestall grumbling and set an example, I dismounted and walked ahead to the farther bank. The regimental bands played during the passage and the soldiers, without elongating the column, marched straight through the waters. In crossing Broad Run the water was high and came up to our hips. We reached Alexandria on April 4th, three days after McClellan's departure for Fortress Monroe. The transports were already on hand, so that we could not stay to refit as I had hoped, but marched at once on board. Here our division commander, General Richardson, for the first time joined his division. He was a large, fleshy man, generally careless in his attire and toilet; an officer who knew him said: He is inclined to lie abed in the morning. I soon, however, learned to prize him for his pluck and energy that came out in battl
and all joined in the singing. It was a pleasure to see the men cross a fordable stream-frequent in that part of Virginia. They waded creeks fifty feet wide. Sometimes, to forestall grumbling and set an example, I dismounted and walked ahead to the farther bank. The regimental bands played during the passage and the soldiers, without elongating the column, marched straight through the waters. In crossing Broad Run the water was high and came up to our hips. We reached Alexandria on April 4th, three days after McClellan's departure for Fortress Monroe. The transports were already on hand, so that we could not stay to refit as I had hoped, but marched at once on board. Here our division commander, General Richardson, for the first time joined his division. He was a large, fleshy man, generally careless in his attire and toilet; an officer who knew him said: He is inclined to lie abed in the morning. I soon, however, learned to prize him for his pluck and energy that came out
as we steamed down the broadening river. Personally, having been much wearied with the care and movement of the troops,I did enjoy that short voyage. The rest was sweet and more precious when that night, after all but the sentinels and a few officers were asleep, I sat down with pen and paper to think of home. It had been almost a year of absence from the precious little group there! A startling question not so restful closed my revery: When shall I see them again? Saturday evening, April 5th, brought us to the place of debarkation and I sent two regiments ashore. This was Ship Point intended just then for the main depot of supplies for the army. A dim twilight survey of this landing and the vicinity was my first introduction to the Virginia peninsula. The landscape in the fading light appeared delightful-small openings amid variegated forests generally level, and the roads smooth and promising. A few days later I recorded: The ground is almost all quicksand. I have worke
in the German language at the removal of Sigel, who merely wanted to have his command properly increased, and that I was not at first getting the earnest and loyal support of the entire command. But for me there was no turning back. I brought to the corps several tried officers: for example, General Barlow, to command one brigade in Von Steinwehr's division, and General Adelbert Ames to take a brigade. I had the command drilled and reviewed as much as could be done in a few weeks. On April 8th the corps of Couch, Sickles, Meade, and Sedgwick were reviewed by President Lincoln, accompanied by General Hooker. There was a column of about 70,000 men, and it must have taken over two hours and a half for them to pass the President. It was the largest procession until the last review before President Andrew Johnson in 1865. Mrs. Lincoln came down from Washington, and the President's two sons were at the grand review. The smaller, Tad, rode a beautiful pony, and was noticeable for hi
es and mothers who never could see why their husbands and sons should fight for the Federal Government, were far happier than they had been for six months because they were now full of hope for a victory and then a speedy return in joy. It is good for us that we cannot trump up all the consequences to the atoms we jostle and displace. Sorrow, sickness, wounds, and a harvest of death were ahead, but nobody but our farseeing President had then caught the glimpse of a fatal symptom spot. On April 9th he wrote to McClellan: I always insisted that going down to the bay in search of a field instead of fighting at or near Manassas, was only shifting and not surmounting a difficulty; that we should find the same enemy and the same or equal intrenchments at either place. Mr. Lincoln instinctively felt that the true objective all the time was not Richmond but Johnston's army. After we had finished the bridge building across the Accotink we had returned to Camp California and settled
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