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not to run his head against heavy works, if it could be avoided. Dana's despatches throw but little light upon the abandonment of this policy, and yet it is certain that it had not escaped his observation. He records the fact that the order to attack on the morning of the 2d had not been carried into effect, and that Grant, at 2 P. M., had postponed it on account of heat and dust and the fatigue of Hancock's men till 4 A. M. the next day. Dana gives a full account of the fighting on the 3d, but it was all costly and abortive. The order of battle from left to right was Hancock, Wright, Smith, Warren (in single line), with Burnside massed in rear of his right wing. Sheridan with two divisions of cavalry was on the extreme left, while Wilson with one division was well beyond and behind the enemy on the extreme right; but there was no coherence or co-operation between the various parts of the extended line. Indeed, singular as it may seem, none was provided for in the order of ba
gn, it at once became a question of absorbing interest as to who was responsible for it all. After having attacked Lee's left flank in rear, I closed in upon the infantry, and for the first time in ten days found myself within reach of Grant's headquarters. Dana made his way to my bivouac on the evening of June 4th, and after dining with me on coffee, hardtack, roasted wheat, and fried bacon, told me the story of the marches and battles as he had learned it from personal observation. On the 7th, after conference with Grant, Meade, and Humphreys, I had conversations with Rawlins, Dana, Comstock, Porter, and Babcock, during which each gave me interesting details of what had taken place. On the afternoon of the 8th Dana and Rawlins came to my camp near Long Bridge and remained to dinner, during which they took me completely into their confidence. They not only told me the story of the marches and battles substantially as I have condensed it above, but they did more: they gave me the
or that period cover all the important operations in that field, and show that All goes on like a miracle ; that the weather is cloudy, threatening rain, but I think we shall get everything out of the Chickahominy bottom upon the highlands along the James River before any trouble from that source. Singularly enough, he added, We know nothing of Lee's movements. He has not yet sent troops to Petersburg. He reports later that Smith was to have attacked the last-named place at daylight on the 15th, that at 4 P. M. he had carried a line of intrenchments, and that at 7.20 P. M. he assaulted and carried the principal line before Petersburg. In the same despatch he tells us that he had ridden over the conquered lines with Grant, and found them to be more difficult even to take than was Missionary Ridge ; that none of Lee's army had reached Petersburg when Smith stormed it, but that they seemed to be there the morning afterwards, making arrangements to hold the west side of the Appomattox
nerals were becoming more and more cautious, and their men were more and more reluctant to attack the enemy when covered by intrenchments. By May 20th Sheridan with his cavalry had regained touch with the army, and thenceforth, till he was again detached, contributed greatly to the success of Grant's effective manoeuvres. Both officers and men approved their wisdom, and greatly preferred them to the smash-'em-up policy which, unfortunately, again became the cry a few days later. On the 26th Dana, after giving a detailed account of the day's operations, closed his despatch with these significant words: One of the most important results of the campaign thus far is the entire change which has taken place in the feelings of the armies. The rebels have lost all confidence, and are already morally defeated. This army has learned to believe that it is sure of victory. Even our officers have ceased to regard Lee as an invincible military genius. On part of the rebels this chan
nger one to take his place. His own cabinet contained two candidates, the Senate several, and the army one at least. The Democratic party had pronounced the war a failure, and so long as Lee remained unvanquished there was a show of reason in their contention. It was absolutely essential that Lee should be beaten and that the Confederacy should be overthrown, and to that end every resource of the government was placed at the disposal of Grant. The forward movement in Virginia began on May 4th, with an effective force of one hundred and twenty thousand men, and only two days after that the desire of both Stanton and Lincoln for the fullest details of the marches and battles became irresistible. Grant, who was habitually reticent, had no time for details, and hence they sent for Dana, who was found at a reception, but who made haste to present himself, although in evening clothes. They told him they had been in the dark since the army began its movement, were greatly troubled,
ject more fully, but it was not till the kind-hearted President was assured that both Dana and his escort were equipped for running away, if they found themselves confronted by a party which they could not fight successfully, that he dismissed them with, Good-night, and God bless you! At seven o'clock on the morning of May 7th they reached the Rappahannock, where they had breakfast. The same afternoon Dana reported to Grant at Piney Branch Church, and notwithstanding the heavy fighting of May 5th and 6th, in the almost impenetrable jungles of the Wilderness, he found the army moving slowly but successfully towards Spottsylvania Court-House. This of itself was a momentous fact, which he reported at once to Washington. Hitherto the Army of the Potomac, which now constituted Grant's main command and principal dependence, had not fought its battles through. It had had ample time to rest and recruit, and had been heavily reinforced. Its cavalry had been reorganized and placed under
fully, but it was not till the kind-hearted President was assured that both Dana and his escort were equipped for running away, if they found themselves confronted by a party which they could not fight successfully, that he dismissed them with, Good-night, and God bless you! At seven o'clock on the morning of May 7th they reached the Rappahannock, where they had breakfast. The same afternoon Dana reported to Grant at Piney Branch Church, and notwithstanding the heavy fighting of May 5th and 6th, in the almost impenetrable jungles of the Wilderness, he found the army moving slowly but successfully towards Spottsylvania Court-House. This of itself was a momentous fact, which he reported at once to Washington. Hitherto the Army of the Potomac, which now constituted Grant's main command and principal dependence, had not fought its battles through. It had had ample time to rest and recruit, and had been heavily reinforced. Its cavalry had been reorganized and placed under Sheridan.
his clothes, but the dangerous project still weighed heavily on the President's mind, and although the night was well advanced he sent for Dana again. They went over the subject more fully, but it was not till the kind-hearted President was assured that both Dana and his escort were equipped for running away, if they found themselves confronted by a party which they could not fight successfully, that he dismissed them with, Good-night, and God bless you! At seven o'clock on the morning of May 7th they reached the Rappahannock, where they had breakfast. The same afternoon Dana reported to Grant at Piney Branch Church, and notwithstanding the heavy fighting of May 5th and 6th, in the almost impenetrable jungles of the Wilderness, he found the army moving slowly but successfully towards Spottsylvania Court-House. This of itself was a momentous fact, which he reported at once to Washington. Hitherto the Army of the Potomac, which now constituted Grant's main command and principal d
f Lee's retirement; the prevalence of rain; the fatigue of the army; the second successful assault by the intrepid Upton; the massing of the army in compact formation to cover Fredericksburg, and to resist counter-attack; the continuance of rainy weather and bad roads; the concentration of Lee's army around the Court-House, covering the road from Fredericksburg to Richmond; the withdrawal of Lee's trains to Guiney's Station; a full statement of the killed, wounded, and missing, amounting on May 16th to a grand total of 36,872; the arrival of the first reinforcements; another order to attack at daylight, which was not obeyed; an order for a further decisive movement towards the left; a sudden but unsuccessful return to the right; the gallantry of the new heavy artillery troops; and finally the success of the turning movement which compelled the enemy to withdraw towards Richmond, and enabled Grant to advance to Guiney's Station. From this place to Cold Harbor the operations of the co
wed great resolution and persistency, and tie prompt and unerring precision with which Lee interposed his army between him and Richmond, I need not analyze them day by day. They make it clear that Lee carefully avoided giving battle in the open, and that his army thenceforth fought mostly behind breastworks, while on the other hand Grant and his generals were becoming more and more cautious, and their men were more and more reluctant to attack the enemy when covered by intrenchments. By May 20th Sheridan with his cavalry had regained touch with the army, and thenceforth, till he was again detached, contributed greatly to the success of Grant's effective manoeuvres. Both officers and men approved their wisdom, and greatly preferred them to the smash-'em-up policy which, unfortunately, again became the cry a few days later. On the 26th Dana, after giving a detailed account of the day's operations, closed his despatch with these significant words: One of the most important r
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