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heridan faced him right about, and with two divisions of the Fifth Corps following, pushed back down the White Oak Road to attack the Claiborne flank,--where we had left it on the night of the thirty-first. Meantime, this morning of April 2d saw the splendid and triumphant assault of our army upon the outer Petersburg defenses. Humphreys, learning of this at about nine o'clock, attacked the works in his own front along the eastern end of the White Oak Road, defended by McGowan's, MacRay's, Scales', and Cook's Brigades of Hill's Corps commanded by Heth, and forced them out of their works by their right flank towards the Claiborne Road. Humphreys followed them up with his two divisions, and receiving word from Miles that he was returning towards him, ordered the whole Second Corps to pursue the enemy along the Claiborne Road towards Sutherland's Station with a view to cutting off the retreat of the fugitives from Wright's and Ord's attacks, and closing in on Petersburg. Sheridan, ar
Shakespeare (search for this): chapter 7
very field where by unanimous consent the enemy's main force could have been crushed, and in fact was broken away with less complete results by Miles' gallant fight, Sheridan came perilously near-so near in truth that the difference is inappreciable by the human mind — to being found not in the fight, by reason of the far-reaching effect of his recoil from the suddenly appearing Humphreys, who rose upon him at the crowning moment when he gave Miles permission to open the crushing fight. Shakespeare puts it: Ay, now, I see 'tis true; For the blood-bolter'd Banquo smiles upon me, And points at them for his. It is a relief to resume the plain account of our pursuit of tangible beings evading Five Forks. It seems like passing from war to peace. Early on the morning of the 2d our cavalry drew off northwesterly from the Ford Road crossing of Hatcher's Run to cut off some rebel cavalry reported to have made a push in that direction. Sheridan having returned from the Claiborne Ro
Phil Sheridan (search for this): chapter 7
nly a curious conjuncture that both Meade and Sheridan should be pulling away from Miles' high-toned Miles to his proper command. If so, why did Sheridan give Miles permission to attack at Sutherlandself says in his Memoirs (vol. II., p. 451), Sheridan then took the enemy at Sutherland's Station, ked for the night on the ground which he with Sheridan had so handsomely carried by assault. It wastioned whether the movement we did make under Sheridan's direction and Grant's authority and orders to attack the enemy in position there, while Sheridan with the cavalry should take the direction Me only in the one fight at Sailor's Creek, and Sheridan did not get sight of it again,not even in theof the armies. Moreover, for that one fight, Sheridan complains that although Wright obeyed his ord find at every crossing some hot vanguard of Sheridan or Humphreys or Wright or Griffin, or at last on a tree-top. Now we reach a spot where Sheridan had burst across the flying column and left [65 more...]
Algernon Sidney (search for this): chapter 7
uage: deeplier significant the more one ponders it. We have the high authority of General Adam Badeau that this is the stuff of which commanders are made. That is,--self-effacement and renunciation at the behest of a rival! We are not so sure about this definition of the proper stuff for the composition of commanders; but certainly this message is an almost sublime utterance of a gentleman and a patriot,--an unselfish and magnanimous man. To my mind, it seems like the last words of an Algernon Sidney or a Montrose: The noblest place where man can die is where he dies for man. In this same spirit he rises from his couch of suffering and passing his troops upon the road, finds his Fifth Corps in advance of Sheridan's cavalry, square across the Danville Railroad, faced towards Lee's then approaching army, and asks Sheridan to place the rest of the Army of the Potomac, as it comes up, in such order of battle as Sheridan may think proper, and trusting that all will be done in the spir
Joe Smith (search for this): chapter 7
ming their flowing lines of battle with silver coffee-pots and sugarbowls thumping at their saddle-straps, and when they rallied in return to see their front fluttering with domestic symbols, and even favors of the boudoir, as if a company of troubadours had dismounted a squadron of crusaders between Joppa and Jerusalem. But it was with a joy deeper far than merriment that I came in touch with our splendid old First Maine Cavalry, famed for manhood and soldierhood then and ever since, with Smith at their head straight and solid and luminous as a lighthouse. Sheridan, however, wished to move up and attack Lee, even before the other corps got up to us. Meade, having arrived in person in advance of even the Second Corps, was unwilling to move out without the other corps to attack Lee with forty thousand men in hand and in position,--if the reports which Sheridan relied upon were true. This decision of Meade, Badeau says, was much to Sheridan's mortification. Still all he could do
Gustave Sniper (search for this): chapter 7
ly on the morning of the 2d our cavalry drew off northwesterly from the Ford Road crossing of Hatcher's Run to cut off some rebel cavalry reported to have made a push in that direction. Sheridan having returned from the Claiborne Road with the rest of the Fifth Corps, at about noon our column moved out, my own command in the advance, down the Ford Road. At Hatcher's Run a vigorous demonstration of the enemy's skirmishers to prevent our crossing was soon dislodged by a gallant attack by Colonel Sniper with the 185th New York. Throwing forward a strong skirmish line, in command of Colonel Cunningham of the 32d Massachusetts, we pressed on for the Southside Railroad. Hearing the noise of an approaching train from the direction of Petersburg, I pushed forward our skirmishers to catch it. A wild, shriek of the steam-whistle brought our main line up at the double-quick. There we find the train held up, Cunningham mounted on the engine pulling the whistle-valve wide open to announce the
Sutherland (search for this): chapter 7
emplated movement on the Claiborne flank and Sutherland's, having apprised General Meade of his intery respectable company of Confederates about Sutherland's as if they were not fit for their seeing. enemy could at the time have been crushed at Sutherland's depot. I returned to Five Forks, and marc Sheridan give Miles permission to attack at Sutherland's? And why, if the smashing up of the rebel he afternoon, have come within two miles of Sutherland's and of Miles fighting, on the Cox Road wesr as a direct participator in the victory at Sutherland's. He allows Badeau to speak to this effect. the Southside Railroad, within two miles of Sutherland's, and was tearing up the rails there. Our ears to have had no difficulty in getting by Sutherland's at that hour. I was now directed to ads and protect that flank which looked toward Sutherland's, and advanced briskly upon the opposing liof a branch of Hatcher's Run a mile short of Sutherland's. Here my command was held in line and on t[1 more...]
Appomattox (Virginia, United States) (search for this): chapter 7
ther up their wounded lying between the lines, which were only a few hundred yards apart. Lee's answer comes back within an hour, not offering to surrender but asking the terms that would be given in such case. In the course of the night, as might have been anticipated, Lee retires, making all possible dispatch for Lynchburg, the Second Corps by daylight in close pursuit, followed by the Sixth. We, of course, knew nothing of this at the time; but only of what was going on in the road to Appomattox. For our part, on the morning of the 8th the Fifth Corps moved out at six o'clock, pressing with all our powers to outflank Lee's march. This morning I received a wholesome lesson of the results of inattention. In crossing Buffalo River, my horse had a pardonable desire to take a drink. I let him advance half his length into the water, knee-deep or more,--which I thought enough; but with that unaccountable instinct of a drinking horse (or other fellow) to get further in, to take an
Burkesville (Kentucky, United States) (search for this): chapter 7
ke his report to him until positively ordered to do so by the Lieutenant-General himself. Lee had got ahead of us; we were mortified at that. But he found his way a hard road to travel. His hope was now to get to the Danville junction at Burkesville, where he expected rations, and possibly a clear road to Danville or Lynchburg. So he pushes the heads of his flying columns along the roads running between the Southside and the Appomattox, a path traversed by many and difficult streams, onl old flag borne forward by farther-seeing men held its potency not only in the history of the past but for the story of the future. General Ord with the Army of the James by hard marches after splendid fighting in the old lines had reached Burkesville on the evening of the 5th, and on the morning of the 6th was directed to destroy the High Bridge and all other bridges which might be used by Lee in the direction of Danville or Lynchburg. This Ord proceeded to do with promptitude and vigor.
High Bridge (Kentucky, United States) (search for this): chapter 7
seventeen hundred prisoners. After this defeat, Gordon pushed his retreat to High Bridge, a crossing of the Appomattox five miles below Farmville. Meantime EwellMahone's Divisions following, crossed to the north side of the Appomattox at High Bridge, five miles below Farmville. Our Second Corps closely followed, reaching th Corps had moved from Sailor's Creek at daylight, and at 9.50 had arrived at High Bridge. A singular movement is now put into effect, the purpose of which to ordinaconfronting Longstreet and Gordon on the opposite side of the river, between High Bridge and Farmville, that the Sixth and Twenty-fourth Corps are at hand, and that rps, if he struck quickly, before the Fifth could have got over the river at High Bridge, and the Sixth and Twenty-fourth could have come around from Farmville by th to get across Lee's track. Could our army that morning in easy reach of High Bridge have been rapidly concentrated according to Humphreys's earnest suggestion,
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