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August 29th (search for this): chapter 6
have written Cortlandt Cortlandt Parker, brother of William Parker. about it, but I fear the news of his disappearance got into the papers before my letter reached him, as I received a telegram to-day from his father enquiring about it. I sent up my sword and fixings, but at the request of our express agent, it is to be exhibited for a short time at Galt's jewelry shop, in Washington. September 5, 1863. Have you seen a very bitter article in Wilkes's Spirit of the Times, of August 29th? For article mentioned, see Appendix F. He says the victory of Gettysburg was due entirely to the strength of the position and the heroic bravery of the common soldiers, and was entirely independent of any strategy or military ability displayed by any general from the senior down. He then charges me with imbecility and timidity, and says the Army of the Potomac never can do anything so long as so many incompetent men are at the head of it. The only consolation I have, is that censure
September 1st (search for this): chapter 6
she has given up St. Louis, her native place, but Grant told me the other day he intended to keep his family in Philadelphia for the next few years, probably for the education of his children. I think we shall be quiet for some time, unless the enemy attacks, which I hardly think probable. Butler is away now, but when he returns I shall make an effort to get off for a few days, to have a peep at you and the children; but don't rely too much on my coming. General Meade left camp on September 1, and arrived at his home in Philadelphia on the 3d. He left Philadelphia on September 7, and arrived at Washington on the 8th. War Department, September 8, 1864. I have been received with the greatest kindness both by the President and Mr. Stanton. At my request, Willie's Brother of Mrs. Meade. appointment was immediately made out and given to him, and Mr. Stanton said I might rest assured my major-generalcy would in due time be given me. I am very much hurried and leave this
September 7th (search for this): chapter 6
d to keep his family in Philadelphia for the next few years, probably for the education of his children. I think we shall be quiet for some time, unless the enemy attacks, which I hardly think probable. Butler is away now, but when he returns I shall make an effort to get off for a few days, to have a peep at you and the children; but don't rely too much on my coming. General Meade left camp on September 1, and arrived at his home in Philadelphia on the 3d. He left Philadelphia on September 7, and arrived at Washington on the 8th. War Department, September 8, 1864. I have been received with the greatest kindness both by the President and Mr. Stanton. At my request, Willie's Brother of Mrs. Meade. appointment was immediately made out and given to him, and Mr. Stanton said I might rest assured my major-generalcy would in due time be given me. I am very much hurried and leave this afternoon at six. Headquarters army of the Potomac, September 10, 1864. I reached h
November 1st (search for this): chapter 6
mber the greater part were worthless foreigners, who are daily deserting to the enemy. These are sad facts. I remember you were struck last winter with my telling the Councils of Philadelphia that this army, of whose fighting qualities there seemed to be a doubt, had lost, from official records, from April, 1862, to December, 1863, one hundred thousand, killed and wounded. I have now an official document before me in manuscript, being my report of the campaign from the Rapidan to the 1st of November, and it has a list of casualties showing the enormous number of ninety thousand men, killed, wounded and missing. All this is strictly confidential, as I would be condemned for telling the truth; but when people talk to me of ending the war, I must tell them what war is and its requirements; because you can then see how much prospect there is of finishing it, by forming your own judgment of the adaptation of the means to the end. No, my good friend, this war is not going to be ended ti
over, with the result I expected, and now I hope no time will be lost in regulating the army. I trust, now the election is over, measures will be taken to raise men to fill our ranks, and no time should be lost, as I don't think we can count on more than a month of good weather. To-be-sure, we can and doubtless will stay here all winter; and being so near each other, may manage to keep fighting on. But I don't think any operations involving any movement can be had after the beginning of December. Headquarters army of the Potomac, November 11, 1864. I note all you write of dear Sergeant, Son of General Meade. and of his condition. It is hard for me to know that he continues so sick, and that I cannot be with you to assist in taking care of him and in trying to keep up his courage and spirits. I never doubted Sergeant's firmness of purpose and moral courage. He had too often exhibited these qualities in the highest degree. I fully sympathize with you in your anxiety, but
December 25th (search for this): chapter 6
the ambition to prove myself a good soldier, and intend to try to afford evidences of this to the last. Major Jim Biddle has gone on leave; so you will hear all the latest news from the camp. Headquarters army of the Potomac, December 20, 1863. As to the Christmas box you ask about, it is hardly necessary to send it, as the Frenchman who messes me provides me liberally with everything, and these boxes are very expensive. I expect you will have your hands full with the children at Christmas, and I think you had better throw into this fund the amount you would expend on me for a box and mufti. I have had several visitors recently. One was the Chevalier Danesi, a young Sardinian officer, who has come to this country with a view of serving in our army. The other was an English gentleman, from Liverpool, an original Union man, who desired to see our army in the field. Danesi brought me a letter from McClellan, and the Englishman one from Mr. Seward, Secretary of State. The
December 30th (search for this): chapter 6
g Emory has also gone, to get married, and talks of trying to get a commission of colonel in Hancock's new corps. Mason has got a leave, and Lyman I let go also, so that headquarters are a good deal changed. I think the Confederacy is beginning to shake, and if we only can get the three hundred thousand men the President has called for, and they prove good fighting men, I believe next summer we will conquer a peace, if not sooner. God grant it may be so! General Meade left camp on December 30, for Philadelphia, where he arrived on December 31. He left Philadelphia on January 9. Headquarters army of the Potomac, Tuesday Evening, January 10, 1865. I reached City Point at 6 P. M. to-day. I found the cause of my recall to be as I expected. General Grant had received information of Lee's sending off two divisions of troops, and was, and is, under the impression that it is the commencement of the evacuation of Richmond. Should this prove to be the case, or should Lee materi
December 31st (search for this): chapter 6
trying to get a commission of colonel in Hancock's new corps. Mason has got a leave, and Lyman I let go also, so that headquarters are a good deal changed. I think the Confederacy is beginning to shake, and if we only can get the three hundred thousand men the President has called for, and they prove good fighting men, I believe next summer we will conquer a peace, if not sooner. God grant it may be so! General Meade left camp on December 30, for Philadelphia, where he arrived on December 31. He left Philadelphia on January 9. Headquarters army of the Potomac, Tuesday Evening, January 10, 1865. I reached City Point at 6 P. M. to-day. I found the cause of my recall to be as I expected. General Grant had received information of Lee's sending off two divisions of troops, and was, and is, under the impression that it is the commencement of the evacuation of Richmond. Should this prove to be the case, or should Lee materially weaken his force, we will take the initiative,
ith General Halleck upon this point, he pushing me on, and I informing him I was advancing as fast as I could. The firm stand I took had the result to induce General Halleck to tell me to act according to my judgment. For correspondence between Halleck and Meade see Appendix B. I am of opinion that Lee is in a strong position and determined to fight before he crosses the river. Map: parts of Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia, covered by the operations of the army of the Potomac from 1861 to 1865. I believe if he had been able to cross when he first fell back, that he would have done so; but his bridges being destroyed, he has been compelled to make a stand, and will of course make a desperate one. The army is in fine spirits, and if I can only manage to keep them together, and not be required to attack a position too strong, I think there is a chance for me. However, it is all in God's hands. I make but little account of myself, and think only of the country. The telegr
December, 1861 AD (search for this): chapter 6
mmanded, so frequently forms the burden of the letters immediately following, that it is desirable to supply the basis upon which the statements in those letters were founded, and to add corroborative facts, unknown even to General Meade himself. The nation and posterity, as the highest earthly tribunals to which a man may appeal, shall judge whether, so far as General Meade is concerned, this arraignment is without just cause. The joint committee was authorized by act of Congress in December, 1861. It was composed of three members of the Senate and four of the House of Representatives, and instructed to examine into the conduct of the war. It was continued through successive Congresses, until after the close of the war, nearly the same members as originally appointed serving throughout its whole existence—certainly the controlling members. The greatest number were selected from the dominant party, and from the extreme wing of that party. The Army of the Potomac unfortunately
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