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Isaac J. Wistar (search for this): chapter 16
d extent of Department minor expeditions pusillanimity of the government regarding Reprisals Wistar's attempted surprise of Richmond and capture of Davis frustrated advantages of occupying Bermuding some two thousand slaves and inflicting much damage upon the enemy. December 13, Brigadier-General Wistar sent a force from Williamsburg to Charles City Court-House and captured two companies oa surprise would carry the intrenchments around the city if the bridge could be seized, Brigadier-General Wistar, whose suggestion it was, was permitted to make the attempt with about three thousand min less than a week previous trusty men had traversed that road. It will be observed that General Wistar speaks of ulterior and specific objects. He was well instructed in them. The first and moseach him. If the city could have been reached, and the Union prisoners there added to our force, Wistar was instructed to hold on if possible, and I was ready to march with all my available command in
aptured two companies of rebel cavalry, being the outposts of Richmond. The force was gallantly led by Col. Robert West. The army being much in need of recruits, and Eastern Virginia claiming to be a fully organized loyal State, by permission of the President an enrolment of all the able-bodied loyal citizens of Virginia within my command was ordered for the purposes of a draft, when one should be called for in the other loyal States. This order was vigorously protested against by Governor Pierpont, and this was all the assistance the United States ever received from the loyal government of Virginia in defending the State. My predecessors in command had endeavored to recruit a regiment of loyal Virginians, but after many months of energetic trial, both by them and by myself, the attempt was abandoned. A company and a half was all the recruits that State would furnish to the Union, and these were employed in defending the lighthouses and protecting the loyal inhabitants from the
E. A. Wilde (search for this): chapter 16
was broken up. November 27, Colonel Draper, with the Sixth U. S. Colored Troops, made a successful raid into the counties lying on the sounds in Virginia and North Carolina, capturing and dispersing organized guerillas. December 4, Brigadier-General Wilde, at the head of two regiments of colored troops, overran all the counties as far as Chowan River, releasing some two thousand slaves and inflicting much damage upon the enemy. December 13, Brigadier-General Wistar sent a force from Withe fleet, under Acting Rear-Admiral Lee. Wilson's Wharf was seized and occupied by two regiments of colored troops. Fort Powhatan, seven miles above, was also occupied by a regiment of the same troops, all under the immediate command of Brig.-Gen. E. A. Wilde, who had remained in the service although he lost an arm at the battle of Gettysburg. General Hincks, with the remainder of his division, seized City Point and began fortifying it, while the white troops of the two corps pushed on to B
eneral Grant. The first stated that on Friday night Lee's army was in full retreat for Richmond, Grant pursuing; that Hancock had passed Spottsylvania Court-House, on the morning of the 8th; and that Fredericksburg was occupied by Federal forces.If Lee's army was in full retreat toward Richmond, Grant pursuing with his army on Friday night (the 6th) (not true), if Hancock had passed Spottsylvania Court-House on Sunday morning, the 8th (not true), if Grant, on that day, was on the march to j War stating that a despatch just received reported a general attack by Grant, in which great success was achieved; that Hancock had captured Maj.-Gen. Edward Johnson's division, and taken him and Early, and forty cannon, and that the prisoners werelts. . . . Early on the morning of the 2th a general attack was made on the enemy in position. The Second Corps, Major-General Hancock commanding, carried a salient of his line, capturing most of Johnson's division of Elwell's Corps and twenty piec
Andrew Johnson (search for this): chapter 16
ice, and he thought a man could not justify himself in leaving the army in the time of war to run for a political office. The general and myself then talked the matter over freely, and it is my opinion at this distance from the event that he suggested that a Southern man should be given the place. After completing the duty assigned by the President, I returned to Washington and reported the result to Mr. Lincoln. He seemed to regret General Butler's decision, and afterwards the name of Andrew Johnson was suggested and accepted. In my judgment Mr. Hamlin never had a serious chance to become the vice-presidential candidate after Mr. Lincoln's renomination was assured. Is Mr. Chase making any headway in his candidature? I asked. Yes, some; and he is using the whole power of the treasury to help himself. Well, said I, that is the right thing for him to do. Do you think so? said he. Yes. Why ought not he to do that if Lincoln lets him? How can Lincoln help letting
H. W. Wessels (search for this): chapter 16
any way which will be the most pleasant to you, but things cannot go on as they are. You see I think it is Lincoln's fault and not Chase's that he is using the treasury against Lincoln. Right again, said Cameron; I will tell Mr. Lincoln every word you have said. What happened after that is history. Preparations were pushed with vigor for the opening campaign. During the early days of April despatches came from General Peck that the enemy were preparing to attack Plymouth. General Wessels, in command there, however, whose gallant defence of the place is applauded, gave me his belief that the post could be held, if the navy could hold the river. Commander Flusser (who was a Farragut, wanting thirty years experience, and no higher praise can be given) was sure that he could meet the rebel iron-clad ram, and laughed to scorn the idea of her driving out his gunboats. An attack was made in the night of the 19th of April, by the rebel ram. Flusser was killed by the recoil of
Edwin M. Stanton (search for this): chapter 16
enemy, and Kilpatrick's men being recruiting from their march at Yorktown, I asked his aid to meet this advance, which was promptly and kindly given, and the movement of the enemy handsomely met and repulsed. When I had reported for duty to Mr. Stanton in obedience to his order to take command, he informed me of the probable importance of my department in the campaign of the coming spring and summer, in which would be a movement upon Richmond. Whereupon in all my spare moments I examined pallmore to move to his front and demonstrate against the railroad for that purpose. He reported to me that he did not make the movement for reasons which appeared to him perfectly satisfactory. On the same morning I received a telegram from Mr. Stanton, giving such information as the department possessed in regard to the operations of General Grant, a copy of which I at once sent to my two corps commanders, Generals Gillmore and Smith, accompanied by despatches urging upon them the necessity
T. H. Brooks (search for this): chapter 16
t the time. It was never an afterthought arising from his subsequent acts toward me, censuring either my military or political conduct. On the 7th General Smith struck the railroad near Port Walthall Junction, and began its destruction. Generals Brooks and Heckman of his corps had severe fighting, with some loss, but with more damage to the enemy. Colonel West, of the colored cavalry, had most successfully performed his march, having driven the enemy from the fords of the Chickahominy aetersburg was thus frustrated by information from headquarters through Washington which was in every substantial particular misleading and untrue. There was severe fighting on the night of the 9th, the enemy making an attack in force upon Generals Brooks and Heckman, but were handsomely repulsed. On the 10th the plan of withdrawal of the troops from Swift Creek was carried out without loss, and the railroad wholly destroyed for seven miles, under my personal supervision, there being no su
George Washington (search for this): chapter 16
ine of the Dismal Swamp Canal in Virginia, and by the aid of the gunboats, the Currituck, Albemarle, and Pamlico Sounds, Roanoke Island, Hatteras Bank, Morehead City, Beaufort, the line of railroad from New Berne, and the cities of New Berne, Plymouth, and Washington, and as much land as was fairly within the pickets of the garrison of those cities in North Carolina. Upon inspection of these several posts it appeared to me that holding Washington and Plymouth was useless, because, while Washington was distant from New Berne only about twenty miles, and Plymouth perhaps a less distance from Washington by land, the enemy held the intervening territory, and the only communication between these places was by water by travelling a distance of from 120 to 170 miles. This opinion was reported to the War Department, but no action was taken, and I did not feel at liberty to order the evacuation of either place. November 16, an expedition under Colonel Quinn, with 450 men of the One Hundre
were landed. The colored troops thus took the first possession of the James, and were intrusted with the duty of keeping open the water communications of the army, which duty was ever after fully done by them, although they were several times attacked by the enemy. We arrived about five o'clock in the evening. As soon as my boat had come to anchor one of my confidential scouts came off to it. He had been at Richmond some weeks, and he brought me a letter from my correspondent there, Miss Van Lieu. He stated that quite all the troops had gone from Richmond to Lee's army, relying upon that city being garrisoned by troops which had shortly before been sent down to North Carolina from there, and were expected back. But they had not yet returned, and if I would send up at once before it was known that I was there, Richmond could be taken without any difficulty. The Southern troops were expected very soon, so that the attack must be made at once. I placed the most implicit relian
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