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them who was disposed to be particularly talkative was brought in to headquarters, it being thought that the general might like to examine him in person. He was a tall, slim, shock-headed, comical-looking creature, and proved to be so full of native humor that I give the portion of his conversation which afforded us the most amusement. He, of course, did not know in whose presence he was as he rattled off his quick-witted remarks. What command do you belong to? asked the general. I'm in Early's corps, and I belong to a No'th Ca'lina reegiment, suh, was the reply. Oh, you re from North Carolina, remarked the general. Yes, said the prisoner, and a good deal fa'thah from it jes' now than I'd like to be, God knows. Well, where were you taken, and how did you get here? was next asked. How did I get h'yah! Well, when a man has half a dozen oa them thah reckless and desp'rit dragoons oa yourn lammin‘ him along the road on a tight run, and wallopin‘ him with the flats oa thah sabah
James H. Wilson (search for this): chapter 11
trees in the vicinity seemed to suggest such a name; but it was ascertained afterward that the name Cold Harbor was correct, that it had been taken from the places frequently found along the highways of England, and means shelter without fire. On May 28 Sheridan was pushed out toward Mechanicsville to discover the enemy's position, and after a sharp fight at Haw's Shop, drove a body of the enemy out of some earthworks in which it was posted. That night the Ninth Corps crossed the river. Wilson's cavalry division remained on the north side until the morning of the 30th to cover the crossing of the trains. General headquarters had crossed the Pamunkey on the pontoon-bridge in the afternoon of May 28, after a hard, dusty ride, and had gone into camp on the south side. In the mean time Lee had moved his entire army rapidly from the North Anna, and thrown it between our army and Richmond. On the morning of the 29th, Wright, Hancock, and Warren were directed to moye forward and ma
the culprit over the head with it, sending him sprawling to the ground. He always had a peculiar horror of such crimes. They were very rare in our war, but when brought to his attention the general showed no mercy to the culprit. Grant and Meade rode along the lines that day, and learned from personal observation the general features of the topography. About noon they stopped at Wright's headquarters, and the commander of the Sixth Corps gave the party some delicious ice-water. He had Wright had assumed command of the Sixth Corps at a critical period of the campaign, and under very trying circumstances; but he had conducted it with such heroic gallantry and marked ability that he had commended himself highly to both Grant and Meade. That night the variety of food at the headquarters mess was increased by the arrival of a supply of oysters received by way of White House. Shell-fish were among the few dishes which tempted the general's appetite, and as he had been living
would probably have occurred if they had been thrown against Lee's formidable intrenchments, and had had to fight a battle winstructions. In each of his three attempts to move close to Lee's troops and cross difficult rivers in his very face, Grant ield of operations. It seemed a little singular to him that Lee, after falling back behind the North Anna River, had allowedde Grant say at this time, and also write to the government: Lee's army is really whipped. . . . A battle with them outside o and had gone into camp on the south side. In the mean time Lee had moved his entire army rapidly from the North Anna, and trited fighting. The movement disclosed the fact that all of Lee's troops were in position on the north side of the Chickahom case move the whole army to the right, and throw it between Lee and Richmond. But this opportunity did not arise. On Ma corps to make a night march and move to Sheridan's relief. Lee, discovering this, ordered Anderson's corps to Cold Harbor.
W. S. Hancock (search for this): chapter 11
of the troops had made a good march, and soon after midday on May 28, Wright, Hancock, and Warren had crossed the river and gone into position about a mile and a harown it between our army and Richmond. On the morning of the 29th, Wright, Hancock, and Warren were directed to moye forward and make a reconnaissance in force, alogue, he was marched off to join the other prisoners. On May 30, Wright, Hancock, and Warren engaged the enemy in their respective fronts, which led to some ace enemy had made three attacks upon Warren, but had been handsomely repulsed. Hancock and Burnside had also been attacked, no doubt to prevent them from sending tro making such disposition of the troops as would best accomplish this purpose. Hancock was ordered to move after nightfall from the extreme right to the extreme left, and the dust stifling; but notwithstanding all the difficulties encountered, Hancock arrived at Old Cold Harbor on the morning of June 2, after a march of over twe
W. F. Smith (search for this): chapter 11
t that it was not improbable that the enemy would endeavor to throw troops around our left flank, in the hope of striking Smith a crushing blow before we could detach a force from the Army of the Potomac to prevent it. Sheridan was directed to watch for such a movement, and an infantry brigade was sent out early that morning to join Smith, and march back with him so as to strengthen his forces. General Grant said at this time: Nothing would please me better than to have the enemy make a moveen fighting desperately against great odds for about four hours. Grant had secured Old Cold Harbor, and won the game. Smith's corps consisted of 13,000 men. He left about 2500 to guard White House, and with the rest started for the front, reaching there at three o'clock in the afternoon of June 1. At five o'clock Wright's and Smith's commands advanced and captured the earthworks in their front, taking about 750 prisoners. The enemy had made three attacks upon Warren, but had been hand
cements could reach him. With his usual zeal and boldness, he now reoccupied the enemy's breastworks, dismounted his men, and determined to make a desperate struggle to hold the position against whatever force might be sent against him. Darkness set in, however, before the enemy made another assault. In anticipation of a hard fight for the possession of Cold Harbor, General Grant had ordered Wright's corps to make a night march and move to Sheridan's relief. Lee, discovering this, ordered Anderson's corps to Cold Harbor. On Sheridan's front during the night we could distinctly hear the enemy's troops making preparations for the next morning's attack, and could even hear some of the commands given by their officers. Soon after daylight on June 1 the assault began. Sheridan kept quiet till the attacking party came within a short distance of his breastworks, and then opened with a destructive fire, under which the enemy fell back in considerable confusion. He soon rallied, however,
H. W. Halleck (search for this): chapter 11
o strengthen his forces. General Grant said at this time: Nothing would please me better than to have the enemy make a movement around our left flank. I would in that case move the whole army to the right, and throw it between Lee and Richmond. But this opportunity did not arise. On May 30 the general headquarters had been established in a clearing on the north side of the Shady Grove road, about a mile and three quarters west of Haw's Shop. General Grant this day sent a despatch to Halleck at Washington saying: I wish you would send all the pontoon-bridging you can to City Point to have it ready in case it is wanted. As early as May 26 staff-officers had been sent from the Army of the Potomac to collect all the bridging material at command, and hold it in readiness. This was done in order to be prepared to cross the James River, if deemed best, and attack Richmond and Petersburg from the south side, and carry out the views expressed by Grant in the beginning of the Wilderne
John A. Rawlins (search for this): chapter 11
r to himself. He made no perceptible effort, and used his hands but little to aid him; he put his left foot in the stirrup, grasped the horse's mane near the withers with his left hand, and rose without making a spring, by simply straightening the left leg till his body was high enough to enable him to throw the right leg over the saddle. There was no climbing up the animal's side, and no jerky movements. The mounting was always done in an instant and with the greatest possible ease. Rawlins rode with the general at the head of the staff. As the party turned a bend in the road near the crossing of the Totopotomoy, the general came in sight of a teamster whose wagon was stalled in a place where it was somewhat swampy, and who was standing beside his team beating his horses brutally in the face with the butt-end of his whip, and swearing with a volubility calculated to give a sulphurous odor to all the surrounding atmosphere. Grant's aversion to profanity and his love of horses
the rest oa the week. He had derived this notion from the Spencer carbine, the new magazine-gun which fired seven shots in rapid succession. After this exhibition of his talent for dialogue, he was marched off to join the other prisoners. On May 30, Wright, Hancock, and Warren engaged the enemy in their respective fronts, which led to some active skirmishing, the enemy's skirmishers being in most places strongly intrenched. Burnside this day crossed the Totopotomoy. Early's (formerly Ewell's) corps moved out with the evident intention of turning our left, and made a heavy attack, but was repulsed, and forced to fall back, after suffering a severe loss, particularly in field-officers. About noon Grant received word that transports bringing W. F. Smith's troops from Butler's army were beginning to arrive at White House; and they were ordered to move forward at once, and join the Army of the Potomac. General Grant thought that it was not improbable that the enemy would endeav
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