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Pamunkey (Virginia, United States) (search for this): chapter 25
right of their line were but four miles distant from it. To understand the posture of affairs at this time it is necessary to form an intelligible idea of the locality and of the positions occupied by the rival armies. Richmond is situated at what may be considered the head of the Yorktown peninsula. On the south side the peninsula is washed by the James River; on the north, by the York River, to within seventy miles of the capital. The York River is continued by its tributary the Pamunkey River, which approaches within a few miles of the capital. At the foot of the peninsula, where the James flows into Chesapeake Bay, are Newport News and Hampton Roads. So much for the general geography of the Richmond peninsula, as shown on ordinary maps. The approaching battle-fields may be represented by an imaginary square, the sides of which indicate the four quarters. At the bottom or south will be Richmond, and the rear of our army; the upper side, or north, will represent the rea
Williamsburg (Virginia, United States) (search for this): chapter 25
t discretion. Every inducement was held out by Johnston to draw the enemy from their works and woods into the open space before us, but his endeavors were unavailing. At length it became known to our commanders that McClellan designed moving his left and centre nearer to us, and it was determined to attack him before his heavy masses could be brought up in proper order. Several reconnoissances were made to test the truth of the information we had received, and it was also confirmed by the daily reports of our pickets. In due time all doubt was removed. General Casey drove in our pickets, and camped on the Williamsburgh road, within a mile of us; the left centre and centre of the enemy down the railway and Nine Mile Road were at the same time thrown forward, and every appearance indicated that they meant to precipitate an action. In this attitude of expectation I must leave the two armies for a short time, in order to follow the fortunes of Jackson in — the Shenandoah Valley
Virginia (Virginia, United States) (search for this): chapter 25
thstanding the efforts of Government to prepare for the approaching conflict, the ominous look of large packing-boxes on the pavements, and the removal of iron safes, led thousands to believe the army would evacuate Richmond, and perhaps give up Virginia also, as untenable. Many conveyed property to the interior, and there existed a feverish excitement among the little merchants. Jews and Germans were converting every thing into cash at ruinous rates of discount, sometimes paying four hundred own, and no notice taken of it by our authorities. The idea of giving up Richmond was heart-breaking, but so doubtful were appearances that it was not until Governor Letcher, in an audience with President Davis, had been positively assured that Virginia should not be given up, but defended until the streets of Richmond ran with blood, that any certainty was felt regarding ministerial measures. When the Governor rehearsed the substance of his interview with the President to the assembled Legisl
York (Virginia, United States) (search for this): chapter 25
nd is situated at what may be considered the head of the Yorktown peninsula. On the south side the peninsula is washed by the James River; on the north, by the York River, to within seventy miles of the capital. The York River is continued by its tributary the Pamunkey River, which approaches within a few miles of the capital. York River is continued by its tributary the Pamunkey River, which approaches within a few miles of the capital. At the foot of the peninsula, where the James flows into Chesapeake Bay, are Newport News and Hampton Roads. So much for the general geography of the Richmond peninsula, as shown on ordinary maps. The approaching battle-fields may be represented by an imaginary square, the sides of which indicate the four quarters. At the bo. Our loss from all causes was great, but not a tenth of this number. The transports of the enemy brought immense supplies of every kind up to the head of the York River, (West-Point,) and depots were numerous up the Pamunkey, being easily supplied thence to the army by excellent roads, and the York River railroad, which Johnsto
Mechanicsville (Virginia, United States) (search for this): chapter 25
stream at Bottom's Bridge. From Richmond there are five roads which cut the Chickahominy at right angles, in the following order, from west to east: the Brook (or Hanover Court-house) Turnpike; the Mechanicsville Turnpike, (the village of Mechanicsville being on the north side of the river, and the headquarters of Fitz-John Porter, commanding the Federal right wing;) the Nine Mile Road; York River Railroad; the Williamsburgh Road; the Charles City Road; and the Darbytown Road. From the curvwas not more than four miles from Richmond; that of their left about seven miles. McClellan did not attempt to push his left and centre across the Chickahominy until more than a week after the tents and flags of his right were seen around Mechanicsville; in fact, the weather was unsuitable, and the proposed line of formation was in an unhealthy swamp of woods and fields. The circumstances left McClellan no choice. Between Richmond and the Chickahominy there is an insensible fall of the lan
Fortress Monroe (Virginia, United States) (search for this): chapter 25
firing, however, was hotly maintained, but, as our position was on a bluff, their shell passed overhead, and did but trifling damage. This lasted for several hours, when the discomfiture of the foe was so complete, that all their gunboats and iron-clads withdrew in disgust, and never troubled us again. From Northern accounts we learned that not less twenty gunners were killed in, one iron-clad alone, and several boats so much shattered internally, that they were quietly taken down to Fortress Monroe for repairs, and members of the press were forbidden to visit or inspect them. It was admitted that our shore batteries had fully repulsed them, and this acknowledgment from men accustomed to the falsification of facts speaks volumes for our success. Notwithstanding the efforts of Government to prepare for the approaching conflict, the ominous look of large packing-boxes on the pavements, and the removal of iron safes, led thousands to believe the army would evacuate Richmond, and
going to give up Richmond like every thing else, and will continue to fall back until we are all swimming in the Gulf of Mexico. There was not the slightest trepidation observable in the Government offices; all things went on as usual, and President Davis took his evening ride as placidly as ever. It was seen, however, that the enemy could never come up the river to Richmond, for heavy works had been hastily erected and mounted at Drury's Bluff. The immense raft was considered impregnable; h very secretly accomplished, the thing was known, and no notice taken of it by our authorities. The idea of giving up Richmond was heart-breaking, but so doubtful were appearances that it was not until Governor Letcher, in an audience with President Davis, had been positively assured that Virginia should not be given up, but defended until the streets of Richmond ran with blood, that any certainty was felt regarding ministerial measures. When the Governor rehearsed the substance of his inter
mans were converting every thing into cash at ruinous rates of discount, sometimes paying four hundred dollars in paper for one hundred dollars in cash; while others of their brethren changed goods into tobacco, which they stowed away in cellars, preparatory to McClellan's arrival; though very secretly accomplished, the thing was known, and no notice taken of it by our authorities. The idea of giving up Richmond was heart-breaking, but so doubtful were appearances that it was not until Governor Letcher, in an audience with President Davis, had been positively assured that Virginia should not be given up, but defended until the streets of Richmond ran with blood, that any certainty was felt regarding ministerial measures. When the Governor rehearsed the substance of his interview with the President to the assembled Legislature, a popular outburst of feeling ensued: all swore to reduce the place to ashes rather than surrender, and the faces of all were flushed with patriotic pride as t
Abraham Lincoln (search for this): chapter 25
the Chickahominy number of troops on either side McClellan advances. At this period the Conscript law came into operation, and there was much grumbling among such as fell under its provisions. Those who had been in the army at all, for however short a period, were not averse to remaining in the ranks; for they knew absolute necessity alone had compelled Congress to pass such a law, and if liberty was to be gained, it must be by great sacrifices of individual convenience and pleasure. Lincoln had called out seventy-five thousand men at the commencement of the war, and having received every additional man the States offered, he had now an army of not less than seven hundred thousand in the field. There was little opposition made in our several States to the call of the President; some thought, indeed, the act was an unconstitutional one; yet the men were rapidly supplied, and discussion deferred until times of peace. Accordingly, when Johnston had fallen back to his line of def
Fitz-John Porter (search for this): chapter 25
e Chickahominy at right angles, in the following order, from west to east: the Brook (or Hanover Court-house) Turnpike; the Mechanicsville Turnpike, (the village of Mechanicsville being on the north side of the river, and the headquarters of Fitz-John Porter, commanding the Federal right wing;) the Nine Mile Road; York River Railroad; the Williamsburgh Road; the Charles City Road; and the Darbytown Road. From the curve of the river across our front, our left and the enemy's right rested on the n were daily employed in throwing up earthworks, building new or repairing old roads, felling timber to uncover our front, and locate his divisions, so that for a few days scarcely a shot was exchanged by pickets, save on our left, and there Fitz-John Porter's sharpshooters and our own were blazing away night and day. As it was for some time considered probable that the enemy would attempt to force the James, our right was extended two miles towards it; but after the repulse at Drury's Bluff, th
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