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December 3rd, 1864 AD (search for this): chapter 6
speaks by authority and for a purpose. I have no objection to this being arranged, so long as the essential point, justice to me, is conceded. I had a visit this evening from Dr. McEuen who is here to take away his son Charles, who is major of the One Hundred and Ninetyeighth Pennsylvania, and who is now quite sick with fever. The doctor seems in good spirits and not much changed, except being considerable greyer than I used to see him years ago. Headquarters army of the Potomac, December 3, 1864. I received the two volumes of the Army and Navy Review (British) and have read with great interest Captain Chesney's critique of the battle of Gettysburg. It is decidedly the most impartial account of this battle that I have read, and I think does more justice to my acts and motives than any account by my countrymen, including the grand address of Mr. Everett. What has struck me with surprise is the intimate knowledge of many facts not made very public at the time, such as Slocum
December 6th, 1864 AD (search for this): chapter 6
am from the Secretary and my reply, which will show you the vexed question is at last settled. Much of the gratification that ought justly to accompany such a reward has been destroyed by the manner of doing it; so that what might have been a graceful compliment became reduced to a simple act of justice. Well, let us be satisfied with this, and believe it was more a want of knowledge how to do such things than any unfriendly feeling which caused it. Headquarters army of the Potomac, December 6, 1864. To-night my commission, or rather letter of appointment, as major general in the regular army, to date from August 18th, 1864, has arrived. George Son of General Meade. has also received the appointment of major, by brevet, for gallantry and meritorious conduct on the campaign. Jim Biddle is also made lieutenant colonel, by brevet, for the same reasons. These appointments do not give them any increase of pay, but are an acknowledgment of the performance of their duty, and as
April 1st, 1865 AD (search for this): chapter 6
Headquarters army of the Potomac, March 29, 1865. To-day we have made a movement to our left, and I am to-night in new headquarters, having abandoned the pleasant quarters you were in. The enemy attacked Griffin's Division about 5 P. M., but were handsomely repulsed. I regret, however, to announce the death of Dr. McEwen's son, who fell in this affair. I have telegraphed Jim Biddle to announce this event to the doctor, for whom I feel deeply. Headquarters army of the Potomac, April 1, 1865. We have been moving and fighting the last three days, and I have not gone to bed till after one and two in the morning, and then up at five. We have had considerable fighting with the enemy out of his works, into which we have invariably driven him; but when there he is too strong for us, and the farther we go round to our left, we still find a formidable entrenched line. I think, however, we will this time reach the Southside Railroad, and if we do so, I should not be surprised i
April 3rd, 1865 AD (search for this): chapter 6
so, I should not be surprised if Lee evacuated his Petersburg lines and withdrew north of the Appomattox. Should he remain in them, he will have to stretch out so far that we may find a chance to pierce him. Your brother Willie was wounded yesterday, not dangerously, as I telegraphed you. He left this morning, and I sent George Son of General Meade. to accompany him to City Point, and if necessary to Philadelphia. Jim Biddle arrived yesterday. Headquarters army of the Potomac, April 3, 1865. The telegraph will have conveyed to you, long before this reaches you, the joyful intelligence that Petersburg and Richmond have fallen, and that Lee, broken and dispirited, has retreated towards Lynchburg and Danville. We have had three glorious days, the fighting not so severe as much we have done before, but in the results. We are now moving after Lee, and if we are successful in striking him another blow before he can rally his troops, I think the Confederacy will be at an end.
January 9th (search for this): chapter 6
l 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, and for this contingency I was requi
December 18th, 1864 AD (search for this): chapter 6
cated from the American public mind, notwithstanding the experience of four years in which they have from day to day seen its plans and hopes and fears dissipated by facts. I don't anticipate either Grant or his campaign will be attacked in Congress. In the first place he has too many friends; in the next place, Congress having legislated him into his present position, he can only be removed by their act, and that would be stultifying themselves. Headquarters army of the Potomac, December 18, 1864. I am glad you saw Major Smith and liked him. I found him very intelligent and amiable. I gave him a letter to Oliver Hopkinson, as he wanted to see some duck-shooting; but I believe he found some one in Baltimore who put him in the way of having some sport. I knew that Captain Chesney was the instructor of engineering at the Military College of Woolwich, but was not aware that his service had been confined to this duty. We have all been greatly delighted at the good news from
December 16th, 1864 AD (search for this): chapter 6
ng me with a date which caused me to rank, as it was originally intended I should. So that, what ought to have been an acceptable compliment, became eventually a simple act of justice due to my remonstrance. Still, I ought to be and am satisfied and gratified, because I think it quite probable we are both of us placed far beyond our merits. I am afraid you will tire of so much personality and think I am greatly demoralized. To Mrs. George G. Meade:Headquarters army of the Potomac, December 16, 1864 I received this evening your letter of the 14th inst., having received day before yesterday the one dated the 12th. I am sorry the good public should have been disappointed in the result of Warren's expedition, but the facts are, as I stated them, he accomplished all that he went for, namely, the destruction of some eighteen miles of the Weldon Railroad. This passion of believing newspaper and club strategy will I suppose never be eradicated from the American public mind, notwit
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
December 20th, 1864 AD (search for this): chapter 6
ted back to-morrow. The change of affairs in Tennessee will render his presence there unnecessary. An expedition sailed the other day from Fortress Monroe, composed of the fleet and a detachment of troops. Grant took these from Butler's army, intending Weitzel should command them; but much to every one's astonishment, Butler insisted on going, and did go, with the expedition. Mrs. Lyman has sent me a Christmas present of a box of nice cigars. Headquarters army of the Potomac, December 20, 1864. I have had a hard day to-day. This morning Messrs. Chandler and Harding, of the Senate, and Loan and Julian, of the House, all members of the Committee on the Conduct of the War, made their appearance to investigate the Mine affair. They gave me a list of witnesses to be called, from which I at once saw that their object was to censure me, inasmuch as all these officers were Burnside's friends. They called me before them; when I told them it was out of my power, owing to the ab
February 7th, 1865 AD (search for this): chapter 6
the result of their visit no one knows. At the present moment, 8 P. M., the artillery on our lines is in full blast, clearly proving that at this moment there is no peace. I fear there is not much chance of any agreement between the contending parties until more decided successes are gained on our side. I would have liked to have sent a few lines to Johnny Wise by the Commissioners, but they went up the river, and did not pass through my lines. Headquarters army of the Potomac, February 7, 1865. I have not written you for several days, owing to being very much occupied with military operations. Day before yesterday to prove war existed, whatever might be the discussions about peace, I moved a portion of my army out to the left. The first day the enemy attacked Humphreys, who handsomely repulsed him. The next day (yesterday) Warren attacked the enemy, and after being successful all day, he was towards evening checked and finally compelled to retrace his steps in great diso
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