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dependent command, numbered at this time not far from 140,000 men of all arms.—Swinton's Campaigns of the Army of the Potomac. In case this plan failed, his alternatld of battle rule the hearts of troops with a potent and irresistible mastery.—Swinton's Campaigns of the Army of the Potomac. It might naturally be expected that ifder of battle was simple, and was to all the corps—Attack all along the line. Swinton's Campaigns of the Army of the Potomac. We pass along the road quite prompt o'clock, when night shutting down on the darkling woods, ended the struggle.—Swinton's Twelve Decisive Battles. At early dawn we were back again in the ploughed fiat the word maneuver, and said, Oh! I never maneuver. —Army of the Potomac. Swinton. A point had been found in the right-centre of the enemy's line, that was consys of moving about, and changing positions. No mere general statement, says Swinton, very truly, can give any idea of the enormous amount of labor, suffering,
clover; lowing herds, and the perfume of blossoms, and the song of summer birds; homesteads of the Virginia planter (everything on a large and generous scale), and great ancestral elms, dating back to the time before our forefathers learned to be Rebels. Coming, as the army so lately did, from where the tread of hostile feet for three years had made the country bare and barren as a threshing-floor, the region through which it now passed seemed a very Araby the Blest. Army of the Potomac. Swinton. The barns and sheds were filled with tobacco in various stages of curing, to which lovers of the weed freely helped themselves. A short halt was made at Guiney's Station; then, pressing on, we arrived at Bowling Green about noon, thirsty and dusty. This is a small settlement, forty-five miles north of Richmond, having in 1860 a white population of 237. There was not an able-bodied white man to be seen, but women, children, and negroes abounded. Some of the women were communicati
roops, like Barlow's gained a position far in advance of the one they started from, and close to the enemy. Hancock's corps, the only portion of the Yankee army that had come in contact with the Confederate works, had been hurled back in a storm of fire.—Third Year of the War. Edward A. Pollard. The story of the Second Corps is the story of the Sixth and Eighteenth that assaulted at the same time. They were repulsed most disastrously at every point. The following statement is made by Mr. Swinton on p. 487, Army of the Potomac, and has been adopted by many subsequent writers. Harper's Pictorial History of the Rebellion discredits it. Others have denied it. Some hours after the failure of the first assault, Gen. Meade sent instructions to each corps commander to renew the attack. . . . . . . But no man stirred, and the immobile lines pronounced a verdict, silent yet emphatic, against further slaughter. During the afternoon we fired only at long intervals, lying pretty low,
iary. Tuesday morning, June 14th, the troops began to cross the river, being transported in steamboats of varied description, that the government had assembled here in large numbers for that purpose. A pontoon was begun in the forenoon at Cole's Ferry, a short distance below the Landing, and finished at midnight This bridge was considered a remarkable achievement in pontoon engineering, it being two thousand feet long, and the channel boats being anchored in thirteen fathoms of water. Swinton. The troops continued crossing all this and the succeeding day, our turn not coming until during the afternoon of the 15th. Our guns were loaded on one boat, and the men and horses on another; but the guns did not reach us until evening. Among the boats used in the ferriage were the Jefferson, an old East Boston ferry-boat, and the Winnissimmet, that plied so many years beween Boston and Chelsea, and when we embarked on board the latter to make the crossing, it seemed almost as if we
lowing up the advantage gained. But this they failed to do, for reasons of prudence, we judge, and withdrew as suddenly as they had appeared, taking with them four pieces of artillery, several stands of colors, and sixteen hundred prisoners. Swinton says twenty-five hundred. Lee, however, in his official report to the Rebel secretary of war, only claims that about sixteen hundred prisoners, four pieces of artillery, eight stands of colors, and a large number of small arms were captured. e operation was nearly completed, a part of Hill's corps (Mahone's division) penetrated the interval between the Second and Sixth corps, throwing the flanks of both into great confusion, especially that of the Second. Barlow's division [says Swinton] rolled up like a scroll, recoiled in disorder, losing several hundred prisoners. Mott on his right fell back, but not without a like loss, and the enemy still pressing diagonally across the front of the corps struck Gibbon's now exposed left fl
join our right, but owing to the densely wooded region through which it was making its way, connection had not been made, and Heth, though unaware of it at the time, had penetrated the interval between Hancock and Crawford. Heth told Hancock since the war that he was greatly alarmed after he had crossed the Run to attack, lest Crawford should advance upon his left flank, and said that had he done so his (Heth's) command must have been driven into the stream, and dispersed or captured.—See Swinton's Army of the Potomac. Our supply and ambulance trains stood parked in the field with our caissons, and all under fire. There was no safe rear in this fight, for the enemy nearly surrounded us, and Hampton's cavalry was still behind us across the Plank Road, stoutly opposed by the valiant Gregg with inferior numbers. Having exchanged our empty limbers for full ones from the caissons, we are again ordered into position, this time in the field across the Plank Road, where we go into b
e were abandoned wagons, forges, battery wagons, pots and kettles, in short every description of army traps not absolutely essential in battle that pulled back their hungry, jaded beasts, and, it may be added, the hungry, footsore, worn-out Confederates as well, so many of whom still rallied around their idolized leader. The misery of the famished troops during the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th of April, passes all experience of military anguish since the retreat from the banks of the Beresina, Swinton, Campaigns of the Army of the Potomac. Towards evening of the 5th. [says one of their number,] and all day long upon the 6th, hundreds of men dropped from exhaustion, and thousands let fall their muskets, from inability to carry them any further. It was the lot of the Second Corps to follow sharply upon the heels of the enemy during his retreat, pursuing the same route, and to it these evidences of the disintegration of that once proud and valiant army were strikingly interesting.
Winthrop, made an atempt on the left, but the Carolinians posted there killed Winthrop at the first fire, and his followers soon rejoined Pierce and the whole force retreated toward Fortress Monroe. Just at the close of the action, Lieutenant Greble, who had served his guns untiringly against the Confederates, was killed. The gun that he was firing was abandoned, says General Carr, and his body left beside it, but subsequently recovered by a company that volunteered for that purpose. Swinton in his Army of the Potomac says that while Colonel Warren yet remained on the ground the Confederates abandoned the position. This is far from correct. General Magruder in his report says that the Confederate cavalry pursued the Federals for five miles. Colonel Carr, who commanded the Federal rear guard, says, The pursuit of the Confederates was easily checked. Battles and Leaders, II, 150. These two reports establish the fact that there was pursuit and not abandonment. Colonel Magr
t, notwithstanding this fact, it was to render itself immortal by losing in this battle in killed and wounded (not prisoners), 208 more men than any other brigade in General Lee's entire army. See Dr. Guild's Casualty List, Rebellion Records. Swinton says of this brigade, as well as the rest of Heth's Rebellion Records, XXV, I, pp. 185, 191. division: The division on the left of Pickett, under command of General Pettigrew, was in considerable part made up of North Carolina troops, comparfighting; Pickett's fifteen regiments had 224 killed. That is, these five regiments from North Carolina had, during the battle, actually five more men killed than Pickett's fifteen. Yet little has been written of the modest daring of these men. Swinton goes so far as to say that men who could die in this way were only induced to charge by being told they were to meet merely Pennsylvania militia, and that when they saw Meade's banners, they broke in disorder, crying, The army of the Potomac! M
nning of this campaign many Federal officers were of opinion that he could not recruit it enough to make another year's campaign. General Webb's article, Through the Wilderness. This belief may account for the apparently reckless expenditure of blood in this year's operations against Lee. Men were thrown against the Confederate works and slaughtered, until at Cold Harbor, ordered to assault again, his immobile lines pronounced a silent, yet emphatic verdict against further slaughter, Swinton. by refusing to budge. Attrition seemed to be the grand strategy of this campaign in which, according to the official returns published in the Rebellion Records, 88,387 Federals were killed, wounded or captured from May to November Vol. XXXVI, I, p. 195.— a loss probably greater than the numerical strength of the army that inflicted it. The continued attacks by new Federal troops, notwithstanding these startling losses, however, produced a depressing effect on the Confederate soldiers.
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