Part 15 out of 16

"CITY POINT, VA., February 14, 1865.

"General Canby is preparing a movement from Mobile Bay against
Mobile and the interior of Alabama. His force will consist of
about twenty thousand men, besides A. J. Smith's command. The
cavalry you have sent to Canby will be debarked at Vicksburg.
It, with the available cavalry already in that section, will
move from there eastward, in co-operation. Hood's army has been
terribly reduced by the severe punishment you gave it in
Tennessee, by desertion consequent upon their defeat, and now by
the withdrawal of many of them to oppose Sherman. (I take it a
large portion of the infantry has been so withdrawn. It is so
asserted in the Richmond papers, and a member of the rebel
Congress said a few days since in a speech, that one-half of it
had been brought to South Carolina to oppose Sherman.) This
being true, or even if it is not true, Canby's movement will
attract all the attention of the enemy, and leave the advance
from your standpoint easy. I think it advisable, therefore,
that you prepare as much of a cavalry force as you can spare,
and hold it in readiness to go south. The object would be
threefold: first, to attract as much of the enemy's force as
possible, to insure success to Canby; second, to destroy the
enemy's line of communications and military resources; third, to
destroy or capture their forces brought into the field.
Tuscaloosa and Selma would probably be the points to direct the
expedition against. This, however, would not be so important as
the mere fact of penetrating deep into Alabama. Discretion
should be left to the officer commanding the expedition to go
where, according to the information he may receive, he will best
secure the objects named above.

"Now that your force has been so much depleted, I do not know
what number of men you can put into the field. If not more than
five thousand men, however, all cavalry, I think it will be
sufficient. It is not desirable that you should start this
expedition until the one leaving Vicksburg has been three or
four days out, or even a week. I do not know when it will
start, but will inform you by telegraph as soon as I learn. If
you should hear through other sources before hearing from me,
you can act on the information received.

"To insure success your cavalry should go with as little
wagon-train as possible, relying upon the country for
supplies. I would also reduce the number of guns to a battery,
or the number of batteries, and put the extra teams to the guns
taken. No guns or caissons should be taken with less than eight

"Please inform me by telegraph, on receipt of this, what force
you think you will be able to send under these directions.

"U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.

On the 15th, he was directed to start the expedition as soon
after the 20th as he could get it off.

I deemed it of the utmost importance, before a general movement
of the armies operating against Richmond, that all
communications with the city, north of James River, should be
cut off. The enemy having withdrawn the bulk of his force from
the Shenandoah Valley and sent it south, or replaced troops sent
from Richmond, and desiring to reinforce Sherman, if practicable,
whose cavalry was greatly inferior in numbers to that of the
enemy, I determined to make a move from the Shenandoah, which,
if successful. would accomplish the first at least, and possibly
the latter of the objects. I therefore telegraphed General
Sheridan as follows:

"CITY POINT, VA., February 20, 1865--1 P.M.

"GENERAL:--As soon as it is possible to travel, I think you will
have no difficulty about reaching Lychburg with a cavalry force
alone. From there you could destroy the railroad and canal in
every direction, so as to be of no further use to the
rebellion. Sufficient cavalry should be left behind to look
after Mosby's gang. From Lynchburg, if information you might
get there would justify it, you will strike south, heading the
streams in Virgina to the westward of Danville, and push on and
join General Sherman. This additional raid, with one now about
starting from East Tennessee under Stoneman, numbering four or
give thousand cavalry, one from Vicksburg, numbering seven or
eight thousand cavalry, one from Eastport, Mississippi, then
thousand cavalry, Canby from Mobile Bay, with about thirty-eight
thousand mixed troops, these three latter pushing for Tuscaloosa,
Selma, and Montgomery, and Sherman with a large army eating out
the vitals of South Carolina, is all that will be wanted to
leave mothing for the rebellion to stand upon. I would advise
you to overcome great obstacles to accomplish this. Charleston
was evacuated on Tuesday 1st.

"U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.

On the 25th I received a dispatch from General Sheridan,
inquiring where Sherman was aiming for, and if I could give him
definite information as to the points he might be expected to
move on, this side of Charlotte, North Carolina. In answer, the
following telegram was sent him:

"CITY POINT, VA., February 25, 1865.

"GENERAL:--Sherman's movements will depend on the amount of
opposition he meets with from the enemy. If strongly opposed,
he may possibly have to fall back to Georgetown, S. C., and fit
out for a new start. I think, however, all danger for the
necessity of going to that point has passed. I believe he has
passed Charlotte. He may take Fayetteville on his way to
Goldsboro'. If you reach Lynchburg, you will have to be guided
in your after movements by the information you obtain. Before
you could possibly reach Sherman, I think you would find him
moving from Goldsboro' towards Raleigh, or engaging the enemy
strongly posted at one or the other of these places, with
railroad communications opened from his army to Wilmington or
New Bern.

"U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.

General Sheridan moved from Winchester on the 27th of February,
with two divisions of cavalry, numbering about five thousand
each. On the 1st of March he secured the bridge, which the
enemy attempted to destroy, across the middle fork of the
Shenandoah, at Mount Crawford, and entered Staunton on the 2d,
the enemy having retreated to Waynesboro'. Thence he pushed on
to Waynesboro', where he found the enemy in force in an
intrenched position, under General Early. Without stopping to
make a reconnoissance, an immediate attack was made, the
position was carried, and sixteen hundred prisoners, eleven
pieces of artillery, with horses and caissons complete, two
hundred wagons and teams loaded with subsistence, and seventeen
battle-flags, were captured. The prisoners, under an escort of
fifteen hundred men, were sent back to Winchester. Thence he
marched on Charlottesville, destroying effectually the railroad
and bridges as he went, which place he reached on the 3d. Here
he remained two days, destroying the railroad towards Richmond
and Lynchburg, including the large iron bridges over the north
and south forks of the Rivanna River and awaited the arrival of
his trains. This necessary delay caused him to abandon the idea
of capturing Lynchburg. On the morning of the 6th, dividing his
force into two columns, he sent one to Scottsville, whence it
marched up the James River Canal to New Market, destroying every
lock, and in many places the bank of the canal. From here a
force was pushed out from this column to Duiguidsville, to
obtain possession of the bridge across the James River at that
place, but failed. The enemy burned it on our approach. The
enemy also burned the bridge across the river at
Hardwicksville. The other column moved down the railroad
towards Lynchburg, destroying it as far as Amherst Court House,
sixteen miles from Lynchburg; thence across the country, uniting
with the column at New Market. The river being very high, his
pontoons would not reach across it; and the enemy having
destroyed the bridges by which he had hoped to cross the river
and get on the South Side Railroad about Farmville, and destroy
it to Appomattox Court House, the only thing left for him was to
return to Winchester or strike a base at the White House.
Fortunately, he chose the latter. From New Market he took up
his line of march, following the canal towards Richmond,
destroying every lock upon it and cutting the banks wherever
practicable, to a point eight miles east of Goochland,
concentrating the whole force at Columbia on the 10th. Here he
rested one day, and sent through by scouts information of his
whereabouts and purposes, and a request for supplies to meet him
at White House, which reached me on the night of the 12th. An
infantry force was immediately sent to get possession of White
House, and supplies were forwarded. Moving from Columbia in a
direction to threaten Richmond, to near Ashland Station, he
crossed the Annas, and after having destroyed all the bridges
and many miles of the railroad, proceeded down the north bank of
the Pamunkey to White House, which place he reached on the 19th.

Previous to this the following communication was sent to General

March 7, 1865--9.30 A.M.

"GENERAL:--I think it will be advisable now for you to repair
the railroad in East Tennessee, and throw a good force up to
Bull's Gap and fortify there. Supplies at Knoxville could
always be got forward as required. With Bull's Gap fortified,
you can occupy as outposts about all of East Tennessee, and be
prepared, if it should be required of you in the spring, to make
a campaign towards Lynchburg, or into North Carolina. I do not
think Stoneman should break the road until he gets into
Virginia, unless it should be to cut off rolling-stock that may
be caught west of that.

"U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.

Thus it will be seen that in March, 1865, General Canby was
moving an adequate force against Mobile and the army defending
it under General Dick Taylor; Thomas was pushing out two large
and well-appointed cavalry expeditions--one from Middle
Tennessee under Brevet Major-General Wilson against the enemy's
vital points in Alabama, the other from East Tennessee, under
Major-General Stoneman, towards Lynchburg--and assembling the
remainder of his available forces, preparatory to commence
offensive operations from East Tennessee; General Sheridan's
cavalry was at White House; the armies of the Potomac and James
were confronting the enemy, under Lee, in his defences of
Richmond and Petersburg; General Sherman with his armies,
reinforced by that of General Schofield, was at Goldsboro';
General Pope was making preparations for a spring campaign
against the enemy under Kirby Smith and Price, west of the
Mississippi; and General Hancock was concentrating a force in
the vicinity of Winchester, Virginia, to guard against invasion
or to operate offensively, as might prove necessary.

After the long march by General Sheridan's cavalry over winter
roads, it was necessary to rest and refit at White House. At
this time the greatest source of uneasiness to me was the fear
that the enemy would leave his strong lines about Petersburg and
Richmond for the purpose of uniting with Johnston, and before he
was driven from them by battle, or I was prepared to make an
effectual pursuit. On the 24th of March, General Sheridan moved
from White House, crossed the James River at Jones's Landing, and
formed a junction with the Army of the Potomac in front of
Petersburg on the 27th. During this move, General Ord sent
forces to cover the crossings of the Chickahominy.

On the 24th of March the following instructions for a general
movement of the armies operating against Richmond were issued:

March 24, 1865.

"GENERAL: On the 29th instant the armies operating against
Richmond will be moved by our left, for the double purpose of
turning the enemy out of his present position around Petersburg,
and to insure the success of the cavalry under General Sheridan,
which will start at the same time, in its efforts to reach and
destroy the South Side and Danville railroads. Two corps of the
Army of the Potomac will be moved at first in two columns, taking
the two roads crossing Hatcher's Run, nearest where the present
line held by us strikes that stream, both moving towards
Dinwiddie Court House.

"The cavalry under General Sheridan, joined by the division now
under General Davies, will move at the same time by the Weldon
Road and the Jerusalem Plank Road, turning west from the latter
before crossing the Nottoway, and west with the whole column
before reaching Stony Creek. General Sheridan will then move
independently, under other instructions which will be given
him. All dismounted cavalry belonging to the Army of the
Potomac, and the dismounted cavalry from the Middle Military
Division not required for guarding property belonging to their
arm of service, will report to Brigadier-General Benham, to be
added to the defences of City Point. Major-General Parke will
be left in command of all the army left for holding the lines
about Petersburg and City Point, subject of course to orders
from the commander of the Army of the Potomac. The 9th army
corps will be left intact, to hold the present line of works so
long as the whole line now occupied by us is held. If, however,
the troops to the left of the 9th corps are withdrawn, then the
left of the corps may be thrown back so as to occupy the
position held by the army prior to the capture of the Weldon
Road. All troops to the left of the 9th corps will be held in
readiness to move at the shortest notice by such route as may be
designated when the order is given.

"General Ord will detach three divisions, two white and one
colored, or so much of them as he can, and hold his present
lines, and march for the present left of the Army of the
Potomac. In the absence of further orders, or until further
orders are given, the white divisions will follow the left
column of the Army of the Potomac, and the colored division the
right column. During the movement Major-General Weitzel will be
left in command of all the forces remaining behind from the Army
of the James.

"The movement of troops from the Army of the James will commence
on the night of the 27th instant. General Ord will leave behind
the minimum number of cavalry necessary for picket duty, in the
absence of the main army. A cavalry expedition, from General
Ord's command, will also be started from Suffolk, to leave there
on Saturday, the 1st of April, under Colonel Sumner, for the
purpose of cutting the railroad about Hicksford. This, if
accomplished, will have to be a surprise, and therefore from
three to five hundred men will be sufficient. They should,
however, be supported by all the infantry that can be spared
from Norfolk and Portsmouth, as far out as to where the cavalry
crosses the Blackwater. The crossing should probably be at
Uniten. Should Colonel Sumner succeed in reaching the Weldon
Road, he will be instructed to do all the damage possible to the
triangle of roads between Hicksford, Weldon, and Gaston. The
railroad bridge at Weldon being fitted up for the passage of
carriages, it might be practicable to destroy any accumulation
of supplies the enemy may have collected south of the Roanoke.
All the troops will move with four days' rations in haversacks
and eight days' in wagons. To avoid as much hauling as
possible, and to give the Army of the James the same number of
days' supplies with the Army of the Potomac, General Ord will
direct his commissary and quartermaster to have sufficient
supplies delivered at the terminus of the road to fill up in
passing. Sixty rounds of ammunition per man will be taken in
wagons, and as much grain as the transportation on hand will
carry, after taking the specified amount of other supplies. The
densely wooded country in which the army has to operate making
the use of much artillery impracticable, the amount taken with
the army will be reduced to six or eight guns to each division,
at the option of the army commanders.

"All necessary preparations for carrying these directions into
operation may be commenced at once. The reserves of the 9th
corps should be massed as much as possible. While I would not
now order an unconditional attack on the enemy's line by them,
they should be ready and should make the attack if the enemy
weakens his line in their front, without waiting for orders. In
case they carry the line, then the whole of the 9th corps could
follow up so as to join or co-operate with the balance of the
army. To prepare for this, the 9th corps will have rations
issued to them, same as the balance of the army. General
Weitzel will keep vigilant watch upon his front, and if found at
all practicable to break through at any point, he will do so. A
success north of the James should be followed up with great
promptness. An attack will not be feasible unless it is found
that the enemy has detached largely. In that case it may be
regarded as evident that the enemy are relying upon their local
reserves principally for the defence of Richmond. Preparations
may be made for abandoning all the line north of the James,
except inclosed works only to be abandoned, however, after a
break is made in the lines of the enemy.

"By these instructions a large part of the armies operating
against Richmond is left behind. The enemy, knowing this, may,
as an only chance, strip their lines to the merest skeleton, in
the hope of advantage not being taken of it, while they hurl
everything against the moving column, and return. It cannot be
impressed too strongly upon commanders of troops left in the
trenches not to allow this to occur without taking advantage of
it. The very fact of the enemy coming out to attack, if he does
so, might be regarded as almost conclusive evidence of such a
weakening of his lines. I would have it particularly enjoined
upon corps commanders that, in case of an attack from the enemy,
those not attacked are not to wait for orders from the commanding
officer of the army to which they belong, but that they will move
promptly, and notify the commander of their action. I would also
enjoin the same action on the part of division commanders when
other parts of their corps are engaged. In like manner, I would
urge the importance of following up a repulse of the enemy.

"U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.

Early on the morning of the 25th the enemy assaulted our lines
in front of the 9th corps (which held from the Appomattox River
towards our left), and carried Fort Stedman, and a part of the
line to the right and left of it, established themselves and
turned the guns of the fort against us, but our troops on either
flank held their ground until the reserves were brought up, when
the enemy was driven back with a heavy loss in killed and
wounded, and one thousand nine hundred prisoners. Our loss was
sixty-eight killed, three hundred and thirty-seven wounded, and
five hundred and six missing. General Meade at once ordered the
other corps to advance and feel the enemy in their respective
fronts. Pushing forward, they captured and held the enemy's
strongly intrenched picket-line in front of the 2d and 6th
corps, and eight hundred and thirty-four prisoners. The enemy
made desperate attempts to retake this line, but without
success. Our loss in front of these was fifty-two killed, eight
hundred and sixty-four wounded, and two hundred and seven
missing. The enemy's loss in killed and wounded was far greater.

General Sherman having got his troops all quietly in camp about
Goldsboro', and his preparations for furnishing supplies to them
perfected, visited me at City Point on the 27th of March, and
stated that he would be ready to move, as he had previously
written me, by the 10th of April, fully equipped and rationed
for twenty days, if it should become necessary to bring his
command to bear against Lee's army, in co-operation with our
forces in front of Richmond and Petersburg. General Sherman
proposed in this movement to threaten Raleigh, and then, by
turning suddenly to the right, reach the Roanoke at Gaston or
thereabouts, whence he could move on to the Richmond and
Danville Railroad, striking it in the vicinity of Burkesville,
or join the armies operating against Richmond, as might be
deemed best. This plan he was directed to carry into execution,
if he received no further directions in the meantime. I
explained to him the movement I had ordered to commence on the
29th of March. That if it should not prove as entirely
successful as I hoped, I would cut the cavalry loose to destroy
the Danville and South Side railroads, and thus deprive the
enemy of further supplies, and also to prevent the rapid
concentration of Lee's and Johnston's armies.

I had spent days of anxiety lest each morning should bring the
report that the enemy had retreated the night before. I was
firmly convinced that Sherman's crossing the Roanoke would be
the signal for Lee to leave. With Johnston and him combined, a
long, tedious, and expensive campaign, consuming most of the
summer, might become necessary. By moving out I would put the
army in better condition for pursuit, and would at least, by the
destruction of the Danville Road, retard the concentration of the
two armies of Lee and Johnston, and cause the enemy to abandon
much material that he might otherwise save. I therefore
determined not to delay the movement ordered.

On the night of the 27th, Major-General Ord, with two divisions
of the 24th corps, Major-General Gibbon commanding, and one
division of the 25th corps, Brigadier-General Birney commanding,
and MacKenzie's cavalry, took up his line of march in pursuance
of the foregoing instructions, and reached the position assigned
him near Hatcher's Run on the morning of the 29th. On the 28th
the following instructions were given to General Sheridan:

"CITY POINT, VA., March 28, 1865.

"GENERAL:--The 5th army corps will move by the Vaughn Road at
three A.M. to-morrow morning. The 2d moves at about nine A.M.,
having but about three miles to march to reach the point
designated for it to take on the right of the 5th corps, after
the latter reaching Dinwiddie Court House. Move your cavalry at
as early an hour as you can, and without being confined to any
particular road or roads. You may go out by the nearest roads
in rear of the 5th corps, pass by its left, and passing near to
or through Dinwiddie, reach the right and rear of the enemy as
soon as you can. It is not the intention to attack the enemy in
his intrenched position, but to force him out, if possible.
Should he come out and attack us, or get himself where he can be
attacked, move in with your entire force in your own way, and
with the full reliance that the army will engage or follow, as
circumstances will dictate. I shall be on the field, and will
probably be able to communicate with you. Should I not do so,
and you find that the enemy keeps within his main intrenched
line, you may cut loose and push for the Danville Road. If you
find it practicable, I would like you to cross the South Side
Road, between Petersburg and Burkesville, and destroy it to some
extent. I would not advise much detention, however, until you
reach the Danville Road, which I would like you to strike as
near to the Appomattox as possible. Make your destruction on
that road as complete as possible. You can then pass on to the
South Side Road, west of Burkesville, and destroy that in like

"After having accomplished the destruction of the two railroads,
which are now the only avenues of supply to Lee's army, you may
return to this army, selecting your road further south, or you
may go on into North Carolina and join General Sherman. Should
you select the latter course, get the information to me as early
as possible, so that I may send orders to meet you at Goldsboro'.

"U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.

On the morning of the 29th the movement commenced. At night the
cavalry was at Dinwiddie Court House, and the left of our
infantry line extended to the Quaker Road, near its intersection
with the Boydton Plank Road. The position of the troops from
left to right was as follows: Sheridan, Warren, Humphreys, Ord,
Wright, Parke.

Everything looked favorable to the defeat of the enemy and the
capture of Petersburg and Richmond, if the proper effort was
made. I therefore addressed the following communication to
General Sheridan, having previously informed him verbally not to
cut loose for the raid contemplated in his orders until he
received notice from me to do so:

"GRAVELLY CREEK, March 29, 1865.

"GENERAL:--Our line is now unbroken from the Appomattox to
Dinwiddie. We are all ready, however, to give up all, from the
Jerusalem Plank Road to Hatcher's Run, whenever the forces can
be used advantageously. After getting into line south of
Hatcher's, we pushed forward to find the enemy's position.
General Griffin was attacked near where the Quaker Road
intersects the Boydton Road, but repulsed it easily, capturing
about one hundred men. Humphreys reached Dabney's Mill, and was
pushing on when last heard from.

"I now feel like ending the matter, if it is possible to do so,
before going back. I do not want you, therefore, to cut loose
and go after the enemy's roads at present. In the morning push
around the enemy, if you can, and get on to his right rear. The
movements of the enemy's cavalry may, of course, modify your
action. We will act all together as one army here, until it is
seen what can be done with the enemy. The signal-officer at
Cobb's Hill reported, at half-past eleven A.M., that a cavalry
column had passed that point from Richmond towards Petersburg,
taking forty minutes to pass.

"U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.

From the night of the 29th to the morning of the 31st the rain
fell in such torrents as to make it impossible to move a wheeled
vehicle, except as corduroy roads were laid in front of them.
During the 30th, Sheridan advanced from Dinwiddie Court House
towards Five Forks, where he found the enemy in full force.
General Warren advanced and extended his line across the Boydton
Plank Road to near the White Oak Road, with a view of getting
across the latter; but, finding the enemy strong in his front
and extending beyond his left, was directed to hold on where he
was, and fortify. General Humphreys drove the enemy from his
front into his main line on the Hatcher, near Burgess's Mills.
Generals Ord, Wright, and Parke made examinations in their
fronts to determine the feasibility of an assault on the enemy's
lines. The two latter reported favorably. The enemy confronting
us as he did, at every point from Richmond to our extreme left, I
conceived his lines must be weakly held, and could be penetrated
if my estimate of his forces was correct. I determined,
therefore, to extend our line no farther, but to reinforce
General Sheridan with a corps of infantry, and thus enable him
to cut loose and turn the enemy's right flank, and with the
other corps assault the enemy's lines. The result of the
offensive effort of the enemy the week before, when he assaulted
Fort Stedman, particularly favored this. The enemy's
intrenched picket-line captured by us at that time threw the
lines occupied by the belligerents so close together at some
points that it was but a moment's run from one to the other.
Preparations were at once made to relieve General Humphreys's
corps, to report to General Sheridan; but the condition of the
roads prevented immediate movement. On the morning of the 31st,
General Warren reported favorably to getting possession of the
White Oak Road, and was directed to do so. To accomplish this,
he moved with one division, instead of his whole corps, which
was attacked by the enemy in superior force and driven back on
the 2d division before it had time to form, and it, in turn,
forced back upon the 3d division, when the enemy was checked. A
division of the 2d corps was immediately sent to his support, the
enemy driven back with heavy loss, and possession of the White
Oak Road gained. Sheridan advanced, and with a portion of his
cavalry got possession of the Five Forks; but the enemy, after
the affair with the 5th corps, reinforced the rebel cavalry,
defending that point with infantry, and forced him back towards
Dinwiddie Court House. Here General Sheridan displayed great
generalship. Instead of retreating with his whole command on
the main army, to tell the story of superior forces encountered,
he deployed his cavalry on foot, leaving only mounted men enough
to take charge of the horses. This compelled the enemy to
deploy over a vast extent of wooded and broken country, and made
his progress slow. At this juncture he dispatched to me what had
taken place, and that he was dropping back slowly on Dinwiddie
Court House. General Mackenzie's cavalry and one division of
the 5th corps were immediately ordered to his assistance. Soon
after receiving a report from General Meade that Humphreys could
hold our position on the Boydton Road, and that the other two
divisions of the 5th corps could go to Sheridan, they were so
ordered at once. Thus the operations of the day necessitated
the sending of Warren, because of his accessibility, instead of
Humphreys, as was intended, and precipitated intended
movements. On the morning of the 1st of April, General
Sheridan, reinforced by General Warren, drove the enemy back on
Five Forks, where, late in the evening, he assaulted and carried
his strongly fortified position, capturing all his artillery and
between five and six thousand prisoners.

About the close of this battle, Brevet Major-General Charles
Griffin relieved Major-General Warren in command of the 5th
corps. The report of this reached me after nightfall. Some
apprehensions filled my mind lest the enemy might desert his
lines during the night, and by falling upon General Sheridan
before assistance could reach him, drive him from his position
and open the way for retreat. To guard against this, General
Miles's division of Humphreys's corps was sent to reinforce him,
and a bombardment was commenced and kept up until four o'clock in
the morning (April 2), when an assault was ordered on the enemy's
lines. General Wright penetrated the lines with his whole corps,
sweeping everything before him, and to his left towards Hatcher's
Run, capturing many guns and several thousand prisoners. He was
closely followed by two divisions of General Ord's command,
until he met the other division of General Ord's that had
succeeded in forcing the enemy's lines near Hatcher's Run.
Generals Wright and Ord immediately swung to the right, and
closed all of the enemy on that side of them in Petersburg,
while General Humphreys pushed forward with two divisions and
joined General Wright on the left. General Parke succeeded in
carrying the enemy's main line, capturing guns and prisoners,
but was unable to carry his inner line. General Sheridan being
advised of the condition of affairs, returned General Miles to
his proper command. On reaching the enemy's lines immediately
surrounding Petersburg, a portion of General Gibbon's corps, by
a most gallant charge, captured two strong inclosed works--the
most salient and commanding south of Petersburg--thus materially
shortening the line of investment necessary for taking in the
city. The enemy south of Hatcher's Run retreated westward to
Sutherland's Station, where they were overtaken by Miles's
division. A severe engagement ensued, and lasted until both his
right and left flanks were threatened by the approach of General
Sheridan, who was moving from Ford's Station towards Petersburg,
and a division sent by General Meade from the front of
Petersburg, when he broke in the utmost confusion, leaving in
our hands his guns and many prisoners. This force retreated by
the main road along the Appomattox River. During the night of
the 2d the enemy evacuated Petersburg and Richmond, and
retreated towards Danville. On the morning of the 3d pursuit
was commenced. General Sheridan pushed for the Danville Road,
keeping near the Appomattox, followed by General Meade with the
2d and 6th corps, while General Ord moved for Burkesville, along
the South Side Road; the 9th corps stretched along that road
behind him. On the 4th, General Sheridan struck the Danville
Road near Jetersville, where he learned that Lee was at Amelia
Court House. He immediately intrenched himself and awaited the
arrival of General Meade, who reached there the next day.
General Ord reached Burkesville on the evening of the 5th.

On the morning of the 5th, I addressed Major-General Sherman the
following communication:

"WILSON'S STATION, April 5, 1865.

"GENERAL: All indications now are that Lee will attempt to
reach Danville with the remnant of his force. Sheridan, who was
up with him last night, reports all that is left, horse, foot,
and dragoons, at twenty thousand, much demoralized. We hope to
reduce this number one-half. I shall push on to Burkesville,
and if a stand is made at Danville, will in a very few days go
there. If you can possibly do so, push on from where you are,
and let us see if we cannot finish the job with Lee's and
Johnston's armies. Whether it will be better for you to strike
for Greensboro', or nearer to Danville, you will be better able
to judge when you receive this. Rebel armies now are the only
strategic points to strike at.

"U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.

On the morning of the 6th, it was found that General Lee was
moving west of Jetersville, towards Danville. General Sheridan
moved with his cavalry (the 5th corps having been returned to
General Meade on his reaching Jetersville) to strike his flank,
followed by the 6th corps, while the 2d and 5th corps pressed
hard after, forcing him to abandon several hundred wagons and
several pieces of artillery. General Ord advanced from
Burkesville towards Farmville, sending two regiments of infantry
and a squadron of cavalry, under Brevet Brigadier-General
Theodore Read, to reach and destroy the bridges. This advance
met the head of Lee's column near Farmville, which it heroically
attacked and detained until General Read was killed and his small
force overpowered. This caused a delay in the enemy's movements,
and enabled General Ord to get well up with the remainder of his
force, on meeting which, the enemy immediately intrenched
himself. In the afternoon, General Sheridan struck the enemy
south of Sailors' Creek, captured sixteen pieces of artillery
and about four hundred wagons, and detained him until the 6th
corps got up, when a general attack of infantry and cavalry was
made, which resulted in the capture of six or seven thousand
prisoners, among whom were many general officers. The movements
of the 2d corps and General Ord's command contributed greatly to
the day's success.

On the morning of the 7th the pursuit was renewed, the cavalry,
except one division, and the 5th corps moving by Prince Edward's
Court House; the 6th corps, General Ord's command, and one
division of cavalry, on Farmville; and the 2d corps by the High
Bridge Road. It was soon found that the enemy had crossed to
the north side of the Appomattox; but so close was the pursuit,
that the 2d corps got possession of the common bridge at High
Bridge before the enemy could destroy it, and immediately
crossed over. The 6th corps and a division of cavalry crossed
at Farmville to its support.

Feeling now that General Lee's chance of escape was utterly
hopeless, I addressed him the following communication from

"April 7, 1865.

"GENERAL--The result of the last week must convince you of the
hopelessness of further resistance on the part of the Army of
Northern Virginia in this struggle. I feel that it is so, and
regard it as my duty to shift from myself the responsibility of
any further effusion of blood, by asking of you the surrender of
that portion of the Confederate States army known as the Army of
Northern Virginia.

"U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.

Early on the morning of the 8th, before leaving, I received at
Farmville the following:

"April 7, 1865.

"GENERAL: I have received your note of this date. Though not
entertaining the opinion you express on the hopelessness of
further resistance on the part of the Army of Northern Virginia,
I reciprocate your desire to avoid useless effusion of blood, and
therefore, before considering your proposition, ask the terms you
will offer on condition of its surrender.

"R. E. LEE, General.

To this I immediately replied:

"April 8, 1865.

"GENERAL:--Your note of last evening, in reply to mine of same
date, asking the condition on which I will accept the surrender
of the Army of Northern Virginia, is just received. In reply, I
would say, that peace being my great desire, there is but one
condition I would insist upon--namely, That the men and officers
surrendered shall be disqualified for taking up arms again
against the Government of the United States until properly
exchanged. I will meet you, or will designate officers to meet
any officers you may name for the same purpose, at any point
agreeable to you, for the purpose of arranging definitely the
terms upon which the surrender of the Army of the Northern
Virginia will be received.

"U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.

Early on the morning of the 8th the pursuit was resumed. General
Meade followed north of the Appomattox, and General Sheridan,
with all the cavalry, pushed straight ahead for Appomattox
Station, followed by General Ord's command and the 5th corps.
During the day General Meade's advance had considerable fighting
with the enemy's rear-guard, but was unable to bring on a general
engagement. Late in the evening General Sheridan struck the
railroad at Appomattox Station, drove the enemy from there, and
captured twenty-five pieces of artillery, a hospital train, and
four trains of cars loaded with supplies for Lee's army. During
this day I accompanied General Meade's column, and about midnight
received the following communication from General Lee:

April 8, 1865.

"GENERAL:--I received, at a late hour, your note of to-day. In
mine of yesterday I did not intend to propose the surrender of
the Army of Northern Virginia, but to ask the terms of your
proposition. To be frank, I do not think the emergency has
arisen to call for the surrender of this army; but as the
restoration of peace should be the sole object of all, I desired
to know whether your proposals would lead to that end. I cannot,
therefore, meet you with a view to the surrender of the Army of
Northern Virginia; but as far as your proposal may affect the
Confederate States forces under my command, and tend to the
restoration of peace, I should be pleased to meet you at ten
A.M. to-morrow on the old stage-road to Richmond, between the
picket-lines of the two armies.

"R. E. LEE, General.

Early on the morning of the 9th I returned him an answer as
follows, and immediately started to join the column south of the

"April 9, 1865.

"GENERAL:--Your note of yesterday is received. I have no
authority to treat on the subject of peace; the meeting proposed
for ten A.M. to-day could lead to no good. I will state,
however, general, that I am equally anxious for peace with
yourself, and the whole North entertains the same feeling. The
terms upon which peace can be had are well understood. By the
South laying down their arms they will hasten that most
desirable event, save thousands of human lives, and hundreds of
millions of property not yet destroyed. Seriously hoping that
all our difficulties may be settled without the loss of another
life, I subscribe myself, etc.

"U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.

On this morning of the 9th, General Ord's command and the 5th
corps reached Appomattox Station just as the enemy was making a
desperate effort to break through our cavalry. The infantry was
at once thrown in. Soon after a white flag was received,
requesting a suspension of hostilities pending negotiations for
a surrender.

Before reaching General Sheridan's headquarters, I received the
following from General Lee:

"April 9, 1865.

"GENERAL:--I received your note of this morning on the
picket-line, whither I had come to meet you, and ascertain
definitely what terms were embraced in your proposal of
yesterday with reference to the surrender of this army. I now
ask an interview, in accordance with the offer contained in your
letter of yesterday, for that purpose.

"R. E. LEE, General.

The interview was held at Appomattox Court-House, the result of
which is set forth in the following correspondence:

APPOMATTOX COURT-HOUSE, Virginia, April 9, 1865.

"GENERAL: In accordance with the substance of my letter to you
of the 8th instant, I propose to receive the surrender of the
Army of Northern Virginia on the following terms, to wit: Rolls
of all the officers and men to be made in duplicate, one copy to
be given to an officer to be designated by me, the other to be
retained by such officer or officers as you may designate. The
officers to give their individual paroles not to take up arms
against the Government of the United States until properly
exchanged; and each company or regimental commander sign a like
parole for the men of their commands. The arms, artillery, and
public property to be parked and stacked, and turned over to the
officers appointed by me to receive them. This will not embrace
the side-arms of the officers, nor their private horses or
baggage. This done, each officer and man will be allowed to
return to his home, not to be disturbed by United States
authority so long as they observe their paroles and the laws in
force where they may reside.

"U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.


"GENERAL: I have received your letter of this date containing
the terms of surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia as
proposed by you. As they are substantially the same as those
expressed in your letter of the 8th instant, they are
accepted. I will proceed to designate the proper officers to
carry the stipulations into effect.

"R. E. LEE, General.

The command of Major-General Gibbon, the 5th army corps under
Griffin, and Mackenzie's cavalry, were designated to remain at
Appomattox Court-House until the paroling of the surrendered
army was completed, and to take charge of the public property.
The remainder of the army immediately returned to the vicinity
of Burkesville.

General Lee's great influence throughout the whole South caused
his example to be followed, and to-day the result is that the
armies lately under his leadership are at their homes, desiring
peace and quiet, and their arms are in the hands of our ordnance

On the receipt of my letter of the 5th, General Sherman moved
directly against Joe Johnston, who retreated rapidly on and
through Raleigh, which place General Sherman occupied on the
morning of the 13th. The day preceding, news of the surrender
of General Lee reached him at Smithfield.

On the 14th a correspondence was opened between General Sherman
and General Johnston, which resulted on the 18th in an agreement
for a suspension of hostilities, and a memorandum or basis for
peace, subject to the approval of the President. This agreement
was disapproved by the President on the 21st, which disapproval,
together with your instructions, was communicated to General
Sherman by me in person on the morning of the 24th, at Raleigh,
North Carolina, in obedience to your orders. Notice was at once
given by him to General Johnston for the termination of the truce
that had been entered into. On the 25th another meeting between
them was agreed upon, to take place on the 26th, which
terminated in the surrender and disbandment of Johnston's army
upon substantially the same terms as were given to General Lee.

The expedition under General Stoneman from East Tennessee got
off on the 20th of March, moving by way of Boone, North
Carolina, and struck the railroad at Wytheville, Chambersburg,
and Big Lick. The force striking it at Big Lick pushed on to
within a few miles of Lynchburg, destroying the important
bridges, while with the main force he effectually destroyed it
between New River and Big Lick, and then turned for Greensboro',
on the North Carolina Railroad; struck that road and destroyed
the bridges between Danville and Greensboro', and between
Greensboro' and the Yadkin, together with the depots of supplies
along it, and captured four hundred prisoners. At Salisbury he
attacked and defeated a force of the enemy under General
Gardiner, capturing fourteen pieces of artillery and one
thousand three hundred and sixty-four prisoners, and destroyed
large amounts of army stores. At this place he destroyed
fifteen miles of railroad and the bridges towards Charlotte.
Thence he moved to Slatersville.

General Canby, who had been directed in January to make
preparations for a movement from Mobile Bay against Mobile and
the interior of Alabama, commenced his movement on the 20th of
March. The 16th corps, Major-General A. J. Smith commanding,
moved from Fort Gaines by water to Fish River; the 13th corps,
under Major-General Gordon Granger, moved from Fort Morgan and
joined the 16th corps on Fish River, both moving thence on
Spanish Fort and investing it on the 27th; while Major-General
Steele's command moved from Pensacola, cut the railroad leading
from Tensas to Montgomery, effected a junction with them, and
partially invested Fort Blakely. After a severe bombardment of
Spanish Fort, a part of its line was carried on the 8th of
April. During the night the enemy evacuated the fort. Fort
Blakely was carried by assault on the 9th, and many prisoners
captured; our loss was considerable. These successes
practically opened to us the Alabama River, and enabled us to
approach Mobile from the north. On the night of the 11th the
city was evacuated, and was taken possession of by our forces on
the morning of the 12th.

The expedition under command of Brevet Major-General Wilson,
consisting of twelve thousand five hundred mounted men, was
delayed by rains until March 22d, when it moved from Chickasaw,
Alabama. On the 1st of April, General Wilson encountered the
enemy in force under Forrest near Ebenezer Church, drove him in
confusion, captured three hundred prisoners and three guns, and
destroyed the central bridge over the Cahawba River. On the 2d
he attacked and captured the fortified city of Selma, defended
by Forrest, with seven thousand men and thirty-two guns,
destroyed the arsenal, armory, naval foundry, machine-shops,
vast quantities of stores, and captured three thousand
prisoners. On the 4th he captured and destroyed Tuscaloosa. On
the 10th he crossed the Alabama River, and after sending
information of his operations to General Canby, marched on
Montgomery, which place he occupied on the 14th, the enemy
having abandoned it. At this place many stores and five
steamboats fell into our hands. Thence a force marched direct
on Columbus, and another on West Point, both of which places
were assaulted and captured on the 16th. At the former place we
got one thousand five hundred prisoners and fifty-two field-guns,
destroyed two gunboats, the navy yard, foundries, arsenal, many
factories, and much other public property. At the latter place
we got three hundred prisoners, four guns, and destroyed
nineteen locomotives and three hundred cars. On the 20th he
took possession of Macon, Georgia, with sixty field-guns, one
thousand two hundred militia, and five generals, surrendered by
General Howell Cobb. General Wilson, hearing that Jeff. Davis
was trying to make his escape, sent forces in pursuit and
succeeded in capturing him on the morning of May 11th.

On the 4th day of May, General Dick Taylor surrendered to
General Canby all the remaining rebel forces east of the

A force sufficient to insure an easy triumph over the enemy
under Kirby Smith, west of the Mississippi, was immediately put
in motion for Texas, and Major-General Sheridan designated for
its immediate command; but on the 26th day of May, and before
they reached their destination, General Kirby Smith surrendered
his entire command to Major-General Canby. This surrender did
not take place, however, until after the capture of the rebel
President and Vice-President; and the bad faith was exhibited of
first disbanding most of his army and permitting an
indiscriminate plunder of public property.

Owing to the report that many of those lately in arms against
the government had taken refuge upon the soil of Mexico,
carrying with them arms rightfully belonging to the United
States, which had been surrendered to us by agreement among them
some of the leaders who had surrendered in person and the
disturbed condition of affairs on the Rio Grande, the orders for
troops to proceed to Texas were not changed.

There have been severe combats, raids, expeditions, and
movements to defeat the designs and purposes of the enemy, most
of them reflecting great credit on our arms, and which
contributed greatly to our final triumph, that I have not
mentioned. Many of these will be found clearly set forth in the
reports herewith submitted; some in the telegrams and brief
dispatches announcing them, and others, I regret to say, have
not as yet been officially reported.

For information touching our Indian difficulties, I would
respectfully refer to the reports of the commanders of
departments in which they have occurred.

It has been my fortune to see the armies of both the West and
the East fight battles, and from what I have seen I know there
is no difference in their fighting qualities. All that it was
possible for men to do in battle they have done. The Western
armies commenced their battles in the Mississippi Valley, and
received the final surrender of the remnant of the principal
army opposed to them in North Carolina. The armies of the East
commenced their battles on the river from which the Army of the
Potomac derived its name, and received the final surrender of
their old antagonists at Appomattox Court House, Virginia. The
splendid achievements of each have nationalized our victories
removed all sectional jealousies (of which we have unfortunately
experienced too much), and the cause of crimination and
recrimination that might have followed had either section failed
in its duty. All have a proud record, and all sections can well
congratulate themselves and each other for having done their
full share in restoring the supremacy of law over every foot of
territory belonging to the United States. Let them hope for
perpetual peace and harmony with that enemy, whose manhood,
however mistaken the cause, drew forth such herculean deeds of

I have the honor to be,
Very respectfully, your obedient servant, U. S. GRANT,



(*1) Afterwards General Gardner, C.S.A.

(*2) General Garland expressed a wish to get a message back to
General Twiggs, his division commander, or General Taylor, to
the effect that he was nearly out of ammunition and must have
more sent to him, or otherwise be reinforced. Deeming the
return dangerous he did not like to order any one to carry it,
so he called for a volunteer. Lieutenant Grant offered his
services, which were accepted.--PUBLISHERS.

(*3) Mentioned in the reports of Major Lee, Colonel Garland and
General Worth.--PUBLISHERS.

(*4) NOTE.--It had been a favorite idea with General Scott for a
great many years before the Mexican war to have established in
the United States a soldiers' home, patterned after something of
the kind abroad, particularly, I believe, in France. He
recommended this uniformly, or at least frequently, in his
annual reports to the Secretary of War, but never got any
hearing. Now, as he had conquered the state, he made
assessments upon the different large towns and cities occupied
by our troops, in proportion to their capacity to pay, and
appointed officers to receive the money. In addition to the sum
thus realized he had derived, through capture at Cerro Gordo,
sales of captured government tobacco, etc., sums which swelled
the fund to a total of about $220,000. Portions of this fund
were distributed among the rank and file, given to the wounded
in hospital, or applied in other ways, leaving a balance of some
$118,000 remaining unapplied at the close of the war. After the
war was over and the troops all home, General Scott applied to
have this money, which had never been turned into the Treasury
of the United States, expended in establishing such homes as he
had previously recommended. This fund was the foundation of the
Soldiers' Home at Washington City, and also one at Harrodsburgh,

The latter went into disuse many years ago. In fact it never
had many soldiers in it, and was, I believe, finally sold.

(*5) The Mexican war made three presidential candidates, Scott,
Taylor and Pierce--and any number of aspirants for that high
office. It made also governors of States, members of the
cabinet, foreign ministers and other officers of high rank both
in state and nation. The rebellion, which contained more war in
a single day, at some critical periods, than the whole Mexican
war in two years, has not been so fruitful of political results
to those engaged on the Union side. On the other side, the side
of the South, nearly every man who holds office of any sort
whatever, either in the state or in the nation, was a
Confederate soldier, but this is easily accounted for from the
fact that the South was a military camp, and there were very few
people of a suitable age to be in the army who were not in it.

(*6) C. B. Lagow, the others not yet having joined me.

(*7) NOTE.--Since writing this chapter I have received from Mrs.
W. H. L. Wallace, widow of the gallant general who was killed in
the first day's fight on the field of Shiloh, a letter from
General Lew. Wallace to him dated the morning of the 5th. At
the date of this letter it was well known that the Confederates
had troops out along the Mobile & Ohio railroad west of Crump's
landing and Pittsburg landing, and were also collecting near
Shiloh. This letter shows that at that time General Lew.
Wallace was making preparations for the emergency that might
happen for the passing of reinforcements between Shiloh and his
position, extending from Crump's landing westward, and he sends
it over the road running from Adamsville to the Pittsburg
landing and Purdy road. These two roads intersect nearly a mile
west of the crossing of the latter over Owl Creek, where our
right rested. In this letter General Lew. Wallace advises
General W. H. L. Wallace that he will send "to-morrow" (and his
letter also says "April 5th," which is the same day the letter
was dated and which, therefore, must have been written on the
4th) some cavalry to report to him at his headquarters, and
suggesting the propriety of General W. H. L. Wallace's sending a
company back with them for the purpose of having the cavalry at
the two landings familiarize themselves with the road so that
they could "act promptly in case of emergency as guides to and
from the different camps."

This modifies very materially what I have said, and what has
been said by others, of the conduct of General Lew. Wallace at
the battle of Shiloh. It shows that he naturally, with no more
experience than he had at the time in the profession of arms,
would take the particular road that he did start upon in the
absence of orders to move by a different road.

The mistake he made, and which probably caused his apparent
dilatoriness, was that of advancing some distance after he found
that the firing, which would be at first directly to his front
and then off to the left, had fallen back until it had got very
much in rear of the position of his advance. This falling back
had taken place before I sent General Wallace orders to move up
to Pittsburg landing and, naturally, my order was to follow the
road nearest the river. But my order was verbal, and to a staff
officer who was to deliver it to General Wallace, so that I am
not competent to say just what order the General actually

General Wallace's division was stationed, the First brigade at
Crump's landing, the Second out two miles, and the Third two and
a half miles out. Hearing the sounds of battle General Wallace
early ordered his First and Third brigades to concentrate on the
Second. If the position of our front had not changed, the road
which Wallace took would have been somewhat shorter to our right
than the River road.



(*8) NOTE: In an article on the battle of Shiloh which I wrote
for the Century Magazine, I stated that General A. McD. McCook,
who commanded a division of Buell's army, expressed some
unwillingness to pursue the enemy on Monday, April 7th, because
of the condition of his troops. General Badeau, in his history,
also makes the same statement, on my authority. Out of justice
to General McCook and his command, I must say that they left a
point twenty-two miles east of Savannah on the morning of the
6th. From the heavy rains of a few days previous and the
passage of trains and artillery, the roads were necessarily deep
in mud, which made marching slow. The division had not only
marched through this mud the day before, but it had been in the
rain all night without rest. It was engaged in the battle of
the second day and did as good service as its position
allowed. In fact an opportunity occurred for it to perform a
conspicuous act of gallantry which elicited the highest
commendation from division commanders in the Army of the
Tennessee. General Sherman both in his memoirs and report makes
mention of this fact. General McCook himself belongs to a family
which furnished many volunteers to the army. I refer to these
circumstances with minuteness because I did General McCook
injustice in my article in the Century, though not to the extent
one would suppose from the public press. I am not willing to do
any one an injustice, and if convinced that I have done one, I
am always willing to make the fullest admission.

(*9) NOTE.--For gallantry in the various engagements, from the
time I was left in command down to 26th of October and on my
recommendation, Generals McPherson and C. S. Hamilton were
promoted to be Major-Generals, and Colonels C. C. Marsh, 20th
Illinois, M. M. Crocker, 13th Iowa J. A. Mower, 11th Missouri,
M. D. Leggett, 78th Ohio, J. D. Stevenson, 7th Missouri, and
John E. Smith, 45th Illinois, to be Brigadiers.

(*10) Colonel Ellet reported having attacked a Confederate
battery on the Red River two days before with one of his boats,
the De Soto. Running aground, he was obliged to abandon his
vessel. However, he reported that he set fire to her and blew
her up. Twenty of his men fell into the hands of the enemy.
With the balance he escaped on the small captured steamer, the
New Era, and succeeded in passing the batteries at Grand Gulf
and reaching the vicinity of Vicksburg.

(*11) One of Colonel Ellet's vessels which had run the blockade
on February the 2d and been sunk in the Red River.

(*12) NOTE.--On this occasion Governor Richard Yates, of
Illinois, happened to be on a visit to the army and accompanied
me to Carthage. I furnished an ambulance for his use and that
of some of the State officers who accompanied him.

(*13) NOTE.--When General Sherman first learned of the move I
proposed to make, he called to see me about it. I recollect
that I had transferred my headquarters from a boat in the river
to a house a short distance back from the levee. I was seated
on the piazza engaged in conversation with my staff when Sherman
came up. After a few moments' conversation he said that he would
like to see me alone. We passed into the house together and shut
the door after us. Sherman then expressed his alarm at the move
I had ordered, saying that I was putting myself in a position
voluntarily which an enemy would be glad to manoeuvre a year--or
a long time--to get me in. I was going into the enemy's country,
with a large river behind me and the enemy holding points
strongly fortified above and below. He said that it was an
axiom in war that when any great body of troops moved against an
enemy they should do so from a base of supplies, which they would
guard as they would the apple of the eye, etc. He pointed out
all the difficulties that might be encountered in the campaign
proposed, and stated in turn what would be the true campaign to
make. This was, in substance, to go back until high ground
could be reached on the east bank of the river; fortify there
and establish a depot of supplies, and move from there, being
always prepared to fall back upon it in case of disaster. I
said this would take us back to Memphis. Sherman then said that
was the very place he would go to, and would move by railroad
from Memphis to Grenada, repairing the road as we advanced. To
this I replied, the country is already disheartened over the
lack of success on the part of our armies; the last election
went against the vigorous prosecution of the war, voluntary
enlistments had ceased throughout most of the North and
conscription was already resorted to, and if we went back so far
as Memphis it would discourage the people so much that bases of
supplies would be of no use: neither men to hold them nor
supplies to put in them would be furnished. The problem for us
was to move forward to a decisive victory, or our cause was
lost. No progress was being made in any other field, and we had
to go on.

Sherman wrote to my adjutant general, Colonel J. A. Rawlins,
embodying his views of the campaign that should be made, and
asking him to advise me to at least get the views of my generals
upon the subject. Colonel Rawlins showed me the letter, but I
did not see any reason for changing my plans. The letter was
not answered and the subect was not subsequently mentioned
between Sherman and myself to the end of the war, that I
remember of. I did not regard the letter as official, and
consequently did not preserve it. General Sherman furnished a
copy himself to General Badeau, who printed it in his history of
my campaigns. I did not regard either the conversation between
us or the letter to my adjutant-general as protests, but simply
friendly advice which the relations between us fully
justified. Sherman gave the same energy to make the campaign a
success that he would or could have done if it had been ordered
by himself. I make this statement here to correct an impression
which was circulated at the close of the war to Sherman's
prejudice, and for which there was no fair foundation.

(*14) Meant Edward's Station.

(*15) CHATTANOOGA, November 18, 1863.


Enclosed herewith I send you copy of instructions to
Major-General Thomas. You having been over the ground in
person, and having heard the whole matter discussed, further
instructions will not be necessary for you. It is particularly
desirable that a force should be got through to the railroad
between Cleveland and Dalton, and Longstreet thus cut off from
communication with the South, but being confronted by a large
force here, strongly located, it is not easy to tell how this is
to be effected until the result of our first effort is known.

I will add, however, what is not shown in my instructions to
Thomas, that a brigade of cavalry has been ordered here which,
if it arrives in time, will be thrown across the Tennessee above
Chickamauga, and may be able to make the trip to Cleveland or


CHATTANOOGA, November 18, 1863.


All preparations should be made for attacking the enemy's
position on Missionary Ridge by Saturday at daylight. Not being
provided with a map giving names of roads, spurs of the
mountains, and other places, such definite instructions cannot
be given as might be desirable. However, the general plan, you
understand, is for Sherman, with the force brought with him
strengthened by a division from your command, to effect a
crossing of the Tennessee River just below the mouth of
Chickamauga; his crossing to be protected by artillery from the
heights on the north bank of the river (to be located by your
chief of artillery), and to secure the heights on the northern
extremity to about the railroad tunnel before the enemy can
concentrate against him. You will co-operate with Sherman. The
troops in Chattanooga Valley should be well concentrated on your
left flank, leaving only the necessary force to defend
fortifications on the right and centre, and a movable column of
one division in readiness to move wherever ordered. This
division should show itself as threateningly as possible on the
most practicable line for making an attack up the valley. Your
effort then will be to form a junction with Sherman, making your
advance well towards the northern end of Missionary Ridge, and
moving as near simultaneously with him as possible. The
junction once formed and the ridge carried, communications will
be at once established between the two armies by roads on the
south bank of the river. Further movements will then depend on
those of the enemy. Lookout Valley, I think, will be easily
held by Geary's division and what troops you may still have
there belonging to the old Army of the Cumberland. Howard's
corps can then be held in readiness to act either with you at
Chattanooga or with Sherman. It should be marched on Friday
night to a position on the north side of the river, not lower
down than the first pontoon-bridge, and there held in readiness
for such orders as may become necessary. All these troops will
be provided with two days' cooked rations in haversacks, and one
hundred rounds of ammunition on the person of each infantry
soldier. Special care should be taken by all officers to see
that ammunition is not wasted or unnecessarily fired away. You
will call on the engineer department for such preparations as
you may deem necessary for carrying your infantry and artillery
over the creek.


(*16) In this order authority was given for the troops to reform
after taking the first line of rifle-pits preparatory to carrying
the ridge.

(*17) CHATTANOOGA, November 24,1863.


General Sherman carried Missionary Ridge as far as the tunnel
with only slight skirmishing. His right now rests at the tunnel
and on top of the hill, his left at Chickamauga Creek. I have
instructed General Sherman to advance as soon as it is light in
the morning, and your attack, which will be simultaneous, will
be in cooperation. Your command will either carry the
rifle-pits and ridge directly in front of them, or move to the
left, as the presence of the enemy may require. If Hooker's
position on the mountain [cannot be maintained] with a small
force, and it is found impracticable to carry the top from where
he is, it would be advisable for him to move up the valley with
all the force he can spare, and ascend by the first practicable



(*18) WASHINGTON, D. C.,
December 8, 1863, 10.2 A.M.


Understanding that your lodgment at Knoxville and at Chattanooga
is now secure, I wish to tender you, and all under your command,
my more than thanks, my profoundest gratitude for the skill,
courage, and perseverance with which you and they, over so great
difficulties, have effected that important object. God bless you


President U. S.

(*19) General John G. Foster.

(*20) During this winter the citizens of Jo Davies County, Ill.,
subscribed for and had a diamond-hilled sword made for General
Grant, which was always known as the Chattanooga sword. The
scabbard was of gold, and was ornamented with a scroll running
nearly its entire length, displaying in engraved letters the
names of the battles in which General Grant had participated.

Congress also gave him a vote of thanks for the victories at
Chattanooga, and voted him a gold medal for Vicksburg and
Chattanooga. All such things are now in the possession of the
government at Washington.

December 29, 1863.


General Foster has asked to be relieved from his command on
account of disability from old wounds. Should his request be
granted, who would you like as his successor? It is possible
that Schofield will be sent to your command.


(*22) See letter to Banks, in General Grant's report, Appendix.


April 4, 1864.

Commanding Military Division of the Mississippi.

GENERAL:--It is my design, if the enemy keep quiet and allow me
to take the initiative in the spring campaign, to work all parts
of the army together, and somewhat towards a common centre. For
your information I now write you my programme, as at present
determined upon.

I have sent orders to Banks, by private messenger, to finish up
his present expedition against Shreveport with all dispatch; to
turn over the defence of Red River to General Steele and the
navy and to return your troops to you and his own to New
Orleans; to abandon all of Texas, except the Rio Grande, and to
hold that with not to exceed four thousand men; to reduce the
number of troops on the Mississippi to the lowest number
necessary to hold it, and to collect from his command not less
than twenty-five thousand men. To this I will add five thousand
men from Missouri. With this force he is to commence operations
against Mobile as soon as he can. It will be impossible for him
to commence too early.

Gillmore joins Butler with ten thousand men, and the two operate
against Richmond from the south side of the James River. This
will give Butler thirty-three thousand men to operate with, W.
F. Smith commanding the right wing of his forces and Gillmore
the left wing. I will stay with the Army of the Potomac,
increased by Burnside's corps of not less than twenty-five
thousand effective men, and operate directly against Lee's army,
wherever it may be found.

Sigel collects all his available force in two columns, one,
under Ord and Averell, to start from Beverly, Virginia, and the
other, under Crook, to start from Charleston on the Kanawha, to
move against the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad.

Crook will have all cavalry, and will endeavor to get in about
Saltville, and move east from there to join Ord. His force will
be all cavalry, while Ord will have from ten to twelve thousand
men of all arms.

You I propose to move against Johnston's army, to break it up
and to get into the interior of the enemy's country as far as
you can, inflicting all the damage you can against their war

I do not propose to lay down for you a plan of campaign, but
simply lay down the work it is desirable to have done and leave
you free to execute it in your own way. Submit to me, however,
as early as you can, your plan of operations.

As stated, Banks is ordered to commence operations as soon as he
can. Gillmore is ordered to report at Fortress Monroe by the
18th inst., or as soon thereafter as practicable. Sigel is
concentrating now. None will move from their places of
rendezvous until I direct, except Banks. I want to be ready to
move by the 25th inst., if possible. But all I can now direct
is that you get ready as soon as possible. I know you will have
difficulties to encounter in getting through the mountains to
where supplies are abundant, but I believe you will accomplish

From the expedition from the Department of West Virginia I do
not calculate on very great results; but it is the only way I
can take troops from there. With the long line of railroad
Sigel has to protect, he can spare no troops except to move
directly to his front. In this way he must get through to
inflict great damage on the enemy, or the enemy must detach from
one of his armies a large force to prevent it. In other words,
if Sigel can't skin himself he can hold a leg while some one
else skins.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


(*24) See instructions to Butler, in General Grant's report,

April 9, 1864.

Com'd'g Army of the Potomac.

For information and as instruction to govern your preparations
for the coming campaign, the following is communicated
confidentially for your own perusal alone.

So far as practicable all the armies are to move together, and
towards one common centre. Banks has been instructed to turn
over the guarding of the Red River to General Steele and the
navy, to abandon Texas with the exception of the Rio Grande, and
to concentrate all the force he can, not less than 25,000 men, to
move on Mobile. This he is to do without reference to other
movements. From the scattered condition of his command,
however, he cannot possibly get it together to leave New Orleans
before the 1st of May, if so soon. Sherman will move at the same
time you do, or two or three days in advance, Jo. Johnston's army
being his objective point, and the heart of Georgia his ultimate
aim. If successful he will secure the line from Chattanooga to
Mobile with the aid of Banks.

Sigel cannot spare troops from his army to reinforce either of
the great armies, but he can aid them by moving directly to his
front. This he has been directed to do, and is now making
preparations for it. Two columns of his command will make south
at the same time with the general move; one from Beverly, from
ten to twelve thousand strong, under Major-General Ord; the
other from Charleston, Va., principally cavalry, under
Brig.-General Crook. The former of these will endeavor to reach
the Tennessee and Virginia Railroad, about south of Covington,
and if found practicable will work eastward to Lynchburg and
return to its base by way of the Shenandoah Valley, or join
you. The other will strike at Saltville, Va., and come eastward
to join Ord. The cavalry from Ord's command will try tributaries
would furnish us an easy line over which to bring all supplies to
within easy hauling distance of every position the army could
occupy from the Rapidan to the James River. But Lee could, if
he chose, detach or move his whole army north on a line rather
interior to the one I would have to take in following. A
movement by his left--our right--would obviate this; but all
that was done would have to be done with the supplies and
ammunition we started with. All idea of adopting this latter
plan was abandoned when the limited quantity of supplies
possible to take with us was considered. The country over which
we would have to pass was so exhausted of all food or forage that
we would be obliged to carry everything with us.

While these preparations were going on the enemy was not
entirely idle. In the West Forrest made a raid in West
Tennessee up to the northern border, capturing the garrison of
four or five hundred men at Union City, and followed it up by an
attack on Paducah, Kentucky, on the banks of the Ohio. While he
was able to enter the city he failed to capture the forts or any
part of the garrison. On the first intelligence of Forrest's
raid I telegraphed Sherman to send all his cavalry against him,
and not to let him get out of the trap he had put himself
into. Sherman had anticipated me by sending troops against him
before he got my order.

Forrest, however, fell back rapidly, and attacked the troops at
Fort Pillow, a station for the protection of the navigation of
the Mississippi River. The garrison to force a passage
southward, if they are successful in reaching the Virginia and
Tennessee Railroad, to cut the main lines of the road connecting
Richmond with all the South and South-west.

Gillmore will join Butler with about 10,000 men from South
Carolina. Butler can reduce his garrison so as to take 23,000
men into the field directly to his front. The force will be
commanded by Maj.-General W. F. Smith. With Smith and Gillmore,
Butler will seize City Point, and operate against Richmond from
the south side of the river. His movement will be simultaneous
with yours.

Lee's army will be your objective point. Wherever Lee goes,
there you will go also. The only point upon which I am now in
doubt is, whether it will be better to cross the Rapidan above
or below him. Each plan presents great advantages over the
other with corresponding objections. By crossing above, Lee is
cut off from all chance of ignoring Richmond and going north on
a raid. But if we take this route, all we do must be done
whilst the rations we start with hold out. We separate from
Butler so that he cannot be directed how to co-operate. By the
other route Brandy Station can be used as a base of supplies
until another is secured on the York or James rivers.

These advantages and objections I will talk over with you more
fully than I can write them.

Burnside with a force of probably 25,000 men will reinforce
you. Immediately upon his arrival, which will be shortly after
the 20th inst., I will give him the defence of the road from
Bull Run as far south as we wish to hold it. This will enable
you to collect all your strength about Brandy Station and to the

There will be naval co-operation on the James River, and
transports and ferries will be provided so that should Lee fall
back into his intrenchments at Richmond, Butler's force and
yours will be a unit, or at least can be made to act as such.
What I would direct then, is that you commence at once reducing
baggage to the very lowest possible standard. Two wagons to a
regiment of five hundred men is the greatest number that should
be allowed, for all baggage, exclusive of subsistence stores and
ordnance stores. One wagon to brigade and one to division
headquarters is sufficient and about two to corps headquarters.

Should by Lee's right flank be our route, you will want to make
arrangements for having supplies of all sorts promptly forwarded
to White House on the Pamunkey. Your estimates for this
contingency should be made at once. If not wanted there, there
is every probability they will be wanted on the James River or

If Lee's left is turned, large provision will have to be made
for ordnance stores. I would say not much short of five hundred
rounds of infantry ammunition would do. By the other, half the
amount would be sufficient.



(*26) General John A. Logan, upon whom devolved the command of
the Army of the Tennessee during this battle, in his report gave
our total loss in killed, wounded and missing at 3,521; and
estimated that of the enemy to be not less than 10,000: and
General G. M. Dodge, graphically describing to General Sherman
the enemy's attack, the full weight of which fell first upon and
was broken by his depleted command, remarks: "The disparity of
forces can be seen from the fact that in the charge made by my
two brigades under Fuller and Mersy they took 351 prisoners,
representing forty-nine different regiments, eight brigades and
three divisions; and brought back eight battle flags from the




MAJOR-GENERAL GEORGE G. MEADE, Commanding Army of the Potomac.

MAJ.-GEN. W. S. HANCOCK, commanding Second Army Corps.

First Division, Brig.-Gen. Francis C. Barlow.
First Brigade, Col. Nelson A. Miles.
Second Brigade, Col. Thomas A. Smyth.
Third Brigade, Col. Paul Frank.
Fourth Brigade, Col. John R. Brooke.

Second Division, Brig.-Gen. John Gibbon.
First Brigade, Brig.-Gen. Alex. S. Webb.
Second Brigade, Brig.-Gen. Joshua T. Owen.
Third Brigade, Col. Samuel S. Carroll.

Third Division, Maj.-Gen. David B. Birney.
First Brigade, Brig.-Gen. J. H. H. Ward.
Second Brigade, Brig.-Gen. Alexander Hays.

Fourth Divisin, Brig.-Gen. Gershom Mott.
First Brigade, Col. Robert McAllister.
Second Brigade, Col. Wm. R. Brewster.

Artillery Brigade, Col. John C. Tidball.

MAJ.-GEN. G. K. WARREN, commanding Fifth Army Corps.

First Division, Brig.-Gen. Charles Griffin.
First Brigade, Brig.-Gen. Romeyn B. Ayres.
Second Brigade, Col. Jacob B. Sweitzer.
Third Brigade, Brig.-Gen. J. J. Bartlett.

Second Division, Brig.-Gen. John C. Robinson.
First Brigade, Col. Samuel H. Leonard.
Second Brigade, Brig.-Gen. Henry Baxter.
Third Brigade, Col. Andrew W. Denison.

Third Division, Brig.-Gen. Samuel W. Crawford.
First Brigade, Col. Wm McCandless.
Third Brigade, Col. Joseph W. Fisher.

Fourth Division, Brig.-Gen. James S. Wadsworth.
First Brigade, Brig.-Gen. Lysander Cutler.
Second Brigade Brig.-Gen. James C. Rice.
Third Brigade, Col. Roy Stone

Artillery Brigade, Col. S. S. Wainwright.

MAJ.-GEN. JOHN SEDGWICK, commanding Sixth Army Corps.

First Division, Brig.-Gen. H. G. Wright.
First Brigade, Col. Henry W. Brown.
Second Brigade, Col. Emory Upton.
Third Brigade, Brig.-Gen. D. A. Russell.
Fourth Brigade, Brig.-Gen. Alexander Shaler.

Second Division, Brig.-Gen. George W. Getty.
First Brigade, Brig.-Gen. Frank Wheaton.
Second Brigade, Col. Lewis A. Grant.
Third Brigade, Brig.-Gen. Thos. H. Neill.
Fourth Brigade, Brig.-Gen. Henry L. Eustis.

Third Division, Brig.-Gen. James Ricketts.
First Brigade, Brig.-Gen. Wm. H. Morris.
Second Brigade, Brig.-Gen. T. Seymour.

Artillery Brigade, Col. C. H. Tompkins

MAJ.-GEN. P. H. SHERIDAN, commanding Cavalry Corps.

First Division, Brig.-Gen. A. T. A. Torbert.
First Brigade, Brig.-Gen. G. A. Custer.
Second Brigade, Col. Thos. C. Devin.
Reserve Brigade, Brig.-Gen. Wesley Merritt

Second Division, Brig.-Gen. D. McM. Gregg.
First Brigade, Brig.-Gen. Henry E. Davies, Jr.
Second Brigade, Col. J. Irvin Gregg.

Third Division, Brig.-Gen. J. H. Wilson.
First Brigade, Col. T. M. Bryan, Jr.
Second Brigade, Col. Geo. H. Chapman.

MAJ.-GEN. A. E. BURNSIDE, commanding Ninth Army Corps.

First Division, Brig.-Gen. T. G. Stevenson.
First Brigade, Col. Sumner Carruth.
Second Brigade, Col. Daniel Leasure.

Second Division, Brig.-Gen. Robert B. Potter.
First Brigade, Col. Zenas R. Bliss.
Second Brigade, Col. Simon G. Griffin.

Third Division, Brig.-Gen. Orlando Willcox.
First Brigade, Col. John F. Hartranft.
Second Brigade, Col. Benj. C. Christ.

Fourth Division, Brig.-Gen. Edward Ferrero.
First Brigade, Col. Joshua K. Sigfried.
Second Brigade, Col. Henry G. Thomas.

Provisional Brigade, Col. Elisha G. Marshall.

BRIG.-GEN. HENRY J. HUNT, commanding Artillery.

Reserve, Col. H. S. Burton.
First Brigade, Col. J. H. Kitching.
Second Brigade, Maj. J. A. Tompkins.
First Brig. Horse Art., Capt. J. M. Robertson.
Second Brigade, Horse Art., Capt. D. R. Ransom.
Third Brigade, Maj. R. H. Fitzhugh.

Provost Guard, Brig.-Gen. M. R. Patrick.
Volunteer Engineers, Brig.-Gen. H. W. Benham.


Organization of the Army of Northern Virginia, Commanded by
GENERAL ROBERT E. LEE, August 31st, 1834.

First Army Corps: LIEUT.-GEN. R. H. ANDERSON, Commanding.

Brig.-Gen. Seth M. Barton's Brigade. (a)
Brig.-Gen. M. D. Corse's "
" Eppa Hunton's "
" Wm. R. Terry's "

MAJ.-GEN. C. W. FIELD'S Division. (b)
Brig.-Gen. G. T. Anderson's Brigade
" E. M. Law's (c) "
" John Bratton's "

MAJ.-GEN. J. B. KERSHAW'S Division. (d)
Brig.-Gen. W. T. Wofford's Brigade
" B. G. Humphreys' "
" Goode Bryan's "
" Kershaw's (Old) "

Second Army Corps: MAJOR-GENERAL JUBAL A. EARLY, Commanding

Brig.-Gen. H. T. Hays' Brigade. (e)
" John Pegram 's " (f)
" Gordon's " (g)
Brig.-Gen. R. F. Hoke's "

Stonewall Brig. (Brig.-Gen. J. A. Walker). (h)
Brig.-Gen. J M Jones' Brigade. (h)
" Geo H. Stewart's " (h)
" L. A. Stafford's " (e)

MAJ.-GEN. R. E. RODES' Division.
Brig.-Gen. J. Daniel's Brigade. (i)
" Geo. Dole's " (k)
" S. D. Ramseur's Brigade.
" C. A. Battle's "
" R. D. Johnston's " (f)

Third Army Corps: LIEUT.-GEN. A. P. HILL, Commanding.

MAJ.-GEN. WM. MAHONE'S Division. (l)
Brig.-Gen. J. C. C. Sanders' Brigade.
Mahone's "
Brig.-Gen. N. H. Harris's " (m)
" A. R. Wright's "
" Joseph Finegan's "

MAJ.-GEN. C. M. WILCOX'S Division.
Brig.-Gen. E. L. Thomas's Brigade (n)
" James H. Lane's "
" Sam'l McCowan's "
" Alfred M. Scale's "

MAJ.-GEN. H. HETH'S Division. (o)
Brig.-Gen. J. R. Davis's Brigade.
" John R. Cooke's "
" D. McRae's "
" J. J. Archer's "
" H. H. Walker's "

_unattached_: 5th Alabama Battalion.

Cavalry Corps: LIEUTENANT-GENERAL WADE HAMPTON, Commanding.(p)

Brig.-Gen. W. C. Wickham's Brigade
" L. L. Lomax's "

MAJ.-GEN. M. C. BUTLER'S Division.
Brig.-Gen. John Dunovant's Brigade.
" P. M. B. Young's "
" Thomas L. Rosser's "

MAJ.-GEN. W. H. F. LEE'S Division.
Brig.-Gen. Rufus Barringer's Brigade.
" J. R. Chambliss's "

Artillery Reserve: BRIG.-GEN. W. N. PENDLETON, Commanding.

Cabell's Battalion.
Manly's Battery.
1st Co. Richmond Howitzers.
Carleton's Battery.
Calloway's Battery.

Haskell's Battalion.
Branch's Battery.
Nelson's "
Garden's "
Rowan "

Huger's Battalion.
Smith's Battery.
Moody "
Woolfolk "
Parker's "
Taylor's "
Fickling's "
Martin's "

Gibb's Battalion.
Davidson's Battery.
Dickenson's "
Otey's "


Braxton's Battalion.
Lee Battery.
1st Md. Artillery.
Stafford "
Alleghany "

Cutshaw's Battalion.
Charlotteville Artillery.
Staunton "
Courtney "

Carter's Battalion.
Morris Artillery.
Orange "
King William Artillery.
Jeff Davis "

Nelson's Battalion.
Amherst Artillery.
Milledge "
Fluvauna "

Brown's Battalion.
Powhatan Artillery.
2d Richmond Howitzers.
3d " "
Rockbridge Artillery.
Salem Flying Artillery.


Cutt's Battalion.
Ross's Battery.
Patterson's Battery.
Irwin Artillery.

Richardson's Battalion.
Lewis Artillery.
Donaldsonville Artillery.
Norfolk Light "
Huger "

Mclntosh 's Battalion.
Johnson's Battery.
Hardaway Artillery.
Danville "
2d Rockbridge Artillery.

Pegram's Battalion.
Peedee Artillery.
Fredericksburg Artillery.
Letcher "
Purcell Battery.
Crenshaw's Battery.

Poague's Battalion.
Madison Artillery.
Albemarle "
Brooke "
Charlotte "

(a) COL. W. R. Aylett was in command Aug. 29th, and probably at
above date.
(b) Inspection report of this division shows that it also
contained Benning's and Gregg's Brigades. (c) Commanded by
Colonel P. D. Bowles.
(d) Only two brigadier-generals reported for duty; names not

Organization of the Army of the Valley District.
(e) Constituting York's Brigade.
(f) In Ramseur's Division.
(g) Evan's Brigade, Colonel E. N. Atkinson commanding, and
containing 12th Georgia Battalion.
(h) The Virginia regiments constituted Terry's Brigade, Gordon's
(i) Grimes' Brigade.
(k) Cook's "

(l) Returns report but one general officer present for duty;
name not indicated.
(m) Colonel Joseph M. Jayne, commanding.
(n) Colonel Thomas J. Simmons, commanding. (o) Four
brigadier-generals reported present for duty; names not
(p) On face of returns appears to have consisted of Hampton's,
Fitz-Lee's, and W. H. F. Lee's Division, and Dearing's Brigade.

*But one general officer reported present for duty in the
artillery, and Alexander's name not on the original.

May II, 1864.--3 P.M.

Commanding Army of the Potomac.

Move three divisions of the 2d corps by the rear of the 5th and
6th corps, under cover of night, so as to join the 9th corps in
a vigorous assault on the enemy at four o'clock A.M. to-morrow.
will send one or two staff officers over to-night to stay with
Burnside, and impress him with the importance of a prompt and
vigorous attack. Warren and Wright should hold their corps as
close to the enemy as possible, to take advantage of any
diversion caused by this attack, and to push in if any
opportunity presents itself. There is but little doubt in my
mind that the assault last evening would have proved entirely
successful if it had commenced one hour earlier and had been
heartily entered into by Mott's division and the 9th corps.



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