Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant [Volume Two]
Ulysses S. Grant

Part 8 out of 9

"October 10--noon.

"Dispatch about Wilson just received. Hood is now crossing
Coosa River, twelve miles below Rome, bound west. If he passes
over the Mobile and Ohio road, had I not better execute the plan
of my letter sent by Colonel Porter, and leave General Thomas
with the troops now in Tennessee to defend the State? He will
have an ample force when the reinforcements ordered reach

"W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General.

For a full understanding of the plan referred to in this
dispatch, I quote from the letter sent by Colonel Porter:

"I will therefore give my opinion, that your army and Canby's
should be reinforced to the maximum; that after you get
Wilmington, you strike for Savannah and the river; that Canby be
instructed to hold the Mississippi River, and send a force to get
Columbus, Georgia, either by the way of the Alabama or the
Appalachicola, and that I keep Hood employed and put my army in
final order for a march on Augusta, Columbia, and Charleston, to
be ready as soon as Wilmington is sealed as to commerce and the
city of Savannah is in our possession." This was in reply to a
letter of mine of date September 12th, in answer to a dispatch
of his containing substantially the same proposition, and in
which I informed him of a proposed movement against Wilmington,
and of the situation in Virginia, etc.


"October 11, 1864--11 A.M.

"Your dispatch of October 10th received. Does it not look as if
Hood was going to attempt the invasion of Middle Tennessee, using
the Mobile and Ohio and Memphis and Charleston roads to supply
his base on the Tennessee River, about Florence or Decatur? If
he does this, he ought to be met and prevented from getting
north of the Tennessee River. If you were to cut loose, I do
not believe you would meet Hood's army, but would be bushwhacked
by all the old men and little boys, and such railroad guards as
are still left at home. Hood would probably strike for
Nashville, thinking that by going north he could inflict greater
damage upon us than we could upon the rebels by going south. If
there is any way of getting at Hood's army, I would prefer that,
but I must trust to your own judgment. I find I shall not be
able to send a force from here to act with you on Savannah. Your
movements, therefore, will be independent of mine; at least until
the fall of Richmond takes place. I am afraid Thomas, with such
lines of road as he has to protect, could not prevent Hood from
going north. With Wilson turned loose, with all your cavalry,
you will find the rebels put much more on the defensive than

"U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.

"October 11--11 A.M.

"Hood moved his army from Palmetto Station across by Dallas and
Cedartown, and is now on the Coosa River, south of Rome. He
threw one corps on my road at Acworth, and I was forced to
follow. I hold Atlanta with the 20th corps, and have strong
detachments along my line. This reduces my active force to a
comparatively small army. We cannot remain here on the
defensive. With the twenty-five thousand men, and the bold
cavalry he has, he can constantly break my roads. I would
infinitely prefer to make a wreck of the road, and of the
country from Chattanooga to Atlanta including the latter city
send back all my wounded and worthless, and with my effective
army, move through Georgia, smashing things, to the sea. Hood
may turn into Tennessee and Kentucky, but I believe he will be
forced to follow me. Instead of my being on the defensive, I
would be on the offensive; instead of guessing at what he means
to do, he would have to guess at my plans. The difference in
war is full twenty-five per cent. I can make Savannah,
Charleston, or the mouth of the Chattahoochee.

"Answer quick, as I know we will not have the telegraph long.

"W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General.

"October 11,1864--11.30 P.M.

"Your dispatch of to-day received. If you are satisfied the
trip to the sea-coast can be made, holding the line of the
Tennessee River firmly, you may make it, destroying all the
railroad south of Dalton or Chattanooga, as you think best.

"U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.

It was the original design to hold Atlanta, and by getting
through to the coast, with a garrison left on the southern
railroads, leading east and west, through Georgia, to
effectually sever the east from the west. In other words, cut
the would-be Confederacy in two again, as it had been cut once
by our gaining possession of the Mississippi River. General
Sherman's plan virtually effected this object.

General Sherman commenced at once his preparations for his
proposed movement, keeping his army in position in the meantime
to watch Hood. Becoming satisfied that Hood had moved westward
from Gadsden across Sand Mountain, General Sherman sent the 4th
corps, Major-General Stanley commanding, and the 23d corps,
Major-General Schofield commanding, back to Chattanooga to
report to Major-General Thomas, at Nashville, whom he had placed
in command of all the troops of his military division, save the
four army corps and cavalry division he designed to move with
through Georgia. With the troops thus left at his disposal,
there was little doubt that General Thomas could hold the line
of the Tennessee, or, in the event Hood should force it, would
be able to concentrate and beat him in battle. It was therefore
readily consented to that Sherman should start for the sea-coast.

Having concentrated his troops at Atlanta by the 14th of
November, he commenced his march, threatening both Augusta and
Macon. His coming-out point could not be definitely fixed.
Having to gather his subsistence as he marched through the
country, it was not impossible that a force inferior to his own
might compel him to head for such point as he could reach,
instead of such as he might prefer. The blindness of the enemy,
however, in ignoring his movement, and sending Hood's army, the
only considerable force he had west of Richmond and east of the
Mississippi River, northward on an offensive campaign, left the
whole country open, and Sherman's route to his own choice.

How that campaign was conducted, how little opposition was met
with, the condition of the country through which the armies
passed, the capture of Fort McAllister, on the Savannah River,
and the occupation of Savannah on the 21st of December, are all
clearly set forth in General Sherman's admirable report.

Soon after General Sherman commenced his march from Atlanta, two
expeditions, one from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and one from
Vicksburg, Mississippi, were started by General Canby to cut the
enemy's lines of communication with Mobile and detain troops in
that field. General Foster, commanding Department of the South,
also sent an expedition, via Broad River, to destroy the railroad
between Charleston and Savannah. The expedition from Vicksburg,
under command of Brevet Brigadier-General E. D. Osband (colonel
3d United States colored cavalry), captured, on the 27th of
November, and destroyed the Mississippi Central Railroad bridge
and trestle-work over Big Black River, near Canton, thirty miles
of the road, and two locomotives, besides large amounts of
stores. The expedition from Baton Rouge was without favorable
results. The expedition from the Department of the South, under
the immediate command of Brigadier-General John P. Hatch,
consisting of about five thousand men of all arms, including a
brigade from the navy, proceeded up Broad River and debarked at
Boyd's Neck on the 29th of November, from where it moved to
strike the railroad at Grahamsville. At Honey Hill, about three
miles from Grahamsville, the enemy was found and attacked in a
strongly fortified position, which resulted, after severe
fighting, in our repulse with a loss of seven hundred and
forty-six in killed, wounded, and missing. During the night
General Hatch withdrew. On the 6th of December General Foster
obtained a position covering the Charleston and Savannah
Railroad, between the Coosawhatchie and Tulifinny rivers.

Hood, instead of following Sherman, continued his move
northward, which seemed to me to be leading to his certain
doom. At all events, had I had the power to command both
armies, I should not have changed the orders under which he
seemed to be acting. On the 26th of October, the advance of
Hood's army attacked the garrison at Decatur, Alabama, but
failing to carry the place, withdrew towards Courtland, and
succeeded, in the face of our cavalry, in effecting a lodgment
on the north side of the Tennessee River, near Florence. On the
28th, Forrest reached the Tennessee, at Fort Heiman, and captured
a gunboat and three transports. On the 2d of November he planted
batteries above and below Johnsonville, on the opposite side of
the river, isolating three gunboats and eight transports. On
the 4th the enemy opened his batteries upon the place, and was
replied to from the gunboats and the garrison. The gunboats
becoming disabled were set on fire, as also were the transports,
to prevent their falling into the hands of the enemy. About a
million and a half dollars' worth of store and property on the
levee and in storehouses was consumed by fire. On the 5th the
enemy disappeared and crossed to the north side of the Tennessee
River, above Johnsonville, moving towards Clifton, and
subsequently joined Hood. On the night of the 5th, General
Schofield, with the advance of the 23d corps, reached
Johnsonville, but finding the enemy gone, was ordered to
Pulaski, and was put in command of all the troopers there, with
instruction to watch the movements of Hood and retard his
advance, but not to risk a general engagement until the arrival
of General A. J. Smith's command from Missouri, and until
General Wilson could get his cavalry remounted.

On the 19th, General Hood continued his advance. General
Thomas, retarding him as much as possible, fell back towards
Nashville for the purpose of concentrating his command and
gaining time for the arrival of reinforcements. The enemy
coming up with our main force, commanded by General Schofield,
at Franklin, on the 30th, assaulted our works repeatedly during
the afternoon until late at night, but were in every instance
repulsed. His loss in this battle was one thousand seven
hundred and fifty killed, seven hundred and two prisoners, and
three thousand eight hundred wounded. Among his losses were six
general officers killed, six wounded, and one captured. Our
entire loss was two thousand three hundred. This was the first
serious opposition the enemy met with, and I am satisfied was
the fatal blow to all his expectations. During the night,
General Schofield fell back towards Nashville. This left the
field to the enemy--not lost by battle, but voluntarily
abandoned--so that General Thomas's whole force might be brought
together. The enemy followed up and commenced the establishment
of his line in front of Nashville on the 2d of December.

As soon as it was ascertained that Hood was crossing the
Tennessee River, and that Price was going out of Missouri,
General Rosecrans was ordered to send to General Thomas the
troops of General A. J. Smith's command, and such other troops
as he could spare. The advance of this reinforcement reached
Nashville on the 30th of November.

On the morning of the 15th December, General Thomas attacked
Hood in position, and, in a battle lasting two days, defeated
and drove him from the field in the utmost confusion, leaving in
our hand most of his artillery and many thousand prisoners,
including four general officers.

Before the battle of Nashville I grew very impatient over, as it
appeared to me, the unnecessary delay. This impatience was
increased upon learning that the enemy had sent a force of
cavalry across the Cumberland into Kentucky. I feared Hood
would cross his whole army and give us great trouble there.
After urging upon General Thomas the necessity of immediately
assuming the offensive, I started West to superintend matters
there in person. Reaching Washington City, I received General
Thomas's dispatch announcing his attack upon the enemy, and the
result as far as the battle had progressed. I was delighted.
All fears and apprehensions were dispelled. I am not yet
satisfied but that General Thomas, immediately upon the
appearance of Hood before Nashville, and before he had time to
fortify, should have moved out with his whole force and given
him battle, instead of waiting to remount his cavalry, which
delayed him until the inclemency of the weather made it
impracticable to attack earlier than he did. But his final
defeat of Hood was so complete, that it will be accepted as a
vindication of that distinguished officer's judgment.

After Hood's defeat at Nashville he retreated, closely pursued
by cavalry and infantry, to the Tennessee River, being forced to
abandon many pieces of artillery and most of his
transportation. On the 28th of December our advanced forces
ascertained that he had made good his escape to the south side
of the river.

About this time, the rains having set in heavily in Tennessee
and North Alabama, making it difficult to move army
transportation and artillery, General Thomas stopped the pursuit
by his main force at the Tennessee River. A small force of
cavalry, under Colonel W. J. Palmer, 15th Pennsylvania
Volunteers, continued to follow Hood for some distance,
capturing considerable transportation and all the enemy's
pontoon-bridge. The details of these operations will be found
clearly set forth in General Thomas's report.

A cavalry expedition, under Brevet Major-General Grierson,
started from Memphis on the 21st of December. On the 25th he
surprised and captured Forrest's dismounted camp at Verona,
Mississippi, on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, destroyed the
railroad, sixteen cars loaded with wagons and pontoons for
Hood's army, four thousand new English carbines, and large
amounts of public stores. On the morning of the 28th he
attacked and captured a force of the enemy at Egypt, and
destroyed a train of fourteen cars; thence turning to the
south-west, he struck the Mississippi Central Railroad at
Winona, destroyed the factories and large amounts of stores at
Bankston, and the machine-shops and public property at Grenada,
arriving at Vicksburg January 5th.

During the operations in Middle Tennessee, the enemy, with a
force under General Breckinridge, entered East Tennessee. On
the 13th of November he attacked General Gillem, near
Morristown, capturing his artillery and several hundred
prisoners. Gillem, with what was left of his command, retreated
to Knoxville. Following up his success, Breckinridge moved to
near Knoxville, but withdrew on the 18th, followed by General
Ammen. Under the directions of General Thomas, General Stoneman
concentrated the commands of Generals Burbridge and Gillem near
Bean's Station to operate against Breckinridge, and destroy or
drive him into Virginia--destroy the salt-works at Saltville,
and the railroad into Virginia as far as he could go without
endangering his command. On the 12th of December he commenced
his movement, capturing and dispersing the enemy's forces
wherever he met them. On the 16th he struck the enemy, under
Vaughn, at Marion, completely routing and pursuing him to
Wytheville, capturing all his artillery, trains, and one hundred
and ninety-eight prisoners; and destroyed Wytheville, with its
stores and supplies, and the extensive lead-works near there.
Returning to Marion, he met a force under Breckinridge,
consisting, among other troops, of the garrison of Saltville,
that had started in pursuit. He at once made arrangements to
attack it the next morning; but morning found Breckinridge
gone. He then moved directly to Saltville, and destroyed the
extensive salt-works at that place, a large amount of stores,
and captured eight pieces of artillery. Having thus
successfully executed his instructions, he returned General
Burbridge to Lexington and General Gillem to Knoxville.

Wilmington, North Carolina, was the most important sea-coast
port left to the enemy through which to get supplies from
abroad, and send cotton and other products out by
blockade-runners, besides being a place of great strategic
value. The navy had been making strenuous exertions to seal the
harbor of Wilmington, but with only partial effect. The nature
of the outlet of Cape Fear River was such, that it required
watching for so great a distance that, without possession of the
land north of New Inlet, or Fort Fisher, it was impossible for
the navy to entirely close the harbor against the entrance of

To secure the possession of this land required the co-operation
of a land force, which I agreed to furnish. Immediately
commenced the assemblage in Hampton Roads, under Admiral D. D.
Porter, of the most formidable armada ever collected for
concentration upon one given point. This necessarily attracted
the attention of the enemy, as well as that of the loyal North;
and through the imprudence of the public press, and very likely
of officers of both branches of service, the exact object of the
expedition became a subject of common discussion in the
newspapers both North and South. The enemy, thus warned,
prepared to meet it. This caused a postponement of the
expedition until the later part of November, when, being again
called upon by Hon. G. V. Fox, Assistant Secretary of the Navy,
I agreed to furnish the men required at once, and went myself,
in company with Major-General Butler, to Hampton Roads, where we
had a conference with Admiral Porter as to the force required and
the time of starting. A force of six thousand five hundred men
was regarded as sufficient. The time of starting was not
definitely arranged, but it was thought all would be ready by
the 6th of December, if not before. Learning, on the 30th of
November, that Bragg had gone to Georgia, taking with him most
of the forces about Wilmington, I deemed it of the utmost
importance that the expedition should reach its destination
before the return of Bragg, and directed General Butler to make
all arrangements for the departure of Major-General Weitzel, who
had been designated to command the land forces, so that the navy
might not be detained one moment.

On the 6th of December, the following instructions were given:

"CITY POINT, VIRGINIA, December 6, 1864.

"GENERAL: The first object of the expedition under General
Weitzel is to close to the enemy the port of Wilmington. If
successful in this, the second will be to capture Wilmington
itself. There are reasonable grounds to hope for success, if
advantage can be taken of the absence of the greater part of the
enemy's forces now looking after Sherman in Georgia. The
directions you have given for the numbers and equipment of the
expedition are all right, except in the unimportant matter of
where they embark and the amount of intrenching tools to be
taken. The object of the expedition will be gained by effecting
a landing on the main land between Cape Fear River and the
Atlantic, north of the north entrance to the river. Should such
landing be effected while the enemy still holds Fort Fisher and
the batteries guarding the entrance to the river, then the
troops should intrench themselves, and, by co-operating with the
navy, effect the reduction and capture of those places. These in
our hands, the navy could enter the harbor, and the port of
Wilmington would be sealed. Should Fort Fisher and the point of
land on which it is built fall into the hands of our troops
immediately on landing, then it will be worth the attempt to
capture Wilmington by a forced march and surprise. If time is
consumed in gaining the first object of the expedition, the
second will become a matter of after consideration.

"The details for execution are intrusted to you and the officer
immediately in command of the troops.

"Should the troops under General Weitzel fail to effect a
landing at or near Fort Fisher, they will be returned to the
armies operating against Richmond without delay.

"U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.

General Butler commanding the army from which the troops were
taken for this enterprise, and the territory within which they
were to operate, military courtesy required that all orders and
instructions should go through him. They were so sent, but
General Weitzel has since officially informed me that he never
received the foregoing instructions, nor was he aware of their
existence, until he read General Butler's published official
report of the Fort Fisher failure, with my indorsement and
papers accompanying it. I had no idea of General Butler's
accompanying the expedition until the evening before it got off
from Bermuda Hundred, and then did not dream but that General
Weitzel had received all the instructions, and would be in
command. I rather formed the idea that General Butler was
actuated by a desire to witness the effect of the explosion of
the powder-boat. The expedition was detained several days at
Hampton Roads, awaiting the loading of the powder-boat.

The importance of getting the Wilmington expedition off without
any delay, with or without the powder-boat, had been urged upon
General Butler, and he advised to so notify Admiral Porter.

The expedition finally got off on the 13th of December, and
arrived at the place of rendezvous, off New Inlet, near Fort
Fisher, on the evening of the 15th. Admiral Porter arrived on
the evening of the 18th, having put in at Beaufort to get
ammunition for the monitors. The sea becoming rough, making it
difficult to land troops, and the supply of water and coal being
about exhausted, the transport fleet put back to Beaufort to
replenish; this, with the state of the weather, delayed the
return to the place of rendezvous until the 24th. The
powder-boat was exploded on the morning of the 24th, before the
return of General Butler from Beaufort; but it would seem, from
the notice taken of it in the Southern newspapers, that the
enemy were never enlightened as to the object of the explosion
until they were informed by the Northern press.

On the 25th a landing was effected without opposition, and a
reconnoissance, under Brevet Brigadier-General Curtis, pushed up
towards the fort. But before receiving a full report of the
result of this reconnoissance, General Butler, in direct
violation of the instructions given, ordered the re-embarkation
of the troops and the return of the expedition. The
re-embarkation was accomplished by the morning of the 27th.

On the return of the expedition officers and men among them
Brevet Major-General (then Brevet Brigadier-General) N. M.
Curtis, First-Lieutenant G. W. Ross, 117th Regiment New York
Volunteers, First-Lieutenant William H. Walling, and
Second-Lieutenant George Simpson, 142d New York Volunteers
voluntarily reported to me that when recalled they were nearly
into the fort, and, in their opinion, it could have been taken
without much loss.

Soon after the return of the expedition, I received a dispatch
from the Secretary of the Navy, and a letter from Admiral
Porter, informing me that the fleet was still off Fort Fisher,
and expressing the conviction that, under a proper leader, the
place could be taken. The natural supposition with me was, that
when the troops abandoned the expedition, the navy would do so
also. Finding it had not, however, I answered on the 30th of
December, advising Admiral Porter to hold on, and that I would
send a force and make another attempt to take the place. This
time I selected Brevet Major-General (now Major-General) A. H.
Terry to command the expedition. The troops composing it
consisted of the same that composed the former, with the
addition of a small brigade, numbering about one thousand five
hundred, and a small siege train. The latter it was never found
necessary to land. I communicated direct to the commander of the
expedition the following instructions:

"CITY POINT, VIRGINIA, January 3, 1865.

"GENERAL: The expedition intrusted to your command has been
fitted out to renew the attempt to capture Fort Fisher, N. C.,
and Wilmington ultimately, if the fort falls. You will then
proceed with as little delay as possible to the naval fleet
lying off Cape Fear River, and report the arrival of yourself
and command to Admiral D. D. Porter, commanding North Atlantic
Blockading Squadron.

"It is exceedingly desirable that the most complete
understanding should exist between yourself and the naval
commander. I suggest, therefore, that you consult with Admiral
Porter freely, and get from him the part to be performed by each
branch of the public service, so that there may be unity of
action. It would be well to have the whole programme laid down
in writing. I have served with Admiral Porter, and know that
you can rely on his judgment and his nerve to undertake what he
proposes. I would, therefore, defer to him as much as is
consistent with your own responsibilities. The first object to
be attained is to get a firm position on the spit of land on
which Fort Fisher is built, from which you can operate against
that fort. You want to look to the practicability of receiving
your supplies, and to defending yourself against superior forces
sent against you by any of the avenues left open to the enemy. If
such a position can be obtained, the siege of Fort Fisher will
not be abandoned until its reduction is accomplished, or another
plan of campaign is ordered from these headquarters.

"My own views are, that if you effect a landing, the navy ought
to run a portion of their fleet into Cape Fear River, while the
balance of it operates on the outside. Land forces cannot
invest Fort Fisher, or cut it off from supplies or
reinforcements, while the river is in possession of the enemy.

"A siege-train will be loaded on vessels and sent to Fort
Monroe, in readiness to be sent to you if required. All other
supplies can be drawn from Beaufort as you need them.

"Keep the fleet of vessels with you until your position is
assured. When you find they can be spared, order them back, or
such of them as you can spare, to Fort Monroe, to report for

"In case of failure to effect a landing, bring your command back
to Beaufort, and report to these headquarters for further
instructions. You will not debark at Beaufort until so directed.

"General Sheridan has been ordered to send a division of troops
to Baltimore and place them on sea-going vessels. These troops
will be brought to Fort Monroe and kept there on the vessels
until you are heard from. Should you require them, they will be
sent to you.

"U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.

Lieutenant-Colonel C. B. Comstock, aide-de-camp (now brevet
brigadier-general), who accompanied the former expedition, was
assigned, in orders, as chief-engineer to this.

It will be seen that these instructions did not differ
materially from those given for the first expedition, and that
in neither instance was there an order to assault Fort Fisher.
This was a matter left entirely to the discretion of the
commanding officer.

The expedition sailed from Fort Monroe on the morning of the
6th, arriving at the rendezvous, off Beaufort, on the 8th,
where, owing to the difficulties of the weather, it lay until
the morning of the 12th, when it got under way and reached its
destination that evening. Under cover of the fleet, the
disembarkation of the troops commenced on the morning of the
13th, and by three o'clock P.M. was completed without loss. On
the 14th a reconnoissance was pushed to within five hundred
yards of Fort Fisher, and a small advance work taken possession
of and turned into a defensive line against any attempt that
might be made from the fort. This reconnoissance disclosed the
fact that the front of the work had been seriously injured by
the navy fire. In the afternoon of the 15th the fort was
assaulted, and after most desperate fighting was captured, with
its entire garrison and armament. Thus was secured, by the
combined efforts of the navy and army, one of the most important
successes of the war. Our loss was: killed, one hundred and
ten; wounded, five hundred and thirty-six. On the 16th and the
17th the enemy abandoned and blew up Fort Caswell and the works
on Smith's Island, which were immediately occupied by us. This
gave us entire control of the mouth of the Cape Fear River.

At my request, Mayor-General B. F. Butler was relieved, and
Major-General E. O. C. Ord assigned to the Department of
Virginia and North Carolina.

The defence of the line of the Tennessee no longer requiring the
force which had beaten and nearly destroyed the only army now
threatening it, I determined to find other fields of operation
for General Thomas's surplus troops--fields from which they
would co-operate with other movements. General Thomas was
therefore directed to collect all troops, not essential to hold
his communications at Eastport, in readiness for orders. On the
7th of January, General Thomas was directed, if he was assured of
the departure of Hood south from Corinth, to send General
Schofield with his corps east with as little delay as
possible. This direction was promptly complied with, and the
advance of the corps reached Washington on the 23d of the same
month, whence it was sent to Fort Fisher and New Bern. On the
26th he was directed to send General A. J. Smith's command and a
division of cavalry to report to General Canby. By the 7th of
February the whole force was en route for its destination.

The State of North Carolina was constituted into a military
department, and General Schofield assigned to command, and
placed under the orders of Major-General Sherman. The following
instructions were given him:

"CITY POINT, VA., January 31, 1865.

"GENERAL:-- * * * Your movements are intended as
co-operative with Sherman's through the States of South and
North Carolina. The first point to be attained is to secure
Wilmington. Goldsboro' will then be your objective point,
moving either from Wilmington or New Bern, or both, as you deem
best. Should you not be able to reach Goldsboro', you will
advance on the line or lines of railway connecting that place
with the sea-coast--as near to it as you can, building the road
behind you. The enterprise under you has two objects: the
first is to give General Sherman material aid, if needed, in his
march north; the second, to open a base of supplies for him on
his line of march. As soon, therefore, as you can determine
which of the two points, Wilmington or New Bern, you can best
use for throwing supplies from, to the interior, you will
commence the accumulation of twenty days' rations and forage for
sixty thousand men and twenty thousand animals. You will get of
these as many as you can house and protect to such point in the
interior as you may be able to occupy. I believe General Palmer
has received some instructions direct from General Sherman on the
subject of securing supplies for his army. You will learn what
steps he has taken, and be governed in your requisitions
accordingly. A supply of ordnance stores will also be necessary.

"Make all requisitions upon the chiefs of their respective
departments in the field with me at City Point. Communicate
with me by every opportunity, and should you deem it necessary
at any time, send a special boat to Fortress Monroe, from which
point you can communicate by telegraph.

"The supplies referred to in these instructions are exclusive of
those required for your own command.

"The movements of the enemy may justify, or even make it your
imperative duty, to cut loose from your base, and strike for the
interior to aid Sherman. In such case you will act on your own
judgment without waiting for instructions. You will report,
however, what you purpose doing. The details for carrying out
these instructions are necessarily left to you. I would urge,
however, if I did not know that you are already fully alive to
the importance of it, prompt action. Sherman may be looked for
in the neighborhood of Goldsboro' any time from the 22d to the
28th of February; this limits your time very materially.

"If rolling-stock is not secured in the capture of Wilmington,
it can be supplied from Washington. A large force of railroad
men have already been sent to Beaufort, and other mechanics will
go to Fort Fisher in a day or two. On this point I have informed
you by telegraph.

"U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.

Previous to giving these instructions I had visited Fort Fisher,
accompanied by General Schofield, for the purpose of seeing for
myself the condition of things, and personally conferring with
General Terry and Admiral Porter as to what was best to be done.

Anticipating the arrival of General Sherman at Savannah his army
entirely foot-loose, Hood being then before Nashville, Tennessee,
the Southern railroads destroyed, so that it would take several
months to re-establish a through line from west to east, and
regarding the capture of Lee's army as the most important
operation towards closing the rebellion--I sent orders to
General Sherman on the 6th of December, that after establishing
a base on the sea-coast, with necessary garrison, to include all
his artillery and cavalry, to come by water to City Point with
the balance of his command.

On the 18th of December, having received information of the
defeat and utter rout of Hood's army by General Thomas, and
that, owing to the great difficulty of procuring ocean
transportation, it would take over two months to transport
Sherman's army, and doubting whether he might not contribute as
much towards the desired result by operating from where he was,
I wrote to him to that effect, and asked him for his views as to
what would be best to do. A few days after this I received a
communication from General Sherman, of date 16th December,
acknowledging the receipt of my order of the 6th, and informing
me of his preparations to carry it into effect as soon as he
could get transportation. Also that he had expected, upon
reducing Savannah, instantly to march to Columbia, South
Carolina, thence to Raleigh, and thence to report to me; but
that this would consume about six weeks' time after the fall of
Savannah, whereas by sea he could probably reach me by the
middle of January. The confidence he manifested in this letter
of being able to march up and join me pleased me, and, without
waiting for a reply to my letter of the 18th, I directed him, on
the 28th of December, to make preparations to start as he
proposed, without delay, to break up the railroads in North and
South Carolina, and join the armies operating against Richmond
as soon as he could.

On the 21st of January I informed General Sherman that I had
ordered the 23d corps, Major-General Schofield commanding,
east; that it numbered about twenty-one thousand men; that we
had at Fort Fisher, about eight thousand men; at New Bern, about
four thousand; that if Wilmington was captured, General Schofield
would go there; if not, he would be sent to New Bern; that, in
either event, all the surplus force at both points would move to
the interior towards Goldsboro', in co-operation with his
movement; that from either point railroad communication could be
run out; and that all these troops would be subject to his orders
as he came into communication with them.

In obedience to his instructions, General Schofield proceeded to
reduce Wilmington, North Carolina, in co-operation with the navy
under Admiral Porter, moving his forces up both sides of the
Cape Fear River. Fort Anderson, the enemy's main defence on the
west bank of the river, was occupied on the morning of the 19th,
the enemy having evacuated it after our appearance before it.

After fighting on 20th and 21st, our troops entered Wilmington
on the morning of the 22d, the enemy having retreated towards
Goldsboro' during the night. Preparations were at once made for
a movement on Goldsboro' in two columns--one from Wilmington, and
the other from New Bern--and to repair the railroad leading there
from each place, as well as to supply General Sherman by Cape
Fear River, towards Fayetteville, if it became necessary. The
column from New Bern was attacked on the 8th of March, at Wise's
Forks, and driven back with the loss of several hundred
prisoners. On the 11th the enemy renewed his attack upon our
intrenched position, but was repulsed with severe loss, and fell
back during the night. On the 14th the Neuse River was crossed
and Kinston occupied, and on the 21st Goldsboro' was entered.
The column from Wilmington reached Cox's Bridge, on the Neuse
River, ten miles above Goldsboro', on the 22d.

By the 1st of February, General Sherman's whole army was in
motion from Savannah. He captured Columbia, South Carolina, on
the 17th; thence moved on Goldsboro', North Carolina, via
Fayetteville, reaching the latter place on the 12th of March,
opening up communication with General Schofield by way of Cape
Fear River. On the 15th he resumed his march on Goldsboro'. He
met a force of the enemy at Averysboro', and after a severe fight
defeated and compelled it to retreat. Our loss in this
engagement was about six hundred. The enemy's loss was much
greater. On the 18th the combined forces of the enemy, under
Joe Johnston, attacked his advance at Bentonville, capturing
three guns and driving it back upon the main body. General
Slocum, who was in the advance ascertaining that the whole of
Johnston's army was in the front, arranged his troops on the
defensive, intrenched himself and awaited reinforcements, which
were pushed forward. On the night of the 21st the enemy
retreated to Smithfield, leaving his dead and wounded in our
hands. From there Sherman continued to Goldsboro', which place
had been occupied by General Schofield on the 21st (crossing the
Neuse River ten miles above there, at Cox's Bridge, where General
Terry had got possession and thrown a pontoon-bridge on the 22d),
thus forming a junction with the columns from New Bern and

Among the important fruits of this campaign was the fall of
Charleston, South Carolina. It was evacuated by the enemy on the
night of the 17th of February, and occupied by our forces on the

On the morning of the 31st of January, General Thomas was
directed to send a cavalry expedition, under General Stoneman,
from East Tennessee, to penetrate South Carolina well down
towards Columbia, to destroy the railroads and military
resources of the country, and return, if he was able, to East
Tennessee by way of Salisbury, North Carolina, releasing our
prisoners there, if possible. Of the feasibility of this
latter, however, General Stoneman was to judge. Sherman's
movements, I had no doubt, would attract the attention of all
the force the enemy could collect, and facilitate the execution
of this. General Stoneman was so late in making his start on
this expedition (and Sherman having passed out of the State of
South Carolina), on the 27th of February I directed General
Thomas to change his course, and order him to repeat his raid of
last fall, destroying the railroad towards Lynchburg as far as he
could. This would keep him between our garrisons in East
Tennessee and the enemy. I regarded it not impossible that in
the event of the enemy being driven from Richmond, he might fall
back to Lynchburg and attempt a raid north through East
Tennessee. On the 14th of February the following communication
was sent to General Thomas:

"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


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