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Twenty-five miles south of this place it was reported that, the day before, one hundred rebels passed through Charlestown. They passed a recently abandoned post about six miles further, and three miles further on, at the farm of a well-known bushwhacker, they were fired upon by about fifty men, stationed in a ravine. At the same time a large force was seen on each side of the road, endeavoring to surround the escort. Lieutenant McKibben, seeing that was his only chance, directed the men to keep well together, and ordered a charge. With sixteen of the men he got safely through to Roseville, after a sharp fight and severe chase. Doctor Fairchild and eleven of the men fell into the hands of the enemy. On the next day the Lieutenant returned to the scene of the attack. The bodies of nine men were found on the road. Evidences were plenty of a severe struggle, but the appearance of the bodies was the most damning evidence of the fiendishness of the rebels. All of them were stripped of all clothing, and horribly mutilated. One man's head was beaten to a jelly, evidently with the butts of guns. Not a wound was found on him, otherwise than the blows on his head. Others had their ears and noses cut off, and three of the party were castrated. Next day, the doctor's body, and those of the other two, were found. The surgeon was shot through the head and shoulders, and his was the only body unmutilated. A woman was seen on horseback among the guerrillas as our men came in sight, who galloped off when the fight commenced. A woman living near the place says Doctor Fairchild told his captors the errand he was on, and entreated that he and his men should be treated as prisoners of war. They were answered by the assassins with curses and blows. They were reported to be led by Fitzwilliams, who, if anything, is more fiendish in character than Quantrell. Over two hundred loyal Arkansians were murdered by him in the vicinity of Fort Smith during the few weeks prior to the occupation by General Blunt.

Doc. 42.


WASHINGTON, D. C., July 22, 1865. SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of the Armies of the United States from the date of my appointment to command the same.

From an early period in the rebellion I had been impressed with the idea that active and continuous operations of all the troops that could be brought into the field, regardless of season and weather, were necessary to a speedy termination of the war. The resources of the enemy, and his numerical strength, were far inferior to ours; but as an offset to this, we had a vast territory, with a population hostile to the Government, to garrison, and long lines of river and railroad communications to protect, to enable us to supply the operating armies.

The armies in the East and West acted independently and without concert, like a balky team, no two ever pulling together; enabling the enemy to use to great advantage his interior lines of communication for transporting troops from East to West, reinforcing the army most vigorously pressed, and to furlough large numbers, during seasons of inactivity on our part, to go to their homes and do the work of producing for the support of their armies. It was a question whether our numerical strength and resources were not more than balanced by these disadvantages and the enemy's superior position.

From the first, I was firm in the conviction that no peace could be had that would be stable and conducive to the happiness of the people, both North and South, until the military power of the rebellion was entirely broken.

I therefore determined, first, to use the greatest number of troops practicable against the armed force of the enemy; preventing him from using the same force at different seasons, against first one and then another of our armies, and the possibility of repose for refitting and producing necessary supplies for carrying on resistance. Second, to hammer continuously against the armed force of the enemy, and his resources,

Another guerrilla band, under the lead of Buck Brown, surprised a party of ten men belonging to the First Arkansas cavalry, who were herding public stock near the Prairie Grove battlefield. The bushwhackers, twenty-one in num-until by mere attrition, if in no other way, there ber, were clothed in Federal uniform. They pretended to belong to the Thirteenth Kansas. The Arkansians were in a house, and were called out by the disguised rebels. While conversing in a friendly way, they commenced firing, and succeeded in killing and mortally wounding all but one, who escaped. There were five killed, and four mortally wounded. This was on the


A party of Choctaw guerrillas, on the thirteenth, made a raid in the State, at Long Prairie, twelve miles from this place. They murdered two citizens, stripped four women stark naked, and plundered everything portable.

should be nothing left to him but an equal submission with the loyal section of our common country to the Constitution and laws of the land.

These views have been kept constantly in mind, and orders given and campaigns made to carry them out. Whether they might have been better in conception and execution is for the people, who mourn the loss of friends fallen, and who have to pay the pecuniary cost, to say. All I can say is, that what I have done has been done conscientiously, to the best of my ability, and in what I conceived to be for the best interests of the whole country.

them. This enabled the enemy to bring almost his entire strength into the field.

The enemy had concentrated the bulk of his forces east of the Mississippi into two armies, commanded by Generals R. E. Lee and J. E. Johnston, his ablest and best generals. The army commanded by Lee occupied the south bank of the Rapidan, extending from Mine Run defending Richmond, the rebel capital, against the Army of the Potomac. The army under Johnston occupied a strongly-intrenched position at Dalton, Georgia, covering and defending Atlanta, Georgia, a place of great importance as a railroad centre, against the armies under Major-General W. T. Sherman. In addition to these armies, he had a large cavalry force under Forrest, in North-east Mississippi; a considerable force, of all arms, in the Shenandoah Valley, and in the western part of Virginia, and extreme eastern part of Tennessee; and also confronting our sea-coast garrisons, and holding blockaded ports where we had no foothold upon land.

These two armies, and the cities covered and defended by them, were the main objective points of the campaign.

At the date when this report begins, the situation of the contending forces was about as follows: The Mississippi river was strongly garrisoned by Federal troops from St. Louis, Missouri, to its mouth. The line of the Arkansas was also held, thus giving us armed possession of all west of the Mississippi, north of that stream. A few points in Southern Louisiana, not remote from the river, were held by us, to-westward, strongly intrenched, covering and gether with a small garrison at and near the mouth of the Rio Grande. All the balance of the vast territory of Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas, was in the almost undisputed possession of the enemy, with an army of probably not less than eighty thousand effective men, that could have been brought into the field had there been sufficient opposition to have brought them out. The let-alone policy had demoralized this force so much that probably little more than one half of it was ever present in garrison at any one time. But the one half, or forty thousand men, with the bands of guerrillas scattered through Missouri, Arkansas, and along the Mississippi river, and the disloyal character of much of the population, compelled the use of a large number of troops to keep navigation open on the river, and to protect the loyal people to the west of it. To the east of the Mississippi, we held substantially with the line of the Tennessee and Holston rivers, running eastward, to include nearly all the State of Tennessee. South of Chattanooga, a small foothold had been obtained in Georgia, sufficient to protect East Tennessee from incursions from the enemy's force at Dalton, Georgia. West Virginia was substantially within our lines. Virginia, with the exception of, the northern border, the Potomac river, a small area about the mouth of James river, covered by the troops at Norfolk and Fort Monroe, and the territory covered by the Army of the Potomac, lying along the Rapidan, was in the possession of the enemy. Along the sea-coast, footholds had been obtained at Plymouth, Washington, and Newbern, in North Carolina; Beaufort, Folly, and Morris Islands, Hilton Head, Fort Pulaski, and Port Royal, in South Carolina; Fernandina and St. Augustine, in Florida. Key West and Pensacola were also in our possession, while all the important ports were blockaded by the navy. The accompanying map, a copy of which was sent to General Sherman, and other commanders, in March, 1864, shows, by red lines the territory occupied by us at the beginning of the rebellion, and at the opening of the campaign of 1864; while those in blue are the lines which it was proposed to Occupy.

Behind the Union lines there were many bands of guerrillas, and a large population disloyal to the Government, making it necessary to guard every foot of road or river used in supplying our armies. In the South, a reign of military despotism prevailed, which made every man and boy capable of bearing arms a soldier; and those who could not bear arms in the field, acted as provosts for collecting deserters and returning

Major-General W. T. Sherman, who was appointed to the command of the Muitary Division of the Mississippi, embracing all the armies and territory east of the Mississippi river to the Alleghanies, and the Department of Arkansas, west of the Mississippi, had the immediate command of the armies operating against Johnston.

Major-General George G. Meade had the immediate command of the Army of the Potomac, from where I exercised general supervision of the movements of all our armies.

General Sherman was instructed to move against Johnston's army, to break it up, and to go into the interior of the enemy's country as far as he could, inflicting all the damage he could upon their war resources. If the enemy in his front showed signs of joining Lee, to follow him up to the full extent of his ability, while I would prevent the concentration of Lee upon him if it was in the power of the Army of the Potomac to do so. More specific written instructions were not given, for the reason that I had talked over with him the plans of the campaign, and was satisfied that he understood them and would execute them to the fullest. extent possible.

Major-General N. P. Banks, then on an expedition up Red river against Shreveport, Louisiana, (which had been organized previous to my appointment to command), was notified by me on the fifteenth of March, of the importance it was that Shreveport should be taken at the earliest possible day, and that if he found that the taking of it would occupy from ten to fifteen days' more time than General Sherman had given his troops to be absent from their command, he would send them back at the time specified by General Sherman, even if it led to the abandon

ment of the main object of the Red river expedition, for this force was necessary to movements east of the Mississippi; that should his expedition prove successful, he would hold Shreveport and the Red river with such force as he might deem necessary, and return the balance of his troops to the neighborhood of New Orleans, commencing no move for the further acquisition of territory, unless it was to make that then held by him more easily held; that it might be a part of the spring campaign to move against Mobile; that it certainly would be if troops enough could be obtained to make it, without embarrassing other movements; that New Orleans would be the point of departure for such an expedition; also, that I had directed General Steele to make a real move from Arkansas, as suggested by him (General Banks,) instead of a demonstration, as Steele thought ad


On the thirty-first of March, in addition to the foregoing notification and directions, he was instructed as follows:

"First. If successful in your expedition against Shreveport, that you turn over the defence of the Red river to General Steele and

the navy.

"Second. That you abandon Texas entirely, with the exception of your hold on the Rio Grande. This can be held with four thousand men, if they will turn their attention immediately to fortifying their positions. At least one half of the force required for this service might be taken from the colored troops.

"Third. By properly fortifying on the Mississippi river, the force to guard it from Port Hudson to New Orleans can be reduced to ten thousand men, if not to a less number. Six thousand more would then hold all the rest of the territory necessary to hold until active operations can again be resumed west of the river. According to your last return this would give you a force of over thirty thousand effective men with which to move against Mobile. To this I expect to add five thousand men from Missouri. If, however, you think the force here stated too small to hold the territory regarded as necessary to hold possession of. I would say concentrate at least twenty-five thousand men of your present command for operations against Mobile. With these and such additions as I can give you from elsewhere, lose no time in making a demonstration, to be followed by an attack upon Mobile. Two or more iron-clads will be ordered to report to Admiral Farragut. This gives him a strong naval fleet with which to cooperate. You can make your own arrangements with the Admiral for his coöperation, and select your own line of approach. My own idea of the matter is that Pascagoula should be your base, but, from your long service in the Gulf Department, you will know best about the matter. It is intended that your movements shall be cooperative with movements elsewhere, and you cannot now start too soon. All I would now add is, that you com

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Major-General Meade was instructed that Lee's army would be his objective point; that wherever Lee went he would go also. For his movement two plans presented themselves: One to cross the Rapidan below Lee, moving by his right flank; the other above, moving by his left. Each presented advantages over the other, with corresponding objections. By crossing above, Lee would be cut off from all chance of ignoring Richmond or going north on a raid. But if we took this route all we did would have to be done while the rations we started with held out; besides, it separated us from Butler, so that he could not be directed how to cooperate. If we took the other route, Brandy Station could be used as a base of supplies until another was secured on the York or James river. Of these, however, it was decided to take the lower route.

The following letter of instruction was addressed to Major-General B. F. Butler:

FORT MONROE, VA., April 2, 1864. "GENERAL: In the spring campaign, which it is desirable shall commence at as early a day as practicable, it is proposed to have cooperative action of all the armies in the field, as far as this object can be accomplished.

"It will not be possible to unite our armies into two or three large ones, to act as so many units, owing to the absolute necessity of holding on to the territory already taken. from the enemy. But, generally speaking, concentration can be practically effected by armies moving to the interior of the enemy's country from the territory they have to guard. By such movement they interpose themselves between the enemy and the country to be guarded, thereby reducing the number necessary to guard im portant points, or at least occupy the attention of a part of the enemy's force, if no greater object is gained. Lee's army and Richmond being the greater objects toward which our attention must be directed in the next campaign, it is desirable to unite all the force we can against them. The necessity of covering Washington with the Army of the Potomac, and of covering your department with your army, makes it impossible to unite these forces at the beginning of any move. I propose, therefore, what comes nearest this of anything that seems practicable: The Army of the Potomac will act from its present base, Lee's army being the objective point. You will collect all the forces from your command that can be spared from garrison duty-I should say not less than twenty thousand effective men-to operate on the south side of James River, Richmond being your objective point. To the force you already

have will be added about ten thousand men from South Carolina, under Major-General Gillmore, who will command them in person. Major-General W. F. Smith is ordered to report to you, to command the troops sent into the field from your own department.


General Gillmore will be ordered to report to you at Fortress Monroe, with all the troops on transports, by the eighteenth instant, or as soon thereafter as practicable. Should you not receive notice by that time to move, you will make such disposition of them and your other forces as you may deem best calculated to deceive the enemy as to the real move to be made.

"When you are notified to move, take City Point with as much force as possible. Fortify, or rather intrench, at once, and concentrate all your troops for the field there as rapidly as you can. From City Point directions cannot be given at this time for your further movements. "The fact that has already been stated--that is, that Richmond is to be your objective point, and that there is to be coöperation between your force and the Army of the Potomacmust be your guide. This indicates the necessity of your holding close to the south bank of the James river as you advance. Then, should the enemy be forced into his intrenchments in Richmond, the Army of the Potomac would follow, and by means of transports the two armies would become a unit.

"All the minor details of your advance are left entirely to your direction. If, however, you think it practicable to use your cavalry south of you, so as to cut the railroad about Hicks' ford about the time of the general advance, it would be of immense advantage.

"You will please forward for my information, at the earliest practicable day, all orders, details, and instructions you may give for the execution of this order.

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On the sixteenth, these instructions were substantially reiterated. On the nineteenth, in order to secure full cooperation between his army and that of General Meade, he was informed that I expected him to move from Fort Monroe the same day that General Meade moved from Culpepper. The exact time I was to telegraph him as soon as it was fixed, and that it would not be earlier than the twentyseventh of April; that it was my intention to fight Lee between Culpepper and Richmond, if he would stand. Should he, however, fall back into Richmond, I would follow up and make a junction with his (General Butler's) army on the James river; that, could I be certain he would be able to invest Richmond on the south side, so as to have his left resting on the James above the city, I would form the junction there; that circumstances might make this course advisable anyhow; that he should use every

exertion to secure footing as far up the south side of the river as he could, and as soon as possible after the receipt of orders to move; that if he could not carry the city, he should at least detain as large a force as possible.

In cooperation with the main movements against Lee and Johnston, I was desirous of using all other troops necessarily kept in departments remote from the fields of immediate operations, and also those kept in the background for the protection of our extended lines between the loyal States and the armies operating against them.

A very considerable force, under command of Major-General Sigel, was so held for the protection of West Virginia, and the frontiers of Maryland and Pennsylvania. While these troops could not be withdrawn to distant fields without exposing the North to invasion by comparatively small bodies of the enemy, they could act directly to their front and give better protection than if lying idle in garrison. By such a movement they would either compel the enemy to detach largely for the protection of his supplies and lines of communication, or he would lose them. General Sigel was therefore directed to organize all his available force into two expeditions, to move from Beverly and Charleston, under command of Generals Ord and Crook, against the East Tennesee and Virginia railroad. Subsequently, General Ord having been relieved at his own request, General Sigel was instructed, at his own suggestion, to give up the expedition by Beverly, and to form two columns, one under General Crook, on the Kanawha, numbering about ten thousand men, and one on the Shenandoah, numbering about seven thousand men. The one on the Shenandoah to assemble between Cumberland and the Shenandoah, and the infantry and artillery advanced to Cedar Creek with such cavalry as could be made available at the moment, to threaten the enemy in the Shenandoah Valley, and advance as far as possible; while General Crook would take possession of Lewisburg with part of his force and move down the Tennessee railroad, doing as much damage as he could, destroying the New river bridge and salt works at Saltville, Va.

Owing to the weather and bad condition of the roads, operations were delayed until the first of May, when, everything being in readi ness and the roads favorable, orders were given for a general movement of all the armies not later than the fourth of May.

My first object being to break the military power of the rebellion and capture the enemy's important strongholds, made me desirous that General Butler should succeed in his movement against Richmond, as that would tend more than anything else, unless it were the capture of Lee's army, to accomplish this desired result in the East. If it failed, it was my determination, by hard fighting, either to compel Lee to retreat, or to so cripple him that he could not detach a large force to go north and still retain

enough for the defence of Richmond. It was well understood, by both Generals Butler and Meade, before starting on the campaign, that it was my intention to put both their armies south of the James river, in case of failure to destroy Lee without it.

Before giving General Butler his instructions, I visited him at Fort Monroe, and in conversation pointed out the apparent importance of getting possession of Petersburg and destroying railroad communication as far south as possible. Believing, however, in the practicability of capturing Richmond unless it was reinforced, I made that the objective point of his operations. As the Army of the Potomac was to move simultaneously with him, Lee could not detach from his army with safety, and the enemy did not have troops elsewhere to bring to the defence of the city in time to meet a rapid movement from the north of James river.

I may here state that, commanding all the armies as I did, I tried, as far as possible, to leave General Meade in independent command of the Army of the Potomac. My instructions for that army were all through him, and were general in their nature, leaving all the details and the execution to him. The campaigns that followed proved him to be the right man in the right place. His commanding always in the presence of an officer superior to him in rank, has drawn from him much of that public attention that his zeal and ability entitled him to, and which he would otherwise have received.

road, holding the road back to Bull Run, with instructions not to move until he received notice that a crossing of the Rapidan was secured, but to move promptly as soon as such notice was received. This crossing he was apprised of on the afternoon of the fourth. By six o'clock of the morning of the sixth, he was leading his corps into action near the Wilderness tavern, some of his troops having marched a distance of over thirty miles, crossing both the Rappahannock and Rapidan rivers. Considering that a large proportion, probably two thirds of his command, was composed of new troops, unaccustomed to marches and carrying the accou trements of a soldier, this was a remarkable march.

The battle of the Wilderness was renewed by us at five o'clock on the morning of the sixth, and continued with unabated fury until darkness set in, each army holding substantially the same position that they had on the evening of the fifth. After dark, the enemy made a feeble attempt to turn our right flank, capturing several hundred prisoners, and creating considerable confusion. But the promptness of General Sedgwick, who was personally present and commanding that part of our line, soon reformed it and restored order. On the morning of the seventh, reconnoissances showed that the enemy had fallen behind his intrenched lines, with pickets to the front, covering a part of the battle-field. From this it was evident to my mind that the two days' fighting had satisfied him of The movement of the Army of the Potomac his inability to further maintain the contest in commenced early on the morning of the fourth the open field, notwithstanding his advantage of of May, under the immediate direction and position, and that he would wait an attack beorders of Major-General Meade, pursuant to in-hind his works, I therefore determined to push structions. Before night the whole army was on and put iny whole force between him and across the Rapidan (the Fifth and Sixth corps Richmond; and orders were at once issued for crossing at Germania ford, and the Second a movement by his right flank. On the night of corps at United States ford, the cavalry, under the seventh the march was commenced toward Major-General Sheridan, moving in advance), Spottsylvania Court-house, the Fifth corps movwith the greater part of its trains, numbering ing on the most direct road. But the enemy about four thousand wagons, meeting with but having become apprised of our movement, and slight opposition. The average distance trav- having the shorter line, was enabled to reach elled by the troops that day was about twelve there first. On the eighth, General Warren met miles. This I regarded as a great success, and a force of the enemy, which had been sent out it removed from my mind the most serious ap-to oppose and delay his advance, to gain time to prehensions I had entertained, that of crossing the river in the face of an active, large, wellappointed, and ably-commanded army, and how so large a train was to be carried through a hostile country and protected. Early on the fifth, the advance corps (the Fifth, Major-General G. K. Warren commanding), met and engaged the enemy outside his intrenchments near Mine Run. The battle raged furiously all day, the whole army being brought into the fight as fast as the corps could be got upon the field, which, considering the density of the forest and narrowness of the roads, was done with commendable promptness.

General Burnside, with the Ninth corps, was, at the time the Army of the Potomac moved, left with the bulk of his corps at the crossing of the Rappahannock river and Alexandria rail

fortify the line taken up at Spottsylvania. This force was steadily driven back on the main force, within the recently-constructed works, after considerable fighting, resulting in severe loss to both sides. On the morning of the ninth, General Sheridan started on a raid against the enemy's lines of communication with Richmond. The ninth, tenth, and eleventh were spent in manoeuvring and fighting, without decisive results. Among the killed on the ninth was that able and distinguished soldier Major-General John Sedgwick, commanding the Sixth Army Corps. Major-General H. G. Wright succeeded him in command. Early on the morning of the twelfth, a general attack was made on the ene my in position. The Second corps, Major-Gene ral Hancock commanding, carried a salient of his line, capturing most of Johnston's division

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