« PreviousContinue »
ral J. E. Johnston:
Your despatch of yesterday is just received. I shall at once proceed to carry out your instructions.
If proper arrangements can be made to have sugar, coffee, and clothing sent from Savannah to Augusta, they can be brought hither by way of Atlanta, or they can be sent by boat directly to this place from Darien.
I shall be able to get forage, bread, and meat from south-western Georgia, the railroad from Atlanta to Dalton or Cleveland cannot be repaired in three months.
I have arranged to send an officer at once, via Eufala, to General Canby, with a copy of your despatch. General Cobb will also notify General Taylor of the armistice. I have about three thousand (3,000) prisoners of war, including Generals Cobb, Smith, Mackall, Mercer, and Robertson. Can't you arrange with General Johnston for their immediate release? Please answer at once. I shall start a staff officer to you to-morrow.
J. H. WILSON,
HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY CORPS, M. D. M.,'
Major-General W. T. Sherman, commanding
In compliance with instructions by telegraph through General J. E. Johnston, I have the honor to send to your headquarters, Captain L. M. Hosea, Sixteenth U. S. Infantry and Acting Aide-de-camp of my staff. I have conferred fully with him in regard to the status of affairs here under the armistice; he can, therefore, give you all necessary information.
I have also sent you several communications through the telegraph, but have received no notice of their having reached you. Be good enough to send me definite instructions for my future government, and make the necessary arrangements for forwarding to us supplies of small stores and clothing. I have directed Captain Hosea to see my chief quartermaster and commissary before returning, and give them such instructions after conference with you as may be necessary.
I am, General, very respectfully, your obedient servant, J. H. WILSON, Brevet Major-General.
To General Grant or General Thomas: General Sherman has directed me to open a supply line for my command by the way of Dalton and Atlanta. It will require days to repair the road. There are but few materials and means for that purpose to be had at this end of the line; please give the necessary instructions to have the work begun at Dalton and pushed forward as rapidly as possible to Atlanta. I am making arrangements to have everything done from this end that our means will permit.
General Cobb has turned over all the Confederate supplies under his control on the S. W. Railroad, and done all in his power to assist us in buying from the people, but it will be difficult to obtain a sufficient quantity of forage to last till the new crop is ready for use.
We shall soon begin to need small stores and clothing; they might be sent from Savannah to Augusta, or up the Altamaha and Ocmulgee to Buzzard Roost.
Both State and Confederate authorities seem
anxious to give me all the assistance in their power. The people are well disposed and anxious for peace. By an arrangement with General Cobb I have paroled all of the prisoners captured in Georgia, besides the remnant of those brought from Alabama.
it could protect the railroad repairs in that If Croxton's brigade were moved to Dalton quarter in case guard should become necessary. There is enough C. S. A. cotton in store here to pay for opening the road.* J. H. WILSON, Brevet Major-General,
HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY CORPS, M. D. M., MACON, GEORGIA, April 29, 1865. Lieutenant-General Grant and Major-General Thomas:
Since writing my last telegram General Croxton has joined me with his command in fine con
About five hundred bales of C. S. A., fifty thousand bales private, in warehouse.
dition. After burning Tuscaloosa, capturing three (3) guns and a number of prisoners, he moved toward Columbus, fought Wirt Adams near Eutaw; moved thence to Hanby's mill, on Black Warrior, crossed Coosa near Talladega, fought and dispersed Hill's forces between there and Blue Mountain, burned several factories and iron works, and then marched via Carrolton, Newnan, and Zebulon to this place. General Croxton deserves great credit, and should be brevetted.
J. H. WILSON,
[Telegram in Cipher.]
Major-General W. T. Sherman, Raleigh, North
Since my telegram of to-day. I have received
HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY CORPS, M. D. M.,
Major-General W. T. Sherman, Raleigh, North
The telegram announcing the convention between yourself and General Johnston is just received.
made this convention to spare the blood of the
J. H. WILSON,
HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY CORPS, M. D. M.,)
GENERAL-Colonel Woodhall, of General Judah's command, delivered to me yesterday an official copy of your despatch of April 26, in regard to the resumption of hostilities, and the terms of capitulation which I might offer to the commanding General of the rebel forces in Georgia, Alabama, or Mississippi. I also received, yesterday, your despatch of 12 M., April 27, in regard to military operations and the apprehension of the rebel chiefs.
General Sherman had also sent scouts to me with the information that his action in arrang ing the armistice with General Johnston had been disapproved, and orders to resume hostilities; but prior to all of these, I received through telegraph his order of April 27, declaring the capitulation of all the rebel troops east of the Chattahoochie, and directing me to carry ont terms of his convention with General Johnston, as they are the same as those you authorize me to offer, there being no resistance whatever to them upon the part of any rebel forces in this State or Florida, and no forces able to offer successful resistance. I do not suppose it to be the wish of the Secretary of War that I shall disregard them.
In view of these facts I have designated Brevet Major-General Upton to receive the surrender of the garrisons at Atlanta and Augusta; he left here for that purpose on the first instant, and reached Augusta this morning. I am excar-pecting to hear from him every moment by telegraph.
I shall send Brevet Major-General Upton to Atlanta and Augusta to-morrow-and General McCook to Tallahassee-for the purpose of rying out your instructions. An officer will start immediately to General Canby, to apprise him of what has transpired. He will carry copies of the despatches.
J. H. WILSON,
His Excellency Governor J. E. Brown:
There are no iron works or factories left in Georgia or
I have sent Majors Williams, and McBurney, of my staff, to Milledgeville, to receive the surrender of the troops there, and to direct the transportation of the Confederate stores to the place. I have also demanded of Governor Brown, Commander-in-chief of the Georgia militia, the surrender of his troops and the military stores pertaining to them.
He is to meet me in person at this place to morrow afternoon, for the purpose of arranging the details of the capitulation.
I have already conferred with General H. C. Wayne, Adjutant and Inspector-General, who assures me that the terms prescribed will be carried into effect.
General McCook will start to-morrow with a small force to Tallahassee, Florida, to receive the surrender of the troops under the command of General Sam Jones in that district.
As you doubtless know, General Cobb sur
rendered this place, with its garrison, to me on the 20th of April, immediately after the appearance of my advance before it. Since then he has put my officers in possession of all the Confederate supplies within our reach by rail, in central and south-western Georgia. I can supply the command with bread and meat for sixty days, and forage for the same period, but must have funds at once. After the expiration of that time if troops are retained here, supplies must be sent to us from the North. I fear that great suffering will be inflicted upon some districts, even then, as it will require all the supplies now in the State to feed the people till the new crops can be used.
I have paroled the prisoners captured by my command since leaving the Tennessee river, nearly six thousand in all, including those taken at this place. They have been deprived of their arms, and are going to their homes in all direc
The men belonging to Lee's army have been passing at the rate of nearly a thousand a day for the past week. Those surrendered by Johnston have begun to arrive.
perfect their organization and discipline I can make them extremely useful, as train guards, garrison, &c. Please send me the necessary authority, if it is the policy of the Government to call into service any new regiments of this sort. If they are to be disbanded they can be used in repairing the Chattanooga and Atlanta Railroad.
In order to obtain small stores and clothing, I have sent a steamboat down the Ocmulgee and Altamaha to Darien and Savannah. It will require about ten days for the round trip. I think I can supply everything that we may need in that way till the railroad is opened. My command is splendidly mounted, in most admirable discipline, and in every way ready for any service that may be assigned it. It has aided our cause as much by the influence of its discipline and good behavior as by its gallantry and endurance.
It may not be improper to say before closing this letter that the present condition of affairs is accepted throughout Alabama and Georgia, as far as I can learn, by all classes with becoming resignation, and in the hope that they will soon enjoy the privileges of peace, commerce, and good law. I am told by men of good judgment and unquestioned loyalty, that seveneighths of the people are ready and anxious for a return to their duties as citizens, without slav
I had also taken precautionary measures to prevent the escape of Jeff Davis, by sending scouts and detectives to watch the line of the Savannah river, and the roads leading through north Georgia. I have ordered troops to Atlanta and Newnan, to care for the public prop-ery, and under the laws of the land, whatever erty, and effectually watch and guard the country to the north and eastward, connecting with General Judah's troops. I had also requested General Grierson, who arrived at Eufaula the day before yesterday, to move by the way of Union Springs, Tuskegee, Montgomery, and Selma, towards Mississippi. He will send forward to put all the troops in central Alabama on the alert. Mr. Davis cannot possibly get through the country with wagons and a large escort, but it will be quite difficult to apprehend him if he attempt it well mounted with one or two attendants. I have already heard rumors, but which I can trace to no reliable source, that he went through this State between Atlanta and Marietta, five or six days ago.
As soon as I hear from General Upton I shall increase the force now on the way to Atlanta, so as to make it sufficient to meet all contingencies. Colonel Woodhall, by whom I send this, will explain more fully the condition of affairs in this section. I also send by him a summary of our operations, and copies of the original despatches, sent to you from time to time during the campaign.
As a matter of protection to the command, I have organized, armed, and equipped three full regiments of colored infantry since the capture of Selma. The men have all been carefully examined by medical officers. They cannot be excelled for physical qualities, according to the report of the surgeons, and as abundantly proved by the fact that they have marched upon several occasions thirty-five miles per day.
What shall I do with them? If directed to
they may be. They express some anxiety in regard to confiscation and sweeping proscriptions, but seem to have confidence in the magnanimity of the Government. As a matter of course, from my position men of influence have inquired my views in regard to the civil and political matters. While I have endeavored as much as possible to avoid such questions, declaring that I could not speak officially, I have not hesitated to urge the civil officers of the peace to exert all of their powers in preserving good order throughout the community, by requesting the good citizens to resume their usual avocations, and compelling marauders and vagabonds to respect the new condition of affairs.
I have discountenanced everything like political meetings and discussions, and counselled the people to defer all political action till the excitement of the recent events has abated. I do not think a Legislature of State officers composed of men elected for their avowed hostility to the Union should be permitted at this time to exercise a controlling influence in determining the future conduct of the State. I shall, therefore, forbid any session of the Legislature, or the Assembly of any State or county convention, under such auspices as those to which I have mentioned, until the proper authority shall have been obtained from Washington, or till I shall have received definite instructions covering such matters. I am sure that when the soreness necessarily felt at defeat has been allayed, and the people have had time to think dispassionately, there will be no difficulty in re-establishing the relations of this State and Alabama with
Brevet Major-General_J. A. Rawlins, Chief of Staff, Washington, D. C.
GENERAL-I have the honor to make the following report of the campaign in the Valley of the Shenandoah, commencing August fourth, 1864.
On the evening of the first of August I was relieved from the command of the cavalry corps of the Army of the Potomac, to take command of the Army of the Shenandoah, and, on arriving at Washington on the fourth instant. I received directions from Major-General H. W. Halleck, Chief of the Staff, to proceed without delay to Monocacy Junction, on the Baltimore and Ohio railroad, and report in person to the LieutenantGeneral. At Monocacy the Lieutenant-General turned over to me the instructions which he had previously given to Major-General Hunter, commanding the Department of West Virginia, a copy of which is herewith attached.
The Army of the Shenandoah at this time consisted of the Sixth corps, very much reduced in numbers, one division of the Nineteenth corps, two small infantry divisions under command of General Crook, afterwards designated as the Army of West Virginia, a small division of cavalry under General Averell, which was at that time in pursuit of General McCausland, near Moorefield, McCausland having made a raid into Pennsylvania and burned the town of Chambersburg; there was also one small division of cavalry, then arriving at Washington, from my old corps.
The infantry portion of these troops had been lying in bivouac in the vicinity of Monocacy Junction and Frederick City, but had been ordered to march the day I reported, with directions to concentrate at Halltown, four miles in front of Harper's Ferry. After my interview with the Lieutenant-General, I hastened to Harper's Ferry to make preparations for an immediate advance against the enemy, who then occupied Martinsburg, Williamsport, and Shepardstown, sending occasional raiding parties as far as Hagerstown. The concentration of my command at Halltown alarmed the enemy, and caused him to concentrate at or near Martinsburg, drawing in all his parties from the north
side of the Potomac. The indications were that he had intended another raid into Maryland, prompted perhaps by the slight success he had gained over General Crook's command at Kernstown, a short time before. The city of Martinsburg, at which the enemy concentrated, is on the Baltimore and Ohio railroad, at the northern terminus of the valley pike, a broad macadamized road running up the valley, through Winchester, and terminating at Staunton. The Shenandoah valley is a continuation of the Cumberland valley, south of the Potomac, and is bounded on the east by the Blue Ridge, and on the west by the eastern slope of the Alleghany mountains, the general direction of these chains being south-west.
The valley at Martinsburg is about sixty miles broad, at Winchester forty to forty-five, and at Strasburg twenty-five to thirty miles, where an isolated chain, called Massanutten mountain, rises up running parallel to the Blue Ridge, and terminates at Harrisonburg; here the valley again opens out fifty or sixty miles broad. This isolated chain divides the valley, for its continuance, into two valleys, the one next the Blue Ridge being called the Luray valley, the one west of it the Strasburg or main valley. The Blue Ridge has many passes through it called gaps, the principal ones and those which have good wagon roads, are Snicker's Ashby's, Manassas, Chester, Thoroughfare, Swift Run, Brown's, Rock-fish, and two or three others from the latter one up to Lynchburg. Many have macadamized roads through them, and, indeed, are not gaps, but small valleys through the main chain. The general bearing of all these roads is towards Gordonsville, and are excellent for troops to move upon from that point into the valley; in fact, the Blue Ridge can be crossed almost anywhere by infantry or cavalry.
The valley itself was rich in grain, cattle, sheep, hogs, and fruit, and was in such a prosperous condition that the rebel army could march down and up it, billeting on the inhabitants. Such, in brief, is the outline, and was the condition of the Shenandoah valley when I entered it August fourth, 1864.
Great exertions were made to get the troops in readiness for an advance, and on the morning of August tenth, General Torbert's division of cavalry having joined me from Washington, a forward movement was commenced. The enemy, while we were making our preparations, took position at Bunker Hill and vicinity, twelve miles south of Martinsburg, frequently pushing his scouting parties through Smithfield and up to Charlestown. Torbert was ordered to move on the Berryville pike, through Berryville, and go into position near White Post; the Sixth corps moved via the Charleston and Sum mit Point road to Clifton; the Nineteenth corps moved on the Berryville pike, to the left of the position of the Sixth corps at Clifton; General Crook's command via Kabletown, to the vicinity of Berryville, coming into position on the left of
the Nineteenth corps; and Colonel Lowell, with two small regiments of cavalry, was ordered to Summit Point; so that on the night of August tenth, the army occupied a position stretching from Clifton to Berryville, with cavalry at White Post and Summit Point. The enemy moved from vicinity of Bunker Hill, stretching his line from where the Winchester and Potomac railroad crosses Opequan creek, to where the Berryville and Winchester pike crosses the same stream, occupying the west bank. On the morning of August eleventh, the Sixth corps was ordered to move from Clifton across the country to where the Berryville pike crosses Opequan creek, carry the crossing, and hold it; the Nineteenth corps was directed to move through Berryville, on the White Post road, for one mile, file to the right by heads of regiments, at deploying distances, and carry and hold the crossing of Opequan creek at a ford about three-fourths of a mile from the left of the Sixth corps; Crook's command was ordered to move out on the White Post road, one mile and a half beyond Berryville, file to the right and secure the crossing of Opequan creek at a ford about one mile to the left of the Nineteenth corps; Torbert was directed to move with Merritt's division of cavalry up the Millwood pike towards Winchester, attack any force he might find, and, if possible, ascertain the movements of the rebel army. Lowell was ordered to close in from Summit Point on the right of the Sixth corps.
My intention in securing these fords was to march on Winchester, at which point, from all my information on the tenth, I thought the emy would make a stand. In this I was mistaken, as the results of Torbert's reconnoissance proved. Merritt found the enemy's cavalry covering the Millwood pike west of the Opequan, and, attacking it, drove it in the direction of Kernstown, and discovered the enemy retreating up the valley pike.
moved to the same point, via Newtown and the valley pike, and the Sixth corps followed the cavalry. On the night of the twelfth, Crook was in position at Cedar creek, on the left of the valley pike, Emory on the right of the pike, the Sixth corps on the right of Emory, and the cavalry on the right and left flanks. A heavy skirmish line was thrown to the heights on the south side of Cedar creek, which had brisk skirmishing during the evening with the enemy's pickets; his (the enemy's) main force occupying the heights above and north of Strasburg. On the morning of the thirteenth, the cavalry was ordered on a reconnoissance towards Strasburg, on the middle road, which road is two and a half miles to the west of the main pike. Reports of a column of the enemy moving up from Culpepper Court-house, and approaching Front Royal through Chester gap, having been received, caused me much anxiety, as any considerable force advanced through Front Royal, and down the F. R. and W. pike toward Winchester, could be thrown in my rear, or, in case of my driving the enemy to Fisher's hill, and taking position in his front, this same force could be moved along the base of Massanutten mountain on the road to Strasburg, with the same result.
As my effective line of battle strength at this time was about eighteen thousand infantry, and thirty-five hundred cavalry, I remained quiet during the day-except the activity on the skirmish line to await further developments. In the evening the enemy retired with his main force to Fisher's hill. As the rumors of an aden-vancing force from the direction of Culpepper kept increasing, on the morning of the fourteenth I sent a brigade of cavalry to Front Royal, to ascertain definitely, if possible, the truth of such reports, and at the same time crossed the Sixth corps to the south side of Cedar creek and occupied the heights above Strasburg. Considerable picket firing ensued. During the day I received from Colonel Chipman, of the Adjutant-General's office, the following despatch, he having ridden with great haste from Washington through Snicker's gap, escorted by a regiment of cavalry, to deliver the same. It at once explained the movement from Culpepper, and on the morning of the fifteenth, the remaining two brigades of Merritt's division of cavalry were ordered to the crossing of the Shenandoah river near Front Royal, and the Sixth corps withdrawn to the north side of Cedar creek, holding at Strasburg a strong skirmish line.
As soon as this information was obtained, Torbert was ordered to move quickly, via the toll gate on the Front Royal pike, to Newtown, to strike the enemy's flank, and harass him in his retreat, and Lowell to follow up through Winchester. Crook was turned to the left and ordered to Stony Point, or Nineveh, while Emory and Wright were marched to the left, and went into camp between the Millwood and Front Royal pikes, Crook encamping at Strong Point. Torbert met some of the enemy's cavalry at the toll gate on the Front Royal pike, drove it in the direction of Newtown, and behind Gordon's division of infantry, which had been thrown out from Newtown to cover the flank of the main column in its retreat, and which had put itself behind rail barricades. A portion of Merritt's cavalry attacked this infantry, and drove in its skirmish line, and although unable to dislodge the division, held all the ground gained. The rebel division during the night moved off. Next day Crook moved from Stony Point to Cedar creek, Emory followed; the cavalry
(By Telegraph, received in Cipher.)
CITY POINT, August 12, 1861, 9 A. M.
Major General Halleck:
Inform General Sheridan that it is now certain two divisions of infantry have gone to Early, and some cavalry and twenty pieces of artillery. This movement commenced last Saturday night; he must be cautious, and act now