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344

MOMENTOUS EVENTS.

custom-houses, &c., &c., long before Mr. Lincoln was installed, and before the South had one jot or tittle of provocation. I, myself, have seen in Mis. souri, Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi, hundreds and thousands of women and children fleeing from your armies and desperadoes, hungry and with bleeding feet. In Memphis, Vicksburg and Mississippi, we fed thousands upon thousands of the families of rebel soldiers left on our hands, and whom we could not see starve. Now that war comes home to you, you feel very different; you deprecate its horrors, but did not feel them when you sent carloads of soldiers and ammunition, and moulded shell and shot, to carry war into Kentucky and Tennessee, and desolate the homes of hundreds and thousands of good people, who only asked to live in peace, at their old homes, and under the Government of their inheritance. But these comparisons are idle. I want peace, and believe it can only be reached through Union and war, and I will ever conduct war purely with a view to perfect and early

success.

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But, my dear Sirs, when that peace does come, yon may call on me for anything. Then will I share with you the last cracker, and watch with you to shield your homes and familes against danger from every quarter. Now, you must go, and take with you the old and feeble; feed and nurse them, and build for them, in more quiet places, proper habitations to shield them against the weather, until the mad passions of men cool down, and allow the Union and peace once more to settle on your old homes at Atlanta.

Yours, in haste,

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General.” It is a noble defease.

But, while these momentous events were passing in the West, others, calculated to move the nation to the centre, and which arrested and held the attention of the civilized world, were transpiring in the East. Amid the mighty movements, gigantic battles, and fearful slaughter, that shook and crimsoned the earth between Washington and Richmond, the news of the fall of Atlanta came like a faint and far-off echo.

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NECESSITY OF UNITY OF ACTION-SIGEL IN THE SHENANDOAH VALLEY

GRANT'S INSTRUCTIONS TO BUTLER-FOLLY OF PLACING THE LATTER IN THE IMPORTANT POSITION HE HELD-NUMBER OF THE TROOPS CO-OPERATING DIRECTLY WITH GRANT-OUR ENTIRE MILITARY FORCE-GRANT'S PLAN OF CAMPAIGN-ADVANCE OF THE ARMY OF THE POTOMAC-CROSSING THE RAPIDAN-COMMENCEMENT OF THE "BATTLES OF THE WILDERNESS "-FIRST DAY-SECOND DAY--THIRD DAY-RETREAT OF TAE ENEMY-ADVANCE OF OUR ARMY--FIGIIT OF WARREN'S CORPS-DEATH OF SEDGWICK-GRAND ASSAULT ON THE ENEMY'S WORKS-HANCOCK'S BRILLIANT NIGHT ATTACK FEARFUL APPEARANCE OF THE BATTLE-FIELD-A WEEK'S COMPARATIVE

BRINGING UP OF REINFORCEMENTS-THE

REST-CHANGE OF BASE, AND
DEAD OF THE WILDERNESS.

THE simultaneous movement of the combined forces of

The republice
, East and West

, was a sublime spectacle.

The tread of more than a half a million of men, suddenly shook the earth, as, with faces turned southward, they moved on the tottering Confederacy. All of Grant's energies, for months, had been directed to secure this unity of action, this consolidation of Northern strength. With forces far outnumbering those of the South, backed by an overwhelming navy, we yet had made but little progress toward putting down the rebellion. First a blow would be struck East, and then one West, with sufficient intervals between them, to allow the rebel leaders, with their shorter interior lines, to transfer troops from one section to another, so as always to present a force at the menaced point, nearly, if not quite equal to the one we had there.

The armies, under Halleck's and Stanton's administration, had, to use Grant's homely but expressive phrase, worked

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like a balky team." His great object, therefore, was to reverse all this, and when he had attained' his object, he was ready to move ; and the roll of the'drum, and the pealing bugle awoke the Army of the Potoñac from its long slum bers, and, for the fourth time, it turned its face toward Richmond.

As before stated, Grant had only his right flank to protect, and thus keep Lee from threatening Maryland and Washington, by way of the Shenandoah Valley. To secure this, he says :

"General Sigel was, therefore, directed to organize all his available force into two expeditions, to move from Bev erly and Charlestown, under command of Generals Ord and Crook, against the East Tennessee 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 the salt works at Saltville, Virginia.”

A still more important co-operating force was under Butler, who commanded at Fortress Monroe. In this department, including North Carolina, were a little over fifty-nine thousand troops. On Butler's proper co-operation, Grant mainly depended for success; and it was one of those stu

INSTRUCTIONS TOBUTLER.

347

pendous follies the Administration seemed determined to commit to the last, to let this man, without military education, or experience in the field, hold so vital a command. The following were Grant's instructions to him :

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"FORTRESS 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 a co-operative 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 reilucing the number nece53:2ry to guard important 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 proposc, therefore, that what comes nearest 'us of anything that seems practicable:—The Army of the Potomac will act from its present base, Lec's army being the objective point. You will collect all the forces from your command, that can be spared froin 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. MajorGeneral W. F. Smith is ordered to report to you, to coinmand 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 18th 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 co-operation between your force and the Army of Potomac-must 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,

348

STRENGTH OF THE ARMY.

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, as to cat the railroad about Hiek's Ford, about the time of the general advance, it would be of immense advantage.

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

U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.

, Major-General B. F. Butler."

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These instructions he subsequently reiterated, and informed him farther, that he expected him to move from Fortress Monroe the same day that Meade advanced from Culpepper, and also stated the plan which he proposed to follow.

The Army of the Potomac proper, numbered, at this time, , a little over one hundred and twenty thousand men. The Ninth Corps, under Burnside, held in reserve, and numbering a little over twenty thousand men, was stationed on the road near Bull Run. His orders were, not to move until he heard that the Army of the Potomạc had crossed the Rapidan, and then to move promptly.

Thus, it will be seen, that Grant had directly co-operating with him, in various directions, over two hundred thousand troops. Although our military force, at this time, was nine hundred and seventy thousand and seven hundred men, only a little over six hundred and sixty-two thousand were available for duty; hence, a third of our actual force was operating against Richmond. More or less remotely and directly, more than two hundred thousand bayonets were pointing toward the rebel Capital.

The general plan of operations, adopted by Grant, in the important campaign on which he was entering, he states to be as follows:

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 againgt Richmond, as that would tend more than

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