Page images
PDF
EPUB
[graphic][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

CH. XXIX.]

DEFENSIVE POLICY OF THE REBELS.

319

CHAPTER XXIX.

1863.

CAMPAIGN ON THE POTOMAC: LEE'S INVASION: BATTLE OF GETTYSBURG.

Army of the Potomac inactive, Rebel defensive policy — Change — Resolve to invade the North – Lee's army

moves — Hooker's course – Cavalry engagement – Hooker follows Lee - Enemy in Shenandoah Valley – Winchester and Martinsburg — Our losses — Government preparations — Call for 100,000 militia — Gov. Curtin's efforts — Pleasanton's encounter with Stuart — Rebel cavalry in Pennsylvania - Lee's order as to supplies, etc. Ewell's corps crosses the Potomac — Rebel army's arrangements — Early levies on Get. tysburg and York — Early's self-laudation — Army of the Potomac advances to Frederick, Maryland Hooker relieved of command — Gen. Meade appointed — His address to the army

Lee's course Marches toward Gettysburg A battle near at hand — Meade moves in direction of Gettysburg – Buford's cavalry encounter Hill's troops near the town - Reynold's comes to his support Battle of July 1st — Rebel success — Meade's army comes up - Arrangements for the battle —Thursday, July 2d — Bat! tle fought in the afternoon – Fierce assault on our left - Little Round Top secured – Ewell on our right - Partial success

Heavy loss during the day Ewell driven back next morning Battle of July 3d Terrible cannonade—Pickett's charge unsuccessful — Rebels defeated — Pursuit of Lee - Severe losses – Meade's address to the army President Lincoln appoints a day of thanksgiving- Prof. Jacobs's remarks.

1863.

We left the Army of the Potomac, should be successful, would give the after the ill success at Chancellorsville, “Confederacy" a position and consereturned to its former quarters on the quence which it had never at any time Rappahannock. This was early in May, been able to attain, and would require 1863. (See p. 288.) We resume the additional efforts and sacrifices in order

narrative at this point, and shall to crush the wicked plans and purpo

prosecute it with the more plea- ses of traitors to their native land. sure because, after the mortifying issues The policy of defence, as the only reof Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville, ally safe one, had been uniformly acted under Burnside and Hooker, this brave upon by the heads of the rebellion, exarmy was enabled to crown its career cept in the one instance of Lee's invaof gallantry and endurance, undersion of Maryland, in September, 1862. Meade, with the most important vic. It was a policy exceedingly distasteful tory of the war. The government to large numbers in the army and elseauthorities at Washington, as we have where; Jackson had always longed to seen, (p. 288), promised that the army invade the North (p. 150); and there should speedily resume offensive opera- were frequent murmurings and comtions ir. Virginia; but as it turned out, plainings that victories, such as those delays interposed, and nothing was at- at Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville, tempted for several weeks. The rebel brought none of the fruits of victory. general took the initiative, and pre- They only left matters as they were; pared to strike a blow which, if it whereas, it was urged, the conquerors

66

ought to receive the just rewards of highest spirits, considering itself equal their brave deeds, and despoil the en. to any undertaking, and as it had been emy whom they had beaten on the reinforced and thoroughly reorganised, it field. “ Carry the war into Africa" was in a better condition than at any was the cry; "carry fire and sword previous time in its history for a bold, into the northern states; let the people forward movement; it looked with a there have a taste of what war is, in sort of contemptuous feeling upon the the destruction of their cities, and army which had failed at Frederickstowns, and homes, and fertile fields; burg and Chancellorsville; it was full it must be done; and one great success of enthusiasm in view of the rich rewould soon drive them to give up the wards consequent upon a successful contest and yield to our demands." invasion of the hated North. * Thus the discontented and hot-headed On the 3d of June, Lee began certain

chivalry » fretted and fumed; and movements with reference to carrying they succeeded finally in having their out his main design. His army haring own way in this matter. Invasion was been organized into three corps, under approved at Richmond ; invasion was Longstreet, Ewell, and Hill, Long. resolved upon; and Gen. Lee had, or street's corps left Fredericksburg for thought he had, good practical reasons Culpepper Court House on that day; for making the attempt, just at this it was followed by Ewell's corps the time. First, there were not only heavy day after; while Hill, with his corps, losses in battle, and more or less of de occupied the lines at Fredericksburg. moralization in the Army of the Poto. By the 8th of June, Longstreet and mac, but the various regiments whose Ewell were at Culpepper, where they term of service now expired insisted on found Stuart with his cavalry, which returning home, which very largely de- had been concentrated there some time pleted Hooker's force, to the extent before the main movement had been altogether of some 30,000 men. Next, undertaken. Hooker was not inattenthere were in the loyal states many ex. tive to what was going on. On the 6th pressions, in certain quarters, of sym. of June, he sent Sedgwick's corps across pathy with secession, and venomous the Rappahannock on a reconnaissance, denunciation of the government at the result of which was, that the enemy Washington, and it was confidently were still at Fredericksburg in force thought that Lee and his men would Lee's plan was not yet discerned by be welcomed by numbers, as fighting in Hooker. As, however, the rebel press a just cause. Again, Lee was very greatly in need, especially of horses and Virginia, to clear the Shenandoah Valley of the troops mules, and supplies of all kinds, which, of the enemy, and to renew the experiment of the trans

fer of hostilities north of the Potomac. It was a blow it would seem, he had only to advance

to the summer campaign of the enemy, calculated to into Pennsylvania and Maryland in disarrange it and relievo other parts of the Confede order to obtain to any amount. Added racy, but above all, aimed at the prize of a great vid to all this, the rebel army was in the tory on northern soil, long the aspiration of the south

ern public.”—Pollard's Third Year of the War," p. 16.

*“Gen. Lee resolved to manœuvre Hooker out of

CH. XXIX.]

LEE SETS OUT TO INVADE THE NORTH.

821

1863.

indulged freely in significant intima- ment, for it not only proved Lee's pre. tions of events near at hand,* and as sence at Culpepper, but, by the capture the gathering of Stuart's cavalry at of some rebel correspondence, disclosed Culpepper clearly indicated some pur- clearly Lee's purpose of invading the pose of evil which ought to be looked North. after, Hooker resolved to send a strong Hooker, on the 11th of June, advancforce against Stuart and break up his ed his right up the Rappahannock, and encampment. Accordingly, on the 9th sent his cavalry to watch the of June, early in the morning, Pleasan- upper forks of the river; but ton, with Buford's and Gregg's divisions Lee, while Hooker was doing this, of cavalry, and two brigades of infantry pushed forward his left into the Shenunder Russell and Ames, crossed the andoah Valley. Ewell's corps, on the Rappahannock at Beverley's and Kel. 10th, passed the Blue Ridge at Chester ly's Fords. Buford first encountered the Gap, crossed the Shenandoah, and enemy a short distance south of Beverley marching rapidly, arrived before WinFord, when a sharp conflict occurred. chester on the evening of the 13th, afGregy having crossed at Kelly's Ford, ter an advance, from Culpepper, of pushed on towards Brandy Station, and seventy miles in three days. “A glance carried the heights. Stuart brought up at the map will reveal the extraordinary large force, and a determined fight situation of the Confederate forces at ensued. Gregg, finding that Buford this time. On the 13th of June, with was not able to unite with him, fell the Army of the Potomac yet lying on back after a time and joined his troops the Rappahannock, Lee's line of battle with the other division; whereupon was stretched out over an interval of Pleasanton retired his force across the upwards of a hundred miles; for his Rappahannock. His loss was about right (Hill's corps) still held the lines 500; the rebel loss was fully equal to of Fredericksburg; his centre (Long

It was a noted engagement on street's corps) lay at Culpepper; and this occasion, for the cavalry of both his left (Ewell's corps) was at the armies were not only in full force, but mouth of the Shenandoah Valley !!* they fought in legitimate cavalry style, In this state of things, Hooker's course gallantly dashing to the charge and seemed to be plain; he must regulate using their sabres with tremendous his movements so as to defend the

apeffect. In other respects, the move. proaches to the capital, and also adment of Pleasanton was of great mo- vance as rapidly as possible on Lee's

ours.

*“ So hopeful were the leaders of the rebellion in the Army of the Potomac," p. 314. Mr. Swinton, success of this their project, that they did not deem it noting Lee's implied contempt of his opponent, criticizes necessary to keep their intentions a secret. Many the neglect of Hooker in not striking the exposed rear of weeks before their attempted invasion, their news. this long line, and either destroying Hill or compelling papers freely referred to it as an event that would Lee to hasten back to his support. This would have surely happen, and boasted loudly of the manner in put an end to the invasion. But Halleck, at Washing. which they would fatten on the spoils they would take ton, did not favor any steps of tho kind; Hooker, therefrom the rich farmers and well-filled storehouses of the fore, ought probably to be held excused for not taking North.”—Jacobs's “ Notes on the Rebel Incasion,” p. 6. an initiative which promised so excellent results.

VOL. IV.–41.

1863.

flank, awaiting the further development sued by the enemy, a portion of the of that general's designs. He accord rear guard escaping in the direction of ingly broke up camp on the Rappahan- Harper's Ferry. On arriving at Winnock, June 13th, moved on the direct chester in the evening, he found Milroy route towards Washington, by way of closely pressed by the enemy. On the the Orange and Alexandria Railroad, evening of the next day, June 14th, and reached Fairfax Court House on Early carried the outer works of the the evening of the 15th of June. town by storm. That night Milroy,

The enemy's earliest demonstration after spiking his guns, left with the was in the Valley of the Shenandoah, whole of his command on his retreat to upon the outposts at Winchester and Harper's Ferry, taking with him his arBerryville. Jenkins, with his cavalry tillery horses and wagons. Four miles brigade, was sent forward toward Win from the town, on the Martinsburg

chester, while Imboden was road, he was intercepted by rebel troops,

sent towards Romney, to cover and had to fight his way, as best he the movement. Both of these officers could, through their midst, his loss were in position when Ewell left Cul- being very great. Rodes, meanwhile, pepper, on the 10th of June. Ewell, proceeded from Berryville to Martinshaving crossed the Shenandoah, with burg, where he took 700 prisoners and his corps, near Front Royal, detached a quantity of stores. Tyler, with the Rodes's division to Berryville, with main body of his command, after a instructions, after dislodging the force sharp fight, made good his retreat to stationed there, to cut off communica- Harper's Ferry. Thus, the lower part tion between Winchester and the Poto- of the Valley was swept of the Union mac; while, with the divisions of Early forces, and the rebels captured over and Johnson, he advanced directly up- 4,000 prisoners, 29 pieces of artillery, on Winchester.

270 wagons and ambulances, and 400 Gen. Milroy was in command at Win. horses, together with a large amount of chester at this time, with a force of military stores.* about 10,000 men; McReynolds was In view of the threatened invasion, at Berryville, with his brigade; and preparations were at once made for the Martinsburg was held by Tyler, as an defence of Pennsylvania. Gen. Couch, outpost of Harper's Ferry. Neither on the 9th of June, was assigned to Winchester nor Martinsburg was sus. the department of the Susquehanna, ceptible of a good defence; and the with having his headquarters at Harrisburg; drawal of the garrisons had been advis and Gen. Brooks, at the same time, ed, though not ordered, as early as the 11th of June, by Halleck, at Washing- Milroy's defence of the post intrusted to his care, Mr. ton.

Swinton tells us, was infamously feeble, and the worst On the 13th, Rodes's division

of that long train of misconduct that made the Valley of the rebel force appeared before Ber- of the Shenandoah to be called the “ Valley of Humi. ryville, when Col. McReynolds, with his liation.”. A court of inquiry was ordered, on the re

port of which the president decided against court-mar command, fell back to Winchester, pur- tialing Milroy.

« PreviousContinue »