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CONCLUSION OF SHERMAN'S MARCH.
Sherman states, “we had completed our April, fully equipped and rationed for march on the 21st of March, and had twenty days, if it should become necesfull possession of Goldsborough, the sary to bring his command to bear real' objective,' with its two railroads against Lee's army, in co-operation with back to the seaport of Wilmington and our forces in front of Richmond and Reaufort, N. C. These were being ra. Petersburg. Gen. Sherman proposed, in
pidly repaired by strong work. this movement, to threaten Raleigh, and
ing parties, directed by Col. then, by turning suddenly to the right, W. Wright, of the railroad department. reach the Roanoke at Gaston or thereA large number of supplies had already abouts, whence he could move on to been brought forward to Kinston, to the Richmond and Danville Railroad, which place our wagons had been sent striking it in the vicinity of Burkesto receive them. I therefore directed ville, or join the armies operating Gen. Howard and the cavalry to remain against Richmond, as might be deemed at Bentonville during the 22d, to bury best. This plan he was directed to the dead and remove the wounded, and carry into execution, if he received no on the following day all the armies to further directions in the meantime. I move to the camps assigned them about explained to him the movement I had Goldsborough, there to rest and receive ordered to commence on the 29th of the clothing and supplies of which they March. That if it should not prove as stood in need."
entirely successful as I hoped, I would Sherman entered Goldsborough in cut the cavalry loose to destroy the person, on the 23d of March, where he Danville and Southside Railroads, and met Schofield and his army. The left thus deprive the enemy of further supwing came in during the same day and plies, and also prevent the rapid connext morning, and the right wing fol. centration of Lee's and Johnston's lowed on the 24th, on which day the armies." cavalry moved to Mount Olive Station, Thus, as we have briefly narrated, and Gen. Terry back from Cox's Bridge Sherman's army traversed the country to Falson's. On the 25th, the Newbern from Savannah to Goldsborough, with Railroad was finished, and the first an average breadth of forty miles, contrain of cars came in, thus furnishing suming all the forage, cattle, hogs, sheep, the means of bringing from the depot poultry, cured meats, corn meal, etc., at Morehead City full supplies to the and compelling the rebels to seek for army. Anxious to see and consult with food for the inhabitants from other the commander-in-chief, Sherman, on quarters. “Of course,” Sherman states, the 27th of March, visited Grant at in his report, “the abandonment to us City Point, returning to his headquart- by the enemy of the whole sea-coast ers at Goldsborough, on the 30th. He from Savannah to Newbern, North Castated, says Grant, in his report, “ that rolina, with its forts, dock-yards, gun he would be ready to move, as he had boats, etc., was a necessary incident to previously written me, by the 10th of our occupation and destruction of the inland routes of travel and supply. But In closing his communication to Gen. the real object of this march was to Halleck, under date of April 4th, Sher place this army in a position easy of man speaks in the highest terms of supply, whence it could take an appro- praise of his officers and men, and com priate part in the spring and summer mends them all for the soldierly quali campaign of 1865. This was completely ties of obedience to orders, and the accomplished on March 21st, by the utmost alacrity which was always manijunition of the three armies and the fested when danger summoned them to occupation of Goldsborough.”
FALL OF RICHMOND: SURRENDER OF LEE: THE REBELLION BROKEN IN PIECES.
Grant's anxiety as to Lee's movements - Sends Sheridan to cut off Lee's communications - Sheridan's success
ful raid, starting from Winchester - Position of military affairs — Grant's instructions - Lee's attack on Fort Steadman – How repulsed - Important success - Grant orders the army to move - Grant's note to Sheridan – Movement from Dinwiddie Court House — Further steps — Attack on Warren's corps Battle of Five Forks — Attack on Petersburg, April 1st - Rebel defeat — Lee notifies Davis that Petersburg and Richmond must be given up - Both places occupied by our troops — Andrew Johnson's speech :- Jeff. Davis's flight from Richmond — His style of talking – Lee's retreat and hopes — No supplies at Amelia Court House — Lee in haste to escape – Hotly pursued by Sheridan - The latter secures the position at Farmville - Battle at Sailor's Creek — Rebel loss heavy - Race nearly at an end – Grant's corres pondence with Lee - Sheridan at Appomattox Station -- The surrender of Lee – Terms liberal - How carried out — The “Confederacy” in ruins - Sherman and Johnston - Latter surrenders — Dick Taylor and K. Smith surrender.
GEN. GRANT, well aware of the posi- all Grant's efforts were devoted to the tion of affairs in the “Confederacy,” as encircling and enclosing Lee in suchwell as in the loyal states, was desirous wise as that he could not escape, and of carrying forward operations so as to must, of course, speedily surrender; and bring the war to an effectual conclusion with his surrender, as every one knew,
by the capture of Lee's army, the rebellion would be crushed for .
and he took his measures ac- ever. cordingly. He was very anxious lest leave his strong lines about Petersburg and Richmond, Lee, finding the case hopeless, should for the purpose of uniting with Johnston, before he
was driven from them by battle, or I was prepared to abandon his position, and before Grant make an effectual pursuit
. . . . . . I had spent could prevent it, form a junction with days of anxiety lest each morning should bring the reJohnston's force, and thus protract the port that the enemy had retreated the night before
I was firmly convinced that Sherman's crossing the contest still further elsewhere.* Hence, Roanoke would be the signal for Lee to leave; with
Johnston and him combined, a long, tedious, and ex*“At this time (March, 1865) the greatest source of pensive compaign, consuming most of the summer, uneasiness to me was the fear that the enemy would might become necessary."--Grant's "Report," pp. 61-64
SHERIDAN'S SUCCESSFUL RAID.
It was deemed of the utmost import- seventeen battle-flags, were captured. ance by Grant that, before a general | The prisoners, under an escort of 1,500 movement of the armies operating men, were sent back to Winchester. against Richmond, all communications Thence Sheridan marched on Charlotwith the city, north of James River, tesville, destroying effectually the railshould be cut off. The rebels had with road and bridges as he went, which drawn the bulk of their force from the place he reached on the 3d of March. Shenandoah Valley and sent it south, Here he remained two days, destroying or replaced troops sent from Richmond, the railroad toward Richmond and and as Grant desired to reinforce Sher. Lynchburg, including the large iron man, if practicable, whose cavalry was bridges over the north and south forks greatly inferior in numbers to that of of the Rivanna River, and awaiting the
he determined to make a arrival of his trains. This necessary move from the Shenandoah, which, if delay caused him to abandon the idea successful, would accomplish the first of capturing Lynchburg. On the mornat least, and very possibly the latter of ing of the 6th of March, dividthese objects. Sheridan, accordingly, ing his force into two columns, received orders, February 20th, to start Sheridan sent one to Scottsville, whence on his great raid against Lee's commu- it marched up the James River Canal to nications, by way of Lynchburg, and New Market, destroying every lock, and thence to destroy the railroad and in many places the bank of the canal. canal in every direction, so as to render From here a force was pushed out from them useless to the rebels.
this column to Duiguidsville, to ob. Sheridan moved from Winchester on tain possession of the bridge across the the 27th of February, with two divi- James River at that place, but it failed. sions of cavalry, numbering about 5,000 The enemy burned it on the approach each. On the 1st of March, he secured of our troops. They also burned the the bridge, which the rebels attempted bridge across the river at Hardwicksto destroy, across the middle fork of ville. The other column moved down the Shenandoah, at Mount Crawford, the railroad toward Lynchburg, destroyand entered Staunton on the 2d, the ing it as far as Amherst Court House, enemy having retreated on Waynes sixteen miles from Lynchburg; thence borough. Thence he pushed on to across the country, uniting with the Waynesborough, where he found the column at New Market. The river enemy in force in an entrenched posi- being very high, Sheridan's pontoons tion, under Gen. Early. Without stop would not reach across it; and the ping even to make a reconnaissance, an rebels having destroyed the bridges by immediate attack was begun, the posi- which he had hoped to cross the river tion was carried, and 1,600 prisoners, and get on the Southside Railroad eleven pieces of artillery, with horses about Farmville, and destroy it to Apand caissons complete, 200 wagons and pomattox Court House, the only thing teamis loaded with subsistence, and I left for him was to return to Winchester.
or strike a base at the White House. under Gen. Dick Taylor;* Thomas Fortunately, in Grant's opinion, he was pushing out two large and wellchose the latter.
appointed cavalry expeditions, one from From New Market Sheridan took up Middle Tennessee, under Gen. Wilson, his line of march, following the canal against the enemy's vital points in toward Richmond, destroying every Alabama, the other from East Tenlock upon it, and cutting the banks nessee, under Gen. Stoneman toward wherever practicable, to a point eight Lynchburg,—and assembling the remiles east of Goochland, concentrating mainder of bis available forces, prethe whole force at Columbia on the paratory to offensive operations, in East 10th of March. Here he rested one Tennessee ;t Gen. Sheridan's cavalry day, and sent Grant information of his was at White House; the armies of the whereabouts, and a request for supplies Potomac and James were confronting to meet him at White House. The the enemy, under Lee, in his defences news reached Grant on the 12th of of Richmond and Petersburg ; Gen. March, and he dispatched immediately Sherman with his armies, reinforced an infantry force to get possession of by that of Gen. Schofield, was at White House, and ordered forward sup. Goldsborough; Gen. Pope was making plies. Moving from Columbia in a preparations for a spring campaign direction to threaten Richmond, to near against the enemy under Kirby Smith Ashland Station, Sheridan crossed the and Price, west of the Mississippi; and North and South Anna Rivers, and Gen. Hancock was concentrating a after having destroyed all the bridges force in the vicinity of Winchester, and many miles of the railroad, pro- Virginia, to guard against invasion, or ceeded down the north bank of the to operate offensively, as might prove Pamunkey to White House.
This necessary.” place was reached on the 19th of March, On the 24th of March, Grant issued and as his cavalry had had long and his long and carefully prepared instrucfatiguing work before them, over tions for a general movement of the winter roads, Sheridan found it neces- armies operating against Richmond. sary to rest and refit at White House. They were directed to Gens. Meade, Ord, On the 24th of March, Sheridan moved again, crossed the James River at
from Fort Gaines and Fort Morgan. Spanish Fort was Jones's Landing, and formed a junction invested on the 27th, was bombarded April 8th, and with the Army of the Potomac in front evacuated by the rebels the same night
. of Petersburg, on the 27th. During Alabama River was thus opened for approach on Mo
Blakely was carried by assault, April 9th, and the this move, Gen. Ord sent forces to cover bile from the north. On the night of April 11th, the the crossings of the Chickahominy.
city was evacuated, and taken possession of by our
forces the next day. For a more full account, and the Gen. Grant, in his report, states, part taken by the navy, see Duyckinck's “War for the “that in March, 1865, Gen. Canby was Union,” yol. iii., pp. 663-673.
+ For Grant's brief notice of the expeditions under moving an adequate force
adequate force against rens. Wilson and Stoneman, see his “ Report,” ppMobile, and the array defending it 74, 75.
* The movement was made on the 20th of March,
LEE ATTACKS FORT STEADMAN.
and Sheridan, and are given in full in the other corps to advance and feel the Grant's report (p. 61). They are also rebels in their respective fronts. Pushworth consulting by the reader as evi- ing forward, they captured and held dencing Grant's clearness of conception, the enemy's strongly entrenched picket fixedness of purpose, and the end line in front of the 2d and 6th corps, which he expected speedily to attain. and 834 prisoners. . The enemy made
Gen. Lee, having reached a point of desperate attempts to retake this line, great depression in regard to his pros- but without success. Our loss in front pects, and well aware that he must do of these was fifty-two killed, 864 something immediately, resolved upon wounded, and 207 missing. Tbe making an attack on Grant's lines, enemy's loss in killed and wounded was which, if successful, would infuse some much greater. new life and energy into his troops, Grant, of whose anxiety respecting and prevent the continual desertions the possible escape of Lee, we bave which were taking place almost every spoken above, (p. 526) was of opinion, day. The assault was made, March that by moving out at this time with25th, in front of the 9th corps, which out delay, he would put his army in held from the Appomattox River better condition for pursuit, and would towards Grant's left. At daybreak, two at least, by the destruction of the Dan. of the rebel divisions dashed suddenly in ville Road, retard the concentration of upon our entrenchments on Hare's Hill, Lee's and Johnston's forces, and cause and having carried Fort Steadman, and the rebels to abandon much material a part of the line to the right and left that they might otherwise save. Ac. of it, established themselves there for a cordingly, immediate steps were taken brief period, and turned the guns upon for this purpose. Gen. Ord was sent, the adjacent batteries. These were at on the night of the 27th of March, with once abandoned by our men and oc- two divisions under Gibbon and Birney, cupied by the rebels. Checked by the and McKenzie's cavalry, to Hateher's activity of Fort Hascall, the next on Run, which was reached at dawn on the left of Fort Steadman, the enemy the 29th. The day before, Sheridan were unable to proceed further on either received his instructions to move,
which and when Hartrauft's division he did, with his splendid cavalry force came up, the rebels were pushed out of of 9,000 men, to Dinwiddie Court Steadman into the space over which House, on his way to cut the rebel com. they had come, and were gallantly re- munications. He reached this point on pulsed, nearly 2,000 prisoners being the afternoon of the 29th of March, taken. Our loss was sixty-eight killed, and the infantry line extended, on the 337 wounded, and 506 missing. The left, to the Quaker road, near its interrebel movement turned out to be a section with the Boydton plank road; failure and a mortifying one too, and after Sheridan, on the extreme left, the roused up our
to additional position of the forces was, under Warren, activity. Gen. Meade at once ordered Humphreys, Ord, Wright, and Parke.