網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

Lincoln in March, 1862, the corps-notwithstanding the trying demands made upon it, each battle finding the wounds of the last still unhealed; notwithstarding the enormous sum of its losses in men and eren more in officers—had maintained an unbroken continuity of life and a high degree of harmony between its constituent parts. Twelre thousand six hundred men had been killed, wounded, or captured in action during 1862; and out of its depleted ranks seven thousand two hundred had been lost in the battles of 1863. Yet through all this the corps had retained its integrity and its characteristic quality. New regiments had from time to time been sent to recruit its ranks; four entire brigades had joined it; yet there was a mars enough remaining of the old body and the old spirit to take up, assimilate, and vitalize the new material.

Moreover, between the rain exhausting marches and the oft-recurring Rescate barties had been, at least, distinct, it to test and discipline, in winter and to one has when the shattered regimcris

in tone, when the new men

White and caught the spirit wir had entered. The time have the way expand o'ermastering chance intra necessary constituye character of the StThe folie

WANY

mand on the 31st of March, 1864, after the accession of the troops from the Third Corps :

Artillery Brigade.—Colonel John C. Tidball.

First Division. - Brigadier-General Francis C. Barlow. First Brigade: Colonel Nelson A. Miles. Second Brigade: Colonel Thomas A. Smyth. Third Brigade: Colonel Paul Frank. Fourth Brigade: Colonel John R. Brooke.

Second Division.-Brigadier-General John Gibbon. First Brigade: Brigadier-General Alexander S. Webb. Second Brigade: Brigadier-General Joshua T. Owen. Third Brigade: Colonel S. Sprigg Carroll.

Third Division.—Major-General David B. Birney. First Brigade: Brigadier-General J. H. Hobart Ward. Second Brigade: Brigadier-General Alexander Hays.

Fourth Division.Brigadier - General Joseph B. Carr. First Brigade: Brigadier-General Gershom Mott. Second Brigade: Colonel William R. Brewster.

The aggregate force of the enlarged command was 43,055, distributed as follows:

Corps staff, 18; Artillery, 663; First Division, 12,250; Second Division, 11,367; Third Division, 10,174; Fourth Division, 8,563.

The same aggregate was further distributed as follows:

Present for duty, equipped, 23,877; on extra or daily duty, 4,422 ; sick, 1,278; in arrest or confinement, 152; absent, 13,306. It does not need to be

said that the absent were largely those who had been wounded in half a' score of battles or skirmishes, or had broken down under exertions, privations, and exposures attendant upon forced marches, and bivouacs amid storm and frost.

On the 22d of April, 1864, all the troops constituting the enlarged corps were for the first time brought together that they might be reviewed by the new lieutenant general.

The occasion was one never to be forgotten by any who participated in it. The weather had been gloomy and disagreeable, but this day broke clear and bright. The ground was admirably adapted to show, from every part of it, the whole corps, alike when in position and when in motion. General Grant came accompanied by a remarkable group of officers, comprising Generals Meade, Humphreys, Warren, Hunt, Williams, and a score of others whose names are a part of the history of the war. Nearly twenty-five thousand men were formed for parade, the four divisions of infantry in four lines parallel to each other and all directly opposite the stand of the reviewing officer. The artillery was formed on the right flank of and perpendicular to the infantry. In a high degree it was a veteran corps.

Of the eighty regiments there mustered, nearly fifty had served the Peninsula-at Yorktown, at Williamsburg, at Fair Oaks, at Glendale, and at Malvern Hills; and nearly twenty more had fought

on

at Fredericksburg. What had those gallant companies not done, what had they not endured, under four successive commanders of the Potomac Army -McClellan, Burnside, Hooker, and Meade? What form of service had they not seen, what shape of danger could be strange to them, what exigency could arise to find them unprepared ? What artifice could deceive, what celerity of movement surprise, what audacity of attack daunt them ? Yet, trained and accomplished soldiers as they were, it was nd array of grizzled veterans on which the lieutenant general looked as he rode down the lines that day. One half had not reached their twentyfifth birthday—thousands were never to see it.

CHAPTER X.

THE WILDERNESS,-FIRST DAY.

It was on the night of the 3d of May that the Second Corps left its winter camps. The lieutenant general's plan was to cross the Rapidan by its lower fords, and then, turning to the right, find and strike the enemy.

No maneuvring for advantage of ground was to be undertaken; no effort made to draw Lee into compromising positions. The prime object was a battle, a battle on the first day possible—a battle on whatever field. In order to this, Warren's Fifth Corps was, in the early morning of the 4th, to cross at Germanna Ford and push out to Old Wilderness Tavern. Sedgwick, with the Sixth Corps, was to follow and encamp near the river, facing to the right. Hancock's corps, which had already crossed at Ely's Ford farther down, was to move around the rear of Warren and come up on the left at Chancellorsville. This programme was easily carried out; the enemy offered no opposition; the distances to be covered were not great; all the troops came into their positions early on the 4th. The Second Corps, which had by far the heaviest

« 上一頁繼續 »