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Sherman states, "we had completed our march on the 21st of March", and had full possession of Goldsborough, the real' objective,' with its two railroads back to the seaport of Wilmington and Beaufort, N. C. These were being rapidly repaired by strong work1865. parties, directed by Col. W. Wright, of the railroad department. A large number of supplies had already been brought forward to Kinston, to which place our wagons had been sent to receive them. I therefore directed Gen. Howard and the cavalry to remain at Bentonville during the 22d, to bury the dead and remove the wounded, and on the following day all the armies to move to the camps assigned them about Goldsborough, thereto rest and receive the clothing and supplies of which they stood in need."

Sherman entered Goldsborough in person, on the 23d of March, where he met Schofield and his army. The left wing came in during the same day and next morning, and the right wing followed on the 24th, on which day the cavalry moved to Mount Olive Station, and Gen. Terry back from Cox's Bridge to Falson's. On the 25th, the Newbern Railroad was finished, and the first train of cars came in, thus furnishing the means of bringing from the depot at Morehead City full supplies to the army. Anxious to see and consult with the commander-in-chief, Sherman, on the 27th of March, visited Grant at City Point, returning to his headquarters at Goldsborough, on the 30th. He stated, says Grant, in his report, "that he would be ready to move, as he had previously written me, by the 10th of

April, fully equipped and rationed for twenty days, if it should become necessary to bring his command to bear against Lee's army, in co-operation with our forces in front of Richmond and Petersburg. Gen. Sherman proposed, in this movement, to threaten Raleigh, and then, by turning suddenly to the right, reach the Roanoke at Gaston or thereabouts, whence he could move on to the Richmond and Danville Railroad, striking it in the vicinity of Burkesville, or join the armies operating against Richmond, as might be deemed best. This plan he was directed to carry into execution, if he received no further directions in the meantime. I explained to him the movement I had ordered to commence on the 29th of March. That if it should not prove as entirely successful as I hoped, I would cut the cavalry loose to destroy the Danville and Southside Railroads, and thus deprive the enemy of further supplies, and also prevent the rapid concentration of Lee's and Johnston's armies."

Thus, as we have briefly narrated, Sherman's army traversed the country from Savannah to Goldsborough, with an average breadth of forty miles, consuming all the forage, cattle, hogs, sheep, poultry, cured meats, corn meal, etc., and compelling the rebels to seek for food for the inhabitants from other quarters. "Of course," Sherman states, in his report, "the abandonment to us by the enemy of the whole sea-coast from Savannah to Newbern, North Carolina, with its forts, dock-yards, gun boats, etc., was a necessary incident to our occupation and destruction of the

inland routes of travel and supply. But the real object of this march was to place this army in a position easy of supply, whence it could take an appropriate part in the spring and summer campaign of 1865. This was completely accomplished on March 21st, by the junction of the three armies and the occupation of Goldsborough."

In closing his communication to Gen. Halleck, under date of April 4th, Sher man speaks in the highest terms of' praise of his officers and men, and com' mends them all for the soldierly quali 1 ties of obedience to orders, and the utmost alacrity which was always mani- i fested when danger summoned them to the front.

1 865.


Grant's anxiety as to Lee's movements — Sends Sheridan to cut off Lee's communications — Sheridan's successful 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 correspondence 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 position of affairs in the "Confederacy," as well as in the loyal states, was desirous of carrying forward operations so as to bring the war to an effectual conclusion by the capture of Lee's army, and he took his measures accordingly. He was very anxious lest Lee, finding the case hopeless, should abandon his position, and before Grant could prevent it, form a junction with Johnston's force, and thus protract the contest still further elsewhere.* Hence,

* " At this time (March, 1865) the greatest source of uneasiness to me was the fear that the enemy would

all Grant's efforts were devoted to the encircling and enclosing Lee in suchwise as that he could not escape, and must, of course, speedily surrender; and with his surrender, as every one knew, the rebellion would be crushed forever.

leave his strong lines about Petersburg and Richmond, for the purpose of uniting with Johnston, before he was driven from them by battle, or I was prepared to

make an effectual pursuit I had spent

days of anxiety lest each morning should bring the report that the enemy had retreated the night before. I was firmly convinced that Sherman's crossing the Roanoko would be the signal for Lee to leave; with Johnston and him combined, a long, tedious, and expensive compaign, consuming most of the summer, might become necessary."—Grant's "Report," pp. 61-64

Ch. XX.]

It was deemed of the utmost importance by Grant that, before a general movement of the armies operating against Richmond, all communications with the city, north of James River, should be cut off. The rebels had withdrawn the bulk of their force from the Shenandoah Valley and sent it south, or replaced troops sent from Richmond, and as Grant desired to reinforce Sherman, if practicable, whose cavalry was greatly inferior in numbers to that of the enemy, he determined to make a move from the Shenandoah, which, if successful, would accomplish the first at least, and very possibly the latter of these objects. Sheridan, accordingly, received orders, February 20th, to start on his great raid against Lee's communications, by way of Lynchburg, and thence to destroy the railroad and canal in every direction, so as to render them useless to the rebels.

Sheridan moved from Winchester on the 27th of February, with two divisions of cavalry, numbering about 5,000 each. On the 1st of March, he secured the bridge, which the rebels attempted to destroy, across the middle fork of the Shenandoah, at Mount Crawford, and entered Staunton on the 2d, the enemy having retreated on Waynesborough. Thence he pushed on to Waynesborough, where he found the enemy in force in an entrenched position, under Gen. Early. Without stopping even to make a reconnaissance, an immediate attack was begun, the position was carried, and 1,600 prisoners, eleven pieces of artillery, with horses and caissons complete, 200 wagons and teams loaded with subsistence, and


seventeen battle-flags, were captured. The prisoners, under an escort of 1,500 men, were sent back to Winchester. Thence Sheridan marched on Charlottesville, destroying effectually the railroad and bridges as he went, which place he reached on the 3d of March. Here he remained two days, destroying the railroad toward Richmond and Lynchburg, including the large iron bridges over the north and south forks of the Rivanna River, and awaiting the arrival of his trains. This necessary delay caused him to abandon the idea of capturing Lynchburg. On the morning of the 6th of March, dividing his force into two columns, Sheridan sent one to Scottsville, whence it marched up the James River Canal to New Market, destroying every lock, and in many places the bank of the canal. From here a force was pushed out froin this column to Duiguidsville, to obtain possession of the bridge across the James River at that place, but it failed. The enemy burned it on the approach of our troops. They also burned the bridge across the river at Hardwicksville. The other column moved down the railroad toward Lynchburg, destroying it as far as Amherst Court House, sixteen miles from Lynchburg; thence across the country, uniting with the column at New Market. The river being very high, Sheridan's pontoons would not reach across it; and the rebels having destroyed the bridges by which he had hoped to cross the river and get on the Southside Railroad about Farmville, and destroy it to Appomattox Court House, the only thing left for him was to return to Winchester. or strike a base at the White House. Fortunately, in Grant's opinion, he chose the latter.


From New Market Sheridan took up his line of march, following the canal toward Richmond, destroying every lock upon it, and cutting the banks wherever practicable, to a point eight miles east of Goochland, concentrating the whole force at Columbia on the 10th of March. Here he rested one day, and sent Grant information of his whereabouts, and a request for supplies to meet him at "White House. The news reached Grant on the 12th of March, and he dispatched immediately an infantry force to get possession of White House, and ordered forward supplies. Moving from Columbia in a direction to threaten Richmond, to near Ashland Station, Sheridan crossed the North and South Anna Rivers, and after having destroyed all the bridges and many miles of the railroad, proceeded down the north bank of the Pamunkey to White House. This place was reached on the 19th of March, and as his cavalry had had long and fatiguing work before them, over winter roads, Sheridan found it necessary to rest and refit at White House. On the 24th of March, Sheridan moved again, crossed the James River at Jones's Landing, and formed a junction with the Army of the Potomac in front of Petersburg, on the 27th. During this move, Gen. Ord sent forces to cover the crossings of the Chickahominy.

Gen. Grant, in his report, states, "that in March, 1865, Gen. Canby was moving an adequate force against Mobile, and the array defending it

under Gen. Dick Taylor; * Thomas | j was pushing out two large and well- , appointed cavalry expeditions, one from Middle Tennessee, under Gen. Wilson, against the enemy's vital points in I Alabama, the other from East Tennessee, under Gen. Stoneman toward Lynchburg,—and assembling the remainder of his available forces, preparatory to offensive operations, in East Tennessee ;f Gen. Sheridan's cavalry was at White House; the armies of the Potomac and James were confronting the enemy, under Lee, in his defences I of Richmond and Petersburg; Gen.' Sherman with his armies, reinforced '| by that of Gen. Schofield, was at j Goldsborough; Gen. Pope was making preparations for a spring campaign against the enemy under Kirby Smith and Price, west of the Mississippi; and Gen. Hancock was concentrating a force in the vicinity of Winchester, j j Virginia, to guard against invasion, or to operate offensively, as might prove ] necessary."

On the 24th of March, Grant issued his long and carefully prepared instructions for a general movement of the armies operating against Richmond. They were directed to Gens. Meade, Ord, j

* The movement was mode on the 20th of March, from Fort Gaines and Fort Morgan. Spanish Fort was invested on the 27th, was bombarded April 8th, and i evacuated by the rebels the same night. Fort | Blakely was carried by assault, April 9th, and the i I Alabama River was thus opened for approach on Mobile from the north. On the night of April 11th, the i city was evacuated, and taken possession of by our' forces the next day. For a more lull account, and the part taken by the navy, see Duyckinck's "War for tht Union," vol. ill., pp. 683-673.

f For Grant's brief notice of the expeditions under jrens. Wilson and Stoneman, see his "Report," pp. 75.

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and Sheridan, and are given in full in Grant's report (p. 61). They are also worth consulting by the reader as evidencing Grant's clearness of conception, fixedness of purpose, and the end which he expected speedily to attain.

Gen. Lee, having reached a point of great depression in regard to his prospects, and well aware that he must do something immediately, resolved upon making an attack on Grant's lines, which, if successful, would infuse some new life and energy into his troops, and prevent the continual desertions which were taking place almost every day. The assault was made, March 25th, in front of the 9th corps, which held from the Appomattox River towards Grant's left. At daybreak, two of the rebel divisions dashed suddenly in upon our entrenchments on Hare's Hill, and having carried Fort Steadman, and a part of the line to the right and left of it, established themselves there for a brief period, and turned the guns upon the adjacent batteries. These were at once abandoned by our men and occupied by the rebels. Checked by the activity of Fort Hascall, the next on the left of Fort Steadman, the enemy were unable to proceed further on either flank; and when Hartrauft's division came up, the rebels were pushed out of Steadman into the space over which they had come, and were gallantly repulsed, nearly 2,000 prisoners being taken. Our loss was sixty-eight killed, 337 wounded, and 506 missing. The rebel movement turned out to be a failure and a mortifying one too, and roused up our men to additional activity. Gen. Meade at once ordered

VOL. IV.—67.

the other corps to advance and feel the rebels in their respective fronts. Pushing forward, they captured and held the enemy's strongly entrenched picket line in front of the 2d and 6th corps, and 834 prisoners. The enemy made desperate attempts to retake this line, but without success. Our loss in front of these was fifty-two killed, 864 wounded, and 207 missing. The enemy's loss in killed and wounded was much greater.

Grant, of whose anxiety respecting the possible escape of Lee, we have spoken above, (p. 526) was of opinion, that by moving out at this time without delay, he would put his army in better condition for pursuit, and would at least, by the destruction of the Danville Road, retard the concentration of Lee's and Johnston's forces, and cause the rebels to abandon much material that they might otherwise save. Accordingly, immediate steps were taken for this purpose. Gen. Ord was sent, on the night of the 27 th of March, with two divisions under Gibbon and Birney, and McKenzie's cavalry, to Hatcher's Run, which was reached at dawn on the 29th. The day before, Sheridan received his instructions to move, which he did, with his splendid cavalry force of 9,000 men, to Dinwiddie Court House, on his way to cut the rebel communications. He reached this point on the afternoon of the 29th of March, and the infantry line extended, on the left, to the Quaker road, near its intersection with the Boyd ton plank road; after Sheridan, on the extreme left, the position of the forces was, under Warren, Humphreys, Ord, Wright, and Parke.

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