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GEN. GRANT'S QUALIFICATIONS AND IDEAS.
tary operations would be greatly pro- | cal strength, were far inferior to ours: but,
as an offset to this, we had a vast territory, moted by placing them under the
with a population hostile to the Governdirection of a single mind, which ment, to garrison, and long lines of river should not be that of Henry Wager
and railroad communications to protect, to
enable us to supply the operating armies. Halleck.
“The armies in the East and West acted Gen. Grant's qualifications for this independently and without concert, like a most momentous trust were not uni
not uni. | balky team: no two ever pulling together :
enabling the enemy to use to great advanversally conceded. Though over 40 tage his interior lines of communication for years of age, he had been a quiet transporting troops from east to west, reen
forcing the army most vigorously pressed, civilian most of his adult life. There
and to furlough large numbers, during seaere many military men who es sons of inactivity on our part, to go to their teemed Gen. Meade, Gen. Buell, Gen.
| homes and do the work of producing, for
the support of their armies. It was a quesMcClellan, or some other of our com tion, whether our numerical strength and inanders, his superior as a strate resources were not more than balanced by
these disadvantages and the enemy's supegist; and several of his battles-es
rior position. pecially those of Belmont and Shiloh “From the first, I was firm in the con--had not escaped the unfavorable viction that no peace conld be had that
would be stable and conducive to the hapjudgment of military critics. There piness of the people, both North and South, was one point, however, wherein his until the military power of the Rebellion fitness for chief command was deci- was entirely broken.
“I, therefore, determined, first, to use the ded if not pröeminent: and that was greatest number of troops practicable against an utter disbelief in the efficacy of any
the armed force of the enemy; preventing
hinn from using the same force at differrosewater treatment of the Rebellion.
ent seasons against first one and then anHe regarded the South as practically other of our armies, and the possibility of bound and helpless in the lands of a
repose for refitting and producing neces
sary supplies for carrying on resistance. haughty, strong-willed oligarchy, who Second, to hammer continuously against the had not spent thirty years in prepa- / armed force oføthe enemy and his resources,
until, by mere attrition, if in no other way, ration for this supreme effort in order
there should be nothing left to him but an to be bribed, or beguiled, or pala equal submission with the loyal section of vcred, or bullied, into its abandon
our common country to the Constitution
and laws of the land. ment after the gage had been thrown “These views have been kept constantly down and accepted. No love-taps, in in mind; and orders given and campaigns
made to carry them out. Whether they his view, would ever persuade the
might have been better in conception and exRebel chiefs to return to loyalty, so ecution is for the people, who mourn the loss long as their military power should
of friends fallen, and who have to pay the of fr
pecuniary cost, to say. All I can say is, that remain essentially unbroken; and he
what I have done has been done conscienhad no conception of any mode of tiously, to the best of my ability, and in
what I conceived to be for the best interbreaking that power save by strong
ongests of the whole country.” armies in bloody battles. Bis com- Such were the views wherewith prehensive, final report tersely says: Gen. Grant, summoned from the
“From an early period in the Rebellion, West by telegraph, repaired to I had been impressed with the idea that active and continuous operations of all the Washington' to receive his commistroops that could be brought into the field, sion and instructions as Lieutenantregardless of season and weather, were ne
General commanding all the forces cessary to a speedy termination of the War. The resources of the enemy, and his numeri- of the Union. He was formally in• Born April 27, 1822.
• March 8, 1864.
troduced, next day, to the President | vision of the Mississippi, comprising and Cabinet; when he was addressed the Departments of the Ohio, the by the former as follows:
Cumberland, the Tennessee, and the "General Grant: The Nation's appre-Arkansas ; Gen. J. B. McPherson, ciation of what you have already done, and its reliance upon you for what still reinains
commanding, under him, the Departto be done in the existing great struggle, are ment and Army of the Tennessee. now presented with this commission, consti
The residue of March and nearly tuting you Lieutenant-General of the armies of the United States. With this high hon
the whole of April were devoted to or, devolves upon you, also, a correspond careful preparation for the campaign. ing responsibility. "As the country herein trusts you, so,
The Army of the Potomac, still comunder God, it will sustain you. I scarcely manded immediately by Gen. Meade, need to add, that, with what I here speak was completely rëorganized ; its five for the Nation, goes my own hearty personal concurrence."
corps being reduced to three, comGen. Grant replied, in perhaps the manded respectively by Gens. Hanlongest speech he ever made, as fol cock (2d), Warren (5th), and Sedglows:
wick (6th). Maj.-Gens. Sykes, “ Mr. PRESIDENT: I accept the commis French, and Newton, with Brig.sion with gratitude for the high honor con
Gens. Kenly, Spinola, and Sol. ferred. With the aid of the noble armies that have fought on so many battle-fields
Meredith, were “relieved," and sent for our common country, it will be my to Washington for orders. Gen. earnest endeavor not to disappoint your | Burnside who had been röorganizing expectations. I feel the full weight of the responsibilities now devolving on me; and and receiving large accessions to his I know that, if they are properly met, it will (9th) corps in Maryland, crossed' the be due to those armies; and, above all, to the favor of that Providence which leads
Potomac and joined Meade's army; both nations and men."
though the formal incorporation The President's order, investing him therewith was postponed till after with the chief command of all the ar- the passage of the Rapidan. This mies of the United States, appeared junction again raised the positive the day following; on which day, he or fighting strength of that Army paid a flying visit to the Army of the to considerably more than 100,000 Potomac, and started next morning men. on his return to arrange matters in Earlier in the Spring, Gen. Custer, the West, preparatory to movements with 1,500 cavalry, had crossed the inaugurating the general campaign. Rapidan, flanking the Rebel Army Gen. Halleck was announced as re-on the west, and moved from Cullieved from command at his own pepper C. II. by Madison C. H. to request, and assigned to duty in within four miles of Charlottesville, Washington as `Chief of Staff to the where he found his road blocked by Army.' Gen. Grant, in a brief and a far superior Rebel force, and was modest order, assumed command, an- turned back; being again waylaid nouncing that his headquarters would near Stannardsville by a force of be in the field, and, until further or- cavalry only, which he pushed aside ders, with the Army of the Potomac. with little loss, and returned to his Gen. W. T. Sherman was assigned old camp, followed by some hundreds to the command of the military di- of refugees from slavery to Rebels, but April 23. 8 Feb. 27.
KILPATRICK AND DAILGREN'S RAID.
505 having otherwise inflicted little loss | an end. Kilpatrick had lost 150 men and incurred still less. '
on this raid, had taken 500 prisoners, This raid, though directed against a good many horses, and inflicted on the enemy's dépôts, railroads, &c., the Rebels serious losses in burned was designed to distract attention bridges, stations, and stores. from another, far more formidable, led But Col. Ulric Dahlgren, who led by Gen. Kilpatrick; who, starting a subordinate command of about 400 from Stevensburg, crossed the Rapi- cavalry, had been far less fortunate. dan at Ely's ford, and moved rapidly Crossing also at Ely's ferry, Dahlgren, down the opposite flank of Lee's after leaving Spottsylvania C. H., army, by Spottsylvania C. H., to the had gone farther to the right, through Virginia Central Railroad at Beaver- Louisa and Goochland counties, indam station, where he had his first tending to cross the James and enter collision and drove the enemy; Richmond from the south when Kilthence across the South Anna to patrick assailed it from the north ; Kilby Station, on the Fredericks- but he found the river (at Dover burg road; cutting both roads as mills) far too deep to be forded, and he passed, and pushing on to within hanged his negro guide in the belief 3} miles of Richmond ;" passing its that he had purposely misled him first and second lines of defenses, away from Richmond rather than toand fighting several hours before the ward that city. Dahlgren now pushed third, which he was of course unable down tlie north bank of the James to to carry, and compelled to fall back. the fortifications of Richmond, which
Kilpatrick camped for the night he charged at dark," passing the outsix iniles from Richmond and two er works; but was repulsed with loss from the Chickahorniny; where a two- -of course, by far superior numbersgun battery opened upon him, at 103 at the inner lines. He then, with the P. M., just as his weary men were remnant of his forces, made a circuit dropping asleep. The charge which around the city by IIungary to Hanquickly followed was as quickly re- overtown ferry; and, finding that pulsed; but it was so manifest that Kilpatrick had been driven off east- . the position was not adapted to quiet ward, struck thence for King and slumber3, that Kilpatrick moved on Queen C. H.; but was stopped, just forth with to the Pamunkey, which after crossing the Mattapony at Dabhe could not find boats to pass ; so he ney's ferry, by a body of local militia, was obliged to move across the White at whose first fire he fell dead, pierced House railroad and thence down the by five balls.. His command was here Peninsula ; soon striking the track of scattered, each seeking to reach our a cavalry force sent up to his aid lines as he best might; and some of from Fortress Monroe by Gen. But them made their way to Kilpatrick; ler, and encountering, when near New but at least 100 of them were picked Kent C. H., a brigade of Black in-, up as prisoners. fantry, which had been likewise sent. Col. Dahlgren's body was treated by Butler on the same errand. Pur- with ignominy; it being asserted that suit by the enemy was of course at papers were found on it evidencing 1° Feb. 28.
1 March 1.
12 March 2.
a plot to liberate our prisoners on the Rapidan on his right, at GermaBelle Isle, near Richmond, and, by nia and Ely's fords: Warren leading their aid, burn that city, taking the at Germania, followed by Sedgwick, lives of Davis and his Cabinet! That and pushing straight into “THE WILthese papers were Rebel forgeries, DERNESS;' Hancock crossing at Ely's and the meditated arson and murder a ford, and moving on ChancellorsRebel invention, intended to 'fire the ville, followed by the trains of the Southern heart,' and justify murder whole army. Burnside followed next by a pretense of retaliation, scems no day. longer doubtful; while that the Con- The Wilderness is a considerable federate authorities authorized the tract of broken table-land, stretching placing of several barrels of gunpow-southward from the Rapidan nearly der under Libby prison, so as to blow to Spottsylvania Court House, seamed some thousands of Union captives with ravines and densely covered into fragments in case of a successful with dwarfish timber and bushes, attack, is entirely beyond dispute, diversified by very few clearings, but
It is not impossible that Richmond crossed by three or four good roads, might have been taken at this time, the best of them centering on Fredhad Kilpatrick kept his men togeth- ericksburg, and by a multiplicity of er, and taken the hazards of a sudden, narrow cart-tracks, used in peace only sanguinary, persistent assault; but it by wood-cutters. (It is a mineral could not have been held two days; region, and its timber has been repeatso that its capture would have been edly swept off as fuel for miners.) In of small importance. Had he been this tangled labyrinth, numbers, artildirected siinply to destroy the rail- lery and cavalry, are of small account; roads as thoroughly as he could, local knowledge, advantage of posiwhile Butler, moving by steam, had tion, and command of roads, everyrushed on Richmond with 20,000 thing. men, well provided with artillery, the Lee's army, alert and vigilant, was chances of durable success would have just west of it; the roads diverged, been far better. Butler had, in fact, fan-like, on that side: it was Grant's attempted" to surprise Richmond by obvious interest to get through this a forced march, some weeks earlier ; chapparal as quickly and with as litbut the design had miscarried, through tle fighting as possible: it was Lee's the escape by bribery of a culprit business not to let him. Hence, the mofrom prison, who gave the alarm to ment our movement was developed, the enemy, and enabled them to ob- the Rebel army, which had been lookstruct the roads beyond Bottom's ing north across the Rapidan, was bridge. Butler's infantry, on this faced to the right and moved rapidly expedition, marched 80 miles within down parallel with our advance, form56 hours ; his cavalry 150 miles in ing line of battle some six miles east 50 hours.
of its strong defenses on Mine run, All being at length in readiness, which proffered a safe refuge in case Gen. Meade's army, masking its inten- of disaster. Lee, like Meade, had tion by a feint on Lee's left, crossed" rëorganized his army in three corps ; 13 Feb. 6–9.
whereof Ewell's (late the right), on infantry advance, rested for the night its change of front, held the left, at the Old Wilderness tavern,' five next the Rapidan; A. P. Hill coming miles from the ford, where Grant and into line on the right; while Long- Meade crossed and made their headstreet (recently returned from his quarters next morning; Gen. SedgEast Tennessee campaign) was posted wick's corps was between them and the near Charlottesville, two marches off, ford; Gen. Hancock, with his corps, but was rapidly brought up, and came halted at or near Chancellorsville, in into action the second day. The the rear of Warren. Our cavalry, unground was as unfavorable for us as der Sheridan and his lieutenants, Wilcould be; yet Grant, being unexpect- son and Gregg, covered the front and edly assailed—for he had confidently flanks of the infantry. expected to get through unmolested Warren had orders to move, sup-had no choice but to fight: neither ported by Sedgwick, early next mornBurnside nor our trains being yet | ing," to Parker's store, five miles S. fairly over the river; so that any at- W. of his camping-ground; following tempt to evade Lee's unlooked for the road leading to Orange Court blow would have compromised, not House: Hancock was to press southmerely the campaign, but the army. ward, at considerable distance on his
Hardly a shot had been fired on left, making for Shady Grove church ; the first day of our movement; the while Sheridan's cavalry swept still Rebel pickets retreating precipitately farther south-west, making a reconbefore our imposing advance, to speed noissance in force. But these movethe great news to their leaders. Gen. ments were met in their inception by Warren, with his corps, forming our an unlooked for advance of the Rebel
16 Thursday, May 5.