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THE REBEL ATTEMPT TO ARM SLA VES.

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rëenforced to the utmost, suddenly, | arming such slaves (only) as were unexpectedly, upon Sherman, as he deemed fit for inilitary service. Had struggled through the gloomy forests they met Lincoln's first Proclamation and treacherous quicksands of east- of Freedom to such slaves (only) as ern Georgia, or the flooded swamps were not then within his jurisdiction, of South Carolina. Had Lee's effect- by an unqualified liberation of every ive force (by his muster-rolls, 64,000 slave in the South and a proffer of a men--but suppose the number avail homestead to each of them who would able for such a campaign but 50,000), shoulder his musket and help achieve swelled by such röenforcements as the independence of the Confederacy, Hardee, Beauregard, Wheeler, and it is by no means unlikely that their IIoke, might have afforded him, been daring would have been crowned with hurled upon Sherman, as he confi- success ; since the passions of their dently approached Savannah, Colum- adherents had, by this time, been so bia, or Fayetteville, it is indeed pos- thoroughly aroused that they would sible that the blow—so closely re- have welcomed any

resort that promsembling that dealt to Cornwallis at ised them a triumph over the detested Yorktown by Washington and Roch-Yankees'; while the Blacks must ambeau-might have been effectively have realized that Emancipation, imcountered (as theirs was not) by the mediate and absolute, at the hands of hurried movement southward by wa- those who had power not only to de ter of corps after corps of the Army cree but to enforce, was preferable to of the Potomac; yet the necessity of the limited, contingent, as yet unsubstopping Sherman's career was so in- stantial, freedom promised by the dubitably manifest and vital that it Federal Executive. Unmeasured viseems strange that every thing was tuperation of President Lincoln's edict not staked on a throw where success as unwarranted, outrageous, and dewould have kindled new hope in so signed to whet the assassin's knife many sinking hearts, while defeat for the throats of the mothers and could only have been what inaction sisters of the heroes who had hurled was—ruin.

But any suggestion of back his armies from the banks of the abandonment of the Confederate the James and the Tennessee, would capital was met with such a deafen- have sweetened its bitterness to the ing clamor by the Richmond journals Southern Whites, without being es-by which it

was pronounced synony- pecially obnoxious to the emancipamous with surrender at discretion- ted Blacks. But, after having so that Davis and Lee must have been fiercely reprobated emancipation as strong men indeed to have chosen to essentially a wrong to both races, utdefy it. It does not appear, how- terly unjustified by any conceivable ever, that they ever seriously inclined exigency of war, and denounced the to an expedient which, even if des- enlistment on our side of Black perate, was neither so hopeless nor soldiers as at once a crime, a futility, so mortifying as that to which they and a confession of defeat, and after were actually driven in their grudg- having mercilessly ridiculed the suging, eleventh-hour attempt to recruit gestion that negro slaves could ever their wasted ranks by freeing and I be transformed into effective soldiers,

the Rebel attempt to replenish with fire, and dismounting a 100-pounder Blacks the thinned ranks of their in its battery; then passing out of armies—hitherto largely swelled by its range, and breaking the chain in appeals to the intense prejudice of the front of the obstructions placed in lowest Whites against‘Nigger Equal- the channel by Gen. Butler at the ity'—was a most palpable and dama- lower end of Dutch gap, so that the ging confession that the knell of the Fredericksburg passed through; while Confederacy had sounded.

the Richmond, Virginia, and Drew

ry, attempting to follow, grounded: A single expedition, under War- the last-named, being immovable

, ren, was sent out' from Meade's left was abandoned by her crew at dayto destroy the Weldon railroad far- light, and soon blown up by a shell ther southward, and thus prevent its from one of our batteries; while the use by the enemy in transporting Virginia received a 300-pound bolt supplies from North Carolina nearly from a monitor which killed 5 of her up to our lines; whence they were crew. Firing was continued on both wagoned around our left to Lee's sides throughout the day; and at camps. This expedition, consisting night the Rebel fleet-all but the of Warren's (5th) corps, Mott's divis- Drewry-drew back to Richmond. ion of the 2d, and Gregg's mounted The next effort on our side was division, moved down the railroad so made-probably with intent mainly far as the Meherrin ; across which to to develop the strength with which Hicksford the few Rebels encoun- the Rebel lines confronting ours were tered were driven, while the road was still held-on the old beaten and effectually destroyed down to that bloody track; the 5th and 2d corps, point- some 20 miles. Hicksford with Gregg's cavalry, pushing out' had been fortified, and was strongly from our left to Reams's station, and held by the enemy; while our troops, thence to Dinwiddie C. H.: the 5th having started with but four days' corps being directed to turn the rations, were constrained to hasten Rebel right, while the 2d assailed it their return. No considerable loss in front. The two corps having was suffered, nor (otherwise than in taken position on the Rebel flankdestroying the railroad) inflicted. Smythe's division and McAllister's

The withdrawal of most of our brigade of Mott's having gallantly naval force from the James, to parti- repulsed the enemy's attempt to turn cipate in the operations against Wil- the right of the former-Gregg's mington, tempted the authorities in cavalry were drawn back from DinRichmond again to try their luck widdie C. H. to Warren's left, which, upon the water. Their three iron- under Crawford, was now thrown clads—the Virginia, Fredericksburg, forward to Dabney's mill, whence he and Richmond—with five wooden drove a Rebel force under Gen. Pe steamers, and three torpedo-boats, gram, who was killed. By this time, dropped' silently down from the city the enemy had sent a strong force under cover of darkness, passing Fort around our left, to strike it in flank Brady at midnight, responding to its and rear, after the Stonewall Jack* Dec. 7, 1864. * Jan. 23, 1865.

3 Feb. 5.

- Feb. 6.

SHERIDAN ROUTS EARLY AT WAYNESBORO'.

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son fashion.

Gregg's cavalry was ing them off to Richmond. The loss first assailed by this force, and push- was small; but the impunity with ed back to Hatcher's run ; Ayres's which it was inflicted argued extreme division, which was hurrying up to looseness and inefficiency in the pickthe support of Crawford, was next eting and guarding of our lines. Of stricken in flank while marching, and course, such an enterprise was not pushed back; when the blow fell on attempted without preconcert with Crawford, who was likewise driven, traitors on our side. with heavy loss. Following up their Gen. Sheridan, still in command success quite too eagerly, the Con- in the Valley, was instructed by Gen. federates now attacked Humphreys's Grant to open the campaign of 1865 (2d) corps, which had had time to in- in Virginia by a magnificent and trench, and which promptly sent them daring cavalry raid aimed at Lynchto the right about. The loss in this burg and the Rebel communications affair on our side was nearly 2,000; generally, but with liberty to Sherithat of the Rebels was about 1,000. dan to move southward until he reThe ground taken by the 2d corps enforced Sherman-still deficient in was held, and our left thus perma- cavalry—if that should seem advinently extended to IIatcher's run. sable. Sheridan left' Winchester

with 10,000 men—all mounted-and The Rebels in Northern Virginia moved so rapidly as to save the evinced the greater activity during bridge at Mount Crawford across the the Winter. Aside from sundry in- middle fork of the Shenandoah; passconsiderable but annoying dashes ing through Staunton,' and hurling through our lines at several points, himself on Early, who had made by the alert, ubiquitous guerrilla, a stand in his intrenchments at Moseby, Gen. Rosser, with a mount- Waynesboro', at the head of some ed force, slipped across the main 2,500 men ; who were almost inrange of the Alleghanies into West stantly routed, with a loss of 1,600 Virginia ; surprising Beverly, Ran- prisoners, 11 guns, 17 flags, and 200 dolph county; which was held by a loaded wagons. In fact, there was garrison of 700, who were caught' little left of Early's force but Early sound asleep, with pickets only 300 himself. The prisoners were sent to yards from their camp; 400 of them Winchester, guarded by 1,500 men; made prisoners, the residue dispersed, while Sheridan, destroying the railand much spoil secured in the shape roads, proceeded to Charlottesville ;o of horses, commissary's and quarter- which succumbed without a blow: master's stores. All that could be and here he spent two days destroycarried off in their haste was taken; ing Rebel dépôts, manufactories, the residue destroyed.

bridges, &c. By this time, LynchLt. McNiel, with a squad of Rebel burg had taken the alarm, and was cavalry, dashed into Cumberland, too strong for his depleted force: so, Md., about 3 A. M.;" seizing Maj.- dividing it, he struck for the James: Gens. Kelley and Crook in their beds, one of his two columns destroying mounting them on horses, and hurry- the canal from Scottsville to New. • Jan. 11. • Feb. 21.

- Feb. 27.
• March 2.

• March 3.

market, while the other tore up the , and probably compelled a hasty conLynchburg railroad so far west as centration to recover our lines and Amherst C. H.; thence crossing the works; thereby opening a door for country to Newmarket and uniting the unassailed withdrawal of the with the former.

Rebel army southward by the most Attempts to surprise and seize direct route, to unite with that of bridges over the James at Duguids- Johnston and thus overpower Sherville, Hardwicksville, &c., so as to man. It was delivered by Gordon cross and come in on Grant's left, with two divisions: all that was diswere all baffled by the vigilance of posable of the Rebel Army of Virthe enemy; while heavy rains had ginia being collected just behind the so swollen that river that Sherman's assaulting column and held in hand pontoons would not reach across it: as a support. so he was compelled to choose be Gordon charged at daybreak ;" his tween returning to Winchester and men rushing instantly across the narpassing behind Lee's army to White row space that here separated the House and thence to Grant's right. confronting lines, and pouring into He wisely chose the latter; follow- Fort Steedman, which was held by ing and destroying the canal to Co- the 14th N. Y. artillery, who were lumbia, where he rested a day, send completely surprised and overwhelming scouts with advices to Grant; ed; part of them fleeing for their thence moving easterly, destroying lives, while the residue were made bridges and railroads, across the An- prisoners. The guns were deserted nas to the Pamunkey, and down the without a struggle, and immediately right bank of that stream to White turned by their captors on the adjaHouse;" where four days were given cent works, whereof three batteries to most needed rest and recupera- were abandoned by the Union troops tion; when he moved down to the and seized by the enemy. James, crossed it at Jones's landing, Here their triumph ended. Their and reported to Grant in front of assault on Fort Haskell, next to Fort Petersburg on the 27th-just in time. Steedman on the left, was but feebly

Gen. Lee—foreseeing clearly the made and easily repulsed ; they failed speedy downfall of the Confederate to press forward and seize the crest cause unless averted by a prompt of the ridge behind the forts, thus concentration of its remaining forces cutting our army in two; the 20,000 and a telling blow delivered thereby men whom Lee had massed in their on some one of our encircling armies, rear to support the assault either which were now palpably crushing were not promptly ordered forward out the life of the Rebellion-resolved or failed to respond: so that their to anticipate Grant's initiative by an initial success had only isolated them, attack on his lines before Petersburg a comparative handful in the midst and Richmond. This attack was of an army of foes. In short, it was made on Fort Steedman, nearly east the Mine explosion repeated with the of Petersburg, where its success parts reversed. For, when our solwould have cut our army in two, diers had recovered from their aston10 March 10.

13 March 25.

11 March 19.

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