indicate the following text covers this period, until the next such appearance.
Here are the definitions of some unfamiliar (to me) terms.
abatis Barricade of trees with sharpened branches directed toward an enemy.
acclivities Upward slope.
carpet-baggers Politicians who move to a place for an opportunity to promote their career.
comity Courtesy; civility. Comity of nations: respect of one country for the laws and institutions of another. Law: courts of one jurisdiction give effect to the decisions of another.
Lethe of death River in Hades; drinking it caused forgetfulness.
mare clausum Navigable body of water under the jurisdiction of one nation and closed to all others. Latin: mare, sea + clausum, closed.
modus vivendi Manner of living; way of life. Temporary agreement between contending parties pending a final settlement.
Ney Michel Ney—Duke of Elchingen, 1769-1815, French revolutionary and Napoleonic military leader; marshal of France 1805-15.
parole A written promise by a prisoner of war, that if released he will not take up arms against his captors.
redintegration Restoration of a lost or injured part. Evocation of a state of mind by the recurrence of the elements making up the original experience.
scalawag A native white Southerner who collaborated with the occupying forces during Civil War Reconstruction for personal gain.
spiles Post used as a foundation; a pile. Wooden plug; bung. Spigot used in taking sap from a tree.
windrows Row of leaves or snow heaped up by the wind; row of cut hay or grain left to dry in a field before being bundled.
[End transcriber's notes]
Drawn by Will H. Low. The World's Fair at Chicago. Central Portion of MacMonnies Fountain—Effect of Electric Light.
HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES
FROM THE EARLIEST DISCOVERY OF AMERICA TO THE PRESENT TIME
BY E. BENJAMIN ANDREWS CHANCELLOR OF THE UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA FORMERLY PRESIDENT OF BROWN UNIVERSITY
With 650 Illustrations and Maps
NEW YORK CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS 1912
COPYRIGHT, 1894 AND 1903, BY CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS
CIVIL WAR AND RECONSTRUCTION
CHAPTER V. THE STRUGGLE FOR THE MISSISSIPPI VALLEY
Three Great Lines of Campaign. Confederate Posts in Kentucky. Surrender of Fort Henry. Siege of Fort Donelson. Capture. Kentucky Cleared of Armed Confederates. Pope Captures Island No. 10. Gunboat Fight. Memphis Ours. Battle of Pittsburg Landing. Defeat and Victory. Farragut and Butler to New Orleans. Battle. Victory. The Crescent City Won. On to Vicksburg. Iuka. Corinth. Grant's Masterly Strategy. Sherman's Movements. McClernand's. Gunboats pass Vicksburg. Capture of Jackson, Miss. Battle of Champion's Hill. Siege of Vicksburg. Famine within. The Surrender.
CHAPTER VI. THE WAR IN THE CENTRE
Bragg Invades Kentucky. Buell Saves Louisville. Battle of Perryville. Of Stone River. Losses. Chickamauga. Thomas the "Rock of Chickamauga." Grant to the Front. Bragg's Movements. Chattanooga. The "Battle above the Clouds." Capture of Missionary Ridge. Bragg's Army Broken Up. Grant Lieutenant-General. Plan of Campaign for 1864-65. Sherman's Army. Skirmishes. Kenesaw Mountain. Johnston at Bay. Hood in Command. Assumes the Offensive. Sherman in Atlanta. Losses. Hood to Alabama and Tennessee. The March to the Sea. Living on the Country. Sherman at Savannah. Hardee Evacuates. A Christmas Gift. The Blow to the Confederacy. Thomas Crushes Hood. Sherman Marches North. Charleston Falls. Columbia. Johnston Routed at Bentonville. Sherman Master of the Carolinas. Johnston Surrenders.
CHAPTER VII. THE VIRGINIA CAMPAIGNS OF 1862—63
McClellan to Fortress Monroe. Yorktown. Williamsburg. Fair Oaks. Lee in Command. McDowell Retained at Fredericksburg. Lee Assumes the Offensive. Gaines's Mill. The Seven Days' Retreat. Malvern Hill. Union Army at Harrison's Landing. Discouragement. McClellan Leaves the Peninsula. Pope's Advance on Richmond. Retreat. Jackson in his Rear. Second Battle of Bull Run. Pope Defeated. Chantilly. McClellan again Commander. Lee in Maryland. South Mountain. Antietam. Lee Escapes. McClellan Removed and Burnside in Command. Fredericksburg. The Battle. Hooker General-in-Chief. Chancellorsville. Flank Movement by Jackson. Battle of May 3d. Lee in Pennsylvania. Convergence to Gettysburg. First Day's Battle. Second Day. Third. Pickett's Charge. Failure. Lee Escapes. Significance of this Battle.
CHAPTER VIII. COLLAPSE OF THE CONFEDERACY
Grant Comes East. Battle of the Wilderness. Flanking. Spottsylvania. The "Bloody Angle." Butler "Bottled Up" at Bermuda. Grant at the North Anna. At Cold Harbor. Change of Base to the James. Siege of Petersburg. The Mine. Washington in Peril. Operations in Shenandoah Valley. "Sheridan's Ride." Further Work at Petersburg. Distress at the South. Lee's Problem. Battle at Five Forks. Blue-coats in Petersburg. Davis and his Government Leave Richmond. Union Army Enters. Grant Pursues Lee. The Surrender. Assassination of President Lincoln. Johnston Grounds Arms. Capture of Jefferson Davis.
CHAPTER IX. THE WAR ON THE SEA
Classification of Naval Deeds. Our Navy when the War Began. Enlargement. Blockading. Difficulty and Success. Alternate Tediousness and Excitement. Blockade-running Tactics. Expeditions to Aid the Blockade. To Port Royal. To Roanoke Island. Confederate Navy. The Merrimac. Sinks the Cumberland, Burns the Congress. Monitor and Merrimac. An Era in Naval Architecture and Warfare. Operations before Charleston. The Atlanta. The Albemarle. Blown Up by Cushing. Farragut in Mobile Harbor. Fort Fisher Taken. Southern Cruisers upon the High Seas. Destructive. The Sumter. The Alabama. Her Career. Fights the Kearsarge. Sinks.
CHAPTER X. FOREIGN RELATIONS. FINANCE. EMANCIPATION.
Views of the War Abroad. England's Hostility. Causes. The Trent Affair. Seward's Reasoning. Great Britain's Breach of Neutrality. Louis Napoleon's Hypocrisy. Invasion of Mexico. Maximilian. War Expenditure. How Met. Duties. Internal Revenue. Loans. Bonds. Treasury Notes. Treasurer's Report, July 1, 1865. Errors of War Financiering. Confederate Finances. High Prices at South. Problem of the Slave in Union Lines. "Contraband of War." Rendition by United States Officers. Arguments for Emancipation. Congressional Legislation. Abolition in District of Columbia. Negro Soldiers. Preliminary Proclamation. Final Effects. Mr. Lincoln's Difficulties. Republican Opposition. Abolitionist. Democratic. Copperhead. Yet he is Re-elected.
CHAPTER XI. RECONSTRUCTION
Delicacy of the Task. Reasons. The Main Constitutional Question. Different Views. The Other Questions. Answer. Periods of Reconstruction. During War. President Lincoln. Johnson. His Policy. Carried Out. Congress Rips up his Work. Why. South's Attitude just after War. Toward Negroes. XIVth Amendment. Rejected by Southern States. Iron Law of 1867. Carried through. Antagonism between President Johnson and Congress. Attempt to Impeach Johnson. Fails.
THE CEMENTED UNION
CHAPTER I. POLITICAL HISTORY OF THE LAST TWO DECADES
Grant's First Election. His Work During Reconstruction. Its Difficulty. Bayonet Rule in the South. The Force Act. Danger to State Independence. "Liberal Republican" Movement. The Greeley Campaign, 1872. Grant again Elected. Fresh Turmoil at the South. Culminates in Louisiana. Blood Shed. The Kellogg Government Sustained in that State. A Solid South. The Election of 1876. In Doubt. The Returns. The Electoral Commission of 1877. Hayes Seated. The Electoral Count Act, 1886. Hayes's Administration. End of the Bayonet Regime. Garfield's Nomination. And Election. And Assassination. The Guiteau Trial. Civil Service Reform. Under Grant. Under Hayes. Need of it. Credit Mobilier Scandal. The Pendleton Act Passed. Its Nature and Operation. Recovery of Power by the Democracy. Election of Cleveland. The Civil Service. Presidential Succession Act of 1886. Its Necessity. And Provisions.
CHAPTER II. THE TREATY OF WASHINGTON. 237
A Shining Instance of Peaceful International Methods. Earlier Negotiations. "ALABAMA CLAIMS" Insisted on. A Joint Commission. Its Personnel. A Treaty Drafted and Ratified. Its Provisions. Northwest Boundary Question. Minor Claims. The Alabama Claims. Geneva Tribunal. Personnel. No Pay for Indirect Losses. Importance of the Case. The Three Rules of the Washington Treaty. Position of Great Britain Relative to These. Their Meaning. An Advance in International Law. The Other Cruisers. The Award. Charles Francis Adams. The Money Paid. Its History.
CHAPTER III. THE FISHERIES DISPUTE.
Fishery Clause of the Treaty of 1783. Value of the Rights it Conveyed. Effect of War of 1812. Convention of 1818. Its Fateful Provisions. Troubles in Consequence. The Reciprocity of 1854. Repeal in 1865. New Troubles. Reciprocity by Treaty of Washington, from 1871. Repealed in 1885. Why Friction in 1886. Strict Enforcement by Canada of Convention of 1818. Severities. Their Animus. Pleas of the United States Government. Threat of Retaliation. Commission to Draft New Treaty. Indecisive Result. Northwestern Fisheries Question Settled.
CHAPTER IV. THE SOUTH.
The Results of Congressional Reconstruction. Restoration of White Rule. Ku-Klux-Klan. Improvement. Loyalty at the South. Prosperity. Cotton. Manufacturing. Iron. Marble. Southern Cities. Country Parts. State of Florida.
CHAPTER V. THE WEST.
New States and Territories. Alaska. Its Resources. Both Sides of the Rockies Filling Up. Pacific Railways. Colorado. California. Great American Desert. Tabular View of the West's Growth. Western Cities. Minnesota. St. Paul, Minneapolis, Duluth. Duluth and Chicago. Statistics of Immigration.
CHAPTER VI. THE EXPOSITION OF 1876.
Origin of the Plan. Organization. Financial Basis. Conclusion to Make it a World Affair. To be at Philadelphia. Building. Opening Exercises. The Main Building. Arrangement and Contents. The American Exhibit. Machinery Hall. The Corliss Engine. Agricultural Hall. Memorial Hall. The Art Exhibit. Horticultural Hall. Minor Arrangements and Structures. The Fourth of July Celebration. Original Copy of the Declaration of Independence Read. Interest in the Philadelphia Exposition.
CHAPTER VII. ECONOMIC POLITICS
Reduction of National Debt. Refunding. Surplus. Tariff. Its History since the War. Policy of the Political Parties. Tariffs of 1890 and 1894. Trusts. The Dollar of the Fathers. Resumption of Specie Payments. The Promissory Greenback. Fiat Greenback Theory. And Party. Great Strike of 1877. Labor Movement and Labor Question. Corporations. Their Evil Influence. Counter-organizations. Growth of our Urban Population.
CHAPTER VIII. THE MARCH OF INDUSTRY.
Progress in Cotton Manufacturing. In Woollen, Iron, and Other. In Travel. New Submarine Cables. First Pacific Railway. Others. Consolidation of Railways. Electric Lighting. Brooklyn Bridge. Elevated Railways and New Modes of Surface Traction. Telephone. Black Friday. Chicago Fire. Boston Fire. Hard Times of 1873. Material Betterment for Last Two Decades.
CHAPTER IX. END OF THE PERIOD.
Contrast of New Things with Old. Postal Arrangements. Art. Extension of Suffrage. Woman's Rights. Higher Education for Women. Socialism and State Socialism. Widened Scope of Governmental Action. Restriction of Immigration. Catholics. Their Attitude to Public Schools. Peril to Family. Mormonism. Divorce. Danger from a Secular Spirit. New Sense of Nationality. Benign Results. Greely Expedition to Polar Regions. Lesson of our National Success to Other Nations. Our Nation's Duty in World Affairs.
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
THE WORLD'S FAIR AT CHICAGO. CENTRAL PORTION OF MACMONNIES FOUNTAIN—EFFECT OF ELECTRIC LIGHT.
GENERAL JOHN POPE.
GENERAL WILLIAM T. SHERMAN.
THE BATTLE OF THE RAMS AT MEMPHIS, JUNE 6, 1862.
FARRAGUT IN THE MAIN-RIGGING. (From the original by William Page).
GENERAL HENRY W. HALLECK.
GENERAL WILLIAM S. ROSECRANS.
GENERAL GEORGE H. THOMAS.
GENERAL JOSEPH HOOKER.
THE BATTLE OF LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN. (The "Battle above the Clouds ").
GENERAL JAMES B. McPHERSON.
GENERAL DAVID D. PORTER.
GENERAL ROBERT E. LEE.
GENERAL NATHANIEL P. BANKS.
GENERAL J. E. B. STUART'S RAID UPON POPE'S HEADQUARTERS.
AUGUST 22, 1862, WHEN POPE'S DESPATCH-BOOK FELL INTO THE HANDS OF THE CONFEDERATES.
GENERAL THOMAS J. ("STONEWALL") JACKSON.
GENERAL EDWIN V. SUMNER.
GENERAL WINFIELD S. HANCOCK.
GENERAL AMBROSE E. BURNSIDE.
THE STONE WALL AT FREDERICKSBURG.
GENERAL OLIVER O. HOWARD.
GENERAL JOHN SEDGWICK.
GENERAL JAMES LONGSTREET.
GENERAL GEORGE G. MEADE.
DEATH OF GENERAL SEDGWICK AT SPOTTSYLVANIA, MAY 9, 1864.
GENERAL DAVID HUNTER.
GENERAL LEE SIGNING THE TERMS OF SURRENDER AT APPOMATTOX COURT-HOUSE.
THE SINKING OF THE FRIGATE CUMBERLAND BY THE MERRIMAC IN HAMPTON ROADS, MARCH 8, 1862.
SECTIONAL VIEW OF MONITOR THROUGH TURRET AND PILOT-HOUSE.
THE ORIGINAL MONITOR.
THE SINKING OF THE ALABAMA.
THE LANDING OF THE ALLIED TROOPS AT VERA CRUZ.
MAXIMILIAN WATCHING THE DEPARTURE OF THE LAST FRENCH TROOPS FROM THE CITY OF MEXICO.
SALMON PORTLAND CHASE, SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY DURING THE CIVIL WAR.
FACSIMILE OF A PORTION OF PRESIDENT LINCOLN'S DRAFT OF THE PRELIMINARY PROCLAMATION OF EMANCIPATION, SEPTEMBER, 1862. (From the original in the Library of the State of New York, Albany).
EDWIN M. STANTON.
ULYSSES S. GRANT.
SAMUEL J. TILDEN. (After a pastel by Sarony in the house at Gramercy Park).
JAMES A. GARFIELD.
JAMES G. BLAINE.
PRESIDENT GROVER CLEVELAND.
A FACSIMILE PUT IN EVIDENCE BEFORE THE CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEE.
THE MOUTH OF THE MIAMI RIVER, FLORIDA.
THE SITE OF CHICAGO.
AN OHIO RIVER FLAT-BOAT.
AN IRRIGATED ORANGE GROVE AT RIVERSIDE, CALIFORNIA.
THE IRRIGATING RESERVOIR AT WALNUT GROVE, ARIZONA, SHOWING THE ARTIFICIAL LAKE PARTLY FILLED.
AT THE CENTENNIAL EXPOSITION, PHILADELPHIA, 1876.
THE AMERICAN LINE STEAMSHIP ST. LOUIS, LAUNCHED FROM THE CRAMPS DOCKS, NOVEMBER 12, 1894. (554 feet long, 11,000 tons, and 20,000 horse-power).
THE BIG LOOP ON THE GEORGETOWN BRANCH OF THE UNION PACIFIC, COLORADO.
CHARLES F. BRUSH.
MOSES G. FARMER.
THOMAS A. EDISON.
THE HOOSAC TUNNEL LIT BY GLOW LAMPS, AFTER THE PLAN OF THE MARR CONSTRUCTION COMPANY.
EDISON'S PLATINUM LAMP ON CARBON SUPPORT, 1879.
EDISON'S PAPER CARBON LAMP.
EDISON'S FIRST INCANDESCENT PLATINUM LAMP.
THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE, LOOKING UP THE EAST RIVER.
THE MANHATTAN ELEVATED RAILWAY, NEW YORK.
UNDER SIDE OF A MODERN SWITCHBOARD, SHOWING 2,000 TELEGRAPH WIRES.
PROFESSOR BELL SENDING THE FIRST MESSAGE, BY LONG-DISTANCE TELEPHONE, FROM NEW YORK TO CHICAGO.
THE NEW YORK GOLD ROOM ON "BLACK FRIDAY," SEPTEMBER 24,1869.
A SCENE DURING THE CHICAGO FIRE.
CATCHING THE MAIL POUCH FROM THE CRANE.
IGLOOS, OR ESQUIMAU HUTS.
A. W. GREELY.
LIST OF MAPS
THE CONFEDERATE LINE FROM COLUMBUS TO BOWLING GREEN.
NEW MADRID AND ISLAND NUMBER TEN.
MEMPHIS TO IUKA, 1862.
OPERATIONS IN LOUISIANA. FEBRUARY TO JULY, 1863.
ATLANTA TO SAVANNAH.
THE BATTLE-FIELD OF NASHVILLE.
MAP OF NORTH CAROLINA.
JACKSON'S ATTACK ON HOWARD, MAY 1, 1863.
DIAGRAM OF THE ATTACK ON SICKLES AND SYKES.
THE SHENANDOAH VALLEY.
GENERAL EARLY'S MARYLAND CAMPAIGN.
GRANT'S PURSUIT OF LEE, APRIL, 1865.
MAP OF HAMPTON ROADS.
CIVIL WAR AND RECONSTRUCTION (Continued)
THE STRUGGLE FOR THE MISSISSIPPI VALLEY
The North conducted the war upon three great lines of campaign: 1. The Western campaigns, to clear the Mississippi River and thus divide the Confederacy. 2. The campaigns in the centre, to reach the sea at Mobile, Savannah, or Charleston, cutting the Confederacy a second time. 3. The Eastern campaigns, to take Richmond, and capture or destroy the main Confederate army, ending the Confederacy. This chapter deals with the Western campaigns alone.
The opening of 1862 found the Confederates in possession of a strong line across the southern portion of Western Kentucky, stretching from Bowling Green, near the centre of the State, to Columbus on the Mississippi. The two gates of this line were Forts Henry and Donelson, on the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers, respectively, just over the Tennessee border. If these forts could be taken the Confederates must give up Kentucky.
The Confederate Line from Columbus to Bowling Green.
On February 6th, after a two hours' bombardment, Fort Henry surrendered to General Grant, who had come up the river from Cairo with 17,000 troops, and with seven gunboats commanded by Commodore Foote. Most of the garrison, about 3,000, had been sent off before the fleet opened fire, General Tilghman foreseeing that he could not hold the fort. The land forces arrived too late to cut off their retreat, and they escaped safely to Fort Donelson, some dozen miles to the east.
Grant marched at once to invest Donelson, and sat down before it on the 12th with 15,000 men. The stronghold stood upon a bluff 100 feet high. On the east it was protected by the Cumberland River; on the north and south by two flooded creeks. Along a crest back of the fort a mile or two ran a semicircular line of rifle-pits, with abatis in front. Nine batteries were posted at various points along the line. Donelson was garrisoned by 20,000 men under Generals Floyd, Pillow, and Buckner, who quietly looked on while Grant's smaller army hemmed them in. On the 14th the gunboats opened fire upon the water batteries between fort and river. Commodore Foote steamed up boldly within 400 yards and pounded the opposing works with his heavy guns. He did little damage, however, while the Confederate fire proved very effective against him. His flag-ship, the Hartford, was struck fifty-nine times. A shot crashed into the pilothouse, destroying the wheel and wounding Foote himself. The boat became unmanageable and drifted down-stream. A shot cut the tiller-ropes of the Louisville. The other boats were also considerably damaged, and after an action of an hour and a half, the entire fleet withdrew.
But Grant's army had been re-enforced to 27,000. Three divisions, under Smith, Wallace, and McClernand, stretched in a semicircle about Donelson from north to south. On the night of the 14th the Confederate generals held a consultation, and decided to try cutting their way out. Most of the troops were withdrawn from the rifle-pits during the night, and massed on the Union right. The weather had suddenly turned frosty, and the Union men, without tents or camp-fires, many even without blankets, shivered all night in the intense cold. Before dawn the attacking column from inside, 10,000 strong, rushed through the woods and fell upon McClernand's division, which formed the Union right. For hours the woods rang with musketry and the southern yell. Slowly the Confederates drove the Unionists before them and gained the road running south to Charlotte, opening to themselves the way of escape.
This, however, they had not yet utilized, when, about one o'clock, General Grant, who had been aboard the fleet consulting with Commodore Foote, came upon the field. Learning that the foe had begun to fight with full haversacks, he instantly divined that they were trying to make their escape, and inferred that their forces had been mostly withdrawn from opposite the Union left to make this attack against the right. General Smith was therefore instantly ordered to fall upon the Confederate right. As Grant had surmised, the intrenchments there were easily carried. Meanwhile the demoralized soldiers of the Union right and centre rallied, and drove the Confederates back to their intrenchments. At daybreak Buckner sent to Grant for terms of capitulation. "No terms except unconditional and immediate surrender can be accepted: I propose to move immediately upon your works," was the answer. The resolute words rang through the North, carrying big hope in their remotest echo. Donelson surrendered. Floyd and Pillow had sneaked away during the night, the former monopolizing the few boats to transport his own brigade. Fifteen thousand troops remained and were taken prisoners.
General John Pope.
The capture of Henry and Donelson necessitated the evacuation of Bowling Green and Columbus. Kentucky was now clear of Confederates, and the Mississippi open down to Island Number Ten. This island lay in a bend of the river at the extreme northwestern corner of Tennessee. The great stream here runs northwest for a dozen miles, then sharply turns to the south again. New Madrid stands at this northern bend. It was protected by Confederate fortifications and gunboats. Early in March, General Halleck, now at the head of the Western Department, sent General Pope against New Madrid with 20,000 men. The enemy fled to Island Number Ten, leaving thirty-three guns, besides ammunition and many tents.
Island Number Ten was strongly fortified. Commodore Foote came down the river with seventeen gunboats, and on March 16th began a bombardment which was kept up for three weeks with little effect; but early in April Pope got upon the Tennessee shore, in the undefended rear of the island, and by intercepting its communication to the south, forced it to surrender, April 8th. Seven thousand prisoners, one hundred heavy siege guns, several thousand small arms, besides large stores of ammunition and supplies, were thus secured, without the loss of a single Union soldier. This exploit brought to Pope great fame.
Pope now descended the river to Fort Pillow, 100 miles below, which he prepared to take. He was just then transferred by Halleck to another field, and the reduction of Pillow left to the gunboats. Pillow was abandoned June 4th. The Union flotilla, increased by four rams, now ran down the river to Memphis, where, on June 6th, in the presence of thousands of spectators upon the bluffs, it fought a battle with a southern fleet. Seven of the Confederate boats were destroyed, and the next day Memphis surrendered.
After the fall of Donelson the Confederates began concentrating their forces at Corinth, in the northeast corner of Mississippi. Meanwhile the Army of the Tennessee, under orders from Halleck, had moved up the Tennessee River, and encamped, some 40,000 strong, at Pittsburg Landing on the Tennessee River, 25 miles north of Corinth. Here Grant, who had been temporarily removed, took command again on March 17th. Buell, with 40,000 men, was on the march thither from Central Tennessee. The Confederate generals at Corinth, Albert Sidney Johnston and Beauregard, wisely determined to strike Grant before Buell arrived. There ensued the greatest battle which had up to that time shaken the solid ground of this continent. [footnote: Indifferently called the battle of Shiloh or the battle of Pittsburg Landing.]
New Madrid and Island Number Ten.
About six o'clock on the morning of April 6th the Confederates burst through the thick woods upon the Union pickets and drove them in. It was at least partially a surprise. Grant in person was nine miles down the river. The Union officers hastily got their men into line, as the attacking columns came sweeping in after the pickets. Three of the five Union divisions were raw recruits, many of whom fled at the first fire. Some colonels led their entire regiments off the field. Later in the day Grant saw 4,000 or 5,000 of these runaways cowering under the shelter of the bluffs.
General William T. Sherman.
But the bulk of the army made a stubborn resistance. General W. T. Sherman, then comparatively unknown, inspired his division of raw troops with his own intelligent courage. Their gallant and protracted fight around the Shiloh log church made them the heroes of the day. But the Confederates' onset was impetuous. Step by step they forced their opponents back through the heavy woods, and by noon stood in possession of the Union camps; Grant's army, badly shattered, being cooped up in a narrow space along the edge of the river.
The tide now turned. About two o'clock, General Johnston was killed, and the Confederate advance flagged. Between the two armies lay a deep ravine. Grant planted some fifty guns upon the edge, and two of the gunboats took positions where they could rake the ravine. By these dispositions Beauregard's advance was stayed. Night fell, and hostilities ceased.
Fortunately, 22,000 of Buell's men arrived during the night, and next morning Grant ordered an advance. Beauregard made as desperate a resistance as he could, seeing that his heavy losses the day before had left him but 30,000 troops fit for duty. Buell's men showed the effects of long training under that matchless disciplinarian, and fought splendidly. The enemy were steadily pushed back, until more than all the ground lost on the preceding day had been triumphantly regained, and the battle of Pittsburg Landing, from being for the Union side a defeat accomplished and a surrender threatened, was turned into a bright and inspiring victory. Beauregard ordered a retreat, and, not being pursued, regained his old position at Corinth. He had lost about 10,000 men. Our loss was 12,000, including four regiments taken prisoners. The battle was a severe check to both sides.
A.R. Ward H.R. Hall, JR. The Battle of the Rams at Memphis, June 6, 1862.
On February 2d the largest fleet that had ever sailed under the American flag left Fortress Monroe for the mouth of the Mississippi, commanded by Commodore Farragut. It consisted of 16 gunboats, 21 mortar-schooners, six sloops of war, and five other vessels. Fifteen thousand land troops, under General Butler, soon followed. Thirty miles below New Orleans Forts Jackson and St. Philip, mounting 100 guns, frowned at each other across the Mississippi. Farragut's fleet sailed up the river and the mortar-schooners were moored to the banks within range of the forts. Boughs were tied to the top-masts so that the enemy could not distinguish them from the trees along the shore. April 18th the mortars began shelling the forts. An incessant fire was kept up night and day, for six days, till nearly 6,000 shells had been thrown.
Memphis to Iuka. 1862.
As the forts sustained little damage, Farragut decided to run the batteries. A gunboat stole up by night and cut the boom of hulks chained together, which crossed the river just below the forts. Some of the boats were rubbed over with mud to make them invisible, and chain cables hung over the sides to protect the engines. About half past two in the night of April 23d the fleet moved up the river through the gap in the boom. The enemy, on the alert, launched fire-rafts and lit bonfires to lift the cover of night. Old Jackson and St. Philip poured a hot fire into the fleet as vessel after vessel slowly steamed past, answering with its most spiteful broadsides.
But the Union craft had more than the forts against them. Once past the boom they were in the midst of a hostile fleet of fifteen vessels, including a dangerous ironclad ram. A fierce water-fight followed. The Union Varuna was sunk; the flag-ship Hartford set on fire by one of the fire-rafts. The flames, however, were soon put out. Other vessels were disabled. But every one of the Confederate ships was captured or destroyed, and Jackson and St. Philip had to surrender. Farragut then sailed up the river and took possession of New Orleans without resistance. Butler at once occupied the city with his troops, and the Stars and Stripes again waved over the Crescent City. Since that eventful day New Orleans has never been in disunionist hands.
After the battle of Pittsburg Landing, Halleck himself came down from St. Louis, and took the reins. Grant was nominally in command under him, but had next to nothing to do. Re-enforced by 25,000 men under Pope, Halleck slowly advanced toward Corinth, entering the place May 30th, Beauregard having evacuated it May 29th. A few Quaker guns—logs mounted on wagon-wheels—were the only trophies. Halleck now had 110,000 effectives, Beauregard less than 60,000. Halleck lay inactive at Corinth for six weeks, when he was summoned to Washington as General-in-Chief.
Farragut in the Main-Rigging. From the original by William Page.
Grant once more took command of the forces about Corinth, which re-enforcements to Eastern Tennessee soon reduced to 42,000. With these he was expected to guard 200 miles of railroad, from Memphis to Decatur in Northern Alabama. The Confederates under Van Dorn and Price attempted to regain Corinth, but in the battles of Iuka, September 19th, and Corinth, October 3d and 4th, were repulsed with heavy losses. Grant then took the offensive. Vicksburg, about half-way from north to south on Mississippi's western boundary, was the only stronghold left to the Confederates on the great river. Its capture would ideally complete the western campaign. Grant's plan was for Sherman to descend the river from Memphis, while he himself simultaneously attacked Vicksburg by land.
General Henry W. Halleck.
So long as the stout-hearted general continued his march south all his supplies had to be brought over the Mississippi Central Railroad from Holly Springs, near the Tennessee border. A troop of 3,500 Confederate cavalry, making a long detour around his army, swooped down upon Holly Springs, December 20th, captured the garrison of 1,300 men, and destroyed all the stores, valued at $2,000,000. For two weeks the Union army had to live from the enemy's country, and then after all to fall back to Holly Springs. Meanwhile Sherman, ignorant of his superior's ill fortune, descended the Mississippi, and with a force of 30,000 made during the last days of the year an unsuccessful attack upon Vicksburg.
Very early in January, 1863, McClernand arrived near Vicksburg with re-enforcements. The last of the month, Grant, who had given up the land expedition, took command in person. Sherman's repulse had shown that Vicksburg could not be taken from the water side. A position must be gained in the rear. This seemed, and indeed proved, an almost impossible task. The Mississippi was unusually high, and the surrounding country a vast network of bayous and swamps. The winter passed away in fruitless labors to make some sort of a water passage to the rear of Vicksburg, either above, via the Yazoo, or around through Louisiana to some point below the city, whence the army could cross again to the Vicksburg side of the Mississippi and strike Pemberton's stronghold from the southeast. In most of these attempts Grant himself had little faith, but the army was better at work than idle. At last he resolved, without attempting a regular canal, partly by land but utilizing bayous and creeks as he could, to swing his army across west of the river to New Carthage, south of Vicksburg, run the Vicksburg batteries with the fleet, and, uniting his land and water forces in the capture of Grand Gulf, to gain the rear of Vicksburg by way of the Big Black River. It was a bold plan, but it succeeded.
In April, by building corduroy roads through miles of swamp and bridging numberless bayous, the general succeeded in reaching New Carthage, some twenty miles south of Vicksburg, with a good part of his land forces. On the night of April 16th, the gunboats and provision transports ran the gauntlet of Vicksburg's guns with little damage. The last of the month a landing was effected just below Grand Gulf, on the east bank, fifteen or twenty miles still farther south of Vicksburg. The enemy made some resistance, but were driven back.
Grant's position was now full of peril. He was in the heart of the enemy's country. Pemberton was occupying Jackson and Vicksburg with 50,000 men. General Joseph E. Johnston was hurrying to his aid with re-enforcements. Grant's forces available for an advance about equalled Pemberton's. A bold policy was the only safe one. Taking five days' rations, he cut loose from his base at Grand Gulf and marched north to attack Pemberton before Johnston could join him. Jackson, forty-four miles to the east of Vicksburg, was easily captured, May 14th. Grant had thus thrust himself in between Johnston and Pemberton. Turning to the left he smote Pemberton a heavy blow at Champion's Hill on the 16th, and drove him into Vicksburg. Johnston fell back baffled. In eighteen days Grant had marched 200 miles, defeated the enemy in four engagements, inflicting a loss of 8,000 and taking 88 guns, and shut up a large army in Vicksburg—all this upon five days' rations. It is a brilliant record, equalled, if at all, only by some of Napoleon's campaigns.
Operations in Louisiana. February to July, 1863.
The bold commander now transferred his base of supplies to the Yazoo River, which runs into the Mississippi a few miles above Vicksburg. After an unsuccessful assault upon the city's strong intrenchments, he sat down to a deliberate siege. Twelve miles of trenches were constructed. Eighty-nine batteries, with more than 200 guns, day after day rained shot and shell against the Vicksburg fortifications. The lines of investment crept nearer and nearer the fated city. The pickets chaffed with each other, and exchanged tobacco and newspapers. June 25th, a mine was exploded under one of the Vicksburg parapets, but it made no effectual breach. A second explosion, July 1st, was equally unavailing. Johnston kept menacing the rear, but feared to attack, as Grant had been re-enforced to 60,000.
Famine began to threaten the city, Porter's fleet blockading the water front. Flour sold for $1,000 a barrel in Confederate money. Mule flesh became the chief meat. Rats were hung up for sale in the market. The inhabitants sought protection from the shells in cellars and caves. Cave-digging became a regular business. The Vicksburg daily news sheet was now printed on wall paper. July 3d. white flags appeared upon the city's works. An armistice followed, and the next day Pemberton surrendered. The prisoners, some 30,000 in number, were mostly released on parole. With the fall of Vicksburg the western campaigns virtually closed. The capture of Port Hudson, below, was assured from that moment, and followed on July 8th. The "Father of Waters" once more rolled "unvexed to the sea," and the Confederacy was cut in twain.
THE WAR IN THE CENTRE
We have seen that the fall of Donelson had driven the Confederates out of Kentucky. In the following September, 1862, Bragg invaded the State from Tennessee with 40,000 men. Buell hurried north from Nashville, and after an exciting race headed him off from Louisville. Bragg slowly fell back, first east, then south. Kentucky was rich in food and clothing, and his army plundered freely, coming out, it was boasted, with a wagon-train forty miles long. At Perryville Bragg turned upon Buell fiercely. An indecisive battle was fought, October 8, 1862, which gave the richly loaded wagon-train time to escape into Tennessee, whither Bragg followed.
The Christmas holidays of 1862 found the Confederate host at Murfreesboro, Tenn., thirty miles southeast of Nashville, where the Union army lay. Rosecrans, who had succeeded Buell, moved suddenly to the banks of Stone River, within four miles of the gay town, and prepared to attack. Bragg, like Wellington from Brussels on the morning of Waterloo, hurried forth to meet him. At dawn, December 31st, the gray-colored columns emerged from the fog that overhung the river, and spiritedly beat up the Union right. Two divisions were swept back. Sheridan's men, inspired by their dashing leader, held their ground for awhile, but fell rearward at last, and, forming a new line, stood at bay with fixed bayonets. Rosecrans recalled the troops who had crossed the river to make a similar attack upon the Confederate right, and massed all his forces at the point of assault. Six times the southrons charged, six times they were tumbled back by the Union batteries double-shotted with canister. Night fell on a drawn battle.
General William S. Rosecrans.
The next day, January 1, 1863, was peaceful save for cavalry skirmishing. January 2nd the awful combat was renewed. Rosecrans having planted artillery upon commanding ground, Bragg must either carry this or fall back. He attempted the first alternative, and was repulsed with terrible slaughter, losing 1,000 men in forty minutes. He escaped south under cover of a storm. In proportion to the numbers engaged, the battle of Stone River was one of the bloodiest in the war. About 45,000 fought on each side. The Union loss was 12,000, the Confederate nearly 15,000.
Rosecrans did not advance again till June, although Bragg lay quite near. The latter fell back as the Unionists approached, first into Chattanooga and then over the Georgia line. Rosecrans followed. Bragg was now re-enforced, and determined to retake Chattanooga, which lay on the Tennessee River and was an important strategical point. The two armies met on Chickamauga Creek, twelve miles south of Chattanooga. All through the first day's battle, September 19th, there was hot fighting—charges and countercharges—but no decisive advantage fell to either side. During the night Bragg was reenforced by Longstreet's corps from Virginia, and he opened the next day's fight with an assault upon the Union left. Brigades were moved from the centre to support the left. Through the gap thus made Longstreet poured his men in heavy columns, cutting the Union army in two. Its right wing became demoralized, and fled toward Chattanooga in wild confusion, Rosecrans after it at a gallop, believing that all was lost.
But all was not lost. General Thomas commanded the Union left. Like a flinty rock he stood while Polk's and Longstreet's troops surged in heavy masses against his front and flank. About three o'clock heavy columns were seen pouring through a gorge almost in Thomas's rear. They were Longstreet's men. It was a critical moment Granger's reserves came rushing upon the field. Raw recruits though they were, they dashed against Longstreet like veterans. In twenty minutes, at cost of frightful slaughter, the gorge and ridge were theirs. Longstreet made another assault, but was again repulsed. At nightfall Thomas fell back to Chattanooga, henceforth named, and justly, the "Rock of Chickamauga." For six hours he had held his own with 25,000 braves against twice that number. Out of 70,000 troops Bragg lost probably 20,000. Rosecrans's force was about 55,000, his loss 16,000.
General George H. Thomas.
Bragg proceeded to shut up the Union army in Chattanooga. Grant, now commanding the Department of the Mississippi, was ordered to recover Chattanooga, and his deeds along this front, though less often mentioned, will glitter upon the page of history with little if any less lustre than those about Vicksburg. Upon his arrival, late in October, he found the city practically in a state of siege. Its railroad communication with Nashville was cut off, and supplies had to be hauled in wagons sixty miles over a rough mountain road. The men had been for some time on half rations. Thousands of horses and mules had starved, and the artillery could not be moved for lack of teams. There was not ammunition enough for one day's fighting. In five days Grant wrested the railroad from Bragg's men and bridged the Tennessee, so that an abundant supply of food and ammunition came pouring in.
Elated at his Chickamauga triumph, and unaware that he now had a greater than Rosecrans in his front, Bragg deemed it a safe and promising stratagem to despatch Longstreet's corps to Knoxville to capture Burnside. It was a fatal step, and Grant was not slow to take advantage of it. He telegraphed Sherman to put his entire force instantly en route from Vicksburg to Chattanooga.
Chattanooga lies on the south side of the Tennessee River, at the northern end of a valley running north and south. Along the eastern edge of the valley rises Missionary Ridge. On the western side and farther south, stands Lookout Mountain. After passing Chattanooga, the river turns and runs south till it laves the base of Lookout Mountain. The Confederate fortifications, twelve miles in length, ran along Missionary Ridge, across the southern end of the valley, and up over Lookout Mountain.
On November 23d, Thomas, who had succeeded Rosecrans, stormed the breastworks half a mile from the base of Missionary Ridge. The next day Grant sent "Fighting Joe Hooker" to sweep Bragg's detachment from Lookout Mountain. Mist lay along the lofty slopes as the gallant Hooker and his men moved up them, soon veiling the entire column from sight; and it was only by the rattle of the musketry that Grant knew how the fight progressed. This was the famous "Battle Above the Clouds." Hooker pounded the enemy so lustily that they were glad to evacuate the mountain in the night, and the next morning the Stars and Stripes saluted the breezes of its topmost peak.
General Joseph Hooker.
While Hooker had been thus engaged, and for some days before, Sherman had been at a movement that was even more momentous. He had slyly thrust his army up the Tennessee River above the city, placing it between the river and Missionary Ridge, and had worked its flank to the left as far as the mouth of Chickamauga Creek. He had thus gotten possession of the entire northeastern spur of that ridge with hardly the loss of a corporal's guard.
The morrow after this was accomplished, November 25, 1863, was a day of blood. Bragg's forces were now massed on Missionary Ridge, mainly in front of Thomas and Sherman. Hooker had come down into the valley and was to turn the enemy's left. If Bragg massed troops on either of the two wings, Thomas's braves were to be let slip against the weakened centre. Sherman got into action early in the morning, and fought his painfully difficult way slowly up the rugged acclivities in his front. Hooker had to bridge Chattanooga Creek, and did not attack till afternoon. By three o'clock Sherman was so hard pressed that Grant found it necessary to relieve him by sending Thomas forward at the centre.
The Battle of Lookout Mountain. (The "Battle Above the Clouds.")
The signal guns boom—one, two, three, four, five, six. Up spring Thomas's heroes from their breastworks, and rush like a whirlwind for the first line of Confederate rifle-pits. Bragg sees the advance and hurries help to oppose. His batteries open with shot and shell, then with canister. The infantry rake Thomas with a withering fire. Yet on, double quick, dash the lines of blue over the open plain, over rocks, stumps, and breastworks, bayonetting back or capturing their antagonists, till the first line of rifle-pits is theirs.
The orders had been to halt at this point and re-form. But here, with Bragg's artillery raining a veritable hell-fire upon them—here is no place of resting, and as the men's blood is up, they sweep forward unbidden, with a cheer. It is five hundred yards to the top—a steep ascent, covered with bowlders and fallen timber. Over the rocks, under and through the timber, each one scrambles on as he can. Half-way up is a line of small works. It is carried with a rush, and on the men go, right up to the crest of the ridge. Now they confront the heaviest breastworks. The air is thick with whizzing musket-balls, and fifty cannon belch flame and death. But nothing can stop that furious charge. Sheridan's men reach the top first, the rest of the line close behind. The "Johnnies" are routed after a short fight, and the guns turned against them as they fly. By night Bragg's army is in full retreat, Chattanooga is safe and free, Grant's lines of communication are assured, and the keys of the State of Georgia in his hands.
General James B. McPherson.
The Union forces in this battle numbered about 60,000, the Confederate half as many; but the latter fought with all the advantage which the mountain and breastworks could give them. They lost nearly 10,000 including 6,500 prisoners. The Union loss was between 5,000 and 6,000—2,200 in the one hour's charge against the centre.
There was no halting, no resting. Scarcely had the sounds of yesterday's cannonade died away, when Sherman's already jaded forces were put in motion to the north, to make sure that Burnside was set free at Knoxville; but Longstreet had already raised the siege and started east. By December 6th, Bragg's redoubtable army, which, so recently as September, swore to reconquer Tennessee and to invade Kentucky, was rent in twain, one part of it fleeing to Virginia, the other to the heart of Georgia.
No important military movement occurred in the Centre during this winter of 1863-64. In March Grant was made Lieutenant-General, with command of all the Union armies, Sherman succeeding to the headship of the Mississippi Department. The latter accompanied his superior toward Washington as far as Cincinnati, and there, in a parlor of the Burnet House, the two victorious generals, bending over their maps together, planned in outline that gigantic campaign of 1864-65, which was to end the war; then, grasping one another warmly by the hand, they parted, one starting east, the other south, each to strike at the appointed time his half of the ponderous death-blow.
Sherman pushed out from Chattanooga May 6, 1864, with 100,000 men and 254 cannon. His force comprised the Army of the Cumberland, 60,000, under Thomas; the Army of the Tennessee, 25,000, under Schofield; and the Army of the Ohio, 15,000, under McPherson. Johnston, who had superseded Bragg, lay behind strong works at Dalton, a few miles southeast, with 64,000 men, his base being Atlanta, 80 miles away. Sherman's supplies all came over a single line of railroad from Nashville, nearly 150 miles from Chattanooga as the road ran. Every advantage but numbers was on Johnston's side.
Sherman calculated that the Army of the Cumberland could hold his opponent at bay, while the two smaller armies crept around his flanks. This plan was adhered to throughout, and with wonderful success. All through May and the first of June a series of skilful flanking movements compelled Johnston to fall back from one position to another, each commander, like a tried boxer, constantly on the watch to catch his opponent off guard. Heavy skirmishing day after day made the march practically one long battle.
June 10th Johnston planted his army upon three elevations—Kenesaw, Pine, and Lost Mountains—and stubbornly stood at bay. A pouring rain, which turned the whole country into a quagmire and the streams into formidable rivers, made the usual flank manoeuvre impracticable. Sherman resolved to assault in front. June 27th a determined onset was made along the whole line for two hours but failed, though the troops gained positions close to the hostile works and intrenched. They lost 2,500; the Confederates not more than a third of this number. The roads having now improved, Sherman resorted to his old tactics, the Confederates having to fall back across the Chattahoochee, and come to bay under the very guns of Atlanta.
Just at the critical moment, when Sherman's army was slowly closing in around Atlanta, General Johnston, so wary and cool, was superseded by the young and fiery Hood, pledged to assume the offensive. On the 20th Hood made a furious attack on Hooker's front, but was repulsed with heavy losses. On the 22d he struck again, and harder. By a night march, Hardee's corps at dawn fell upon the Union left flank and rear like a thunderbolt out of a clear sky, rolling up the Army of the Tennessee in great confusion. The brave and talented McPherson was killed early in the action, Logan succeeding. "McPherson and revenge," he cried, as upon his coal-black steed he careered from post to post of danger, inspiring his men and restoring order. The veterans soon recovered from their surprise. The Union lines were completely re-established, and by night Hood's army was driven back into the city, having sacrificed probably 10,000 much-needed men, 2,500 of them killed.
Atlanta to Savannah.
Sherman now began to swing round to the south and southeast of Atlanta, till at last he cut its communications with the Confederacy. Hood evacuated the city and his opponent entered it, September 5th. The northern troops, after their four months' incessant marching and fighting, now got a little well-earned rest. Their total losses from Chattanooga were 32,000. The Confederates had sacrificed about 35,000—the larger part under Hood.
The last of September Hood struck out boldly for Tennessee, menacing, and, in fact, temporarily rupturing Sherman's long supply-line from Nashville. Leaving one corps to hold Atlanta, Sherman raced back for 100 miles in pursuit. The railroad being well guarded, Hood could do no serious damage, and finally turned west into Alabama. Sherman now resolved on a march to the sea. Thomas, with three corps, was sent to Tennessee to look out for Hood. The 62,000 troops remaining at Atlanta were put into light marching trim, and the wagons filled with 20 days' rations and 200 rounds of ammunition per man. All storehouses and other property useful to the enemy were then destroyed, communications with the North cut, and November 15th a splendid army of hardy veterans swung off for the Atlantic or the Gulf, over 200 miles away. Their orders were to live on the country, the rations being kept for emergencies; but no dwellings were to be entered, and no houses or mills destroyed if the army was unmolested. The dwelling-house prescription was, alas, too often broken over. There was little resistance, Georgia having been drained of its able-bodied whites. Negroes flocked, singly and by families, to join "Massa Linkum's boys." The railroads were destroyed, and the Carolinas thus cut off from the Gulf States.
Each regiment detailed a certain number of foragers. These, starting off in the morning empty-handed and on foot, would return at night riding or driving beasts laden with spoils. "Here would be a silver-mounted family carriage drawn by a jackass and a cow, loaded inside and out with everything the country produced, vegetable and animal, dead and alive. There would be an ox-cart, similarly loaded, and drawn by a nondescript tandem team equally incongruous. Perched upon the top would be a ragged forager, rigged out in a fur hat of a fashion worn by dandies of a century ago, or a dress-coat which had done service at stylish balls of a former generation. The jibes and jeers, the fun and the practical jokes, ran down the whole line as the cortege came in, and no masquerade in carnival could compare with it for original humor and rollicking enjoyment. ... The camps in the open pine-woods, the bonfires along the railways, the occasional sham battles at night with blazing pine-knots for weapons whirling in the darkness, all combined to leave upon the minds of officers and men the impression of a vast holiday frolic." [footnote: The March to the Sea, by Major-General J. D. Cox. Campaigns of the Civil War. Scribners.]
At the start Sherman was uncertain just where he should strike the coast. The blockade vessels were asked to be on the lookout for him from Mobile to Charleston. By the middle of December the army lay before Savannah. Hardee held the city with 16,000 men, but evacuated it December 20, 1864, Sherman entering next day. He wrote to Lincoln, "I beg to present you as a Christmas gift the city of Savannah." The capture of Fort McAllister a week before had opened the Ogeechee River, and Sherman now established a new base of supplies on the sea-coast.
The North rang with praises of the Great March, which had pierced like a knife the vitals of the Confederacy. Georgia, with her arsenals and factories, had been the Confederacy's workshop. Twenty thousand bales of cotton had been burned upon the march, besides a great amount of military stores. The 320 miles of railroad destroyed had practically isolated Virginia from the South and the West. And all this had been done with the loss of less than 1,000 men.
Meanwhile Thomas had dealt the Confederacy another staggering blow. The adventurous Hood had advanced with his army of 44,000 to the very gates of Nashville. The deliberate Thomas, spite of prickings from Grant, waited till he felt prepared. Then he struck with a Titan's hand. The first day's fight, December 15th, drove the Confederate line back two miles. Hood formed again on hills running east and west, and hastily fortified. All next day the battle raged. Late in the afternoon the works on the Confederate left were carried by a gallant charge. Total rout of Hood's brave army followed. It fled south, demoralized and scattered, never to appear again as an organized force. In the two days' battle, 4,500 prisoners and 53 guns were taken.
The Battle-Field of Nashville.
February 1, 1865, his troops all rested and equipped afresh, Sherman set his face to the north. The days of frolic were over. Continuous rains had made the Carolinas almost impassable. The march now begun was an incessant struggle with mud, swamps, and swollen rivers. A pontoon and trestle bridge three miles long was thrown across the Savannah, and miles of corduroy road were built through continuous swamps. Charleston, incessantly besieged since the war opened, where the United States had wasted more powder and iron than at all other points together, fell without a blow. Columbia was reached the middle of the month. It caught fire—just how has never been settled—and the greater part of the city was destroyed. Sherman's men helped to put out the flames, and left behind provisions and a herd of five hundred cattle for the suffering inhabitants.
Map of North Carolina.
The army pushed on toward North Carolina, destroying railroads as it went. Johnston was athwart their path with 30,000 men. March 16th he struck Sherman's army at Averysboro', N. C., and three days later at Bentonville. In the latter battle he was completely routed, and re treated during the night. Sherman swept on to Goldsboro', where re-enforcements from the coast, under Schofield, increased his army to 90,000. He was undisputed master of the Carolinas. By this time the Confederacy was hastening to its fall. April 11th the news of Lee's surrender was hailed in Sherman's army with shouts of joy. A few days later Johnston surrendered to the hero of Atlanta and of the March to the Sea.
THE VIRGINIA CAMPAIGNS OF 1862-63
The Army of the Potomac lay inactive all through the winter of 1861-62. The country cried "Forward," but it was March before McClellan was ready to stir. Then he sailed down Chesapeake Bay to attack Richmond from the south, with Fortress Monroe as base. The splendidly disciplined and equipped army, 120,000 strong, began embarking March 17th.
Fortress Monroe lies at the apex of a wedge-shaped peninsula formed by the York and James Rivers, which converge as they flow toward the coast. April 4th, McClellan started on his march up this peninsula. A line of Confederate fortifications, twelve miles long, stretched across it, from Yorktown to the James, defended by 10,000 men. Yorktown must be taken to turn this line. A month was wasted in laborious siege preparations, for early in May, just before an overwhelming cannonade was to begin, the southern army evacuated the place and retreated toward Richmond.
General David D. Porter.
McClellan hurried after it. A desultory battle was fought all day on the 5th, near Williamsburg, the enemy withdrawing at night. McClellan now moved slowly up the peninsula, the last of May finding his army within ten miles of Richmond, encamped on both sides of the Chickahominy. By this time nearly 70,000 troops had gathered for the defence of the Confederate capital.
General Robert E. Lee.
May 31st, the Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston fell upon the part of McClellan's army south of the river, at Fair Oaks, and in a bloody battle drove it back a mile. McClellan sent re-enforcements across the river, and the retreat was stayed. The lost ground was regained next day, and the enemy driven into Richmond. Johnston having been wounded, General Robert E. Lee was now placed in command of the Army of Virginia, destined to lay it down only at the collapse of the Confederate government.
McClellan waited three weeks for better weather. He also expected McDowell's corps of 45,000, which had been kept near Fredericksburg to defend Washington, but was under orders at the proper time to cooperate with McClellan by moving against Richmond from the north. But Stonewall Jackson came raiding down the Shenandoah Valley, hustling General Banks before him. Washington was alarmed, and McDowell had to be retained.
Lee boldly took the offensive, and the "Seven Days' Fight" began. June 26th he attacked McClellan's extreme right under Porter, on the north side of the Chickahominy. He was repulsed, but Porter fell back farther down the river to Gaines's Mill, there fought all the next day against great odds, and was saved from total rout toward night only by the arrival of re-enforcements.
General Nathaniel P. Banks.
Jackson's army from the north had joined Lee's left, and McClellan's communication with York River was in danger. He decided to change his base to the James, where he would have placed it at first but for his expectation of McDowell and his desire to connect with him. Everything not transportable, including millions of rations and hundreds of tons of ammunition, had to be destroyed. Five thousand loaded wagons, 2,500 head of cattle, and the reserve artillery were then set in motion toward the James, protected by the army in flank and rear.
On discovering this movement Lee hastened to strike. A force was sent to assail the retreating column in the rear; but the bridgeless Chickahominy, guarded by artillery, held the pursuers at bay. Lee threw other portions of his army against McClellan's right, at Savage's Station on the 29th, at Frazier's Farm on the day following; but the Union troops each time stood their ground till ready and then continued their march.
July 1st found the retreating host concentrated on Malvern Hill, a plateau a mile and a half long and half as broad, with ravines toward the advancing enemy. Here McClellan planted seventy cannon, rising tier upon tier up the slope, seven heavy siege guns crowning the crest. The position was impregnable, but Lee determined to attack. Shortly before sunset his men advanced boldly to the charge, but were mowed down by the terrible concentrated fire of the batteries. The hill swarmed with infantry as well, sheltered by fences and ravines, while shells from the gunboats in James River could reach every part of the Confederate line. Yet not till nine in the evening did Lee let the useless carnage cease. Badly demoralized as the opposing army was, McClellan at midnight withdrew to Harrison's Landing, farther down the James.
General J. E. B. Stuart's Raid upon Pope's Headquarters, August 22, 1862, when Pope's despatch book fell into the hands of the Confederates.
During the Seven Days' Retreat he had lost 15,000 men; the Confederates somewhat more. Military authorities unite in pronouncing McClellan's change of base "brilliantly executed;" but the campaign as a whole was a failure, discouraging the country as much as Bull Run had done. McClellan prepared and fully expected to move on Richmond again from this new base, but early in August received orders to withdraw from the Peninsula. By the middle of the month the dejected Army of the Potomac was on its way north.
The last of June the Union forces in West Virginia, the Shenandoah Valley, and in front of Washington were consolidated into one army, and the same General Pope who had recently won laurels by the conquest of Island Number Ten, put in command. His headquarters, he announced, were to be in the saddle, and those who had criticised McClellan gave out that the Union army's days of retreating were past. McClellan was called from the Peninsula to strengthen this new movement.
Lee started north to crush Pope before McClellan should reach him. Pope had but 50,000 men against Lee's 80,000, and fell back across the Rappahannock. Lee sent Jackson on a far detour, via Thoroughfare Gap, to get into his rear and cut his communications. Jackson moved rapidly around to Manassas—one of the most brilliant exploits in all the war—and destroyed Pope's immense supply depot there. On August 29th he was attacked by Pope near the old battlefield of Bull Run. The first day's fight was indecisive, but Confederate re-enforcements under Longstreet arrived in time to join in the battle of the next. McClellan was in no hurry to re-enforce his rival, but proposed "to leave Pope to get out of his scrape as he might." Toward sunset in the battle of the 30th, Longstreet's column, doubling way around Jackson's right and Pope's left, made a grand charge, taking Pope straight in the flank. Porter's corps—the Fifth—part of McClellan's army, stood in the "bloody angle" of cross-fire. His loss was dreadful—2,000 out of 9,000. Pope was compelled to retire to Centreville. An engagement at Chantilly, September 1st, forced a further retreat to Washington. Pope resigned, and his army was merged in the Army of the Potomac, McClellan commanding all.
General Thomas J. ("Stonewall") Jackson.
Lee now invaded Maryland with 60,000 men. Already the alarmed North heard him knocking at its gates. Hastily re-organizing the army, McClellan gave chase. Leaving a force to hold Turner's Gap in South Mountain, Lee pushed on toward Pennsylvania. By the battle of South Mountain, September 14th, Hooker got possession of the gap, and the Union army poured through. Seeing that he must fight, Lee took up a position on Antietam Creek, a few miles north of Harper's Ferry. Jackson had just received the surrender of the latter place, with 11,000 prisoners, and now hurried to join Lee.
By the night of September 16th, the two armies were in battle array on either side of the creek. To the rear of the Confederate left lay a cultivated area encircled by woods, a cornfield in its centre. At dawn on the 17th, Hooker opened the battle by a furious charge against the Confederate left, and tumbled the enemy out of the woods, across the cornfield, and into the thickets beyond, where he was fronted by Confederate reserves. The carnage was terrific. Re-enforcements under Mansfield were sent to Hooker, but driven back across the cornfield. Mansfield was killed and Hooker borne from the field wounded, Sumner coming up barely in time to prevent a rout. Once more the Confederates were pushed through the cornfield into the woods. Here, crouching behind natural breastworks—limestone ridges waist-high—the southern ranks delivered so hot a fire as to repulse Sumner's men. Thus, all the morning and into the afternoon the tide of battle surged back and forth through the bloody cornfield, strewn with wounded and dead.
General Edwin V. Sumner.
General Winfield S. Hancock.
On the Confederate right no action took place till late in the day. Burnside then attacked and gained some slight advantage. But re-enforcements from Harper's Ferry came up and were put in against him, forcing him back to the creek. During the next day McClellan feared to risk a battle. Being re-enforced, he intended to attack on the following morning; but Lee, who should have been crushed, having but 40,000 men to McClellan's 87,000, slipped away in the night and got safely across the Potomac. The Union loss was 12,400; that of the Confederates probably about the same.
The general dissatisfaction with McClellan's slowness caused his removal early in November, Burnside succeeding him. The new commander, who, as the head of the army, was an amiable failure, proposed to move directly against Richmond, but Lee flung himself in his path at Fredericksburg.
Fredericksburg lies on the south bank of the Rappahannock. Behind the city is a gradually ascending plain, bounded by heights which bend toward the river. Lee's army, 80,000 strong, lay in a semicircle along these heights, its wings touching the river above and below the town. Two rows of batteries, planted on the heights, swept the plain in front and flank. A sunken road, sheltered by a stone wall, ran along the base of the declivity. Burnside's army of 125,000 men occupied a range of hills on the north side of the river.
General Ambrose E. Burnside.
Lee's position was very strong; but the country was impatient for action, and Burnside too readily and without any definite plan gave the order to attack. December 11th and 12th were spent in crossing the river on pontoon bridges. The ominous 13th came. The first charge was made by 5,000 of Franklin's men against the Confederate right. The attacking column broke through the lines and reached the heights; but it was not supported, and Confederate reserves drove it back.
About noon an attack was made by Hancock's and French's corps against the Confederate left. They advanced over the plain in two lines, one behind the other. Suddenly the batteries in front, to left, to right, poured upon them a murderous fire. Great gaps were mowed in their ranks. Union batteries, replying from across the river, added horror to the din, but helped little. Still the lines swept on. They grew thinner and thinner, halted, broke, and fled.
Again they advanced, this time almost up to the stone wall. Behind it, hidden from sight, lay gray ranks four deep. Suddenly that silent wall burst into flame, and the advancing lines crumbled away more rapidly than before. Three times more the gallant fellows came on, bayonets fixed, to useless slaughter. That deadly wall could not be passed.
The Stone Wall at Fredericksburg.
The two wings having failed, the Union centre, under Fighting Joe Hooker, was ordered to try. He kept his batteries playing till sunset, hoping to make a breach. Four thousand men were then ordered into the jaws of death. Stripping off knapsacks and overcoats, and relying on the bayonet alone, they charged on the double-quick and with a cheer. They got within twenty yards of the stone wall. Again that sheet of flame! In fifteen minutes it was all over, and they returned as rapidly as they advanced, leaving nearly half their number dead and dying behind. During the day Burnside had had 113,000 men either across the river or ready to cross. Lee's force was 78,000.
Night put an end to the luckless carnage. Burnside's generals dissuaded him from renewing the attack next day, and the army re-crossed the river. They had lost 12,300 men; the Confederates 5,000. A writer to the London Times from Lee's headquarters called this December 13th a day "memorable to the historian of the Decline and Fall of the American Republic."
Burnside resigned in January, and Hooker took the command, but he did not assume the offensive till the last of April. Then, leaving three corps under Sedgwick to deceive Lee by a demonstration in front, he marched up-stream with the other four of his corps, crossed the Rappahannock and the Rapidan, partially turned Lee's left, and took up a position near Chancellorsville. It was a perfect plan, and thus far triumphantly executed. But here Hooker waited, and the pause was fatal. On the night of April 30th Lee perceived that Sedgwick's movement was only a feint, and gathered all his forces, 62,000 strong, to fight at Chancellorsville. He fortified himself so firmly that Hooker with 64,000, or, including Sedgwick's two corps and the cavalry, 113,000, made not a single step of further advance.
General Oliver O. Howard.
General John Sedgwick.
R.D. Servoss, N.Y. Jackson's Attack on Howard, May 1st, 1863.
Nor was this the worst. Hooker's right wing, under Howard, was weakly posted. On the 2d of May Stonewall Jackson, who cherished the theory that one man in an enemy's rear is worth ten in his front, making a detour of fifteen miles, got upon Howard's right unobserved, and rolled it up. The surprise was as complete as it was inexcusable. Arms were stacked and the men getting supper. Suddenly some startled deer came bounding into camp, gray-coats swarming from the woods hard behind. Almost at the first charge the whole corps broke and flee! But the victory cost the Confederates dear; Jackson was fatally wounded, probably by his own men.
All the next day the Union army fought on the defensive. Hooker was stunned in the course of it by a cannon-ball stroke upon the house-pillar against which he was leaning, and the army was left without a commanding mind. Sedgwick, who was to come up from below Fredericksburg and take Lee in the rear, found it impossible to do this in time, having to fight his way forward with great loss. When he drew near, Lee was enough at leisure to attend to him. Forty thousand troops, aching for the fray, were left idle while Lee was hammering away against the portion of the Union line commanded by Sickles. Ammunition gave out, and charge after charge had to be repulsed with the bayonet.
Sickles's brave men at last yielded. The Confederate attack of May 4th was nearly all directed against Sedgwick, whose noble corps narrowly escaped capture. That night the whole army fell back to nearly its old position north of the Rappahannock. Except that at Fredericksburg it was the most disgraceful fiasco on either side during the war. It cost 17,000 men, and accomplished less than nothing. The South was elated. It proposed again to invade the North and this time dictate terms of peace.
Early in June Lee's jubilant army, strengthened to 100,000, with 15,000 cavalry and 280 guns, started on its second grand Northern Campaign. It marched down the Shenandoah Valley, crossed the Potomac on the 25th, and headed for Chambersburg, Penn. The Army of the Potomac marched parallel with it, on the east side of the Blue Ridge, and crossed the Potomac a day later. Hooker suddenly resigned, and Meade was put in command.
General James Longstreet.
Lee reached Chambersburg; his advance even pushed well on toward Harrisburg, the capital of Pennsylvania. At Chambersburg he waited eagerly for those riots in northern cities by which the "copperheads" had expected to aid his march. In vain. Meade was drawing near. "Pressed by the finger of destiny, the Confederate army went down to Gettysburg," and here the advance of both hosts met on July 1st. After some sharp fighting the Union van was driven back in confusion through Gettysburg, with a loss of 10,000 men, half of them prisoners. The brave General Reynolds, commanding the First Corps, lost his life in this action. The residue fell back to Cemetery Hill, south of the town. Meade, fifteen miles to the south, sent Hancock on to take command of the field, and see what it was best to do. This able and trusty officer hurried to the scene of action in an ambulance, studying maps as he went. He saw at a glance the strength of Cemetery Ridge and resolved to retreat no farther. The remaining corps were ordered up, and by noon of July 2d had mostly taken their positions.
The Union army lay along an elevation some three miles in length, resembling a fish-hook in shape. At the extreme southern end forming the head of the shank rose "Round Top," four hundred feet in height. Farther north was "Little Round Top," about three-fourths as high. Cemetery Ridge formed the rest of the shank. The hook curved to the east, with Culp's Hill for the barb. The Confederate army occupied Seminary Ridge a mile to the west, its left wing, however, bending around to the east through Gettysburg, the line being nearly parallel with Meade's, but much longer. Each army numbered not far from 80,000.
General George G. Meade.
The battle of the second day began about three in the afternoon. Meade had neglected to occupy Little Round Top, which was the key to the Union line. Longstreet's men began climbing its rugged sides. Fortunately the movement was seen in time, and Union troops, after a most desperate conflict, seized and held the crest of the hill.
Along the Union left centre General Sickles's corps had taken a position in advance of the rest of the line, upon a ridge branching off from Cemetery Ridge at an acute angle. Here he was fiercely attacked and most of his force finally driven back into the line of Cemetery Ridge. The Union right had been greatly weakened to strengthen the centre. The Confederates charged here also, and carried the outer intrenchments at Culp's Hill. The Union losses during the afternoon were 10,000—three-fifths in Sickles's corps, which lost half its numbers.
The next morning was spent by Lee in preparing for a grand charge upon the Union centre, that of yesterday upon the left having failed, and the Confederates having this morning been driven from the ground gained the night before on the right at Culp's Hill. The storm burst about one o'clock. For two hours 120 guns on Seminary Ridge kept up a furious cannonade, to which Meade replied with 80. About three the Union cannon ceased firing. Lee mistakenly thought them silenced, and gave the word to charge.
An attacking column 18,000 strong, made up of fresh troops, the flower of Lee's men, and commanded by the impetuous Pickett, the Ney of the southern army, emerges from the woods on Seminary Ridge, and, drawn up in three lines, one behind the other, with a front of more than a mile, moves silently down the slope and across the valley toward the selected spot. Suddenly the Union batteries again open along the whole line. Great furrows are ploughed in the advancing ranks. They press steadily on, and climb the slope toward Meade's lines. Two regiments behind rude intrenchments slightly in advance pour in such a murderous fire that the column swerves a little toward its left, exposing its flank. General Stannard and his lusty Vermonters make an irresistible charge upon this. Windrows of Pickett's poor fellows are mowed down by the combined artillery and musketry fire. A part of the column breaks and flees. A part rushes on with desperate valor and reaches the low stone wall which serves for a Union breastwork. A venomous hand-to-hand fight ensues. Union re-enforcements swarm to the endangered point. The three Confederate brigade commanders are all killed or fatally wounded, whole regiments of their followers surrounded and taken prisoners. The rest are tumbled back, and the broken remnants of that noble column flee in wild confusion across the valley.
Note: From A to K is just one mile. R.D. Servos N.Y. Diagram of the Attack on Sickles and Sykes.
The Confederate loss on this eventful day was 16,000, the Union loss not one-fifth as great. General Hancock, whose command bore the brunt of the charge, was severely wounded. Meade should have pressed his advantage, but did not, and next day Lee retreated under cover of a storm and escaped across the Potomac. His losses during the three days had been frightful, amounting to 23,000. In one brigade, numbering 2,800 on July 1st, only 835 answered roll-call three days later. Meade's total losses were also 23,000. Meade had had on the field in all 83,000 men and 300 guns, Lee 69,000 and 250 guns.
Gettysburg marks the turning of the tide. The South's dream of getting a foothold in the North was forever past. She was soon to hear a gallant Northerner's voice demanding the surrender of Richmond.
COLLAPSE OF THE CONFEDERACY
Gettysburg was the last general engagement in the East during 1863. The next spring, as we have noticed, Grant was appointed Lieutenant-General, with command of all the northern armies, now numbering over 600,000 effectives. This vast body of men he proposed to use against the fast-weakening Confederacy in concerted movements. Sherman's part in the great plan has already been traced. The hardest task, that of facing Lee, the hero of Vicksburg and Chattanooga [he] reserved for himself. Greek thus met Greek, and the death-grapple began.
May 4th the Army of the Potomac crossed the Rapidan and entered the Wilderness, Meade in immediate command, with 120,000 men present for duty. Lee, heading an army of 62,000 veterans, engaged his new antagonist without delay. For two days the battle raged in the gloomy woods. There was no opportunity for brilliant manoeuvres. The men of the two armies lay doggedly behind the trees, each blazing away through the underbrush at an unseen foe, often but a few yards off, while a stream of mangled forms borne on stretchers came steadily pouring to the rear. The tide of battle surged this way and that, with no decisive advantage for either side.
But Grant, as Lee said of him, "was not a retreating man." If he had not beaten, neither had he been beaten. Advance was the word. On the night of the 7th he began that series of "movements by the left flank" which was to force Lee forever from the Rappahannock front. The army stretched nearly north and south, facing west. Warren's corps, at the extreme right, quietly withdrew from the enemy's front, and marching south took a position beyond Hancock's, hitherto the left. Sedgwick's corps followed. By this sidling movement the army worked its way south, all the while presenting an unbroken front to the enemy. Yet, on reaching Spottsylvania, Grant found Lee's army there before him. Sharp fighting began again on the 9th and continued three days, but was indecisive, mainly from the wild nature of the country, heavily timbered, with only occasional clearings.
Death of General Sedgwick at Spottsylvania. May 9, 1864.
An early morning attack on the 12th carried a salient angle in the centre of the Confederate line, securing 4,000 prisoners and twenty guns. All that day and far into the night Lee desperately strove to dislodge the assailants from this "bloody angle." Five furious charges were stubbornly repulsed, the belligerents between these grimly facing each other from lines of rifle-pits often but a few feet apart. Bullets flew thick as hail, a tree eighteen inches through being cut clean off by them. Great heaps of dead and wounded lay between the lines, and "at times a lifted arm or a quivering limb told of an agony not quenched by the Lethe of death around." Lee did not give up this death-grapple till three o'clock in the morning, when he fell back to a new position. His losses here in killed and wounded were about 5,000; Grant's about 6,000.
Rains now compelled both armies to remain quiet for several days. Meantime news reached Grant that Butler, who was to have moved up the James with his army of 20,000 and co-operate with the main army against Richmond, had suffered himself to be "bottled up" at Bermuda Hundred, a narrow spit of land between the James and Appomattox Rivers, the Confederates having "driven in the cork." Re-enforcements reached Grant, however, which made good all his losses.
On the 19th, after an unsuccessful assault the day before, he resumed the flanking movement, and reached and passed the North Anna. But Lee pushed in like a wedge between the two parts of the Union army, separated by crossing the river at different points, and after some fighting, Grant re-crossed and resumed his march to the south. Lee, again moving on shorter lines, reached Cold Harbor before Grant.
The outer line of Confederate intrenchments at Cold Harbor was carried on June 1st, and at early dawn on the 3d a charge made along the whole front. Under cover of a heavy artillery fire the men advanced to the enemy's rifle-pits and carried them. They then swept on toward the main line. The ground was open, and the advancing columns were exposed to a terrible storm of iron and lead. Artillery cross-fire swept through their ranks from right to left. The troops pressed close up to the works, but could not carry them. They intrenched, however, and held the position gained, at some points within thirty yards of the hostile ramparts. The Union loss was very heavy, not less than 6,000; the Confederates, fighting under shelter, lost comparatively few.
During the next ten days the men lay quietly in their trenches. Both forces had now moved so far south that Grant's hope of getting between Lee's army and Richmond had to be abandoned. He therefore decided to cross the James and take a position south of Richmond, whence he could threaten its lines of communication, while that river would furnish him a secure base of supplies.
The two hosts now began a race for Petersburg, an important railway centre, twenty-two miles south of Richmond. Grant's advance reached the town first, but delayed earnest attack, and on the morning of the 15th Lee's veterans, after an all-night's march, flung themselves into the intrenchments. Grant spent the next four days in vain efforts to dislodge them. On the 19th he gave up this method of assault, and began a regular siege. His losses in killed and wounded hereabouts had been almost 9,000.
Things now remained comparatively quiet till late in July. Both sides were busy strengthening their intrenchments. Lee held both Richmond and Petersburg in force, besides a continuous line between the two. Attempts to break this line and to cut the railroads around Petersburg led to several engagements which would have been considered great battles earlier in the war.
General David Hunter.
Grant's total losses from the crossing of the Rapidan to the end of June were 61,000, but re-enforcements promptly filled his ranks. The Confederate loss cannot be accurately determined, but was probably about two-thirds as great.
Through July one of Burnside's regiments, composed of Pennsylvanians used to such business, had been working at a mine under one of the main redoubts in front of Petersburg. A shaft 500 feet long was dug, with a cross gallery 80 feet in length at the end square under the redoubt. This chamber was charged with 8,000 pounds of powder, which was fired July 30th. The battery and brigade immediately overhead were blown into the air, and the Confederate soldiers far to left and right stunned and stupefied with terror. For half an hour the way in to Petersburg was open. Why did none enter? The answer is sad.
Grant had splendidly fulfilled his part by a feint to Deep Bottom across the James, which had drawn thither all but about one division of Lee's Petersburg force. But Meade, at a late hour on the 29th, changed the entire plan of assault, which Burnside had carefully arranged, and to lead which a fresh division had been specially drilled. Then there was lamentable inefficiency or cowardice on the part of several subordinate officers. The troops charged into the great, cellar-like crater, twenty-five feet deep, where, for lack of orders, they remained huddled together instead of pushing on. The Confederates rallied, and after shelling the crater till more of its occupants were dead than alive, charged and either routed the living or took them prisoners.
The Shenandoah Valley.
During the summer and fall of 1864 the scene of active operations was shifted to the Shenandoah Valley. The latter part of June Lee sent Early, 20,000 strong, to make a demonstration against Washington, hoping to scare Grant away from Petersburg. Early moved rapidly down the valley, hustling Hunter before him, who escaped only by making a detour to the west, thus leaving Washington open. Thither Early pushed with all speed.
General Lew Wallace hastily gathered up the few troops at his disposal and hurried out from Baltimore to meet him. Wallace was defeated at the Monocacy River July 9th, but precious time was gained for the strengthening of Washington. When Early arrived before the city on the 11th, Grant's re-enforcements had not yet come, and the fate of the capital trembled in the balance. Early happily delayed his attack till the morrow, and that night two of Grant's veteran corps landed in Washington, President Lincoln, in his anxiety, being on the wharf to meet them. Once more Washington was safe, and Early fell back, pressed by the newcomers.
General Early's Maryland Campaign.
The pursuit was feeble, however, and the last of July Early swooped down the valley again. A detachment pushed into Pennsylvania and burned Chambersburg. All through the war the Confederate operations in the Shenandoah Valley had been an annoyance and a menace. Grant now determined to put a definite stop to this, and sent the dashing General Sheridan for the work with 30,000 troops, including 8,000 cavalry. Sheridan pushed Early up the Shenandoah, defeating him at Opequon Creek, September 19th, and at Fisher's Hill two days later.
One-half of Early's army had been destroyed or captured, and the rest driven southward. Sheridan then, in accordance with Grant's orders, that the enemy might no longer make it a base of operations against the capital, laid waste the valley so thoroughly that, as the saying went, not a crow could fly up or down it without carrying rations. Spite of this, Early, having been re-enforced, entered the valley once more. The Union army lay at Cedar Creek. Sheridan had gone to Washington on business, leaving General Wright in command. On the night of October 18th, the wily Confederate crept around to the rear of the Union left, and attacked at daybreak. Wright was completely surprised, and his left wing fled precipitately, losing 1,000 prisoners and 18 guns. He ordered a retreat to Winchester. The right fell slowly back in good order, interposing a steady front between Early and the demoralized left.
Meanwhile Sheridan, who had reached Winchester on his return, snuffed battle, and hurried to the scene. Now came "Sheridan's Ride." Astride the coal-black charger immortalized by Buchanan Read's verse, he shot ahead and dashed upon the battle-field shortly before noon, his horse dripping with foam. His presence restored confidence, and the army steadily awaited the expected assault. It came, was repulsed, was reciprocated. Early was halted, then pushed, then totally routed, and his army nearly destroyed. It was one of the most signal and telling victories of the war. In a month's campaign Sheridan had killed and wounded 10,000 of the enemy and taken 13,000 prisoners.
All this time the siege of Petersburg was sturdily pressed. In August, Grant got possession of the Weldon Railroad, an important line running south from Petersburg. During the next month fortifications on the Richmond side of the James were carried and held. Through the winter Grant contented himself with gradually extending his lines around Petersburg, trying to cut Lee's communications, and preventing his sending troops against Sherman. He had a death-grip upon the Confederacy's throat, and waited with confidence for the contortions which should announce its death.
The spring of 1865 found the South reduced to the last extremity. The blockade had shut out imports, and it is doubtful if ever before so large and populous a region was so far from being self-sustaining. Even of food-products, save corn and bacon, the dearth became desperate. Wheat bread and salt were luxuries almost from the first. Home-made shoes, with wooden soles and uppers cut from buggy tops or old pocketbooks, became the fashion. Pins were eagerly picked up in the streets. Thorns, with wax heads, served as hairpins. Scraps of old metal became precious as gold.
The plight of the army was equally distressing. Drastic drafting had long since taken into the army all the able-bodied men between the ages of eighteen and forty-five. Boys from fourteen to eighteen, and old men from forty-five to sixty, were also pressed into service as junior and senior reserves, the Confederacy thus, as General Butler wittily said, "robbing both the cradle and the grave." Lee's army had been crumbling away beneath the terrible blows dealt it by Grant. He received some re-enforcements during 1864, but in no wise enough to make good his losses. When he took the field in the spring of 1865, his total effective force was 57,000. Grant's army, including Butler's and Sheridan's troops, numbered 125,000.
Lee now perceived that his only hope lay in escaping from the clutches of Grant and making a junction with Johnston's army in North Carolina. Grant was on the watch for precisely this. On March 29th Sheridan worked around into the rear of the Confederate right. Lee descried the movement, and extended his lines that way to obviate it. A force was sent, which drove Sheridan back in some confusion. Re-enforced, he again advanced and beat the forces opposed to him rearward to Five Forks. Here, April 1st, he made a successful charge, before which the foe broke and ran, leaving 4,500 prisoners.
Fearing an attack on Sheridan in force which might let Lee out, Grant sent re-enforcements, at the same time keeping up a roaring cannonade along the whole line all night. At five on the morning of the 2d, a grand assault was made against the Confederate left, which had been weakened to extend the right. The outer, intrenchments, with two forts farther in, were taken. Lee at once telegraphed to President Davis that Petersburg and Richmond must be immediately abandoned.
Grant's Pursuit of Lee; April, 1865.
It was Sunday, and the message reached Mr. Davis in church. He hastened out with pallid lips and unsteady tread. A panic-stricken throng was soon streaming from the doomed city. Vehicles let for one hundred dollars an hour in gold. The state-prison guards fled and the criminals escaped. A drunken mob surged through the streets, smashing windows and plundering shops. General Ewell blew up the iron-clads in the river and burned bridges and storehouses. The fire spread till one-third of Richmond was in flames. The air was filled with a "hideous mingling of the discordant sounds of human voices—the crying of children, the lamentations of women, the yells of drunken men—with the roar of the tempest of flame, the explosion of magazines, the bursting of shells." Early on the morning of the 3d was heard the cry, "The Yankees are coming!" Soon a column of blue-coated troops poured into the city, headed by a regiment of colored cavalry, and the Stars and Stripes presently floated over the Confederate capital.
The Confederacy was tottering to its fall. Lee had begun his retreat on the night of the 2d, and was straining every nerve to reach a point on the railroad fifty miles to the west, whence he could move south and join Johnston. Grant was too quick for him. Sending Sheridan in advance to head him off, he himself hurried after with the main army. Gray and blue kept up the race for several days, moving on nearly parallel lines. Sheridan struck the Confederate column at Sailor's Creek on the 6th, and a heavy engagement ensued, in which the southern army lost many wagons and several thousand prisoners.
Lee's band was in a pitiable plight. Its supplies had been cut off, and many of the soldiers had nothing to eat except the young shoots of trees. They fell out of the ranks by hundreds, and deserted to their homes near by. With all hope of escape cut off, and his army dropping to pieces around him, Lee was at last forced to surrender. To this end he met Grant, on April 9th, at a residence near Appomattox Court House.
The personal appearance of the two generals at this interview presented a striking, not to say ludicrous, contrast. Lee, who was a tall, handsome man, was attired in a new uniform, showing all the insignia of his rank, with a splendid dress-sword at his side. Grant, wholly unprepared for the interview, wore a private's uniform, covered with mud and dust from hard riding that day. His shoulder-straps were the only mark of his high rank, and he had no sword. Having served together in the Mexican War, they spent some time in a friendly conversation about those old scenes. Grant then wrote out the terms of surrender, which Lee accepted. The troops were to give their paroles not to take up arms again until properly exchanged, and officers might retain their side-arms, private horses, and baggage. Anxious to heal the wounds of the South, Grant, with rare thoughtfulness, allowed privates also to take home their own horses. "They will need them for the spring ploughing," he said. The 19,000 prisoners captured during the last ten days, together with deserters, left, in Lee's once magnificent army, but 28,356 soldiers to be paroled. The surrendering general was compelled to ask 25,000 rations for these famished troops, a request which was cheerfully granted.