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CHAPTER XXIII.

GRANT'S CAMPAIGN OF 1864.

THE

GRANT APPOINTED LIEUTENANT-GENERAL-His Plans—THE MIL

ITARY SITUATION-BANK'S EXPEDITION TO RED RIVER—MASSACRE AT Fort Pillow-CONFEDERATE WEAKNESS—THE ARMIES OF GRANT AND LEE-BATTLES OF WILDERNESSSPOTTSYLVANIA-COLD HARBOR, &c—BUTLER's MOVEMENT ON JAMES RIVER—GRANT CROSSES THE JAMES--MOVEMENTS IN THE VALLEY OF THE SHENANDOAH-HUNTER'S CAMPAIGN-PETERSBURG INVESTED—THE MINE EXPLOSION-SHERIDAN IN SHENANDOAH-His RIDE--HIS VICTORIES.

THE

IT [T is necessary again to return to the fields of war. March

es, battles, carnages, suffering, desolation and death were again to be encountered in their utmost horror before the end of the drama. But the grand result was no longer doubtful. The intelligent observer felt that slavery was doomed, and the unity of the Republic, upon the basis of freedom, was now only a question of time. We have seen that the campaign of 1863 had been crowned with the fall of Vicksburg and Port Hudson, and the victory of Gettysburg. Still Lee was permitted to recover from his defeat, and re-occupy his former lines.

Immediately on the opening of the 1st session of the 38th Congress, the ever-faithful Washburne, desirous that the great military mind which had crushed the enemy in the center should take the commanding position at the head of all the armies of the Republic, introduced and carried through the bill creating the office of Lieutenant General. The President on the 22d of February cordially approved the act, and sent the nomination of U. S. Grant as Lieutenant General to the Senate for confirmation. On the 3d of March the nomination was confirmed. General Grant was at the time in command in the Valley of the Mississippi. The President innmediately requested his presence at Washington. Up to this time, during the war, General Grant had not visited the Capital. He was personally unknown to the President, the Secretary of War, and most of the members of Congress. The appointment found him at his post of duty, and with a modesty in regard to himself, and a generosity towards his most trusted Lieutenant, General Sherman, beautiful as rare, he expressed the opinion that Sherman was more entitled to the position than himself. He arrived at Washington on the 8th of March, and in the evening attended a levee at the White House, which he entered unannounced, and almost a stranger. He was instantly recognized by the President, and the Western Soldier never received a more cordial welcome. As soon as it was known that Grant was present, the pressure of the crowd was difficult to withstand By the aid of Secretary Seward he sheltered himself behind a sofa, but the crowd was so eager to see the hero of Vicksburg, that by the persuasion of the Secretary he was induced to mount the sofa, that the irrepressible desire to see him might be gratified. He remarked to the President when parting, “this has been rather the warmest campaign I have witnessed during the war.” On the following day the President in person presented him his commission, and said to him :

“GENERAL GRANT: The Nation's appreciation of what you have done, and its reliance upon you for what remains to be done in the existing great struggle, are now presented with this commission, constituting you Lieutenant General in the Army of the United States. With this high honor, devolves upon you also a corresponding responsibility. As the country herein trusts you, so, under God, it will sustain you. I scarcely need to add, that with what I here speak for the nation, goes my own hearty personal concurrence.

To which General Grant made this reply:

“ Mr. PRESIDENT : I accept the commission with gratitude for the high honor conferred. With the aid of the noble armies that have fought on so many fields for our common country, it will be my earnest endeavor not to disappoint your expectations. I feel the full weight of the responsibilities now devolving on me, and I know that if they are met, it will be due to those armies, and above all to the favor of that Providence which leads both Nations and men."

After visiting the army of the Potomac he returned to Washington, and after an interview with the President and Secretary of War in regard to his plans, prepared to leave for the West. Mrs. Lincoln, sharing in the universal gratitude and admiration felt for him, and desirous of showing him some attention, invited him to meet a brilliant party of citizens and military at dinner that evening. He received the invitation at the close of this important interview with the President. The General said, “ Mrs. Lincoln must excuse me. I must be in Tennessee at a given time.” “But we can't excuse you," said the President. “Mrs. Lincoln's dinner without you, would be Hamlet with Hamlet left out.” “ I appreciate the honor Mrs. Lincoln would do me,” said the General, “but time is very important now,-and really -Mr. Lincoln, I have had enough of this show business." This was a remark Mr. Lincoln could well appreciate and with which he could fully sympathize. General Grant went to the West without waiting for the dinner.

General Sherman, on the recommendation of General Grant, was assigned to the command of the military division of Mississippi, composed of the departments of the Ohio, the Cumberland, the Tennessee, and the Arkansas. General J. B. McPherson was assigned to the command of the department and Army of the Tennessee.

General Grant on the 17th of March assumed command of the armies of the United States, and announced that his headquarters would be in the field, and until further orders, with the Army of the Potomac. From this time there was unity of purpose,-each army coöperating and acting under one far-seeing executive head. From this time on, there was energy in attack, rapidity in pursuit, and everywhere a fit man in the fittest place for him. Grant had the very great advantage of having subordinates who enjoyed his most perfect confidence, and who reposed the most perfect faith in him. Henceforth rivalries and jealousies were, to a great extent, banished from the armies of the Republic. Nothing had given Mr. Lincoln more anxiety and trouble than the rivalries and quarrels among Generals. From the time that Grant assumed command as Lieutenant General, this annoy

, ance to a great extent ceased. “Let us crush the rebellion' was now the feeling. Sherman must be regarded as Grant's right arm.

The plan of General Grant's campaign is thus simply and clearly stated by himself:

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“From an early period in the rebellion, I had been impressed with the idea that action and continuous operations of all the troops that could be brought into the field, regardless of season and weather, were nccessary to a speedy termination of the war. The resources of the enemy and his numerical strength were far inferior to ours; but as an offset to this, we had a vast territory with a population hostile to the government, to garrison, and long lines of river and railroad communications to protect, to enable us to supply the operating armies.

“ The armies in the East and West acted independently and without concert, like a balky team, no two ever pulling together; enabling the enemy to use to a great advantage his interior lines of communication for transporting troops from east to west, re-enforcing the army most vigorously pressed, and to furlough large numbers during seasons of inactivity on our part, to go to their homes and do the work of producing for the support of their armies. It was a question whether our numerical strength and resources were not more than balanced by these disadvantages and the enemy's superior position.

“ From the first I was firm in the conviction that no peace could be had that would be stable and conducive to the happiness of the people, both North and South, until the military power of the rebellion was entirely broken. I therefore determined, first, to use the greatest number of troops practicable against the armed force of the enemy; preventing him from using the same force at different seasons against first one and then another of our armies, and the possibility of repose for refitting and producing neeessary supplies for carrying on resistance. Second, to hammer continuously against the armed force of the enemy and his resources, until by mere attrition, if in no other should be nothing left to him but an equal submission with the loyal section of our common country to the Constitution and laws of the land.”

way, there

What was the military situation when Grant assumed command ?

1. The army of the Potomac, under General Meade, on the north bank of the Rapidan, confronted the army of Northen Virginia under General Lee, occupying the south bank of the Rapidan. General Burnside with the 9th corps joined the army of the Potomac on the 9th day of May, 1864.

2. The army of the James, under Major General Butler, had its headquarters at Fortress Monroe.

3. The army of the Shenandoah was under General Sigel, with headquarters at Winchester.

4. General Sherman's command consisted of the army of the Cumberland, under General Thomas; the army of the Tennessee under General McPherson; the army of the Ohio, under General Scofield ;-in all about 100,000 men, and 254 guns. The aggregate national force of all arms was 970,710.

The following constituted the chief divisions of the forces, which, with smaller detachments, made up the aggregate:

Department of Washington.....
Army of the Potomac......
Department of Virginia and North Carolina......
Department of the South.....
Department of Arkansas....
Department of the Gulf...
Department of Tennessee...
Department of Missouri.......
Department of the Northwest.....
Department of Kansas.......
Headquarters Military Division of the Mississippi.........
Department of the Cumberland.....
Department of the Ohio........
Northern Department....
Department of West Virginia..
Department of the East.....
Department of the Susquehanna....
Middle Department...
Ninth Army Corps........

42,124 120,384 59,130 18,169 23,666 61,865 74,170 15,775 5,296 4,798

476 119,948 35,416

9,546 30,782 2,828 2,970 5,627 20.780

653,750*

• Report of the Secretary of War, p. 5 and 6, 1865.

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