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became the Superintendent of the fortifications on the Tortugas in April, 1861, and continued in charge till March, 1862. While engaged in the last named work, Captain Morton was prostrated by severe illness, from which he did not recover until the spring of 1862. When he entered into active service in May of that year, he was assigned to the staff of General Buell as Chief Engineer of the Army of the Ohio. In this position, he superintended the erection of the fortifications about the city of Nashville, and afterwards organized a pioneer and bridge brigade, which was found to be of the greatest service. General Rosecrans (who succeeded General Buell) himself an engineer of no small distinction, expressed the warmest approval both of this organization and of Captain Morton's subsequent fortification of Murfreesboro' and Chattanooga. Speaking of this brigade, General Rosecrans, in his report of the battle of Murfreesboro', says: "The efficiency and esprit de corps suddenly developed in this command, its gallant behavior in action, and the eminent service it is continually rendering the army, entitle both officers and men to special public notice and thanks, while they reflect the highest credit on the distinguished ability and capacity of Captain Morton, who will do honor to his promotion to a Brigadier General." Promoted to Brigadier General of Volunteers, he was engaged in the battle of Chickamauga, where he was wounded.
In October, 1863, Major Morton was relieved of his appointment on the staff of General Rosecrans, and soon after the reorganization of the Ninth Corps, he was appointed its Chief Engineer, very greatly to the satisfaction of General Burnside. Always prompt, energetic and trustworthy, he was conspicuous in every operation of the arduous campaign. General Burnside was strongly attached to him, having learned to hold his abilities in the highest estimation, and to depend upon him as one of his best, most intelligent and most reliable advisers. The other officers of the corps looked upon him as a gallant and skilful soldier. His death was keenly felt by all who had known him as a brilliant officer and a generous and genial
friend. General Parke wrote of his deceased comrade in terms of warm and hearty commendation:-From the date of his appointment to the corps, May 18th, to the day of his death, Major Morton "performed the arduous and dangerous duties of his position with an activity, zeal and ability which often called forth the praise of his commanding general. He was noted in the Corps for his personal gallantry, and in the attack at the North Anna he took a conspicuous part, narrowly escaping death. On the morning of the 17th of June, he received orders from General Burnside to place the troops making the assault in their proper position, and to direct at what point they should strike the enemy's works. When this had been accomplished, feeling deeply interested in the success of the movement, he went forward with General Hartranft. When the attack failed, he was retiring with the troops when he was struck in the breast by a rifle ball and mortally wounded. Captain Shadley immediately went to him, but I believe he expired without a word. In his death, this Corps and his country lost a valuable officer, and his memory will long be cherished among those who were fortunate enough to have known him."
Major Morton's contributions to military literature were especially valuable, and were the result of close study and a wide experience. He was a vigorous writer, an original thinker, and an accomplished scholar in the special department to which he had devoted his time and thought. Major Morton's body was sent to his afflicted family in Philadelphia, where priate honors were paid to his heroic memory.
HE experience of the army in front of Petersburg induced General Grant to believe that the place could only be reduced by the slow process of a siege. He therefore decided to place the army of the James on the north and the Army of the Potomac on the south side of the James river, and in this way invest both Petersburg and Richmond. Parallels were accordingly laid out, traverses and covered ways built, trenches opened, earthworks of various sizes thrown up and armed, and all the different operations of a siege fairly entered upon. On the line which the Ninth Corps occupied were two batteries of two guns, one of four, one of six, two of eight, and in the centre, one of fourteen guns. Besides these were three mortar batteries. General Grant fixed his headquarters at City Point. Our lines extended from across the Jerusalem plank road in front of Petersburg to Deep Bottom, crossing the Appomattox and the James by means of ponton bridges. A force was also held at White House, and the York and Pamunkey rivers were patrolled by gunboats.
The enemy made one or two attempts during the summer to make diversions in other quarters, at one time pushing a considerable force into Pennsylvania. and Maryland, and even attacking Fort Stevens, on the north side of the city of Washington. One party reached the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad, cut the telegraph wire and destroyed a portion of a bridge.. Another party burned Chambersburg. But all such movements were insufficient to make General Grant give up his hold. The aggressive forces were swept
away from the Capital, and General Lee found, before the summer had passed, that he could, by no exertion of his, loosen the gripe which General Grant had fixed upon the the army of Northern Virginia, the rebel capital, and the fortunes of the "Southern Confederacy." An investment had been established which would not be raised until its object had been fully accomplished-the suppression of the rebellion.
On the 18th of June, the colored division of the Ninth Corps reported to General Meade, and was at once ordered to its own proper organization. General Ferrero had been separated from his brother officers of the Corps since the crossing of the Rapidan, and was now glad to renew his relations and come once more under the orders of his chief. During the interval, the division had been occupied in guarding the trains of the army-a necessary work, indeed, but somewhat troublesome, and especially lacking in that excitement of conflict which is the glory of the soldier's life. On the 6th of May, the division had been separated from the Ninth Corps, and placed successively under the orders of Generals Sedgwick and Sheridan, until the 17th. Then General Ferrero came under the direct command of the Lieutenant General himself, until the incorporation of the Ninth Corps with the Army of the Potomac. On the 9th, General Ferrero's command was strengthened by three regiments of cavalry-the 5th New York, the 3d New Jersey, and the 2d Ohio. These troops remained with him until the 10th of June, when the cavalry force was placed under the command of General Sheridan. From the 9th of May until the 17th, the fourth division occupied the plank road looking toward the old Wilderness tavern, covering the extreme right of the army, extending from Todd's tavern to Banks's ford. On the 17th, the division moved to Salem Church, near the main road to Fredericksburg. Here, on the afternoon of the 19th, it was drawn into the defence of our rear line against the attack made by General Ewell. The colored troops stood up well against the enemy and captured several prisoners.
The remainder of the record of the fourth division, up to the
time of rejoining the corps, is simply that of the movement of the trains. On the 21st of May, the command was covering Fredericksburg and the roads leading thence to Bowling Green. On the 22d, it marched towards Bowling Green, and on the 23d, it moved to Milford Station. From that date to the 27th, it protected the trains of the army in the rear of the position. on the North Anna. On the 27th, the division moved to Newtown; on the 28th, to Dunkirk, crossing the Mattapony; on the 29th, to the Pamunkey, near Hanovertown. On the 1st of June, the troops crossed the Pamunkey, and from the 2d to the 6th, covered the right of the army. From the 6th to the 12th, they covered the approaches from New Castle ferry, Hanovertown, Hawes's Shop and Bethesda Church. From the 12th to the 18th, they moved by easy stages by way of Tunstall's, New Kent Court House, Cole's ferry, and the ponton bridge across the James, to the lines of the army near Petersburg. The dismounted cavalry were left to guard the trains, and the fourth division prepared to participate in the more active work of soldiers. Through the remainder of the month of June and the most of July, the troops were occupied in the second line of trenches, and in active movements towards the left under Generals Hancock and Warren. While they were engaged in the trenches, they were also drilled in the movements necessary for an attack and occupation of the enemy's works. A strong feeling of pride and esprit de corps sprung up within the hearts of the blacks, and they began to think that they too might soon have the opportunity of winning. some glory for their race and their country.
The presence of the colored soldiers, both in the eighteenth and the Ninth Corps, seemed to have the effect of rendering the enemy more spiteful than ever. Before the fourth division came, the closeness of the lines on the front of the corps rendered constant watchfulness imperative, and no day passed without some skirmishing between the opposing pickets. When the colored soldiers appeared, this practice seemed to increase. While, in front of the fifth corps, upon