Clement Anselm Evans.

Confederate military history; a library of Confederate States history online

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near Falmouth," and thence, before nightfall, issuing



CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY. 393

"congratulations" to his arm)'. His campaign was a
total failure ; he had left, south of the Rappahannock, as
victims to Lee's combats, over 17,000 killed, wounded
and captured men; 14 field guns, 20,000 muskets and
31,000 knapsacks; and yet, in his congratulatory order
he said : ' ' The events of the last week may swell
with pride the heart of every officer and soldier of this
army," and saying, in conclusion, "Profoundly loyal and
conscious of its strength, the army of the Potomac will
give or decline battle whenever its interests or honor may
demand."

Lee's losses during the Fredericksburg-Chancellors-
ville campaign were 13,000. Among these were the very
pick and flower of his veteran army officers, as well as
privates. Among the former were the brave Paxton, an
intimate of Jackson, who fell leading the Stonewall bri-
gade to victory, and, above all, the matchless Jackson,
Lee's "right arm," as he called him; and, beyond ques-
tion, the main reliance of the Confederacy for the suc-
cess of its cause. At least so thought not only the vet-
erans in its armies but many of those at the head of its
civic affairs, and the men and women at home, when,
amid tears, they heard of his death. In his official report,
Lee wrote: "The conduct of the troops cannot be too
highly praised. Attacking largely superior numbers in
intrenched positions, their heroic courage overcame every
obstacle of nature and art, and achieved a triumph most
honorable to our arms. " He truthfully added: "To the
skillful and efficient management of the artillery the suc-
cessful issue of the contest is in great measure due. ' ' '

Lee's regard, affection and admiration for Jackson
scarcely knew bounds. While the great hero lingered in
life, near Guiney's, Lee sent him many messages of con-
dolence, and when word came that his wounds, compli-
cated by illness, would probably prove fatal, he said,
almost overcome with emotion: "Surely General Jackson
must ret;over. God will not take him from us now that
we need him so much. Surely he will be spared to us in
answer to the many prayers which are offered for him."

Jackson died on Sunday, the loth of May, and the next
day Lee issued this general order :

With deep grief, the commanding general announces the death of
Lieut.-Gen. T. J. Jackson, who expired on the loth instant, at 3:15
p. m. The daring, skill and energy of this great and good soldier,
by the decree of an all-wise Providence, are now lost to us, but



394 CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

while we mourn his death, we feel that his spirit still lives and will
inspire the whole army with his indomitable courage and unshaken
confidence in God as our hope and our strength. Let his name be a
watchword to his corps, who has followed him to victory on so
many fields. Let officers and soldiers emulate his invincible deter-
mination to do everything in the defense of our beloved country.

When, in the autumn of the year, Lee wrote his official
report of this famous campaign, after calmly reviewing
it, he said:

The movement by which the enemy's position was turned and the
fortune of the day decided, was conducted by the lamented Lieu-
tenant-General Jackson, who, as has already been stated, was
severely wounded near the close of the engagement on Saturday
evening. I do not propose here to speak of the character of this
illustrious man, since removed from the scene of his eminent use-
fulness by the hand of an inscrutable, but all-wise Providence. I
nevertheless desire to pay the tribute of my admiration to the match-
less energy and skill that marked the last act of his life, forming, as it
did, a worthy conclusion of that long series of splendid achievements
which won him the lasting love and gratitude of his country.

In a letter to his wife, written May nth, concerning
"the loss of the good and great Jackson, " Lee wrote:
"Any victory would be dear at such a price. His
remains go to Richmond to-day. I know not how to
replace him, but God's will be done. I trust He will
raise some one in his place. "

In an article on "Stonewall Jackson's Place in His-
tory," by Lieut. -Col. G. F. R. Henderson, professor of
strategy in the British Staff college, contributed to the
"Life of Jackson," by his wife, he wrote:

When Jackson fell at Chancellorsville, his military career had
only just begun, and the question, what place he takes in history, is
hardly so pertinent as the question, what place he could have taken
had he been spared. So far as his opportunities had permitted, he
had shown himself in no way inferior to the greatest generals of the
century, to Wellington, to Napoleon, or to Lee. That Jackson was
equal to the highest demands of strategy his deeds and conceptions
show ; that he was equal to the task of handling a large army on the
field of battle must be left to conjecture ; but throughout the whole
of his soldier's life he was never intrusted with any detached mis-
sion which he failed to execute with complete success. No general
made fewer mistakes. No general so persistently outwitted his
opponents. No general better understood the use of the ground or
the value of time. No general was more highly endowed with cour-
age, both physical and moral, and none ever secured to a greater
degree the trust and affection of his troops. And yet, so upright
was his life, so profound his faith, so exquisite his tenderness, that
Jackson's many victories are almost his least claim to be ranked
amongst the world's true heroes.



CHAPTER XXII.

THE CAMPAIGN IN PENNSYLVANIA.

CLOSING up the ranks of his victorious but deci-
mated army, the veterans of which he could not
replace, Lee did all in his power to follow up the
victory of Chancellorsville by an aggressive move-
ment on the army of the Potomac. But for his meagerly
supplied commissariat he would, earlier in the spring of
1863, have moved upon Milroy at Winchester, in the
lower Shenandoah valley, confident that by so doing
he could draw Hooker from the northern neck of Virginia
into the more open country, where he could find oppor-
tunity for striking him an effective blow. He had urged
this view upon President Davis before the campaign of
Chancellorsville, and had asked that troops might be
drawn from the more Southern States to reinforce his
army, confident that his plan of campaign would furnish
more relief to the Confederacy than could be gained by
holding scattered forces to defend distant positions.

Longstreet rejoined Lee in May at Fredericksburg,
with the portion of his troops that had been wintering
near Suffolk, south of the James, where supplies were
more abundant and easy of access. The general com-
manding then proceeded to reorganize his army, by
dividing it into three corps — the First under Longstreet,
the Second under Ewell (who having lost a leg at Sec-
ond Manassas, had just returned from hospital), and the
Third under A. P. Hill — and worked untiringly to get
his army into condition for a forward movement, con-
stantly urging the Confederate government to add to his
numbers in Virginia, and to those of Johnston and Pem-
berton in Mississippi, so that these two armies might be
strong enough to strike efficient and simultaneous blows
on the great Federal armies that opposed them, leaving
local defenses to the local soldiery. His pleadings were
unheeded, but he continued resolutely to prepare for
another campaign, apprehensive lest Hooker's vastly

395



396 CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

superior numbers might possibly force him back to the
trenches around Richmond.

Lee's plan of campaign, as he detailed it to Col. A. L.
Long, of his staff, in his tent in the rear of Fredericks-
burg, was to maneuver Hooker from his almost unreach-
able stronghold between the Rappahannock and the
Potomac, and bring him to battle at Chambersburg in
Pennsylvania, in the Great valley, or at York or Gettys-
burg in the Piedmont region of the same State, thus
transferring the destructive agencies of war to northern
soil, where he could readily subsist his army on the
country ; and by a decisive victory cause the evacuation of
Washington and compel the Federal government to with-
draw Grant from the siege of Vicksburg. This was,
doubtless, the identical campaign that Jackson had in
view, and which he probably had discussed with Lee dur-
ing the preceding winter, when he ordered the prepara-
tion of a detailed map extending from the Rappahannock
to the Susquehanna.

Lee's army at this time consisted of Stuart's cavalry
corps, of about 6,000 men; the artillery corps, under
Pendleton, with some 200 guns, and his veteran
infantry, in all about 60,000 men, whom he had ready
to march northward by the close of May. On the 3d of
June he directed his right, under Longstreet, to move
toward Culpeper, marching across the whole length of
the scene of his recent victories at Salem church and
Chancellorsville ; followed by Ewell, who with eager
interest scanned the field of victory as he rode across it
at the head of Jackson's old troops. With his usual
heroic audacity, Lee left his smallest corps, that under
A. P. Hill, at Fredericksburg, to restrain Hooker from
any "on to Richmond" he might rashly attempt to make.

By the 8th Lee had concentrated the commands of
Stuart, Longstreet and Ewell in front of Culpeper Court
House, with his advance pickets on the Rappahannock.
On that day Stuart had a grand cavalry review on the
broad and then unobstructed open around Brandy Sta-
tion, which was witnessed by most of the principal
officers of the infantry corps in the vicinity and by Lee
in person. That night the Federal cavalry forced the
passage of the Rappahannock, and on the morning of the
9th fell upon Stuart's encampment, when a furious, and at
times hand-to-hand, engagement followed, which lasted



CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY. 397

the greater portion of the day. Stuart, after a most val-
orous fight, finally succeeded in driving the Federal cav-
alry back across the Rappahannock, with very consider-
able loss. Hooker had ordered this reconnoissance, with
cavalry followed by infantry, to find out what Lee was
doing ; for as yet he was in profound ignorance concern-
ing his northward movement.

After the repulse of the Federal cavalry, Lee ordered
Ewell with the Second corps to cross the Blue ridge at
Chester gap, and drive the Federal force under Milroy,
at Winchester, from the Valley ; ordering Jenkins, at the
same time, to move his cavalry brigade down the Valley,
in the same direction, while Imboden moved his brigade
down the South Branch valley, in the mountain country,
to threaten Milroy from Romney on the west. On the
1 3th, Ewell appeared in front of Winchester and a portion
of his advance at Martinsburg, while Jenkins broke the
line of the Baltimore & Ohio railroad, thus preventing
reinforcements to Milroy from the west. Closing around
Winchester on the 14th, Ewell, by a bold and well-
planned flank movement of Early to the left, drove Mil-
roy, late in the day, from his strong intrenchments, cap-
tured a large portion of his army and his military stores,
and scattered the troops that escaped, following them on
the isth to Harper's Ferry, thus again relieving the
lower valley and the patriotic city of Winchester from a
detested and tyrannical foe, such as Milroy had proved
himself to be in waging war on defenseless women and
children. Ewell' s captures were 4,000 prisoners, many
wagons, and a large quantity of military stores. On this
same isth of June, Jenkins moved on Chambersburg with
his cavalry, and Ewell's advance crossed the Potomac,
while Longstreet followed, from Culpeper, to hold the
passes of the Blue ridge, closely followed by Hill to Cul-
peper, who had remained in front of Fredericksburg until
he saw the army of the Potomac disappear, marching to
the northward toward Washington.

Thus was Lee steadily pressing the army of Northern
Virginia northward, to the Chambersburg objective of
his premeditated plan of campaign, the way having been
opened by disposing of Milroy's 10,000 at Winchester,
by capture and rout, and driving the other scattered
forces in the lower valley into Harper's Ferry, which he
now passed by, leaving a small force in observation to



398 CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

hold its garrison in position. By the 17th of June the
long column of the Confederate army was stretched from
Culpeper in Virginia to Chambersburg in Pennsylvania,
Jenkins' cavalry holding the latter place._ Ewell's
advanced division was encamped, in the midst of abun-
dance, near Hagerstown ; another was in a like favorable
encampment near Sharpsburg, while his third division
was approaching the fords of the Potomac, near Shep-
herdstown. Longstreet was crossing the Blue ridge to
the banks of the Shenandoah, guarding the passes of
that mountain chain from the eastward; while Stuart
held the Piedmont country and the passes through the
Bull Run mountains, thus keeping Hooker within bounds
with his great army encamped from Manassas, near Bull
run, to Leesburg, near the Potomac, striving to keep
pace with Lee's speedy northward movement.

For five days Stuart held steady contention with
Hooker's cavalry, effectually veiling Lee's movements,
and then holding Ashby's gap of the Blue ridge against
superior numbers, but with Longstreet just behind him,
all along the ridge, while A. P. Hill passed the rear of
the latter, by Chester gap, and rested in the Great val-
ley, in and on the borders of which Lee had now gath-
ered all of his army, except the cavalry immediately in
charge of Stuart, which continued to hover around
Hooker's flanks and rear. Lee had ofiEered Hooker bat-
tle with Longstreet's corps, looking threateningly from
the eastern slopes of the Blue ridge ; but when that was
not accepted, and Hooker still continued south of the
Potomac, Lee boldly withdrew Longstreet to the western
side of the Shenandoah, and on the i8th, from the vicin-
ity of Millwood, ordered Longstreet and Hill to follow
Ewell across the Potomac, satisfied that by so doing he
would draw Hooker into Maryland. Hill crossed the
Potomac at Shepherdstown on the i8th, followed by
Longstreet, except McLaws' division, which was left with
Stuart to watch the passes of the Blue ridge and the
roads of the Shenandoah valley until Hooker should have
crossed the Potomac. Imboden was also ordered into
Pennsylvania, moving to the west of the Great valley, and
it was suggested to Gen. Sam Jones that his cavalry
should march his command into northwestern Virginia
and menace the line of the Baltimore & Ohio. Lee also
asked that the brigades left at Richmond should be sent



CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY. 399

to join him. His force in hand for this important,
aggressive northern campaign was about 60,000 men.
As he entered Pennsylvania he issued an order instruct-
ing his army that "No private property shall be in-
jured or destroyed;" an order that was rigidly enforced
during all the campaign that followed.

Feeling that his left was securely guarded by Jones
and Imboden, and his advance by Jenkins, Lee, looking
after the safety of his right, wrote to Stuart, on the 2 2d:
"Do you know where Hooker is, and what he is doing?
I fear he will steal a march on us and get across the
Potomac before we are aware. If you find that he is
moving northward, and that two brigades can guard the
Blue ridge and take care of your rear, you can move
with the other three into Maryland and take position on
General Ewell's right, place yourself in communication
with him, guard his flank, keep him informed of the
enemy's movements, and collect all the supplies you can
for the use of the army. ' ' On the same day he directed
Ewell to move toward the Susquehanna and, "if Harris-
burg comes within your means, capture it."

On the 23d of June, Ewell was marching rapidly up the
Cumberland valley toward Carlisle, while Lee was pre-
paring to lead the First and Third corps across the Poto-
mac to follow him. Stuart was enjoined to keep two of
his brigades of cavalry along the eastern foot of the Blue
ridge between Lee and Hooker, while a large discretion
was granted him in the movement of the three other
brigades under his immediate command, with the sole
condition that he should, "as speedily as possible," join
Ewell's advance, which, he was informed, had been sent
under Early across the South mountain to York, to
gather supplies and levy contributions on that wealthy
Pennsylvania town. Lee's last word to Stuart reached
the latter during the night of the 23d of June. On that
day Lee wrote to Davis again urging him to gather all
the troops he could and send them, under Beauregard,
to Culpeper Court House, as a menace to Washington,
and therefore a virtual reinforcement to his own move-
ment, but without leaving Richmond defenseless.

Justly alarmed by Lee's bold and rapid movement
toward the very heart of Pennsylvania, the Federal gov-
ernment called for 100,000 new troops to defend that
State; concentrated a considerable force in Maryland,



400 CONFEDERA TE MILITARY HISTORY.

and ordered Hooker to the north bank of the Potomac,
to interpose his army between Lee and Washington.
The chronicles of the day record this remarkable prayer,
by President Lincoln: "O, Lord, this is your fight; but
we, your humble followers and supporters here, can't
stand another Fredericksburg or Chancellorsville. "

From Williamsport, on the zsth, where Longstreet was
crossing the Potomac, Lee wrote to President Davis say-
ing, that if the whole of Hooker's army was concentrated
upon him he could accomplish nothing, and would be
compelled to return to Virginia ; but urged that it would
be a great relief to him if even the effigy of an army,
under Beauregard, were concentrated at Culpeper. He
insisted that he would have to abandon his line of com-
fnunication because he had not the men to hold it ; but he
still thought he could draw Hooker across the Potomac
and compel the Federal government to bring troops from
the South, to defend its capital, and thus defeat its plans
of invasion. Another letter followed, the next day, again
urging an advance upon Washington from Culpeper.

On the 27th, Ewell was in Carlisle; his advance, under
Early, had crossed the South mountain and was nearing
York. The same day that Lee, in person, crossed the
Potomac, June 25th, Hooker began crossing the same
river, a fact of which Lee was still in ignorance, at
Chambersburg, on the 27th; as Stuart was that day
crossing the Potomac, at the mouth of Seneca creek,
not far from Washington, between Hooker's army and
that city, and was rapidly riding northward into Pennsyl-
vania, cumbered with the spoils he had captured in the
rear of Hooker's army.

By the 28th Hooker had concentrated four corps of his
army at Frederick and three at Middletown, on the
National turnpike, a few miles to the westward ; so that
seven Federal corps were available for a rapid movement
across South mountain to Hagerstown, to the rear of
Lee's army, which was now some miles to the northeast
of that town in the Cumberland valley. At this juncture
of affairs. Hooker demanded that the 10,000 men, left in
garrison at Harper's Ferry, should join his command in
the iield. This brought on an issue with his government,
which resulted in his displacement and the putting of
Gen. George Meade in command of the army of the
Potomac, on the 28th day of June, the fourth change in the



CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY. 401

leadership of that army in the little more than a year
since Lee took command of the army of Northern Vir-
ginia.

On the 27th Lee issued, from Chambersburg, a general
order to his troops which is worthy of more than a pass-
ing notice. One of its paragraphs reads: "It must be
remembered that we make war only upon armed men,
and that we cannot take vengeance for the wrongs our
people have suffered, without lowering ourselves in the
eyes of all whose abhorrence has been excited by the
atrocities of our enemies, and offending against Him to
whom vengeance belongeth, without whose favor and
support our efforts must all prove vain. ' '

The lack of knowledge as to the whereabouts and
intentions of Meade, because of the absence of his cav-
alry, delayed Lee at Chambersburg; but on the night of
the 28th, Harrison, a daring Virginia scout in the serv-
ice of Longstreet, reached him with the information, the
first he had received, that the army of the Potomac had
crossed that river on the 2Sth and was then threatening
his line of communication at Hagerstown, as above
stated. This news led Lee to at once recall Ewell's
divisions from the Susquehanna, near Harrisburg and
Columbia, and order a concentration of his army at Cash-
town, in the Piedmont country of Pennsylvania, just east
of the South mountain, on the road from Chambersburg-
to Gettysburg, where the topographic conditions were
all favorable for a defensive battle, and where he could
draw supplies from the fertile Cumberland valley in his
_rear. Moreover, a movement in that direction was one
threatening, not only Washington and Baltimore, but
also Philadelphia, as was fully realized by the Federal
government when it at once ordered the throwing up of
defenses in front of the "city of brotherly love." Lee
well knew that such a strategic movement would draw
the army of the Potomac from menacing his rear that it
might interpose itself between the army of Northern
Virginia and the important cities and lines of communi-
cation that its movements threatened.

The Third corps, A. P. Hill's, marched, on the morn-
ing of the 29th, from Chambersburg toward Cashtown,
Lee remaining in the former with the First corps, watch-
ing the development of his plans. Late in the same day
Ewell received, at Carlisle, Lee's order of concentration,

Va 26



402 CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

just as he was about to follow his cavalry advance to
attack Harrisburg, where the governor of Pennsylvania,
with the militia of that State, was in constant expecta-
tion of his appearance before that city, which he was
ready to evacuate. Ewell promptly sent orders to
Early, at York, to fall back to Cashtown, and prepared
to move in that direction the next morning with the
remainder of his command.

Meade, informed of the advance of Ewell to York and
toward Harrisburg, at once changed the direction of
his army, as Lee had anticipated he would, and on the
evening of the 29th two of his corps bivouacked near
Emmitsburg, and one near Taneytown, just south of the
Maryland- Pennsylvania line and on highways leading
toward Gettysburg; while four others of his corps
encamped in the rear of these, along Pipe creek, an
eastern tributary of the Monocacy, in a good defensive
position covering the approaches to Baltimore. Bu-
ford's cavalry covered the Federal front within the
Pennsylvania line near Fairfield, guarding the approaches
from Cashtown and Gettysburg. These two great con-
tention-seeking armies were now but a few miles apart ;
and yet there is evidence that neither leader was aware
of the exact whereabouts of the other.

Stuart, entirely out of communication with Lee, broke
the line of the Baltimore & Ohio railroad on the morning
of the 29th, thus interrupting Meade's communication,
with Washington, and that evening rested at Westmin-
ster, but a few miles to the eastward of Meade's bivouacs.
On the 30th he again rode northward, fighting his way
through the Federal cavalry at Hanover, on the railway
from York to Gettysburg, but much delayed by the long
train of mule teams that he had captured in the vicinity
of Washington, and in utter ignorance of the fact that
the famous battle of Gettysburg had already begun, but
a few miles to the westward from his line of march.
Stuart was pressing forward to join Ewell's advance,
under Early, in the vicinity of York, marching all night
toward his destination, passing but seven miles to the
eastward of Early's bivouac, still believing that the lat-
ter was at York, where the rendezvous with him had been
appointed by Lee, and whither he rode but to find Early
gone. Having no knowledge of the direction he had
taken, Stuart continued to Carlisle, and thence, by a wide



CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY. 403

circuit, his men well-nigh exhausted, to Gettysburg,
where he appeared on Lee's left.

A. P. Hill's advance, under Pettigrew, reached Cash-
town, where by its orders it should have awaited the con-
centration of Lee's army, its mission being the taking
and holding of Lee's chosen defensive position. Unfor-



Online LibraryClement Anselm EvansConfederate military history; a library of Confederate States history → online text (page 39 of 153)