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Lee's Last Campaign   By:

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LEE'S LAST CAMPAIGN.

BY CAPTAIN J. C. G.

RALEIGH, N. C.: WM. B. SMITH & COMPANY, MDCCCLXVI.

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1865, by WM. B. SMITH & COMPANY. in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the District of Pamlico, North Carolina.

CONTENTS.

CHAPTER I. PAGE.

The Condition of the Army of Northern Virginia in its Last Days The Lines in Front of Petersburg The Battles Around the City The Final Struggle Terrible Fighting The Assaults on Forts Mahone and Gregg Thrilling Scenes The Main Bodies of Both Armies Stand and Look Anxiously On The Confederate Army Severed The Evacuation of Richmond and Petersburg The Greetings of Petersburg Ladies to the Retreating Columns The Retreat and Pursuit to Appomattox Court House 5

CHAPTER II.

Official Correspondence Concerning the Surrender The Interview Between Generals Lee and Grant Appearance of General Lee Scenes Between the Two Armies Under Flag of Truce The Surrender General Lee's Farewell Address to His Army 42

LEE'S LAST CAMPAIGN.

CHAPTER I.

The Condition of the Army of Northern Virginia in its Last Days The Lines in Front of Petersburg The Battles Around the City The Final Struggle Terrible Fighting The Assaults on Forts Mahone and Gregg Thrilling Scenes The Main Bodies of Both Armies Stand and Look Anxiously On The Confederate Army Severed The Evacuation of Richmond and Petersburg The Greetings of Petersburg Ladies to the Retreating Columns The Retreat and Pursuit to Appomattox Court House.

When I returned to my command in the early part of March, after a long absence as a prisoner, I was greatly depressed at the sad state of feeling in which I found almost the whole army. The buoyant, hopeful tone that animated them during the bloody and heroic struggles in the Wilderness, and at Spotsylvania, was gone. The men who followed the immortal Jackson in his historic and eventful campaigns, and endured every fatigue and hardship without a murmur, in the full hope of eventual victory, were dejected, crestfallen and despondent. The wear and tear of a continuous campaign from the Rappahannoc to the James, and the disasters of the Valley struggle of the previous fall, together with the continuous marching and counter marching on their present lines, without rest and with short rations, were telling upon their hardy natures. Longstreet's veterans, who had followed their old leader from the ensanguined fields of Virginia to Chicamauga and East Tennessee, and who had again been forwarded to their old fields of conflict, were thinned in numbers, and had lost much of the fierce fire of pluck that characterised them of old.

The lines were long, stretching from below Richmond, on the north side of the James, to Hatcher's run, away beyond Petersburg, on the south side. A countless host were just in front of them, watching an opportunity to strike where the lines were the weakest. The Confederate army numbered perhaps 60,000 all told artillery, cavalry and infantry, and with 40 miles of defence, the battle line was thin as a skirmish, and the duty incessant and fatiguing in the greatest degree. On some parts of the line the crack of the rifle, the booming of artillery, and the bursting of the mortar shells were incessant.

Desertions were very numerous, both to the enemy and to the rear, and I early found that the army had at last succumbed, not to the enemy in front, but to the discontent, the murmurings, despondency and demoralization among the people at home, who infused their hopeless dejection, by furloughed men returning to their commands, and by letters.

Longstreet commanded the Confederate left, across the James, and his right division extended to within a few miles of Petersburg... Continue reading book >>




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