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Miles, Nelson Appleton, 1839-1925 / Personal recollections and observations of General Nelson A. Miles embracing a brief view of the Civil War, or, From New England to the Golden Gate: and the story of his Indian campaigns, with comments on the exploration, development and progress of our great western empire
(1896)

Chapter III. Last scenes of the Great War,   pp. 38-51 PDF (5.6 MB)


Page 38


PERSONAL RECOLLECTIONS OF
                            CHAPTER    Ill.
                   LAST SCENES OF THE GREAT WAR.
BATTLE OF NASHVILLE - MARCHING THIROUGii GEORGI k - FIVE FORKS - STORMING
THE WORKS
   AT PETERSBURG - FALL OF RICHMOND - SCENES IN CAMP - CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN
      THE Two COMMANDERS - APPOMATTOX - JOY OF THE        SOLDIERS - DER
TH
         OF TIlE PRESIDENT - WI-TAT WE A ON, AND CONSEQUENCES     OF
             FAILURE - THE    ARMY   DISBANDED - AUTHOR'S   Ap-
                 POINTIMENT AS COLONEL A-D BREVET MAJOR-
                     GENERAL   UNITmED  STATES  ARMY-.
'HE spring of 1865 witnessed the final scenes in this great
  drama of war where the stage was a continent, and the whole
  world the audience. The "Rock of Chickamauga ," General
  George H. Thomas, had annihilated the opposing forces on the
  ice-covered fields of Nashville, and Sherman's victorious army
  had swept from Atlanta to the sea, and was taking the South
  Atlantic defenses in reverse by its onward march toward the
         North. The success of Sheridan in the Shenandoah Valley had
enabled him to return the Sixth Corps, which had been temporarily
detached, to the Army of the Potomac, and to move with his cavalry
corps to the left of the line confronting Petersburg. The line of battle
confronting the Army of Northern Virginia under General Robert E. Lee,
stretched from the north side of the James River, northeast of Richmond,
to the south side of Appomattox near Five Forks, south of Petersburg,
more than thirty miles. The troops on the north side of the James River,
immediately in front of Richmond, were under the command of Major-
General E. 0. C. Ord; the Army of the Potomac under Major-General
George G. Meade, occupied the center, and the cavalry under Sheridan
the extreme left; all under General Ulysses S. Grant, commanding all
the armies.
   It would be impossible to adequately describe the closing scenes of
this historic conflict. There was a general advance ordered along our
entire line, and the extending of the line to the left, with Sheridan's
cavalry reinforced by the Fifth Corps of the Army of the Potomac under
Major-General Warren, resulted in a victory for us in the engagement
at Five Forks, April 1, 1865. The following morning the entire line of


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