War of the Rebellion: Serial 076 Page 0151 Chapter L. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

Search Civil War Official Records

till it had been gone more than two weeks and had already reached Maryland. He was deceived by the fact that prisoners captured about Petersburg represented themselves as belonging to Ewell's old corps, being so ordered no doubt by their officers. We had nothing left for the defense of Washington and Baltimore but militia, invalids, and convalescents, re-enforced by armed clerks and quartermaster's employees. As the lines about Washington alone are thirty-seven and a half miles in length, laid out by McClellan for an army of 150,000, you may judge that with 15,000 such defenders we were in no little danger of losing the capital or Baltimore, attacked by a veteran force of 30,000. Fortunately the Sixth Corps, under Wright, arrived just in the nick of time, and the enemy did not attempt an assault.

Entre nous. I fear Grant has made a fatal mistake in putting himself south of James River. He cannot now reach Richmond without taking Petersburg, which is strongly fortified, crossing the Appomattox and recrossing the James. Moreover, by placing his army south of Richmond he opens the capital and the whole North to rebel raids. Lee can at any time detach 30,000 or 40,000 men without our knowing it till we are actually threatened. I hope we may yet have full success, but I find that many of Grant's general officers think the campaign already a failure. Perseverance, however, may compensate for all errors and overcome all obstacles. So mote it be.

Be assured, general, that all your friends here fell greatly gratified with your operations, and I have not heard the usual growling and fault-finding by outsiders. I have twice presented in writing your name for major-general regular army, but for some reason the matter still hangs fire.

Best regards to Thomas and McPherson.

Yours, truly,



In the Field, on Chattahoochee, July 16, 1864.

Generals THOMAS and McPHERSON:

Dispatch from Generals Grant and Halleck of to-day speak of the enemy having failed in his designs in Maryland, and cautioning me that Lee may in the next fortnight re-enforce Johnston by 20,000. It behooves us, therefore, to hurry, so all will move to-morrow as far as Nancy's Creek.


Major-General, Commanding.


In the Field, on Chattahoochee River, July 16, 1864.

General THOMAS:

All are ready and will move in the morning according to Orders, Numbers 35.


Major-General, Commanding.