Page images
PDF
EPUB

and among officers and men unused to his guidance. So he proceeded to parcel the Western domain and place his lieutenants.

Sherman was given command of the Military division of the Mississippi, the high post which Grant had just vacated. This would give him an opportunity to achieve a separate renown, which Grant felt was his due. Of his ability to do so he had not the least doubt. The two travelled together as far as Cincinnati. The plans for a spring movement on Johnston and into the heart of Georgia, thence on toward the sea, were all talked over and understood, but Sherman was left without detailed instructions,

McPherson was assigned to the command of the Department of the Tennessee. Although this disposition placed Sherman over Thomas, and McPherson over Hurlbut, both these seniors acquiesced, and gave as heartily of skill and bravery as if they too had been honored with distinguished preference. This disposition of commands being made in the West, and the particular work of each assigned, although, as has been stated, Sherman was left with large discretionary power, General Grant hurried eastward to assume the burdens of active leadership in the field; just " like yourself,” as Sherman said, “you take the biggest load.”

On March 23d he was back again in Washington, and face to face with the responsibilities and difficulties of his high office. There was no shrinking from them, no questioning of plans, no thought of expedients. He was firm in the faith that gave him Donelson, Vicksburg and Chattanooga. No shadow of doubt about eventual success crossed his mind. The true heroism of the man, never ostentatious, never even visible except in his deeds, was now sustaining him for the fires of conflict, even as the heroic faith of the old Christians upheld them in the presence of the stake.

And now came his work of reorganization and readjustment

[ocr errors]

on the Atlantic seaboard. Halleck was made Grant's chief-ofstaff in Washington. The Army of the Potomac was divided into three corps, to be known as the Second, under MajorGeneral Hancock; the Fifth, under Warren; the Sixth, under Sedgwick. The Ninth Corps, brought from East Tennessee, was reorganized at Annapolis, and acted with the Army of the Potomac, but for a time independent of Meade, on account of Burnside's older commission. Among the division commanders were such distinguished names as Barlow, Gibbon, Birney, Carr, Wadsworth, Crawford, Robinson, Griffin, Wright and Prince. The cavalry of the army was consolidated under General Sheridan, with Gregg, Torbert, and Wilson as division commanders.

The staff organization of the Potomac array remained unchanged, with Brigadier-General H. J. Hunt as Chief of Artillery; Major J. C. Duane, Chief of Engineers; BrigadierGeneral Rufus Ingalls, Chief Quartermaster; Major-General A. A. Humphreys was Chief of Staff, and also a division commander; Brigadier-General Seth Williams was AdjutantGeneral.

Grant's personal staff consisted of General Rawlins, as Chief of Staff; Colonel T. S. Bowers, Adjutant-General; Colonel Comstock, Inspector-General; Colonel Horace Porter and Colonel O. E. Babcock, Aids-de-Camp; Colonel Adam Badeau and Colonel Ely Parker, Military Secretaries. This personal staff was made up of young officers, yet men full of experience, and in whom Grant had the utmost faith.

In three days after his return from the West, General Grant was at the front looking closer into his preparations, and at the same time busy in remodeling all the military departments so as to turn their forces to the best account. Very many of these departments were outside the actual theatre of war, and contained idle armies, or forces, of no mean proportions. Some of them had been made the scene of useless operations, in no

[graphic][merged small][merged small]

wise in keeping with his plans of concentration and his future methods of attack. All these he reorganized and, wherever practicable, turned their forces to the account of the central armies. After all his plans of reorganization, mobilization and concentration were complete, he had in hand an aggregate of forces unequaled in modern warfare, and as to extent of country in which they were to be operated unparalleled in military history.

They stood thus:

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

}

5,600

Department of California,

Brig. Gen.
9.
Pacific.
Oregon.

Wright.
All these were outside the theatre of actual war.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

These were all within the theatre of actual war. Besides the

forces thus shown, the Army of the Potomac had. ..

97,000

Ninth Corps, Burnside's, .

22,000

Grand total,

529,800

These were actives, and they represented an army, on paper, exceeding six hundred thousand men.

General Grant's strategy consisted in merging all his available armies into two, or at most three, powerfully co-operating bodies. These were to be brought into direct contact with the foe wherever he was found strongest, and to be used incessantly till he was beaten or exhausted. There was to be but one common centre and aim-Lee's army in the East, Johnston's army in the West. In the East two necessities existed. Washington must be guarded. Butler's command must be protected, for it held the outlets to the sea. Therefore, in moving on Lee, Washington must never be uncovered, and yet the campaign must move so that the Army of the Potomac and the Army

« PreviousContinue »