Page:A memoir of the last year of the War of Independence, in the Confederate States of America.djvu/18

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
14
INTRODUCTION

stimulated by high bounties. The North-Western States had tendered large bodies of troops to serve one hundred days, in order to relieve other troops on garrison and local duty, and this enabled Grant to put in the field a large number of troops which had been employed on that kind of duty. It was known that he was receiving heavy reinforcements up to the very time of his movement on the 4th of May, and afterwards; so that the statement of his force on the 1st of May, by Stanton, does not cover the whole force with which he commenced the campaign. Moreover, Secretary Stanton's report shows that there were, in the Department of Washington and the Middle Department, 47,751 available men for duty, the chief part of which, he says, was called to the front after the campaign began, "in order to repair the losses of the Army of the Potomac;" and Grant says that, at Spottsylvania Court House, "the 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, and 18th [of May,] were consumed in manoeuvring and awaiting the arrival of reinforcements from Washington." His army, therefore, must have numbered very nearly, if not quite, 200,000 men, before a junction was effected with Butler.

On the 4th of May, it was discovered that Grant's Army was moving towards Germana Ford on the Rapidan, which was ten or twelve miles from our right. This movement had begun on the night of the 3rd, and the enemy succeeded in seizing the ford, and effecting a crossing, as the river was guarded at that point by only a small cavalry picket. The direct road from Germana Ford to Richmond passes by Spottsylvania Court House, and when Grant had effected his crossing, he was nearer to Richmond than General Lee was. From Orange Court House, near which were General Lee's headquarters, there are two nearly parallel roads running eastwardly to Fredericksburg—the one which is nearest to the river being called "The old Stone Pike," and the other "The Plank Road." The road from Germana Ford to Spottsylvania Court House, crosses the old Stone Pike at the "Old Wilderness Tavern," and two or three miles further on, it crosses the Plank Road.