General Grant takes control.

Rebforever

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Oct 26, 2012
Major General H. W. HALLECK,

Chief of Staff.


WILDERNESS TAVERN, May 6, 1864 - 11.30 a. m.

We have been engaged with the enemy in full force since early yesterday. So far there is no decisive result, but I think all things are progressing favorably. Our loss to this time I do not think exceeds 8,000, of whom a large proportion are slightly wounded. Brigadier-General Hays was killed yesterday, and Generals Getty and Bartlett wounded. We have taken about 1,400 prisoners. Longstreet's, A. P. Hill's, and Ewell's corps are all represented among the prisoners taken.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

https://ehistory.osu.edu/books/official-records/067/0002
 

Rebforever

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Oct 26, 2012
Wilderness, May 7, 1864 - 10 a. m.

(Rececived by mail from Alexandria, Va., 10 p. m., 12th.)

We were engaged with the enemy nearly all day, both on the 5th and 6th. Yesterday the enemy attacked our lines vigorously, first at one point and then another, from right to left. They were repulsed at all points before reaching our lines, except once during the afternoon on Hancock's front and just after night on Sedgwick's front. In the former instance they were promptly and handsomely repulsed; the latter, Milroy's old brigade, was attacked and gave way in the greatest confusion, almost without resistance, carrying good troops with them. Had there been daylight the enemy could have injured us very much in the confusion that prevailed, they, however, instead of getting through the break, attacked General Wright's division of Sedqwick's corps, and were beaten back. Our losses to this time in killed, wounded, and prisoners will not probably exceed 12,000, of whom an unusually large proportion are but slightly wounded. Among the killed we have to deplore the loss of Generals Wadsworth and Hays, General Getty and Bartlett wounded, and Generals Seymour and Shaler taken prisoners. We have about 2,000 prisoners. They report General Jenkins killed and Longstreet wounded. I think the loss of the enemy must exceed ours, but this is only a guess based upon the fact that they attacked and were repulsed so often. I wish you would send me all the information you have from General Sherman, by Bull Run, and all the information from the James River expedition. At present we can claim no victory over the enemy, neither have they gained a single advantage. The enemy pushed out of his fortifications to prevent their position being turned, and have been sooner or later driven back in every instance. Up to this hour the enemy have not shown themselves in force within a mile of our lines.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

Major General H. W. HALLECK, Chief of Staff.

https://ehistory.osu.edu/books/official-records/067/0002
 

Rebforever

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Oct 26, 2012
HEADQUARTERS,

Piney Branch Church, May 8, 1864 - 11.30 a. m.

(Received 3.15 p. m.)

The army commenced moving south at 9 p. m. yesterday, and when closed up to the position assigned for first day's march will stand thus; General Warren's corps at Spotsylvania Court-House; Hancock's at Todd's Tavern; Sedgwick's on road from Piney Branch Church to Spotsylvania, and General Burnside at Alrich's. It is not yet demonstrated what the enemy will do, but the best of feeling prevails in this army, and I feel at present no apprehension for the result. My efforts will be form a junction with General Butler as early as possible, and be prepared to meet any enemy interposing. The result of the three days' fight at Old Wilderness was decidedly in our favor. The enemy having a strongly entrenched position to fall back on when hard pressed, and the extensive train we have to cover, rendered it impossible to inflict the heavy blow on Lee's army I had hoped. My exact route to the James River I have no yet definitely marked out.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

Chief of Staff.

https://ehistory.osu.edu/books/official-records/067/0003
 

Rebforever

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Oct 26, 2012
NEAR SPOTSYLVANIA COURT-HOUSE,

May 9, 1864 - 1 p. m. (Received 4.15 p. m., 10th.)

If matters are still favorable with Butler send him all re-enforcements you can. The enemy now moving from our immediate front either to interpose between us and Fredericksburg or to get the inside road to Richmond. My movements are terribly embarrassed by our immense wagon train. It could not be avoided, however.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

Chief of Staff.

https://ehistory.osu.edu/books/official-records/067/0003
 

Rebforever

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Oct 26, 2012
NEAR SPOTSYLVANIA COURT-HOUSE,

May 10, 1864 - 9.30 a. m. (Received 7.45 a. m., 11th.)

The enemy hold our front in very strong force and evince a strong determination to interpose between us and Richmond to the last. I shall take no backward steps, but may be compelled to send back to Belle Plain for further supplies. Please have supplies of forage and provisions sent there at once and 50 rounds of ammunition (infantry) for 100,000 men. Send General Benham with the necessary bridge train for the Rappahannock river. We can maintain ourselves at least, and, in the end, beat Lee's army, I believe. With present position of the armies, 10,000 men can be spared from the defenses of Washington, besides all the troops that have reached there since Burnside's departure. Some may also be brought form Wallace's department. We want no more wagons nor artillery.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

Major-General HALLECK,

Washington, D. C.

https://ehistory.osu.edu/books/official-records/067/0003
 

Rebforever

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Oct 26, 2012
HEADQUARTERS ARMIES OF THE UNITED STATES,

Near Spotsylvania Court-House, May 11, 1864 - 8.30 a. m.

We have now ended the sixth day of very heavy fighting. The result to this time is much in our favor. But our losses have been heavy, as well as those of the enemy. We have lost to this time 11 general officers killed, wounded, and missing, and probably 20,000 men. I think the loss of the enemy must be greater, we having taken over 4,000 prisoners in battle, while he has taken but few, except stragglers. I am now sending back to Belle Plain all my wagons for a fresh supply of provisions and ammunition, and propose to fight it out on this if it takes all summer. The arrival of re-enforcements here will be very encouraging to the men, and I hope they will be sent as fast as possible, and in as great numbers. My object in having them sent to Belle Plain was to use them as an escort to our supply train. If it is more convenient to send them out by train to march from the railroad to Belle Plain was to use them as an escort to our supply train. If it is more convenient to send them out by train to march from the railroad to Belle Pain or Fredericksburg send them so. I am satisfied the enemy are very shaky, and are only kept up to the mark by the greatest exertions on the part of their officers, and by keeping them entrenched in every position they take. Up to this time there is no indication of any portion of Lee's army being detached for the defense of Richmond.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

Chief of Staff.

https://ehistory.osu.edu/books/official-records/067/0004
 

Rebforever

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Oct 26, 2012
NEAR SPOTSYLVANIA COURT-HOUSE,

May 12, 1864 - 6.30 p. m.

The eighth day of battle closes, leaving between 3,000 and 4,000 prisoners in our hands for the day's work, including 2 general officers and over 30 pieces of artillery. The enemy are obstinate and seem to have found the last ditch. We have lost no organization, not even that of a company, whole we have destroyed and captured one division (Johnson's), one brigade (Doles'), and one regiment entire of the enemy.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

Major-General HALLECK,

Washington, D. C.

https://ehistory.osu.edu/books/official-records/067/0004
 

Rebforever

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Oct 26, 2012
HEADQUARTERS,

Near Spotsylvania, May 14, 1864 - 7.10 a. m.

(Received 9.20 a. m., 17th.)

The very heavy rains of the last forty-eight hours have made it almost impossible to move trains or artillery. Two corps were moved last night from our right to the left, with orders to attack at 4 a. m., but owing to the difficulties of the roads, have not fully got into position. This, with the continued bad weather, may prevent offensive operations to-day. Yesterday but little was done, only from 100 to 150 prisoners falling into our hands, without, or almost without loss, on our side.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

Chief of Staff.

https://ehistory.osu.edu/books/official-records/067/0005
 

dlofting

First Sergeant
Joined
Aug 13, 2013
Location
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Nice summary of the Wilderness and Spotsylvania. Quite typically Grant overestimates Confederate loses, but not so much as other commanders in this and other wars were prone to do.
 

jackt62

Captain
Joined
Jul 28, 2015
Location
New York City
My exact route to the James River I have no yet definitely marked out.

This is an interesting comment by Grant in his telegram of May 8. 1864. It suggests that although the AOTP was nowhere near the James River at that date, Grant seems to be anticipating a hard slog maneuvering around Lee's right flank that will eventually force him to the river (which is exactly what did happen.)
 

wausaubob

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Location
Denver, CO
This is an interesting comment by Grant in his telegram of May 8. 1864. It suggests that although the AOTP was nowhere near the James River at that date, Grant seems to be anticipating a hard slog maneuvering around Lee's right flank that will eventually force him to the river (which is exactly what did happen.)
He was redeploying McClellan's operation without announcing it. Lincoln was probably the first to understand, that Grant had handled Lincoln and Grant had gotten what he wanted, in another way.
Grant also got an operation to close Mobile Bay and got his hand picked subordinate in the Shenandoah Valley.
 

Rebforever

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Oct 26, 2012
NEAR SPOTSYLVANIA COURT-HOUSE,

May 15, 1864 - 7 a. m. (Received 10 p. m.)

The very heavy rains of the last three days have rendered the roads so impassable that but little will be done until there is a change of weather, unless the enemy should attack, which they have exhibited but little inclination to do for the last week. I believe it will be better to strengthen the corps here with all re-enforcements coming than to having them formed into separate commands. You need not, therefore, send Augur. Please order Major Morton, engineer, to report to General Burnside.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

Major-General HALLECK,

Washington, D. C.

https://ehistory.osu.edu/books/official-records/067/0005
 

Rebforever

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Oct 26, 2012
NEAR SPOTSYLVANIA COURT-HOUSE,

May 16, 1864 - 8 a. m. (Received 3.40 p. m.)

We have had five days' almost constant rain without any prospect yet of its clearing up. The roads have now become so impassable that ambulances with wounded can no longer run between here and Frederiscksburg. All offensive operations necessarily cease until we can have twenty-four hours of dry weather. The army is in the best of spirits and feel greatest confidence in ultimate success. The promptness with which you have forwarded re-enforcements will contribute greatly to diminishing our mortality list and in insuring a complete victory. You can assure the President and Secretary of War that the elements alone have suspended hostilities and that it is in no manner dour to weakness or exhaustion on our part.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

Chief of Staff.

https://ehistory.osu.edu/books/official-records/067/0005
 

Rebforever

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Oct 26, 2012
NEAR SPOTSYLVANIA COURT-HOUSE,

May 19, 1864 - 1 p. m. (Received 5.35 p. m.)

I shall make a flank movement early in the morning and try to reach Bowling Green and Milford Station. If successful, Port Royal will be more convenient as a depot than Fredericksburg. I wish you would stir up the navy and see if they cannot reach there.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

Major-General HALLECK,

Washington, D. C.

https://ehistory.osu.edu/books/official-records/067/0006
 

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