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[civilwarwest] Endgame

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  • L.A. Chambliss
    Now that we have a few members here, I would like to indulge in an old Internet tradition known as Shameless Swiping of Useful Posts from Other Lists. This
    Message 1 of 2 , Aug 8, 1999
      Now that we have a few members here, I would like to indulge in an old
      Internet tradition known as Shameless Swiping of Useful Posts from Other

      This item just came in on the GDG from an Esteemed Member there named Blair
      Graybill. He is a teacher who has just started a semester class at his high
      school on the Civil War. Another teacher, who is retiring, gave him several CW
      related items including a very old typewritten manuscript reproduced below.

      It is a bit lengthy so if you don't have time to read it right now I suggest
      you stick it into a separate file to read later. Fascinating stuff from a
      witness to history who was not quite into his twenties when these events took
      place. Enjoy. ;)

      I mentioned about a month or so ago that since I began teaching
      a Civil War Class at the high school where I teach, I keep getting things
      given to me that have to do with the Civil War. I checked my school mail box
      last week and found three more items from an fellow history teacher who was
      retiring. The first was a letter from a soldier who served in the 23rd
      Wisconsin and the second was a short diary of a southern young lady written
      during the last six months of the war. The third item was the one that
      interested me the most. It was a short memoir of Arthur O. Granger who
      served with the 15th Pennsylvania Cavalry and later with General Sherman as
      his chief clerk on the Carolina campaign. He talks about getting typhoid
      fever,and then being transferred to General Sherman's Headquarter's. How
      McPherson was replaced when he was shot. How Sherman planned the moves of
      his wings during the march. What kind of personality Sherman had. The
      capture of General Barnwell Rhett and of course the surrender of General Joe
      Johnston. It seems like a good source of information that should be
      deposited somewhere where historians and others could use it for research.
      It is a typed carbon copy that seems to be very old. The typical brown
      paper and there is one original copy is or if this is just a typed copy of a
      hand written one. I get the feeling that maybe it was written for his fellow
      members of the 15th Pa. Cavalry because he is very proud of his regiment.
      I would like any comments on its contents and then any opinions on what
      I should do with it?
      I typed the whole thing onto Word and then pasted it here. When I do
      that, it sometimes gets messed up. Let's hope not.

      Arthur O. Granger, Company C. Cartersville, Ga.

      The Stone River campaign during the last days of 1862 and the first of 1863
      was a severe strain on me. I was in my seventeenth year at that time and
      lack of the knowledge to properly prepare my food was the cause of my being
      sent to the hospital to be treated for typhoid fever and some other
      complaints. Improperly prepared food caused more deaths than rebel bullets
      and in the Fifteenth, which was made up of young men, principally, the death
      rate from this cause was very great.
      I was a very sick boy when I was sent to Hospital No.1, at Murfreesboro.
      There were six of us, all desperately ill, in a small second story room,
      facing the square. The door to the hall was kept open for ventilation. It
      was a common thing to see the nurses carrying out the poor fellows who had
      died. They were simply wrapped in a blanket, thrown over the shoulders, with
      feet dangling down in front, and head behind and taken to the dead house.
      Even in these duties the usual care of seeing the patients were really dead
      was not always done, for in one of our hospitals a soldier was carried out
      and put in the dead room and a few hours after another was taken down and
      the astonished burden bearer found the one he had carried down before,
      sitting up and asking for his medicine. I was here six weeks before I could
      walk around the hall and soon after, thinking I had more strength than I
      really had, I started to go down stairs and out to the square in front, but
      the little strength I had was all gone by the time I got to the foot of the
      stairs and I had to sit down and rest before I could crawl back to my bunk
      again. This "bedstead" was made of rough boards, the size of a cot. The
      slats ran crosswise and were several inches apart and a single folded
      blanket was the mattress. Our clothes were our pillows.
      I was the only one of my regiment in this hospital. Back in Nashville there
      had been a large detachment of unfortunates, who were in the hospitals
      there, but these were coming back to the regiment. Now that warmer weather
      had set in and the boys in camp were recovering their old spirits under the
      influence of the change that was taking place.The regiment was then just out
      side of Murfreesboro reorganizing, drilling, and doing some scout duty in
      which they met with good success. By the time I was fit to take my old place
      in its ranks, the hospital authorities discovered that I wrote a good,
      legible hand and detailed me for light duty of a clerical character, and
      when my regiment started off on the Tullahoma Campaign, I was the Chief
      clerk in the hospital. I filled this position for about a year till David F.
      How, my messmate in Company "E," received an appointment as First Lieutenant
      in the Tenth Missouri and was appointed on the staff of General Elliot,
      commanding the cavalry. He got me detailed at once as clerk at Cavalry
      Headquarters. Before I commenced my duties there a telegraphic order was
      received for me to report to General Sherman’s Headquarters and I at once
      started for Kingston, Ga. It was only a few days after I arrived at Sherman’
      s Headquarters that we started from Atlanta, on November 16, 1864, on his
      march to the sea. Several of the Anderson Cavalry were along but my duties
      were such that I was not thrown in contact with them. J. Geo. Henvis, of
      Company H, was one. Part of the time we rode a mule and may have played an
      important part. John Walter, of Company K, was another. At the battle of
      Resaca he so distinguished himself in carrying dispatches on our fourteen
      mile line of battle, as to meet the commendation of General Shereman who
      personally asked him to be his private orderly and we remained in that
      position till July, 1865, when he was discharged. It was Walter who took the
      verbal order, from General Sherman to General John A. Logan, to take charge
      of General McPherson’s corps after that General had been killed in battle. A
      staff officer generally does work of that kind but just then time was an
      important object. It was a question of minutes and Sherman took the best he
      had for a messenger. This march of Sherman’s was no haphazard affair but had
      been carefully planned long before it was carried out. The General had
      posted himself as to the agricultural products and in his marches he avoided
      those in which cotton predominated. Corn, sweet potatoes, and pork were what
      he wanted, as only a small supply of provisions were in the wagons. No
      sooner had we started than the darkies came flocking to our camps and while
      many made themselves useful, as cooks, servants and teamsters, their numbers
      became great before we reached Savannah as to become a nuisance. Three or
      four days after we started, our chief signal officer, Capt. Becktel, sent up
      several rockets to let the other corps know where General Sherman was. The
      rockets were large and the best made and made a fine display. But most of
      our darkies had never seen any and instead of enjoying the sight, it filled
      them with the utmost terror. Our cook was washing dishes at the time but
      dropped everything and ran for the bushes, others hid in wagons and
      tremulously asked "what them things were? Even the mules and horses were
      frightened and it would not have taken much more to have gotten up a
      It was not until after we reached Savannah that I was made confidential
      clerk to the General. This was a most interesting position to occupy, for I
      was behind the scenes as it were, and knew all the movements of our army and
      what General Sherman expected to accomplish by the various marches of the
      different corps of this army, separated as they were by long distances.
      General Sherman was exceedingly kind and considerate to those with him and
      while at all times he was the superior officer, he had a flattering manner
      of saying nice things to you in such a way as endeared him to you. He always
      had a good opinion of our Regiment but the official dispatch, which we
      received on Jan. 21st, 1865 telling of our capture of General Hood’s pontoon
      and wagon train, raised us still higher in his estimation. He talked to John
      Walter about the regiment and said "it was the best one in his department;
      they can ride faster, do more hard fighting and capture more wagon trains
      than any regiment in my command." On the march to the sea he slept on a cot
      but on the Carolina campaign, baggage was reduced to a minimum and there
      were no cots or such luxuries. There was one large tent at Headquarters for
      an office and that is where I slept. The records were kept in a stout chest,
      with folding legs and two lids, which, when opened out, made two writing
      tables. I have more than once wakened up at night, to find the General
      sitting in his night clothes at the desk, on a camp stool stretched across
      my feet, poring over a map by the light of a candle. Often I asked him "Can
      I do anything for you, General?" and his usual reply was "No, go to sleep,
      Granger. You need all the rest you can get." I have frequently looked out of
      the office tent, during the night, and seen General Sherman walking up and
      down in front of the camp fire, bareheaded, in his red drawers and slippers,
      and always smoking. The anxiety of the campaign and the great responsibility
      kept him from sleeping. I do not think that, on our marches, he averaged
      more than four hours sleep per night. He was always the last to go to bed
      and first to be up in the morning, and most any time in the night could be
      found either in the tent or at the camp fire.
      In preparing orders for the next day’s march, the General would study over
      his maps and draft out the distances to be travelled and the line of march
      for the two wings of the army under Howard and Slocum. I would then write
      out an order addressed to each of these Generals, to be signed by Colonel
      Dayton, Asst. Adjutant General and couriers would be dispatched with them.
      These orders would go down to army corps, division, brigade and regimental
      commanders, often not reaching the latter till long after midnight.
      At Columbia, S.C. the contingent of Anderson Cavalrymen, in Sherman’s army,
      was increased by the arrival of Joe Rue, who was a member of my old company
      in the regiment. Joe had been captured over a year ago, in East Tennessee,
      but had escaped and hid in Columbia just before our army reached there, as
      he had nothing to eat for several days, was overjoyed to be with friends
      On March 15, the rebel General Rhett was captured by Sergeant Jos. W.
      Range, and four men of the Tenth Ohio Cavalry. This regiment had been with
      us in Sequatchie Valley and in the winter campaign in East Tennessee, so our
      feeling for them was a tender one. Range and his men were "Bummers" out for
      forage and scouting, when they heard the sound of firing not for off and
      curiosity impelled them to get nearer to see what was going on. Range’s
      squad were dressed in an odd fashion. Only one had a complete U.S. uniform
      while the Sergeant had on a suit of black broadcloth, which he had picked up
      a day or two before. The others had the look of Confederate soldiers. As
      they drew near to the firing, they saw a line of rebel skirmishers engaged
      with skirmishers from Kilpatrick’s cavalry. Back of them was the rebel line
      of battle. Two officers were riding at a walk from the skirmishers to the
      line of battle and Range said quietly to his men "Let’s get them." Riding
      slowly, at a walk, his party intercepted the officers and gave the military
      salute when they met, but quietly got around the two, suddenly covered them
      with their revolvers, seized the bridle reins and passed them over the heads
      of the captured horses and galloped off with their prisoners, General Rhett
      and his Adjutant General. This was the general’s first and last battle. He
      had been one of those fiery orators that had done yeoman service in bringing
      on the war but had kept out of harm’s way. He had been "invincible in peace
      and invisible in war."
      It was not till the 15th of April, after we had received the news of Lee’s
      surrender, that General Joe Johnston, in our front, gave any indications
      that the time had come for this army to quit too. At that date a dispatch
      came from him, through General Kilpatrick, asking for a cessation of
      hostilities and a personal interview, which was arranged to take place near
      Durham Station on the 17th.General Sherman took his staff officers and three
      or four orderlies, among who was John Walter. I was the only clerk along. At
      General Kilpatrick’s Headquarters, horses were furnished us and we rode
      through our lines with a flag of truce at the head of the column. General
      Johnston was met about four miles out from Durham Station, riding along the
      road with a portion of his staff and also flying a flag of truce. The two
      Generals shook hands with each other and rode back to the house of a Mr.
      Bennett, where they went into a room by themselves and talked for an hour.
      Our men mingled with the rebel cavalry. They were pretty bitter and the
      officers haughty. The Generals arrived at no conclusion that day, as General
      Johnston wanted to see Secretary of War Breckenridge, again and obtain
      authority to include all Confederate armies in the surrender. I had good
      opportunity to observe Generals Johnston and Wade Hampton. They were both in
      full dress uniforms of gray cloth. Johnston is a full General and his badge
      of rank is three stars in a row, on each end of his coat collar. The stars
      are supposed to be silver and the outside ones are half encircled by a
      wreath of gold.
      The next day the two Generals met again at the same place. Soon after
      General Johnston sent one of his staff officers back to his lines for Mr.
      Breckenridge, the rebel Secretary of War, Major General C.S.A., and ex-Vice
      President of the United States. I recognized him at once from photographs I
      had seen. He is a good specimen of a real Southerner. His clothes looked
      rather seedy but he was haughty and his manner was proud. General Sherman
      would only consent to see him in his character of a General officer and
      would not recognize him as Secretary of War. The conference lasted several
      hours and Breckenridge returned to the rebel lines. Terms were finally
      agreed upon and Sherman appeared at the doorway, bareheaded, calling
      "Granger." I quickly responded. He introduced me to General Johnston and
      told me to make two copies of the agreement and while I wrote the two
      commanders talked interestingly and I did so wish that I could have listened
      to them. The agreements being finished, they were signed by both, first by
      General Sherman and then by General Johnston, after which both parties
      returned to their respective armies and for us to wait until the agreement
      could be ratified by the authorities at Washington.
      The Confederacy was now fast breaking up. The rebels had some hope till Lee
      surrendered but since that event deserters from their cause were flocking to
      our lines, while many of those still in arms have started a promiscuous
      pillage of their own people. A few days since, the Mayor of Louisburg, N.C.,
      sent in some of the members of his council and formally surrendered that
      place to General Sherman and at the same time asked for a guard to protect
      them from rebel cavalry.
      On April 24, Lieutenant General Grant arrived at our Headquarters. I heard
      him tell Sherman that Lee had surrendered over 26,000 men; that their killed
      and wounded were upwards of 20,000 and that he had captured in battle some
      23,000 and also said that his loss was not over 15,000 killed, wounded and
      missing. General Grant’s special mission was to report that the agreement
      for the surrender of Johnston’s army was repudiated by the Washington
      authorities. General Sherman at once notified the rebel commander and
      demanded the surrender of the army on the same terms as were granted General
      Lee by General Grant.
      On April 26th Sherman & Johnston again met at Mr. Bennett’s house and the
      surrender of his army was consummated. We had to wait for General Johnston
      but as soon as he arrived the two Generals went in together and, after
      consulting for an hour, General Schofield was called in and at the dictation
      of General Sherman drew up the terms of capitulation, which were the same as
      Grant had given General Lee. After General Sherman had written the terms and
      they had been read to the two chiefs, General Sherman called for me and
      directed that I make two copies, one for General Johnston and the other for
      himself. Each copy was signed by the two Generals and my share of the
      surrender was the pen and holder and inkstand, which I still possess. I
      tried to purchase from Mr. Bennett the table cover on which the writing was
      done but the old fellow could not be induced to part with it.
      The total of officers and men surrendered was over 89,000 and at the
      consummation of this great event, the Fifteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry had a
      greater representation than any volunteer regiment in the service, for John
      Walker, of Company K, stood just outside he door, while I was inside writing
      the official copy.
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