LEFT FLANK MOVEMENT ACROSS THE CHICKAHOMINY AND JAMES--GENERALLEE--VISIT TO BUTLER--THE MOVEMENT ON PETERSBURG--THE INVESTMENT OF PETERSBURG--RAID ON THE VIRGINIA CENTRAL RAILROAD--RAID ON THE WEL- DON RAILROAD--EARLY'S MOVEMENT UPON WASHINGTON-- MINING THE WORKS BEFORE PETERSBURG--EXPLOSION OF THE MINE BEFORE PETERSBURG--CAMPAIGN IN THE SHEN- ANDOAH VALLEY--CAPTURE OF THE WELDON RAILROAD-- SHERIDAN'S ADVANCE--VISIT TO SHERIDAN--SHERIDAN'S VICTORY IN THE SHENANDOAH--SHERIDAN'S RIDE TO WIN- CHESTER--CLOSE OF THE CAMPAIGN FOR THE WINTER--THE CAMPAIGN IN GEORGIA--SHERMAN'S MARCH TO THE SEA-- WAR ANECDOTES--THE MARCH ON SAVANNAH--INVESTMENT OF SAVANNAH--CAPTURE OF SAVANNAH.
LEE'S position was now so near Richmond, and the intervening swamps of the Chickahominy so great an obstacle to the movement of troops in the face of an enemy, that I determined to make my next left flank move carry the Army of the Potomac south of the James River.* Preparations for this
MAJOR-GENERAL HALLECK, Chief of Staff of the Army,
Washington, D. C.
A full survey of all the ground satisfies me that it would be im-
practicable to hold a line north-cast of Richmond that would protect
the Fredericksburg Railroad to enable us to use that road for supply-
ing the army. To do so would give us a long vulnerable line of
road to protect, exhausting much of our strength to guard it, and
would leave open to the enemy all of his lines of communication on
the south side of the James. My idea from the start has been to
beat Lee's army if possible north of Richmond; then after destroying
his lines of communication on the north side of the James River to