Recollections of the Civil War: With the Leaders at Washington and in the Field in the Sixties

By Charles A. Dana | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XVI.
EARLY'S RAID AND THE WASHINGTON PANIC.

President Lincoln visits the lines at Petersburg -- Trouble with General
Meade -- Jubal Early menaces the Federal capital -- The excitement in Washington and Baltimore -- Clerks and veteran reserves called out to defend Washington -- Grant sends troops from the front -- Plenty of generals, but no head -- Early ends the panic by withdrawing -- A fine letter from Grant about Hunter.

ALTHOUGH Grant had decided against a further direct attack on the works of Petersburg, he was by no means idle. He sent out expeditions to break up the railroads leading into the town. He began extending his lines around to the south and southwest, so as to make the investment as complete as possible. Batteries were put in place, weak spots in the fortifications were felt for, and regular siege works were begun. Indeed, by July 1st the general opinion seemed to be that the only way we should ever gain Petersburg would be by a systematic siege.

A few days later we had an interesting visit from President Lincoln, who arrived from Washington on June 21st, and at once wanted to visit the lines before Petersburg. General Grant, Admiral Lee, myself, and several others went with him. I remember that, as we passed along the lines, Mr. Lincoln's high hat was brushed off by the branch of a tree. There were a dozen

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