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LT: August 11, 1864 Theodore Lyman

Editor’s Note: Theodore Lyman was General George G. Meade’s aide-de-camp from the fall of 1863 through Lee’s surrender at Appomattox.  An intelligent and outspoken individual, Lyman’s letters to his wife provide great insight into the happenings at Meade’s headquarters.  These letters, taken from the now public domain book Meade’s Headquarters, 1863-1865; Letters of Colonel Theodore Lyman from the Wilderness to Appomattox and written by Lyman to his wife, appear here at the Siege of Petersburg Online exactly 150 years to the day after they are written.  Since this site is concerned solely with the Siege of Petersburg, the letters start on June 12, 1864 and end on April 3, 1865.  See the bottom of this and every other letter for a list of all the letters which have appeared to date.

August 11, 1864

Sheridan has been appointed to command all the upper Potomac forces, which is saying that he is to command all the troops to drive Early out of the Shenandoah Valley. He is a Major-General, and is an energetic and very brave officer. This command, however, is a very large one, larger than he ever before had. I have little doubt, that, for field-service, he is superior to any officer there. Things are cooking, and the Rebels will find they must fag away still, as well as we. I do not exactly know if Meade likes this appointment: you see they have taken one of his corps, added much of his cavalry and many other troops to it, and then given the command to his Chief of Cavalry, while he [Meade] is left, with a reduced force, at this somewhat negative Petersburg business. I rode out just at dark, and from an “elevated position,” as Smith would say, watched the flashes of the sharpshooters, and the fires of the camp.1




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