The movements of the enemy on the Peninsula demand immediate attention. GRANT has tried battles, he has tried siege works, he has tried blockade so far as he could by cutting roads. All these means for taking Richmond have proven ineffectual. His position at Petersburg is a deadlock. He can do absolutely nothing with the position. But he cannot go back to Washington. He has no idea of abandoning the enterprise. On the contrary, he has lately been heavily reinforced by the greater part of Banks’ army, which was delayed for the defence of Washington while EARLY was in Maryland, but which was brought on to him the moment that danger was believed to have passed.1 In the last day or two a powerful body of troops have crossed the river and stretched up the Chickahominy.2 This looks as if GRANT was about to try his last chance for taking Richmond—a COUP DE MAIN—like that by which he NEARLY won Petersburg some six weeks ago.3 If the Confederate generals are as slow to learn his movements now as they then were, he may yet give us much trouble. But let us trust that they have learned the lesson of experience.
We repeat, that it is logical to suppose that the enemy are about to try this chance, because it is all that is left him. Neither by a battle nor by a siege can he touch Richmond; his only hope is a surprise of some point on a long line by superiour forces suddenly thrown far from the mass of both armies.4
SOPO Editor’s Note: This article was transcribed by Jackie Martin.
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- SOPO Editor’s Note: Various portions of the Nineteenth Corps, late of Banks’ army in Louisiana, had arrived at the Siege of Petersburg and Washington, DC in mid-July 1864. Grant had initially planned to use the Nineteenth Corps in operations around Petersburg, but after Jubal Early’s Valley Army threated Washington, DC, the entire Nineteenth Corps was shifted there by late July, and eventually became a part of Sheridan’s Army of the Shenandoah in August 1864. Contrary to the report in this editorial, the Nineteenth Corps never returned to Petersburg. ↩
- SOPO Editor’s Note: Portions of Hancock’s Second Corps as well as Union cavalry crossed the James River to threaten Richmond and possibly spring the cavalry for a raid. This was called the First Deep Bottom Campaign, from July 27-29, 1864. It was already winding down as this editorial was written. ↩
- SOPO Editor’s Note: The Editor of the Examiner feared Grant would surprise and capture Richmond as he had nearly done to Petersburg back on June 15-18, 1864 at the Second Battle of Petersburg. This movement did not contain nearly as many troops as the earlier one, and did not come anywhere near Richmond during the small campaign. ↩
- No title. Richmond Examiner. July 29, 1864, p. 2 col. 6 ↩