OPERATIONS ON THE SOUTHSIDE. — We copy the following from the Petersburg Express [probably June 12 or 13, 1864]1:
A vindication of [Army of the James commander Benjamin F.] Butler’s [Bermuda Hundred] campaign appears in the Philadelphia Inquirer, which has evidently been prepared with Butler’s knowledge and approval. It is claimed that Butler has accomplished all that was expected of him, and that the failure to capture Richmond rests with [overall Union commander Ulysses S.] Grant, not Butler. Butler secured a base on James river, immediately threw out a large force, destroyed the Richmond and Petersburg railroad so effectually that it was rendered entirely useless to the rebels for twenty [-one?] days, and at the same time seriously threatened Richmond and Petersburg. This, it is alleged, was more than Butler agreed to accomplish. Grant only desired him to keep the railroad inoperative for seven days, for then Richmond would be in his possession, but at the time the writer penned his communication twenty-seven days had elapsed, but Grant had not come to [them?].
The writer also states that Butler had strongly fortified his position after falling back from the front of Drewry’s Bluff, manned his fortifications, and built pontoon bridges across the Appomattox — That he [mobilized] his army, and intended on the very night of the day upon which a peremptory order came for him to reinforce Grant, to throw 20,000 troops across the river, and march upon Petersburg. The writer knows that the movement must have proved successful, but the much needed reinforcements for Grant [killed?] the whole scheme.2
SOPO Editor’s Note: This article was transcribed by Ken Perdue.
- SOPO Editor’s Note: Any time a paper copies from the Petersburg Express, I make sure to transcribe and post it. I have the most complete microfilm of the Express, and even then many issues are missing from this daily paper. ↩
- “Operations from the Southside.” Columbus (GA) Daily Enquirer, June 14, 1864, p. ?, col. ? ↩