Editor’s Note: This article was transcribed by Brett Schulte.
GRANT IN MOTION.
The fears expressed by the Richmond papers of last Saturday, that the Lieutenant-General commanding the armies of the Union might make a move before STEPHENS, HUNTER, and CAMPBELL could return to the Rebel capital, are realized.[SOPO Editor’s Note: This sentence refers to the three Confederate peace commissioners, including Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens, who met Abraham Lincoln and Secretary of State Seeward on the River Queen during the Hampton Roads Peace Conference, held on February 3, 1865.] The Army of the Potomac is in motion. It has left its comfortable quarters before Petersburg and swung round on the Rebel right. At three o’clock, Sunday morning [February 5, 1865], the Fifth Corps, with GREGG’s Cavalry in the advance, moved off on the road leading from Reams’ Station, and was closely followed by the Second Corps. Considerable fighting occurred with the enemy. At two o’clock in the afternoon the Rebels massed their forces in front of General SMYTH’s Brigade [sic, Division], and attacked in fine style, but were repulsed with terrible loss, as they advanced over open ground, and were subjected to a most disastrous fire, of musketry and artillery. Not satisfied with this defeat, the Rebels again essayed to crush our flank, and again they met with the same disastrous repulse. The attack was repeated a third time, with the same result, General SMYTH being fully prepared for any and every assault which they might deem proper to make. Our loss was not over one hundred men killed and wounded, while that of the Rebels could hardly be less than one thousand, and General SMYTH took over two hundred prisoners, and the ground in front of his rifle-pits was covered with the dead and wounded of the enemy.
This movement of General GRANT’s is a surprise to LEE, who anticipated that the blow which GRANT would strike, would most probably be upon the north side of the James. The Lieutenant-General has opened his campaign most auspiciously, and it is likely that the telegraph may to-day bring us news of a decisive battle fought and won by our army on Monday [February 6, 1865]. Our correspondent with General MEADE, who is in immediate command, and personally superintending the movement, writes that at an early hour on Sunday night [February 5, 1865] portions of the Sixth and Ninth Corps were on the ground. The force under General MEADE is, therefore, of a most formidable nature, and unless LEE confronts it with the major portion of his army, he will be unable to make any serious resistance to our columns.
The United States Peace Commissioners are at work, and the dreaded advance of our armies has commenced. GRANT, and MEADE, and SHERMAN, and PORTER and THOMAS! these are the men to give us peace, an honorable, a lasting, a glorious peace!
Let the people of the North uphold their hands by filling up the ranks of their noble armies. Now is the time! Now is the hour! 1
- “Grant in Motion.” Philadelphia Inquirer. February 8, 1865, p. 4 col. 2 ↩