Thursday, May 29, 2014

April 28, 1864 (Saturday): Leaving Defenses Thin In Washington

Civil War Culpeper (O'Sullivan)

WASHINGTON, April 28, 1864- 3.30 p. m.
Lieutenant- General GRANT,
Culpeper, Va.:
    General Augur has been stripped of almost everything available to give to General Burnside. When the trains cease to run the guards under General Briggs can be placed in the block- houses, between Bull Run and the Rappahannock. I will also give him the Massachusetts detached artillery as soon as it arrives. No troops are yet available to replace Abbot's artillery in the fortifications. Perhaps some
militia or invalids from the West amy arrive in time. If not, we must weaken the other garrisons. There is very little left outside of Burnside's command to use against any movement of Longstreet. The Navy Department says that one iron- clad left New York and one left Philadelphia on the 26th, and should reach Fortress Monroe to- day. The one from Boston touched at New York, and will leave there to- morrow.

   Major- General, Chief of Staff.

Official Records, Series I., Vol. 33, Part 1, Pages 1002-1003.

Two years before the administration was at loggerheads with McClellan over whether he was leaving adequate troops to man the defenses of Washington.  Now, under Grant, those same defenses were being stripped to allow Grant to maintain forces in front of Lee on the Rappahannock and in Eastern Virginia.  At this point war planners were still uncertain exactly where Longstreet and his forces were located and what their intentions were.

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