More Sheridan (August 11, 1864)

Theodore Lyman follows up on the Meade-Sheridan situation. It is safe to say that Meade did not like this situation at all.

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.

Theodore Lyman’s letter is from Meade’s Headquarters, 1863-1865: Letters of Colonel Theodore Lyman from the Wilderness to Appomattox, pp. 210-11. Edited by George R. Agassiz. Boston, Massachusetts Historical Society, 1922. Available via Google Books.

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