Very Great News (September 23, 1864)

"Confederate prisoners captured at the battle of Fisher's Hill, VA. Sent to the rear under guard of Union troops" (Library of Congress).

“Confederate prisoners captured at the battle of Fisher’s Hill, VA. Sent to the rear under guard of Union troops” (Library of Congress).

Once again Meade must acknowledge a victory by Philip Sheridan over Jubal Early in the Shenandoah Valley. Although Meade graciously salutes Sheridan’s accomplishments, they were a bitter pill for him to swallow. He felt that Grant had promised him the position Sheridan now holds, and while Sheridan was collecting the glory Meade was still stuck with the thankless task of commanding the Army of the Potomac with Grant looking over his shoulder.

To-night we have the news of Sheridan’s second victory at Fisher’s Hill, near Strasburg. This is very great news. The destruction and dispersion of Early’s army is a very great feat, and at once relieves Maryland and Pennsylvania of any fears of more invasion this year. If now we are only rapidly reinforced, we may be enabled to give Lee some hard blows before he can recruit and increase his army.

I feel quite unhappy about Sergeant having to go away, though I have the highest hopes of the good effect of the change of climate.

Meade’s correspondence taken from The Life and Letters of George Gordon Meade, Major-General United States Army, Vol. 2, (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1913), p. 230. Available via Google Books.

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