Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Decline acting offensively

Today at Brandy Station: May 5, 1864

From the Richmond Times-Dispatch, published on May 6, 1864

Our scouts went into Culpeper C. H. this morning, capturing about a dozen stragglers. The scouts report the country about Culpeper C. H. covered with the debris of the enemy's camps, including clothing and blankets. The enemy are imported still to hold out to Brandy Station, in Culpeper county. The Yankee infantry and artillery all crossed at the lower fords last night, and they extend this morning from Chancellorsville to Parker's Store, a point about twenty miles below here. It is reported that they are moving this morning out from Chancellorsville towards the Central railroad. Some slight cavalry skirmishing has been going on about twenty miles below here and near Parker's Store this morning. Grant's force has been variously estimated to be between one hundred and one hundred and eighty thousand men. The first number is most probably nearest the truth. From the fact that Grant only took four days rations on leaving Culpeper, it is not improbable he will decline acting offensively, and will fall back to the heights of Fredericksburg.

This story was printed while the Battle of the Wilderness for on-going. They estimate of 100,000 to 180,000 is within the total for Grant's army, with approximately 120,000 under arms. But, the paper got it very, very wrong with the last statement, "it is no improbable he will decline acting offensively..."


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