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1864 May 7: Lee Concentrating an Army to Defend Richmond

May 10, 2014

The Polk County Press of May 7, 1864, reprinted the following from the St. Paul Pioneer.

The News.

Reports continue to multiply that General Lee [Robert E. Lee] is concentrating a vast army for the defence of Richmond.  Butler [Benjamin F. Butler] telegraphs that the rebel forces are withdrawing from North Carolina ;  Beauregard [P.G.T. Beauregard] has passed thr’o Wilmington on his way north ;  and forces are arriving from Florida, Charleston and other quarters.  There is no doubt of the truth of these statements.  Gen. Lee has never yet been caught napping, or shown any disposition to give up Richmond without a tremendous struggle.  It remains to be seen whether the long delay in “moving upon the enemy’s works” will result most to his advantage or our own.  Gen. Grant [Ulysses S. Grant] has also concentrated an immense force, drawn from almost every section of the country, and numbering, according to some estimates, as high as two hundred and fifty thousand men.  If these forces are all brought into battle at one time, there will be the most awful carnage ever recorded in what is called “civilized” warfare.  The country awaits in almost breathless suspense the signal for the onset, which cannot be much longer delayed.

Admiral Porter [David D. Porter] pronounces Banks’ [Nathaniel P. Banks] recent expedition as disastrous.  In addition to the loss of over thirty pieces of artillery, small arms, hundreds of wagons, gunboats, &c., we now learn that the paymaster’s safe was captured, which contained $1,000,000 in greenbacks.—St. Paul Pioneer.

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