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comprehend McClellan's plans, and he and his officers exulted in the thought that now our army would be inevitably captured or destroyed.
During the night the final withdrawal of the right wing across the Chickahominy was completed, without difficulty ■ and without confusion, a portion of the regulars remaining on the left bank until the morning of the 28th. Early on that morning the bridges were burned, and the whole army was thus concentrated on the right bank of the Chickahominy. The loss on the Union side, though severe, was never accurately estimated; the rebel loss was probably not short of 10,000.
In striving to secure his change of base to the James River, McClellan displayed much skill and ability. He masked the retreat of his troops by holding the line of works on the south side of the Chickahominy, and completely deceived Magruder and Huger respecting what was going on. It was not, in fact, till the night of the 28th of June, that Lee, having ascertained what had takeu place on the York River, and disappointed in his expectations as to supplies, etc., in that direction, fully divined the purpose of McClellan, who, meanwhile, had gained 24 hours, which were of very great value and importance to him in his difficult undertaking.
In the course of the night of the 27th, Gen. Keyes was ordered to cross the White Oak Swamp with the 4th corps, and take up a position to cover the pas. ^age of the trains. Measures were also taken to increase the number of bridges j across the swamp. The trains were set I in motion at an early hour, and con
tinued passing night and day until all had crossed. There was the long trai n of 5,000 wagons and 2,500 beef cattle, which all traversed the morass in safel y by the single narrow passage provided. On the 28th, Porter's corps was also moved across the White Oak Swamp, and on the morning of the 29th, took up a position covering the roads leading from Richmond towards White Oak Swamp and Long Bridges. Durthe night of the 28th and 29th, the divisions of Slocum and McCall were ordered across the White Oak Swamp, and were placed in Dosition to cover the passage of the remaining divisions .and trains. In the course of the same night, the corps of Sumner and Heintzelman and the division of Smith were ordered to fall back so as to cover Savage Station on the railroad. They were ordered to hold this position until dark, and then to retire across the swamps and rejoin the rest of the army.
Lee, on the morning of June 29th, hastened to set out in pursuit of the retreating army. Magruder and Huger were to take the Williamsburg and Charles City Roads; Longstreet was to cross the Chickahominy at New Bridge and move down near the James, so as, if possible, to intercept the retreat; and Jackson, passing over Grape Vine Bridge, was to make his way down the south bank of the Chickahominy.
Sumner, having ascertained that the rebels were crossing the Chickahominv and marching toward Savage Station, moved his troops from Allen's Field to that place, and united with Smith's division. Heintzelman, who was on Sumner's left, fell back entirelv, and crossed White Oak Swamp. This left the bran i of the attack by Magrader to be borne by Sumner at Savage Station; and bravely was it borne. Jackson did not arrive to aid Magrader, in consequence of having to rebuild the bridge over the Chickahominy; and Magrader impetuously attacking Sumner, met with a bloody repulse. During the night, the second corps and Smith's division crossed the swamp in safety, with all their guns and material, and brought up the rear of the wagon train.
The pursuit undertaken by Lee was made in two columns, Jackson proceeding by way of the White Oak Swamp, and Longstreet by the roads skirting the James River, so as to cut off our column on its march. Jackson, delayed by the necessity of restoring the bridge, found, on attempting to cross the swamp, that our batteries effectually stopped his passage. Consequently, he was unable to advance and join Longstreet in the battle at Glendale or Turkey Bridge, which took place on the afternoon of June 30th. Longstreet, on reaching the intersection of the' New Market and Quaker Roads, by which latter the army and its trains were hurrying towards the James River, found this important point covered by McCall's Pennsylvania troops, supported by Sumner and Hooker on the left, and Kearny on the right. About three P.m., the fighting was begun by Longstreet and Hill, who made desperate efforts to force the position, but were repulsed by the terrible fire of artillery and musketry on the part of our men. The brunt of the attack fell upon the division of McCall, who was taken pri
soner, and the battle was continued until night brought it to a close.
The rebels having been thus severely handled, left our men free to act without molestation until the following day. Accordingly, the last of the trains reached Haxall's Landing during the evening, and under cover of the night the troops quietly withdrew, and arrived in safety at an early hour the next morning, to occupy a new and very strong position on Malvern Hill. Lee, finding this to be the case, determined to attack McClellan on the 1st of July, not without hope that an army which had gone through what the Army of the Potomac had, day after day for nearly a week, could be beaten in a general engagement. But the result showed how greatly he erred in his calculation. McClellan promptly placed the army in position to meet the enemy, should he asrain attack the left of our line; a biigade was posted in the low ground to the left of Malvern Hill, watching the road to Richmond; and the line of our troops then followed a line of heights nearly parallel to the river, and bending back through the woods nearly to the James on our right. The attack by the rebels was fierce and determined ; but it was met with heroic steadiness by our troops, and our artillery fire was fearfully destructive to the enemy. Late in the evening, the rebels fell back and gave up the battle.
It being necessary that the army should, as soon as possible, reach its supplies and a place of rest, McClel lan left Malvern Hill, and the troops retired, during the night of the 1st and 2d of July, to Harrison's Bar. on the
Jame3 River. Lee, having ascertained that McClellan was too strongly posted to make it safe to venture further attack, took up his march some three or four clays after, and returned to RichmondThe losses in killed, wounded and missing, in these Seven Days' Battles
1 were, on the Union side, over 15,000; on that of the rebels, considerably greater, being, according to some authorities, more than 19,000
There was much of disappointment and grief in the loyal states at the failure of the campaign against Richmond, and the disastrous retreat to the James River. At the same time it was freely admitted that McClellan display
l ed generalship of a high order in this retreat, and accomplished successfully one of the most difficult and hazardous of the operations of war, and that the heroism of the army was worthy of perpetual memory. In his report, uniler date of July 15th, McClellan avows himself willing to abide by the candid decision of competent and trustworthy judges . "To the calm judgment of history and the future, I leave the task of pronouncing upon this movement, confident that its verdict will be that no such difficult movement was ever more successfully executed; that no army ever fought more "repeatedly,
| heroically, and successfully against such great odds; that no men of any race displayed greater discipline, endurance, patience, and cheerfulness, under such hardships. My mind cannot coin expressions of thanks and admiration warm enough, to do justice to my feelings toward the army I am so proud to wmmand.'"
Pollard, as representing the state of feeling in the rebel states, is quite jubi lant over the enforced retreat of McClellan; yet, at the same time, he is compelled to acknowledge the ability and energy displayed by both the commanding general and all under his direction, and to confess that little real advantage was gained to the cause of secession by all that Lee and his army accomplished If McClellan and his army could have been routed utterly, then the rebellion might have entertained hopes of ulti mate success; but as he parried the blows of Lee with great skill, and dealt equally severe blows in return, effecting finally the transfer of his force in safety to the banks of the James River, it is evident on reflection, that the advantages obtained were more apparent than substantial, and that whatever might be the feelings of the moment, the loyal states would not yield to disappoint ment, but would prosecute the war to the complete crushing of the rebellion.*
On the 5th of July, Davis, at Richmond, issued an address for the purpose of rousing the energies of his followers and of the troops under his control. Gen. McClellan also, on the national holiday, July 4th, in an address to the "Soldiers of the Army of the Potomac," uttered words of encouragement and promise. "On this, the nation's birthday, we declare to our foes, who are rebels against the best interests of mankind, that thia army shall enter the capital of the socalled Confederacy; that our National Constitution shall prevail; and that
* "Second Year of the War," pp. 73-76. Pollard is very severe on the blunders and bundling work o( those in command at the time in Richmond.
the Union, which can alone insure internal peace and external security to each state, ' must and shall be preserved,' cost what it may, in time, treasure, and blood."*
* Mr. Swinton, remarking upon the close of the Peninsular campaign, justly says: "For the commander to have extricated his army from a difficult situation, in which circumstances, quite as much as his own fault, had placed it, and, in presence of a powerful,
skilful, and determined adversary, transfer it safely to a position where it could act with effect, was, of itself, a notable achievement. For the army to have fought through such a campaign was creditable, and its clos? found inexperienced troops transformed into veteran soldiers. And, if alone from the appeal which great sufferings, and great sacrifices always make to a generous people, the story of that eventful march and ardu ous retreat, when, weary and hungry and footsore, the army marched by night, and fought by day, through a whole week of toil, and never gave up, but made a good fight and reached the goal, cannot fail to live in grateful remembrance. "-"Army of the Potomac," p. loo
GENERAL POPE'S CAMPAIGN IN VIRGINIA.
Army of the Potomac at Harrison's Landing — McClellan's views and plans as to operating against Richmond — Adverse influences—Pope's and Halleck's opposition — McClellau ordered to leave the Peninsula—Re monstrance of no avail — Gen. Pope put in command of "Army of Virginia" — Concentrates his force— Pope's address to the officers and army — His several orders in July — Plans of tho rebels on McClellan's retirement from the Peninsula — Pope reinforced — Jackson crosses the Rapidan — Battle at Cedar Mountain — Result — Pope on tho Rappahannock — Lee attempts to cross — Stuart's raid on Catlett's Station — Manoeuvring — Jackson's march—Stuart a* Manassas Junction — Destruction of supplies — Pope abcui dons the lino of the Rappahannock — Determines to cut off Jackson — Action at Kettle Run — Jackson's perilous position—Gives Pope the slip — Blunder of Pope—Serious injury resulting — Jackson attacks King's flank — Sharp contest — King retires —The way left open for Longstreet to join Jackson — Sigel's attack on Jackson at Groveton — Aided by Reno, Hooker, Kearney—Result — Pope's condemnation of Porter's course — Doubts as to its justice — Porter court-martialed and cashiered — Pope unwisely tries another battle— The second Bull Run or Manassas battle — Terrible struggle — Losses not known, but very heavy — Lee's course — Jackson's further attempt at Germantown — Stevens and Kearney killed — Tha army withdrawn and placed within the defences of Washington — Fredericksburg and Aquia Creek evaouated — Brief estimato of Gen. Pope and his campaign.
In the preceding chapter, we have given as full a narrative as our limits admit, of the movements of the Army of the Potomac, under McClellan, up to the beginning of July, 1862. Being now in comparative security, the troops were permitted, during the ensuing month, the repose so much needed, and the opportunity of recuperating, and of being fitted in due time for active opera
tions against the enemy. The position
In effecting a "change of base,'' it
appears to have been McClellan's design not only to save the army from defeat and ruin, but also, as soon as the troops were in proper condition and suitable reinforcements had been obtained, to undertake operations against Richmond, by crossing the James and , | advancing by way of Petersburg. With the aid of the navy to keep the river open as a line of supplies, McClellan felt convinced that by the projected route, he could most effectually threaten the communications of the rebel capital and prevent Lee from aggressive movements northward. Consequently, he called earnestly and constantly for reinforcements to carry his plans into effect. He had brought with him to Harrison's Landing nearly 90,000 men, and he besought the government to furnish him with 50,000, or at least 30,000 more; with this force he was certain that Richmond could be taken, and the military power of the so-called "confederacy" completely broken up.
Writing to President Lincoln on the 12th of July, McClellan says:—"lam more and more convinced that this | army ought not to be withdrawn from | here; but promptly reinforced, and i thrown again upon Richmond." Again, I on the 18th of July, he telegraphed, j "it appears manifestly to be our policy to concentrate here everything we can possibly spare from less important points to make sure of crushing the enemy at Richmond, which seems clearly to be the most important point in Rebeldom." To the same effect, at the end of the mouth, only still more urgently, he begged the decision of the authorities at | Washington, and persisted in the hope
that they would reinforce his army at once.
There is good reason to believe that the president not only favored, but would have heartily supported, McClel lan's views in regard to the advance on Richmond by the route he proposed; but there were several adverse influences bearing upon the question, which ere long completely nullified all the aspirations and plans of McClellan. There was, as usual, the fear lest the capital might be exposed to danger of assault, and some dashing rebel, like Jackson, might suddenly pounce down upon it. Besides this, it is to be noted, that the commander of the newly formed "Army of Virginia," Gen. Pope, confident of being able to march upon Richmond, by an overland route, and to put the enemy to flight as readily as, he aflirmed, he had been in the habit of doing in the West, scouted the idea of reinforcements to McClellan where he now was. Halleck, too, who had recently been placed in the position of general-inchief, the duties of which he assumed July 23d, was decidedly opposed to McClellan's views, and insisted upon the withdrawal of the army entirely from the Peninsula.
The "pressure" consequently became too great for Mr. Lincoln. He had been quite willing for McClellan to take 20,000 men from Burnside's and Hunter's command, and make an aggressive movement, as he desired; and McClellan, hoping that his plan might prevail, had gone so far as to make a reconnaissance in force with Hooker's and Sedgwick's divisions, driving the enemy from Malvern Hill and reoccupying it,