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on the 4th of August; but he was not allowed to proceed farther. The policy of Hal leek was adc pted. On the 3d of
August, McClellan received a telegram, stating that the decision had been made; the army was ordered to withdraw from the Peninsula to Aquia Creek, and to unite with Pope.*
McClellan strove to have this order rescinded. He wrote to Halleck, August 4th: "to withdraw this army to Aquia Creek will prove disastrous to our cause. I fear it will be & fatal
blow Here, directly in front of
this army, is the heart of this rebellion; it is here that all our resources should be collected to strike the blow which will determine the fate of the nation
.... I do now, what I never did in my life before, I entreat that this order may be rescinded." Halleck sent a long reply, giving his views quite at large, and stating his determination to unite the divided portions of the army into one. Of course there was no alternative, and McClellan proceeded at once to obey the orders he so thoroughly disliked. The needful steps were taken directly; the sick and wounded were sent off as rapidly as the means of transportation allowed; and the entire army
* It ia interesting as well as instructive to note the fact, that Lee was watching with great anxiety the probable course which McClellan would pursue, and he took every available means to lead him to withdraw his army and free Richmond from any danger of attack by way of the James River. So long as it was probable that McClellan would bo reinforced and enter on a new campaign, Lee dared not move, ho could not undertake elsewhere operations of any account. It is curious to see, in this instance of forcing the Army of the Potomac away from its present position threatening Richmond, how fully Halleck was in accord with Lee; how— most strangely—they were both eager for the same thing.
having left Harrison's Landing, crossed the Chickahominy, marched to Williamsburg and Yorktown, and on the 20th of August, embarked for Aquia Creek, some forty miles from Washington. In his report, McClellan speaks of the various services he was called on to render afterwards, in connection with Pope's movements, and claims that all the way through, "he left nothing in his power undone to forward supplies and reinforcements to Gen. Pope."*
It will be remembered by the reader that, in various operations in the West (see p. 142), Major-Gen. John Pope had shown himself possessed of zeal, energy and perseverance to a high degree, and while acting under Halleck's command, | had been very successful in his attacks j upon the enemy. The qualities which he displayed seem to have struck the attention and won the applause of the directors of military affairs at Washington. The president, it is true, was a j warm personal friend and admirer of McClellan, and would probably have been both willing and glad to have let him have control of warlike movement'' against the rebels; but there was a strong opposition to McClellan from the beginning, and his policy was sharply criticised, subjected to ridicule, and condemned in no measured terms by those who had the management of the army operations. When, thenj j McClellan failed in the peninsular campaign, it was determined to put him
* On the other hand, Pope, in his report, affirms, that a " small fraction of 20,500 men was all of the 91,000 veteran troops from Harrison's Landing which ever drew trigger under his command, or in any way took part in that campaign " which he conducted
one side, and to try some other commander; it was determined to seek out a general who should show a more active, aggressive, "go-a-head" spirit than MeClellan had ever manifested, and who should not fail to march straight into the rebel capital. Pope seemed to be the very man, and Pope's bold style of talking, his open censuring of McClellan's course, and his avowing a purpose of conducting the war in Virginia in a way quite different from that heretofore employed, gave rise to great expectations as to what it was that he said he was about to do.
Pope had been sent for in June, and was directed to assume command of the "Army of Virginia." The force thus named was made up of the corps of Fremont, Banks and McDowell, numbering in all about 38,000. Die cavalry, an arm of the service, as the country was effectually taught, too much neglected in these operations in Virginia, did not exceed 5,000, and was for the most part badly mounted and armed, and in poor condition for service. Pope was enjoined by the government to have special regard to covering the city of Washington from any attack from the direction of Richmond, to secure the safety of the Shenandoah Valley, and to operate against the enemy's lines of communication in the direction of Gordonsville and Charlottesville. The rebel commander being just now, at the close of June, fully occupied in the defence of Richmond, where MeClellan was operating, Pope was at liberty to place his troops in position such as he misrht think best for the
next campaign. He accordingly brought
his troops together into such a position as that, if the enemy descended the Valley of the Shenandoah, he thought he could interpose between their advance and main army and cut off the retreat.
McClellan's plan of operations on the line of the James River having been condemned, it was resolved to strengthen the Army of Virginia as much as possible, by reinforcements drawn from the Army of the Potomac and else" where. There was also now an opportunity afforded to Pope not only to cope with the astute rebel chief, Lee, and to drive him before him, but also to te3t the worth of his bold words and assur ances.
On the 14th of July, Pope issued an address to the army, which was noted for its inflated style, its bad taste, and its boastfulness of tone, and which, as a matter of course, on the close of his brief campaign, brought down upon its author a full measure of ridicule and scorn. "I have come to you from the West, where we have always seen the backs of our enemies—from an army whose business it has been to seek the adversary, and to beat him when found —whose policy has been attack and not defence. I presume that I have been called here to pursue the same system, and to lead you against the enemy. It is my purpose to do so, and
that speedily Meantime, I desire
you to dismiss from your minds certain phrases which I am sorry to find much in vogue amongst you. I hear constantly of taking strong positions and holding them—of lines of retreat, and of bases of supplies. Let us discard such ideas. The strongest petition a soldier should desire to occupy is one from which he can most easily advance against the enemy. Let us study the probable lines of retreat of our opponents, and leave our own to take care of themselves. Let us look before, and not behind. Success and glory are in the advance. Disaster and shame lurk in the rear."
Several orders, dated July 18th, indicated the manner in which Pope proposed to conduct the campaign. He announced, that henceforth the troops should subsist on the country in which they were operating, compelling the people to furnish supplies. In order to put a stop to the guerrilla mode of warfare, he declared that the people in the vicinity should be held responsible for any damage done to railroads or trains; that they should be compelled to repair all such damage; that if a soldier were fired upon from a house, such house should be rased to the ground; and that any person detected in these outrages should be shot without waiting civil process. By another order, dated July 23d, he directed commanders to arrest all disloyal male persons, and if they refused to take the oath of allegiance, to conduct them south beyond our lines, and to warn them that if found within them at any time, they would be subjected to the severest punishments.*
* These orders were supposed to allow, and were certainly followed by, extensive pillaging and various disgraceful outrages. The ire of the rebel authorities was greatly roused, and on the 1st of August, they not only used the stereotyped language about " the unjust and aggressive warfare hitherto waged with savage cruelty against an unoffending people," but they threatened the fullest retaliation. Pope and his officers were not to have any benefit of exchange, in case of
When the rebels became satisfied that McClellan and his army would give them no further trouble by way of the Peninsula, they were much elated, and resolved, by a rapid and energetic movement, to march upon Pope, crush him and his force by sudden and overwhelming blows, and then invade Maryland, preparatory to a general invasion of the loyal states. Never before had so advantageous an opening .been presented, and Gen. Lee was not the man to let it slip away without using it to the fullest extent.* Steps were taken directly for the advance, and as the entire rebel force in and about Richmond was now probably not less than 150,000 men, it is evident | how fiercely and confidently the assault would be made upon Pope and his army, the only obstacle in the way of removing the battle-ground from the soil of Virginia, and of carrying fire and sword into the loyal states.
In this condition of affairs, it was all-important to strengthen Pope immediately and as greatly as possible. Burnside, on the 1st of August, left Newport News with his troops, and reached Aquia Creek on the 3d. Gen. Cox was also ordered from "Western
being made prisoners, and further it was declared, that if any person or persons suffered under Pope's orders, one or more of our imprisoned officers was to be hung instanter.
* Mr. Swinton quotes a passago from Lee's report, 1 which is worth noting :—" The corps of Gen. Burneidhad reached Fredericksburg, and a part of Gen. M< Clellan's army was believed to have left Westover (Harrison's Landing) to unite with Pope. It therefore 1 seemed that active operations on the James were no longer contemplated, and that the most effectual way to relieve Richmond from any danger of attack from that quarter would be to reinforce Gen. Jackson and advance upon Gen. Pope."—Sec note on p. 206.
Virginia for the same purpose, leaving, for the time being, the line of the Kanawha open to invasion by the i enemy. McClellan also "was urged and pressed by Halleck to hasten forward reinforcements from the Army of the Potomac, and to afford every assistance iu his power to the general in command of the Army of Virginia.* With his army thus strengthened, and numbering between 50,000 and 60,000, P< >pe took the field in person, at the close ! of July. The forces of Banks and Mc! Dowell were pushed forward beyond | j the Rappahannock, and on the 7th of August, numbering about 28,000, were assembled along the turnpike from Sperryville to Culpepper. Gen. Buford's cavalry, five regiments, covering j the front, was advanced to Madison Court House, with his pickets along ths Rapidan on the right; and Gen. Bayard's cavalry, four regiments, was extended on the same river on the left. Jackson, who was at Gordonsville, j having been reinforced by Lee on the 2d of August, crossed the Rapidan on Thursday the 7th, at Barnett's Ford, and advanced towards Culpepper and 'Madison Court House. Bayard, who was guarding the fords, fell back slowi ly, delaying the enemy's advance as much as possible. The forces of Banks and Sigel, and one of the divisions of McDowell's corps, were rapidly concentrated at Culpepper during Friday and Friday night, Banks's corps being
• On the 4th of August, by direction of the president, it was ordered, that a draft of 300,000 militia be immediately called into the service of the United States, to serve for nine months, unless sooner discharged. The call was responded to with the usual readiness and zeal of the loyal states. VOL. 1V—27
pushed forward five miles south of Culpepper, with Ricketts's division of McDowell's Corps three miles in his rear. The coips of Sigel, which had marched all night, was halted in Culpepper to rest for a few hours. On Saturday, Aug. 9th, the enemy advanced rapidly to Cedar Mountain, the sides of which they occupied in heavy force. Banks was instructed to take up his position on the ground occupied the previous day, and also to defend it against the enemy's assaults.
About five o'clock, P.m., the rebels pushed forward a strong force in the rear of their own skirmishers, and Banks advanced to the attack. By six o'clock, the engagement became general, and for an hour and a-half was furious and unceasing; but Banks, though at great sacrifice, was able to hold his position. Darkness put an end to the contest, although the artillery fire was continued at short range, without intermission, until midnight. Our troops rested on their arms during the night in line of battle; but the action was not resumed. For, at daylight the next morning, the rebels fell back two miles, and retired further up the mountain. Owing to fatigue and excessive heat, the men were allowed to rest and recruit on Sunday, Aug. 10th, and the next day was spent principally in burying the dead. On Monday night, Jackson retreated from the field, not being strong enough to remain where he was; whereupon Buford was sent with a cavalry and artillery force in pursuit; he followed the enemy to the Rapidan, over which they passed about ten o'clock the next morning. Our loss in killed, wounded and missing was about 1,800, besides a 1,000 or more stragglers; the rebel loss was not reported, but was probably fully equal to that on the Union side.
A few days after Jackson's retreat to Gordonsville, he was joined by the van of Lee's army, under Longstreet, with Stuart's cavalry. Pope, having received considerable reinforcements, held the line of the Rapidan, with Sigel on the right, McDowell in the centre, at Cedar Mountain, and Reno on the left. Banks's shattered corps was at Culpepper. It being presently ascertained that the enemy were advancing in greatly superior numbers, Pope retired with his forces, on the 19th of August, to the north bank of the Rappahannock, in the vicinity of Kelly's Ford and Rappahannock station, on the railroad. "This,'' says Mr. Swinton, "was a judicious measure on the part of Gen. Pope; but it was not carrying out his own principles. In expounding before the war committee, a month before this time, what he proposed doing, he held the following language: 'By lying off on their flanks, if they should have only forty or fifty thousand men, I could whip them. If they should have seventy thousand or eighty thousand men, I would attack their flanks, and force them, in order to get rid of me, to follow me out into the mountains; which would be what you want, I should suppose. They would not march on Washington with me lying with such a force as that on their flanks.' Now, though the force which Lee had at this time did not exceed the smallest of these hypothetical numbers, and the
force with which Pope proposed this operation had been increased by the addition of Reno's command, he did not attempt to carry it out, finding Lee less impressed than he should have been with the apparition of Pope 'lying off on his flanks.' " *
Lee, having advanced his forces to the Rappahannock, attempted to cross the river, but Pope covered the fords effectually, and prevented this movement. An artillery fire was kept up for two days, the 21st and 22d, across the river, but to no material purpose. Lee then left Longstreet opposite the fords, in order to make a turning movement by Jackson on Pope's right by way of Warrenton.f Pope thereupon determined to recross the Rappahannock, and "fall furiouslv, with his whole army," upon the flank and rear j of the enemy's long column which was passing up the river. A severe storm, however, on the night of the 22d, prevented this projected attack; and the head of Jackson's column, which had crossed at Sulphur or Warrenton Springs, on the 2 2d of August, was compelled to recross the Rappahannock, which was done the following night, the bridges being at the same time destroyed.
* "Army of the Potomac," p. 176.
f On the night of the 22d of August, Stuart, with > body of 1,500 horsemen, managed to cross the river above, and to reach Catlett's Station on the railroad, despito the storm which was raging, and the intense darkness. Here he surprised the guard, who appear to have been shamefully negligent of their duty, cut the railroad communication, captured 300 prisoners, together with Pope's official papers and effects. Having effected his object, and proved the truth of Pope's words, that "disaster and shame lurk in the rear," Stuart and his band, soon after daylight on the 23d, returned to Warrenton.