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t “ALEXANDRIA, August 27, 1862—10.30 a.m. “Where are you, and what is state of affairs—what troops in your front, right, and left? Sumner is now landing at Aquia. Where is Pope's left, and what of enemy Enemy burned Bull run bridge last night with cavalry force. “G. B. McCLELLAN, “Major General. “Major General HEINTzel.MAN, Warrenton. “Major General PortER, Bealton.
“P. S.—If these general officers are not at the places named, nearest operator will please have message forwarded.”
I also telegraphed to the general-in-chief as follows:
“I have sent all the information I possess to Burnside, instructing him to look out well for his right flank, between the Rappahannock and Potomac, and to send no trains to Porter without an escort. I fear the cavalry who dashed at Bull run last night may trouble Burnside a little. I have sent to communicate with Porter and Heintzelman, via Falmouth, and hope to give you some definite information in a few hours. I shall land the next cavalry I get hold of here, and send it out to keep open the communication between Pope and Porter, also to watch vicinity of Manassas. Please send me a number of copies of the best maps of present field of operations. I can use fifty (50) to advantage.
“G. B. McCLELLAN, “Major General. “Major General HALLEck, “Commanding United States Army.”
“ALEXANDRIA, August 27, 1862–11.20 a. m.
“In view of Burnside's despatch, just received, would it not be advisable to throw the mass of Sumner's corps here, to move out with Franklin to Centreville or vicinity? If a decisive battle is fought at Warrenton, a disaster would leave any troops on lower Rappahannock in a dangerous position.
“They would do better service in front of Washington.
“G. B. McCLELLAN, “Major General. “Major General HALLEck, “Washington, D. C.”
“ALEXANDRIA, August 27, 1862–12.5 p.m.
“My aid has just returned from General Franklin's camp; reports that Generals Franklin, Smith, and Slocum are all in Washington. He gave the order to the next in rank to place the corps in readiness to move at once. I learn that heavy firing has been heard this morning at Centreville, and have sent to ascer
tain the truth. I can find no cavalry to send out on the roads. Are the works .
garrisoned and ready for defence?
“ALEXANDRIA, August 27, 1862–12.20 p.m.
“What bridges exist over Bull run ? Have steps been taken to construct bridges for the advance of troops to re-enforce Pope, or to enable him to retreat if in trouble 7
“There should be two gunboats at Aquia creek at once. Shall I push the rest of Sumner's corps here, or is Pope so strong as to be reasonably certain of success I have sent to inspect the works near here and their garrisons.
“As soon as I can find General Casey, or some other commanding officer, I will see to the railway, &c. It would be well to have them report to me, as I do not know where they are. I am trying to find them, and will lose no time in carrying out your orders. Would like to see Burnside.
“G. B. McCLELLAN,
“Major General. “Major General H. W. HALLeck, Washington.”
“ALEXANDRIA, August 27, 1862–1.15 p.m. “Franklin's artillery have no horses, except for (4) four guns without caissons. I can pick up no cavalry. In view of these facts, will it not be well to push Sumner's corps here by water as rapidly as possible, to make immediate arrangements for placing the works in front of Washington in an efficient condition of defence? I have no means of knowing the enemy's force between Pope and ourselves.
“Can Franklin, without his artillery or cavalry, effect any useful purpose in front ?
“Should not Burnside take steps at once to evacuate Falmouth and Aquia, at the same time covering the retreat of any of Pope's troops who may fall back in that direction ?
“I do not see that we have force enough in hand to form a connexion with Pope, whose exact position we do not know. Are we safe in the direction of the valley
“G. B. McCLELLAN,
- “Major General. “Major General HALLEck, Washington.”
“ALEXANDRIA, August 27, 1862–1.35 p.m.
“I learn that Taylor's brigade, sent this morning to Bull run bridge, is either cut to pieces or captured.
“That the force against them had many guns, and about (5,000) five thousand infantry, receiving re-enforcements every minute; also, that Gainesville is in possession of the enemy. Please send some cavalry out towards Drainsville, via Chain bridge, to watch Lewinsville and Drainsville, and go as far as they can. If you will give me even one squadron of good cavalry here I will ascertain the state of the case. I think our policy now is to make these works perfectly safe, and mobilize a couple of corps as soon as possible, but not to advance them until they can have their artillery and cavalry. I have sent for Colonel Tyler to place his artillerymen in the works.
“Is Fort Marcy securely held 7
“G. B. McCLELLAN,
“Major General. “General HALLEck.”
“ALEXANDRIA, August 27, 1862–2.30 p.m. “Sumner has been ordered to send here all of his corps that are within reach. Orders have been sent to Couch to come here from Yorktown with the least possible delay. But one squadron of my cavalry has arrived; that will be disembarked at once and sent to the front. “If there is any cavalry in Washington it should be ordered to report to me at Once.
“I still think that we should first provide for the immediate defence of Washington on both sides of the Potomac.
“I am not responsible for the past, and cannot be for the future, unless I receive authority to dispose of the available troops according to my judgment. Please inform me at once what my position is. I do not wish to act in the dark. “ G. B. McCLELLAN, “Major General. “Major General H. W. HALLEck, “Commanding United States Army.”
“ALEXANDRIA, August 27, 1863–6 p.m.
“I have just received the copy of a despatch from General Pope to you, dated 10 a.m. this morning, in which he says: “All forces now sent forward
should be sent to my right at Gainesville.’
“I now have at my disposal here about (10,000) ten thousand men of Franklin's corps, about (2,800) twenty-eight hundred of General Tyler's brigade and Colonel Tyler's first Connecticut artillery, which I recommend should be held in hand for the defence of Washington.
“If you wish me to order any part of this force to the front, it is in readiness to march at a moment's notice to any point you may indicate.
“In view of the existing state of things in our front, I have deemed it best to order General Casey to hold his men for Yorktown in readiness to move, but not to send them off till further orders.
“G. B. McCLELLAN,
“Major General. “Major General H. W. HALLEck, “Commanding United States Army.”
On the 28th I telegraphed as follows: “HEADQUARTERs CAMP NEAR ALEXANDRIA, “August 28, 1862–4.10 p.m. “General Franklin is with me here. I will know in a few minutes the condition of artillery and cavalry. “We are not yet in condition to move; may be by to-morrow morning. “Pope must cut through to-day, or adopt the plan I suggested. I have ordered troops to garrison the works at Upton's hill. They must be held at any cost. As soon as I can see the way to spare them, I will send a corps of good troops there. It is the key to Washington, which cannot be seriously
menaced as long as it is held. “G. B. McCLELLAN, “Major General.
“Major General HALLEck,
I received the following from the general-in-chief:
“I think you had better place Sumner's corps as it arrives near the guns, and particularly at the Chain bridge.
“The principal thing to be feared now is a cavalry raid into this city, especially in the night time.
“Use Cox's and Tyler's brigade, and the new troops for the same object, if you need them.
“Porter writes to Burnside from Bristow, 9.30 a. m. yesterday, that Pope's forces were then moving on Manassas, and that Burnside would soon hear of them by way of Alexandria.
“General Cullum has gone to Harper's Ferry, and I have only a single regular officer for duty in the office.
“Please send some of yours officers to-day to see that every precaution is taken at the forts against a raid; also at the bridge. Please answer. “H. W. HALLECK,
“General-in-Chief. “Major General McCLELLAN.”
On the 29th the following despatch was telegraphed:
“CAMP NEAR ALEXANDRIA,
“Franklin's corps is in motion; started about (6) six a.m. I can give him but two squadrons of cavalry. I propose moving General Cox to Upton's hill, to hold that important point with its works, and to push cavalry scouts to Vienna, via Freedom hill and Hunter's lane. Cox has (2) two squadrons of cavalry. Please answer at once whether this meets your approval. I have directed Woodbury, with the engineer brigade, to hold Fort Lyon. Sumner detached, last night, two regiments to vicinity of Forts Ethan Allen and Marcy. Meagher's brigade is still at Aquia. If he moves in support of Franklin it leaves us without any reliable troops in and near Washington. Yet Franklin is too weak alone. What shall be done 7 No more cavalry arrived; have but (3) three squadrons. Franklin has but (40) forty rounds of ammunition, and no wagons to move more. I do not think Franklin is in condition to accomplish much if he meets with serious resistance. I should not have moved him but for your pressing order of last night. What have you from Vienna and Drainsville?
- “G. B. McCLELLAN,
“Major General. “Major General HALLECK,
“Washington, D. C.” To which the following is a reply:
“WASHINGTON, August 29, 1862–12 m.
“Upton's hill arrangement all right. We must send wagons and ammunition to Franklin as fast as they arrive.
“Meagher's brigade ordered up yesterday. Fitzhugh Lee was, it is said on good authority, in Alexandria on Sunday last for three hours. I have nothing from Drainsville. “H. W. HALLECK,
“General-in-Chief. “Major General McCLELLAN.”
On the same day the following was received from his excellency the President:
“WASHINGTON, August 29, 1862—2.30 p.m. “What news from direction of Manassas Junction? What generally?
“A. LINCOLN. “Major General McCLELLAN.”
To which I replied as follows: - “CAMP NEAR ALEXANDRIA, “August, 29, 1862—2.45 p.m.
“The last news I received from the direction of Manassas was from stragglers, to the effect that the enemy were evacuating Centreville and retiring towards Thoroughfare gap. This by no means reliable.
“I am clear that one of two courses should be adopted: 1st, to concentrate all our available forces to open communications with Pope; 2d, to leave Pope to get out of his scrape, and at once use all our means to make the capital perfectly safe. “No middle ground will now answer. Tell me what you wish me to do, and I will do all in my power to accomplish it. I wish to know what my orders and authority are. I ask for nothing, but will obey whatever orders you give. I only ask a prompt decision that I may at once give the necessary orders. It
will not do to delay longer. “G. B. McCIELLAN, - - - “Major General. “A. LINCOLN, President.”
And copy to General Halleck.
To which the following is a reply:
“WASHINGTON, August 29, 1862–4.10 p.m.
“Yours of to-day just received. I think your first alternative, to wit, “to concentrate all our available forces to open communication with Pope,” is the: right one, but I wish not to control. That I now leave to General Halleck,
aided by your counsels. “A. LINCOLN.
“Major General McCLELLAN.”
It had been officially reported to me from Washington that the enemy, in strong force, was moving through Vienna in the direction of the Chain bridge, and had a large force in Vienna. This report, in connexion with the despatch of the general-in-chief on the 28th, before noted, induced me to direct Franklin to halt his command near Anandale until it could be determined, by reconnoissances to Vienna and towards Manassas, whether these reports were true. General Cox was ordered to send his small cavalry force from Upton's hill towards Vienna and Drainsville in one direction, and towards Fairfax Court House in the other, and Franklin to push his two squadrons as far towards Manassas as possible, in order to ascertain the true position of the enemy.
With the enemy in force at Vienna, and towards Lewinsville, it would have been very injudicious to have pushed Franklin's small force beyond Anandale. It must be remembered that at that time we were cut off from direct communication with General Pope; that the enemy was, by the last accounts, at Manassas in strong force, and that Franklin had only from 10,000 to 11,000 men, with an entirely insufficient force of cavalry and artillery.
In order to represent this condition of affairs in its proper light to the general-in-chief, and to obtain definite instructions from him, I telegraphed as follows :
“CAMP NEAR ALEXANDRIA, -
“Have ordered most of the (12th) twelfth Pennsylvania cavalry to report to General Barnard for scouting duty towards Rockville, Poolsville, &c.
“If you apprehended a raid of cavalry on your side of river, I had better send a brigade or two of Sumner's to near Tenallytown, where, with two or three old regiments in Forts Allen and Marcy, they can watch both Chain bridge and Tenallytown.
“Would it meet your views to post the rest of Sumner's corps between Arlington and Fort Corcoran, whence they can either support Cox, Franklin, or Chain bridge, and even Tenallytown