網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

vessels

such an extent was this successful, that a great change was effected in the nature of Northern commerce. The degree of this change is apparent in the following table of the business of the port of New York, for the fiscal years ending June 30, 1860 and 1863, distinguishing foreign from American tonnage:

Year 1960.

Year 1963. In American In Foreign In American In Foreiga vessels. vessels.

vessels. Imports from Foreign Ports..$130,505,156 $104,549,748 $68,856,292 $106.630,141 Exports to Foreign Ports.... 75,471,927 63,274,900 83,321,296 133,094,714 Total Trade of 1859.........$213,977,083 $167,824,648 $150,277,588 $239,724,915 Increase....

.......$71,900,267 Decrease.........................................$63,699,495 In 1860 the commerce by American vessels exceeded that by foreign vessels to the amount of forty-six million dollars. In 1862 this was reversed, and the commerce by foreign flags exceeded that by our own flag to the ainount of eighty-nine million dollars. A considerable part of this change was doubtless owing to the greater employment of American sbips as Government transports; part of it was also due to the fact that much of the importing business was done by the steamers, under the foreign flag; and still another reason for the change may be found in a covering transfer of vessels to a foreign flag for safety. But after making every allowance for these influences, it must be evident that the fear of depredations on our commerce, by the Confederates and privateers, drove a large portion of our foreign trade to neutral vessels. The fact that the vessels which did this damage to American commerce were built, armed, and to some extent manned from English resources, and paid for by a loan of fifteen million dollars, contracted in England on Confederate account, secured upon cotton, was productive of great ill-will towards that nation. It was evident in the increased employment of foreign vessels in the international trade that she found her advantage in the course she pursued.

CHAPTER XXXIV.

General Pope's Army.-Its Condition.—McClellan's Army.--Enemy cross the Potomac

-McClellan in command.—Halleck refuses Troops. --South Mountain.-Harper's Ferry.-Antietam.—Hooker. Sumner.—Burnside.-Retreat of the Enemy - Ad. vance of the Army.-McClellan superseded.

GENERAL MCCLELLAN had never been formally deprived of his com, mand, which he retained at Aquia Creek and Alexandria, over the troops that remained there; but all the troops were in succession detached from his command in support of Pope, when they were no longer under his command, and he remained in Alexandria without any command. On the 1st September, he was ordered verbally to take command of the defences of Washington, but not to assume control of the troops of Pope. On the 2d, Pope was ordered to retreat upon Washington, and a formal order then issued to McClellan to take command of the troops in and around Washington, comprising those of Pope. Meantime the enemy, moving by their left, with the design of invading Maryland, reached the Potomac above Washington. They crossed the river on the 4th, 5th, and 6th of September, marching at once upon Frederick, the capital of the State of Maryland, which was occupied hy General D. H. Hill. At that time, Colonel Miles, with eleven thousand troops, occupied Harper's Ferry, and the plan of the enemy seemed to be, for Jackson to move from Frederick by the main Hagerstown road, and, leaving it at some point near Middleburg, to cross the Potomac near Sharpsburg, and endeavor to capture the garrison of Martinsburg, commanded by General Julius White, and cut off the retreat of the garrison at Harper's Ferry. General McLaws was ordered, with his own command and the division of General Anderson, to move out by the same Hagerstown road, and gain possession of the Maryland Heights, opposite Harper's Ferry. General Walker, who was then apparently somewhere near the mouth of the Monocacy, was to move through Lovettsville and gain possession of Loudon Heights, thus completing the investment of Harper's Ferry. General Longstreet was ordered to move to Hagerstown, with Hill to serve as a rearguard. Their reserve trains were ordered to take a position either at Boonesboro' or Hagerstown. After Jackson and the generals co-oper. ating with him had taken Harper's Ferry, they were to rejoin the main army at Hagerstown or Boonesboro'.

Meanwhile the armies of Virginia and the Potomac were recruited by collecting stragglers, by resting the men, and by the addition of such troops as could be spared from the garrison of Washington, or of such of the new levies as were available. On September 8th, the united armies, now under the command of McClellan, were between Rockville, Maryland, and Washington, and the general plan of campaign agreed upon was, for the Federal troops to move up the Potomac, and, if possible, get between Lee and the fords by which he had crossed into Maryland. The enemy on the 8th issued a proclamation to the people of Maryland, calling upon them to throw off the restraints of the Union Government, and join the South. A general uprising of the people was no doubt expected to result from this invitation, which, however, received no response, and the disappointment in this respect no doubt frustrated the evident plan of the enemy, to remain in Maryland and invade Pennsylvania. So great was the alarm in this respect, that Governor Curtin, of Pennsylvania, called out the militia to defend the State, and seventy-five thousand troops responded to the call.

Perceiving that his avenue of retreat into Virginia was threatened, Lee made haste to concentrate his troops in the neighborhood of Hagerstown, and at the same time sent various small bodies of troops into Pennsylvania, to divert the attention of the Union commander. These movements enabled him to press more closely the investment of Harper's Ferry, the capture of which place, with its garrison and stores, was one of the prime objects of his campaign. During the 9th and 10th, McClellan moved cautiously northward, and on the 11th he telegraphed to General Halleck, that, as Colonel Miles could do nothing

at Harper's Ferry, he should be ordered to join him at once with his command. To this suggestion Halleck replied as follows:

“WASHINGTON, D. C., September 11, 1862. “There is no way for Colonel Miles to join you at present. The only chance is to defend his works until you can open a communication with him. When you do so, he will be subject to your orders.

“H. W. HALLECK, General-in-Chief. "Major-General MCCLELLAN, Rockville.”

Such, in fact, had been the movements of Lee's generals, to invest Harper's Ferry, that an attempt by Miles to retire from the place and form a junction with McClellan would have resulted in his defeat by an overwhelming force, and probably in his capture. The reply of Halleck was, therefore, the only one which could have been made under the circumstances, and should have suggested to McClellan that the best plan for forming a junction with Miles was to push rapidly by the direct route for Harper's Ferry, if, indeed, it were not too late now to do that. Why he had delayed his recommendation for the withdrawal of Miles—which might have been possible a day or two preriousuntil the 11th, is not very easy to understand. The following extract from a dispatch from McClellan to Halleck, dated the 11th, is interesting, as showing the views entertained by the former at this crisis, and also that his estimate of the rebel strength, and his constitutional cautiousness, bad in no degree been lessened since the Peninsula campaign:

"I believe this army fully appreciates the importance of a victory at this time, and will fight well; but the result of a general battle, with such odds as the enemy now appears to have against us, might, to say the least, be doubtful; and, if we should be defeated, the consequences to the country would be disastrous in the extreme. Cnder these circumstances, I would recommend that one or two of the three army corps now on the Potomac, opposite Washington, be at once withdrawn, and sent to re-enforce this army. I would also advise that the force of Colonel Miles, at Harper's Ferry, where it can be of little use, and is continually exposed to be cut off by the enemy, be immediately ordered here. This would add about twenty-five thousand old troops to our present force, and would greatly strengthen us.

"If there are any rebel forces remaining on the other side of the Potomae, the must be so few that the troops left in the forts, after the two corps shall have been withdrawn, will be sufficient to check them; and with the large cavalry force now on that side, kept well out in front to give warning of the distant approach of any rery large army, a part of this army might be sent back within the intrenchments to assist in repelling an attack. But even if Washington should be taken while these armies arə confronting each other, this would not, in my judgment, bear comparison with the ruin and disasters which would follow a single defeat of this army. If we should be suo cessful in conquering the gigantic rebel army before us, we would have no difficulty in recovering it. On the other hand, should their force prove sufficiently powerful to defeat us, could all the forces now around Washington be sufficient to prevent such a victorious army from carrying the works on this side of the Potomac after they are uncovered by our army? I think not."

In reply, Halleck showed that very few troops were then arriving in Wasbington, and that Porter, who, at McClellan's special request, had been temporarily restored to his command, had, on the 12th, taken away twenty thousand men. He added:

"Until you know more certainly the enemy's force south of the Potomac, rou are wrong in thus uncovering the capital. I am of opinion that the enemy will

send a small column to Pennsylvania, so as to draw your forces in that direction, then suddenly move on Washington with the forces south of the Potomac, and those he may cross over.

"In your letter of the 11th you attach too little importance to the capital. I assure you that you are wrong. The capture of this place will throw us back six months, if it should not destroy us. Beware of the evils I now point out to you. You saw them when here; but you seem to forget them in the distarce. No more troops can be sent from here till we have fresh arrivals from the North."

In his evidence before the Congressional Committee on the Conduct of the War, McClellan stated that the impression which he derived from this dispatch was, that Halleck thought he was wrong in going so far away from Washington. General Halleck, when examined by the same committee, testified that he had conveyed no such impression, but had telegraphed to McClellan that "he was going too far, not from Washington, but from the Potomac, leaving General Lee the opportunity to come down the Potomac, and get between him and Washington.” The apprehensions of the general-in-chief were amply confirmed by events, since the failure of McClellan to keep near the Potomac enabled Lee, whose rear-guard, under D. H. Hill, was ordered to amuse McClellan by threatening the passage into Pennsylvania, to make sure of Harper's Ferry. On the 12th, the forces destined to attack this place made their appearance before it, and while Jackson, with the main body, took position in the rear of Bolivar Heights, which had been strongly fortified by the Union forces, co-operating bodies occupied Maryland Heights on the Maryland shore, and Loudon Heights on the opposite bank of the Shenandoah, neither of which points, strange to say, had been permanently fortified, although they commanded the town of Harper's Ferry and Bolivar Heights, and strict orders had been given to put them in a condition of defence. Under such circumstances, but one result was to be expected. On the 13th and 14th the rebels erected batteries on both heights, whence, on the latter day, they opened fire upon the Union garrison in Harper's Ferry, who thus lay at their mercy. The fire was resumed on the 15th, and almost immediately the place surrendered. A few hours previous, twenty-five hundred Union cavalry cut their way through the enemy's lines; but the remainder of the garrison, numbering over eleven thousand men, becane prisoners of war, and were paroled. The rebels also captured fifty pieces of artillery and a quantity of stores.

In the mean time, the main rebel body had fallen back from Frederick, before the advance of the Union army, towards the fords of the Upper Potomac, in the Hagerstown valley, to reach which it was necessary for the Union troops to force the mountain range, which commanded the valley, and which was defended by bodies of the enemy at Turner's Gap and Crampton's Gap. The former was carried on the 14th by the troops under General Burnside, and the latter on the same day by General Franklin, who thus obtained possession of the mountain range, and opened the debouches into the valley. The enemy retired towards Sharpsburg, and the corps commanded by Generals Sumner, Hooker, and Mansfield were ordered to follow them rapidly along the main turnpike. The corps of Burnside and Porter were ordered forward by a small road parallel to and on the left of the main pike, thus being in

position to support either Franklin or the right, as might be necessary. Franklin was ordered to cross into Pleasant Valley, and to do all that he could for the relief of Harper's Ferry. The orders given to the troops on the right were, that if they found the enemy on the march, to attack him at once; if they found him in a strong position, then to make all the arrangements for an attack and await orders. As has been already stated, Harper's Ferry surrendered on the morning of the 15th, too late for Franklin to go to the assistance of the garrison; and Jackson, after securing possession of his prisoners and spoils, had ample time to recross the Potomac, and march to the support of the main army under Lee, now concentrating near Sharpsburg, behind Antietam Creek, an affluent of the Potomac, to receive McClellan's advance. The Confederates were formed in two lines perpendicular to the road and about six miles long each, their road running through their centre, and had planted about sixty guns to command the Antietam bridge, by which the Union troops advanced. General McClellan arrired in front of the enemy on the afternoon of the 16th, and at once ordered Hooker to move three miles above Sharpsburg, cross the Antietam, and attack the rebel left wing.

Meantime the enemy had formed his dispositions. His force, concealed by a cover of woods, occupied a crescent-shaped height commanding three lines of retreat to the Potomac, vid the Shepherdstown road, the Hagerstown road, and the Williamsport road. Along the front of his position ran the Antietam Creek, crossed by three bridges corresponding to the three roads named. His left was commanded by Jackson, his centre by Longstreet, and his right by A. P. Hill. The Union plan was generally as follows: Hooker was to cross on the right, establish himself on the enemy's left, if possible, flanking his position, and to open the fight. Sumner, Franklin, and Mansfield were to send their forces also to the right, co-operating with and sustaining Hooker's attack while advancing also nearer the centre. The heary work in the centre was left mostly to the batteries. On the left, Burnside was to carry a stone bridge, the lowest of the three already referred to, and advancing then by a road which enters the pike at Sharpsburg, turn at once the rebel flank and destroy his line of retreat. Porter and Sickles moved their infantry in the hollows of the centre, as reserves for all contingencies.

The attack was commenced at dawn of the 17th by Hooker, and Meade's infantry and Ricketts's batteries opened the fire on the enemy's left. The engagement immediately became very sharp, and raged for half an hour in a sloping field of ploughed land, terminating in the rear in a cornfield, and skirted by a thick wood, at the end of which time the fire of the enemy began to decrease and his line to waver. As soon as this was perceived, Meade and his Pennsylvanians rushed for. ward with a cheer. The line carried before it the whole force of the retreating Confederates, who disappeared into the woods, leaving great numbers of dead and wounded on their path. As the rictorious brie gade approached the skirt of the cover, a torrent of flame and shot swept through the advancing line, which hesitated, halted, closed up, and retired. It had sustained the overwhelming fire of fresh troops,

« 上一頁繼續 »