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repeat to you that I regard the importance 1
“HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, of the territory committed to your care as
"Washington, Nov. 12, 1863. second only to that occupied by the army' “ GENERAL: Upon assuming command under my immediate command. It is ab- 1 of the department, I will be glad to have solutely necessary that we shall hold all you make as soon as possible a careful the State of Kentucky; not only that, but report of the condition and situation of the majority of its inhabitants shall be your troops, and of the military and po. warmly in favor of our cause, it being that litical condition of your command. The which best subserves their interests. It main point to which I desire to call your is possible that the conduct of our politi- attention is the necessity of entering eastcal affairs in Kentucky is more important eru Tennessee as soon as it can be done than that of our military operations. I with reasonable chances of success, and I certainly cannot overestimate the impor- hope that you will, with the least possible tance of the former. You will please con- delay, organize a column for that purpose, stantly to bear in mind the precise issue sufficiently guarding at the same time the for which we are fighting: that issue is main avenues by which the rebels may inthe preservation of the Union and the re-vade Kentucky. Our conversations on storation of the full authority of the gene- the subject of military operations have ral government over all portions of our been so full, and my confidence in your territory. We shall most readily suppress judgment is so great, that I will not dwell this rebellion and restore the authority of further upon the subject, except to urge the government by religiously respecting upon you the necessity of keeping me fully the constitutional rights of all. I know informed as to the state of affairs, both that I express the feelings and opinions military and political, and your move. of the President when I say that we are ments. In regard to political matters, fighting only to preserve the integrity of bear in mind that we are fighting only to the Union and the constitutional authority preserve the integrity of the Union and to of the general government.
uphold the power of the general govern" The inhabitants of Kentucky may rely
ment; as far as military necessity will upon it that their domestic institutions | permit, religiously respect the constitu. will in no manner be interfered with, and
tional rights of all. Preserve the strictest that they will receive at our hands every
discipline among the troops, and while constitutional protection. I have only to
employing the utmost energy in inilitary repeat that you will in all respects care
movements, be careful so to treat the unfully regard the local institutions of the
armed inhabitants as to contract, not region in which you command, allowing
widen, the breach existing between us and nothing but the dictates of military ne
the rebels. cessity to cause you to depart from the
“I mean by this that it is the desire of spirit of these instructions.
the government to avoid unnecessary irri
tation by causeiess arrests and persecution “So much in regard to political consid
of individuals. Where there is good reaerations. The military problem would be
son to believe that persons are actually a simple one could it be entirely separated
giving aid, comfort, or information to the from political influences; such is not the
enemy, it is of course necessary to arrest case. "Were the population among which
them; but I have always found that it is you are to operate wholly or generally
the tendency of subordinates to make hostile, it is probable that Nashville should
vexatious arrests on mere suspicion. You be your first and principal objective point.
will find it well to direct that no arrests It so happens that a large majority of the
| shall be made except by your order or inhabitants of eastern Tennessee are in the
that of your generals, unless in extraorfavor of the Union; it therefore seems
dinary cases, always holding the party proper that you should remain on the de.
making the arrest responsible for the profensive on the line from Louisville to
priety of his course. It should be our Nashville, while you throw the mass of
constant aim to make it apparent to all your forces, by rapid marches, by Cumber.
that their property, their comfort, and land Gap or Walker's Gap, on Knoxville,
their personal safety will be best prein order to occupy the railroad at that
served by adhering to the cause of the point, and thus enable the loyal citizens
Union. of eastern Tennessee to rise, while you at
"If the military suggestions I have the same time cut off the railway commi
made in this letter prove to have been nications between eastern Virginia and
founded on erroneous data, you are of the Mississippi. It will be prudent to
course perfectly free to change the plans fortify the pass before leaving it in your
of operations. rear.
" Brig. Gen. D. C. BUELL, “ Brig. Gen. D. C. BUELL."
| “Commanding Department of the Ohio." "FIEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, hand. But the time will before long ar.
“Washington, Feb. 14, 1862. rive when I shall be prepared to make “GENERAL: Your despatches in regard that movement. In the mean time, it is to the occupation of Dafuskie island, &c., my advice and wish that no attempt be were received to day. I saw also to-day, made upon Savannah, unless it can be for the first time, your requisition for a carried with certainty by a 'coup de siege train for Savannah.
main.' "After giving the subject all the con “Please concentrate your attention and sideration in my power, I am forced to the forces upon Pulaski and Fernandina. St. conclusion that, under present circum- | Augustine might as well be taken by way stances, the siege and capture of Savan- of an interlude, while awaiting the prepanah do not promise results commensurate rations for Charleston. Success attends with the sacrifices necessary. When I us everywhere at present. learned that it was possible for the gun
“Very truly, yours, boats to reach the Savannah river, above
"GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Fort Pulaski, two operations suggested “Major Gen. Commanding U. S. A. themselves to iny mind as its immediate “Brig. Gen. T. W. SHERMAN, results.
" Commanding at Port Royal, &c." “First. The capture of Savannah by a *coup de main,'--the result of an instan
“HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, taneous advance and attack by the army
“ Washington, Feb. 23, 1862. and navy.
“GENERAL: You are assigned to the “ The time for this has passed, and your command of the land forces destined to coletter indicates that you are not accounta- operate with the navy in the attacks upon ble for the failure to seize the propitious New Orleans. You will use every means moment, but that, on the contrary, you to keep your destination a profound seperceived its advantages.
cret, even from your staff officers, with the Second. To isolate Fort Pulaski, cut exception of your chief of staff, and Lieut, off its supplies, and at least facilitate its Weitzell, of the engineers. The force at reduction by a bombardment.
your disposal will consist of the first thir“Although we have a long delay to de- teen regiments named in yonr memoranplore, the second course still remains open dum handed to me in person, the 21st Into us; and I strongly advise the close diana, 4th Wisconsin, and 6th Michigan, blockade of Pulaski, and its bombardment (old and good regiments from Baltimore.) as soon as the 13-inch mortars and heavy “The 21st Indiana, 4th Wisconsin, and guns reach you. I am confident you can 6th Michigan, will await your orders at thus reduce it. With Pulaski, you gain Fort Monroe. all that is really essential; you obtain “Two companies of the 21st Indiana are complete control of the harbor; you re-well drilled as heavy artillery. The cavalry lieve the blockading fleet, and render the force already en route for Ship island will main body of your force disposable for be sufficient for your purposes. other operations.
“After full consultation with officers "I do not consider the possession of well acquainted with the country in which Savannah worth a siege after Pulaski is in it is proposed to operate, I have arrived at our hands. But the possession of Pulaski | the conclusion that two (2) light batteries is of the first importance. The expedition fully equipped, and one (1) without horses, to Fernandina is well, and I shall be glad will be all that are necessary. to learn that it is ours.
“ This will make your force about 14,400 "But, after all, the greatest moral effect infantry, 275 cavalry, 580 artillery: total, would be produced by the reduction of 15,255 men. The commanding general of Charleston and its defences. There the the department of Key West is authorized rebellion had its birth; there the unnatu- to loan you, temporarily, two regiments; ral hatred of our government is most in- Fort Pickens can, probably, give you anotense; there is the centre of the boasted ther, which will bring your force to nearly power and courage of the rebels.
18,000. "To gain Fort Sunter and hold Charles- "The object of your expedition is one tón is a task well worthy of our greatest of vital importance--the capture of New efforts, and considerable sacrifices. That | Orleans. The route selected is up the is the problem I would be glad to have Mississippi river, and the first obstacle to you study. Some time must elapse before I be encountered (perhaps the only one) is we can be in all respects ready to ac- in the resistance offered by Forts St. Philip complish that purpose. Fleets are en and Jackson. It is expected that the route and armies in motion which have navy can reduce these works; in that case certain preliminary objects to accomplish you will, after their capture, leave a suffibefore we are ready to take Charleston in cient garrison in them to render them per. fectly secure; and it is recommended that, / reduction of New Orleans and all its apon the upward passage, a few heavy guns proaches; then Mobile and its defences : and some troops be left at the pilot station then Pensacola, Galveston, &c. It is pro(at the forks of the river) to cover a retreat bable that by the time New Orleans ig in the event of a disaster. These troops reduced, it will be in the power of the and guns will, of course, be removed as government to re-enforce the land forces 8oon as the forts are captured.
sufficiently to accomplish all these objects. “Should the navy fail to reduce the In the mean time you will please give all works, you will land your forces and siege | the assistance in your power to the army train, and endeavor to breach the works, and navy commanders in your vicinity, silence their fire, and carry them by never losing sight of the fact that the assault.
great object to be achieved is the capture - The next resistance will be near the and firm retention of New Orleans. English Bend, where there are some earth
"I am, &c., en batteries. Here it may be necessary
“GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, for you to iand your troops and co-operate
“Major-Gen. Com'g U. S. Army. with the naval attack, although it is more "Major-Gen. B. F. BUTLER, than probable that the navy, unassisted,
“U. S. Volunteers." can accomplish the result. If these works on
The plan indicated in the above letters are taken, the city of New Orleans neces
comprehended in its scope the operations sarily falls. In that event, it will probably
baby of all the armies of the Union, the army he best to occupy Algiers with the mass
of the Potomac as well. It was my intenof your troops, also the eastern bank of
tention, for reasons easy to be seen, that the river above the city. It may be neces
its various parts should be carried out sary to place some troops in the city to preserve order; but if there appears to be
simultaneously, or nearly so, and in co
operation along the whole line. If this sufficient Union sentiment to control the
plan was wise, and events have failed to city, it may be best for purposes of disci
prove that it was not, then it is unneces pline to keep your men ont of the city. “After obtaining possession of New
sary to defend any delay which would have
enabled the army of the Potomac to per. Orleans, it will be necessary to reduce all the works guarding its approaches from
form its share in the execution of the
whole work. the east, and particularly to gain the
But about the middle of January, 1862, Manchac pass.
" Baton Rouge. Berwick bay. and Fort upon recovering from a severe illness. I Livingston, will next claim your attention.
1.found that excessive anxiety for an imme"A feint on Galveston may facilitate.
: diate movement of the army of the Potothe objects we have in view. I need not
mac had taken possession of the minds of
the administration. call your attention to the necessity of
A change had just been made in the gaining possession of all the rolling stock you can on the different railways, and of
War Department, and I was soon urged obtaining control of the roads themselves.
by the new secretary Mr. Stanton, to take T'he occupation of Baton Rouge by a com
immediate steps to secure the re-opening bined naval and land force should be ac
of the Baltimore and Ohio railroad, and to
free the banks of the lower Potomac from complished as soon as possible after you
the rebel batteries which annoyed passing have gained New Orleans. Then endeavor
vessels. • to open your communication with the northern column by the Mississippi, always
Very soon after his entrance upon office
I laid before him verbally my design as to bearing in mind the necessity of occupying Jackson, Mississippi, as soon as you can
As the part of the plan of the campaign to be safely do so, either after or before you have
executed by the army of the Potomac, effected the junction. Allow nothing to
which was to attack Richmond by the
o lower Chesapeake. He instructed me to divert you from obtaining full possession of all the approaches to New Orleans.
develop it to the President, which I did.
The result was, that the President disapWhen that object is accomplished to its
proved of it, and by an order of January 31, fullest extent, it will be necessary to make
1862, substituted one of his own. On the a combined attack on Mobile, in order to gain possession of the harbor and works,
27th of January, 1862, the following order as well as to control the railway terminus
was issued without consultation with me: at the city. In regard to this, I will send (President's General War Order No. 1.] more detailed instructions as the opera
EXECUTIVE MANSION, tions of the northern column develop
Washington, Jan. 27, 1862. themselves.
“ Ordered, That the 22d day of Feb. "I may briefly state that the general ruary, 1862, be the day for a general objects of the expedition are, first, the movement of the land and naval forces of mine?
the United States against the insurgent greatly larger expenditure of time and forces. That especially the army at and money than mine? about Fortress Monroe, the army of the “2d. Wherein is a victory more certain Potomac, the army of Western Virginia, by your plan than mine? the army near Munfords ville, Kentucky, " 3d. Wherein is a victory more valuable the army and flotilla at Cairo, and a paval by your plan than mine? force in the Gulf of Mexico, be ready to " 4th. In fact, would it not be less valumove on that day.
able in this : that it would break no great "That all other forces, both land and line of the enemy's communications, while naval, with their respective commanders, mine would ? obey existing orders for the time, and be “5th. In case of disaster, would not a ready to obey additional orders when duly retreat be more difficult by your plan than given.
" That the heads of departments and “Your, truly, especially the Secretaries of War and of
“ABRAHAM LINCOLN. the Navy, with all their subordinates, and “Major-Gen. McClellan." the general-in-chief, with all other com
These questions were substantially anmanders and subordinates of land and
swered by the following letter of the same naval forces, will severally be held to their i strict and full responsibilities for prompti
date to the Secretary of War : execution of this order.
"HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, “ ABRAHAM LINCOLN,"
“Washington, Feb. 3, 1862. The order of January 31, 1862, was asf
“Sir: I ask your indulgence for the
į following papers rendered necessary by follows:
circumstances. [President's Special War Order No. 1.] “I assumed command of the troops in * EXECUTIVE MANSION,
į the vicinity of Washington on Saturday, “Washington, Jan. 31, 1862. July 27, 1861, six day after the battle of Ordered, That all the disposable force Buil run. of the army of the Potomac, after pro-, “I found no army to command; a mere viding safely for the defence of Washing- collection of regiments cowering on the ton, be formed into an expedition for the banks of the Potomac, some perfectly raw, immediate object of seizing and occupying others dispirited by the recent defeat. a point upon the railroad southwestward “Nothing of any consequence had been of what is known as Manassas Junction, done to secure the southern approaches to all details to be in the discretion of the, the capital by means of defensive works ; commander-in-chief, and the expedition to nothing whatever had been undertaken to move before or on the 22d day of February defend the avenues to the city on the next.
| northern side of the Potomac. “ABRAHAM LINCOLN" i "The troops were not only undisciplined, I asked his excellency whether this undrilled, and dispirited; they were not order was to be regarded as final, or even placed in military positions. The whether I could be permitted to submit in city was almost in a condition to have been writing my objections to his plan, and my taken by a dash of a regiment of cavalry. reasons for preferring my own. Permission “Without one day's delay I undertook was accorded, and I therefore prepared the difficult task assigned to me; that task the letter to the Secretary of War, which the honorable Secretary knows was given is given below.
to me without solicitation or foreknowledge. Before this had been submitted to the How far I have accomplished it will best President he addressed me the following be shown by the past and the present. note:
“The capital is secure against attack. "Executive MaxSiOX, the extensive fortifications erected by the
“Washington, Feb. 3, 1862. labor of our troops enable a small garrison * MY DEAR Sir: You and I have to hold it against a numerous army, the distinct and different plans for a movement enemny have been held in check, the State of the army of the Potomac: yours to be of Maryland is securely in our possession, done by the Chesapeake, up the Rappa the detached counties of Virginia are hannock to Urbana, and across land to the again within the pale of our laws, and all terminus of the railroad on the York apprehension of trouble in Delaware is at river; mine to move directly to a point on an end; the enemy are confined to the the railroad south west of Manassas. positions they occupied before the disaster
“ If you will give satisfactory answers of the 21st July. More than all this, I to the following questions, I shall gladly have now under my command a well-drilled 1 yield my plan to yonrs :
and reliable arıny, to which the destinies "Ist. Does not your plan involve a l of the country may be confidently com
mitted. This army is young and untried and then seeking for the most decisive in battle; but it is animated by the highest results. I do not wish to waste life in usespirit, and is capable of great deeds. less battles, but prefer to strike at the
“That so much has been accomplished heart. and such an army created in so short a "Two bases of operation seem to present time, from nothing will hereafter be re- themselves for the advance of the army of garded as one of the highest glories of the Potomac: the administration and the nation.
"1st. That of Washington-its present * Many weeks, I may say many months position--involving a direct attack upon ago, this army of the Potomac was fully the intrenched positions of the enemy at in condition to repel any attack; but there Centreville, Manasses, &c., or else a moveis a vast difference between that and the ment to turn one or both flanks of those efficiency required to enable troopsto attack positions, or a combination of the two successfully an army elated by victory and plans. intrenched in a position long since selected, "The relative force of the two armies studied, and fortified.
will not justify an attack on both flanks : “In the earliest papers I submitted to an attack on his left flank alone involves a the President, I asked for an effective and long line of wagon communication, and movable force far exceeding the aggregate cannot prevent him from collecting for the now on the banks of the Potomac. I have decisive battle all the detachments now on not the force I asked for.
his extreine right and left. “Even when in a subordinate position, I “Should we attack his right flank by always looked beyond the operations of the line of the Occoquan, and a crossing of the army of the Potomac; I was never the Potomac below that river, and near his satisfied in my own mind with a barren batteries, we could perhaps prevent the victory, but looked to combined and ! junction of the enemy's right with his decisive operations.
centre, (we might destroy the former ;) • When I was placed in command of we would remove the obstructions to the the armies of the United States, I immedi- navigation of the Potomac, reduce the ately turned my attention to the whole field | length of wagon transportation by estab. of operations, regarding the army of the lishing new depots at the nearest points of Potomac as only one, while the most im- the Potomac, and strike more directly bis portant, of the masses under my command. main railway communication.
"I confess that I did not appreciate the " The fords of the Occoquan below the total absence of a general plan which had month of the Bull run are watched by the before existed, nor did I know that utter rebels; batteries are said to be placed on disorganization and want of preparation the heights in the rear, (concealed by the pervaded the western armies.
woods.) and the arrangement of his troops "I took it for granted that they were is such that he can oppose some consider. nearly, if not quite, in condition to move able resistance to a passage of that stream. towards the fulfilment of my plans. I Information has just been received, to the acknowledge that I made a great mistake. I effect that the enemy are intrenching a line
" I sent at once with the approval of of heights extending from the vicinity of the Executive-officers I considered com- Sangster's (Union mills) towards Evans. petent to command in Kentucky and port. Early in January, Spriggs's ford Missouri. Their instructions looked to was occupied by Gen. Rhodes, with 3,600 prompt movements. I soon found that men and eight (8) guns; there are strong the labor of creation and organization had reasons for believing that Davis's ford is to be performed there; transportation occupied. These circumstances indicate arms-clothing-artillery--discipline, all or prove that the enemy anticipates the were wanting. These things required time movement in question, and is prepared to to procure them.
resist it. Assuming for the present that "The generals in command have done this operation is determined upon, it may their work most creditably, but we are still be well to examine briefly its probable delayed. I had hoped that a general progress. In the present state of affairs, advance could be made during the good our column (for the movement of so large weather of December; I was mistaken. a force must be made in several columns,
“My wish was to gain possession of the at least five or six) can reach the Acca. eastern Tennessee railroad, as a prelimi- tinck without danger; during the march nary movement, then to follow it up iin- thence to the Occoquan, our right flank mediately by an attack on Naslıville and becomes exposed to an attack froin Fairfax Richmond, as nearly at the same time as station, Sangster's, and Union mills. This possible,
danger must be made by occupying in some “I have ever regarded our true policy force either the two first named places, or es being that of fully preparing ourselves, better, the point of junction of the roads