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a population sufficiently numerous, intelli- equip and arm as many troops as possible gent and warlike to constitute a nation. in Western Virginia, in order to render We have not only to defeat their armed the Ohio and Indiana regiments available and organized forces in the field, but to for other operations." display such an overwhelming strength as At as early a day as practicable, it would will convince all our antagonists, especially be well to protect and re-open the Balti those of the governing, aristocratic class, more and Ohio railroad. Baltimore and of the utter impossibility of resistance. Fort Monroe should be occupied by garOur late reverses make this course impe- risons eufficient to retain them in our posrative. Had we been successful in the session. recent battle, (Manassas.) it is possible. The importance of Harper's Ferry and that we might have been spared the labor the line of the Potomac in the direction of and expenses of a great effort.
Leesbury will be very materially diminished Now we have no alternative. Their so soon as our force in this vicinity be. success will enable the political leaders of comes organized, strong and efficient, bethe rebels to convince the mass of their cause no capabie general will cross the people that we are inferior to them in force river north of this city, when we have a and courage, and to command all their re- strong army here ready to cut off his resources. The contest began with a class, treat. now it is with a people--our military suc- 1 To revert to the west. It is probable cess can alone restore the former issue that no very large additions to the troops
By thoroughly defeating their armies, now in Missouri will be necessary to secure taking their strong places, and pursuing a that State. rigidly protective policy as to private pro- i I presume that the force required for perty and unarmed persons, and a lenient the movement down the Mississippi will be course as to private soldiers. we may well determined by its commander and the Prehope for a permanent restoration of a sident. If Kentucky assumes the right peaceful Union. But in the first instance position, not more than 20,000 will be the anthority of the government inust be needed, together with those that can be supported by overwhelming physical force. raised in that State and Eastern Tenues.
Our foreign relations and financial credit see, to secure the latter region and its also imperatively demand that the military railroads, as well as ultimately to occupy action of the government should be prompt Nashville. and irresistible.
The Western Virginia troops, with not The rebels have chosen Virginia as their more than five to ten thousand from Ohio battle-field, and it seems proper for us to and Indiana, should, uvder proper managemake the first great struggle there. But inent, suffice ior its protection. while thus directing our main efforts, it is When we have re-organized our main ar. necessary to diminish the resistance there my here, 10,000 men ought to be enough to offered us, by movements on other points protect the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad both by land and water.
and the Potomac, 5,000 will garrison Bal. Without entering at present into details, timore, 3.000 Fort Monroe, and not more I would advise that a strong movement be than 20,000 will be necessary at the ut. made on the Mississippi, and that the re- most for the defence of Washington, bels be driven out of Missouri.
* For the main army of operations I urge As soon as it becomes perfectly clear the following composition : that Kentucky is cordially united with us, 250 regiments of infantry, say................225,000 men. I would advise a movement through that ( 100 field batteries, 60 güns.................... 15.00 “ State into Eastern Tennessee, for the pur. | 28 regiments of cavalry .........
5 regiments engineer troops....... pose of assisting the Union men of that region and of seizing the railroads leading Total.
273,000 from Memphis to the east.
The force must be supplied with the The possession of those roads by us, in necessary engineer and pontoon trains, and connexion with the movement on the Mis. with transportation for every thing save sissippi, would go far towards determining tents. Its general line of operations should the evacuation of Virginia by the rebels. Ibe so directed that water transportation In the meantime, all the passes into West-can be availed of from point to point, by
ern Virginia from the east should be se- means of the ocean and the rivers emptying ·curely guarded, but I would advise no into it. An essential feature of the plan movement from that quarter towards Rich-of operations will be the employment of a mond, unless the political condition of Ken- strong naval force to protect the movetucky renders it impossible or inexpedientment of a fleet of transports intended to for us to make the movement upon Eastern convey a considerable body of troops from Tennessee through that State. Every ef point to point of the enemy's sea-coast, fort should, however, be made to organize, thus either creating diversions and render
ing it necessary for them to detach largely | standing with Mexico; their sympathies. from their main body in order to protect and interests are with us-their antipa-, such of their cities as may be threatened, thies exclusively against our enemies and or else landing and forming establishments their institutions. I think it would not be on their coast at any favorable places that difficult to obtain from the Mexican gov. opportunity might offer. This naval force ernment the right to use, at least during should also co-operate with the main army the present contest, the road from Guayin its efforts to seize the important sea- mas to New Mexico; this concession board towns of the rebels.
would very materially reduce the obstacles It cannot be ignored that the construc- of the column moving from the Pacific; tion of railroads has introduced a new and a similar permission to use their territory very important element into war, by the for the passage of troops between the Pa great facilities thus given for concen- nuco and the Rio Grande would enable us trating at particular positions large masses to throw a column of troops by a good of troops from remote sections, and by cre-road from Tampico, or some of the small ating new strategic points and lines of harbors north of it, upon and across the operations.
Rio Grande, without risk and scarcely It is intended to overcome this difficulty firing a shot. by the partial operations suggested, and To what extent, if any, it would be desisuch others as the particular case may re- rable to take into service and employ Mexi. quire. We must endeavor to seize places can soldiers, is a question entirely political, on the railways in the rear of the enemy's on which I do not venture to offer an opipoints of concentration, and we must threa- nion. ten their seaboard cities, in order that The force I have recommended is large; each State may be forced, by the necessity the expense is great. It is possible that of its own defence, to diminish its contin- a smaller force might accomplish the obgent to the confederate army.
jcct in view, but I understand it to be the The proposed movemont down the Mis purpose of this great nation to re-establish sissippi will produce important results in the power of its government, and restore this connexion. That advance and the peace to its citizens, in the shortest possiprogress of the main army in the east will | ble time. . materially assist each other by diminishing The question to be decided is simply the resistance to be encountered by each. this: shall we crush the rebellion at one
The tendency of the Mississippi move blow, terminate the war in one campaign, ment upon all questions convected with or shall we leave it as a legacy for our cotton is too well understood by the Pre- descendants. sident and cabinet to need any illustration | When the extent of the possible line of from me.
operations is considered, the force asked There is another independent movement for for the main army under my command that has often been suggested and which cannot be regarded as unduly large; every has always recommended itself to my i mile we advance carries us further from judgment. I refer to a movement from our base of operations and renders detachKansas and Nebraska through the Indian ments necessary to cover our communicaterritory upon Red river and western tions, while the enemy will be constantly Texas for the purpose of protecting and concentrating as he falls back. I propose, developing the latent Union and free-State with the force which I have requested, not sentiment well known to predominate in only to drive the enemy out of Virginia western Texas, and which, like a similar and occupy Richmond, but to occupy sentiment in Western Virginia, will, if Charleston. Savannah, Montgomery, Penprotected, ultimately organize that section sacola, Mobile and New Orleans; in other into a free State. How far it will be pos- words, to move into the heart of the enesible to support this movement by an ad- my's country and crush the rebellion in its vance through New Mexico from Califor- very heart. via, is a matter which I have not sufficiently By seizing and repairing the railroads examined to be able to express a decided as we advance, the difficulties of transporopinion. If at all practicable, it is emi- tation will be materially diminished. It nently desirable, as bringing into play the is perhaps unecessary to state that, in addiresources and warlike qualities of the tion to the forces named in this memoranPacific States, as well as identifying them dum, strong reserves should be formed, with our cause and connecting the bond ready to supply any losses that may occur. of Union between them and the general In conclusion, I would submit that the government.
exigencies of the treasury may be lessened If it is not departing too far from my pro- by making only partial payments to our vince, I will venture to suggest the policy troops, when in the enemy's country, and of an ultimate alliance and cordial under- l by giving the obligations of the United
th a reason
States for such supplies as may there be Lieut. Gen. Scott, under date of 8th a obtained.
August; in my letter to the President auGEO. B. MCCLELLAN. Maj. Gen. thorizing him, at his request, to withdraw
the letter written by me to Gen. Scott: I do not think the events of the war have proved these views upon the method swering your note of inquiry of that date, and plans of its conduct altogether incor- | my views on the same subject are fully rect. They certainly have not proved my land frankly expressed. estimate of the number of troops and! In these several communications I have scope of operations too large. It is pro
stated the force I regarded as necessary to bable that I did underestimate the tinie necessary for the completion of arms and
able certainty of success, at the same time equipments. It was not strange, however,
leaving the capital and the line of the Po that by many civilians intrusted with au
tomac sufficiently guarded, not only to thority there should have been an exactly
secure the retreat of the main army, in the opposite opinion held on both these par.
event of disaster, but to render it out of ticular.
the enemy's power to attempt a diversion The result of the first battle of Manas- l in Maryland. sas had been almost to destroy the morale So much time has passed, and the winand organization of our army, and to alarm ter is approaching so rapidly, that but two government and people. The national
courses are left to the government, viz. : capital was in danger; it was necessary, either to go into winter quarters, or to as. besides holding the enemy in check, to sume the offensive with forces greatly inbuild works for its defence, strong and ca- ferior in numbers to the army I regarded pable of being held by a small force.
as desirable and necessary, If political It was necessary also to create a new.l considerations render the first course une army for active operations and to expedite advisable, the second alone remains. While its organization, equipment, and the accu-I regret that it has not been deemed expemulation of the material of war, and to dient, or perhaps possible, to concentrate this not inconsiderable labor all. my ener- the forces of ihe nation in this vicinity, gies for the next three month were con- (remaining on the defensive elsewhere,). stantly devoted.
keeping the attention and efforts of the Time is a necessary element in the cre
essary element in the cre- government fixed upon this as the vital ation of armies, and I do not, therefore, point, where the issue of the great contest think it necessary to more than mention
is to be decided, it may still be that, by inthe impatience with which many regarded troducing unity of action and design among the delay in the arrival of new levies, the various armies of the land, by determithough recruited and pressed forward with ning the courses to be pursued by the unexampled rapidity, the manufacture and various commanders under one general supply of arms and equipment, or the vehe- plan, transferring from the other armies mence with which an immediate advance the superfluous strength not required for npon the enemy's works directly in our the purpose in view, and thus re-enforcing front was urged by a patriotic but san
this main army, whose destiny it is to deguine people.
cide the controversy, we may yet be able The President, too, was anxious for the to move with a reasonable prospect of sucspeedy employment of our army, and, al-cess before the winter is fairly upon us. though possessed of my plans through fre- The nation feels, and I share that feelquent conferences, desired a paper from ing. that the army of the Potomac holds me upon the condition of the forces under the fate of the country in its hands. my command and the immediate measures The stake is so vast, the issue 80 to be taken to increase their efficiency. | momentous, and the effect of the next Accordingly, in the latter part of October | battle will be so important throughout the 1 addressed the following letter to the future, as well as the present, that I conSecretary of War.
tinue to urge, as I have ever done since 1 Sir: In conformity with a personal un- entered upon the command of this army, derstanding with the President yesterday, upon the government to devote its energies I have the honor to submit the following and its available resources towards instatement of the condition of the army creasing the numbers and efficiency of the under my command, and the measures re- arnıy on which its salvation depends. quired for the prcservation of the govern A statement, carefully prepared by the ment and the suppression of the rebellion. chiefs of engineers and artillery of this
It will be remembered that in a memorial army, gives us the necessary garrison of I had the honor to address to the Presi- this city and its fortifications, 33,795 men dent soon after my arrival in Washington, -say 35,000. and in my communication addressed to ! The present garrison of Baltimore and its dependencies is about 10,000. I have the field; so far as arms and equipments sent the chief of my staff to make a care- are concerned, some of the batteries are ful examination into the condition of these still quite raw, and unfit to go into action troops, and to obtain the information I have intelligence that eight New York requisite to enable me to decide whether batteries are en route hither; two others this number can be diminished, or the are ready for the field. I will still (if the reverse.
| New York batteries have six guns each) At least. 5,000 men will be required to be 112 guns short of the number required watch the river hence to Harper's Ferry for the active column, saying nothing, for and its vicinity; probably 8,000 to guard the present, of those necessary for the garthe lower Potomac.
rison and corps on the Potomac, which As you are aware, all the information would make a total deficiency of 200 guns. we have from spies, prisoners, &c., agrees I have thus briefly stated our present in showing that the enemy have a force condition and wants; it remains to sug. on the Potomac not less than 150,000 gest the means of supplying the defistrong, well drilled and equipped, ably ciencies. commanded and strongly intrenched. It First, that all the cavalry and infantry is plain, therefore, that to insure success, arms, as fast as procured, whether manu. or to render it reasonably certain, the factured in this country or purchased active army should not number less than abroad, be sent to this army until it is 150,000 efficient troops, with 400 guns, | fully prepared for the field. unless some material change occurs in the Second, that the two companies of the force in front of us.
fourth artillery, now understood to be en The requisite force for an advance move route from Fort Randall to Fort Monroe, ment by the army of the Potomac may be be ordered to this army, to be mounted at thus estimated :
once; also, that the companies of the third
MEX, GONS. | artillery, en route from California, be sent Coinma of active operations......
.150,000 400 here. Had not the order for Smead's Gajrison of the city of Washington, ...... 35,000 40 To guard the Potomac to Harper's Ferry... 6,000 12
battery to come here from Harrisburg, to To guard the lower Potomac.............. 8,000 24 replace the battery I gave Gen. Sherman, Garrison for Baltimore and Annapolis....... 10,000 12
been so often countermanded, I would Total effective force required.........208,000 488 again ask for it.
Third, that a more effective regulation er an aggregate, present and absent, of may be made authorizing the transfer of about 240,000 men, should the losses by, men from the volunta
men from the volunteers to the regular sickness, &c., not rise to a higher percent
batteries, infantry and cavalry; that we age than at present.
may make the best possible use of the Having stated what I regard as the ' invaluable regular “skeletons." requisite force to enable this army to Fourth, I have no official information as advance, I now proceed to give the actual to the United States forces elsewhere, but, strength of the army of the Potomac. from the best information I can obtain The aggregate strength of the army of
from the War Department and other the Potomac, by the official report on the
sources, I am led to believe that the morning of the 27th instant, was 168,318 / United States troops are: officers and men, of all grades and arms,
In Western Virginia, about............
.. 80,000 This includes the troops at Baltimore and
... 40,000 Annapolis, on the upper and lower Poto
.80,000 In Fortress Monroe.....
11,000 mac, the sick, absent, &c. The force present for duty was 147,695. Total..
.........161,000 Of this number, 4,268 cavalry were com
| Besides these, I am informed that more pletely unarmed, 3,163 cavalry only parti- than 100,000 are in progress of organizaally armed, 5,979 infantry unequipped, tion in other northern and western States. making 13,410 unfit for the field, (irrespec- ! I would therefore recommend that, not tive of those not yet sufficiently drilled,) interfering with Kentucky, there should and reducing the effective force to 134,285, be retained in Western Virginia and Misand the nuniber disposable for an advance souri a sufficient force for defensive purto 76,285. The infantry regiments are, to poses, and that the surplus troops be sent & considerable extent, armed with unser- to the army of the Potomac, to enable it viceable weapons. Quite a large number to assume the offensive; that the same of good arms, which had been intended for course be pursued in respect to Fortress this army, were ordered elsewhere, leaving Monroe, and that no further outside expethe army of the Potomac insufficiently, ditions be attempted until we have fought and, in some cases, badly armed.
the great battle in front of us. On the 30th of September there were Fifth, that every nerve be strained to with this army 228 field guns, ready for hasten the enrolment, organization and
ariament of new batteries and regiments i I have the honor to be, very respectfully, of infantry.
your obedient servant, Sixth, that all the battalions now raised'
G. B. MCCLELLAN, Maj. Gen. for new regiments of regular infantry bei Hon. SIMON CAMERON, Sec. of War. at once ordered to this army, and that the i old infantry and cavalry en route from When I assumed command in Washing. California be ordered to this army imme- ton, on he 27th of July, 1861, the number diately on their arrival in New York of troops in and around the city was about
I have thus indicated, in a general man- 50,000 infantry, less than 1,000 cavalry, ner, the objects to be accomplished, and, and 650 artillerymen, with nine imperfect the means by which we may gain our field batteries of thirty pieces. ends.
On the Virginia bank of the Potomac A vigorous employment of these means the brigade organization of Gen. McDowell will, in my opinion, enable the army of still existed, and the troops were stationed the Potomac to assume successfully this at and in rear of Fort Corcoran, Arling, season the offensive operations which, ton, and Fort Albany, at Fort Runyan, ever since entering upon the command, it Roach's Mills, Cole's Mills, and in the has been my anxious desire and diligent vicinity of Fort Ellsworth, with a detacheffort to prepare for and prosecute. The ment at the Theological Seminary. advance should not be postponed beyond There were no troops south of Hunting the 25th of November, if possible to creek, and many of the regiments were avoid it.
encamped on the low grounds bordering the Unity in councils, the utmost vigor and Potomac, seldom in the best positions for energy in action are indispensable. The defence, and entirely inadequate in numentire military field should be grasped as bers and condition to defend the long line a whole, and not in detached parts. from Fort Corcoran to Alexandria.
One plan should be agreed upon and On the Maryland side of the river, upona pursued; a single will should direct and the heights overlooking the Chain bridge, carry out these plans.
two regiments were stationed, whose com. The great object to be accomplished, manders were independent of each other. the crushing defeat of the rebel army. There were no troops on the important (now) at Manassas, should never for one Tenallytown road, or on the roads entering instant be lost sight of, but all the intel- the city from the south. lect and means and men of the govern The camps were located without regard ment poured upon that point. The loyal to purposes of defence or instruction, the States possess ample force to effect all roads were not picketed, and there was no this and more. The rebels have displayed attempt at an organization into brigades., energy, unanimity, and wisdom worthy of In no quarter were the dispositions for the most desperate days of the French defence such as to offer a vigorous resist revolution. Should we do less?
ance to a respectable body of the enemy, The unity of this nation, the preserva- either in the position and numbers of the tion of our institutions, are so dear to me troops, or the number and character of that I have willingly sacrificed my private the defensive works. Earth-works, in the happiness with the single object of doing nature of tetes de pont, looked upon the my duty to my country. When the task is approaches to the Georgetown aqueduct accomplished, I shall be glad to return to and ferry, the long bridge and Alexandria, the obscurity from which events have drawn by the Little river turnpike, and some me.
| simple defensive arrangements were made Whatever the determination of the gov- at the Chain bridge. With the latter ernment may be, I will do the best I can exception not a single defensive work bad with the army of the Potomac, and will been commenced on the Maryland side. share its fate, whatever may be the task There was nothing to prevent the enemy imposed upon me.
shelling the city from heights within easy Permit me to add that, on this occasion range, which could be occupied by a hostile as heretofore, it has been my aim neither column almost without resistance. Many to exaggerate nor underrate the power of soldiers had deserted, and the streets of the enemy, nor fail to express clearly the Washington were crowded with straggling means by which, in my judgment, that officers and men, absent from their stations power may be broken. Urging the energy without authority, whose behavior indiof preparation and action, which has ever cated the general want of discipline and been my choice, but with the fixed purpose organization. by no act of mine to expose the govern- I at once designated an efficient staff, ment to hazard by premature movement, afterwards adding to it as opportunity and requesting that this communication was afforded and necessity required, who may be laid before the President,
zealously co-operated with me in the labo