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when the proper time arrived for a de- sion, 10,028 strong, with 24 pieces of artil. cision.
lery; Banks's 5th corpg, which embraces From the following letter to the Adj. the command of Gen. Shield's 19,687 Gen., dated April 1, 1862, it will be seen strong, with 41 guns, some 3,652 disposthat I left for the defence of the national able cavalry, and the railroad guards, capital and its approaches, when I sailed about 2,100 meu, amount to about 35,407 for the Peninsula, 73,456 men, with 109 men. pieces of light artillery, including the 32 “It is designed to relieve Gen. Hooker pieces in Washington alluded to, but not by one regiment, say 850 mir.n, being, with enumerated in my letter to the Adj. Gen. some 500 cavalry, 1,350 mou on the lower It will also be seen that I recommended Potomac. other available troops in New York (more
“ To recapitulate : than 4,000) to be at once ordered forward | “At Warrenton there is to be ............. 7,780 men to re-enforce them.
“At Manassas, say....
"In the valley of the Shenandoah........ 35, 467 “HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE Potomac,
"On the lower Potomac........................ 1,350 " “ Steamer Commodore, April 1, 1862,
"In all... “GENERAL: I have to request that you " There would thus be left for the garriwill lay the following communication be- sons and the front of Washington, under fore the Hon. Secretary of War.
Gen. Wadsworth, some 18,000, inclusive of " The approximate numbers and posi- the batteries under instruction. The troops tions of the troops left near and in rear of organizing or ready for service in New the Potomac are as follows:
York, I learn, will probably number more “Gen Dix has, after guarding the rail than four thousand. These should be roads under his charge, sufficient to give assembled at Washington, subject to dishim 5,000 for the defence of Baltimore, and position where their services may be most 1,988 available for the Eastern Shore, required. Annapolis, &c. Fort Delaware is very “I am, very respectfully, your obedient well garrisoned by about 400 men.
servant, “The garrisons of the forts around
“GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Washington amount to 10.600 men ; oiher
Maj. Gen. Com. disposable troops now with Gen. Wads- “ Brig. Gen. L. Thomas, Adj. Gen. U. S. worth about 11,400 men.
Army.' * The troops employed in guarding them
The following letter from Gen. Barry various railways in Maryland amount to some 3,359 men. These it is designed to
shows that thirty-two (32) field guns, with relieve, being old regiments, by dismounted
men, horses, and equipments, were also cavalry, and to send forward to Manassas.
| left in Washington city when the army “Gen. Abercrombie occupies Warren
sailed. These were the batteries under con with a force, which, including Col.
instruction referred to above: Geary, at White Plains, and the cavalry to "HEADQUARTERS INSPECTOR OF ARTILLERY, be at his disposal, will amount to some
“Washington, Dec. 16, 1862. 7,780 men, with 12 pieces of artillery. "GENERAL: 'It having been stated in
"I have the honor to request that all various public prints, and in a speech of the troops organized for service in Penn- Senator Chandler, of Michigan, in his place sylvania and New York, and in any of the in the United States Senate, quoting what Eastern States, may be ordered to Wash-he stated to be a portion of the testimony ington. I learn from Gov. Curtin that of Brig. Gen. Wadsworth, military goverthere are some 3,500 men now ready in nor of Washington, before the joint Senato Pennsylvania. This force I should be and House committee on the conduct of glad to have sent to Manassas, Four the war, that Major Gen. McClellan had Thousand men from Gen. Wadsworth I left an insufficient force for the defence of desire to be ordered to Manassas. These Washington, and not a gun on wheels. troops, with the railroad guards above “I have to contradict this charge as alluded to, will make up a force under the follows: cominand of Gen. Abercrombie of some- “From official reports made at the thing like 18,639 men.
time to me, (the chief of artillery of the "It is my design to push Gen. Blenker's army of the Potomac,) and now in my pos. division from Warrenton upon Strasburg. session, by the commanding officer of the He should remain at Strasburg long light artillery troops left in camp in the enough to allow matters to assume a city of Washington by your orders, it apdefinite form in that region before pro-pears that the following pamed field batceeding to his ultimate destination.
teries were left; “The troops in the valley of the Shan- “Battery C, 1st New York artillery, andoah will thus, iucluding Blenker's divi- Capt. Barnes, 2 guns; battery K, Ist New
York artillery, Capt. Crounse, 6 guns ; / Washington against any force the enemy battery L, 2d New York artillery, Capt. I could bring against it, for the following Robinson, 6 guns; 9th New York inde- reasons : pendent battery, Capt. Monzordi, 6 guns; The light troops I had thrown forward 16th New York independent battery, Capt. under Gen. Stoneman in pursuit of the Locke; battery A, 2d battalion New York rebel army, after the evacuation of Manas. artillery, Capt. Hogan, 6 guns; battery B, sas and Centreville, had driven their rear 2d battalion New York artillery, Capt. guard across Cedar run, and subsequent McMahon, 6 guns; total of batteries, 32 expeditions from Sumner's corps had guns.
forced them beyond the Rappahannock. "With the exception 'of a few horses They had destroyed all the railroad bridges which could have been procured from the | behind them, thereby indicating that they quartermaster's department in a few hours, did not intend to return over that route. the batteries were all fit for immediate Indeed, if they had attempted such a service, excepting the 16th New York movement, their progress must have been battery, which having been previously or- slow and difficult, as it would have indered, oc Gen. Wadsworth's application, volved the reconstruction of the bridges; to report to him for special service, was and if my orders for keeping numerous unequipped with either ging or horses. cavalry patrols well out to the front, to
“I am, general, very respectfully, your give timely notice of any approach of the obedient servant, :
enemy, had been strictly enforced (and I “W. F. BARRY, left seven regiments of cavalry for this ex. "Brig. Gen., Insp. of Art. U. S. Army. I press purpose) they could not by any pos
“Maj. Gen. McCLELLAN, U. S. A. sibility have reached Washington before · It is true that Blenker's division, which there would have been ample time to conn included in the force enumerated by
centrate the entire forces left for its deme. was under orders to re-enforce Gen. , fence, as well as those at Baltimore, at Fremont, but the following despatch from | any necessary point. the Secretary of War, dated March 31, / It was clear to my mind, as I reiterated 1862, will show that I was authorized to to the authorities, that the movement of detain him at Strasburg until matters as the army of the Potomac would have the sumed a definite form in that region, be- / effect to draw off the hostile army from fore proceeding to his ultimate destina
ate desting. Manassas to the defence of their capital, tion: in other words, until Jackson was and thus free Washington from menace. disposed of. And had he been detained | This opinion was confirmed the moment there, instead of moving on to Harper's the movement commenced, or rather as Ferry and Franklin, under other orders, / soon as the enemy became aware of our it is probable that Gen. Banks would have intentions ; for with the exception of Jackdefeated Jackson, instead of being himself
son's force of some 15,000, which his inobliged subsequently to retreat to Wil- structions show how to have been intended liamsport.
to operate in such a way as to prevent Mc“ War DEPARTMENT,
Dowell's corps from being sent to re-enforce “ Washington. D. C., March 31, 1862. ' me, no rebel force of any magnitude made
its appearance in front of Washington “ The order in respect to Blenker is not during the progress of our operations on designed to hinder or delay the movement the Peninsula ; nor until the order was of Richardson, or any other force. He given for my return from Harrison's Land. can remain wherever you desire him as ing was Washington again threatened. long as required for your movements, and Surrounded, as Washington was, with in any position you desire. The order is
numerous and strong fortifications, well simply to place him in position for re
garrisoned, it was manifest that the enemy enforcing Fremont, as soon as your dispo- could not afford to detach from his main sitions will permit, and he may go to Har
army a force sufficient to assail them. per's Ferry by such route and at such
It' is proper to remark, that just pretime as you shall direct. State your own
vious to my departure for Fort Monroe, I wishes as to the movement, when and how sent my chief of staff to Gen. Hitchcock, it shall be inade.
who at that time held staff relations with "EDWIN M. STANTON.
his excellency the President and the Sec“Secretary of War. retary of War, to submit to him a list of “Maj. Gen. MCCLELLAN."
the troops I proposed to leave for the deWithout including Gen. Blenker's divi- fence of Washington, and the positions in sion, there were left 67,428 men and 85 which I designed posting them. Gen. pieces of light artillery, which, under ex- Hitchcock, after glancing his eye over the isting circumstances, I deemed more than list, observed that he was not the judge of adequate to insure the perfect security of I what was reqaired for defending the capital; that Gen. McClellan's position was the Shenandoah valley, was in the best such as to enable him to understand the position to defend not only that approach subject much better than he did, and he to Washington, but the roads to Harper's presumed that if the force designated was, Ferry and above. in his judgment, sufficient, nothing more The number of troops left by me for would be required. He was then told by the defence of Washington, as given in my the chief of staff that I would be glad to letter to the Adju. Gen., were taken from have his opinion, as an old and experienced the latest official returns of that date, and officer; to this he replied, that as I had these, of course, constituted the most trusthad the entire control of the defences for worthy and authentic source from which a long time, I was the best judge of what such information could be obtained. was needed, and he declined to give any Another statement made by Gen. Hitchother expression of opinion at that time. cock before the “ Committee on the Con
On the 2d of April, the day following i duct of the War," in reference to this same my departure for Fort Monroe, Gens. order, should be noticed. He was asked Hitchcock and Thomas were directed by the following question: “Do you underthe Secretary of War to examine and re- stand now that the movement made by port whether the President's instructions Gen. McClellan to Fort Monroe, and up to me, of March 8 and 13 had been com- the York river, was in compliance with plied with; on the same day their report the recommendation of the council of was submitted, and their decision was generals commanding corps, and held at
“That the requirement of the President, Fairfax Court-house on the 13th of March that this city (Washington) shall be left last, or in violation of it?" entirely secure, has not been fully com- To which he replied as follows: “I plied with.”
have considered, and do now consider, The President, in his letter to me on the ! that it was in violation of the recommenda9th of April, says: “And now allow me to tion of that council in two important parask, do you really think I should permit ticulars; one particular being that portion the line from Richmond, via Manassas of this report which represents the counJunction, to this city, to be entirely open, cil as agreeing to the expedition by way except what resistance could be presented of the Peninsula, provided the rebel by less than twenty thousand unorganized steamer Merrimac could first be neutratroops ?”
I lized. That important provision Gen. McIn the report of Gens. Hitchcock and Clellan disregarded. Thomas, alluded to, it is acknowledged ' * * that there was no danger of an attack from The second particular alluded to by the direction of Manassas, in these words : Gen. Hitchcock was in reference to the “ In regard to occupying Manassas Junc- troops left for the defence of Washington, tion, as the enemy have destroyed the which has been disposed of above. railroads leading to it, it may be fair to In regard to the steamer Merrimac, I assume that they have no intention of re- have also stated that, so far as our operaturning for the reoccupation of their late tions on York river were concerned, the position, and therefore no large force would power of this vessel was neutralized. I be necessary to hold that position." now proceed to give some of the evidence
That as remarked before, was precisely | which influenced me in coming to that V the view that I took of it, and this was enforced by the subsequent movements of Previous to our departure for the Peninthe enemy.
sula, Mr. Watson, Assistant Secretary of In another paragraph of the report it is War, was sent by the President to Fort stated that fifty-five thousand men was the Monroe to consult with Flag-officer Goldsnumber considered adequate for the defence borough upon this subject. The result of of the capital. That Gen. McClellan, in that consultation is contained in the followhis enumeration of the forces left, had in- ing extract from the evidence of Admiral cluded Banks's army corps, operating in the Goldsborough before the “Committee on Shenandoah valley, but whether this corps the Conduct of the War," viz.: “I told should be regarded as available for the Mr. Watson, Assistant Secretary of War, protection of Washington, they decline to that the President might make his mind express an opinion.
perfectly easy about the Merrimac going At the time this report was made, the up York river ; that she could never get only enemy on any approach to Washing. there, for I had ample means to prevent ton was Jackson's force, in front of Banks that." in the Shenandoah valley, with the Man- Cap. G. V. Fox, Assistant Secretary of essas Gap railroad leading from this valley! the Nary, testifies before the Committee to Washington ; and it will be admitted, as follows: I presume, that Banks, occupying the “Gen. McClellan expected the Navy to
neutralize the Merrimac, and I promised , sition we examined yesterday. The works that it should be done.”
1 of the enemy to the north of this latter Gen. Keyes, commanding the 4th army position, numbered 1 and 2 on Lieut. Comcorps, testifies as follows before the Com- stock's sketch, may also form a part of the mittee:
front line of our defence; but the sides of . “During the time that the subject of these works looking towards Manassas the change of base was discussed, I had station should be levelled, so that the inrefused to consent to the Peninsula line of terior of the works may be seen from the operations until I had sent word to the latter position. Navy department and asked two questions: “Embrasures should be arranged in all First, whether the Merrimac was certainly these works for field artillery. The apneutralized, or not? Second, whether the proaches should be such that a battery navy was in a condition to co-operate effi- can drive into the works. The number of ciently with the army to break through be- embrasures in each battery will depend tween Yorktown and Gloucester point? upon its size and the ground to be comTo both of these, answers were returned in manded. It is to be supposed there will the affirmative; that is the Merrimac was be from four to eight embrasures in each neutralized, and the navy was in a condi- battery. tion to co-operate efficiently to break “The other works of the enemy looking through between Yorktown and Glouces- towards the east and south may be strengthter point."
ened so as to afford sufficient defence in Before starting for the Peninsula, I in these directions. The work No. 3 Lieut. structed Lieut. Col. B. S. Alexander, of Comstock's sketch may be also strengththe United States corps of engineers, to ened and arranged for field artillery, when visit Manassas Junction and its vicinity time will permit. This work is in a good for the purpose of determining upon the position to cover a retreat, which would be defensive works necessary to enable us to made down the valley in which the railhold that place with a small force. The road runs towards Bull run, accompanying letters from Col. Alexander “At Manassas station there should be a will show what steps were taken by him to fort constructed. The railroad will pass carry into effect this important order. through this fort. and the depot, if there
I regret to say that those who succeeded should be one built, should be placed in its me in command of the region in front of rear. This latter work should be regarded Washington, whatever were the fears for as the key to the position. It should be as its safety did not deem it necessary to large as the nature of the ground will carry out my plans and instructions to permit. them. Had Manassas been placed in con- “By going down the slopes, which are dition for a strong defence, and communi- not steep, it may be made large enough to cations secured as recommended by Col. accommodate 2,000 or 3,000 men. The Alexander, the result of Gen. Pope's cam- top of the position need not be cut away ; paigu would probably have been different. / it will be better to throw up the earth into
| a large traverse, which may also be a bomb
proof. Its profile should be strong, and its “ WASHINGTON, D. C., April 2, 1862.
ditches should be flanked. It should re“SIR: You will proceed to Manassas at ceive a heavy ariament of 24 or 32 as early a moment as practicable and pounders, with some rifled (Parrott) 20 or mark on the ground the works for the de-30 pounders. Its guns should command fence of that place, on the positions which all the exterior works, so that these works I indicated to you yesterday. You will could be of no use to the enemy should he find two carpenters, experienced in this take them. In accommodating the fort to kind of work, ready to accompany you, by the ground this consideration should not calling on Mr. Dougherty, the master car- | be lost sight of. penter of the Treasury extension.
•“After tracing these works on the “ The general idea of the defence of ground, you will make a sketch embracing this position is, to occupy the fringe of the whole of them, showing their relative elevation which lies about half way be- positions and size. This sketch should tween Manassas depot and the junction of embrace the junction of the railroads and the railroad, with a series of works open the ground for some distance around the to the rear, so that they may be commanded main work. It need not be made with by the work hereafter to be described. extreme accuracy. The distances may be
There will be at least four of these works, paced, or measured, with & tape line. three of them being on the left of the rail. The bearings may be taken by compass. road leading from Alexandria, at the posi- “Having located the works and pretions occupied by the enemy's works. The pared your sketch, you will report to Capt. other on the right of this road, on the po- Frederick E. Prime, of the corps of engineers, who will furnish you the means / time, and skirmishes frequently occurred, of construction.
which were of great importance in the * It is important that these works should education of the troops, accustoming them be built with the least possible delay. to the presence of the enemy, and giving You will, therefore, expedite matters as them confidence under fire. There were fast as possible.
many instances of individual gallantry dis“Very respectfully, your obedient ser- played in these affairs; the reports of vant, "B. S. ALEXANDER,
them will be found among the documents “Lieut.-Col., Aide-de-Camp. which accompany this report. “Capt. Fred. R. MUNTLER, Present." One of the most brilliant of these affairs
“WASHINGTON, April 6. 1862. was that which took place at Drainsville “Sir: I enclose you herewith a copy of on December 20, 1861, when the 3d brigade the instructions which I gave to Capt. of McCall's division, under Brig.-Gen. E. Munther, in reference to the defences of 0. C. Ord, with Easton's battery, routed Manassas.
and pursued four regiments of infantry, 1 "As there has been a new department one of cavalry, and a battery of six pieces. created. (that of the Rappahannock.) it is The operations of Brig.-Gen. F. W. possible that you and I, as well as Gen. Lander on the upper Potomac, during the McClellan, are relieved from the further months of 'January and February, 1862, consideration of this subject at the present
frustrated the attempts of Gen. Jackson time.
against the Baltimore and Ohio railroad, "I will, however, state for your informa
Cumberland, &c., and obliged him to fall tion, should the subject ever come before
back to Winchester. His constitution you again, that in my opinion the commu
was impaired by the hardships he had exnication with Manassas by land should be perienced, and on the 2d of March the secured.
fearless Gen. Lander expired, a victim to “To effect this in the best manner, so the excessive fatigue of the campaign. far as my observations extended, I think the bridge over Bull run, near Union mills and just above the railroad bridge, should SECOND PERIOD. be rebuilt or thoroughly repaired, and that a small work, or two or three open batteries, should be erected on the adja
CHAPTER I. cent heights to protect it as well as the The council composed of the four corps railroad bridge.
commanders, organized by the President “ The communications by land would of the United States, at its meeting on the then be through or near Centreville, over | 13th of March, adopted Fort Monroe as the road used by the enemy.
the base of operations for the movement "I write this for fear something should of the army of the Potomac upon Richdetain me here; but I hope to leave here mond. For the prompt and successful to join you to-morrow. My health is execution of the projected operation, it much improved.
was regarded by all as necessary that the “Very respectfully, your obedient ser-| whole of the four corps should be employed, vant, “B, S. ALEXANDER, with at least the addition of ten thousand
“ Lient.-Col., Aide-de-Camp. men drawn from the forces in the vicinity “ Brig-Gen. J. G. BARNARD,
of Fortress Monroe, that position and its “Chief Eng., Army of the Potomac. dependencies being regarded as amply
I may be permitted also to mention that protected by the naval force in its neighthe plans (also unexecuted by my suc borhood, and the advance of the main arniy cessor) indicated in my letter of instruc- up the Peninsula, so that it could be safely tions to Gen. Banks, dated March 16, 1862, left with a small garrison. for intrenching Chester Gap and the point! In addition to the land forces, the cowhere the Manassas railroad crosses the operation of the navy was desired in the Shenandoah, were for the purpose of pre- projected attack upon the batteries at venting even the attempt of such a raid as Yorktown and Gloucester, as well as in that of Jackson in the month of May fol- controlling the York and James rivers for lowing
the protection of our flanks, and the use
of the transports bringing supplies to the MILITARY INCIDENTS OF THE FIRST PERIOD. | army. With these expectations, and for
Before taking up the history of the em- reasons stated elsewhere in this report, my Dárcation and Peninsula campaign, I should original plan of moving by Urbana and remark that during the fall and winter of West Point was abandoned, and the line 1861-'62, while the army of the Potomac | with Fort Monroe as a base adopted. In was in position in front of Washington, the arrangements for the transportation reconnoissances were made from time to l of the army to the Peninsula by water,