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ceived late last evening. The troops pro- river, from the mouth of Antietam to Cumposed for Thoroughfare gap will be sent to | berland, as well as any other troops that that place whenever you are in position may hereafter be sent for the protection for their co-operation, as previously stated, of the Maryland and Pennsylvania frontier but no new regiments can be sent from within the limits of the lines herein speci. here to the upper Potomac. The guard-fied. The force which has been left to ing of that line is left to your own discre- | guard the line is not deemed adequate to tion with the troops now under your com- prevent cavalry raids, but it is all that the mand.
commanding general feels authorized to “H. W. HALLECK, Gen.-in-Chief. detach from the army of the Potomac at “Major-Gen. G. B. McCLELLAN.” the present time, and it devolves upon you I accordingly left the 12th corps at
to make the best use of this force in your Harper's Ferry, detaching one brigade to
power. You will have four cavalry regi. the vicinity of Sharpsburg. Gen. Morell
ments under your command, which should was placed in command of the line from
be so distributed along the river as to the mouth of the Antietam to Cumber.
watch all the available fords, and give land; Gen. Slocum in command of Har.
timely notice to the infantry of the apper's Ferry and the line east of the mouth
proach of any force of rebels. of the Antietam.
“ You will afford all the protection in The orders given to these officers were
your power to the Baltimore and Ohio
railroad. as follows:
“ You will endeavor to prevent any * HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, cavalry raids into Maryland and Pennsyl.
“Oct. 29, 1862–1 P. M. vania. " The general commanding directs that “You will take steps to have all the you send one brigade of your corps to sick and wounded of our army, as well as march at once to the position now occupied of the rebel army within our lines, proby Gen. F. J. Porter's corps, in front of perly taken care of until they can be sent Sharpsburg, to watch and guard the line to general hospitals, or discharged, or of the river, the ford near the mouth of paroled. the Antietam creek to the mouth of the
“You will make your headquarters at Opequan creek.
Hagerstown, and occasionally visit the * The officer in command will also take
different parts of your line. steps to afford proper protection to the
“You will please report promptly to sick and wounded in 'the hospitals in these headquarters everything of importthe vicinity of Sharpsburg and Boons.ance that occurs within the limits of your boro'. The regiment now at Boonsboro' command. will be placed under his orders. Gen.! “The three brigades now at CumberKenley, at Williamsport, will guard the
land, Williamsport, and Sharpsburg, in. river from the mouth of the Opeqnan alone,
cluding the fifty-fourth Pennsylvania voincluding the ford at the mouth of the
lunteers, near Cumberland, will be under Opequan.
your command. They are commanded by * The commanding general also directs
Gens. Kelly, Kenley, and Gordon. that you take immediate steps to estab
" Very respectfully, your obedient ser. lish the remainder of your corps as fol- vant,
S. WILLIAMS, lows, viz.: one brigade on Maryland
“Assistant Adj. Gen. heights, one brigade on Loudon heights, “Gen. G. W. MORELL, with the remainder on Bolivar heights and “Commanding Upper Potomac.” at Harper's Ferry. “These dispositions should be made at
On the 25th of October the pontoon once, so that Gen. Couch can move with bridge at Berlin was constructed, there his corps. Please acknowledge the receipt being already one across the Potomac, of this.
and another across the Shenandoah, at “R. B. MARCY, Chief of Staff. | Harper's Ferry. “ Gen. H. W. SIACUM,
On the 26th two divisions of the ninth “ Com. Arm Corps, Harper's Ferry.” | corps, and Pleasonton's brigade of cavalry,
crossed at Berlin and occupied Lovetts. “HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Ville.
Oct. 31, 1862. The first, sixth, and ninth corps, the “GENERAL: I am instructed by the com- cavalry, and the reserve artillery, crossed manding general to say to you, that he has at Berlin between the 26th of October and selected you to perform the highly im. the 2d of November. portant and responsible duty of taking. The second and fifth corps crossed at charge of and commanding the troops left Harper's Ferry between the 29th of Octo for the defence of the line of the Potomac / ber and the first of November, Heavy
rains lelayed the movement considerably. On the 30th the first corps crossea at in the beginning, and the first, fifth and Berlin and encamped near Lovettsville, sixth corps were obliged to halt at least and the second corps completed the pas. one day at the crossings to complete, as sage of the Shenandoah. The fifth corps far as possible, pecessary supplies that commenced its march from Sharpsburg to could not be procured at an earlier period. Harper's Ferry.
The plan of campaign I adopted during! On the 31st the second corps moved to this advance was to move the army, well the vicinity of Hillsborough; the sixth in hand, parallel to the Blue Ridge, taking corps reached Boonsboro'; the fifth corps Warrenton as the point of direction for reached Harper's Ferry, one division cross, the main army; seizing each pass on the ing the Shenandoah. Blue Ridge by detachments, as we ap- On the 1st of November, the first corps proached it, and guarding them after we moved to Purcellville and Hamilton; and had passed as long as they would enable second corps to Woodgrove; the fifth the enemy to trouble our communications corps to Hillsborough; the sixth corps with the Potomac. It was expected that reached Berlin, one division crossing. we would unite with the eleventh corps and Pleasonton's cavalry occupied Philomont, Sickles's division near Thoroughfare Gap. having a sharp skirmish there and at We depended upon Harper's Ferry and Bloomfield. Berlin "for supplies until the Manassas On November 20, the second corps ocen. Gap railway was reached; when that oc- pied Snicker's gap; the fifth corps, Snickcurred the passes in our rear were to be ersville; the sixth corps crossed the Potoabandoned, and the army massed ready mac and encamped near Wheatland; the for action or movement in any direction. ninth corps advanced to Bloomfield, Union
It was my intention if, upon reaching and Philomont. Pleasonton drove the Ashby's or any other pass, I found that enemy out of Union. Averill was ordered the enemy were in force between it and to join Pleasonton. The enemy offered no the Potomac in the valley of the Shenan- serious resistance to the occupation of doah, to move into the valley and endeavor Snicker's gap, but advanced to gain posto gain their rear.
session of it with a column of some 5,000 I hardly hoped to accomplish this, but to 6,000 infantry, who were driven back did expect that by striking in between Cul- by a few rounds from our rified guns.' pepper Court House and Little Washing- On the 3d, the first corps moved to ton, I could either separate their army Philomont, Union, Bloomfield, &c., the and beat them in detail, or else force them second corps to the vicinity of Upperville; to concentrate as far back as Gordons- the fifth corps remained at Snicker's gap; ville, and thus place the army of the Poto- the sixth corps moved to Purcellville; mac in position either to adopt the Frede- the ninth corps moved towards Upperville. ricksburg line of advance upon Richmond, Pleasonton drove the enemy out of Upperor to be removed to the Peninsula, if, as / ville after a severe fight. I aprehended, it were found impossible to On the 4th, the second corps took possupply it by the Orange and Alexandria session of Ashby's gap; the sixth corps railroad beyond Culpepper.
| reached Union; the ninth corps, UpperOn the 27th of October, the remaining ville; the cavalry occupied Piedmont. On divisions of the ninth corps crossed at the 5th, the first corps moved to RectorBerlin, and Pleasonton's cavalry advanced town and White Plains ; one division of to Purcellville. The concentration of the the second corps to the intersection of the sixth corps, delayed somewhat by intelli- Paris and Piedmont with the Upperville gence a to the movements of the enemy and Barber's road; the sixth corps to the near Hledgesville, &c., was commenced on Aldie pike, east of Upperville; the ninth this day, and the first corps was already corps beyond the Manassas railroad, be. in motion for Berlin.
tween Piedmont and Salem, with a brigade On tie 28th the first corps and the gene- at Manassas gap. The cavalry under ral headquarters reached Berlin. . Averill had a skirmish at Manassas gap,
On the 29th the reserve artillery crossed and the brigade of Pleasonton gained a and encamped near Lovettsville. Stone- handsome victory over superior numbers at man's division, temporarily attached to Barber's Cross Roads, Bayard's cavalry had the ninth corps, occupied Lecsburg ; some sharp skirmishing in front of them. Averili's cavalry brigade moved towards On the 6th, the 1st corps advanced to Berlin from lagerstown; two divisions of Warrenton ; the 2d corps to Rectortown; the ninth corps moved to Wheatland, and the 5th corps commenced its movement one to Waterford. The second corps com- , from Snicker's gap to White Plaids; the menced the passage of the Shenandoah at 9th corps to Waterloo, and vicinity on the Harper's Ferry, and moved into the valley Rappahannock; the Ulth corps was at east of Loudon heights.
New Baltimore, Thoroughfare, and Hopewoll's gaps; Sickles's division guarding , upon Gordonsville, to effect his junction the Orange aud Alexandria railroad frum with the rest of the army. Manassas Junction towards Warrenton The following is from the report of Gen. Junction; the cavalry near Flint hill ; ) Pleasonton : Bavard to cut off what there might be in l.“At this time and from the 7th instant, Warrenton, and to proceed to the Rap- | my advance pickets were at Hazel river, pahannock station.
within six miles of Culpepper, besides ha v. November 7th: Gen. Pleasonton was ing my flank pickets towards Chester and ordered to move towards Little Washing- | Thornton's gaps extended to Gaines's Cross ton and Sperryville, and thence towards Roads and Newby's Cross Roads, with nuCulpepper Court House.
mergas patrols in the direction of WoodNovember 8th: the 2d corps moved half ville, Little Wasbington, and Sperryville. way to Warrenton; the 5th corps to New “The information gained from these parBaltimore.
ties, and also from deserters, prisoners, November 9: the 20 and 5th corps
contrabands, as well as citizens, established reached Warrenton ; the 6th corps, New
the fact of Longstreet, with his command, Baltimore.
being at Culpepper wbile Jackson with D.
H. Hill, with their respective commande, Late on the night of the 7th, I received
were in the Shenandoah valley, on the westan order relieving me from the command of
ern side of the Blue Ridge, covering Chesthe Army of the Potomac, and directing
981 ter and Thorvton's gap, and expecting us me to turn it over to Gen. Burnside, which
to pass through and attack them. I at once did.
"As late as the 17th of November, a conI had already given the orders for the
traband just from Strasburg came in my movement of the 8th and 9th; these orders
camp and reported that D. 11. Hill's corps were carried into effect without change.
was two miles beyond that place, on the The position in wbich I left the army, railroad to Mount Jackson. Hill was as the result of the orders I had given, was tearing up the road and destroying the as follows:
bridges, under the impression that we in· The 1st, 2d, and 5th corps, reserve artil- tended to follow into that valley, and was lery and general headquarters, at Warren- en route for Staunton. ton; the 9th corps, on the line of the Rap- "Jackson's corps was between Stras. pahapnock, in the vicinity of Waterloo ; | burg and Winchester. Ewell and A. P. the 6th corps at New Baltimore; the 1lth Hill were with Jackson. Provisions were corps at New Baltimore, Gainesville, and scarce, and the rebels were obliged to keep T'horoughfare gap ; Sickles's division of the moving to obtain them.” 3d corps, on the Orange and Alexandria
Had I remained in command I should railroad, from Manassas Junction to War
have made the attempt to divide the enerenton Junction; Pleasonton across the
my, as before suggested, and could he have Rappahannock, at Amissville, Jefferson,
been brought to a battle within reach of &c., with bis pickets at Hazel river, facing
my supplies, I cannot doubt that the result Longstreet, six miles from Culpepper Court
would have been a brilliant victory for our llouse; Bayard near Rappahannock sta
On the 10th of November Gen. PleasonThe army was thus massed pear War
ton was attacked by Longstreet, with one renton, ready to act in any required direc
division of infantry and Stuart's cavalry, tion, perfectly in hand, and in adınirable
but repulsed the attack. condition and spirits. I doubt whether, during the whole period that I had the
This indicates the relative position of honor to command the Army of the Poto. our army and that of the enerny at the mac, it was in such excellent condition to time I was relieved from command. tight a great battle. When I gave up the It would be impossible to participate in command to Gen. Burnside, the best infor- operations, such as those described in the mation in our possession indicated that foregoing pages, without forming fixed Longstreet was immediately in our front, opinions upon subjects connected with the near Culpepper; Jackson, with one, perhaps organization of our armies, and the gen. both of the Hills, near Chester and Thorneral conduct of military operations, ton's gaps, with the mass of their force west This report would be incomplete withof the Blue Ridge..
out a brief allusion to some geveral conThe reports from Gen. Pleasonton on siderations which have been firmly imthe advance indicated the possibility of pressed upon me by the events which have scparating the two wings of the enemy's forces, and either beating Longstreet sep. To my mind the most glaring defect in arately, or forcing him to fall back at least our armies is the absence of system in the
appointment and promotion of general individual meinbers of committees of Conand other oflicers, and the want of means gress with subjects wbich, from lack of for the theoretical instruction of the inass experience, they are of course incapable of officers. The expansion of the army of comprehending, and which they are too war so great and so rapid at the com- , apt to view through the distorted medium mencement of the existing war that it was of partisan or personal prejudice, can do perhaps impossible, in the great scarcity no good, and is certain to produce incalof instructed oflicers, to have adopted any culable mischief. other course than that which was pursued; ! I cannot omit the expression of my but the time has arrived when measures thanks to the President for the constant may be initiated to remedy existing de- eridence given me of his sincere personal fects, and provide against their recur- | regard, and his desire to sustain the militarenco.
ry plans which my judgment led me to I think that the army should be regarded urge for adoption and execution. I cap. as a permanent one; that is to say, its affairs not attribute his failure to adopt some of should be administered precisely as if all those plans, and to give that support to who belonged to it had made it their pro- others which was necessary to their soefession for life ; and those rules for promo- cess, to any want of confidence in me; and tion, &c., which have been found necessary it only remains for me to regret that other in the best foreign armies to excite honor- 1 counsels came between the constitutional able emulation, produce an esprit du corps commander-in-chief and the general whom and procure efliciency, should be followed he had placed at the head of his armies by us.
counsels which resulted in the failure of All officers and soldiers should be made
great campaigns. to feel that merit--that is to say, courage, good conduct, the knowledge and per
If the nation possesses no generals in
service competent to direct its military formance of the duties of their grade, and
affairs without the aid or supervision of fitness to exercise those of a superior
politicians, the sooner it finds them and grade-will insure to them advancement in
places them in position the better will it their profession, and can alone secure it for them.
be for its fortunes. Measures should be adopted to secure I may be pardoned for calling attention the theoretical instruction of staff officers
to the memorandum submitted by me to at least, who should, as far as possible, be
the President on the 4th of August 1861 ; selected from oflicers having a military
my letter to him of July 7,1862; and other education, or who have seen actual service
similar communications to him and to in the field.
the Secretary of War. I have seen no The number of cadets at the Military reason to change in any material regard the Academy should be at once increased to views there expressed. the greatest extent permitted by the capa After a calm, impartial, and patient concity of the institution. The regular army sideration of the subject-a subject which should be increased and maintained com-demands the closest thought on the part plete in numbers and efficiency.
of every true lover of his country-I am A well-organized system of recruiting convinced that by the proper employment of and of depots for instruction should be our resources it is entirely possible to bring adopted, in order to keep the ranks of the this war to a successful military issue. I beregiments full, and supply promptly the lieve that a necessary preliminary to the losses arising from battle or disease. This re-establishment of the Union is the entire is especially necessary for the artillery and defeat or virtual destruction of the organ. cavalry arms of the service, which, from ized military power of the confederates; the beginning of the war, have rendered and that such a result should be accompagreat services, and which have never been nied and followed by conciliatory meafully appreciated by any but their com- sures; and that by pursuing the political rades. We need also large bodies of well course I have always advised, it is possiinstructed engineer troops.
ble to bring about a permanent restoration In the arrangement and conduct of cam. of the Union-a re-upion by which the paigns the direction should be left to pro- rights of both sections shall be pro:served, fessional soldiers. A statesman may, per- and by which both parties shall preserve haps, be more competent than a soldier to their self-respect, while they respect each determine the political objects and direc-other. tion of a campaign; but those once decided In this report I have confined myself to upon, everything should be left to the a plain narrative of such facts as are neresponsible military head, without inter- cessary for the purposes of history. ference from civilians. In no other man- Where it was possible, I have preferred per is success probable. The meddling of to give these facts in the language of dis
patches, written at the time of their occur-, States. It was, however, otherwise orrence, rather than to attempt a new rela- dered, and instead of reporting a victorious tion.
campaign, it has been my duty to relate the The reports of the subordinate com- heroism of a reduced army, sent upon an manders, hereto apnexed, recite what expedition into an enemy's country, there time and space would fail me to mention to abandon one and originate another and here: those individual instances of con- new plan of campaign, which might and spicuous bravery and skill by which every would have been successful, if supported battle was marked. To them I must espe- with appreciation of its necessities, but cially refer, for without them this narra- which failed because of the repeated failure tive would be incomplete, and justice fail of promised support, at the most critical, To be done. But I cannot omit to tender and, as it proved, the most fatal moments. to my corps commanders, and to other That heroism surpasses ordinary description general officers under them, such ample Its illustration must be left for the peo of recognition of their cordial co-operation the historian in times of calm reflection, and their dovoted services as those reports when the nation shall be looking back to abundantly avouch.
the past from the midst of peaceful days. I have not sought to defend the army! For me, now, it is suficient to say that which I had the honor to command, nor my comrades were victorious on every field myself, against the hostile criticisms once save one, and there the endurance of bat so rise.
little more than a single corps accomplished It has seemed to me that nothing more the object of the fighting, and, by securing was required thon such a plain and truth to the army its transit to the James, left to ful narrative to enable those whose right the enemy a ruinous and barren victory. it is to form a correct judgment on the The army of the Potomac was first reimportant matters involved.
duced by the withdrawal from my comThis report is, in fact, the history of the mand of the division of Gen. Blenker. army of the Potomac
which was ordered to the Mountain de
partment, under Gen. Fremont. We had During the period occupied in the organ
scarcely landed on the Peninsula when it ization of that army, it served as a barrier against the advance of a lately victorious
was further reduced by a despatch revok.
ing a previous order giving me the comenemy, while the fortifications of the capi-1
mand at Fortress Monroe, and under tal were in progress; and under the dis
(which I had expected to take ten thousand cipline which it then received it acquired
men from that point to aid in our operastrength, education, and some of that ex
tions. Then, when under fire before the perience which is necessary to success in
defences of Yorktown, we received the active operations, and which enabled it
news of the withdrawal of Gen. McDowell's afterwards to sustain itself under circum
corps of about 35,000 men. This complestances trying to the most heroic men.
ted the overthrow of the original plan of Frequent skirmishes occurred along the
the campaign. About one-third of my enlines, conducted with great gallantry,
tire army (five divisions out of fourteen, which inured our troops to the realities of
one of the nine remaining being but little war.
larger than a brigade) was thus taken from The army grew into shape but slowly ; me. Instead of a rapid advance which I and the delays which attended on the ob- had planned, aided by a flank movement laining of arms, continuing late into the up the York river, it was only left to bewinter of 1861-'62, were no less trying to siege Yorktown. That siege was success. the soldiers than to the people of the coun- fully conducted by the army, and when try. Even at the time of the organization (these strong works at length yielded to our of the Peninsula campaign, some of the approaches, the troops rushed forward to finest regiments were without rifles; nor the sanguinary but successful battle of were the utmost exertions on the part of Williamsburg, and thus opened an almost the military authorities adequate to over- upresisted advance to the banks of the come the obstacles to active service. Chickalominy. Richmond lav before them,
When at length the army was in condi- surrounded with fortifications, and guarded tion to take the field, the Peninsula cam- by an army larger than our own; but the paign was planned, and entered upon with prospect did not shake the courage of the enthusiasm by officers and men. Tad this brave men who composed my command. campaign been followed up as it was de- Relying still on the support which tho signed, I cannot doubt that it would have vastness of our undertaking and the grand resulted in a glorious triumph to our arms, results depending on our success scemed and the permanent restoration of the pow-to insure us, we pressed forward. The er of the government in Virginia and North weather was stormy beyond precedent; the Carolina, if not tbroaghout the revoltiog deep soil of the Peninsula was at times