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in front of Yorktown, extending in the should co-operate in the taking of Yorkorder named, from the mouth of Wormley's town, and also (as I understood it) support creek to the Warwick road, opposite Winn's us on our left by moving gunboats up James mills. Sumner's corps-Sedgwick's divis-river. ion only having arrived-on the left of “To-day I have learned that the 1st corps, Hamilton, extending down to Warwick which by the President's order was to emand opposite to Winn's mills works, brace four divisions, and one division Keyes's corps (Smith's, Couch's and Casey's (Blenker's) of the 2d corps, have been divisions,) on the left of Sedgwick, facing withdrawn altogether from this line of the works at the one-gun battery, Lee's operations, and from the army of the Potomills, &c., on the west bank of the War- mac. At the same time, as I am informed, wick. Sumner, after the 6th of April, the navy has not the means to attack Yorkcommanded the left wing, composed of his town, and is afraid to send gunboats up own and Keyes's corps.
James river, for fear of the Merrimac. Throughout the preparations for, and “The above plan of campaign was. during the siege of Yorktown, I kept the adopted unanimously by Maj. Gen. Mc. corps under Gen. Keyes, and afterwards Dowell and Brig. Gens. Sumner, Heintzelthe left wing, under Gen. Sumner, en-man, and Keyes, and was concurred in by gaged in ascertaining the character of the Maj. Gen. McClellan, who first proposed obstacles presented by the Warwick, and Urbana as our base. the enemy intrenched upon the right bank, “This army being reduced by forty-five with the intention, if possible, of overcom- thousand troops, some of them among the ing them and breaking that line of defence, best in the service, and without the support so as to gain possession of the road to of the navy, the plan to which we are re. Williamsburg, and cut off Yorktown from duced bears scarcely any resemblance to its supports and supplies. The forces under the one I voted for. Gen. Heintzelman were engaged in similar “I command the James river column, efforts upon the works between Winn's and I left my camp near Newport News mills and Yorktown. Gen. Keyes's report the morning of the 4th instant. I only sucof the 16th of April, enclosing reports of ceeded in getting my artillery ashore the brigade cominanders engaged in reconnois. afternoon of the day before, and one of my sances up to that day, said, “ that no part divisions had not all arrived in camp the of bis (the enemy's line opposite his own) day I left, and for the want of transporta. line, so far as discovered, can be taken by tion has not yet joined me. So you will assault without an enormous waste of life." observe that not a day was lost in the ad
Reconnoissances on the right flank dem- vance, and in fact we marched so quickly, oustrated the fact that the Warwick was and so rapidly, that many of our animals Dot passable in that direction, except over were twenty-four and forty eight hours a narrow dam, the approaches to which without a ration of forage. But notwithwere swept by several batteries, and in- standing the rapidity of our advance, we trenchments which could be filled quickly were stopped by a line of defence nine or with supports, sheltered by the timber im ten miles long, strongly fortified by breastmediately in rear.
works, erected nearly the whole distance Gen. Barnard, chief engineer of the army behind a stream, or succession of ponds, of the Potomac, whose position entitled his nowhere fordable, one terminus being opinions to the highest consideration, ex-Yorktown, and the other ending in the pressed the judgment that those formi. James river, which is commanded by the dable works could not, with any reasonable enemy's gunboats. Yorktown is fortified degree of certainty, be carried by assault. all around with bastioned works, and on Gen. Keyes, commanding 4th army corps, the water side it and Gloucester are so after the examination of the enemy's de- strong that the pavy are afraid to attack fences on the left, before alluded to, ad either. dressed the following letter to Hon. Ira “The approaches on one side are geneHarris, United States Senate, and gave me rally through low, swampy, or thickly a copy. Although not strictly official, it wooded ground, over roads which we are describes the situation at that time in obliged to repair or to make before we can some respects so well, that I have taken get forward our carriages. The enemy is the liberty of introducing it here:
in great force, and is constantly receiving
re-enforcements from the two rivers. The “HEADQUARTERS, 4TH CORPS, line in front of us is therefore one of the “Warwick C. H., Va., April 7, 1862. strongest ever opposed to any invading “MY DEAR SENATOR : The plan of cam-force in any country. paign on this line was made with the dis- “You will, then, ask why I advocated tinct understanding that your army corps such a line for our operations ? My reashould be employed, and that the pavy 1 sons are few, but I think good.
“With proper assistance from the navy! “If we break through and advance both we could take Yorktown, and then with our flanks will be assailed from two great gunboats on both rivers we could beat any water-courses in the hands of the enemy; force opposed to us on Warwick river, be- our supplies would give out, and the end cause the shot and shell from the gunboats my, equal if not superior in numbers, would nearly overlap across the Peninsula; would, with the other advantages, beat and so that if the enemy should retreat-and destroy this army. retreat he must-he would have a long “ The greatest master of the art of war way to go without rail or steam transpor- has said, that if you would invade a countation, and every soul of his army must try successfully you must have one line of fall into our hands or be destroyed. operations, and one army, under one gene
" Another reason for my supporting the ral.' But what is our condition? The new base and plan was, that this line, it State of Virginia is made to constitute was expected, would furnish water trans- the command, in part or wholly, of some portation nearly to Richmond.
six generals, viz.: Fremont, Banks, MC“Now, supposing we succeed in break- Dowell, Wool, Burnside, and McClellan, ing through the line in front of us, what besides the scrap over the-Chesapeake, in can we do next? The roads are very the care of Dix. bad, and if the enemy retains command of “The great battle of the war is to come James river, and we do not first reduce off here. If we win it, the rebellion will Yorktown, it would be impossible to sub- be crushed-if we lose it, the consequences sist this army three marches beyond where will be more horrible than I care to tell. it is now. As the roads are at present, it The plan of campaign I voted for, if carried is with the utmost difficulty that we can out with the means proposed, will certainly subsist it in the position it now occupies. succeed. If any part of the means pro
“You will see, therefore, by what I have posed are withheld or diverted, I deem it said, that the force originally intended for due to myself to say that our success will the capture of Richmond should be all be uncertain. Bent forward. . If I thought the four army “It is no doubt agreeable to the comcorps necessary when I supposed the navy mander of tbe 1st corps to have a separate would co-operate, and when I judged of department, and as this letter advocates the obstacles to be encountered by what his return to Gen. McClellan's command, I learned from maps and the opinions of it is proper to state that I am not at all officers long stationed at Fort Monroe, and influenced by personal regard or dislike to from all other sources, how much more any one of my seniors in rank. If I were should I think the full complement of to credit all the opinions which have been troops requisite now that the navy cannot poured into my ears, I must believe that, co-operate, and now that the strength of in regard to my present fine command, I the enemy's lines and the number of his owe much to Gen. McDowell and nothing guns and men prove to be almost immeasu-to Gen. McCllellan. But I have disrerably greater than I had been led to ex-garded all such officiousness, and I have pect. The line in front of us, in the opi- from last July to the present day supnion of all military men here, who are at ported Gen. McClellan, and obeyed all his all competent to judge, is one of the orders with as hearty a good will as though strongest in the world, and the force of he had been my brother or the friend to the enemy capable of being increased be- whom I owed most. I shall continue to yond the numbers we now have to oppose do so to the last, and so long as he is my to him. Independently of the strength commander. And I am not desirous to disof the lines in front of us, and of the force place him, and would not if I could. He of the enemy behind them, we cannot ad-left Washington with the understanding vance until we get command of either that he was to execute a definite plan of York river or James river. The efficient campaign with certain prescribed means. co-operation of the navy is, therefore, ab- The plan was good and the means suffisolutely essential, and so I considered it cient, and without modification the enterwhen I voted to change our base from prise was certain of success. But with the Potomac to Fort Monroe.
the reduction of force and means, he plan “An iron-clad boat must attack York- is entirely changed, and is now a bad plan, town; and if several strong gunboats with means insufficient for certain success. could be sent up the James river also, our “Do not look upon this communication success will be certain and complete, and as the offspring of despondency. I never the rebellion will soon be put down. despond; and when you see me working
"On the other hand, we must butt the hardest, you may be sure that fortune against the enemy's works with heavy ar- is frowing upon me. I am working now tillery, and a great waste of time, life, to my atmost. and material.
I“ Please show this letter to the Presi
dent, and I should like also that Mr. Stan- even was to go to Gen. Hooker's old positon should know its contents. Do me the tion. Gen. Banks's corps, once designed honor to write to me as soon as you can, for Manassas Junction, was diverted and and believe me, with perfect respect, tied up on the line of Winchester and “ Your most obedient servant, Strasburg, and could not leave it without
· "E. D. KEYES, again exposing the upper Potomac and “ Brig. Gen. Com’dg 4th Army Corps. the Baltimore and Ohio railroad. This pre"i Hon. Ira Harris, U. S. Senate.'' sented, or would present, when McDowell
On the 7th of April. and before the and Sumner should be gone, a great temparrival of the divisions of Gens. Hooker,
|tation to the enemy to turn back from the Richardson and Casey, I received the fol
Rappahannock and sack Washington. My lowing despatches from the President and
implicit order that Washington should, by Secretary of War:
the judgment of all the commanders of
army corps, be left entirely secure, had “Washington, April 6, 1862–8 P. 2.
been neglected. It was precisely this that " Yours of 11 A. M. to-day received. I drove me to detain McDowell. Secretary of War informs me that the for- "I do not forget that I was satisfied warding of transportation, ammunition, with your arrangement to leave Banks at and Woodbury's brigade, under your Manassas Junction; but when that arrangeorders, is not, and will not be, interfered ment was broken up, and nothing was subwith. You now have over one hundred stituted for it, of course I was constrained thousand troops with you, independent to substitute something for it myself. And of Gen. Wool's command. I think you allow me to ask, do you really think I better break the enemy's line from York-should permit the line from Richmond, via. town to Warwick river at once. This will Manassas Junction, to this city, to be enprobably use time as advantageously 99 tirely open, except what resistance could you can.
be presented by less than 20,000 unorA. LINCOLN, President.
ganized troops? This is a question “ Gen. G. B. McCLELLAN."
which the country will not allow me to “WASHINGTON, A pril 6, 1862—p m. evade. « The President directs me to say that “There is a curious mystery about the your despatch to him has been received. I number of troops now with you. When I Gen. Sumner's corns is on the road to join telegraphed you on the 6th, saying you von, and will go forward as fast as possible. I had over a hundred thousand with you, I Franalinis division is now on the advance had just obtained from the Secretary of towards Manassas. There is no means of War a statement taken, as he said, from transportation here to send it forward in your own returns, making 108,000 then time to be of service in your present opera
with you and en route to you. You now tions. Telegraph frequently, and all in the
say you will have but 85,000 when all en power of the government shall be done to route to you shall have reached you. How sustain you as occasion may require.
can the discrepancy of 23,000 be accounted “ E. M. STANTON, Sec. of War.
for? “ Gen. G. B. MCCLELLAN."
“As to Gen. Wool's command, I under. By the 9th of April I had acquired al
stand it is doing for you precisely what a
like number of your own would have to do pretty good knowledge of the position and
if that command was away. strength of the enemy's works, and the ob
“I suppose the whole force which has stacles to be overcome. On that day I
gone forward for you is with you by this received the following letter from the Pre
time. And if so, I think it is the precise sident:
time for you to strike a blow. By delay “WASHINGTON, April 9, 1862. the enemy will relatively gain upon you “My Dear Sir: Your despatches com- that is, he will gain faster by fortifications plaining that your are not properly sus and re-enforcements than you can be retained. while they do not offend me, do enforcements alone. And once more let pain me very much.
me tell you, it is indispensable to you that “ Blenker's division was withdrawn from you strike a blow. I am powerless to help you before you left here, and you know this. You will do me the justice to rethe pressure under which I did it, and, as member I always insisted that going down I thought, acquiesced in it-certainly not the bay in search of a field, instead of without reluctance.
fighting at or near Manassas, was only “ After you left I ascertained that less shifting, and not surmounting, a difficulty; than 20,000 unorganized men, without a that we would find the same enemy, and single field battery, were all you designed the same or equal intrenchments, at either to be left for the defence of Washington place. The country will not fail to note, and Manassas Junction, and part of this is now noting, that the present hesitation
“ HEADQUARTERS 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. 9. A. themselves to my mind as its immediate “Brig. Gen. T. W. SIERMAN, 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- ieen 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 diapa, 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 ton 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 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 pary 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
REPORT OF GENERAL GEORGE B. M'CLELLAN.
fectly secure; and it is recommended that, reduction of New Orleans and all its anon 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 soon 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 assanlt.
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 land 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
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
(of all the armies of the Union, the army be best to occupy Algiers with the mass
of the Potomac as well. It was my intenof your troops, also the eastern bank of the river above the city. It may be neces.
| tention, for reasons easy to be seen, that
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 cosufficient Union sentiment to control the
operation along the whole line. If this city, it may be best for purposes of disci
plan was wise, and events have failed to
prove that it was not, then it is unneces pline to keep your men out of the city. "After obtaining possession of New
sary to defend any delay which would have Orleans, it will be necessary to reduce all i
Wenabled the army of the Potomac to per. the works guarding its approaches from
form its share in the execution of the
But about the middle of January, 1862,
a severe illness, I “ Baton Rouge. Berwick bay, and Fort upon recovering from 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
A change had just been made in the 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 The 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
Very soon after his entrance upon office
| I laid before him verbally my design as to
the part of the plan of the campaign to be Jackson, Mississippi, as soon as you can
executed by the army of the Potomac, safely do so, either after or before you have effected the junction. Allow nothing to
which was to attack Richmond by the
lower Chesapeake. He instructed me to divert you from obtaining full possession
develop it to the President, which I did. of all the approaches to New Orleans. When that object is accomplished to its
| The result was, that the President disapfullest extent, it will be necessary to make
proved of it, and by an order of January 31, a combined attack on Mobile, in order to
1862, substituted one of his own. On the 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. 1.1 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 arc, first, the movement of the land and naval forces of