網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

CHAPTER LX.

EVACUATION OF MANASSAS-BATTLE OF WINCHESTER, MARCH 23, 1862.

THE evacuation of Manassas, the re- falling back is in the nature of the arc port of which cheered the army of Gen- of a circle, of which Richmond is the eral Burnside in its advance upon New-centre.” * bern, as recorded in the last chapter, General McClellan had under his comwas at length a reality. The enemy, mand a vast and thoroughly well equipwell advised of the progress of military ped army, commanded by able and expreparations on the Potomac, and pru-perienced officers, and animated by an dently estimating the prospects of the earnest desire to obliterate by a brilSpring campaign—a Union army before liant victory the ill-omened memories them, another fast gathering from Har- of Bull Run. The army was particuper's Ferry on their flank, and the prob- larly well supplied with cannon. In ability of a movement by the Chesapeake the official report of General W. F. Barin their rear-resolved to avoid that de- ry, chief of artillery, we have the decisive battle before Washington, which tails of the great and rapid growth of had been for many anxious months eagerly this department of the military service. looked for and demanded by the people of When General McClellan was called to the North. It would appear, moreover, the command of the Army of the Potothat they were early advised of the plan mac after the battle of Bull Run, the of General McClellan, to transport his for-whole field artillery was comprised in ces by the Chesapeake and make the real nine imperfectly equipped batteries of attack upon Richmond by the Peninsula. 30 guns, 650 men and 400 horses. Seven When that officer was asked by a commit- months afterward, in March, when the tee of Congress, many months after, what whole army took the field, it counted 92 caused the enemy to evacuate Manassas batteries of 520 guns, 12,500 men, and when they did, he replied, that “his im- 11,000 horses, fully equipped and in pression had always been that they got readiness for active service. Of the wind of our intended movement to the whole force, 30 batteries were regulars lower Chesapeake, and that that was the and 62 batteries volunteers. main cause of their leaving.” On which- In the criticisms which the situation of ever supposition, whether of an attack the Army of the Potomac could not fail in front or rear, retreat was the policy to provoke, much was said in censure of of the enemy. In the explanation of the General McClellan for not having moved movement given at the time in the Rich- upon the enemy at Manassas the previous mond Examiner, it was a change from November. The weather and roads, it offensive to defensive operations. “The was alleged, were then suitable for an Potomac was the proper base for offen- advance, and the relative condition of sive operations against Maryland and the armies was as favorable for action Washington city ; but as a line of defence as later. General McClellan, however, for Richmond, or for general resistance, thought otherwise. His own preparait is the most dangerous that could be held. The line upon which the army

| Richmond Examiner, March 11, 1862.

+ General Barry's Report to A. A. G. General Williame under General Joseph Johnston is now | Washington, September 1, 1862.

[blocks in formation]

tions were not then complete, and the parative value of success, supposing majority of his general officers did not success attainable either way, and the think the army prepared for offensive opportunities for retreat in case of disasoperations. He then estimated the num- ter. A council of war was held on the bers of the enemy in Eastern Virginia, subject in February. It was composed exclusive of the force at Norfolk, of twelve Generals :-McDowell, Sumat 150,000, most of them at Manas- ner, Heintzelman, Keyes, Fitz-John Porsas. They had, he afterwards said, ter, Franklin, W. F. Smith, McCall, a greater effective force than he could Blenker, Andrew Porter, Barnard, and bring against them. The numbers of the Naglee. They decided, by a vote of Army of the Potomac, in December, eight to four, in favor of a proposed plan 1861, exclusive of the command of Gen- of movement of General McClellan by eral Dix at Baltimore, appears from the Chesapeake and Rappahannock, asofficial returns at about 185,000 men.* cending to Urbanna and thence cross

Towards the end of December the ing to Richmond. McDowell, Sumner, roads became unfavorable, General MC- Heintzelman and Barnard opposed the Clellan was taken ill, and active military movement. It was while preparations operations on the Potomac were deferred were being secretly made for carrying to the return of spring. In the middle this resolution into effect that the evacuof January came President Lincoln's ation of Manassas took place. orders appointing the 22d day of Feb-| By a general war order of President ruary as a day when it was expected that Lincoln, dated the 8th of March,—No. 2 the various Union armies would be fairly of the famous war orders directly issued in the field-an injunction anticipated at by him at this time in his capacity of Mill Spring, Forts Henry, Donelson, and Commander-in-Chief-it was “Ordered, Roanoke Island. On the 31st of Janu- 1. That the Major-General commanding ary the President also, by a special war the Army of the Potomac proceed forthorder, directed that all the disposable with to organize that part of said army force of the Army of the Potomac, after destined to enter upon active operations, providing safely for the defence of Wash- including the reserve, but excluding the ington, be formed into an expedition troops to be left in the fortifications about to occupy a point on the railway south- Washington, into four army corps, to be west of Manassas Junction, thus crossing commanded according to seniority of the Occoquan and getting in the rear rank, as follows:-First corps to consist of the enemy's position. Washington's of four divisions, and to be commanded Birthday was again named for this by Major-General I. McDowell. Second movement. General McClellan objected corps to consist of three divisions, and to to the President's plan. It would divide be commanded by Brigadier-General E. the army, he said, by a difficult river and V. Sumner. Third corps to consist of by a distance too great for either portion, three divisions, and to be commanded by if attacked in force, to be supported by Brigadier-General S. P. Heintzelman. the other. He himself, he added, pre- Fourth corps to consist of three divisions, ferred the movement against Richmond and to be commanded by Brigadier-Genshould be undertaken by water, by the eral E. D. Keyes. 2. That the divisions Rappahannock or Fortress Monroe. The now commanded by officers above assignPresident, in reply, according to his habit, ed to the command of corps shall be proposed various queries, as to the rela-embraced in and forc' part of their retive cost of the movements, the com spective corps. 3. Th force left for the

defence of Washington will be placed in * Report of the Congressional Committee on the Conduct of the War

command of Brigadier-General James S. Wadsworth, who shall also be Military ices by the appointment of Brigadier GenGovernor of the District of Columbia. eral in the regular army, vacated by the 4. That this order be executed with such dismissal of General Twiggs. He was promptness and dispatch as not to delay then appointed to the command of the the commencement of the operations al Department of the Pacific, from which ready directed to be undertaken by the he was recalled to assume his present army of the Potomac. 5. A fifth army distinguished position in the army of the corps, to be commanded by Major-Gen- Potomac. eral N. P. Banks, will be formed from | General Erasmus Darwin Keyes, the his own and General Shields' (late Gen-commander of the fourth corps, was also eral Lander's) division.”

a native of Massachusetts. A graduate Of the officers thus placed in command, of West Point of the class of 1832 with McDowell, Heintzelman and Banks were the appointment of 2d lieutenant in the already familiar names in the conduct of 3d artillery, he had served as aid to the war. Brigadier-General Edwin Vose General Scott, Instructor of Artillery Sumner, commander of the second corps, and Cavalry at the military academy, and was one of the oldest officers of the United in command in the conflicts with the States army. Born in Boston in 1796, Indians in the northwest. At the begin. and educated in that city, he had, with- ning of the present war he held the rank out entering the military academy at of colonel of the 11th Infantry. His West Point, at the age of twenty-three, services in command of a Brigade at Bull been appointed by General Brown, the Run will be remembered. commander-in-chief, 2d lieutenant in the General Wadsworth, who was left in 2d infantry. From that time he had been command at Washington, was a wealthy conspicuous in various scenes of military land-owner of western New York, who, service, in the Black Hawk war, on the in a spirit of zealous patriotism, had frontier, and in command of the school offered his influence and service to the of cavalry practice at Carlisle, Penn. State. Having been a commissioner to In the Mexican war, Major Sumner was the Peace Convention at Washington from in the column of General Scott, and in New York, he had, at the very outset of command of the mounted rifles led the the rebellion, rendered important aid to cavalry charge at Cerro Gordo, where he the beleaguered capital by carrying from was wounded. He was also in command New York, in a vessel which he had at Contreras, Cherubusco, and Molino del chartered and freighted at his own exRey, and was rewarded for his gallantry pense, a supply of provisions for the army with the rank of brevet colonel. Subse- cut off from land communication at Anquently to the Mexican war few officers napolis. As volunteer aid on General of the regular army were so actively McDowell's staff, he was distinguished by occupied, -in command of the depart. his bravery in the battle of Bull Run, ment of New Mexico; visiting Europe shortly after which he was appointed on official business ; in command of Fort Brigadier General of Volunteers. Leavenworth in Kansas, from which he In the general advance of the Army was removed by Jefferson Davis, then of the Potomac it was arranged that Secretary of War, for the part he took | General Banks should lead the way with in favor of the free soil party in the con- his corps in. the occupation of the valley flicts of that Territory; as the leader of an of Virginia with a view of coöperating expedition against the Cheyenne Indians, with the central movement. Accordingand commander of the Department of ly, on the 26th of May he crossed with the West. In March, 1861, the loyal his command at Harper's Ferry, and took veteran was rewarded for his many sery- | possession of the town, which presented

[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

of colonel present war ia

notwenty-three

Wadsworth, who shall also be Military ices by the appointment of Brigadier GenGovernor of the District of Columbia. eral in the regular army, vacated by the 4. That this order be executed with such dismissal of General Twiggs. He was promptness and dispatch as not to delay then appointed to the command of the the commencement of the operations al-Department of the Pacific, from which ready directed to be undertaken by the he was recalled to assume his present army of the Potomac. 5. A fifth army distinguished position in the army of the corps, to be commanded by Major-Gen- Potomac. eral N. P. Banks, will be formed from General Erasmus Darwin Keyes, the his own and General Shields' (late Gen- commander of the fourth corps, was also eral Lander's) division."

a native of Massachusetts. A graduate Of the officers thus placed in command, of West Point of the class of 1832 with McDowell, Heintzelman and Banks were the appointment of 2d lieutenant in the already familiar names in the conduct of 3d artillery, he had served as aid to the war. Brigadier-General Edwin Vose General Scott, Instructor of Artillery Sumner, commander of the second corps, and Cavalry at the military academy, and was one of the oldest officers of the United in command in the conflicts with the States army. Born in Boston in 1796, Indians in the northwest. At the begin. and educated in that city, he had, with ning of the present war he held the rank out entering the military academy at of colonel of the 11th Infantry. His West Point, at the age of twenty-three, services in command of a Brigade at Bull been appointed by General Brown, the Run will be remembered. commander-in-chief, 2d lieutenant in the General Wadsworth, who was left in 2d infantry. From that time he had been command at Washington, was a wealthy conspicuous in various scenes of military land-owner of western New York, who, service, in the Black Hawk war, on the in a spirit of zealous patriotism, had frontier, and in command of the school offered his influence and service to the of cavalry practice at Carlisle, Penn. State. Having been a commissioner to In the Mexican war, Major Sumner was the Peace Convention at Washington froin in the column of General Scott, and in New York, he had, at the very outset of command of the mounted rifles led the the rebellion, rendered important aid to cavalry charge at Cerro Gordo, where he the beleaguered capital by carrying from was wounded. He was also in command New York, in a vessel which he had at Contreras, Cherubusco, and Molino del chartered and freighted at his own exRey, and was rewarded for his gallantry pense, a supply of provisions for the army with the rank of brevet colonel. Subse- cut off from land communication at Anquently to the Mexican war few officers napolis. As volunteer aid on General of the regular army were so actively McDowell's staff, he was distinguished by occupied, -in command of the depart- his bravery in the battle of Bull Run, ment of New Mexico ; visiting Europe shortly after which he was appointed on official business ; in command of Fort Brigadier General of Volunteers. Leavenworth in Kansas, from which he In the general advance of the Army was removed by Jefferson Davis, then of the Potomac it was arranged that Secretary of War, for the part he took | General Banks should lead the way with in favor of the free soil party in the con- his corps in the occupation of the valley flicts of that Territory; as the leader of an of Virginia with a view of coöperating expedition against the Cheyenne Indians, with the central movement. Accordingand commander of the Department of ly, on the 26th of May he crossed with the West. In March, 1861, the loyal his command at Harper's Ferry, and took veteran was rewarded for his many serv-l possession of the town, which presented

« 上一頁繼續 »