ePub 版

river, and all of Kelly's disposable troops to come down by rail, and endeavor to defeat the purpose of these rebels.


Major General, Commanding. Major General Halleck,

General-in- Chief.

[Received 5.10 p. ro.]

Headquarters Army Of The Potomac,

October 19—1.10^. m.

The officers named in your despatch of 12.35 have been ordered to appear before the court of inquiry in Washington. The court will now have before them the commanders of the 5th corps, of one of its divisions, and of all the brigades of that division.


Major General, Commanding. Colonel J. C. Kelton,

Assistant Adjutant General.

Statement showing the number of men composing the army of the Potomac on the 20th day of October, 1862.

[graphic][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed]

Adjutant General's Office, Washington, D. C, February 27, 1863. It is hereby certified that the preceding statement is accurately compiled from the morning report of the 20th day of October, 1862, signed by Major General McClellan and his assistant adjutant general, Seth Williams, and now on file in this office.

L. THOMAS, Adjutant General.

Headquarters Of The Army,

Washington, October 20, 1862.

General: Captain J. C. Duane's letter of the 17th, with your indorsement of the 18th, was picked up in the street near the railroad depot, in this city, on the evening of the 19th.

I concur with you in opinion, that Maryland and Loudon Heights should be fortified and occupied; but I think that field fortifications and redoubts would be sufficient for the purpose, without incurring the expense of constructing permanent works, stone redoubts, &c. Harper's Ferry is not, in my opinion, a proper base of military operations, and it would be an error to expend time and money there for such an object.

Substantially, these views have been indorsed on your communication and submitted to the Secretary of War, who approves them. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


GeneYal-in- Chief. Major General Mcclellan,

Commanding, dec.

[Received 11.30 a. m.]

Headquarters Army Of The Potomac,

October 21—11.25 a. m.

Rumors received late last night lead to the supposition that a large force of the enemy had letf the vicinity of Winchester for Snicker's Pass. Later in the night it was reported that the enemy had appeared in force in vicinity of Berlin. Parties were at once sent out to ascertain the facts in the case. The party sent to Berlin has returned and reports that it was only a foraging party at that point. Four prisoners were taken. I have not yet heard from the main parties sent out.

General Stoneman and all the other commanders have been ordered to keep on the alert and to keep me fully posted. As soon as it is definitely ascertained that the above movements are being made the necessary arrangements will be made to meet them. The main party sent out from Loudon Heights last night had orders to attempt to capture any party of the enemy they might find opposite Berlin.


Major General, Commanding.

Major General H. W. Halleck,

Lieneral-in- Chief.

[Received 12.20 p. m.J

Headquarters Army Of The Potomac,

October 21, 1862—12 m.

Since the receipt of the President's order to move on the enemy, I have been making every exertion to get this army supplied with clothing absolutely necessary for marching—this I am happy to say is now nearly accomplished. I have also, during the same time, repeatedly urged upon you the importance of supplying cavalry and artillery horses to replace those broken down by hard service, and steps have been taken to insure a prompt delivery. Our cavalry, even when well supplied with horses, is much inferior in numbers to that of the enemy, but in efficiency has proved itself superior. So forcibly has this been impressed upon our old cavalry regiments by repeated successes, that the men are fully persuaded that they are equal to twice their number of rebel cavalry.

Exclusive of the cavalry force now engaged in picketing the river, I have not at present over about one thousand horses for service. Officers have been sent in various directions to purchase horses and I expect them soon. Without more cavalry horses our communications, from the moment we march, would be at the mercy of the large cavalry force of the enemy, and it would not be possible for us to cover our flanks properly, or to obtain the necessary information of the position and movements of the enemy in such a way as to insure success. My experience has shown the necessity of a large and efficient cavalry force. Under the foregoing circumstances, I beg leave to ask whether the President desires me to march on the enemy at once, or to await the reception of the new horses—every possible step having been taken to insure their prompt arrival.


Major General, Commanding. Major Gene/al H. W. Halleck,

General-in- Chief.

[Sent 3.30 p. m.]

War Department, Washington, D. C, October 21, 1862.

Your telegram of twelve (12) m. has been submitted to the President. He directs me to say that he has no change to make in his order of the 6th instant, If you have not been, and are not now in condition to obey it, you will be able to show such want of ability. The President does not expect impossibilities, but he is very anxious that all this good weather should not be wasted in inactivity. Telegraph when you will move, and on what lines you propose to march.


General-in- Chief. Major General Mcci.eli.an,

Commanding, $c.

[Received 7. 20 p. m.]

Headquarters Army Of The Potomac,

October 21, 1862—6 p. m.

The expedition which started last night after the rebel foraging party near Lovettsvile is just heard from. We captured twenty-eight prisoners, with their horses and arms, including a captain—killed ten. Our loss, one man killed and three or four slightly wounded. This was done by a detachment of Devins's cavalry under Colonel Devins.

I have just received reliable information that no force of the enemy have passed through Snicker's Gap from Winchester—merely foraging parties.

There is probably a force of some ten thousand (10,000) rebels on the road from Berryville to Snickersville, near the north bank of the Shenandoah.

G. B. McCLELLAN, Major General, Commanding.

Major General Halleck.

Quartermaster General's Office,

Washington City, October 21, 1862. General: I have the honor to return the letter of General McClellan of the 18th instant upon the supply of clothing and of horses to the army under his command.

General McClellan is constrained to believe that suffering for want of clothing among the soldiers of his command for some time past is, in a great degree, owing to the want of proper action on the part of the quartermaster's department.

He remarks that the quartermaster general may have ordered the clothing to be forwarded, but that it has not yet reached the depots of his army; and that unless greater efforts to insure prompt tramsmission are made by this department, the articles might as well remain in New York or Philadelphia, so far as the army under his command is concerned.

Upon first hearing that there was a deficiency of supply of clothing in that army, I made inquiry of those whose duty it was to attend to this portion of the business of the quartermaster's department, and I am assured that all the articles of clothing called for by requisition from General McClellan's headquarters were not only ordered, but had been shipped on the 14th of October. This department cannot control the trains upon railroads of which the War Department has not taken the management into its own hands.

Messengers were sent over the railroads by Colonel Sawtelle, assistant quartermaster, assistant to the chief quartermaster of the army of the Potomac, to endeavor to facilitate and hasten the transport of the stores, and Colonel Sawtelle reported to me that not only had they all been shipped, but that the messengers could find none of them in transitu; and he concluded that they must have reached the termini of the railroads in Hagerstown, Frederick, or Harper's Ferry, with the exception of fifty-one boxes of clothing, which it was feared had been captured at Chambersburg by Stuart's cavalry.

The railroad companies complain that cars are not unloaded at their destinations, and that their sidings are occupied with cars which are needed for forwarding supplies. I presume that the missing articles are in some of these cars, or that they have been unloaded and have not yet reached the particular corps or detachment for which they are intended.

The Secretary of War gave to General Haupt (and a more capable man is not to be found) an unlimited authority to do whatever was necessary, in his opinion, to insure safe and rapid transit over the railroads supplying the army of General McClellan. He has, at the instance of the quartermaster general, within a few days, directed General Haupt to take possession of the Cumberland Valley road, against which the greater complaints are made, and to run it, as a United States military railroad route, if, on inspection, this should, appear to be necessary to the public service.

The fact is that no railroad can provide facilities for unloading cars and transacting the business attending the supply of an army of the size of General McClellan's in a short time, or in a contracted space; sidings, switches, depots, and turnouts do not exist, and cannot be laid down at once for such a traffic.

I believe that the railroad companies and the officers of the quartermaster's department have worked faithfully and zealously, but too much business has been thrown upon these railroads. In addition to the stores transported, they have been called upon to move large bodies of troops, which interfered with the transportation and delivery of stores.

General Porter informs me that his troops need clothing still. Any deficiency which may be pointed out will be filled if possible.

General McClellan states that the number of horses received by his army since the commencement of the present campaign is only 1,964, which is several thousands less than reported in my letter of the 14th October to the Secretary of War. The apparent discrepancy is only apparent. That letter was a report made upon seeing a despatch to you from General McClellan, stating that the arrangements to supply horses were insufficient; that the weekly average issue to the army of the Potomac, "including that in front of Washington," was only 150, which was not enough to supply waste.

That letter stated distinctly that there had been issued to the army "about the Potomac" since the battles in front of Washington 9,254 horses; that of these 1,500 had been sent out towards Centreville to the army of General Pope.

The statement which General McClellan compares with this is a statement of the horses received hy assistant quartermasters stationed at Frederick, Hagerstown, Harper's Ferry, and at headquarters of the army of the Potomac, from the 8th September to the date of the report, which is only 9,964 horses; 7,290 less than the number given by the quartermaster general as issued to the whole army defending Washington from the date of the battles of Bull Run to the 11th of October.

I have no doubt that both statements are correct. They are not inconsistent. Both depend upon official reports, but reports of very different transactions. One is the whole; the other a part only of the issues.

Upon General McClellan's assuming command of the troops for the defence of Washington, he gave orders to the chief quartermaster of the army of the Potomac to issue no horses except upon his order. I have instructions to the chief quartermaster of this depot to issue horses only as required by this order, that is, to issue them only upon requisitions approved by General McClellan, or by the staff officer representing him.

Some 11,000 horses have been thus issued; the only exception authorized by me having been a special issue of 1,000 horses to enable General Banks's cavalry to scout and picket the country in front of Washington at the time Stuart's cavalry raid made this of urgent importance.

If General McClellan will instruct the officers authorized to approve requisitions in his name to confine this approval to issues to be made on the upper Potomac, all the horses will be sent there till his wants are fully supplied; but if, by his own authority, or in his name, they approve requisitions for the troops in front of Washington, the horses will be issued to these troops under his direction. The whole 11,000 or 12,000 horses would have been sent to Harper's Ferry or Frederick had he so ordered.

In regard to a falling off in the quality of the horses, I can only say that the horses lately provided have been procured by contract, and on specifications and inspection identical with those formerly issued, excepting that, finding five years old horses liable to distemper and disease, officers providing them have generally been instructed to buy no horses under six years of age.

The demand for horses has been so great lately that they have been carried off and put to service in many cases before they recovered from the fatigue and exhaustion of transportation from the country by rail.

The railroads are heavily taxed, and transportation has been delayed. A case is reported in which horses remained fifty hours ou the cars without food or water; were taken out, issued, and put into immediate service. The horses were good when shipped, and a few days' rest and rood would have recruited them; but the exigencies of the service, or perhaps carelessness and ignorance, . put them to a test which no horses could bear.

I do not think that the complaint of General Pleasanton has any greater foundation than this. The same system of purchase, the same system of inspection, the same specifications, and a price fixed by public competition of bidders and contractors, as heretofore, ought to procure horses of the same quality as of old. The stock is not yet seriously affected by the war consumption. There were six millions of horses in the United States in 1860.

As I have learned that General McClellan was of opinion that many horses could be purchased quickly in the country which he now occupies, 1 have authorized Colonel Ingals, chief quartermaster of the army under his command, to purchase two thousand horses in that neighborhood. Several thousand are ordered here from more distant markets.

General McClellan's letter blames the quartermaster's department, of which I am the head. In reply, I have sought only to show that the department has endeavored to supply all the wants of his army as far as known, and have stated the measures taken for that end, and it is my opinion, from the investigation made, that the greater part, if not all, the clothing required is within the lines of his army, and needs only to be distributed by the force under his command.

« 上一頁繼續 »