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ved at its head to San Augustin, occasionally repairing the roads as far as was practicable. As soon as General Santa Anna learned this movement of the American forces, he withdrew the greater portion of his troops, with several pieces of artillery, from El Peñon and Mexicalcingo, where he had been expecting the first shock of battle, and, establishing his Headquarters at the hacienda (hamlet) of San Antonio, began to labor upon the lines of defence in that vicinity. On the morning of the 18th, General Worth's division was moved forward a couple of miles on the causeway leading from San Augustin to San Antonio, and took up its position in front of the latter place, the men encamping on both sides of the road. Here a careful reconnoissance was made of the defences of San Antonio, in which Lieutenant McClellan took part. His company was then transferred to General Twiggs's division, and moved at its head, across the Pedregal, to Contreras. During the first day of the battle of Con
, and moved in a northeasterly direction. On the 9th of October they reached their most northerly camp, about thirteen miles south of the Great Lake, in latitude 49° 26‘. They then moved west to the Columbia River, which they crossed at Fort Colville. Thence they proceeded southerly across the Great Plain of the Columbia River, and arrived at Walla-Walla on the 7th of November, at Fort Dalles on the 15th. From Fort Dalles they went down by water to Fort Vancouver, which they reached on the 18th. An extract from a letter to his brother, dated November 28, may be here appropriately introduced:-- From that place [the Yakima valley] we crossed a rather high mountain-ridge (running nearly east and west), and struck the Columbia not far above Buckland's Rapids, and a little distance below the mouth of the Pischas. My journal written that night says, Soon, descending a little, you arrive at the edge of the sudden, precipitous descent that borders the valley of the Columbia. Words can
andon Richmond without a struggle, and adds that unless he is reinforced it is probable he shall be obliged to fight nearly double his numbers, strongly intrenched. On the 14th of May, he sent a telegram to the President in the same strain, stating that the time had come for striking a fatal blow at the enemies of the Constitution, and entreating him that he would cause the Army of the Peninsula to be reinforced without delay by all the disposable troops of the Government. To this, on the 18th, an answer was received from the Secretary of War, the material portions of which are as follows :-- The President is not willing to uncover the capital entirely; and it is believed that, even if this were prudent, it would require more time to effect a junction between your army and that of the Rappahannock, by the way of the Potomac and York Rivers, than by a land march. In order, therefore, to increase the strength of the attack upon Richmond at the earliest moment, General McDowell ha
the troops exhibited the most determined enthusiasm and bravery. They submitted to exposure, sickness, and even death, without a murmur. Indeed, they had become veterans in their country's cause, and richly deserved the warm commendation of the Government. It was in view of these facts that this seemed to me an appropriate occasion for the general-in-chief to give, in general orders, some appreciative expression of the services of the army while upon the Peninsula. Accordingly, on the 18th, I sent him the following despatch:-- Headquarters army of the Potomac, August 18, 1862, 11 P. M. Please say a kind word to my army, that I can repeat to them in general orders, in regard to their conduct at Yorktown, Williamsburg, West Point, Hanover Court-House, and on the Chickahominy, as well as in regard to the (7) seven days, and the recent retreat. No one has ever said any thing to cheer them but myself. Say nothing about me. Merely give my men and officers credit for what
and night marches of the previous three days. The supply-trains were in the rear, and many of the troops had suffered from hunger. They required rest and refreshment. One division of Sumner's and all of Hooker's corps, on the right, after fighting valiantly for many hours, had been driven back in disorder, and were somewhat demoralized. Our losses had been very heavy. Many of our heaviest batteries had consumed all their ammunition, and they could not be supplied till late on the 18th. Large reinforcements which were immediately expected had not arrived. Supplies of forage had to be brought up and issued, and infantry-ammunition distributed. The 18th was, therefore, spent in collecting the dispersed, giving rest to the fatigued, burying the dead, and the necessary preparations for a renewal of the battle. Orders were given for an attack at daylight on the 19th. But during the night of the 18th the enemy abandoned their position, and crossed the Potomac into Virg