Browsing named entities in Elias Nason, McClellan's Own Story: the war for the union, the soldiers who fought it, the civilians who directed it, and his relations to them.. You can also browse the collection for Fitz-Hugh Lee or search for Fitz-Hugh Lee in all documents.

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m back into the Union, and should treat them as members of the Union when so brought back, I held that it was a matter of sound policy to do nothing likely to render ultimate reconciliation and harmony impossible, unless such a course were imperative to secure military success. Nor do I now believe that my ideas were quixotic or impracticable. Since the war I have met many of my late antagonists, and have found none who entertained any personal enmity against me. While acknowledging, with Lee and other of their generals, that they feared me more than any of the Northern generals, and that I had struck them harder blows when in the full prime of their strength, they have all said that I fought them like a gentleman and in an honorable way, and that they felt nothing but respect for me. I remember very well, when riding over the field of South Mountain, that, passing by a severely wounded Confederate officer, I dismounted and spoke with him, asking whether I could do anything to
as to deprive the Confederates of its use, and thence to employ the very circuitous route by Atlanta; and to rally the Union men of the mountain region, to arm and embody them, and at least hold my own in that mountain region until prepared to advance in whatever direction might prove best for the general good. In a letter to Gen. Scott from Buckhannon, dated July 6, I stated my desire to move on Wytheville after clearing the country north of the Kanawha. Had my designs been carried out Gen. Lee's attempt to recover West Virginia would have been made (if at all attempted) under very different auspices, and with much more decisive results in our favor. I am confident that I should have been in possession of Wytheville and the mountain region south of it in a very few weeks. In this brief campaign the telegraph was for the first time, I think, constructed as the army advanced, and proved of very great use to us; it caused a very great saving of time and horseflesh. On the even
ay-break of the 21st. Col. Devens, of the 15th Mass., was entrusted with the duty, with four companies of his regiment. Col. Lee, of the 20th Mass., was directed to replace Col. Devens in Harrison's island with four companies of his own regiment, ont 300 men, and halted until daybreak in an open field near the bluffs bordering the shore. While there he was joined by Col. Lee with 100 men of the 20th Mass., who halted here to cover his return. At daybreak he advanced about a mile towards Leee drawn back to the woods, and, after waiting half an hour for attack, the command was withdrawn to the position held by Col. Lee; but, after again scouting, the woods, Col. Devens returned to his advanced position. About eight o'clock the messengeright of the position he proposed to occupy; the centre and left being composed of about 300 men of the 20th Mass., under Col. Lee, and a battalion of the California regiment about 600 strong. Two howitzers and a 6-pounder were also in line. At ab
subsequent advance down the Shenandoah would have been impracticable; but, unfortunately, as soon as I started for the Peninsula this region was withdrawn from my command, and my instructions were wholly disregarded. Again, with Manassas entrenched as I directed, Pope would have had a secure base of operations from which to manoeuvre, and the result of his campaign might have been very different. Certainly, if I had resumed command at Manassas instead of within the defences of Washington, Lee would not have ventured to cross the Potomac. On the 1st of April, in view of what had occurred meanwhile, I temporarily changed the arrangements to the extent of leaving Banks in the Shenandoah. I placed Abercrombie in command at Warrenton and Manassas, under Banks's general orders, with 7,780 men at the former and 10,859 men at the latter place, and 18,000 men in Washington so that if Abercrombie was obliged to retire upon Washington there would be concentrated there 36,639 men, besides
nt, I was compelled to change my plans and become cautious. Could I have retained my original force I confidently believe that I would now have been in front of Richmond instead of where I now am. The probability is that that city would now have been in our possession. But the question now is in regard to the present and the future rather than the past. The enemy, by the destruction of the bridges of the Rappahannock, has deprived himself of the means of a rapid advance on Washington. Lee will never venture upon a bold movement on a large scale. The troops I left for the defence of Washington, as I fully explained to you in the letter I wrote the day I sailed, are ample for its protection. Our true policy is to concentrate our troops on the fewest possible lines of attack; we have now too many, and an enterprising enemy could strike us a severe blow. I have every reason to believe that the main portion of the rebel forces are in my front. They are not drawing off the
n. . . . I feel that the fate of a nation depends upon me, and I feel that I have not one single friend at the seat of government. Any day may bring an order relieving me from command. If they will simply let me alone I feel sure of success; but will they do it? May 5, 9.30 A. M. . . . You will have learned ere this that Yorktown is ours. It is a place of immense strength, and was very heavily armed. It so happened that our preparation for the attack was equally formidable, so that Lee, Johnston, and Davis confessed that they could not hold the place. They evacuated it in a great hurry, leaving their heavy guns, baggage, etc. I sent the cavalry after them at once, and our advance is now engaged with them at Williamsburg. The weather is infamous; it has been raining all night, and is still raining heavily; no signs of stopping; roads awful. I hope to get to West Point to-day, although the weather has delayed us terribly. It could not well be worse, but we will get throug
Chapter 22: White House the Chickahominy river bridges battle of Hanover Court House Porter's victory neglect at Washington McDowell's retention useless. White House was a very fine plantation belonging to Mrs. Gen. Lee. It was the residence of Mrs. Custis when she was married to Washington. The ceremony took place in St. Peter's Church, a lonely old building beautifully placed on a commanding hill. I observed within it a tablet commemorating a death which took place in 1690. Finding one's self alone within that historic building, it was a natural impulse to invoke the aid of God to enable me to serve the country as unselfishly and truly as did the great man who had often worshipped there. The residence at White House was not the original building of the time of Washington — that had been destroyed by fire; but the existing one was constructed on the same foundations. I neither occupied it myself nor permitted any others to do so, but placed a guard to
nication with Gen. Heintzelman. No sooner were these dispositions made than the enemy came in strong force. and opened a heavy fire along the line. He made several charges, but was each time repulsed with great loss by the steady fire of the infantry and the splendid practice of the battery. After sustaining the enemy's fire for a considerable time Gen. Sumner ordered five regiments (the 34th N. Y., Col. Sinter; 82d N. Y., Lieut.-Col. Hudson; 15th Mass., Lieut.-Col. Kimball; 20th Mass., Col. Lee; 7th Mich., Maj. Richardson--the three former of Gen. Gorman's brigade, the two latter of Gen. Dana's brigade) to advance and charge with the bayonet. This charge was executed in the most brilliant manner. Our troops, springing over two fences which were between them and the enemy, rushed upon his lines and drove him in confusion from that part of the field. Darkness now ended the battle for that day. During the night dispositions were made for its early renewal. Gen. Couch's divisio
at Trent's house, June 21, 1862, 10 A. M. . . We have had good weather for the last few days, and have been improving it as best we could. Both parties are active, but the nature of the country is such as to make our progress difficult in the extreme. I hope to knock secesh out of Old Tavern and its vicinity within a couple of days; shall try it, at all events. . . . I see the Abolitionists have got a new dodge in my behalf — the White House business! In the first place, I never saw Col. Lee in my life, and, of course, never made any arrangement with him. The house was guarded simply from motives of respect for the memory of Washington, which I thought would be appreciated by every honest person in the country. The adjacent property has been freely used for all necessary purposes. The house has never been needed for a hospital, and would not accommodate over thirty or forty persons anyhow. The spring alluded to is one of a great many. There are plenty there, and this one is
letters to you also his ears must have tingled somewhat. I am about doing a thing to-day which will, I suppose, cause the abolitionists and my other friends to drive the last nail in my official coffin. You know that our sick and wounded in Richmond are suffering terribly for want of proper food, medicines, and hospital supplies. I have ordered a boatload of all such things — lemons, tea, sugar, brandy, underclothing, lint, bandages, chloroform, quinine, ice, etc., etc.--to be sent up to Gen. Lee to-day, to be used at his discretion for the sick and wounded of both armies. I know he would not, and could not, receive them for our men alone, therefore I can only do it in the way I propose, and trust to his honor to apply them properly-half and half. I presume I will be accused now of double-dyed treason — giving aid and comfort to the enemy, etc. What do you think of it? Am I right or wrong? . . . I see that the Pope bubble is likely to be suddenly collapsed. Stonewall Jackson is
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