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ent of the United States it is ordered that Major-General McClellan be relieved from the command of the Army ofd myself should proceed to the headquarters of General McClellan, then at Rectortown, when the order relieving General McClellan was delivered to him, after which it was decided that the orders which had already been issued by General McClellan, directing the movements of the army for concentration near Warrenton, with a view to acns contained in a letter from the President to General McClellan, a copy of which was sent to me under cover ofewith a copy of a letter from the President to General McClellan, dated the thirteenth of last month. I wish yal-in-Chief. On the ninth day of November, General McClellan issued an order relinquishing the command of t November, from Captain Duane, of the Staff of General McClellan, to move from Berlin to Washington with his trp the overland pontoon train, and knowing that General McClellan had been relieved after the order had been iss
e army would immediately commence its movements to Harrison's Landing, some seven miles, and that my command would constitute the rear guard. After consultation it was deemed best, in case of there being only one road, that the brigades of Wessell and Naglee should cover the rear alternately, with the needful supply of artillery. At half past 1 A. M., I was in my saddle aiding General Wessell in forming his line of battle on the heights, a short distance this side the headquarters of General McClellan. Miller's battery only was retained ; all the principal by-roads were picketed with cavalry. Naglee's brigade was formed about a mile in the rear, on a commanding position. Stationing myself in the road, I gave my entire time and personal attention to the supervision of troops, batteries, and trains. Long trains of wagons and ambulances converging from every quarter towards the road, it became a very important question how to dispose of them, under my instructions, which were, to o
f regimental, brigade, division, and corps commander of cavalry. My constant theme was the proper increase and organization of the cavalry, and from what has since been done I am confirmed in the opinion formed at that time, that if the proper steps had been taken that winter of 1862, a superb cavalry corps could have been organized by the spring; in which event the Peninsula campaign, one of the bad consequences resulting from the neglect of the cavalry, would not have been forced on us. McClellan dreaded the rebel cavalry, and supposed that by placing his army on a peninsula, with a deep river on each side, he was safe from that arm of the enemy; but the humiliation on the Chickahominy of having a few thousand of the enemy's cavalry ride completely round his army, and the ignominious retreat to Harrison's Landing, are additional instances in support of the maxim that a General who disregards the rules of war finds himself overwhelmed by the consequences of such neglect when the cri
the brave and gallant fellows in the Tenth Army Corps (under Major-General Gillmore), were sent to General Butler, to participate in the movement, forming their encampment at Gloucester Point, opposite Yorktown. That Yorktown and Gloucester Point, both at the mouth of the York river, should have been selected for the rendezvous of these troops, naturally led to the supposition that the advance was intended to be made up the Peninsula by the route which proved so fearfully disastrous to McClellan. But this show of force was merely a stupendous ruse de guerre, and circumstances indicate that it succeeded admirably in deceiving the rebels. Their journals have constantly spoken of these troops as destined to follow the path of 1862, and that the assurance of their deception might be made doubly sure, a brigade of Union troops was despatched by General Butler even as late as yesterday to White House landing, where, at sunset, when we last heard from them, they were sedulously engaged
here, just two years ago, that Stuart, moving from Hanover Court-house, to make a raid around McClellan's lines, struck our right flank. Draw a line of five or six miles in length, from the Pamunry is to be thought well of by the rebels, and planted his army astraddle the Chickahominy, as McClellan did, the storm which swelled that stream yesterday afternoon might have given General Grant an opportunity which you may depend upon it he would have improved. But while the rebels praise McClellan, they do not imitate him. Lee had his entire force north of the Chickahominy, and the only resrrived at the river near Harrison's landing — so familiar to us as the place of embarkation of McClellan's army two years ago — during the day of Tuesday, the fourteenth. It was contemplated crossinbrown and scarred faces, in their carriage, tone and manner. They have been here before, with McClellan, but then a half-defeated, discouraged, broken army; now they come, so far at least, victoriou
Rebellion Record: a Diary of American Events: Documents and Narratives, Volume 11. (ed. Frank Moore), headquarters Army of the Potomac, in the field, near Hanovertown, Va. Tuesday, May 31. (search)
dences, of which the history of the Virginia campaigns is so full, General Grant's headquarters are this morning at the very point which formed the extreme right wing of the Army of the Potomac in the Peninsular campaign two years ago. Hawes' Shop, near which we now are, four or five miles south-west of Hanover Court-house, was then occupied by the Fifth Regular cavalry, as an outpost, and it was here, just two years ago, that Stuart, moving from Hanover Court-house, to make a raid around McClellan's lines, struck our right flank. Draw a line of five or six miles in length, from the Pamunkey near Hanover Court-house, where our right now rests, almost due south to the Tolopotomy creek, three miles south of Hanovertown, and you will have our line of battle as it now stands. Five miles west of our line runs the famous stream Chickahominy. Along that river in front of, and covering the Virginia Central railroad, from Atlee's station to Shady Grove, five miles north of Richmond, th
hands of the cavalry, but they are no more entitled to claim them than the Sixth corps, to which command equal credit is due for the good results of this engagement. Both the cavalry and the Sixth corps encamped south of Sailor's creek that night, having followed up the small remnant of the enemy's forces for several miles. In reference to the participation of the Sixth corps in this action I desire to add that the Lieutenant-General had notified me that this corps would report to me. Major McClellan and Lieutenant-Colonel Franklin, of General Wright's staff, had successively been sent forward to report the progress of the corps in coming up, and on the arrival of Major-General Wright he reported his corps to me, and from that time until after the battle received my orders and obeyed them; but after the engagement was over, and General Meade had communicated with General Wright, the latter declined to make his report to me until directed to do so by the Lieutenant-General. On the