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William Swinton, Campaigns of the Army of the Potomac, V. Pope's campaign in Northern Virginia. August, 1862. (search)
a situation in which neither could operate with much effect. There is another consideration that prompted certain officers of the army to urge the removal of the army from the Peninsula, if it was not to be reenforced; and that is the unhealthy situation in which the army would find itself lying in inaction amid the swamps of the James during the hot months of August and September. This was the reason why several of the officers of the Army of the Potomac—among them Generals Franklin and Newton—expressed to President Lincoln, during a visit he made to McClellan's camp in July, 1862, an opinion in favor of withdrawing the army from the Peninsula. 1 make this statement on the authority of the officers named. If reenforcements were to be expected, they were altogether in favor of remaining. If, however, there had been on the part of the Administration any intention of giving effect to the views of General McClellan, by furnishing such accessions to his strength as would permit hi
William Swinton, Campaigns of the Army of the Potomac, chapter 6 (search)
the operations were of a like kind. Forming his troops with Slocum's division on the right of the road and Smith's on the left, Franklin advanced his line, driving the Confederates from their position at the base of the mountain, where they were protected by a stone wall, and forced them back up the slope of the mountain to near its summit, where, after an action of three hours, the crest was carried. Slocum's line, on the right, formed of Bartlett's and Torbett's brigades, supported by Newton, carried the crest. Smith's line, formed of Brooks' and Irwin's brigades, was disposed for the protection of Slocum's flank, and charged up the mountain simultaneously. The brunt of the action fell upon Bartlett's command. Four hundred prisoners, seven hundred stand of arms, one piece of artillery, and three colors were captured in this spirited action. Franklin's total loss was five hundred and thirty-two, and the corps rested on its arms, with its advance thrown forward into Pleasant Va
William Swinton, Campaigns of the Army of the Potomac, chapter 7 (search)
ther and deeper cause, that, aside from the interference of the weather, would have baulked his projected campaign. This cause was a lack of confidence in him which he believed to be entertained by the leading officers of the army. Among these officers were Generals Franklin and Hooker, respectively commanders of Grand Divisions; and his first act on the return of the expedition was to prepare an order dismissing from the service of the United States Generals Hooker, Brooks, Cochrane, and Newton, and relieving from their commands in the Army of the Potomac, Generals Franklin, W. F. Smith, Sturgis, Ferrero, and Colonel Taylor. Upon this order he resolved to make issue with the Government; and he immediately took this paper to Washington, demanding of the President its approval or the acceptance of his resignation. It was not asserted by General Burnside that the officers named had been guilty of any dereliction of duty, but simply that they lacked confidence in him as commander. T
William Swinton, Campaigns of the Army of the Potomac, chapter 8 (search)
s to form a powerful assaulting column and carry Marye's Heights by storm. The preliminary endeavors and the preparations for attack had consumed considerable time, and it was towards eleven o'clock when it began. Two columns were formed from Newton's division—the right column of four regiments, and the left column of two regiments—and on the left of this a line of battle of four regiments was thrown out. The columns moved on the plankroad and to the right of it directly up the heights. Theclock in the afternoon. One of the Confederate brigades, under Wilcox, already held the crest at Salem Chapel, and McLaws was proceeding to form his brigades on his right and left; but Sedgwick threw forward Brooks' division, supporting it with Newton's division on the right, and, advancing, gained the crest after a sharp conflict. Sedgwick's Report. This was a momentary triumph, for he was soon pushed slowly back through the woods. The falling back was covered, and the advance of the enem
William Swinton, Campaigns of the Army of the Potomac, chapter 9 (search)
ed. To the events of this action I now return. By morning of the 2d of July the entire Union army, saving the corps of Sedgwick, had reached Gettysburg; and the whole Southern force, with the exception of Pickett's division of Longstreet's corps, had come up. Meade, following the natural line of defence, disposed his forces as follows: The Eleventh Corps (Howard) retained its position on Cemetery Hill, where it was supported by Robinson's and Doubleday's divisions of the First Corps (Newton) on its right was placed Wadsworth's division of the same corps, which together with the Twelfth (Slocum) held the right of the whole army, on Culps' Hill; the Second (Hancock) and Third (Sickles) corps occupied the crest of Cemetery Ridge—the former connecting with the left of the Eleventh, and the latter (which formed the left of the line) connecting with the left of the Second. The Fifth Corps (Sykes) was held in reserve on the right. Lee placed his troops along the Seminary Ridge, se
William Swinton, Campaigns of the Army of the Potomac, chapter 10 (search)
ak and assailable. General Meade accordingly resolved to make attack on both wings, and for the purpose of strengthening the force with which Warren was to operate on the left, he detached from the corps of French two divisions which were sent to the former, which made Warren's force some twenty-six thousand men. Sedgwick, with his Sixth Corps, supported by the Fifth, would operate on the right. French, with the remaining division of his command and two divisions of the First Corps, under Newton, would hold an interval of four miles between the right and left; and as this centre would be weak, it was assigned a role of simple observation. Dispositions in accordance with this plan were not completed until late on Sunday, the 29th; so it was resolved to make the attack next morning, and it was appointed that after a heavy artillery fire, Warren, on the left, should open the attack at eight o'clock, and that an hour after he was engaged, Sedgwick should assault on the right. This d