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d guns. If the secessionists attached any value to the possession of Washington, they committed their greatest error in not following up the victory of Bull Run. The defenceless condition of Washington on this very day was described by Mr. Edwin M. Stanton, afterwards Secretary of War in Mr. Lincoln's cabinet, in a private letter, historic and prophetic, to ex-President Buchanan, as follows: Washington, July 26, 1861. Dear Sir: . . The dreadful disaster of Sunday can scarcely be menllan reached here last evening. But if he had the ability of Caesar, Alexander, or Napoleon, what can he accomplish? Will not Scott's jealousy, cabinet intrigues, and Republican interference thwart him at every step? . . . Yours truly, Edwin M. Stanton. On the 25th had been issued the order constituting the Division of the Potomac and assigning me to its command. The division consisted of the Department of Northeast Virginia, under McDowell, which comprised all the troops in front of
. They called upon the President, and found Mr. Stanton with him. In reply to their statement of thhat the man really was. I had never seen Mr. Stanton, and probably had not even heard of him, beech to some newly arrived regiment. Next day Stanton urged me to arrest him for inciting to insubom me that Mr. Cameron had resigned and that Mr. Stanton was appointed in his place. This was the fely. My first inkling of this came through Mr. Stanton, not yet Secretary of War, who said to me: of Mr. Cameron, in order to replace him by Mr. Stanton, who, while pretending to be my friend, wasChase, which shed ample light on them. Why Mr. Stanton revealed Mr. Chase's secret to McClellan, a not prove quite equal to the emergency; that Stanton was a good lawyer and full of energy, but I ct had passed between me and Seward concerning Stanton, with which he was gratified. I advised him him that the President had already mentioned Stanton in a way which indicated that no objection on[18 more...]
courage, and strength that are so necessary to me now, and so little of which I possess. The outside world envy me, no doubt. They do not know the weight of care that presses on me. . . . I will try again to write a few lines before I go to Stanton's to ascertain what the law of nations is on this Slidell and Mason seizure. . . . I went to the White House shortly after tea. I then went to the Prince de Joinville's. We went up-stairs and had a long, confidential talk upon politics. The priNot to whistle or dance it, I hope. Nov. .--. . . I have been at work all day nearly on a letter to the Secretary of War (Cameron) in regard to future military operations. I have not been at home for some three hours, but am concealed at Stanton's to dodge all enemies in shape of browsing Presidents, etc. . . . 1 A. M. I am pretty thoroughly tired out. The paper is a very important one, as it is intended to place on record that I have left nothing undone to make this army what it
Chapter XI Events in and around Washington Ball's Bluff Harper's Ferry Stanton's trick enemy's batteries on the Potomac. on the 9th of Oct. McCall's division marched from Tennally-town to Langley, on the Virginia side of the Potomac. This addition to the forces already there enabled me to push reconnoissances moving the true state of the case: Washington, Feb. 28, 1862. Gen. McClellan: What do you propose to do with the troops that have crossed the Potomac? E. M. Stanton, Sec. of War. To this I replied: Sandy Hook, Feb. 28, 1862. Hon. E. M. Stanton, Sec. of War: Your despatch received. I propose to occupy CharlestownHon. E. M. Stanton, Sec. of War: Your despatch received. I propose to occupy Charlestown and Bunker Hill, so as to cover the rebuilding of the railway, while I throw over the supplies necessary for an advance in force. I have quite men enough to accomplish this. I could not at present supply more. George B. McClellan, Maj.-Gen. Commanding. On the same day I telegraphed to the President as follows: It is i
attack upon Mannssas. I know that his excellency the President, you, and I all agree in our wishes; and that these wishes are, to bring this war to a close as promptly as the means in our possession will permit. I believe that the mass of the people have entire confidence in us — I am sure of it. Let us, then, look only to the great result to be accomplished, and disregard everything else. I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant, Geo. B. McClellan, Maj.-Gen. Commanding. Hon. E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War. This letter must have produced some effect upon the mind of the President, since the execution of his order was not required, although it was not revoked as formally as it had been issued. Many verbal conferences ensued, in which, among other things, it was determined to collect as many canal-boats as possible, with a view to employ them largely in the transportation of the army to the lower Chesapeake. The idea was at one time entertained by the President to u
gton: Please make your arrangements to go to Fort Monroe very soon to receive troops, stores, etc. Try to complete your staff arrangements at once. I shall, of course, wish to see you before you go. I am perfectly willing that you should have Ingalls and Beckwith, merely remembering the special duty Ingalls is doing. See Heintzelman about Richardson. He will explain to the President. G. B. McClellan. McClellan to Stanton.headquarters, Army of the Potomac, March 16, 1862. Hon. E. M. Stanton, Sec. of War: Sir: In order to carry out the proposed object of this army it has now become necessary that its commander should have the entire control of affairs around Fortress Monroe. I would respectfully suggest that the simplest method of effecting this would be to merge the Department of Virginia with that of the Potomac, the name of which might properly be changed to that of the Department of the Chesapeake. In carrying this into effect I would respectfully suggest the pres
As illustrating the condition of things, I insert the following despatch from Mr. John Tucker, Assistant Secretary of War, dated near Yorktown, April 10, to Hon. E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War: I reached Gen. McClellan's headquarters at seven this evening, having had an accident to the steamer on the way from Fortress Mont, unless new circumstances come to my knowledge. The affair will be protracted in consequence of the diminution of my force. The following was sent to Hon. E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War, on April 8: Weather terrible; raining heavily last twenty-eight hours; roads and camps in awful condition; very little firing to-day.he following letter is not dated, but it must have been written somewhere about the 20th of April: headquarters, Army of the Potomac, before Yorktown. Hon. E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War: Sir: I received to-day a note from Assistant Secretary Watson enclosing an extract from a letter the author of which is not mentioned.
fore the 1st of May, and the job will be over. Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War. U. S. Steamer Wachuseday; has taken some locomotives and prisoners. Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War headquarters, Army of the Potomac, April 18, 10 P. M. Hon. E. M Stanton, Secretary of War: Despatch received. I cannot hope such er. The work goes bravely on. Yours truly, Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War Washington, May 1, 2 Padquarters, Army of the Potomac, May 3, 1862. Hon. E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War: I regret to learn that I hope soon to hear your arrival at Richmond. Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War. Fort Monroe, May 5, 1f near Williamsburg, May 5, 11.45 P. M. Hon. E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War: Mr. Tucker's telegram ratal. G. B. McClellan, Maj.-Gen. Commanding. Hon. E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War. headquarters, Army of theamp 19 miles from Williamsburg, May 11, 1862. Hon. E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War, Fortress Monroe: Withou
our staff-officers to be prepared to supply him by that route. The President desires that Gen. McDowell retain the command of the Department of the Rappahannock and of the forces with which he moves forward. By order of the President. Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War. Maj.-Gen. Geo. B. McClellan. This order rendered it impossible for me to use the James river as a line of operations, forced me to establish our depots on the Pamunkey, and to approach Richmond from the north. Heref the enemy's army from leaving Richmond and throwing itself upon your column before a junction of the two armies is effected. A copy of his instructions in regard to the employment of your force is annexed. By order of the President. Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War. Gen. Mcdowell, Commanding Department of Rappahannock. Having some doubts, from the wording of the foregoing orders, as to the extent of my authority over the troops of Gen. McDowell, and as to the time when I might an
len back from Fredericksburg towards Richmond, and that Gen. McDowell's advance was eight miles south of the Rappahannock. Washington, May 26, 1862. Gen. McClellan: Following despatch received late last night: Falmouth, May 25th To Hon. E. M. Stanton: I have just examined a lieutenant, three sergeants, and a corporal who came in from the army as deserters this morning. They are, with the exception of one Frenchman, from the North, pressed into service. They are all men of fine inteGeary reports must have come from some other place than here. They left here by stealth, and with dread of being attacked. They went at night, and for a distance by railroad. They thought I had sixty thousand men.--(Signed) Irwin McDowell. E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War. It was thus imperative to dislodge or defeat this force, independently even of the wishes of the President as expressed in his telegram of the 26th. I entrusted this task to Brig.-Gen. Fitz-John Porter, commanding the
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