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Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buell, Battles and Leaders of the Civil War: Volume 2., chapter 8.61 (search)
cations and a comparatively small part of the troops then in that vicinity; so that Burnside's troops and a large part of the Union Army of Virginia might, with entire propriety, have been sent by water to join the army under my command, which — with detachments from the West--could easily have been brought up to more than 100,000 men disposable on the actual field of battle. In spite of my most pressing and oft-repeated entreaties, the order was insisted upon for the abandonment of the Peninsula line and the return of the Army of the Potomac to Washington in order to support General Pope, who was in no danger so long as the Army of the Potomac remained on the James. With a heavy heart I relinquished the position gained at the cost of so much time and blood. As an evidence of my good faith in opposing this movement it should be mentioned that General Halleck had assured me, verbally and in writing, that I was to command all the troops in front of Washington, including those of
cations and a comparatively small part of the troops then in that vicinity; so that Burnside's troops and a large part of the Union Army of Virginia might, with entire propriety, have been sent by water to join the army under my command, which — with detachments from the West--could easily have been brought up to more than 100,000 men disposable on the actual field of battle. In spite of my most pressing and oft-repeated entreaties, the order was insisted upon for the abandonment of the Peninsula line and the return of the Army of the Potomac to Washington in order to support Gen. Pope, who was in no danger so long as the Army of the Potomac remained on the James. With a heavy heart I relinquished the position gained at the cost of so much time and blood. As an evidence of my good faith in opposing this movement it should be mentioned that Gen. Halleck had assured me, verbally and in writing, that I was to command all the troops in front of Washington, including those of Gens.
Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 10. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), Sketch of Longstreet's divisionYorktown and Williamsburg. (search)
at Fortress Monroe, General Johnston was sent to examine the position at Yorktown, to decide whether it could be maintained. His report was unfavorable, being based on the dangers of the isolated position of Gloucester Point, and of a well conducted naval attack up the York, but it was nevertheless determined to hold the line as long as possible, as the possession of the Peninsula was considered necessary to the safety of Norfolk. The estimate formed by the enemy of the strength of the Peninsula line was very much at variance with the true state of the case. Gen. McClellan says in his report that to have attacked Yorktown by land would have been simple folly, and that as flag officer Goldsborough, of the Navy, reported it impossible to gather sufficient naval force to attempt it by water, and also impossible to advance up the James, on acount of the Merrimac, the only alternative left him was to take Yorktown by siege. On the 4th of April, General McClellan having arrived at
d with how much truth let the present position of affairs answer. As to the new base of operations, Fredericksburg, I have but little faith in the same, as it places our forces in a desert country, and renders them liable to flank attacks, which it will be difficult to provide against. But enough on this point for the present. It appears that the routs to Richmond via Fredericksburg is the one always advocated by that natural commander, Phil. Kearney, who greatly preferred it to the Peninsula road, or that by way of Manassas. The New York Herald on the mediation Question — no Show for intervention — Russia the friend of the United States. The New York Herald has a long article on the recent foreign news about mediation, some portion of which is interesting. After reviewing the diplomatic notes, it says: Thus even the moral support of Russia in favor of mediation depends on two contingencies; and one or other, perhaps either of them, may never happen. First, Fra
Administration will not take it because it was chosen by Gen. McClellan. It says: Now we were not aware that Gen. McClellan had taken out a patent for the Peninsula line of operations against Richmond, though we had supposed that the lamentable failure he made in his attempt to reach the Rebel capital by this route, would nois done there will be a very serious obstacle to our getting there by any route. On the face of the map there is certainly nothing in either the overland or the Peninsula line to Richmond that need much embarrass an advance. They are both good enough, and we do not know that there is much to choose between them. From the line of which, put into comparison with Rosecrans's great march from Murfreesboro' to Chattanooga, is but child's play. In the mere matter of the territorial march the Peninsula line is undoubtedly the shorter; but this route has the counterbalancing disadvantages which always attach to military operations dependent on a water line for a