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William Swinton, Campaigns of the Army of the Potomac, I. The Army of the Potomac in history. (search)
, have their own peculiar drawbacks, and require the detachment of a considerable part of the active force for their protection against hostile raids. But it may be said that the possession by the North of the whole Virginia seaboard gave many other secondary bases and lines of operation, free from the objections above mentioned. This is undoubtedly true; yet the statement must be taken with the limitations that belong to it. The most important of these lines are the Peninsula between the York and James rivers, and the route by the south side of the James. The former was adopted by General McClellan in the spring of 1862, and the latter was eventually taken up by General Grant in the summer of 1864, after having, in a remarkable campaign, crossed every possible line of operation against Richmond. But it is manifest that Richmond could be operated against from the coast only by an army that was in condition to leave Washington out of the question. The secession of Virginia made t
William Swinton, Campaigns of the Army of the Potomac, chapter 2 (search)
d nowhere within the boundaries of the Old Dominion. The Confederates, with much energy, pushed forward preparations for the defence of Virginia; and the middle of the month of May reveals the growing outlines of a definite military policy. This policy, however, so far as it touched the distribution of force, seems to have been shaped rather by the Austrian principle of covering every thing, than by any well-considered combination of positions. The Peninsula between the James and the York rivers was held by a Confederate force of about two thousand men, under Colonel J. B. Magruder, who took position near Hampton, where he confronted the Federal force at Fortress Monroe, which had lately been placed under command of Major-General B. F. Butler. The defence of the highland region of Western Virginia had been assumed by General Lee, commander-in-chief of the State forces, who had dispatched to that section Colonel Porterfield, with instructions to raise a local volunteer force—not
William Swinton, Campaigns of the Army of the Potomac, chapter 3 (search)
ng into the matter as to when those operations could be set on foot. I urged that we should now find fortifications in York River which would require a movement in that direction to be preceded by a naval force of heavy guns to clear them out, as weosed. The Postmaster-General opposed the plan, and was for having the army, or as much of it as could be spared, go to York River or Fortress Monroe, either to operate against Richmond, or to Suffolk and cut off Norfolk; that being in his judgment tm whatever, the above being the only remark he made. General Franklin said that, in giving his opinion as to going to York River, he did it knowing that it was in the direction of General McClellan's plan. I said that I had acted entirely in the dnsport for the army were at hand; that a naval force could be obtained to aid in silencing the enemy's batteries on the York River; and that sufficient force should be left to cover Washington, to give an entire feeling of security. The proceedings
William Swinton, Campaigns of the Army of the Potomac, chapter 4 (search)
und itself planted, is an isthmus formed by the York and the James rivers, which rising in the heartme places marshy, and generally wooded. The York River is formed by the confluence of the Mattaponye the fort at Yorktown, thus opening up the York River, and, by means of his numerous fleet of tranediately upon West Point, at the head of the York River, thus turning the line of defences on the Wa Yorktown by that method, and opening up the York River. This task he had assigned to McDowell's coeously along the whole front, extending from York River on the right to the Warwick on the left, aloned to turn Gloucester Point and open up the York River; and the verdict will be equally clear as tothe approaching heads of two tributaries of the York and James rivers form a kind of narrow isthmus right, which brought him within sight of the York River, Hancock passed Cub Dam Creek on an old mill north side of the Chickahominy, towards the York River, laying hold of McClellan's communications w[3 more...]
William Swinton, Campaigns of the Army of the Potomac, chapter 11 (search)
tions. The force under General Butler was assembled at Yorktown and at Gloucester Point, on the opposite side of the York River, during the month of April. It was composed of the Eighteenth Corps, under General W. F. Smith, and the Tenth Corps, Yorktown, Butler was in position to move by land up the Peninsula in the direction of Richmond; to use the line of the York River for an advance similar to that of McClellan, in 1862, or to take up the line of the James and threaten the Confederate is formed by the confluence of the North and South Anna; and the Pamunkey in turn uniting with the Mattapony, forms the York River, emptying into Chesapeake Bay. Thus the successful passage of the Pamunkey would not only dislodge Lee from the lines ur miles above Hanovertown. The whole army was thus across the Pamunkey; and the routes to White House, at the head of York River, being opened up, the army was put in communication with the ample supplies floated by the waters of Chesapeake Bay.
William Swinton, Campaigns of the Army of the Potomac, Index. (search)
Fredericksburg, 248. Blackburn's Ford, General Tyler's repulse at, 48. Blair, Postmaster-General, on advance via York River, 83. Blenker's division detached from Mc-Clellan to join Fremont, 93. Bolivar Heights, the position of, 206. B right, 577. Franklin, Fremont at with fifteen thousand men, 122. Franklin, General, on operating on Richmond via York River, 81; evidence on Burnside's orders at Fredericksburg, 245; reply to President Lincoln's answer to him and General Smithek, 563. Yellow Tavern, Sheridan's victory at, 459. York River Railroad, supply line abandoned by McClellan, 154. York and Pamunky rivers, McClellan en route by, 120. York River, Franklin's ascension of, in pursuit of Johnston, 117. YoYork River, Franklin's ascension of, in pursuit of Johnston, 117. Yorktown, McClellan's advance arrived at, and Lee's Mills, 101; description and map of Confederate positions, 101; McClellan's plans—the navy and McDowell counted upon, but unavailable, 103; re-enforced and to be held by Confederates, 103; the siege of