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sful, have been certainly followed by the prompt occupation of Washington by the enemy. Until the new army was in such condition as to make success certain, it would have been unpardonable folly to advance without leaving Washington so well entrenched and garrisoned as to afford a safe retreat to the entire army if repulsed. This was impracticable when I assumed command, and the Confederates, while receiving large accessions of force, lost no time in constructing strong entrenchments at Centreville, Manassas, etc. There was so much misunderstanding and there were so many misrepresentations during the war as to the effective strength of the Army of the Potomac that it is necessary to explain briefly the manner in which the returns were made up. They showed-- 1st. The number of officers and men present for duty. 2d. The number of officers and men present sick. 3d. The number of officers and men present in arrest. 4th. The total present, this being the sum of the
l's division, who at once commenced work upon the necessary fortifications. The occupation of this point was of great importance, as it gave ample room in rear for moving the troops in any direction, and, in the event of my deciding to attack Centreville, would enable me to reach that place in one march from the outposts. Immediately after the occupation of this new position the camp of Porter's division was moved forward to Hall's and Munson's hills, in easy supporting distance; a few days lary; Heintzelman at Fort Lyon. There were thus on the Virginia side seven divisions, so posted as to cover every avenue of approach, and able to afford assistance to every point that could be attacked, and, moreover, in position to advance on Centreville if necessary. On the north of Washington, Buell's division held Tennallytown and the other important points (supported by Casey's provisional brigades), the reserve artillery and the cavalry depots; while Stone's division at Poolesville, and
igade, and he has ordered up Hamilton's. I think it would be well to send up a division on the other side of the river. I think they have been reinforced. C. P. Stone, Brig.--Gen. The nearest division on the Virginia side (McCall's) was more than twenty miles from the scene of action, so that it could not have arrived before noon of the 22d--too late to be of any service. Moreover, its line of march would have passed not more than eleven or twelve miles from the enemy's position at Centreville, and it would thus have been exposed to be cut off, unless supported by a general movement of the Army of the Potomac, which there was nothing to justify, according to the information at that time (5.30 P. M.) in my possession. The orders I had already sent to Banks seemed best adapted to the case, as the event proved. Edward's Ferry, Oct. 21, 1861, 6.45 P. M. To Maj.-Gen. McClellan: Col Baker has been killed at the head of his brigade. I go to the right at once. C. P. Stone,