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leading into the country. The din of active preparation struck continuously upon the ear in the roar of the forge, and the clatter of the army-waggon, and the heavy tramp of armed men. Large bodies of troops were marching and countermarching through the streets, orderlies and couriers were galloping about in every direction, and the notes of the fife and drum had hardly died away in the distance before the echoes were waked by the stormier music of a full military band. The vast army of McClellan hovered upon the northern and eastern skirts of the city, and over the line of the Chickahominy, which might be faintly traced from the tops of the highest buildings, his camp-fires could even be seen by night, and his balloons of observation, hanging like oranges in the sky, were clearly discernible in the afternoon. It was plain enough that an attack of the enemy in heavy force was expected at any moment. Under such exciting circumstances it was no less remarkable than gratifying to se
orders to provide themselves with rations for three days, and on the 12th we commenced that ride round the army of General McClellan which attracted so much attention even in Europe. June 12, 1862. It was two o'clock in the morning, and we went lay around us on all sides. At one point of our journey, the house occupied by the Federal Commander-in-Chief, General McClellan, as his headquarters, surrounded by the white tents of a very large camp, was plainly visible at the distance of aber of waggons laden with provisions and goods fell into our hands, among them one containing the personal stores of General McClellan, with his cigars, wines, and other dainties. But we could not be burdened with booty, so the entire train was comm a bottle of champagne, saying, Captain, you did pretty hot work to-day. I got this bottle of champagne for you out of McClellan's waggon. It will do you good. Never in my life have I enjoyed a bottle of wine so much. Late in the evening a bagga
ng General Lee a perfect insight into the position of the army of McClellan, now manifested itself in the most brilliant light. As the Federtacking us in the centre with 25,000 regular troops, the elite of McClellan's army, began slowly to give way before the impetuous valour of othe White House on the Pamunkey river, where immense supplies for McClellan's army had been collected. I was exceedingly disappointed, when, of the Orleans family, who were then serving on the Staff of General McClellan, and had taken part in the recent engagements; but this storynumber of pieces of artillery upon one point; and the army of General McClellan was only saved from their utter destruction by sixty guns, wh at Mechanicsville, and ended on the 2d July after Malvern Hill. McClellan, whose lines extended across the Chickahominy in a semicircle aroed him with abundant provisions, ammunition, and reinforcements. McClellan's retreat was indeed masterly, and too much credit cannot be paid
ole day in the garden of a little farmhouse for a few miserable onions and diseased potatoes to appease our hunger. Such is the condition of a region of country, no matter how fertile and productive it may have been in former days, over which war has expended its fury. On the evening of the 9th we were suddenly brought to horse again by a fierce demonstration of the enemy, who drove in our pickets, but was repulsed without much difficulty. On the 10th we received information that General McClellan had determined to embark his army on his transports at Harrison's Landing, and at the same time orders to march to Hanover county, on the opposite side of Richmond, to recruit our horses, and organise some better system of procuring forage and provisions. Leaving the regiments behind us, General Stuart and I galloped off together along the road to Richmond. On our way we stopped at the house of the Irish family, where, more than a month before, we had spent some anxious hours, on
of military affairs had undergone a sudden but great change. General McClellan, who had again been intrusted by the Federal Government with ghting of the preceding two days had occurred with the cavalry of McClellan, which was a full day's march ahead of the main body of his interminable lines of waggons containing all the supplies for McClellan's army, broke upon my sight. Directly beneath my feet the masof his army under Longstreet, confronting the bulk of the army of McClellan, which was rapidly advancing to the succour of Harper's Ferry. Trth-easterly direction, the extreme left resting on the Potomac. McClellan, moving forward from Boonsboroa, was still on the opposite side with not more than 30,000 men, the Federal army, according to General McClellan's own statement, amounting to not less than 90,000. Our force conflict. Not until some time afterwards did we learn from General McClellan's own statement that there was but one single corps of the wh
mns, so that it was evident our demonstration into Maryland had not failed of its desired effect, and that we occupied the attention of a considerable portion of McClellan's army. I now returned to my former position, and sent an orderly with my report to General Stuart, from whom I received orders to transfer my present comman, whose patrols had made prisoners of men belonging to several different divisions of the Federal army, believing that a very large portion, if not the whole, of McClellan's force was stretched out in a semicircle before him, regarded this operation as impossible, and remonstrated against it. But Stuart resolutely insisted on the ebivouacked. Here we received the earliest intelligence of a decided victory, won by Jackson's corps the previous day, over a portion of the enemy's forces. General McClellan, finding the fords of the Potomac but slightly guarded, determined upon a forward movement into Virginia, and had already crossed the river with a considerab
here came some important documents and letters from General R. E. Lee to be transmitted to General McClellan, and I had the honour to be selected by our commander-in-chief as the bearer of them into my charge a batch of prisoners for exchange, and, intrusting me with some private messages to McClellan, bade me proceed as far as possible into the enemy's lines, and employ all my diplomacy to obtlined, giving him to understand that despatches of such importance I could only deliver to General McClellan, or, should this be impossible, to some other general of his army; and adding, that as I searned, no less a dignitary than President Lincoln was momentarily looked for. Escorted by General McClellan, the President had already inspected a great portion of the Federal army of the Potomac; aote to Major Von R., a former brother officer of mine in the Prussian army, who was serving on McClellan's Staff, looking to an interview, possibly under similar circumstances as had now brought me i
Heros von Borcke, Memoirs of the Confederate War for Independence, Chapter 10: (search)
Chapter 10: Change of base. Crossing of the Shenandoah. fights in Loudoun and Fauquier. Crossing of the Rappahannock. fights in the region between the Hazel and Rappahannock rivers. headquarters near Culpepper Court-house. my departure for Richmond. fights at the Pothouse and Aldie. reception at Middleburg. General McClellan, the Federal Commander-in-Chief, having largely reinforced his army with regiments from the new levy of 300,000 volunteers called out for nine months, and having brought it to a strength of 140,000 men, well equipped in every respect, had at last determined upon a forward movement, all unknowing at the time that the supreme command was soon to be taken from him by the Government at Washington. The right wing of the Federal forces, by a strong demonstration towards Harper's Ferry, made a show of invading Virginia from this point, but the great bulk of the army crossed the Potomac about fifteen miles lower down, near the little town of Berli
Heros von Borcke, Memoirs of the Confederate War for Independence, Chapter 13: (search)
eave of my kind friends of both sexes in Richmond, and the negro waiter at the Spotswood Hotel had just left my room, promising, with a grin upon his swarthy face, that I should certainly be called in time for the early train the following morning, when a telegram was brought me from General Stuart, ordering me to proceed by rail, not to Culpepper Court-house, as I had intended, but to the vicinity of Fredericksburg, to which place he was upon the eve of transferring his headquarters. General McClellan had already, on the 7th of November, been superseded as Federal Commander-in-Chief by General Burnside, who, ambitious of a glory that in his wild dreams his exalted position seemed to promise him, and vehemently urged by the Government at Washington to rouse himself from his inactivity, and undertake something conclusive with his largely reinforced and splendidly equipped army, had decided to try the shortest and most direct route to the long-coveted Confederate capital. Accordingly