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Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buell, Battles and Leaders of the Civil War: Volume 2., McClellan organizing the grand Army. (search)
-stroke. His victory at Fort Donelson, followed by the capitulation of 15,000 Confederates, was the return for Bull Run. The impression created throughout the whole army was profound. The Federal volunteers took heart again. The confidence of the Army of the Potomac was redoubled. The general was now restored to health. The weather had moderated. The time had at last come for this army to act. . . . But the immense flotilla which should transport it to Urbana, near the mouth of the Rappahannock [see map, p. 164], or to Fort Monroe, another point of debarkation equally considered with the other, was not yet ready, and no one more than McClellan regretted the delay. It is well known that he was obliged to fight many objections in order to secure the adoption of his favorite plan. He was obliged to exhibit the details of his projects before numerous councils of war, some of them political and some of them military, some of the members of which were, perhaps, not possessed of abso
Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buell, Battles and Leaders of the Civil War: Volume 2., Early operations on the Potomac River. (search)
Fredericksburg in 1862. Commander Thomas T. Craven succeeded Commander Ward in the command of the Potomac flotilla. The force was increased by the addition of eight or ten vessels, but it was unable to dislodge the Confederates from their positions, and although the navigation of the river was not actually closed to armed vessels, a virtual blockade of Washington, as the Potomac was concerned, was maintained until March, 1862, when the Confederate forces retired to the line of the Rappahannock River. The guns were then removed from the batteries, and the George Page was burnt. During the remainder of the war, the Potomac flotilla, commanded successively by Commodore A. A. Harwood and Commanders R. H. Wyman and Foxhall A. Parker, was chiefly occupied in patrolling the river and the adjacent waters to insure the safety of water communication from Washington, and to prevent contraband trade between the frontiers. It seconded the operations of the army at various points, and occa
Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buell, Battles and Leaders of the Civil War: Volume 2., The navy in the Peninsular campaign. (search)
fields of action was not without injurious results. The attention of the flag-officer could not be successfully directed at the same instant of time to such varied and complicated movements as were simultaneously in progress in the York River, the James River, Hampton Roads, Albemarle Sound, and the entrance to Wilmington. Of the various plans for a direct movement upon Richmond considered by the civil and military authorities in the winter of 1861-62, that by way of Urbana on the Rappahannock River was finally adopted, but the withdrawal of General Johnston from Centreville led to a change of plan at the last moment; and on the 13th of March it was decided to advance from Fort Monroe as a base. The detailed plan of General McClellan comprehended an attack by the navy upon the batteries at Yorktown and Gloucester, on opposite sides of the York River. It was upon the navy that he chiefly relied to reduce these obstacles to his progress and to clear the way to his proposed base, t