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th this officer and Capt. Dickerson were more than once ordered away from me to less important functions, and it was with the utmost difficulty that I finally retained them. At a subsequent period, but before the Western Virginia campaign, Maj. Seth Williams was assigned to duty as adjutant-general of the department, Maj. R. B. Marcy as paymaster (subsequently assigned by me as chief of staff and inspector-general), Capt. Kingsbury as chief of ordnance. During the first organization of the d that no Bull Run no. 1 would have been fought. I think it was during my absence on this very trip (to Indianapolis) that Grant came to Cincinnati to ask me, as an old acquaintance, to give him employment, or a place on my staff. Marcy or Seth Williams saw him and told him that if he would await my return, doubtless I would do something for him; but before I got back he was telegraphed that he could have a regiment in Illinois, and at once returned thither, so that I did not see him. This w
which purpose written permits will be given by the commanders of brigades. The permit will state the object of the visit. Brigade commanders will be held responsible for the strict execution of this order. Col. Andrew Porter, of the 16th U. S. Infantry, is detached for temporary duty as provost-marshal in Washington, and will be obeyed and respected accordingly. Col. Porter will report in person at these headquarters for instructions. By command of Maj.-Gen. McClellan. (Signed) S. Williams, Asst. Adjt.-Gen. The effect of all this was that on the 4th of August I was able to write to one of my family: I have Washington perfectly quiet now; you would not know that there was a regiment here. I have restored order very completely already. In re-arranging the posts and organization of the troops I brought over to the Washington side of the river those regiments which had been most shaken and demoralized by the defeat of Bull Run, and retained them there, with the newly ar
d detention until discharged by competent authority; and contraband articles will be seized. Officers and soldiers of the army will obtain passes as heretofore ordered. All complaints of improper seizures or searches made, or purporting to be made, under military authority will be received by the proper brigade commanders or provost-marshals, who will at once investigate the same, and in each instance make report to these headquarters. By command of Maj.-Gen. McClellan. (Signed) S. Williams, Asst. Adjt.-Gen. In describing the steps taken toward the creation of the Army of the Potomac it will be well to begin with the Memorandum of Aug. 2, 1861, submitted to the President at his request. In my Report the date is erroneously given as of the 4th. This paper was necessarily prepared in great haste, as my time was fully occupied both by day and night with the incessant labors incident to my assumption of the command and the dangerous condition of affairs. Memorandum.
ant-generals. Three lieutenant-colonels, aides-de-camp. 19.Four majors, inspection duty. Eight majors, assistant adjutant-generals. One major, statistics. Six majors, aides-de-camp. 30.Four captains, assistant to chief. Four captains, military statistics. Eight captains, military inspection. Eight captains, assistant adjutant-generals. Six aides, general duty. The affairs of the adjutant-general's Department, while I commanded the Army of the Potomac, were conducted by Brig.-Gen. S. Williams, assisted by Lieut.-Col. James A. Hardie, aide-de-camp. Their management of the department during the organization of the army in the fall and winter of 1861 and during its subsequent operations in the field was excellent. They were, during the entire period, assisted by Capt. Richard B. Irwin, aide-de-camp, and during the organization of the army by the following-named officers: Capts. Joseph Kirkland, Arthur McClellan, M. T. McMahon, William P. Mason, and William F. Biddle, aid
brave, and intelligent; he always did his duty admirably, and was an honest man. As commander of an army he was far superior to either Hooker or Burnside. Col. Ingalls was, in my experience, unequalled as a chief-quartermaster in the field. When first assigned to the command in the Department of the Ohio, I applied for Fitz-John Porter as my adjutant-general, but he was already on duty with Gen. Patterson in the same capacity, and could not be spared. Soon afterwards I obtained Maj. Seth Williams, who had been on duty with Gen. Harney at St. Louis, and he remained with me as my adjutant-general until I was finally relieved from the command of the Army of the Potomac. I never met with a better bureau officer, perhaps never with so good a one. He thoroughly understood the working of the adjutant-general's department, was indefatigable in the performance of his duty, made many and valuable suggestions as to the system of returns, reports, etc., and thus exerted a great influence
course, was a mere act of bravado, for it is not probable that Jackson had the slightest intention of crossing the river. The enemy fired a few shells into Hancock, doing little or no damage. Gen. Banks sent reinforcements to Hancock under Gen. Williams, who remained in that vicinity for some time. Jackson now moved towards Bloomery Gap and Romney, whither Lander was ordered to go. The force at Romney being insufficient to hold the place and its communications, Lander was instructed to falle on Winchester independently of the bridge. The next day (Friday) I sent a strong reconnoissance to Charlestown, and, under its protection, went there myself. I then determined to hold that place, and to move the troops composing Lander's and Williams's commands at once on Martinsburg and Bunker Hill, thus effectually covering the reconstruction of the railroad. Having done this, and taken all the steps in my power to insure the rapid transmission of supplies over the river, I returned to
fully understand what is wanted. When called to the command of the United States armies in 1861 I left unchanged the organization of the Army of the Potomac and its headquarters, and in no manner merged them with those of the headquarters of the United States army--the staff for each being distinct, except with regard to my personal aides-de-camp. Thus Gen. Marcy, the chief of staff of the Army of the Potomac, had nothing to do with the headquarters of the army of the United States. Gen. S. Williams was adjutant-general of the Army of the Potomac, while Gen. L. Thomas was my adjutant-general in my capacity as commander of the United States army, etc. The papers and records of the two offices were entirely distinct. I had in the War Department building two rooms for my office as commanding general of the United States army, and thither Gen. Thomas brought to me all papers and matters requiring my action, received my orders thereon, carried back the papers to his own office, where t
return, confirms the idea that we are after Norfolk, ail is well, except the mere fact of falling back. If this reaches you in time it would be well to hold the position of Big Bethel, if its occupation by the enemy can give us any trouble. You, on the ground, can best judge of this. G. B. McClellan, Maj.-Gen. Commanding. McClellan to Blenker.headquarters, Army of Potomac, steamer Commodore, March 29, 1862. Gen. L. Blenker, Warrenton Junction: The commanding general desires that you will hold your division in readiness to move at short notice to Alexandria for embarkation. It is his design to have your command join the active army the moment it can be spared from the service upon which it is now employed. He is anxious to afford your division an opportunity to meet the enemy, feeling well assured that it will prove itself conspicuous for valor on the battle-field and fully realize the high anticipations he had formed with respect to your command. S. Williams, A. A. G.
ee miles from New Kent Court-House. The occupation of this place occurred as the result of a brisk skirmish in which a portion of the 6th U. S. Cavalry, under Maj. Williams, and Robinson's battery took part; one squadron of the 6th, under the personal command of Maj. Williams, made two very handsome charges. On the 10th StonemaMaj. Williams, made two very handsome charges. On the 10th Stoneman sent Farnsworth's 8th Ill. Cavalry some six miles beyond New Kent Court-House, and with his main body moved to Cumberland, leaving New Kent Court-House occupied by two New Jersey regiments and four guns from Franklin's division. On the 11th he sent Maj. Williams with six companies of cavalry to occupy the railroad-crossing at Maj. Williams with six companies of cavalry to occupy the railroad-crossing at White House and scout the surrounding country. He was again delayed on the 11th by the necessity of awaiting provisions from Franklin. Stoneman says: The men have had no sugar or coffee since leaving Williamsburg, and but a very limited amount of hard bread and pork. We have lived principally on fresh meat, sometimes without sal
ble fault committed. Having ascertained the state of affairs, instructions were given for the operations of the following day. On the 28th a party under Maj. Williams, 6th U. S. Cavalry, destroyed the common road bridges over the Pamunkey, and Virginia Central Railroad bridge over the South Anna. On the 29th he destroyed cksburg and Richmond Railroad bridge over the South Anna, and the turnpike bridge over the same stream. On the same day, and mainly to cover the movement of Maj. Williams, Gen. Emory moved a column of cavalry towards Ashland from Hanover Court-House. The advance of this column, under Capt. Chambliss, 5th U. S. Cavalry, entered ce between Fredericksburg and Junction. The following was also sent on the same day by Gen. Marcy: A detachment from Gen. F. J. Porter's command, under Maj. Williams, 6th Cavalry, destroyed the South Anna railroad bridge at about nine A. M. to-day; a large quantity of Confederate public property was also destroyed at Ashlan
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