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d see for himself how matters stood, and, if need be, assume command in person. He merely repeated his reply, and I urged him as strongly as possible to follow my advice. He still refused, and I then urged him to send out his chief of staff, Gen. Cullum, who just then entered the room, but Cullum said that he could not go. Then I asked that Kelton, his adjutant-general, might be sent. Kelton cheerfully offered to go, and it was determined that he should start immediately. I took Kelton to oCullum said that he could not go. Then I asked that Kelton, his adjutant-general, might be sent. Kelton cheerfully offered to go, and it was determined that he should start immediately. I took Kelton to one side and advised him not to content himself with merely seeing Pope, but also to make it a point to converse freely with the general officers and learn their individual opinions. Next morning while I was at breakfast, about 7 or 7.30 o'clock, the President and Gen. Halleck came to my house. The President informed me that Col. Kelton had returned and represented the condition of affairs as much worse than I had stated to Halleck on the previous day; that there were 30,000 stragglers on the
D. N. Couch (search for this): chapter 32
ucted me to repeat to you the order he sent this morning to withdraw your army to Washington without unnecessary delay. He feared that his messenger might miss you, and desired to take this double precaution. In order to bring troops upon ground with which they are already familiar, it would be best to move Porter's corps upon Upton's Hill, that it may occupy Hall's Hill, etc.; McDowell's to Upton's Hill; Franklin's to the works in front of Alexandria; Heintzelman's to the same vicinity; Couch to Fort Corcoran, or, if practicable, to the Chain bridge; Sumner either to Fort Albany or to Alexandria, as may be most convenient. In haste, general, very truly yours, Geo. B. Mcclellan, Maj.-Gen. U. S. A. In a very short time I had made all the requisite preparations and was about to start to the front in person to assume command as far out as possible, when a message came to me from Gen. Halleck informing me that it was the President's order that I should not assume command until
A. V. Colburn (search for this): chapter 32
d until the afternoon, when I rode out to the most advanced of the detached works covering the capital. I had with me Colburn, Key, and some other aides, with a small cavalry escort, and rode at once to Munson's Hill. About the time I reached thall my aides and orderlies with instructions to the troops coming in by the Alexandria and Central roads, retaining only Colburn with me. I borrowed three orderlies from some cavalry at hand, and, accompanied by them and Colburn, started across counColburn, started across country as rapidly as possible to reach the Langley road. By the time I reached that road the firing had ceased, with the exception of perhaps a dropping shot occasionally. It was after dark — I think there was moonlight — by the time I met the first I was stopped late night before last, returning to camp, and compelled to go to your office for the countersign. Lieut.-Col. Colburn, going to the city last night on important business requiring despatch, was stopped at this end of the bridge and
Salmon P. Chase (search for this): chapter 32
am Barney, Collector of the Port of New York, told Mr. Chase that Stanton and Wadsworth had advised him to leavMcClellan to command. It may here be noted that Mr. Chase was in error when, on Sept. 19, he said (Warden, pannounced Halleck's surrender to McClellan. While Mr. Chase was right enough in thus confessing the existence e city. He still shrank from an open rupture with Mr. Chase, Mr. Stanton, the majority of the Committee on the. Lincoln entered it knowing his men. He knew that Mr. Chase and Mr. Stanton were Presidential candidates, guidponsibility of the War Department for the position. Chase told him that any engineer officer would have done a Potomac. In his private diary (Warden, p. 459) Mr. Chase thus describes it: The Secretary of War came int soon came in, and, in answer to an inquiry from Mr. Chase, confirmed what Stanton had stated. General regreat the authors of this intrigue, Messrs. Stanton and Chase, when the result of it came, and I proposed the rest
A. E. Burnside (search for this): chapter 32
I know what my command and position are to be, and whether you still intend to place me in the command indicated in your first letter to me, and orally through Gen. Burnside at the Chickahominy, I cannot decide where I can be of most use. If your determination is unchanged I ought to go to Alexandria at once. Please define my posiand and do the best that could be done. The instant acceptance of this vast responsibility by McClellan puts at rest a falsehood published on the authority of Gen. Burnside, that McClellan proposed to make conditions, took time to consider, and finally only yielded to the persuasions of others in accepting the command. This story the Treasury; that he would gladly resign his place; but that he could not see who could do the work wanted as well as McClellan. I named Hooker, or Sumner, or Burnside, either of whom would do the work better. Mr. Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy, in his book, Lincoln and Seward, New York, 1874, page 194, says: At t
more and more difficult to arouse the men from the sleep they would fall into apparently as soon as they touched the ground. During one of these halts, while Col. Buchanan, the brigade commander, was resting a little off the road, some distance in advance of the head of the column, it being starlight, two horsemen came down the road towards us. I thought I observed a familiar form, and, turning to Col. Buchanan, said: Colonel, if I did not know that Gen. McClellan had been relieved of all command, I should say that he was one of that party, adding immediately, I do really believe it is he! Nonsense! said the colonel; what would Gen. McClellan be dst in the shadowy gloom. But a few moments had elapsed, however, when Capt. John D. Wilkins, of the 3d Infantry (now colonel of the 5th), came running towards Col. Buchanan, crying out: Colonel! Colonel! Gen. McClellan is here! The enlisted men caught the sound Whoever was awake aroused his neighbor. Eyes were rubbed, and
Montgomery Blair (search for this): chapter 32
, in answer to an inquiry from Mr. Chase, confirmed what Stanton had stated. General regret was expressed, and Stanton, with some feeling, remarked that no order to that effect had issued from the War Department. The President, calmly but with some emphasis, said the order was his, and he would be responsible for it to the country. . . . Before separating the Secretary of the Treasury expressed his apprehension that the reinstatement of McClellan would prove a national calamity. Mr. Montgomery Blair, Postmaster-General, in private letters, from which, now in the hands of the editor, the following extracts are taken, says: Under date April 22. 1870: The bitterness of Stanton on the reinstatement of McClellan you can scarcely conceive. He preferred to see the capital fall. . . . McClellan was bound to go when the emergency was past, and Halleck and Stanton furnished a pretence. Under date April 3, 1879: The folly and disregard of public interests thus exhibited wo
Hiram Barney (search for this): chapter 32
e have made great captures, but I am not able yet to form an idea of their extent. The urgency of McClellan, who discredited Pope's statements, alone induced Halleck to send Col. Kelton to the front for information. The return of that officer in the night of Sept. 1--2 revealed the truth, which brought terror to Washington. Without dwelling on the condition of alarm into which the War Department was now plunged, it is important to note that it continued certainly till Sept. 8, when Mr. Hiram Barney, Collector of the Port of New York, told Mr. Chase that Stanton and Wadsworth had advised him to leave for New York this evening, as communication with Baltimore might be cut off before to-morrow (Warden, p. 415). Secretary Welles says Stanton and Halleck were filled with apprehensions beyond others. They gave up the capital as lost, and issued orders to empty the arsenal preparatory to the occupation of Washington by the enemy. Early in the morning of Sept. 2 the President, accompa
J. G. Barnard (search for this): chapter 32
where Gen. McClellan's own headquarters then were. Obviously McClellan was not at this time in command of all the troops in and about Washington, Gen. Halleck's testimony that he was notwithstanding. On the 30th Gen. McClellan telegraphed Gen. Barnard, who was in command of the military defences of Washington: I have no more troops to give you, and, as I have no command nor any position, I shall not regard it as my duty to take any further steps in regard to the works. On the same day Mchis crisis with your ability and experience. I am entirely tired out. This indefinite despatch was the first hint of any order placing McClellan in command of the fortifications. On the same day McClellan had telegraphed to Gens. Wadsworth, Barnard, and Slough: Gen. McClellan commands so few troops that he declines issuing a countersign, but he will be obliged if you will furnish him daily with yours, as he may have occasion to send to Washington during the night. At 10.25 P. M., on rec
March 1st, 1886 AD (search for this): chapter 32
the form following: War Department, adjutant--general's office, Washington, Sept. 2, 1862. Maj.-Gen. McClellan will have command of the fortifications of Washington and of all the troops for the defence of the capital. By order of Maj.-Gen. Halleck. E. D. Townsend, A. A. Gen. The history of its origin and modification is certainly obscure. Little light is thrown on it by the following, which is an extract from an official letter from the adjutant-general's office, dated March 1, 1886, and signed J. C. Kelton, Assist. Adj.-Gen. Col. Kelton was the officer on Gen. Halleck's staff who had brought the intelligence of the condition of Gen. Pope's command on the morning of Sept. 2. It is therefore clear that the first draft of the order was made that morning; but whether before or after Gen. Halleck had consulted with Mr. Stanton does not appear. Col. Kelton says: It appears from the records that a draft of General Order No. 122 was written by Col. J. C. Kelton, the
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