The whole of General Banks
's division, and two brigades of General Sedgwick
's division, were thrown across the river at Harper's Ferry
on the 26th, superintended by General McClellan
in person, who had gone up from Washington
for that purpose.
Materials had been collected for making a permanent bridge by means of canal-boats but, on attempting to pass the boats through the left lock, it was found, for the first time, that the lock was too small to permit their passage.
This unexpected obstacle deranged the plans; and an order which had been given for the movement of some forces from Washington
Every exertion was made to establish, as promptly as possible, depots of forage and subsistence on the Virginia
side, to supply the troops.
On the 28th, Charlestown
was occupied by a strong Federal force; and on the same day General McClellan
returned to Washington
In spite of the untoward mischance of the canal-boats,--for which the commander-in-chief
could not be responsible,--the design aimed at had been accomplished, and before the 1st of April the railroad was in running order.
With General McClellan
's return to Washington
on the 28th of February, preparations were begun for carrying out the wishes of the President
and Secretary of War
in regard to destroying the batteries on the Lower Potomac
,--though in giving his hand to this movement General McClellan
yielded his own judgment to theirs.
He was convinced that this operation would require the movement