another letter of instruction to General Banks
, founded upon the retreat of General Jackson
up the Valley of the Shenandoah
, and the change for the better in the military position of the Federal
cause in that region.
In view of events which subsequently occurred, and of questions which were subsequently raised, it becomes of importance here that the reader should ,understand how far the defence of Washington
was provided for before the Army of the Potomac was withdrawn.
In the first place, the city itself was defended by a strong system of fortifications, built under the directions of General Barnard
, and sweeping round a line of thirty-three miles in extent.
The troops which were assigned to garrison these fortifications were eighteen thousand in number, with thirty-two field-guns.
there were ten thousand men; on the Lower Potomac
, thirteen hundred; in the Valley of the Shenandoah
, thirty-five thousand.
Thus without~ including General Blenker
's division, which was at Warrenton
, there were about sixty-three thousand men disposed at various points for the protection of Washington
, together with eighty-five pieces of light artillery, including the thirty-two above mentioned.
There was also a body of troops in New York, over four thousand in number, which General McClellan
recommended to have sent to Washington
to reinforce the garrison there.
These forces were deemed by him amply adequate to insure the safety of Washington
and to give everybody there an entire sense of security,--a