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[132] what an equal number of McClellan's troops must have done “if that command was away ;” but it is by no means the same thing to a commander in the field to have 10,000 men holding an important post in his rear, but wholly independent of his authority, and having them subject implicitly to his orders. Gen. McClellan was therefore manifestly right in not regarding Gen. Wool's 10,000 as equivalent to a reenforcement of his army by that number; and the order which detached this division from his command has not been justified. True, he had more men than he needed, had he possessed the ability and the nerve to use them.1 But a General, in such a position as his then was, should either be fully trusted or superseded.

Stonewall Jackson, after his defeat2 by Shields at Kernstown, had retreated up the Valley, pursued by Gen. Banks, to the vicinity of Harrisonburg. Jackson, after holding some days a strong position near Mount Jackson, crossed3 the South Fork of the Shenandoah and took position in Elk Run Valley; but he was soon startled by tidings that Gen. Milroy, with the advance of Gen. Schenck's division of Fremont's West Virginia force, was threatening Staunton from the direction of Monterey. As a junction of Fremont's and Banks's commands would have involved the fall of Staunton, and the complete possession of the Valley by our troops, Jackson resolved to prevent it by striking a swift and hard blow at Fremont's advance. Leaving Ewell, whose division had recently joined him from Gordonsville, to observe and check Banks. Jackson moved rapidly to Staunton, being reenforced by the division of Gen. Edward Johnson, which he dispatched4 in advance of his own, against Milroy; who, being decidedly overmatched, retreated westwardly across Shenandoah Mountain, concentrating his command at McDowell, and sending

1 When he had fairly set down before Yorktown, he telegraphed to Washington as follows:

headquarters army of the Potomac, April 10.
Hon. Edwin A. Stanton, Secretary of War:
The reconnoissance to-day proves that it is necessary to invest and attack Gloucester Point Give me Franklin's and McCall's divisions, under command of Franklin, and I will at once undertake it. If circumstances of which I am not aware make it impossible for you to send me two divisions to carry out this final plan of campaign. I will run the risk, and holly myself responsible for the result, if you will give me Franklin's division. If you still confide in my judgment, I entreat that you will grant this request. The fate of our cause depends upon it. Although willing, under the pressure of necessity, to carry this through with Franklin alone, I wish it to be distinctly understood that I think two divisions necessary. Franklin and his division are indispensable to me. Gen. Barnard concurs in this view. I have determined on the point of attack, and am at this moment engaged in fixing the position of the batteries.

G. B. Mcclella, Maj.-General.

The prompt response was as follows:

War Department, April 11, 1862.
Maj.-Gen. G. B. McClellan, Commanding Army of Potomac, Fortress Monroe, Virginia:
By direction of the President, Franklin's division las been ordered to march back to Alexandria and immediately embark for Fort Monroe.

L. Thomas, Adjutant-General.

Which McClellan thus acknowledged:

headquarters army of the Potomac, Near Yorktown, April 12--12 M.
Hon. E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War:
Your dispatch received. I thank you most sincerely for the reenforcements sent to me. Franklin will attack on the other side. The moment I hear from him, I will state point of rendezvous. I am confident as to results now.

G. B. McClellan, Maj.-General.

All this promise ended in no performance. Gloucester was not attacked. Franklin's division was not even debarked, but lay idle more than a fortnight in the transports which brought it to the Peninsula, until Magruder saw fit to evacuate Yorktown.

2 March 23.

3 April 19.

4 May 7

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