previous next


Doc. 117.-General McClellan's order for crossing the Chickahominy.

headquarters army of the Potomac, camp near coal Harbor, Va., May 25, 1862.
I. Upon advancing beyond the Chickahominy the troops will go prepared for battle at a moment's notice, and will be entirely unencumbered, with the exception of ambulances. All vehicles will be left on the eastern side of the Chickahominy, and carefully packed. The men will leave their knapsacks, packed, with the wagons, and will carry three days rations. The arms will be put in perfect order before the troops march, and a careful inspection made of them, as well as of the cartridge-boxes, which in all cases will contain at least forty rounds; twenty additional rounds will be carried by the men in their pockets. Commanders of batteries will see that their limber and caisson-boxes are filled to their utmost capacity.

Commanders of army corps will devote their personal attention to the fulfilment of these orders, and will personally see that the proper arrangements are made for packing and properly guarding the trains and surplus baggage, taking all the steps necessary to insure their being brought promptly to the front when needed; they will also take steps to prevent the ambulances from interfering with the movements of any troops. Sufficient guards and staff-officers will be detailed to carry out these orders.

The ammunition-wagons will be in readiness to march to their respective brigades and batteries at a moment's warning, but will not cross the Chickahominy until they are sent for. All quartermasters and ordnance officers are to remain with their trains.

II. In the approaching battle the General Commanding trusts that the troops will preserve the discipline which he has been so anxious to enforce, and which they have so generally observed. He calls upon all the officers and soldiers to obey promptly and intelligently all orders they may receive; let them bear in mind that the army of the Potomac has never yet been checked, and let them preserve in battle perfect coolness and confidence, the sure forerunners of success. They must keep well together, throw away no shots, but aim carefully and low, and above all things rely upon the bayonet. Commanders of regiments are reminded of the great responsibility that rests upon them; upon their coolness, judgment and discretion the destinies of their regiments and success of the day will depend.

By command of

Major-General McClellan. S. Williams, Assistant Adjuntant-General

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
George B. McClellan (4)
S. Williams (2)
Doc (2)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
May 25th, 1862 AD (2)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: