forces fell back behind Bull Run, the enemy not attempting any pursuit. Two days later, however, he threw a considerable force between Chantilly and Germantown to turn Pope's right. Hooker dislodged them after a short but severe engagement, in which Brig.-Gens. Kearny and Stevens, two of our very best officers, were killed. Pope's army had been reenforced by the corps of Franklin and Sumner, and no further apprehensions were felt for its safety. During the operations of the previous week, of which we received very favorable but not trustworthy accounts, every effort was made to push forward supplies and reenforcements to General Pope's army. The troops from the Peninsula were ordered not to wait for transportation, but to march immediately to the field of battle. Some of the corps moved with becoming activity, but the delays of others were neither creditable nor excusable. Our losses in these battles were very heavy, both in life and materials, but as no official reports have been received, except a brief sketch from Gen. Pope, marked Exhibit No. 4, I have no means of ascertaining their extent. Gen. Pope was transferred to another Department before the reports of his subordinates could be received; probably they will soon be handed in. Most of the troops actually engaged in these battles fought with great bravery, but some of them could not be brought into action at all. Many thousands straggled away from their commands, and it is said that not a few voluntarily surrendered to the enemy, so as to be paroled as prisoners of war. In order to reorganize the different corps, get the stragglers back into their ranks, and to supply deficiencies of ammunition, clothing, etc., caused by recent losses, General Pope requested and received directions to bring his army within the defences of Washington, which were then under the command of General McClellan. This movement was executed on the night of the third, without loss. General Pope being now second in command of the united forces, applied to be relieved, and was transferred to another department. Although this short and active campaign was, from causes already referred to, less successful than we had reason to expect, it had accomplished the great and important object of covering the capital till troops could be collected for its defence. Had the army of the Potomac arrived a few days earlier, the rebel army could have been easily defeated and perhaps destroyed. Seeing that an attack upon Washington would now be futile, Lee pushed his main army across the Potomac for a raid into Maryland and Pennsylvania. Gen. McClellan was directed to pursue him with all troops which were not required for the defence of Washington. Several corps were immediately thrown out in observation at Darnestown and Leesboro, and most of his army was in motion by the fifth of September. A portion entered Frederick on the twelfth. As the campaign was to be carried on within the department commanded by Major-Gen. Wool, I directed Gen. McClellan to assume control of all troops within his reach, without regard to departmental lines. The garrisons of Winchester and Martinsburgh had been withdrawn to Harper's Ferry, and the commanding officer of that post had been advised by my chief of staff to mainly confine his defence, in case he was attacked by superior forces, to the position of Maryland Heights, which could have been held a long time against over-whelming numbers. To withdraw him entirely from that position, with the great body of Lee's forces between him and our army, would not only expose the garrison to capture, but all the artillery and stores collected at that place must either be destroyed or left to the enemy. The only feasible plan was for him to hold his position until Gen. McClellan could relieve him, or open a communication so that he could evacuate it in safety. These views were communicated both to General McClellan and to Colonel Miles. The left of Gen. McClellan's army pursued a part of the enemy's forces to the South-Mountains, where, on the fourteenth, he made a stand. A severe battle ensued, the enemy being defeated and driven from his position with heavy loss. Lee's army then fell back behind Antietam Creek, a few miles above its mouth, and took a position admirably suited for defence. Our army attacked him on the sixteenth, and a hotly-contested battle was fought on that and the ensuing day, which resulted in the defeat of the Rebel forces. On the night of the seventeenth, our troops slept on the field which they had so bravely won. On the eighteenth, neither party renewed the attack, and on the night of the eighteenth and nineteenth Gen. Lee withdrew his army to the south side of the Potomac. Our loss in the several battles on South-Mountain and at Antietam was one thousand seven hundred and forty-two killed, eight thousand and sixty-six wounded, and nine hundred and thirteen missing, making a total of ten thousand seven hundred and twenty-one, Gen. McClellan estimates the enemy's loss at nearly thirty thousand; but their own accounts give their loss at about fourteen thousand in killed and wounded. On the approach of the enemy to Harper's Ferry, the officer in command on Maryland Heights destroyed his artillery and abandoned his post, and on the fifteenth, Col. Miles surrendered Harper's Ferry, with only a slight resistance, and within hearing of the guns of Gen. McClellan's army. As this whole matter has been investigated and reported upon by a military commission, it is unnecessary for me to discuss the disgraceful surrender of the post and army under Col. Miles's command. General McClellan's preliminary report of his operations in Maryland, including the battles of South-Mountain and Antietam, is submitted herewith, marked Exhibit No. 4. No reports of his subordinate officers have been submitted. From the seventeenth of September till the twenty-sixth of October, McClellan's main army remained on the north bank of the Potomac, in the vicinity of Sharpsburgh and Harper's Ferry. The long inactivity of so large an army in the
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Rebel reports and Narratives.
Doc . 91 .- General Sherman 's expedition.
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