previous next

[156] me that there was a scheme for releasing the prisoners at Point Lookout, by a naval expedition up the Chesapeake, and I was directed to send a calvary force towards that point, in order to co-operate in the scheme, if I found it practicable to do so. I did order General Bradley T. Johnson to move in that direction with his brigade, after cutting the railroads between Baltimore and Philadelphia and Baltimore and Washington; and he had started and crossed the railroad between Washington and Baltimore, when, having learned that two corps had arrived at Washington from Grant's army, he informed me of the fact by a courier who reached me in front of Washington on the night of the 11th of July. Realizing the fact then that there was no possible hope of capturing Washington, I determined to retire, and sent an order to General Johnson to rejoin me. The attempt to release the prisoners at Point Lookout was not made for reasons not at all connected with my operations.

If there was this scheme for releasing the prisoners in the North and Northwest, which was to be carried out in connection with my advance on Washington, it is a little singular that General Lee gave me no information of it when he informed me of the proposed attempt at Point Lookout?

I may further remark that, as the project of sending me to threaten Washington was first conceived on the 12th of June and I arrived in front of Washington on the 11th July, it was simply impossible that information of the fact could have reached the Confederate commissioners in Canada, and been sent by them to Sandusky, in Ohio, before I retired from the front of Washington.

It is said: “It was first intended to strike the blow while the national Democratic convention was in session at Chicago, and more than 4,000 Confederate soldiers and sympathizers were there ready for action. But Early's delay in striking Washington caused a postponement.”

The Democratic convention for 1864, which nominated McClellan for President, assembled at Chicago on the 31st of August--a little more than seven weeks after I had retired from Washington. When that convention was held I was confronted by Sheridan in the Valley with very nearly 55,000 troops, according to the returns on file in the Adjutant-General's office in Washington, while my whole force did not reach the fourth of that number. Was it expected that I should destroy Sheridan, then capture Washington, hold in check the entire force of the United States army, including all the troops in Kentucky, Tennessee and Missouri, while the 20,000 released prisoners should arm

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 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.
Sheridan (2)
Bradley T. Johnson (2)
McClellan (1)
Fitzhugh Lee (1)
U. S. Grant (1)
J. A. Early (1)
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.
July 11th (2)
1864 AD (1)
August 31st (1)
June 12th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: