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[73] frequent examples of war in which the immunity of one army is derived from the mistakes of the other.

An opinion has existed among some of our best-informed officers that Franklin's division was kept on transports for the purpose of landing on the north side of York River to capture our battery at Gloucester Point, and thus open the way to turn our position by ascending the York River. Upon the authority of Swinton, the fairest and most careful of the Northern writers on the war, it appears that Franklin's division had disembarked before the evacuation of Yorktown; upon the authority of the Prince de Joinville, serving on the staff of General McClellan, it appears that his commanding general was not willing to entrust that service to a single division, and plaintively describes the effect produced by the refusal of President Lincoln to send McDowell's corps to reenforce McClellan. He writes thus:

The news was received by the Federal army with dissatisfaction, although the majority could not then foresee the deplorable consequences of an act performed, it must be supposed, with no evil intention, but with inconceivable recklessness. . . . It was the mainspring removed from a great work already begun. It deranged everything. Among the divisions of the corps of McDowell, there was one—that of Franklin—which was regretted more than all the rest. . . . He [the commander in chief] held it in great esteem, and earnestly demanded its restoration. It was sent back to him without any explanation, in the same manner as it had been withheld. This splendid division, eleven thousand strong, arrived, and for a moment the commander thought of intrusting to it alone the storming of Gloucester, but the idea was abandoned.

On April 28th General J. E. Johnston wrote to Flag Officer Tatnall, commanding the naval forces in the James River, requesting him, if practicable, to proceed with the Virginia to York River for the purpose of destroying the enemy's transports, to which Commodore Tatnall replied that it could be done only in daylight, when he would be exposed to the fire of the forts, and would have to contend with the squadron of men-of-war stationed below them, and that, if this should be safely done, according to the information derived from the pilots, it would not be possible for the Virginia to reach the enemy's transports at Poquosin, while the withdrawal of the Virginia would be to abandon the defense of Norfolk, and to remove the obstacles she opposed to ‘the enemy's operations in the James River.’1

Meanwhile, the brilliant movements of the intrepid Jackson created such apprehension of an attack upon Washington city by the army of the Shenandoah that President Lincoln refused the repeated requests of

1 Life of Commodore Tatnall, pp. 166, 167.

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