The campaign of Gettysburg which he commenced so brilliantly, was afterward conducted by his successor with such results as to produce the deepest mortification throughout the country. The doubt, hesitation, and fear of consequences displayed by General Meade was in striking contrast to the heroic valor so constantly and stubbornly exhibited by the army. Never did the cavalry, though few in numbers for the labors assigned them, perform more brilliant and successful deeds of arms than those which, after the battle of Gettysburg, brought to bay a shattered, baffled and beaten army at Falling Waters, on the banks of the Potomao, in July, 18631 The army was eager for the attack, they knew the end of the rebellion was within their grasp but their commander, General Meade, receiving no inspiration from their genius, only held them back until the enemy had escaped. The same fear of consequences which animated General Meade, caused the army to fall back from Culpepper to Centreville, in the fall of 1863, when the rebels advanced and took from the campaign of Gettysburg whatever might have been claimed for it on the score of generalship, and the Mine Run campaign showed so plainly that General Meade was deficient in the qualities required for a commander, that it was not surprising to see Lieutenant-General Grant. a short time after, assume the personal direction of the Army of the Potomac. It is a very important fact, that the numbers of the cavalry in that Army were then more nearly in the proper proportion to those of the infantry than at any other time in its history; and the noble record of the cavalry and of the Army, while under General Grant, can consequently be accepted as one of the results of observing that important principle of war — the proper organization of an army. In reviewing this subject,it is well to observe that the success of the rebel army in Virginia, for the first two years of the war, was mainly due to its superior organization, and to the splendid corps of cavalry it was able to maintain. That army was not hampered with a surplus of artillery, and its numerous and efficient cavalry kept its commander well informed of our movements; but when the casualties of war reduced this cavalry faster than they could replace them — which was the case in the campaigns of 1863-the Army was soon thrown upon the defensive, from which it was never after able to recover. We, then deduce the following facts: that the Army of the Potomao was better organized in the later periods of the war than at the beginning; while the reverse was the case with the rebel army. The successes of either army bore a marked correspondence to its superior organization to that of its opponent, at the time of achievement. The question then recurs, could not the war have been much sooner closed by giving to the Army of the Potomac a proper organization at the beginning The Government should now decide this question; and if responded to in the affirmative, make the necessary corrections to prevent similar evils in our military system hereafter. campaign of the Peninsula. In the campaign of the Peninsula I commanded the Second regiment of United States cavalry, until the Army arrived at Harrison's landing, when 1 was made a Brigadier-General of volunteers, and commanded a brigade of cavalry in the second action at Malvern Hill, on the fifth of August, 1862, and also covered the withdrawal of the Army from the Peninsula. Thronghout this campaign there was a decided want of vigor in the conduct of the Army, and the first great mistake was made in permitting the rebels to occupy and reinforce Yorktown, before taking possession of it. Some thirty days delay occurred in laying siege to Yorktown, when it might have been taken by assault the first few days after the Army arrived before it. At all events the importance of time at that period was such as to make an attempt worthy of a trial. The time lost at Yorktown, and on the Chickahominy, gave the rebels an opportunity to gather their forces to defend Richmond; and the error committed in placing the Army on both sides of the Chickahominy enabled the enemy to cripple first our left wing on Fair Oaks and Seven Pines, and afterward our right wing at Mechanicsville and Gaines' Mill; and by the moral effect of these partial actions caused the Army to retreat to James river. There appeared no disposition throughout this campaign to bring the entire Army into action as an army: there was no controlling spirit so decidedly strong as to effect the necessary concert of action in the different portions of the Army, and as a consequence the battles that took place re suited, from the enemy's successively massing heavier forces on our detached corps, which were outnumbered, beaten in detail, and compelled to retreat. It has been claimed that more troops should have been furnished the Army for the purpose of taking Richmond; but the facts of the case do not support this assertion, as the troops that were in the Army were never all used, and fought in connection with, and in support of each other, as should have been done. To have increased these large masses, without material change in the manner of fighting them from that which had been adopted, would not have changed the ultimate result from what it was, and would have only added to the embarrassments which already existed. Besides the causes already mentioned, there were numerous oversights and neglects, bearing upon discipline, and which also had a serious influence upon the success of the campaign. Very little was done to excite the energy, emulation, and enthusiasm of the troops, while some measures were adopted that had a decided tendency to diminish these necessary qualities in a
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Doc . 16 . operations in Tennessee .
Doc . 19 . the siege of Suffolk, Virginia .
Doc . 36 . General Rousseau 's expedition.
Doc . 59 . battles of Spottsylvania , Va: battle of Sunday , May 8 , 1864 .
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