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 no fewer than four hundred steamers and sailing-craft, and that upon them had been transported from Alexandria and Washington to Fortress Monroe an army of one hundred and twenty-one thousand five hundred men, fourteen thousand five hundred and ninety-two animals, forty-four batteries, and the wagons and ambulances, ponton-trains, telegraph materials, and enormous equipage required for an army of such magnitude, and that all this was done with the loss of but eight mules and nine barges (the cargoes of which were saved), an intelligent verdict must certainly second the assertion of the Assistant Secretary of War, Mr. Tucker, whose administrative talent, in concert with General McClellan, directed this vast undertaking, that ‘for economy and celerity of movement, this expedition is without a parallel on record.’ A European critic calls it ‘the stride of a giant’— and it well deserves that blazon. The van of the grand army was led by Hamilton's—afterwards Kearney's—division of the Third Corps (Heintzelman's), which embarked for Fortress Monroe on the 17th of March. It was followed by Porter's division on the 22d, and the other divisions took their departure as rapidly as transports could be supplied. General McClellan reached Fortress Monroe on the 2d of April, and by that time there had arrived five divisions of infantry, three regiments of cavalry, the artillery division, and artillery reserve—making in all fifty-eight thousand men and one hundred guns. This force was at once put in motion in the direction of Yorktown, in front of which the remainder of the army joined as it arrived. The region known as ‘the Peninsula,’ on which the army thus found itself planted, is an isthmus formed by the York and the James rivers, which rising in the heart of Virginia, and running in a southeasterly direction, empty into Chesapeake Bay. It is from seven to fifteen miles wide and fifty miles long. The country is low and flat, in some places marshy, and generally wooded. The York River is formed by the confluence of the Mattapony and Pamunkey, which
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