previous next
[251] not be unreasonable to expect that a large part of McClellan's army would have been captured or destroyed.

For some days after the great battles, the Army of Northern Virginia camped along the bank of James river. Barksdale's Brigade bivouacked at Camp Holly, a locality once occupied as a camp by General Washington with his army. The soil along the James was quite productive and the extensive fields of corn, which was in roasting ear, afforded the greatest enjoyment to the troops. The government bought the crops and the soldiers were not long in stripping the stalks. Eight and ten ears was an average meal for a man. In Richmond every available place was used to shelter the great number of our wounded, and at nearly every country house wounded men were cared for by the devoted Virginia women.

The Federal Army returned from whence it came, and very soon General Lee transferred his forces beyond the Rapidan. After his defeat, McClellan was superseded in command by Major-General John Pope, who boldly announced that ‘he would take Richmond without delay.’ In his orders, which were read to the army, and which were extensively published throughout the North, he said: ‘The commanding general enjoins his army to discard such phrases as “base of supplies,” and “lines of retreat,” as unworthy of soldiers destined to follow one who has never seen anything but the backs of his enemies.’

Pope charmed the Northern people, as well as the Washington administration, by his bombastic talk. He even went so far as to assert: ‘Had I such an army as McClellan's before the Richmond battles, I would march straight to New Orleans.’

McClellan's army was withdrawn from the peninsula to make a junction with the Army of Virginia, in front of Washington.

The Army of Virginia numbered 50,090 effectives on August 7, while the Army of the Potomac numbered in round figures 100,000 men. Therefore, when General Pope began ‘The march on-to-Richmond,’ his fighting force numbered 150,000, which was 22,673 greater than McClellan's effectives before Richmond.

General Lee's army was reduced 15,000 on account of the killed and wounded in the seven days battles, leaving 73,967 for duty. When he departed from Richmond his strength was still further reduced 12,000 by the loss of McLaws' Division, and two brigades, under General Walker, left behind for the protection of the city. General Lee, therefore, carried with him 61,967 men to meet Pope and his army of 150,000.

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 Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Richmond (Virginia, United States) (2)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

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.
H. B. McClellan (5)
John Pope (4)
Robert Edward Lee (3)
George Washington (1)
Isham Walker (1)
Lafayatte McLaws (1)
Barksdale (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.
August 7th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: