previous next

[762] light which does not bear investigation. On the one hand, he asserts that he ordered Porter to attack the enemy's right, and assumes that he wilfully disobeyed him in not fulfilling his instructions. Now, this order, as we have already stated, was only despatched at half-past 4 o'clock, and Porter declared that he did not receive it until the moment when night rendered its execution impossible. The movements of the several corps had been so frequently countermanded, that the officers of the general staff were unable to ascertain the exact position of each, so that the delay in the transmission of that order is not to be wondered at. On the other hand, Pope, in his anxiety to prove that Porter's inaction had permitted the enemy to concentrate all his forces upon that portion of his line which was defended by Jackson, quotes the official report of the latter. But he has made a mistake in the dates, as we have ascertained by examining a collection of Confederate reports on the campaigns of Virginia, published in Richmond in 1864 (vol. II., p. 96); the quotation he produces has reference to the 30th of August, and not the 29th. This explanation will suffice to show how important it is to be circumspect in examining the various documents that have been published on both sides if one wishes to arrive at the exact truth.

Note E, page 367.

The part played by Burnside at the battle of Antietam has been the subject of a long and heated discussion in the North. General Mc-Clellan in his excellent report has severely, but without bitterness criticised the insufficiency of his lieutenant's attack upon the right wing of the Confederates in the early part of the day. He particularly censures him for having kept his army corps inactive, which might have been employed elsewhere if the passage of the river had been found impracticable. Mr. Swinton goes still farther, and accuses Burnside of having through his inaction prevented McClellan from driving the enemy's army into the Potomac. The biographer of Burnside, Mr. Woodbury, has replied to these accusations with great warmth, blaming McClellan, on the other hand, for not having ordered Porter to make the same effort that he had exacted from the Ninth corps. He seeks to justify Burnside for not having crossed the Antietam before two o'clock by showing the heavy losses experienced by his corps. This explanation is not satisfactory for two reasons; in the first place, because the greater part of these losses were sustained after

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.

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.
F. Porter (4)
Burnside (4)
McClellan (2)
Woodbury (1)
Swinton (1)
Pope (1)
Mc-Clellan (1)
Stonewall Jackson (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.
1864 AD (1)
August 30th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: