previous next

‘ [764] and will remain as supports. Copies of instructions to Generals Sumner and Hooker will be forwarded to you by an orderly very soon. You will keep your whole command in readiness to move at once as soon as the fog lifts. The watch-word, which, if possible, should be given to every company, will be Scott.’


J. G. Parke, Chief of Staff.

The despatches hourly sent by General Hardie, who was with Franklin, to Burnside's headquarters, show, moreover, that the latter, being informed of the dispositions made by the commander of the left wing, had no fault to find, and that he gave the signal of attack to Sumner at a moment when he was well aware that this wing was not yet seriously engaged.

This plan differed entirely from that which had been discussed for the last two days. In consequence of this change and the new attack to be made upon Marye's Hill, Franklin had no alternative but to strictly obey the text of the instructions he had received. His corps commanders were of the same opinion. Burnside, not having yet been tried as their commander-in-chief, had no right to expect more from his lieutenants than the literal execution of his orders; and when these orders were vague or contradictory, those who received them could not supply the deficiency by that initiative action which a subordinate will often venture upon, when sure that he has divined the intention of his chief; and that such conduct will meet with approval. Hence the uncertainty and timidity which naturally characterized the movements of the Federal army, and caused it to lose half its valor, without detracting from the bravery of the soldiers or the capacity of the generals.

Note G, page 664.

The statement of these facts is taken from a report (Thirty-sixth Congress, Second Session, Report No. 78) laid before the House of Representatives on the 12th of February, 1861, by a special committee appointed to inquire into the robbery of Indian bonds. All our allegations are based upon the authority of this official document. But while we feel obliged, out of regard for truth, to show the amount of responsibility resting upon Mr. Floyd in these culpable transactions, we eagerly seize this opportunity to modify an opinion, too severe,

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.
Sumner (2)
Franklin (2)
Burnside (2)
Scott (1)
J. G. Parke (1)
Hooker (1)
Hardie (1)
Floyd (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.
February 12th, 1861 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: