previous next

Progress of the War.

As a part of the history of the war, and of one of the heaviest disasters yet sustained by the Yankees we publish the evidence given before the Investigating Committee in Washington by Maj-Gen. Franklin. He said the advance of the army war immediately proceeded with after the conference of Halleck and Meigs with Burnside. He said:

‘ I understand from Gen. Burnside that when the advance of his army arrived a front of Fredericksburg a pontoon train, enough build two bridges, was to meet him there. I know the advance of the army did arrive at Fredericksburg at the proper time, but there was no pontoon train to meet it there, and in consequence of that the army could not cross at the time we expected to cross. We were, therefore, delayed several days in consequence of the delay in the arrival of the pontoon train. After arriving here we accumulated provisions for twelve days. Then Gen. Burnside called a council, in which it was the unanimous opinion. I think, of all the Generals present, that if the river could be crossed it ought to be crossed, no matter what might happen afterwards. The point of crossing was not then definitely determined upon, but I thought at the time we were to cross several miss further down — Afterwards General Burnside called us together again, and informed us that he had determined to cross at the two points at which we finally did cross. I had no objection to that, but thought they were as good as the point further down. I know nothing at all, in fact, about the defences on the other side. It was not my business to know anything about them. I think the arrangements for the crossing were all well made; at the same time I doubted our power to cross, and I do not believe we could have crossed had the enemy chosen to prevent it. And I know from what I have since seen, and what I before suspected, that they could have prevented our crossing at those two points if they had chosen. However, as the committee know that the crossing was successfully made under cover of a fog, and as far as my wing was concerned, we got into position safely with the loss of a very few men. Still we were in such a position that if the enemy had any moment opened upon us with the guns they had bearing upon us, I think that in the course of an hour our men would have been so scattered that it would have been impossible to rally them. For some unaccountable reason they did not open their batteries. On the morning of the 13th inst. I made an attack according to the order of Gen. Burnside. I put in all the troops that I thought it proper and prudent to put in. I fought the whole strength of my command as far as I could, and at the same time kept my communication with the river open. The reason that we failed was that we had not troops enough to carry the points where the attack was made. Under the orders that were given, after we were pressed back, I directed that a position should be held as far in advance as was possible to had it, and I brought up all the troops in reserve to hold that position; I held that position until I was ordered to recross the river, and from what I threw of our want of success on the right, and of the demoralized condition of the troops on the right and centre, as represented to me by their commanders, confess that I believe the order to recross was a very proper one. We recrossed on the night of the 15th, without the loss of a man, and with no trouble at all.

’ Question by Mr. Gooch--Had the pontoons been here at the time of the arrival of the army, what would have probably been the result?

Answer.--The probable result would have been that the army as much of it as General Burnside supposed was necessary, would have immediately crossed the river, driving away the enemy here, perhaps five hundred or one thousand men, and they would have occupied the very heights which we have since been obliged to attack; and that crossing would have been permanent and successful.

Question — Do you know on whom rests the responsibility of the delay in the arrival of the pontoons?

Answer.--I do not, officially.

Question.--What, in your opinion, is the number of your killed, wounded, and missing?

Answer.--I think it will amount to about ten thousand, altogether.

Question — Have you any knowledge of the less of the enemy?

Answer — I have not, except what I saw incidentally in a Richmond paper.

Question.--Do I understand you to say that you concurred in the movement to cross the river?

Answer — It was not my opinion that we could cross at any of the points indicated.

Question.--Will you state whether or not it is your opinion that if the movement of the army from Warrenton had been delayed until the time the pontoons arrived here the army could have then come here, and with those pontoons have made a crossing here and occupied the Heights before the enemy could have reached here in sufficient force to have prevented it?

Answer.--Yes, sir, that is my opinion.

Question.--Then it is your opinion that if it had been ascertained that the pontoons could not possibly be here at the time Gen. Burnside expected them to be here, he should have been notified of the time when they could be here, so that he might make the movements of his army correspond with the time when the pontoons could be here?

Answer.--That is my opinion.

Question.--What is the condition of the army now as to its efficiency? Is its efficiency impaired, other than by the loss of so many men, or is it demoralized by the recent disasters?

Answer — I think it is not demoralized at all; that is, so far as my own wing is concerned, I know it is not.

Question.--After the crossing had been made was it possible, in your opinion, for our troops to have carried the heights, or to have held our position upon the other side so as to have derived any advantage from it?

Answer.--It is my opinion that if, instead of making two real attacks, our whole force had been concentrated on our left — that is, our available forces — and the real attack had been made there, and merely a feint made upon the right, we might have carried the heights. I think we could have carried them. Whether the army would have achieved a success by that I cannot say. I do not mean to say that the mere carrying of the heights would have secured our success. I do not know what was behind them, or how much of a force the enemy had there. I know that wherever we appeared we found a great many more then than we had. I would like to impress as firmly upon the committee as it is impressed upon my mind, the fact that the whole disaster has resulted from the delay in the arrival of the pontoon bridges. Whoever is responsible for the delay is responsible for all the disasters which have followed. We were rather astonished when we came down here to find that Sumner had been here for some days and had not received the pontoon bridges. I think that is the main cause for this disaster.

Question.--Do you know what the expectation was as to the pontoons being here? On the arrival of the first army corps that would get here, was it expected that the pontoons would be here?

Answer.--Certainly, it was expected they would be here.

Question.--What was that corps to have done if pontoons had been here?

Answer.--That corps was to have crossed at once and taken possession of the heights. If the pontoons had been here there would have been very little difficulty in doing that.

What Gov. Seymour Intends to do.

Gov. Seymour assumed control of the State Government of New York yesterday. A New York letter-writer, in noticing the remark of a Washington correspondent, that it was understood there that Governor Seymour will allow of no more arbitrary arrests in New York State, says:

‘ The writer is perfectly correct (as I happen to know) as to the arbitrary arrests. The Governor's message, which is now about finished, and which will be sent in to the Legislature a week from tomorrow, will take unequivocal ground in that respect, but more immediately important than that, perhaps, will be the declared determination to permit no draft in this State unless the Federal Administration recede from its emancipation policy.

’ I give you this as a matter of news, which the public generally will be interested to hear. My authority for it is as reliable as that of the Governor himself. Mr. Seymour's idea is that it is not within the strict line of his duty to his constituents, nor to the country at large, to permit white men to be taken from their families here to free negroes South, and this idea, you may rely upon it, will be worked out in the message. He will, at the same time reiterate his determination to push on the war for the suppression of the rebellion, pledging all the resources of New York, in men and money, if the President will but go for the "Union as it was, and the Constitution as it is."

Another writer remarks that it is said that Governor Seymour's message will make a studied and venomous attack on New England, and, perhaps intimate a willingness for her expulsion from the Union as a necessary step to induce the South to return.

The return of the Secretaries to the Yankee Cabinet — a most pleasant affair all around.

The New York Tribunes has a short article on the recent resignations and return of Lincoln's Ministers. It appears after all that it was a delightful little joke and "pleasant" to all hands concerned.--It says:

‘ Those who hall the return of Mr. Seward to the State Department as the salvation of the country ascribe the merit of the work which brought it about jointly to Secretary Chase and the President, Mr. Chase having sent in his resignation, is said to have firmly refused to withdraw it if Mr. Seward retired from the Cabinet. The President as firmly refused to accept the resignation of either. To Mr. Seward he said that, although his feelings and interests perhaps distasted his withdrew from the Cabinet at this juncture, patrician required him to stay and help him through his Administration; and as his in leaving would do. prive him of the services of a Secretary of the Treasury on whom he leaned, he was doubly bound to reconsider his determination. It is said that the President then, with pleasant imperiousness ordered both of his Secretaries to return to their Departments and assume their portfolios, and they both pleasantly did so.

’ The Republican Senators were, as we have previously asserted, practically unanimous in favor of a "partial reconstruction" of the Cabinet, by which a large majority, and eight out of nine members of the committee, (the dissentient being Mr. Harris) mount to intimate an opinion that Secretary Seward ought to be among the retiring ministers; not because he was personally objectionable, but because he was considered a serious obstacle to the successful prosecution of the war. The caucus arrived at its conclusion after deliberation and discussion. The committee, whose named we have already printed, whom it selected embraced some of the best men the Senate, and was headed by Senator never closed as a radical. The paper which he read to the President, and the remarks with which the other members of the committee followed, were characterized by the utmost kindness and respect.

They approached the painful duty, which in their judgement the exigencies of the times and the voice of the loyal people demanded at their hands, in a spirit not of dictation, but of friendliness toward the Chief Magistrate of the nation, whom they had helped to install and were determined to support. This was the spirit of the caucus as well as of the committee. What course the Republican Senators will take, now that Secretaries Seward and Chase have withdrawn their resignations, we have no means of knowing. It is not becoming that we publish the rumors in regard to them. But it is significant that all in Washington save rebel sympathizers look to the Senate for action that shall be at once wise and brave, and comport with the dignity and the rights of the representatives of States.

Death of a fighting Chaplain.

Rev. Arthur B. Fuller, Chaplain of a Massachusetts regiment, who was killed at Fredericksburg, was buried at Boston on Christmas eve. The Boston Journal says:

‘ There has been a singular fatality attached to the family of the lamented Chaplain Fuller. Three of the family have perished by untimely deaths. Eugene Fuller, one of the sons, was drowned on the voyage from New York to New Orleans in 1859, the same year that the mother died. Margaret Fuller, Countess of Cossoll, perished by shipwreck, on Fire Island, near New York, in 1850. She was returning, from Italy to her native land, from which she had long been absent. Her husband and child were lost with her. And now Arthur B. Fuller has been killed in battle. In every instance the surviving members of the family received the sad tidings by telegraph.

Yankee dry goods trade.

According to the Yankee Custom-House returns for the week ending on the 27th ultimo, the total entries of dry goods were $760,661, against $494,683 same week last year, and $1,609,897 the corresponding week of 1860. The goods marketed amounted to $747,841, against $607,829 same week last year, and $575,000 the corresponding week of 1860. Of the direct entries this week, woolens amounted in value to $343,670; manufactures of cotton, $109,180; of flax, $132,985, and of silk, $57,556; and miscellaneous goods. $60,073. The amounts warehoused and withdrawn from warehouse during the week were very light. The week's sales of all descriptions of goods have been limited, as neither sellers nor buyers have been disposed to operate freely during the holding season, which is usually devoted to recreation and enjoyment, and to the closing up of the old year's accounts Prices of cotton are quoted firm, but in many instances are less than would be the cost of production at the present market value of the raw material, which, instead of failing, is now again on the advance, as shown by Wednesday's and yesterday's increased sales and re-sales, which left middlings at 66½c.@67--a rise of ¼c.@1½c. per lb. within a week or ten days, without any speculative excitement, which circumstances holders regard as favorable to their interest. Some inquiry exists for woolens, especially doeskins; but there is no general stir in business at present. The season closes quite satisfactorily to dealers in domestics, which have been unexpectedly successful. The foreign goods trade has been less profitable and closes very tamely indeed, with no considerable orders remaining to be executed for either immediate use or spring trade. There have been no auction sales of any importance this week.

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.
Warrenton (Virginia, United States) (1)
New York State (New York, United States) (1)
New England (United States) (1)
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.
Burnside (7)
Seward (5)
Seymour (4)
Arthur B. Fuller (3)
Chase (3)
Sumner (1)
Meigs (1)
Lincoln (1)
Seymour Intends (1)
M. Harris (1)
Halleck (1)
Gooch (1)
Margaret Fuller (1)
Eugene Fuller (1)
Franklin (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.
1860 AD (2)
1859 AD (1)
1850 AD (1)
December 24th (1)
27th (1)
15th (1)
13th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: