were, of thirty guns.
A part of these had belonged to McDowell
's Bull Run
army, and a part had since arrived from the North
The brigade organization of McDowell
was still in force on the Virginia
side of the Potomac
I say in force
. That statement needs qualifying.
I have already said that there was originally no cohesion to these brigades; but since
the battle the army was little better than a mob in the respect of discipline.
Officers and men were absent from their commands without leave.
The streets of Washington
were swarming with them.
But I must not wander too far from the point I have in mind to consider.
I only throw in these statements of the situation to give a clearer idea of what a tremendous task McClellan
had before him. In organizing the Army of the Potomac he first arranged the infantry in brigades
of four regiments each.
Then, as fast as new regiments arrivedand at that time, under a recent call of the President
for five hundred thousand three years volunteers, they were coming in very rapidly,--they were formed into temporary brigades, and placed in camp in the suburbs of the city to await their full equipment, which many of them lacked, to become more efficient in the tactics of “Scott
” or “Hardee
,” and, in general, to acquire such discipline as would be valuable in the service before them, as soldiers of the Union
As rapidly as these conditions were fairly complied with, regiments were permanently assigned to brigades across the Potomac
After this formation of brigades had made considerable headway, and the troops were becoming better disciplined and tolerably skilled in brigade movements, McClellan
began the organization of Divisions
, each comprising three brigades.
Before the middle of October, 1861, eleven of these divisions had been organized, each including, besides the brigades of infantry specified, from one to four light batteries, and from a company to two regiments of cavalry which had been specially assigned to it.