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[226]

Exhibit no. 8.

[no. 58.]

headquarters army of Virginia, August 25--9 P. M.
Major-General Halleck, Commander-in-Chief:
The column of the enemy alluded to in my despatch of half-past 12 P. M. to-day, passed Gaines Gross-Roads, and when last seen near sunset was passing to the north-east under the east base of Buck Mountain in the direction of Salem and Rectortown. I am inclined to believe that this column is only covering the flank of the main body, which is moving toward Front Royal and Thornton's Gap, though of this I am not certain. I shall push a strong reconnoissance across the river at Waterloo bridge and Sulphur Springs early in the morning, to ascertain whether the main body of the enemy has really left, and if so, to push forward in their rear. There is certainly no force opposite Rappahannock Station. McDowell's is the only corps, that is at all reliable, that I have.

Sigel, as you know, is perfectly unreliable, and I suggest that some officer of superior rank be sent to command his army corps. His conduct to-day has occasioned me great dissatisfaction. Banks's corps is very weak, not amounting to more than five thousand men, and is much demoralized. Kearny's division is the only one that has yet reached me from Alexandria. I shall, at all events, push McDowell's crops and Kearny's division upon the enemy's rear. If I find my suspicions confirmed in the morning, I shall also put Reno across the river at Rappahannock Station, and direct him to move forward cautiously upon Culpeper. Banks's corps must be left somewhere in the rear, to be set up again. Sigel's corps, although composed of some of the best fighting material we have, will never do much service under that officer. I will communicate further with you in the morning.

John Pope, Major-General.


Exhibit no. 5.

war Department--Washington City, October 27, 1862.
General: It has been publicly stated that the army under Gen. McClellan has been unable to move during the fine weather of this fall for want of shoes, clothing, and other supplies. You will please report to this department upon the following points:

1. To whom and in what manner the requisitions for supplies to the army under General McClellan have been made since you assumed command as General-in-Chief, and whether any requisition for supplies of any kind has since that time been made upon the Secretary of War, or communication had with him except through you.

2. If you, as General-in-Chief, have taken pains to ascertain the condition of the army in respect to supplies of shoes, clothing, arms, and other necessaries, and whether there had been any neglect or delay by any department, or bureau, in filling the requisitions for supplies, and what has been and is the condition of that army as compared with other armies in respect to supplies.

3. At what time after the battle of Antietam the orders to advance against the enemy were given to General McClellan, and how often have they been repeated.

4. Whether, in your opinion, there has been any want in the army, under Gen. McClellan, of shoes, clothing, arms, or other equiptments, or supplies, that ought to have prevented its advance against the enemy, when the order was given.

5. How long was it after the orders to advance were given to Gen. McClellan, before he informed you that any shoes or clothing were wanted in his army, and what are his means of communicating the wants of the army to you or the proper Bureaus of the War Department?

Yours truly,

Edwin M. Stanton. Secretary of War. Major-General Halleck, official. General-in-Chief.

Washington, October 28, 1862.
Hon. E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War:
sir: In reply to the several interrogations contained in your letter of yesterday, I have to report:

1. That requisitions for supplies to the army tinder Gen. McClellan are made by his staff-officers on the chiefs of bureaus here; that is, for quartermaster's supplies by his Chief Quartermaster on the Quartermaster General; for commissary supplies, by his Chief Commissary on the Commissary General, etc. No such requisitions have been to my knowledge made upon the Secretary of War and none on the General-in-Chief.

2 On several occasions General McClellan has telegraphed to me that his army was deficient in certain supplies. All these telegrams were immediately referred to the heads of bureaus with orders to report. It was ascertained that in every instance the requisitions had been immediately filled, except where the Quartermaster General had been obliged to send from Philadelphia certain articles of clothing, tents, etc., not having a full supply here.

There has not been, so far as I could ascertain, any neglect or delay in any department or bureau in issuing all supplies asked for by Gen. McClellan or by the officers of his staff. Delays have occasionally occurred in forwarding supplies by rail on account of the crowded condition of the depots, or of a want of cars, but, whenever notified of this, agents have been sent out to remove the difficulty, tinder the excellent superintendence of Gen. Haupt. I think these delays have been less frequent and of shorter duration than is usual with freight trains. Any army of the size of that under Gen. McClellan will frequently be for some days without the supplies asked for, on account of neglect in making timely requisitions, and unavoidable delays in forwarding them, and in distributing them to the different brigades and regiments.

From all the information I can obtain, I am of opinion that the requisitions from that army have been filled more promptly, and that the men, as [227] a general rule, have been better supplied, than our armies operating in the West. The latter have operated at much greater distances from the sources of supply, and have had far less facilities for transportation. In fine, I believe that no armies in the world while en campagne, have been more promptly or better supplied than ours.

3. Soon after the battle of Antietam, General McClellan was urged to give me information of his intended movements, in order that, if he moved between the enemy and Washington reenforcements could be sent from this place. On the first of October, finding that he purposed to operate from Harper's Ferry, I urged him to cross the river at once and give battle to the enemy, pointing out to him the disadvantages of delaying till the autumn rains had swollen the Potomac and impaired the roads. On the sixth of October he was peremptorily ordered: “To cross the Potomac and give battle to the enemy or drive him south. Your army must move now, while the roads are good.” It will be observed that three weeks have elapsed since this order was given.

4. In my opinion, there has been no such want of supplies in the army under General McClellan as to prevent his compliance with orders to advance against the enemy. Had he moved to the south side of the Potomac, he could have received his supplies at most as readily as by remaining inactive on the north side.

5. On the seventh of October, in a telegram in regard to his intended movements, General McClellan stated that it would require at least three (days to supply the First, Fifth, and Sixth Corps; that they needed shoes and other indispensable articles of clothing, as well as sheltertents. No complaint was made that any requisitions had not been filled, and it was inferred from his language that he was only waiting for the distribution of his supplies. On the eleventh, he telegraphed that a portion of his supplies sent by rail had been delayed.

As already stated, agents were immediately sent from here to investigate this complaint, and they reported that every thing had gone forward. On the same date, the eleventh, he spoke of many of his horses being broken down by fatigue. On the twelfth, he complained that the rate of supply was only one hundred and fifty horses per week for the entire army there and in front of Washington. I immediately directed the Quartermaster-General to inquire into this matter, and to report why a larger supply was not furnished. Gen. Meigs reported on the fourteenth, that the average issue of horses to Gen. McClellan's army in the field and in front of Washington for the previous six weeks had been one thousand four hundred and fifty per week, or eight thousand seven hundred and fifty-four in all; in addition, that large numbers of mules had been supplied, and that the number of animals with General McClellan's army on the Upper Potomac was over thirty thousand. He also reported that he was then sending to that army all the horses he could procure.

On the eighteenth, Gen. McClellan stated: “In regard to Gen. Meigs's report that he had filled every requisition for shoes and clothing, General Meigs may have ordered these articles to be forwarded, but they have not reached our depots, and unless greater effort to insure prompt transmission is made by the department of which Gen. Meigs is the head, they might as well remain in New-York or Philadelphia, so far as this army is concerned.” I immediately called Gen. Meigs's attention to this apparent neglect of his department. On the twenty-fifth, he reported as the result of his investigation, that forty-eight thousand pairs of boots and shoes had been received by the Quartermaster of Gen. McClellan's army at Harper's Ferry, Frederick, and Hagerstown; that twenty thousand pairs were at Harper's Ferry depot on the twenty-first; that ten thousand more were on their way, and fifteen thousand more ordered.

Col. Ingals, Aid-de-Camp and Chief Quartermaster to Gen. McClellan, telegraphed on the twenty-fifth: “The suffering for want of clothing is exaggerated, I think, and certainly might have been avoided by timely requisitions of regimental and brigade commanders.” On the twenty-fourth, he telegraphed to the Quartermaster-General that: “The clothing was not detained in cars at the depots. Such complaints are groundless. The fact is, the clothing arrives and is issued, but more is still wanted. I have ordered more than would seem necessary from any data furnished me, and I beg to remind you that you have always very promptly met all my requisitions. As far as clothing is concerned, our department is not at fault. It provides as soon as due notice is given. I foresee no time when an army of over one hundred thousand men will not call for clothing and other articles.”

In regard to Gen. McClellan's means of promptly communicating the wants of his army to me, or to the proper bureaus of the War Department, I report that, in addition to the ordinary mails, he has been in hourly communication with Washington by telegraph. It is due to Gen. Meigs that I should submit herewith a copy of a telegram received by him from Gen. McClellan.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. W. Halleck, General-in-Chief official copy.--J. C. Kelton, Assistant Adjutant-General.

United States military telegraph.
Received October 22, 1862, 9.40 P. M., from McClellan's Headquarters:

To Brigadier-General Meigs:

Your despatch of this date is received. I have never intended in any letter or despatch to make any accusation against yourself or your department, for not furnishing or forwarding clothing as rapidly as it was possible for you to do. I do believe that every thing has been done that could be done in this respect, both by yourself and department. The idea that I have tried to convey was, that certain portions of the command were [228] without clothing, and the army could not move until it was supplied.

Geo. B. Mcclellan, Major-General. official copy: J. C. Kelton, Assistant Adjutant-General.

The following is a copy of the telegram of the sixth instant:

I am instructed to telegraph you as follows: The President directs that you cross the Potomac and give battle to the enemy or drive him south. Your army must move now while the roads are good. If you cross the river between the enemy and Washington, and cover the latter by your line of operation, you can be reenforced with thirty thousand men. If you move up the valley of the Shenandoah, not more than twelve or fifteen thousand can be sent to you. The President advises the interior line between Washington and the enemy, but does not order it. He is very desirous that your army move as soon as possible. You will immediately report what line you adopt and when you intend to cross the river. Also to what point the reenforcements are to be sent. It is necessary that the plan of your operations be positively determined on before orders are given for building bridges and repairing railroads. I am directed to add that the Secretary of War and the General-in-Chief fully concur with the President in these instructions.

H. W. Halleck, General-in-Chief.

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