entire extent of front of the lines was thirty-seven miles. Thirty-two miles of military roads, besides those previously existing in the District of Columbia, formed the means of interior communication.
“Sensitiveness for the safety of Washington
influenced every combination and every important movement of troops in the Virginia
proposed, in January, 1862, to transfer the Army of the Potomac to the lower Chesapeake
, for an advance on Richmond
A council of division commanders decided that McClellan
's plan was good, but that the forts on the right bank of the Potomac
for the defense of the capital must be garrisoned by a full quota, and that those on the Washington
side be occupied in force — in brief, not less than forty thousand men ought to be left for the defense of Washington
sought to combine his own necessities with the exigencies which had arisen in connection with the protection of the capital, and included in the number of troops left for the defense those which he sent to the Shenandoah
The field-commanders always insisted that the best way to defend Washington
was to attack Richmond
However, the Secretary of War
decided that McClellan
's inclusion of the Shenandoah
troops in the defenders of the capital was not justifiable, and the recall of McDowell
from the Army of the Potomac and all the subsequent controversies growing therefrom are matters of record.
Although General Pope
's army operated between the Confederates
, there was a great feeling of uneasiness on account of the inadequacy of the works, and the fact that the garrison had been reduced to add to Pope's field-army.
But “nevertheless they deterred Lee
from pushing further against Washington
his offensive movements . . . and thereby saved the Nation from much greater calamities than actually befell us in this most disastrous year.”
The garrisons were “commanded, generally, by artillery officers of the army, and by them instructed in the service of sea-coast-, siege-, and ”