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William Swinton, Campaigns of the Army of the Potomac, I. The Army of the Potomac in history. (search)
ge tract of country must pivot either on a railroad or a river, it appears that from Washington as a base, a force advancing against Richmond by the overland route, and having at the same time to cover Washington, is restricted to two lines of manoeuvre: 1. The line of the Orange and Alexandria Railroad; 2. The line of the Fredericksburg and Richmond Railroad. Each of these lines was repeatedly essayed during the Virginia campaigns— the former by Pope and Meade; the latter by Burnside and Hooker. Touching the merits of these lines, experience confirmed what theory would have postulated: that the line of the Orange and Alexandria Railroad, though an eminently defensive line as regards Washington, is hardly aggressive; and beyond the Rapidan involves so many complex considerations that no commander was ever able, on this line, to push an advance south of that river. The Fredericksburg route is an aggressive line as regards Richmond, though it is surrounded with many difficulties. I
William Swinton, Campaigns of the Army of the Potomac, chapter 3 (search)
ized corps. The corps organization was created in the Confederate service immediately after the battle of Antietam. This hesitation, however, proved unfortunate for McClellan himself; for, several months afterwards, and just as he was about moving to the Peninsula, the President divided the Army of the Potomac into four corps, and assigned to their command men whom General McClellan would not have chosen; whereas, had he created corps at first, he might have made his own selection. General Hooker cannot be regarded as a partisan of General McClellan, yet I have often heard him say that it would have been impossible for General McClellan to have succeeded with such corps commanders as he had on the Peninsula. It next became necessary to create adequate artillery and engineer establishments, to organize the cavalry arm, and to provide for the administrative service of the quartermaster, ordnance, commissary, and medical departments. The task of forming an artillery establis
William Swinton, Campaigns of the Army of the Potomac, chapter 4 (search)
man, was ordered in pursuit. The divisions of Hooker and Smith were at the same time sent forward ire- Sketch of the field of Williamsburg. A. Hooker's division. B. Part of Couch's division. k, Peck's brigade came up and took position on Hooker's right, and, being re-enforced by Devin's brienabled Hooker's worn-out troops to withdraw. Hooker lost one thousand seven hundred men. While,or four miles of the position, the division of Hooker was left to bear alone the brunt of successive and missing. without any corresponding gain. Hooker's fight was really quite unnecessary; for the ile in advance of Savage Station; and that of Hooker was guarding the approaches of the White Oak Sdivision were struggling to hold their own. Hooker's division did not reach the ground till the atoo far, he was caught himself on the flank by Hooker's fire, and, driven across Sumner's front, wascomparatively firm. An advance by Kearney and Hooker now regained a portion of the lost ground, and[11 more...]
William Swinton, Campaigns of the Army of the Potomac, V. Pope's campaign in Northern Virginia. August, 1862. (search)
reconnoissance in force with the divisions of Hooker and Sedgwick, who advanced and reoccupied Malere directed on Greenwich, while he moved with Hooker's division along the Orange and Alexandria Raih Jackson at Bristoe Station. Near that place Hooker, late in the afternoon, came up with a Confedeof the Manassas Gap Railroad; while he ordered Hooker and Kearney and Porter to advance northward fr When, therefore, Pope, with the divisions of Hooker and Kearney and Reno, reached Manassas Junctioeville, to which point he also ordered forward Hooker. Kearney, and Reno, and afterwards Porter. B, and Heintzelman with his two divisions under Hooker and Kearney, were ordered to countermarch from joined by Reno's command and the divisions of Hooker and Kearney. Meanwhile, Porter, in the morninas follows: Heintzelman's two divisions, under Hooker and Kearney, on the right, in front and west o Nevertheless, at three o'clock, Pope ordered Hooker to assault. The attempt was so unpromising th[3 more...]
William Swinton, Campaigns of the Army of the Potomac, chapter 6 (search)
owell's old command) had been placed under General Hooker. The Ninth Corps, of Burnside's old force No. 3. The turning movement was intrusted to Hooker's corps, to be followed by Sumner's two corps.9. Then, towards the middle of the afternoon, Hooker's corps was put in motion, and crossed the strhe hostile fire. Advancing through the woods, Hooker soon struck the left flank of the Confederate nge of forest on the eastern side of the road, Hooker had the previous evening effected a lodgment, by high ground a little to the right of where Hooker formed his line of battle. This height was thve given. After an hour's bloody bushwhacking, Hooker's troops succeeded in clearing the hither woodneral Sumner, who at the time spoken of by General Hooker reached the field, says: On going upon the strong opposition developed by the attacks of Hooker and Sumner rendered it necessary for him to bening how much opposition had been developed by Hooker, he ordered Burnside to carry the bridge, gain[17 more...]
William Swinton, Campaigns of the Army of the Potomac, chapter 7 (search)
ous reply. The following days, 19th and 20th, Hooker's and Franklin's grand divisions reached the Rructed below. The Centre Grand Division under Hooker was still held on the north bank of the river.s command, and meanwhile, he might have thrown Hooker's two corps up by Banks' or United States Ford to execute a turning movement on Lee's left. Hooker could have been strengthened almost indefinite to his own two corps, had now with him one of Hooker's corps—that is, about one-half the whole armyalmost savage irony in the manner in which General Hooker states the result of this attack. Findingmpossible to say; but it was already late when Hooker's attack was begun, and night now dropped its observed. The Grand Divisions of Franklin and Hooker ascended the river by parallel roads, and at nmong these officers were Generals Franklin and Hooker, respectively commanders of Grand Divisions; al Burnside's resignation was accepted; and General Hooker, the officer whose name stood in the order[7 more...]
William Swinton, Campaigns of the Army of the Potomac, chapter 8 (search)
could recognize them in the tumult of battle. Hooker developed the idea into a system of immense utfor, of the two lines of retreat open to Lee, Hooker already laid hold of that by Gordonsville, andhe region, were urged by his ablest advisers. Hooker had assumed the defensive and was waiting for other divisions were held in reserve. As General Hooker had concluded to fight a defensive battle,s as he could dispose of; and while he engaged Hooker's attention with these front demonstrations, hn at once, extending his left so as to cut off Hooker from United States Ford. To relieve Rodes' did drew his lines around Chancellorsville, that Hooker became convinced that Lee was not minded to fa his hopes, and seriously imperilled his army, Hooker resolved to adopt the latter course, and with im inactive, Lee instantly countermarched from Hooker's front a force sufficient, in conjunction wit halves of each army, in a curious dead-lock. Hooker had assumed a strictly defensive attitude in h[75 more...]
William Swinton, Campaigns of the Army of the Potomac, chapter 9 (search)
ition of material strength. The diminution of Hooker's force by the extensive out-mustering of shorive of eighty thousand men, Letter from General Hooker to President Lincoln, May 13, 1863: My marnt intimations of the Southern press had given Hooker reason to anticipate some hostile movement on however desperate it may appear.—Dispatch from Hooker to Secretary Stanton. The close of May found tl adventure. II. manoeuvres to disengage Hooker. In execution of this project the first objabout three thousand infantry.—Dispatch of General Hooker to General Halleck, June 6th. Accordingly,erved the upper forks of the river. But while Hooker had his attention thus directed towards Culpepas the startling intelligence that now reached Hooker, who still lay on the Rappahannock; and actionf the Blue Ridge, under instructions to harass Hooker as much as possible in crossing the Potomac, a, and then crossed the Potomac at Seneca. But Hooker having crossed above, Stuart found the entire [11 more...]<
William Swinton, Campaigns of the Army of the Potomac, chapter 10 (search)
operations, he was informed from Washington that it was found necessary to still further weaken the Army of the Potomac by the withdrawal of two corps to forward to Tennessee, in which section of the theatre of war the military situation had been seriously compromised by Rosecrans' defeat at Chickamauga—a defeat to which the force sent from Virginia under Longstreet had in no small degree contributed. The corps taken were the Eleventh and Twelfth, and they were put under the command of General Hooker. This, in turn, reduced Meade to a strict defensive; for though he received some accessions to his numbers from the draft, yet these added little to his real strength, the conscripts being raw and unreliable, and large numbers deserted at the first opportunity. It was evident, therefore, that he could undertake no considerable operation until the return of the troops sent to New York. But when, towards the middle of October, these finally came back, and General Meade was about to init
William Swinton, Campaigns of the Army of the Potomac, chapter 11 (search)
ation against Richmond as between that of the overland route and a transfer of the army to the Peninsula, or the south side of the James River. The former of these methods had been repeatedly essayed during the past three years—by Burnside and Hooker on the Fredericksburg route; by Pope and Meade by the Orange and Alexandria Railroad. Uniform ill-success had attended each attempted advance, and the many repulses the Army of the Potomac had met on that line had marked it with a bloody condemh, the cavalry being thrown out towards Fredericksburg and Todd's Tavern. At Chancellorsville, Hancock's troops rested for the remainder of the day, awaiting the passage of the heavier column on the right. The troops bivouacked for the night on Hooker's old battleground. Thus the morning of Thursday, the 5th of May, found a hundred thousand men across the Rapidan. The barrier that had so long divided the opposing armies was passed, and with the mingled emotions which grand and novel enterp
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