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April 15th (search for this): chapter 16
the contraband Dennison Appoints McClellan rich Mountain McDowell Bull Run Patterson's failure McClellan at Washington While these preparations for a Virginia campaign were going on, another campaign was also slowly shaping itself in Western Virginia; but before either of them reached any decisive results the Thirty-seventh Congress, chosen at the presidential election of 1860, met in special session on the fourth of July, 1861, in pursuance of the President's proclamation of April 15. There being no members present in either branch from the seceded States, the number in each house was reduced nearly one third. A great change in party feeling was also manifest. No more rampant secession speeches were to be heard. Of the rare instances of men who were yet to join the rebellion, ex-Vice-President Breckinridge was the most conspicuous example; and their presence was offset by prominent Sotthern Unionists like Andrew Johnson of Tennessee, and John J. Crittenden of Kentuc
gned from the army, and was at the moment serving as president of the Ohio and Mississippi Railroad. General Scott warmly welcomed his appointment to lead the Ohio contingent, and so industriously facilitated his promotion that by the beginning of June McClellan's militia commission as major-general had been changed to a commission for the same grade in the regular army, and he found himself assigned to the command of a military department extending from Western Virginia to Missouri. Though thit, sent a few Confederate regiments into that legion to gather recruits and hold the important mountain passes. McClellan, in turn, advanced a detachment eastward from Wheeling, to protect the Baltimore and Ohio railroad; and at the beginning of June, an expedition of two regiments, led by Colonel Kelly, made a spirited dash upon Philippi, where, by a complete surprise, he routed and scattered Porterfield's recruiting detachment of one thousand Confederates. Following up this initial success,
passes. McClellan, in turn, advanced a detachment eastward from Wheeling, to protect the Baltimore and Ohio railroad; and at the beginning of June, an expedition of two regiments, led by Colonel Kelly, made a spirited dash upon Philippi, where, by a complete surprise, he routed and scattered Porterfield's recruiting detachment of one thousand Confederates. Following up this initial success, McClellan threw additional forces across the Ohio, and about a month later had the good fortune, on July I I, by a flank movement under Rosecrans, to drive a regiment of the enemy out of strong intrenchments on Rich Mountain, force the surrender of the retreating garrison on the following day, July 12, and to win a third success on the thirteenth over another flying detachment at Carrick's Ford, one of the crossings of the Cheat River, where the Confederate General Garnett was killed in a skirmish-fire between sharp-shooters. These incidents, happening on three successive days, and in distan
Kelly, made a spirited dash upon Philippi, where, by a complete surprise, he routed and scattered Porterfield's recruiting detachment of one thousand Confederates. Following up this initial success, McClellan threw additional forces across the Ohio, and about a month later had the good fortune, on July I I, by a flank movement under Rosecrans, to drive a regiment of the enemy out of strong intrenchments on Rich Mountain, force the surrender of the retreating garrison on the following day, July 12, and to win a third success on the thirteenth over another flying detachment at Carrick's Ford, one of the crossings of the Cheat River, where the Confederate General Garnett was killed in a skirmish-fire between sharp-shooters. These incidents, happening on three successive days, and in distance forty miles apart, made a handsome showing for the young department commander when gathered into the single, short telegram in which he reported to Washington that Garnett was killed, his force
ion of the Northern States, and sharpened the eager expectation of the authorities at Washington of similar results from the projected Virginia campaign. The organization and command of that column were intrusted to Brigadier-General McDowell, advanced to this grade from his previous rank of major. He was forty-two years old, an accomplished West Point graduate, and had won distinction in the Mexican War, though since that time he had been mainly engaged in staff duty. On the morning of July 16, he began his advance from the fortifications of Washington, with a marching column of about twenty-eight thousand men and a total of forty-nine guns, an additional division of about six thousand being left behind to guard his communications. Owing to the rawness of his troops, the first few days' march was necessarily cautious and cumbersome. The enemy, under Beauregard, had collected about twenty-three thousand men and thirty-five guns, and was posted behind Bull Run. A preliminary
the fortifications of Washington, with a marching column of about twenty-eight thousand men and a total of forty-nine guns, an additional division of about six thousand being left behind to guard his communications. Owing to the rawness of his troops, the first few days' march was necessarily cautious and cumbersome. The enemy, under Beauregard, had collected about twenty-three thousand men and thirty-five guns, and was posted behind Bull Run. A preliminary engagement occurred on Thursday, July 18, at Blackburn's Ford on that stream, which served to develop the enemy's strong position, but only delayed the advance until the whole of McDowell's force reached Centreville. Here McDowell halted, spent Friday and Saturday in reconnoitering, and on Sunday, July 21, began the battle by a circuitous march across Bull Run and attacking the enemy's left flank. It proved that the plan was correctly chosen, but, by a confusion in the march, the attack, intended for daybreak, was delaye
ays' march was necessarily cautious and cumbersome. The enemy, under Beauregard, had collected about twenty-three thousand men and thirty-five guns, and was posted behind Bull Run. A preliminary engagement occurred on Thursday, July 18, at Blackburn's Ford on that stream, which served to develop the enemy's strong position, but only delayed the advance until the whole of McDowell's force reached Centreville. Here McDowell halted, spent Friday and Saturday in reconnoitering, and on Sunday, July 21, began the battle by a circuitous march across Bull Run and attacking the enemy's left flank. It proved that the plan was correctly chosen, but, by a confusion in the march, the attack, intended for daybreak, was delayed until nine o'clock. Nevertheless, the first half of the battle, during the forenoon, was entirely successful, the Union lines steadily driving the enemy southward, and enabling additional Union brigades to join the attacking column by a direct march from Centreville
was, in brief, that the militia regiments enlisted under the three months call should be mustered out as soon as practicable; the organization of the new three years forces be pushed forward both east and west; Manassas and Harper's Ferry and the intermediate lines of communication be seized and held; and a joint movement organized from Cincinnati on East Tennessee, and from Cairo on Memphis. Meanwhile, General McClellan was ordered from West Virginia to Washington, where he arrived on July 26, and assumed command of the Division of the Potomac, comprising the troops in and around Washington, on both sides of the river. He quickly cleared the city of stragglers, and displayed a gratifying activity in beginning the organization of the Army of the Potomac from the new three years volunteers that were pouring into Washington by every train. He was received by the administration and the army with the warmest friendliness and confidence, and for awhile seemed to reciprocate these f
August 6th (search for this): chapter 16
s unconstitutional and inexpedient. On the general policy of the war, both houses, with but few dissenting votes, passed the resolution, offered by Mr. Crittenden, which declared that the war was not waged for oppression or subjugation, or to interfere with the rights or institutions of States, but to defend and maintain the supremacy of the Constitution, and to preserve the Union with all the dignity, equality, and rights of the several States unimpaired. The special session adjourned on August 6, having in a single month completed and enacted a thorough and comprehensive system of war legislation. The military events that were transpiring in the meanwhile doubtless had their effect in hastening the decision and shortening the labors of Congress. To command the thirteen regiments of militia furnished by the State of Ohio, Governor Dennison had given a commission of major-general to George B. McClellan, who had been educated at West Point and served with distinction in the Mexi
mpered them, not one common soldier or common sailor is known to have deserted his flag. Hearty applause greeted that portion of the message which asked for means to make the contest short and decisive; and Congress acted promptly by authorizing a loan of $250,000,000 and an. army not to exceed one million men. All of President Lincoln's war measures for which no previous sanction of law existed were duly legalized; additional direct income and tariff taxes were laid; and the Force Bill of 1795, and various other laws relating to conspiracy, piracy, unlawful recruiting, and kindred topics, were amended or passed. Throughout the whole history of the South, by no means the least of the evils entailed by the institution of slavery was the dread of slave insurrections which haunted every master's household; and this vague terror was at once intensified by the outbreak of civil war. It stands to the lasting credit of the negro race in the United States that the wrongs of their long b
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