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the garrison of Washington and the defences of the Potomac. It was not until after this date that artillery material and equipment flowed in with any considerable rapidity, so that, even disregarding the question of instruction, it was not until after the season for active operations had passed that a sufficient number of equipped batteries were disposable to finish the requisite reserve and divisional artillery. The mass of the artillery was not in condition to move until the following April, and even then several of the volunteer batteries were deficient in instruction. The difficulties attending the organization of a suitable cavalry force were very great, and it cannot be said that they were ever satisfactorily overcome. The newly arriving regiments reported to Gen. Stoneman, the chief of cavalry, and, as with the artillery and infantry, were, as far as circumstances would permit, retained for a certain time on the north bank of the Potomac. There was at first a total
their special arm. The operations on the Peninsula by the Army of the Potomac commenced with a full field-artillery force of 49 batteries of 274 guns. To this must be added the field-artillery of Franklin's division of McDowell's corps, which joined a few days before the capture of Yorktown, but was not disembarked from its transports for service until after the battle of Williamsburg, and the field-artillery of McCall's division of McDowell's corps (4 batteries, 22 guns), which joined in June, a few days before the battle of Mechanicsville (June 26, 1862), making a grand total of field-artillery at any time with the army of the peninsula of 57 batteries of 318 guns. When there were so many newly organized volunteer field-batteries, many of whom received their first and only instruction in the entrenched camps covering Washington during the three or four inclement months of the winter of 1861-62, there was, of course, much to be improved. Many of the volunteer batteries, howeve
wn way. The result was that on the 20th of Aug. the order constituting the Army of the Potomac was issued; and in addition to the two departments originally under my command, the troops in the Shenandoah, Maryland, and Delaware were also included in the Army of the Potomac, the old departments being broken up and merged in the newly created army. Thus I had command of all the troops on the line of the Potomac and as far to the rear as Baltimore and Fort Delaware. During the first days of August I procured the passage of an act authorizing the appointment of additional aides-de-camp to general officers; these might be taken from civil life or from the army, and were to be of no higher grade than that of colonel. I used this lam not only to furnish the requisite number of actual aides-de-camp, but also to give additional pay and rank in the regular army to officers whose duty made such a step necessary. For instance, I gave to Maj. Barry, chief of artillery, and to Maj. H. J. Hunt,
August 20th (search for this): chapter 7
ute necessity; he also objected to the formation of divisions as unnecessary, for the reason that in Mexico he had only brigades. I called to his attention the fact that, all the world over, fighting forces were organized as armies; that I had done so in West Virginia; and that his force in Mexico was a very small affair in comparison with that soon to be collected in front of Washington. He did not change his views. So I quietly went to work in my own way. The result was that on the 20th of Aug. the order constituting the Army of the Potomac was issued; and in addition to the two departments originally under my command, the troops in the Shenandoah, Maryland, and Delaware were also included in the Army of the Potomac, the old departments being broken up and merged in the newly created army. Thus I had command of all the troops on the line of the Potomac and as far to the rear as Baltimore and Fort Delaware. During the first days of August I procured the passage of an act auth
October 15th (search for this): chapter 7
ctive to the hostile infantry at close range. We seldom saw the enemy at long range in large bodies. On the 20th of Aug., 1861, I had 80 guns. The returns of Oct. 15 show that there were 27 batteries of divisional artillery. Of these 17 were regulars and 10 volunteers, and, as several had only 4 guns, there were not more thands. Including Banks and Dix, there were 33 batteries, of which 19 regulars and 14 volunteers, making not over 168 guns in all, to a force of 143,647 present on Oct. 15, and out of these guns must be provided those required for the garrisons of Washington and Baltimore, and the defences of the line of the Potomac. In regard to a strong brigade of cavalry to its headquarters, leaving with the division only enough for the necessary duty; also to form a general cavalry reserve. On the 15th of Oct. there were serving with the Army of the Potomac, including General Banks's command, one regiment and two companies of regular cavalry, and eleven regiments of
rinciples were adopted as the basis of organization: 1. That the proportion of artillery should be in the proportion of at least two and one-half pieces to 1,000 men, to be expanded, if possible, to three pieces to 1,000 men. 2. That the proportion of rifled guns should be restricted to the system of the United States ordnance department; and of Parrott and the smooth-bores (with the exception of a few howitzers for special service) to be exclusively the 12-pounder gun, of the model of 1857, variously called the gun-howitzer, the light twelve-pounder, or the Napoleon. 3. That each field-battery should, if practicable, be composed of six guns, and none to be less than four guns, and in all cases the guns of each battery should be of uniform calibre. 4. That the field-batteries were to be assigned to divisions, and not to brigades, and in the proportion of four to each division, of which one was to be a battery of regulars, the remainder of volunteers, the captain of the reg
nd only instruction in the entrenched camps covering Washington during the three or four inclement months of the winter of 1861-62, there was, of course, much to be improved. Many of the volunteer batteries, however, evinced such zeal and intelligenA. Hardie, aide-de-camp. Their management of the department during the organization of the army in the fall and winter of 1861 and during its subsequent operations in the field was excellent. They were, during the entire period, assisted by Capt.rdered to move to the Peninsula the amount of ordnance and ordnance stores was ample. But it was not until the close of 1861, too late for active operations, that the infantry were reasonably well provided with serviceable arms; and even after thaand ammunition, up to the proper standard. Boards of officers were in session continually during the autumn and winter of 1861 to test the relative merits of new arms and projectiles. The reports of these boards, confirmed by subsequent experienc
July 28th, 1861 AD (search for this): chapter 7
lery. 6. That the amount of ammunition to accompany field-batteries was not to be less than 400 rounds per gun. 7. A siege-train of 50 pieces. This was subsequently expanded, for special service at the siege of Yorktown, to very nearly 100 pieces, and comprised the unusual calibres and enormously heavy weight of metal of two 200-pounders, five 100-pounders, and ten 13-inch sea-coast mortars. As has been before stated, the whole of the field-artillery of the Army of the Potomac, July 28, 1861, was comprised of 9 imperfectly equipped batteries of 30 guns, 650 men, and 400 horses. In March, 1862, when the whole army took the field, it consisted of 92 batteries of 520 guns, 12,500 men, and 11,000 horses, fully equipped and in readiness for active field service; of the whole force 30 batteries were regulars and 62 batteries volunteers. During the short period of seven months all of this immense amount of material was manufactured or purchased, and issued by the ordnance departm
August, 1861 AD (search for this): chapter 7
ved Maj. Wood was in charge of this department until after the battle of Antietam, when Brig.-Gen. Patrick was appointed provost-marshal-general. When the army took the field, for the purpose of securing order and regularity in the camp of headquarters, and facilitating its movements the office of commandant of general Headquarters was created, and assigned to Maj. G. O. Haller, 7th U. S. Infantry. Six companies of infantry were placed under his orders for guard and police duty. From Aug., 1861, the position of Judge-Advocate was held by Col. Thomas T. Gantt, aide-de-camp, until compelled by ill-health to retire, at Harrison's Landing, in Aug., 1862. His reviews of the decisions of courts-martial during this period were of great utility in correcting the practice in military courts, diffusing true notions of discipline and subordination, and setting before the army a high standard of soldierly honor. Upon the retirement of Col. Gantt the duties of judge-advocate were ably perfo
August 1st, 1861 AD (search for this): chapter 7
during the remainder of the Peninsular and the Maryland campaigns in a manner which fully sustained the high reputation he had previously acquired. The immense amount of labor accomplished often under the most difficult circumstances, the admirable system under which the duties of the department were performed, and the entire success which attended the efforts to supply so large an army, reflect the highest credit upon the officers upon whom these onerous duties devolved. On the 1st of Aug., 1861, Col. H. F. Clarke, commissary of subsistence, joined my staff, and at once entered upon his duties as chief commissary of the Army of the Potomac. In order to realize the responsibilities pertaining, to this office, as well as to form a proper estimate of the vast amount of labor which must necessarily devolve upon its occupant, it is only necessary to consider the unprepared state of the country to engage in a war of such magnitude, and the lack of practical knowledge on the part of
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