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Browsing named entities in a specific section of Elias Nason, McClellan's Own Story: the war for the union, the soldiers who fought it, the civilians who directed it, and his relations to them.. Search the whole document.

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September, 1882 AD (search for this): chapter 7
the proper performance of his duty, he has never received the reward and appreciation his invaluable services merited. He held the post of chief-commissary of the Army of the Potomac until the close of the war, discharging his duty to the entire satisfaction of its successive commanders. Yet he was overslaughed in favor of an inferior who had never held a post of great importance, and whose only claim was the personal friendship of the President who committed the injustice. As I write (Sept., 1882) he has just received the grade of colonel in the ordinary course of promotion, and will ere long be retired with that grade, his only reward having been the empty brevet of major-general. The Ordance Department, that very important branch of the service, was placed under the charge of Capt. C. P. Kingsbury, ordnance corps, colonel and aide-de-camp. Great difficulty existed in the proper organization of the department for the want of a sufficient number of suitable officers to perform
July, 1882 AD (search for this): chapter 7
. J. Hunt, who gave up the command only when appointed chief of artillery in place of Gen. Barry. The artillery reserve was then commanded by Col. George W. Getty, an excellent officer. Gen. Hunt retained the position of chief of artillery until the close of the war. I regarded him as the best living commander of field-artillery. He was a man of the utmost coolness in danger, thoroughly versed in his profession, an admirable organizer, a soldier of a very high order. As I write this (July, 1882) Hunt is likely to be retired as a colonel — a man whose services in any other army would have been rewarded by titles, high rank, and ample pension. He is one of the most marked instances within my knowledge of the highest merit and services passed over unacknowledged and unrewarded. Hunt's merits consisted not only in organizing his command to the best advantage, but in using it on the field of battle with the utmost skill and power. The services of this most distinguished officer i
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
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
August 12th, 1861 AD (search for this): chapter 7
allantry, and devotion displayed by the officers of both corps of engineers under the most trying circumstances. During the Maryland campaign I united the two corps under Capt. J. C. Duane, U. S. Engineers, and found great advantages from the arrangement. The permanent union of the two corps, since made, was no doubt a wise measure. Surgeon Charles S. Tripler and Surgeon Jonathan Letterman in turn performed the duties of medical director of the Army of the Potomac, the former from Aug. 12, 1861, until July 1, 1862, and the latter after that date. The difficulties to be overcome in organizing and making effective the medical Department were very great, arising principally from the inexperience of the regimental medical officers, many of whom were physicians taken suddenly from civil life, who, according to Surgeon Tripler, had to be instructed in their duties from the very alphabet, and from the ignorance of the line officers as to their relations with the medical officers, whi
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
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
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
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
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