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Robert E. Lee (search for this): chapter 3
ual to that of the Army of the Potomac, though in fire and elan it was superior. I could always rely on my army, said General Lee, at the time he surrendered its remnant at Appomattox Courthouse—I could always rely on my army for fighting; but its discipline was poor. At the time of the Maryland invasion, Lee lost above twenty-five thousand men from his effective strength by straggling, and he exclaimed with tears, My army is ruined by straggling! Nothing could better illustrate the high stn front of the bluff, where the main action afterwards took place, and where was posted a small supporting force under Colonel Lee. Meantime, in the morning, General Stone had assigned to Colonel Baker the command of the right wing at Ball's Bluff,en of his command. These he united to the commands of Colonel Devens, who had meanwhile retired to the bluff, and of Colonel Lee; and with this force of about one thousand eight hundred men formed line of battle in the field at the top of the bluf
und Washington an army both formidable in numbers and respectable in efficiency. There then arose the problem of putting it in motion; and this problem involved two questions—when to strike, and where? The latter was a question that concerned the general-in-chief; but the former was one that profoundly touched the people, who, as the sustainers of the war, thronged in and made their voice heard, and became partakers of the counsels of state. This is the striking expression employed by Mr. Kinglake in describing the influence of English public sentiment in enforcing the War of the Crimea. During that period in which the army was a—fashioning, the public remained silent. And there was in this silence something almost pathetic; for, knowing that an undue urgency for action, expressed through the public prints, had precipitated the disastrous campaign that ended in Bull Run, men sought to make amends by a sedulous refraining from the like again. General McClellan was left free to
W. B. Franklin (search for this): chapter 3
orner. Soon after we were joined by Brigadier-General Franklin, the Secretary of State, Governor Sehe must talk to somebody, he had sent for General Franklin and myself to obtain our opinion as to thge. January 11. Held a meeting with General Franklin, in the morning, at the Treasury Buildingscussion. I read a paper containing both General Franklin's and my own views, General Franklin agreoviding water transportation, and desired General Franklin and myself to see him in the morning, andP. M. the next day. January 12. Met General Franklin at General Meigs'. Conversed with him on eneral, General McClellan, General Meigs, General Franklin, and myself, and, I think, the Assistant tioned in as brief terms as possible what General Franklin and I had done under the President's ordebove being the only remark he made. General Franklin said that, in giving his opinion as to going somewhat the same ground he had done with General Franklin and myself. General McClellan said the c[9 more...]
gated to the command of the Army of the Potomac. At the same time, the troops in Western Virginia were placed under General Fremont, who was assigned to what was called the Mountain Department. Now, a few days before he sailed for Fortress Monroe,nker's division of ten thousand men from the Army of the Potomac, in order that it might be added to the force under General Fremont. The President, apparently fully alive to the impolicy of depriving him of so considerable a body of men, on whom hhe President, stating that he had been constrained, by the severity of the pressure, to order the division of Blenker to Fremont. Report, p. 63. It will, moreover, presently appear, that scarcely had the army landed on the Peninsula, when, notwit weaker motion, he ordered the detachment of Blenker's division from the command of McClellan, and transferred it to General Fremont. And finally, moved by morbidly recurring fears for the security of the capital, no sooner had McClellan left for
whom he had fixed for corps commanders. The officers nominated to the command of the corps into which the Army of the Potomac was divided were, Generals Keyes, Sumner, Heintzelman, and McDowell. The latter was well fitted for the command by his ability, but the relations between him and the commander were not cordial General SGeneral Sumner was the ideal of a soldier; but he had few of the qualities that make a general. The others do not call for any analysis. I have, in a previous part of this volume (p. 64), set forth the views of General McClellan touching the organization of corps; and, as there remarked, his failure to make appointments to these commands r reaching Cedar Run. It was found that the enemy had destroyed all the bridges. This expedition was followed by a strong reconnoissance of Howard's division of Sumner's corps to the Rappahannock, and, under cover of this mask, the main body of the Union army was moved back to the vicinity of Alexandria. Johnston, who had retir
able disaster, it seemed to reveal a strange looseness and want of responsibility in the conduct of military affairs. It appears that on the 19th of October, General McCall was ordered to make, with his division, a movement on Drainesville, for the purpose of covering reconnoissances in all directions to be made the following dayplification of the looseness of military conduct and relations at that time. In venturing on the undertaking, General Stone proceeded on the supposition that General McCall, who, as General McClellan informed him, had occupied Drainesville on the 20th, and was to send out reconnoissances in all directions, still remained there; yet McCall was withdrawn the following morning, when Stone sent the force across the river, without the latter's being informed of the fact. Again, though General McClellan did not order the expedition across the river, yet on being informed of the crossing during the day, he congratulated General Stone, thereby inferentially app
Abraham Lincoln (search for this): chapter 3
al McClellan to a memorandum drawn up by President Lincoln, suggesting a movement on Manassas. Thithe Army of the Potomac being then sick, President Lincoln called in several of the general officerary, 1862. It appears that at this time President Lincoln, troubled in spirit at the condition of t was submitted by the present writer to President Lincoln, during the summer of 1864, and he indorefore or on the 22d day of February next. Abraham Lincoln. The operation here indicated is thatities for prompt execution of this order. Abraham Lincoln. It is obvious, therefore, that the Presd, etc. History of the Administration of President Lincoln, p. 225. the result was that the Presideetween Washington and the Chesapeake Bay. Abraham Lincoln. L. Thomas, Adjutant-General. It is h they gained over a character like that of Mr. Lincoln, the concession is unfortunate for his repun he assumed command, and without which, as Mr. Lincoln justly added, he could not with so full eff[2 more...]
eave my post. Soon after I received a note from Quartermaster-General Meigs, marked private and confidential, saying the Prelow as we now have above. The President wished to have General Meigs in consultation on the subject of providing water transthe next day. January 12. Met General Franklin at General Meigs'. Conversed with him on the subject of our mission at his own house. I expressed my views to General Meigs, who agreed with me in the main as to concentrating our efforts against n about from four to six weeks. Met at the President's. General Meigs mentioned the time in which he could assemble the transf operations from the present base was again discussed, General Meigs agreeing that it was best to do so, and to concentrate Governor Seward, Postmaster-General, General McClellan, General Meigs, General Franklin, and myself, and, I think, the Assists plan. I said that I had acted entirely in the dark. General Meigs spoke of his agency in having us called in by the Presi
Kingsbury (search for this): chapter 3
d to perform. I said the order I received was marked private and confidential; and as they came from the President, our commander-in-chief, I conceived, as a common superior to General McClellan and both of us, it was for the President to say this, and not us. That I would consult the Secretary of the Treasury, who was at hand, and could tell us what was the rule in the cabinet in such matters. The secretary was of opinion that the matter lay entirely with the President. We went to Colonel Kingsbury, chief of ordnance of the Army of the Potomac, Brigadier-General Van Viret, chief quartermaster, and Major Shiras, commissary of subsistence, and obtained all the information desired. Met at the President's in the evening at eight o'clock. Present, the same as on the first day, with the addition of the Postmaster-General, Judge Blair, who came in after the meeting had begun the discussion. I read a paper containing both General Franklin's and my own views, General Franklin agreeing w
Stonewall Jackson (search for this): chapter 3
eries of events that compelled him to retain the greater part of his force in the Shenandoah Valley. At the time of the evacuation of Manassas by the enemy, Stonewall Jackson, with his division of about eight thousand men, was posted at Winchester—the Union troops occupying Charlestown; but on the advance of General Banks' force,of Strasburg. Under cover of this advance, the first division of Banks' corps was, on the 20th, put en route for Manassas, and Shields fell back to Winchester. Jackson, informed probably of the withdrawal of the troops from the Valley, but exaggerating its extent, returned upon his steps, and, on the afternoon of the 23d, attacked Shields near Winchester. Jackson met a severe repulse, after which he made his way southward. This affair caused General Banks to return himself, as also to recall the division then on the march for Manassas; and after this, events so shaped themselves, that Banks' command was retained in the Shenandoah Valley, and General Wad
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