« AnteriorContinuar »
directing any Confederate officer who which he had faithfully applied to should capture him to hang him the public service. He had, of course, without trial immediately; and fur- made himself very unpopular with ther directing that all commissioned the wealthy Rebels, whom he had, in officers in his command be regarded proportion to their several volunteer as robbers and criminals, deserving contributions of money in aid of the death; and each of them, whenever Rebel cause, assessed for the support captured, reserved for execution." of the New Orleans poor, deprived Mr. Richard Yeadon, of Charleston, of employment by the war; and he S. C., backed this proclamation by was especially detested by that large an offer“ of $10,000 reward, payable body of influential foreigners who, in Confederate currency, for the cap. having freely devoted their efforts ture and delivery of the said Benja- and their means to the support of min F. Butler, dead or alive, to any the Rebellion, were neither regarded proper Confederate authority. nor treated by him as though they had
Gen. Butler had taken 13,700 sol- been honestly neutral in the contest. diers from the North for the capture In his farewell address to the people of New Orleans. He had received of New Orleans, he forcibly says: no rëenforcements since; and he now “I saw that this Rebellion was a war of turned over to his successor 17,800 of the rich against the poor; a war of the
the aristocrats against the middling mendrilled and disciplined men, includ- land-owner against the laborer; that it was ing three regiments and two batteries a struggle for the retention of power in the of negroes. He sent home to the found no conclusion to it, save in the sub
hands of the few against the many; and I treasury the sum of $345,000; ex jugation of the few and the disenthrallment pended $525,000 in feeding the poor tion in taking the substance of the wealthy,
of the many. I, therefore, felt no hesitaof New Orleans; and turned over who had caused the war, to feed the innoabout $200,000 to the Commissary cent poor, who had suffered by the war.
And I shall now leave you with the proud and Quartermaster of his successor. consciousness that I carry with me the blessHe had collected, by taxation, assess- ings of the humble and loyal, under the roof ments, fines, forfeitures, and confis- of the cottage and in the cabin of the slave;
and so am quite content to incur the sneers cations, an aggregate of $1,088,000, of the salon or the curses of the rich.”
" Mr. Davis's proclamation recites the hang- ders, and not as free agents; that they, there. ing of Mumford; the neglect of our Government fore, be treated, when captured as prisoners of to explain or disavow that act; the imprison- home on the usual parole that they will in no
war, with kindness and humanity, and be sent ment of non-combatants; Butler's woman order
manner aid or serve the United States in any caaforesaid; his sequestration of estates in west- pacity during the continuance of this war, unless ern Louisiana; and the inciting to insurrection duly exchanged. and arming of slaves on our side, as his justifi.
“Third. That all negro slaves captured in cations for proclaiming
arms be at once delivered over to the executive
authorities of the respective States to which they "First. That all commissioned officers in the belong, to be dealt with according to the laws of command of said Benjamin F. Butler be declared said States. not entitled to be considered as soldiers engaged “Fourth. That the like orders be executed in in honorable warfare, but as robbers and crim- all cases with respect to all commissioned officers inals, deserving death; and that they and each of the United States, when found serving in comof them be, whenever captured, reserved for ex- pany with said slaves in insurrection against the ecution.
authorities of the different States of this Confed“Second. That the private soldiers and non- eracy. commissioned officers in the army of said Butler [Signed and sealed at Richmond, Dec. 23, 1862. be considered as only the instruments used for
“JEFFERSOX DAVIS." the commission of crimes perpetrated by his or- 42 Jan. 1, 1863.
MCCLELLAN IN WASHINGTON.
The rooted inaction of the Army immediate and especial command of of the Potomac,' with the Baltimore this grand army of 200,000 men, apand Ohio Railroad obstructed and parently fatigued by the necessity of broken up on its right, and the navi- framing excuse after excuse for its gation of the Potomac precluded' by inaction,' though the most of it reRebel batteries on its left, was stub- mained under tents, exposed to the bornly maintained, in spite of fit- vicissitudes of a Winter which ful, delusive promises of movement, though it had been remarkably dry throughout the Winter of 1861–2. and fine, with the roads in admirable Gen. McClellan, who, from his com- condition, until Christmas—became fortable house in Washington, issued stormy and inhospitable soon afterorders to all the military forces of ward; so that the since famous Stoneour country, retained likewise the wall Jackson, who, for eminent ser* See Vol. I., p. 627-9.
(The foregoing note is condensed from the Capt. Fox, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, first Report of the Joint Committee of Congress as early as July 1st, 1861, notified the War De- on the Conduct of the War.) partment that the Potomac would soon be
Gen. John G. Barnard, Chief of Engineers to closed by the batteries of the Rebels;" and
the Army of the Potomac, in a report to Gen. Secretary Welles rëiterated the warning on the
McClellan at the close of the Peninsula cam20th of August.
paign, says: "In October, 1861, the Navy Department again urged the matter upon the consideration “One of the prominent among the causes of of the War Department *** representing ultimate failure was the inaction of eight months, that the question was simply: Would the Army from August, 1861, to April, 1862. More than cüoperate with the Navy in securing the unob any other wars, Rebellion demands rapid meastructed navigation of the Potomac, or, by
In November, 1861, the Army of the withholding that cooperation at that time, per- Potomac, if not fully supplied with all the 'mamit so important a channel of communication teriel,' was yet about as complete in numbers, to be closed ?"
discipline, and organization as it ever became. McClellan at last agreed to spare 4,000 men
For four months, the great marine avenue to for the cooperative measure; but, when Capt. the capital of the nation was blockaded, and Craven assembled his flotilla at the appointed
that capital kept in a partial state of siege, by a time and place, the troops were not on hand. greatly inferior enemy, in face of a movable
army of 150,000 men. The General's excuse was that his engineers "In the Winter of 1861 and 1862, Norfolk were of the opinion that so large a body of could and should have been taken. troops could not be landed at Matthias Point, demanded it, the country demanded it, and the the place agreed upon. Upon Capt. Fox's as
means were ample. By its capture, the career
of the Merrimac, which proved so disastrous to surance that the Navy Department would at
our subsequent operations, would have been tend to the landing of the troops, he (McClellan) prevented. The preparation of this vessel was agreed that they should be sent on the follow- known, and the Navy Department was not withing night. Again the flotilla was in readiness;
out forebodings of the mischief it would do. again the troops were missing. No troops were
“Though delay might mature more compre
hensive plans and promise greater results, it is then, nor ever, sent down for that purpose; the
not the first case in which it has been shown only reason elicited from McClellan being that that successful war involves something more he feared it might bring on a general engage- than abstract military principles. The true poliment. Capt. Craven indignantly threw up his cy was to seize the first practicable moment to command on the Potomac, and applied to be satisfy the perhaps unreasonable but natural sent to sea-not wishing to lose his own reputa- fy its lavish confidence, and to take advantage
longing of an impatient nation for results to justition, on account of non-cooperation on the part of an undivided command and untrammeled of the army.
liberty of action while they were possessed."
vices in the battle of Bull Run, had, and full responsibilities for the prompt in September, been promoted to a execution of this order.” Four days Major-Generalship, and assigned to later, a ‘Special War Order No. 1' command at Winchester, and who was likewise issued to Gen. McClelhad led“ a strong force westward, lan, commanding him, on or before expecting to surprise and capture our the 22d prox. aforesaid, to impel "all detachments holding Bath and Rom- the disposable.force of the Army of ney, though he succeeded in taking the Potomac," "for the immediate both those places, driving out their object of seizing and occupying a gårrisons, capturing a few prisoners, point upon the railroad south-westand destroying at Romney very con- ward of what is known as Manassas siderable supplies, yet his unsheltered Junction.” Though these orders are troops suffered so severely from storm signed Abraham Lincoln, they doubtand frost, while so many of his horses less received their initial impulse from were disabled by falling on the icy the new Secretary of War, who had roads, that his losses probably ex- already urged Gen. McClellan to take ceeded the damage inflicted on us; immediate steps to "secure the reand his blow was fairly countered by opening of the Baltimore and Ohio Gen. F. W. Lander, who led 4,000 Railroad, and free the banks of the men southward from the Potomac, lower Potomac from the Rebel batand, bridging the Great Cacapon in teries which annoyed passing vesthe night, made a dash at Blooming sels.". Gen. M. had been previously Gap, which he surprised, killing 13 urged by the President to organize and capturing 75 Rebels, including his army into four or five distinct 17 officers, with a loss of 2 men and corps, under Generals of his own 6 horses.
choice; which he had declined, and Gen. Simon Cameron had been still declined, to do; alleging that he succeeded by Hon. Edwin M. Stan- wished first to test his officers in acton-an eminent lawyer, without tive service as division commanders, pretensions to military knowledge, so that he “might be able to decide and of limited experience in public from actual trial who were best fitaffairs, but evincing a rough energy ted to exercise those important comand zeal for decisive efforts, which mands.” At length, the President the country hailed as of auspicious issued 'General War Order No. 2, augury. Two weeks later,' a War directing the organization of the Order was issued by the President, Army of the Potomac into four commanding a general advance upon corps, to be commanded by Gens. the enemy from every quarter on the McDowell, Sumner, Heintzelman, 22d of February proximo, and de- and Keyes respectively, beside the claring that “the Secretaries of War forces to be left for the defense of and of the Navy, with all their sub- Washington under Brig.-Gen. James ordinates, and the General-in-Chief, S. Wadsworth, who should also be with all other commanders and sub- Military Governor of the District of ordinates of land and naval forces, Columbia, and a fifth, composed of will severally be held to their strict the forces on the upper Potomac, to Jan. 1, 1862. • Feb. 13. Jan. 13.
• Gen. McClellan's Report. March 8.
LINCOLN AND MOCLELLAN ON ROUTES.
be commanded by Gen. Nath'l P. greatly larger expenditure of time and Banks. Gen. McClellan, “in com
money than mine?
“ 2d. Wherein is a victory more certain pliance with the President's War by your plan than mine? Order No. 2,” made this disposi
“3d. Wherein is a victory more valuable tion."
by your plan than mine?
" 4th. In fact, would it not be less valu. Gen. McClellan's original plan con
able in this : that it would break no great templated an advance on Richmond line of the enemy's communications, while
mine would ? by way of the lower Rappahannock, “5th. In case of disaster, would not a landing at Urbana, and making a retreat be more difficult by your plan than
mine? secondary base of West Point, at the
“ Yours, truly, head of York river; and this would
" ABRAHAM LINCOLN." seem, whether regarded abstractly or
These inquiries seem not to have in the light of subsequent experience, been directly answered; but, in a to be far preferable to the route on long letter of even date, to the Secrewhich he ultimately decided, having tary of War, Gen. McClellan urges its base at Fortress Monroe; but the strength of the Rebel position at either of these, and indeed any ap- and around Manassas Junction; the proach to Richmond otherwise than reported fact that the fords of the from the north, was exposed to the Occoquan were watched by the serious if not fatal objection that it Rebels and defended by concealed involved a division and dispersion of batteries on the heights in their rear,
, our forces, or left the National me which were being strengthened by tropolis, with its enormous dépôts of additional intrenchments; that, durarms, munitions, and provisions, to ing our advance from the Accotink say nothing of its edifices and ar
to the Occoquan, our right flank bechives, at the mercy of the Rebels, comes exposed to an attack from who could hardly fail to rush upon, Fairfax Station, Sangster's, and sack, and burn it, if our grand army Union Mills; that it would not do were transferred bodily to the base to divide our army by leaving a porof the Virginian Peninsula. The tion in front of Centerville while the President, therefore, before giving rest crosses the Occoquan ; that the his assent to Gen. McClellan's pro- roads in this quarter were liable, for ject, addressed to him the following some time yet, to be obstructed by letter:
rains and snow, so that “it seems “ Executive MANSION, WASHINGTON, }
certain that many weeks may elapse “February
before it is possible to commence the “ My Dear Sie: You and I have distinct
march ;” and thatand different plans for a movement of the Army of the Potomac; yours to be done by Assuming the success of this operation, the Chesapeake, up the Rappahannock to and the defeat of the enemy as certain, the Urbana, and across land to the terminus of question at once arises as to the importance the railroad on the York river; mine to of the results gained. I think these results move directly to a point on the railroad would be confined to the possession of the southwest of Manassas.
field of battle, the evacuation of the line of " If you will give satisfactory answers to the upper Potomac by the enemy, and the the following questions, I shall gladly yield moral effect of the victory; important remy plan to yours :
sults, it is true ; but not decisive of the war, * 1st. Does not your plan involve a nor securing the destruction of the enemy's
10 March 13.
main army; for he could fall back upon oppose us in front; we bring our fleet into other positions, and fight us again and full play." again, should the condition of his troops
He further urged, in favor of a permit. If he is in no condition to fight us again out of the range of the intrenchments landing at Urbana, thatat Richmond, we would find it a very diffi
“This point is easily reached by vessels cult and tedious matter to follow him up of heavy draught; it is neither occupied nor there; for he would destroy his railroad observed by the enemy; it is but one march bridges and otherwise impede our progress, from West Point, the key of that region, through a region where the roads are as
and thence but two marches to Richmond. bad as they well can be; and we would A rapid movement from Urbana would proprobably find ourselves forced at last to bably cut off Magruder in the Peninsula, change the whole theater of war, or to seek and enable us to occupy Richmond before a shorter land route to Richmond, with a it could be strongly rëenforced. Should smaller available force, and at an expendi- we fail in that, we could, with the cooperature of much more time than were we to tion of the navy, cross the James and show adopt the short line at once. We would ourselves in rear of Richmond, thus forcing also have forced the enemy to concentrate the enemy to come out and attack us; for his forces and perfect his defensive mea- his position would be untenable with us on sures, at the very points where it is desir- the southern bank of the river. Should able to strike him when least prepared." circumstances render it not advisable to On the other hand, Gen. McClel- land at Urbana, we can use Mob Jack Bay;
or, the worst coming to the worst, we can lan urged in favor of an advance by take Fortress Monroe as a base, and operate the route he preferred, that
with complete security-although with less
celerity and brilliancy of results—up the “ It affords the shortest possible land- | Peninsula." route to Richmond, and strikes directly at The President deferred to these the heart of the enemy's power in the East.
“The roads in that region are passable at urgent representations, though they all seasons of the year.
involved the necessity of a long delay “ The country now alluded to is much and a heavy expense in procuring more favorable for offensive operations than that in front of Washington which is very transportation by water for so great unfavorable), much more level, more cleared an army. The duty of obtaining the land, the woods less dense, the soil more Bandy, and the Spring some two or three
requisite vessels was devolved
on weeks earlier. A movement in force on John Tucker, Assistant-Secretary of that line obliges the enemy to abandon his War; who, on the 5th of April, reintrenched position at Manassas, in order to hasten to cover Richmond and Norfolk. ported that he had chartered thereHe must do this; for, should he permit us for 113 steamers, 188 schooners, and to occupy Richmond, his destruction can be 88 barges, and that these had—withaverted only by entirely defeating us in a battle, in which he must be the assailant. in 37 days from the time he first reThis movement, if successful, gives us the ceived the order, and most of it capital, the communications, the supplies of the Rebels; Norfolk would fall; all the within 30 days—transported from waters of the Chesapeake would be ours; Perryville, Alexandria, and Washall Virginia would be in our power, and the ington, to Fortress Monroe, 121,500 enemy forced to abandon Tennessee and North Carolina. The alternative presented men, 14,592 animals, 1,150 wagons, to the enemy would be, to beat us in a 44 batteries, and 74 ambulances, beposition selected by ourselves, disperse, or side pontoon-bridges, telegraph ma
, pass beneath the Caudine Forks.
“Should we be beaten in a battle, we terials, and the enormous quantity of have a perfectly secure retreat down the equipage, &c., required for such an Peninsula upon Fortress Monroe, with our flanks perfectly covered by the fleet. army; with a total loss of 9 barges
“During the whole movement, our left and 8 mules: the former having been flank is covered by the water. Our right driven ashore in a gale when within is secure, for the reason that the enemy is too distant to reach us in time; he can only a few miles of Fortress Monroe. He