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ny must fall back to interpose be- the campaign which was, as he ween him and Richmond, and that hoped, to give him a place among he surest defence of Washington the great conquerors of history. He rould be a vigorous attack on the would have been startled indeed outhern city. The President could had anybody suggested to him that ot free himself from the spectre he left the most formidable of his lat haunted bim of a Southern enemies behind him at Washington, my marching on Washington as in the person of that merry old genon as the expedition of McClellan tleman who had just conferred with ould leave it uncovered. He was him with such friendly facetiouserefore desirous of attacking the ness, and had managed to shed emy's batteries on the south bank some rays of jocularity on the stern the preliminary of the campaign. topic of the approaching struggle. it the mere rumour of the move It might have been thought that int to the Peninsula proved the Mr Lincoln, already embarrassed indness of McClellan's opinion, by the unaccustomed problems of the Confederate army at once statesmanship which he was endeaback from Manassas, Centreville, vouring to solve, would have been I the Occoquan ; unpursued, be glad to leave the conduct of the se the state of the roads protect- war to those whose business it was the retreat. The retiring troops to study the matter.
But the same troyed behind them the bridges system which had called him from a he roads to Richmond, thus, as humble and laborious handicraft to Clellan pointed out, affording an the helm of the State, had also initional guarantee that Washing- vested him with supreme control would not be menaced. A over the Federal armies. Whether acil of war was of opinion that his military ardour had been roused safety of the capital would be by discussing the plan of campaign red by leaving 65,000 men in with McClellan, or whether his fears
of it, and that the remainder for the safety of the city that conhe forces might move on the tained him and his Ministry, so nsula.
near the menacing lines of the the 19th March McClellan sub- Confederates, rendered him regardd the details of his plan to the less of any other consideration than dent. “The proposed plan of how best to protect it, we know aign,” he says, “is to assume not'; but it is certain that, as soon Monroe as the first base of ope as he had taken leave of McClellan, s, taking the line by Yorktown his fingers itched to be moving the Vest Point upon Richmond as pawns and knights on the military ne of operations, Richmond chessboard. This impulse he at the objective point.” A com once proceeded to gratify by removland and naval attack was ing 10,000 men, forming Blenker's o be made on Yorktown, and, division, from McClellan's comoint seized, a new base was mand, and giving them to Fremont, stablished on the York river, in Western Virginia. “If you could
every facility for bringing know the full pressure of the case," ay the whole of our available writes Mr Lincoln to McClellan, n either or both banks of the "I feel sure you would justify it.' This last passage is re
As there was no military reason ole, both on account of the which could be unknown to McClelegic movement which is lan, it is evident that the transfer oreshadowed, and of the sub- of this division was due entirely to operations of Grant. political motives, Fremont being divisions of the Federal army at that time the favourite of a party llected in spots convenient sufficiently strong to make Mr Linbarkation; and the unsus coln desire to conciliate it. “I exGeneral prepared to begin pressed,” says McClellan, “my re
It compelled the
It was a fatal
gret that Blenker's division had region into which he was plunging, been given to Fremont from any that McClellan received the followI was partially relieved, however, of the President, Gen. M'Dowell's
“Gen. McClellan : By directions Fas confident that no more troops be- and the General is ordered to reporte
rule of duty to persist in the execu
withdraw his army from the Peninbers were essential. For the first him, and to restore his authority disturbing element that appeared over General Wool's division. Had the President was not to blame. he but retired like wrathful Achilles The course of the Warwick river to his tent, a deputation, in which maps of the region and one of the double character of Nestor and prepared behind the stream. It resume his arms and lead his myrmi first obstacle in his path, and by fault seems to have been too much 626
General McClellan. * pressure other than the require ing telegram, dated 4th April : ments of the national exigency. by the President's positive and em
army corps has been detached from phatic assurance that I might leave, the force under your command ; yond these 10,000 should, in any to the Secretary of War; letter by event, be taken from me, or in any mail.—L. Thomas, Adjt.-Gen.” way detached from my command." This diminution of his force ren
In the first days of April the dered the turning of Yorktown, movement to the Peninsula began. which operation the First Corps was The divisions which first landed at destined to perform, impossible
, Fort Monroe moved by the two No wonder that McClellan should roads up the Peninsula towards say,
“To me the blow was most Yorktown, where it was known discouraging. It frustrated all my strong fortifications existed. These plans for impending operations. It McClellan
designed to turn by land- fell when I was too deeply committed ing the First Corps (M‘Dowell's) to withdraw. It left me incapable at a point above the town, and he of continuing operations which had hoped by a rapid march behind the been begun. lines to cut off the troops that held adoption of another, a different and them before they could reach Rich- a less effective plan of campaign. mond. Then, based on the bank It made rapid and brilliant opera of the York, he meant to move his tions impossible. whole force upon Richmond, calcu- error.” lating that he might reach the town
The succession of adverse incibefore the enemy could concentrate dents had in fact given a totally
ent force on that line to different aspect to the projected withstand him. Having seized campaign. The failure of the navy Richmond and isolated Norfolk, he to co-operate, and the deprivations believed that the Confederate army of successive bodies of troops
, of the Potomac, seeing its com amounting in all to more than munications with Tennessee and 50,000 men, were incidents to stay Georgia threatened, must seek a general engagement, which he would may well be doubted whether j
ger the most practised general. It await in position. If victorious, his commander, finding himself
in such columns, in concert with the west
a predicament, is bound by any ern armies, would commence Confederacy, leaving the conquered Probably a threat on his part 10 territory secure behind them.
For the execution of this com sula would have prehensive plan, rapidity and num
coln to send M-Dowell's corps to
induced Mr Lin
probably have the beseeching him to
obedience. Had he not been so of a surprise. The Confederate good a citizen he might have been commander, J. E. Johnston, cona better general. His submissive- fronted him, leaning upon Richness was too extreme to coexist mond, and all the Southern troops with some of the faculties that in the Peninsula, whom it had been make up a commander. Not only intended to cut off or drive apart, had he received the indignities we had fallen back upon the main have recapitulated, but at the out- army. set of the campaign he, who had Part of McClellan's army moved been entreated for the safety of the by water up the York river to its country to assume the direction of tributary the Pamunkey, establishall the armies of the Republic, had ing there at the White House a been deprived of the command-in- permanent depot; while the remainchief, and reduced to the position ing divisions moved on by land till of General of the Army of the Po- they came into communication with omac, not merely without warn the right wing again by the roads ng, but without being apprised of leading from the Pamunkey upon he important change in his posi- Richmond. These roads are three ion, which he first learnt from the in number, of which the central ewspapers. Yet with all this load
crosses the Chickahominy at Bottill treatment heaped on him, he tom's Bridge; that on the right, nine atiently set about the siege of miles distant, at New Bridge; that orktown; while the President on the left, six miles distant, at Long sumed towards the man he had so Bridge; and beside the central one, eply injured a tone which might and crossing the Chickahominy a ve roused a Quaker to fury. mile up the stream, runs the railOnce
way from White House to Richu, it is indispensable to you that mond. u strike a blow. ... The coun
will not fail to note-is now “ When,” says McClellan, ing—that the present hesitation 20th May, our advanced troops reached advance upon an intrenched the banks of the Chickahominy river my is but the story of Manas
at Bottom's Bridge, they found that
this, as well as the railroad bridge repeated.” [cClellan, thus goaded, displayed by the enemy.
about a mile above, had been destroyed a prudence and temper. Refus
“The Chickahominy in this vicinity to be pushed into precipitate was about 40 feet wide, fringed with a on, he set about a regular siege dense growth of heavy forest trees, and orktown. On the 6th of May, bordered by low marshy bottom-lands, a month's labour, his batteries varying from half a mile to a mile in
width. ld have been ready to open, but
“Our operations embraced that part he 4th the enemy evacuated the of the river between Bottom's and Meaion. The Federal divisions dow's Bridges, which covered the prin. ediately pushed on in pursuit. cipal approaches to Richmond from the Confederates stood at Williams- east. to cover the withdrawal of their “Within these limits the firm ground, s, and held their ground long lying above high-water mark, seldom
approaches near the river on either sh to accomplish their
purpose, bank, and no locality was found within ederals suffering in the action this section where the high ground came ook place there a loss of more near the stream on both sides. It was 2000 men. Here McClellan subject to frequent, sudden, and great d to make new arrangements variations in the volume of water, and a proaching the Chickahominy. rise of a few feet overflowed the bottom
lands on both sides. mean time one of M‘Dowelts
“At low-water it could be forded at ins, under Franklin, had join, almost any point, but during high-water m.
But his enterprise had it rose above a fording stage, and could ince lost its original character then be crossed only at the few points
the way of Manassas, until his likely to fall upon his own army junction with McClellan should be as the preliminary to such a moveeffected. For though he would ment (which, in fact, is what actunot directly interpose to protect the ally took place), the advance of capital, yet it would be impossible M Dowell by the Fredericksburg for an enemy to approach the Poto- road served the double purpose of mac without laying bare his flank supporting McClellan and protectand rear to M‘Dowell, posted on ing Washington in the readiest way. Ehe Fredericksburg road, and based It only remains to consider whether on Acquia. Therefore we think an advance by the James would McClellan wrong when he says, have compensated for the loss of Frankness compels me to say that these advantages. he march of M‘Dowell's force upon Now, ignorant as McClellan cerEichmond by the shortest route tainly was of the precise character Fill, in my opinion, uncover Wash- of the ground round Richmond, gton, as to any interposition by and of the defences of the city, it as completely as its movement was a mere guess that he could water. The enemy cannot ad- reach it more easily on the James nce by Fredericksburg on Wash- than elsewhere. Several reasons ington. Should they attempt a
duce us to think that the guess was vement, which to me an unlucky one. For afterwards, erly improbable, their route when the country was better known, uld be by Gordonsville and Grant, who might have begun nassas.
his campaign on the James if he Che chief objection to the Gov- pleased, advanced by the Rappament plan was, that it caused hannock; and when he was driven two Generals to move from dif- to take the line of the James, while nt bases, and by different lines, the obstacles between him and o the time of junction, render- Richmond seemed to accumulate, them liable to be separately the way was left clear for the operaEked. But there were reasons tions of Early north of the Potomac. expecting that, in such a case, Thus the advance of the united irst attack would be made on forces of McClellan and M'Dowell Zellan. For an enemy's force between the Chickahominy and the cing to meet M‘Dowell would James, or on the right bank of the pen its communication with James by Petersburg, would cernond to McClellan-whereas, tainly have uncovered Washington, ellan once disposed of, the at- without mending their chance of on M‘Dowell would be made getting to Richmond. urity; as was in fact presently Perhaps McClellan's chief reason ated by the defeat of Pope, for wishing to adopt the new line be took M‘Dowell's place. was, that he would thereby be ver, McClellan was immedi- freed from the perplexities with t hand and threatening Rich- which the passage of the Chickaand if the Confederates hominy was surrounded. For the
assume the offensive, the only crossing he had secured was 3 course was to assail him that of Bottom's Bridge, and to Chan seek a more distant and attempt to pass his whole army “enemy.
But if McClellan there was to expose the heads of be the object of attack, the his columns to à defeat of which he was reinforced the better, their rear would be the helpless e shortest route to that end spectators. Meanwhile, half his land. Granting, then, that army, separated from the rest by as nothing so improbable as the stream, was exposed to the an supposed in a counter attack of the whole Confederate on the Federal capital, and army, and it was absolutely necesConfederates would be sary to leave a force on the left
2U <CVI.--NO. DLXXXIX.