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“ For the main army of operations I

250 regiments of infantry, say, 225,000

selected to direct the operations in Our foreign relations and financial a department including Illinois, credit also imperatively demand that Indiana, Ohio, and Western Vir the military action of the Government ginia. In the affairs of Philippi,

should be prompt and irresistible.

“ The rebels have chosen Virginia as Rich Mountain, and Carrick's Ford, their battle-field, and it seems proper he had acquired a reputation for for us to make the first great struggle skill and conduct which caused the there. But while thus directing, our distracted Federal Government, at main efforts, it is necessary to diminish its wit's end for a general after the the resistance there offered us by more. disaster of Bull's Run, to grasp at

ments on other points, both by land and

water. him as the hope of the Union. He

“Without entering at present into was invited, in August 1861, to details, I would advise that a strong submit to the President his views movement be made on the Mississippi, of the military and political situ- and that the rebels be driven out of ation of affairs, and as the docu Missouri. ment in which he conveyed them is

“As soon as it becomes perfectly clear interesting, both in itself and as a

that Kentucky is cordially united with key to the mind of the writer, we

us, I would advise a movement through

that state into Eastern Tennessee, for give it almost at length :

the purpose of assisting the Union men “On the 4th August 1861 I addressed

of that region, and of seizing the rail

. to the President the following memo

roads leading from Memphis to the east. randum at his request :

“The possession of these roads by us

in connection with the movement on “MEMORANDUM.

the Mississippi, would

far towards “The object of the present war dif

determining the evacuation of Virginia fers from those in which nations are

by the rebels. In the mean time all usually engaged mainly in this : That

the passes into Western Virginia from the purpose of ordinary war is to con

the east should be securely guarded ;

but I would advise no movement quer a peace, and make a treaty on advantageous terms. In this contest it

from that quarter towards Richmond, has become necessary to crush a popu

unless the political condition of Kenlation sufficiently numerous, intelligent,

tucky renders it impossible, or inex: and warlike to constitute a nation. We

pedient for us to make the movement have not only to defeat their armed and

upon Eastern Tennessee through that organised forces in the field, but to dis

State. Every effort should, however, play such an overwhelming strength as

be made to organise, equip, and arm as will convince all our antagonists, espe

many troops as possible in Western cially those of the governing aristocratic

Virginia, in order to render the Ohio class, of the utter impossibility of re

and Indiana regiments available for sistance. Our late reverses make this

other operations. At as early a day as course imperative. Had we been suc

practicable, it would be well to protect cessful in the recent battle (Manassas),

and re-open the Baltimore and Ohio

railroad. it is possible that we might have been spared the labour and expense of a great

“Baltimore and Fort Monroe should effort; now we have no alternative.

be occupied by garrisons sufficient to

retain them in our Their success will enable the political leaders of the rebels to convince the

portance of Harper's

Ferry and the line mass of their people that we are iuferior

of the Potomac, in the direction of Lees, to them in force and courage, and to

burg, will be very materially diminished command all their resources. The con

so soon as our force in this vicinity betest began with a class ; now it is with

comes organised, strong, and efficient

, a people. Our military success can

because no capable gen eral will cross alone restore the former issue.

the river north of this city when we “By thoroughly defeating their armies,

have a strong army here ready to cut

off his retreat. taking their strong places, and pursuing a rigidly protective policy as to private property and unarmed persons, and a

urge the following composition :Ienient course as to private soldiers, we may well hope for a permanent restora 100 field batteries, 60 guins, tion of a peaceful Union. But in the 28 regiments cavalry, first instance, the authority of the Gov 5 do. ernment must be supported by overwhelming physical force.

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possession. The im

15,000 25,500

engineer troops, 7,500


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"The force must be supplied with the of operations is considered, the force necessary engineer and pontoon trains, asked for the main army under my and with transportation for everything command cannot be regarded as unduly save tents. Its general line of opera large. Every mile we advance carries tions should be so directed that water us farther from our base of operations, transportation can be availed of, from and renders detachments necessary to point to point, by means of the ocean cover our communications, while the and the rivers emptying into it. An enemy will be constantly concentrating essential feature of the plan of opera as he falls back. I propose, with the tions will be the employment of a force which I have requested, not only strong naval force to protect the move to drive the enemy out of Virginia and. ments of a fleet of transports intended to occupy Richmond, but to occupy to convey a considerable body of troops. Charleston, Savannah, Montgomery, from point to point of the enemy's sea Pensacola, Mobile, and New Orleans; coast, thus either creating diversions, in other words, to move into the heart end rendering it necessary to detach of the enemy's country, and crush out ergely from their main body in order the rebellion in its very heart.

protect such of their cities as may be ‘By seizing and repairing the rail. reatened, or else landing and forming roads as we advance, the difficulties of tablishments on their coast at any transportation will be materially dimiwourable places that opportunity nished. It is perhaps unnecessary to ght offer. This naval force should state that, in addition to the forces o co-operate with the main army in named in this memorandum, strong efforts to seize the important sea reserves should be formed, ready to rd towns of the rebels.

supply any losses that may occur. It cannot be ignored that the conction of railroads has introduced a

The opening of this memorandum and very important element into shows that he took a view which, by the great facilities thus given uncommon at the time, was in cononcentrating at particular positions sonance with reason and fact. It is masses of troops from remote sec- impossible to read the paper

withand by creating new strategic s and lines of operations. It is

out recognising the moderation, led to overcome this difficulty by

humanity, and good sense of the artial operations suggested, and writer, displayed at a juncture when ther as the particular case may those qualities were especially rare

We must endeavour to seize and valuable. Accustomed as we on the railways, in the rear of are to the inflated nonsense of Mr emy's points of concentration,

Seward's state papers, and the must threaten their seaboard in order that each State may

bombastic reports of other Federal ed, by the necessity of its own

generals, which their deeds have to diminish its contingent to often so little justified, we are the federate army.

more ready to appreciate the temproposed movement down the

perate and honourable sentiments opi will produce important re of McClellan. his connection. That advance,

In estimating the military sagaprogress of the main army at will materially assist each

city displayed, we must remember diminishing the resistance to

that his are not the opinions of an atered by each.

irresponsible essayist, inconsiderpolitical suggestions here.] ately formed and hastily delivered, Force I have recommended is but the deliberate judgment of a

expense is great. It is posa smaller force might accom

rising general, called to the councils

of the state. On such a paper, if object in view ; but I under

be the purpose of this great it were submitted to a sagacious re-establish the power of its ruler, might rest the whole future it, and to restore peace to its fortunes of the writer.

the shortest possible time. presume, then, that we have here on to be decided is simply the very ripest conclusions that 11 we crush the rebellion McClellan could at that time form. , terminate the war in one or shall we leave it as a

Events have long since proved r descendants ?

one of his opinions to be unsound, de extent of the possible line namely, that the possession of the

We may

are obvious,

1. That

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roads of Tennessee, in connection rivers on campaigns in the Southern mining the evacuation of Virginia and are only justified in a document

enment of a President who could sesses the merit, a very considerable dence in Federal prowess in the

In November 1861 McClellan was placed in chief and general ordinates, Burnside, Halleck, But

McClellan proposed to operate in But if by " threatening their sea- Virginia from the lower Potomac,

Lincoln from Washington. McClelplans. The Confed erate front at that time stretched from the position of Manassas on the left to below the point where the Occoquan meets the is unnecessary to remind the reader that the roads between Washington Post the

and Richmond, are intersected by

with a movement on the Missis- territory, though just,
sippi, would go far towards deter- and familiar to all students of wani
have been captured ; and not only they were intended for the enlight:
the roads of Tennessee held, but an
army supplied by those roads has not be supposed to know anything
moved deep into Georgia : yet the of the subject. Regarding this me-
Confederates still defy in Virginia morandum then as the work of a
the main army of the Federals. scientific soldier who had bestowed

It might be inferred from his long and patient thought
language that he considered it pro- tary problem of the deepest interest
per to make the first great struggle to him, we must consider it to be
in Virginia, because the

Confederates deficient in definiteness, distincthad chosen it for their battle-field. ness, and originality. But it posa If so, the reason is quite inadequate, and is, in fact, no reason at all for choosing that line of inva- ing the nature of the struggle and

one at that time, of rightly estimatsion. To operate in a certain por- the magnitude of the preparations tion of the theatre of war merely required for success. because the enemy has already oc

member that at this time Mr cupied it, is to abandon to him that Seward was designating the Southgreat advantage in war known as

ern Secessionists as "a weak and * the initiative," which consists in failing faction," and assigning selecting a line, and compelling the “ninety days enemy to make his operations sub- their resistance ; while the Northern ordinate to those of the invader.

press, recovered from its recent There is a vagueness in his sketch panic

, was proclaiming its confi

. of the general plan which seems to show that his mind had failed to contemptuous tone grasp as a whole the vast extent of with a few intervals of frantic

terthe theatre of war from Washing ror, down to the present time) with ton to Memphis

. His plan, too, of which Goliahore Gath advanced seizing and occupying points of the upon his puny foe. enemy's coast “at any favourable

.' is essentially unsound; for even on

command of the Federal armies, the supposition that the Northern

and issued instructions to his subenemy, the numerical superiority ler, and Buell. In might be turned by an able general February the President desired to to much better account by concenboard cities,” he means to employ descents on various points, so as to keep many defensive bodies of the enemy in doubt as to the real point of attack, he is indicating, though not with sufficient clearness, the Rappahannock on right way of turning to account the great advantage of having the mastery at sea.

and Richmond, an and the influence of the navigable several important

as the period of


the following

concerted operations.


the right, and it

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a Fredericksburg

i vers.

* Two bases of operations,” says we to adopt the short line at once. We cClellan, “seem to present them. would also have forced the enemy to lves for the advance of the Army of concentrate and perfect his defensive ne Potomac.

measures at the very points where it is "1. That of Washington, its present desirable to strike him when least presition, involving a direct attack upon pared. e intrenched positions of the enemy

66 2. The second base of operations Centreville, Manassas, &c. ; or else available for the Army of the Potomac movement to turn one or both flanks is that of the lower Chesapeake Bay, those positions; or a combination of which affords the shortest possible land e two plans.

route to Richmond, and strikes directly “The relative force of the two armies at the heart of the enemy's power in Il not justify an attack on both the east. aks: an attack on his left flank alone “The roads in that region are pass. Folves a long line of waggon com

able at all seasons of the year. nication, and cannot prevent him “The country now alluded to is n collecting for the decisive battle much more favourable for offensive the detachments now on his extreme operations than that in front of Washat and left.

ington (which is very unfavourable) — Should we attack his right flank by much more level, more cleared land, the line of the Occoquan, and a crossing woods less dense, the soil more sandy, he Potomac below that river and the spring some two or three weeks ear· his batteries, we could, perhaps, lier. A movement in force on that line rent the junction of the enemy's obliges the enemy to abandon his int with his centre (we might destroy trenched position at Manassas, in order former); we would remove the ob- to hasten to cover Richmondand Norfolk. ctions to the navigation of the He must do this; for should be permit mac, reduce the length of waggon us to occupy Richmond, his destruction sportation by establishing new can only be averted by entirely defeatts at the nearest points of the ing us in a battle in which he must be mac, and strike more directly his the assailant. This movement, if sucrailway communication.”

cessful, gives us the capital, the come goes on to detail the combi- Norfolk would fall; all the waters of the

munications, the supplies of the rebels. ons for this operation; and as- Chesapeake would be ours; all Virginia ng it to be successful, and the would be in our power, and the enemy uy forced to the intrenchments forced to abandon Tennessee and North chmond, he says :

Carolina. The alternative presented

to the enemy would be to beat us in a he question at once arises as to position selected by ourselves, disperse, mportance of the results gained. or pass beneath the Caudine Forks. k these results would be confined “ Should we be beaten in a battle, possession of the field of battle, we have a perfectly secure retreat down acuation of the line of the upper the peninsula upon Fort Monroe, with nac by the enemy, and the moral our flanks perfectly covered by the of the victory-important results, fleet. During the whole movement our rue, but not decisive of the war, left flank is covered by the water; our ecuring the destruction of the right is secure, for the reason that the 's main army, for he could fall enemy is too distant to reach us in apon other positions, and fight us time; he can only oppose us in front; and again should the condition we bring our fleet into full play.

troops permit. If he is in no “After a successful battle our position ion to fight us again out of range would be ;—Burnside forming our left,

intrenchments at Richmond, we Norfolk held securely, our centre confind it a very difficult and tedious necting Burnside with Buell, both by

to follow him up there, for he Raleigh and Lynchburg, Buell in East lestroy his railroad bridges, and Tennessee and North Alabama, Halleck ise impede our progress through at Nashville and Memphis. n where the roads are as bad as • The next movement would be to conell can be, and we would pro- nect with Sherman on the left, by reEnd ourselves forced at last to ducing Wilmington and Charleston; to the whole theatre of war, or to advance our centre into South Carolina horter land route to Richmond, and Georgia, to push Buell either tomaller available force, and at an

wards Montgomery or to unite with the ture of much more time, than were

main army in Georgia; to throw Hal

sence of these so near the river and

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We have these

Facts have en

theatre of war,

or to seek a shorter

It may be inferred that his ideas “We should then be in a condition to those officers in whose judgment he

those of McClellan on the other.

McClellan, then, rightly estimated results it offered if completely suc

was to be preferred may best be operations, that I would prefer the considered after reviewing the in

cidents of the campaign in the

The total Confederate Army of the Potomac numbered 115,000

men and 300 field-guns. The preprevious occupation as a rail-split- the capital caused the President him for delivering grave opinions should have effected a landing on on extensive military combinations. the Peninsula, the Confederate ar

leck southward to meet the naval expedition from New Orleans.

on the subject were derived from reduce, at our leisure, all the Southern seaports; to occupy all the avenues of

most confided. communication ; to rise the great outlet ideas then, on the one side, and of the Mississippi; to re-establish our isiana, and

Texas ; to force the slaves to McClellan was altogether in the government and arms in Arkansas, Lou. As a matter of military theory

, labour for our subsistence instead of that right. But his judgment has reof the rebels; to bid defiance to all foreign interference, Such is the object I

ceived other than theoretical conever had in view; this is the general firmation as regards the difficulties plan which I hope to accomplish.

to be encountered in advancing “Should it be determined to operate from the Potomac. from

the lower Chesapeake, the point dorsed his opinion in characters of of landing which promises the most blood. brilliant results is Urbana, on the lower and above all, Grant, have been so

Pope, Hooker, Burnside, Rappahannock. vessels


many involuntary illustrators of it is neither occupied nor observed by their predecessor's sa gacity. Viewthe enemy; it is but one march from ed by the light of this summer's West Point, the key of that region, and campaign, the words we have italithence but two marches to Richmond. cised assume a character of prophecy. A rapid movement from Urbana would probably cut off Magruder in the

Pen forced at last to change the whole

"We would probably find ourselves insula, and enable us to occupy Richmond before it could be strongly reinforced. Should we fail in that, we

land, route to Richmond, with a could, with the co-operation of the navy, smaller available force, and at an cross the James and show ourselves in expenditure of much more time, than rear of Richmond, thus forcing the enemy to come out and attack us; for his

were we to adopt the short line at once."

Yet, when the result so position would be untenable with us on the southern bank of the river.

plainly foretold actually came to Should circumstances render it ad

pass, the sages of the North did not visable not to land at Urbana, we can

cease to assert, use Mob Jack Bay,ing to the worst, we can take fort all the vain assaults on Lee's posi

movement against Petersburg, that imentoe the white, and operate with tions, all the carnage, all the paid complete security, although with less celerity and brilliancy of results, up the

cling marches of the baffled invadPeninsula."

ers round their

object, After some further details for the original plan of the assured victed

many incidents calculated on in the proposed concentration, he says :

"My judgment as a general is clearly President's plan, and the inadeparate in favour of this project. Nothing is certain in war, but all the chances are in favour of this movement. So much cessful. How far am I in favour of the southern line of

Fort Monroe as a , as a certain, though less brilliant, movement than that from Urbana, to an attack

Peninsula. upon Manassas.

We presume that Mr Lincoln would not imagine that either his ter, or the fact of his election as great uneasiness.

of itself

even up to the

were so

the way of the

his own design

In vain McClel at as soon as he

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