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It certainly is not easy to discover in these dispatches any indications of a strong desire to re-enforce the Army of the Potomac, then fighting a battle in his front and within his hearing, but under another commander. They evince no special interest in the result of that battle, or the fate of that army-the army for which, while under his command, he had expressed so much affection, and whose defeat he afterwards declared, when he was again at its head, would be incomparably more disastrous to the nation than the capture of Washington itself. We find in these dispatches, which he cites in his own vindication, no evidence to sustain the declaration of his report, that from the moment of his arrival at Alexandria he "left nothing in his power undone to forward supplies and reenforcements to Gen. Pope.” On the contrary, they seem to show that he had decided to do, what in a telegram of the same date he had suggested to the President, “ leave Pope to get out of his scrape," and devote himself exclusively to the safety of Washington.* He thinks any disposition of Franklin's and Sumner's troops wise, except sending them forward to re-enforce Pope. He is anxious to send them to Upton's Hill, to Chain Bridge, to Tennallytown, to Arlington, and Fort Corcoran-anywhere and everywhere except where they were wanted most, and where alone they could assist in getting
* On the 29th he had telegraphed to the President as follows:
I am clear that one of two courses should be adopted: First, to concentrate all our available forces to open communications with Pope; second, to leave Pope to get out of his scrape, and at once use all our means to make the capital perfectly sufe. No middle ground will now answer. Tell me what you wish me to do, and I will do all in my power to accomplish it. To this the President had thus replied:
WASHINGTON, August 29, 1862–4.10 P. M. Yours of to-day just received. I think your first alternative, to wit, " to concentrate all our available forces to open communication with Pope" is the right one, but I wish not to control. That I now leave to General Halleck, aided by your counsels.
A. LINCOLN. Major-General MCCLELLAN.
Pope “out of his scrape," and in saving the Army of the Potomac. It was natural and proper that he should give attention to the defence of Washington, for he had, as Gen. Halleck says, “ general authority over all the troops” that were defending it. But his special duty was “ sending out troops from Alexandria to re-enforce Pope.” Why did he give so much attention to the former, and so little to the latter duty ? Why was it that, from the time of his landing at Alexandria, not another man of his army joined Pope, or made a diversion in his favor, till after Pope had fallen back from Manassas and fought four battles without the aid he had a right to expect, and wbich Gen. McClellan was repeatedly and peremptorily ordered to give ?
Those of McClellan's forces which had reached Alexandria before him, or were there before his arrival, Sturgis, Kearney, Hooker, and Heintzelman, had all gone forward and joined in these battles. Why could not Franklin—all of whose movements were controlled by McClellan—do as much with him as his brother commanders had done without him ?
The first thing that McClellan did, on reaching Alexandria, in the discharge of his duties to send forward troops, was to stop those actually going! In his dispatch of August 27th, 9 o'clock P. M., he says to General Halleck_“I found part of Cox's command under orders to take the cars : will halt it with Franklin until morning !” And Cox never went out, though anxiously expected and under orders to move. What are the reasons given by McClellan for not sending, or not permitting Franklin to go? On the 27th, at 11.15 P. M., immediately after the positive order was issued for Franklin to move by forced marches and carry three or four days' provisions, McClellan says:
“Franklin's artillery has no horses except for four guns without caissons. I can pick up no cavalry. * * I do not see that we have force enough in hand to form a connection with Pope, whose exact position we do not know."
A part of the perplexity he seems to have been in was removed that day at 6 o'clock, P. M., when he received, as he says, a copy of a dispatch from Pope to Halleck, in which Pope says:
“ All forces now sent forward should be sent to my right at Gainesville.”
The next day, at 1 P. M., he telegraphs,
“I have been doing all possible to hurry artillery and cavalry. The moment Franklin can be started with a reasonable amount of artillery he shall go."
Again, at 4.40 of the 28th, he telegraphs,
General Franklin is with me here. I will know in a few moments the condition of artillery and cavalry. We are not yet in a condition to move; may be by to-morrow morning.
A few moments later, he says:
Your dispatch received. Neither Franklin's nor Sumner's Corps is now in condition to move and fight a battle. It would be a sacrifice to send them out now! I have sent aids to ascertain the condition of Colonel Tyler: but I still think that a premature movement in small force will accomplish nothing but the destruction of the troops sent out."
The small force (?) to which he refers consisted, as beretofore stated, of Sumner's Corps of 14,000 and Franklin's of 11,000, a total of 25,000—not going to fight a battle by itself, but to re-enforce an army already engaged, and constituting certainly a handsome re-enforcement on any field. On the 29th,
Franklin has but forty rounds of ammunition and no wagons to move more. I do not think Franklin is in a condition to accomplish much if he meets strong resistance. I should not have moved him but for your pressing orders of last night.
On this same day
Do you wish the movement of Franklin's Corps to continue? He is without reserve ammunition and without transportation.'
be remarked here, that Franklin had not yet gone beyond Anandale-about seven miles—and had as yet, neither come upon the enemy or joined the army in front, nor gained any information about either. If, therefore, his movement was not to continue, it must be because it was too hazardous, or because he had no reserve ammunition or transportation.
So, it seems, it was Gen. McClellan's judgment that Franklin could not be sent, as soon as he landed, to re-enforce Pope-because, 1st, he had his artillery only partially mounted; 2d, he had no cavalry ; 3d, he had but forty rounds of ammunition, and no transportation for more. The subsequent difficulties were, that he had no transportation for his reserve ammunition, and was too weak alone, and Sumner ought not to be sent to support him, as it would leave the Capital unprotected !
It is fortunate some of McClellan's corps preceded him from the Peninsula, and arrived and marched before he came up. For, if not, two of the corps who joined Pope and fought under him would have been halted for the reasons that stayed Franklin. Kearney joined without artillery, and Pope ordered two batteries to be given him; Porter had but forty rounds of ammunition-Heintzelman joined without cavalry.
Why, may it be asked, were “neither Sumner's nor Franklin's Corps in a condition to move and fight a battle ?" McClellan had been told that in embarking his troops he must see they were supplied with ammunition, “ as they might have to fight as soon as they landed." The men were not fatigued by hard marches, nor exhausted with fighting and lack of food, as were their companions in front. What was there to prevent their going to re-enforce them, but the orders and pretexts for delay of General McClellan ?
It will have been noticed that lack of transportation was at the bottom of the alleged difficulties. Transportation was not required for supplies, for the men were ordered to carry their food with them. Is it not strange that, in view of the emergency of the case, some extraordinary means were not resorted to to impress horses and wagons—if none existed in the hands of the Government-in the cities of Alexandria, Georgetown, and Washington, where there was an abundance of both ? Such things have been done even in this war, on much less important occasions than this one.
But will not this plea seem stranger still when it is found that there was no need of pressing any private property into service--that there was plenty of public transportation on hand! Let the following dispatch show:
WASHINGTON, D. C., August 30th, 1862. I am by no means satisfied with General Franklin's march of yesterday, considering the circumstances of the case. He was very wrong in stopping at Alexandria. Moreover, I learned last night that the Quartermaster's Department would have given him plenty of transportation if he had applied for it any time since his arrival at Alexandria. Ho knew the importance of opening communication with General Pope's army, and should have acted more promptly.
H. W. HALLECK, General-in-Chief. Major-General MCCLELLAN, Alexandria.
But most strange of all is, that General McClellan knew uf there being public transportation at hand, and yet did not use it, even when the fate of a campaign depended upon it, and afterwards assigned the want of it as the reason for not obeying his orders to send re-enforcements. He says, in his dispatch of August 30, to Gen. Pope:
The quartermasters here (Alexandria) said there was none disposable. The difficulty seems to consist in the fact (he adds), that the greater part of the transportation on hand at Alexandria and Washington has been needed for current supplies of the garrisons."
The inference is irresistible that General McClellan, who had charge of every thing in and around Alexandria and