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CROSSING OF WHITE OAK SWAMP.
comprehend McClellan's plans, and he tinued passing night and day until all and his officers exulted in the thought had crossed. There was the long train that now our army would be inevitably of 5,000 wagons and 2,500 beef cattle, captured or destroyed.
which all traversed the morass in safety During the night the final withdrawal by the single narrow passage provided. of the right wing across the Chickaho. On the 28th, Porter's corps was also miny was completed, without difficulty moved across the White Oak Swamp, and without confusion, a portion of the and on the morning of the 29th, took regulars remaining on the left bank up a position covering the roads leaduntil the morning of the 28th. Early ing from Richmond towards White on that morning the bridges were burn. Oak Swamp and Long Bridges. Dured, and the whole army was thus con. the night of the 28th and 29th, the divicentrated on the right bank of the sions of Slocum and McCall were Chickahominy. The loss on the Union ordered across the White Oak Swamr, side, though severe, was never accura- and were placed in position to cover the tely estimated; the rebel loss was pro- passage of the remaining divisions and bably not short of 10,000.
trains. In the course of the same night, In striving to secure his change of the corps of Sumner and Heintzelman base to the James River, McClellan dis- and the division of Smith were ordered played much skill and ability. He to fall back so as to cover Savage Stamasked the retreat of his troops by tion on the railroad. They were orderholding the line of works on the south ed to hold this position until dark, and side of the Chickahominy, and comple- then to retire across the swamps and retely deceived Magruder and Huger rejoin the rest of the army. specting what was going on. It was Lee, on the morning of June 29th, not, in fact, till the night of the 28th of hastened to set out in pursuit of the reJune, that Lee, having ascertained what treating army. Magruder and Huger bad taken place on the York River, and were to take the Williamsburg and disappointed in his expectations as to Charles City Roads; Longstreet was to supplies, etc., in that direction, fully cross the Chickahominy at New Bridge divined the purpose of McClellan, who, and move down near the James, so as, ineanwhile, had gained 24 hours, which if possible, to intercept the retreat ; and were of very great value and import. Jackson, passing over Grape Vine ance to bim in his difficult undertaking. Bridge, was to make bis way down the
In the course of the night of the 27th, south bank of the Chickahominy. Gen. Keyes was ordered to cross the Sumner, having ascertained that the White Oak Swamp with the 4th corps, rebels were crossing the Chickahoniny and take up a position to cover the pas. and marching toward Savage Station, sage of the trains. Measures were also moved his troops from Allen's Field to taken to increase the number of bridges that place, and united with Smith's across the swamp. The trains were set division. Heintzelman, who was on in motion at an early hour, and con- Sumner's left, fell back entirely, and
crossed White Oak Swamp. This soner, and the battle was continued left the brun of the attack by Magruder until night brought it to a close. to be borne by Sumner at Savage Sta- The rebels having been thus severely tion; and bravely was it borne. Jack- handled, left our men free to act without son did not arrive to aid Magruder, in molestation until the following day. consequence of having to rebuild the Accordingly, the last of the trains bridge over the Chickahominy; and reached Haxall's Landing during the Magruder impetuously attacking Sum- evening, and under cover of the night ner, met with a bloody repulse. During the troops quietly withdrew, and arrivthe night, the second corps and Smith's ed in safety at an early hour the next division crossed the swamp in safety, morning, to occupy a new and very with all their guns and material, and strong position on Malvern Hill. Lee, brought up the rear of the wagon train. finding this to be the case, determined
The pursuit undertaken by Lee was to attack McClellan on the 1st of July, made in two columns, Jackson proceed. not without hope that an army ing by way of the White Oak Swamp, which had gone through what and Longstreet by the roads skirting the Army of the Potomac had, day after the James River, so as to cut off our day for nearly a week, could be beaten column on its march. Jackson, delayed in a general engagement. But the reby the necessity of restoring the bridge, sult showed how greatly be erred in his found, on attempting to the calculation. McClellan promptly placed swamp, that our batteries effectually the army in position to meet the enemy, stopped his passage. Consequently, he should he again attack the left of our was unable to advance and join Long. line; a brigade was posted in the low street in the battle at Glendale or Tur- ground to the left of Malvern Hill, key Bridge, which took place on the watching the road to Richmond; and afternoon of June 30th. Longstreet, the line of our troops then followed a on reaching the intersection of the New line of heights nearly parallel to the Market and Quaker Roads, by which river, and bending back through the latter the army and its trains were woods nearly to the James on our right. hurrying towards the James River, The attack by the rebels was fierce and found this important point covered by determined; but it was met with heroic McCall's Pennsylvania troops, support. steadiness by our troops, and our artil. ed by Sumner and Hooker on the left, lery fire was fearfully destructive to and Kearny on the right. About three the enemy. Late in the evening, the P.M., the fighting was begun by Long- rebels fell back and gave up the battle. street and Hill, who made desperate It being necessary that the army efforts to force the position, but were should, as soon as possible, reach its repulsed by the terrible fire of artillery supplies and a place of rest, McClel. and musketry on the part of our men. lan left Malvern Hill, and the troops The brunt of the attack fell upon the retired, during the night of the 1st and division of McCall, who was taken pri- | 2d of July, to Harrison's Bar, on the
CLOSE OF THE CAMPAIGN.
James River. Lee, having ascertained Pollard, as representing the state of that McClellan was too strongly posted to feeling in the rebel states, is quite jubi make it safe to venture further attack, lant over the enforced retreat of McClel. took up his march some three or four lan; yet, at the same time, he is com. days after, and returned to Richmond. pelled to acknowledge the ability anı!
The losses in killed, wounded and energy displayed by both the command. missing, in these Seven Days' Battles ing general and all under his direction, were, on the Union side, over 15,000 ; and to confess that little real advantage on that of the rebels, considerably was gained to the cause of secession by greater, being, according to some autho. all that Lee and his army accomplished. nities, more than 19,000
If McClellan and his army could have There was much of disappointment been routed utterly, then the rebellion and grief in the loyal states at the might have entertained hopes of ulti failure of the campaign against Rich- mate success; but as he parried the mond, and the disastrous retreat to the blows of Lee with great skill, and dealt James River. At the same time it was equally severe blows in return, effecting freely admitted that McClellan display- finally the transfer of his force in safety ed generalship of a high order in this to the banks of the James River, it is retreat, and accomplished successfully evident on reflection, that the advantages one of the most difficult and hazardous obtained were more apparent than subof the operations of war, and that the stantial, and that whatever might be heroism of the army was worthy of the feelings of the moment, the loyal perpetual memory. In his report, un states would not yield to disappoint der date of July 15th, McClellan avows ment, but would prosecute the war to bimself willing to abide by the candid the complete crushing of the rebellion." decision of competent and trustworthy On the 5th of July, Davis, at Richjudges. “To the calm judgment of mond, issued an address for the purpose history and the future, I leave the task of rousing the energies of his followers of pronouncing upon this movement, and of the troops under his control. Gen. confident that its verdict will be that McClellan also, on the national holiday, no such difficult movement was ever July 4th, in an address to the “ Soldiers more successfully executed ; that no of the Army of the Potomac,” utiered army ever fought more repeatedly, words of encouragement and promise. heroically, and successfully against such “On this, the nation's birthday, we degreat odds; that no men of any race clare to our foes, who are rebels against displayed greater discipline, endurance, the best interests of mankind, that this patience, and cheerfulness, under such army shall enter the capital of the sohardships. My mind cannot coin ex. called Confederacy; that our National pressions of thanks and admiration Constitution shall prevail; and that warm enough, to do justice to my feel. ings toward the army I am so proud to is very severe on the blunders and bungling work of the Union, which can alone insure in-skilful, and determined adversary, transfer it safely to
* “ Second Year of the War," pp. 73–76. Pollard rommand."
those in command at the time in Richmond.
a position where it could act with effect, was, of itself, ternal peace and external security to
a notable achievement. For the army to have fought each state, must and shall be preserv- through such a campaign was creditable, and its closs ed,' cost what it may, in time, treasure,
found inexperienced troops transformed into veterad
soldiers. And, if alone from the appeal which great and blood."*
sufferings, and great sacrifices always make to a gener.
ous people, the story of that eventful march and ardu. * Mr. Swinton, remarking upon the close of the ous retreat, when, weary and hungry and footsore, the Peninsular campaign, justly says: "For the comman- army marched by night, and fought by day, through a der to have extricated his army from a difficult situa whole week of toil, and never gave up, but made a tion, in which circumstances, quite as much as his own good fight and reached the goal, cannot fail to live in fault, had placed it, and, in presence of a powerful, grateful remembrance."-"Army of the Potomac,” p. 167
GENERAL POPE'S CAMPAIGN IN VIRGINIA.
Army of the Potomac at Harrison's Landing – McClellan's views and plans as to operating against Richmond
- Adverse influences, Pope's and Halleck's opposition - McClellan ordered to leave the Peninsula — Re monstrance of no avail — Gen. Pope put in command of “ Army of Virginia” – Concentrates his forcePope's address to the officers and army - His several orders in July — Plans of the rebels on McClellan's retirement from the Peninsula — Pope reinforced — Jackson crosses the Rapidan - Battle at Cedar Mountain — Result — Pope on the Rappahannock — Lce attempts to cross — Stuart's raid on Catlett's Station Maneuvring - Jackson’s march — Stuart at Manassas Junction --- Destruction of supplies — Pope aban dons the line of the Rappahannock — Determines to cut off Jackson Action at Kettle Run - Jackson's perilons position – Gives Pope the slip — Blunder of Pope — Serious injury resulting - Jackson attacks King's flank — Sharp contest — King retires — The way left open for Longstreet to join Jackson — Sigel's attack on Jackson at Groveton — Aided by Reno, Hooker, Kearney-Result — Pope's condemnation of Porter's course — Doubts as to its justice - Porter court-martialed and cashiered — Pope unwisely tries an. other battle — The second Bull Run or Manassas battle — Terrible struggle — Losses not known, but very heavy Lee's course — Jackson's further attempt at Germantown - Stevens and Kearney killed — Thə army withdrawn and placed within the defences of Washington — Fredericksburg and Aquia Creek evaouated — Brief estimate of Gen. Pope and his campaign.
In the preceding chapter, we have tions against the enemy. The position given as full a narrative as our limits which they now occupied was advan. admit, of the movements of the Army tageous in a military point of of the Potomac, under McClellan, up to view ; they were protected by the beginning of July, 1862. Being batteries on the adjacent heights, while now in comparative security, the troops the depth of water in the James River were permitted, during the ensuing afforded every facility to prompt supmonth, the repose so much needed, and port, if needed, from the gun boats, and the opportunity of recuperating, and of a ready access to the transports. being fitted in due time for active opera- In effecting a “change of base," it
MCCLELLAN'S VIEWS AND PLANS.
appears to have been McClellan's de that they would reinforce his army at sign not only to save the army from once. defeat and ruin, but also, as soon as the There is good reason to believe that troops were in proper condition and the president not only favored, but suitable reinforcements had been ob- would have heartily supported, McClel tained, to undertake operations against lan's views in regard to the advance on Richmond, by crossing the James and Richmond by the route he proposed ; advancing by way of Petersburg. but there were several adverse influenWith the aid of the navy to keep the ces bearing upon the question, which river open as a line of supplies, McClel. ere long completely pullified all the as. lan felt convinced that by the projected pirations and plans of McClellan. There route, he could most effectually threaten was, as usual, the fear lest the capital the communications of the rebel capital might be exposed to danger of assault, and prevent Lee from aggressive move and some dashing rebel, like Jackson, ments northward. Consequently, he might suddenly pounce down upon it. called earnestly and constantly for rein- Besides this, it is to be noted, that the forcements to carry his plans into effect. commander of the newly formed “Army He had brought with him to Harrison's of Virginia,” Gen. Pope, confident of Landing nearly 90,000 men, and be being able to march upon Richmond, besought the government to furnish him by an overland route, and to put the with 50,000, or at least 30,000 more ; enemy to flight as readily as, he affirmwith this force he was certain that Rich. ed, he had been in the habit of doing mond could be taken, and the military in the West, scouted the idea of reinpower of the so-called “confederacy” forcements to McClellan where he now completely broken up.
Halleck, too, who had recently Writing to President Lincoln on the been placed in the position of general-in12th of July, McClellan says :-“I am chief, the duties of which he assumed more and more convinced that this July 23d, was decidedly opposed to army ought not to be withdrawn from McClellan's views, and insisted upon here; but promptly reinforced, and the withdrawal of the army entirely thrown again upon Richmond.” Again, from the Peninsula. on the 18th of July, he telegraphed, The “pressure” consequently became
appears manifestly to be our policy too great for Mr. Lincoln. He had to concentrate here everything we can been quite willing for McClellan to take possibly spare from less important points 20,000 men from Burnside's and Hunto make sure of crushing the enemy at ter's command, and make an aggressive Richmond, which seems clearly to be movement, as he desired; and McClel. the most important point in Rebeldom.” | lan, hoping that his plan might prevail, To the same effect, at the end of the had gone so far as to make a reconnaismonth, only still more urgently, he beg. sance in force with Hooker's and Sedgged the decision of the authorities at wick's divisions, driving the enemy Washington, and persisted in the hope from Malvern Hill and reoccupying it,