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sels in the James River and the Chesapeake Bay were placed at your disposal, and it was supposed that eight or ten thousand of your men could be transported daily.
There has been, and is, the most urgent necessity for dispatch, and not a single moment must be lost in getting additional troops in front of Washington.” McClellan replied the same day: “If Washington is in danger now, this army can scarcely arrive in time to save it; it is in much better position to do so from here than from Acquia.”
At length, much other correspondence having intervened, he announced on the 15th: "Two of my army corps marched last night and this morning en route for Yorktown — one via Jones' Bridge, and the other via Barrett's Ferry, where we have a pontoon bridge. The other corps will be pushed forward as fast as the roads are clear; and I hope before to-morrow morning to have the whole army in motion."
McClellan himself left Fortress Monroe on the 23d, and reported from Acquia Creek on the 24th. He was at Alexandria on the 27th. Pope, on recrossing the left bank of the Rappahannock, had put his army in good position to maintain the line of that river against a direct advance of the enemy, and was instructed to hold his ground by every effort in his power. Large reinforcements were promised within two days, but up to the 25th Kearney's division and part of McCall's were all of McClellan's men that reached the scene of action. These were soon followed by Hooker's division and the corps of Fitz-John Porter. Leaving at Richmond but a slender garrison, Lee had meantime advanced, and disposed his forces along the right bank of the Rappahannock from Kelly's Ford to a point beyond the extreme right of Pope, and on the 21st and 22d made — or feigned — attempts to cross the river.
Pope gave anxious attention to the flanking movement threatened, which he ineffectually sought to avert. On the night of the 24th he withdrew his left from the lower fords of the Rappahannock, having in the meantime been apprised of a general movement of the enemy up the right bank of the river. Stonewall Jackson had already begun a dashing march, masked by the Bull Run Mountains, to Thoroughfare Gap, and thence to Manassas Junction. Pope made such disposition of the forces he had as seemed best fitted for the emergency, requesting Halleck to hasten Franklin's corps to Gainesville, and to send to Manassas Junction a strong division from the other troops arriving from the Peninsula. About 8 o'clock in the evening of the 26th, Jackson, having been joined by Stuart's cavalry, struck the railway between Catlett's and Bristoe Stations. Hooker drove back Ewell next day to near the latter place, to which Porter was ordered with his corps of fresh troops, starting at 1 o'clock in the morning of the 28th; but he did not move until several hours later, leaving a wide gap between his men and Hooker's, who had promptly advanced. Franklin was not at Gainesville; the division to occupy Manassas Junction was still wanting; nor was the railway west of that place held as ordered.
Pope's entire force, much of which had been marching or fighting for several days past, numbered only about fifty-four thousand. He tried to effect a prompt concentration near Manassas Junction and Gainesville. Jackson left Manassas that morning (the 28th), after destroying much property, and hurried across Bull Run. He was now widely separated from Longstreet, who was advancing by way of Thoroughfare Gap to join him, and Pope's army was getting between them. Whether it was the fault of the commanding General or of some of his subordinates in the field, that so promising an opportunity for a decisive blow was lost, is a question on which military critics have not agreed. The indubitable fact is that the "Second Bull Run” conflict, lasting two days (August 29th and 30th), was one of the bloodiest battles of the war, and ended in a disheartening Union defeat. *
As night came on, the second day of battle, Pope's left had been driven back nearly three-fourths of a mile, but without disorder. The Warrenton pike, which the enemy had sought to get possession of, was still open for retreat to Centreville, nor was there immediate pursuit. Here the army remained during the 31st, and was joined by the corps of Sumner and Franklin, whose nineteen thousand men had been expected on the Rappahannock ten days before. On the ist of September the enemy was found to be attempting a flanking.movement in the vicinity of Fairfax Courthouse. His attack at sunset, near Chantilly, was met by McDowell, with the help of Reno, Hooker and Kearney. A lively but brief combat followed, in the midst of a violent thunder storm. The assailants were repulsed. Here the gallant Kearney and another brave General, Isaac I. Stevens, of
*Union: Killed, 1,787; wounded, 8,482. Confederate : Killed, 1,558; wounded, 7,812.-War Records.
Oregon, gave up their lives. On the 2d, as ordered by Halleck, the army was withdrawn within the intrenchments of Washington.
During the closing days of Pope's campaign McClellan had his headquarters at Alexandria. On the 27th of August he was ordered by the General-in-chief to "take the entire direction of sending out troops from Alexandria,” and was informed that the exigency required Franklin's corps to move toward Manassas Junction “as soon as possible.' Sumner's corps had begun disembarking at Acquia Creek the day before. Not a man of these two corps reached the scene of action at all. Porter, already there with a large force, preferring his own discretion to Pope's positive orders, had kept out of the fight during the whole of a most critical day. McClellan at this juncture was sending dispatches to General Halleck, the prevailing spirit of which appears in the following examples:
AUGUST 27 12:20 P. M. What bridges exist over Bull Run? Have steps been taken to construct bridges for the advance of troops to reinforce Pope, or to enable him to retreat if in trouble? . . . Shall I push the rest of Sumner's corps here, or is Pope so strong as to be reasonably certain of success? ... Can Franklin, without his artillery or cavalry, effect any useful purpose in front? ... I do not see that we have force enough in hand to form a connection with Pope, whose exact position we do not know. Are we safe in the direction of the valley ? . I still think that we should first provide for the immediate defense of Washington on both sides of the Potomac.
Halleck telegraphed early on the 28th, directing that Franklin be sent forward, as had been repeatedly ordered the day before, and McClellan replied a little
after noon: "The moment Franklin can be started with a reasonable amount of artillery, he shall go." Three hours later McClellan telegraphed: “General Franklin is with me here. I will know in a few minutes the condition of artillery and cavalry. We are not yet in condition to move; may be by to-morrow morning.” On the 29th — Franklin having now got in motion McClellan replied to inquiries: “The last news I received from the direction of Manassas was from stragglers, to the effect that the enemy were evacuating Centreville and retiring toward Thoroughfare Gap. This is by no means reliable. I am clear that one of two courses should be adopted: First, to concentrate all our available forces to open communication with Pope; second, to leave Pope to get out of his scrape, and at once use all our means to make the capital perfectly safe."
Lincoln, not then or later in any panic about the safety of the capital — whatever McClellan may have afterward imagined — promptly answered: “Yours of to-day 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."
At an interview between the President, General Halleck, and General McClellan, as reported by the latter, the President said he had reason to believe that the Army of the Potomac was not cheerfully co-operating with and supporting General Pope; and asked McClellan “as a special favor” to use his influence in