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or the number and character of the defensive works. Earthworks in the nature of tétes de pont looked upon the approaches to the Georgetown Aqueduct and Ferry, the Long Bridge and Alexandria, and some simple defensive arrangements were made at the Chain Bridge. With the latter exception, not a single defensive work had been constructed on the Maryland side.

Condition of the fortifications.


The form he thinks it should have.


McClellan's views

the war.

"There was nothing to prevent the enemy shelling the city from heights within easy range, which could be occupied by a hostile column almost without resistance. Many soldiers had deserted, and the streets of Washington were crowded with straggling officers and men absent from their stations without authority, whose behavior indicated the general want of discipline and organization." In a memorandum addressed to the President a few days subsequently (August 4th, 1861), Genon the conduct of eral McClellan indicated his views as to the objects and conduct of the war; "that it had become necessary to crush a population sufficiently numerous, intelligent, and warlike to constitute a nation, and not only to defeat their armed and organized forces in the field, but to display such an overwhelming strength as to convince all our antagonists, especially those of the gov erning aristocratic class, of the utter impossibility of resistance." "Their success in the battle of Bull Run would enable the political leaders of the rebels to convince the mass of their people that we are inferior to them in force and courage, and to command all their resources. The contest had begun with a class, now it is with a people; our military success alone can restore the former issue." General McClellan then stated that, as the rebels have chosen Virginia as their battle-field, it seems proper for us to make the first great strug gle there. With that he would also advise another move



ment, to be made simultaneously on the Mississippi, the expulsion of the insurgents from Missouri, and a movement through Kentucky into Eastern Tennessee, for the purpose of assisting the Union men of that region, and of seizing the railroad leading from Memphis to the east. He supposed that the possession of the road and the movement on the Mississippi would go far toward determining the evacuation of Virginia. He advised the occupation of Baltimore and Fortress Monroe by garrisons sufficiently strong, but believed that the importance of Harper's Ferry and the line of the Potomac in the direc tion of Leesburg would be very materially diminished as soon as the army at Washington became organized, strong, and efficient, averring that no capable general would cross the river north of that city if there were an army ready to cut off his retreat.

The Army of the Potomac was therefore considered as being charged with the main duty; all other forces were of a secondary and subordinate character.

The main army was to have the following composi tion:

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Composition pro


This force was to be supplied with engineer posed for the main and pontoon trains, and in connection with it a powerful naval force, to protect the movement of a fleet of transports intended to convey troops from point to point of the enemy's sea-coast. The naval force was also to co-operate with the army in its efforts to seize the important sea-board towns.

The movement down the Mississippi, and the progress




of the main army in the East, it was expected, would mutually assist each other by diminishing the resistance to be encountered by each.

Subordinate move

General McClellan also advised a movement from Kansas and Nebraska, through the Indian Ter ments suggested. ritory, upon Red River and Western Texas, for the purpose of protecting and developing the Union sentiment known to exist in those regions. He likewise suggested that permission should be obtained from the Mexican government for the use of certain of their roads, and hinted that it perhaps might be desirable to take into service, and employ in these operations, Mexican sol diers.

He proposed with his main force not only to drive the enemy out of Virginia and occupy Richmond, but also Charleston, Savannah, Montgomery, Pensacola, Mobile, and New Orleans.

Toward the latter part of October, in consequence of the anxiety of the President for the speedy employment of the army, General McClellan reported to the Secretary of War its condition at that time. "While I regret that it has not been thought expedient, or perhaps possible, to concentrate the forces of the nation near Washington (remaining on the defensive elsewhere), keeping the attention and efforts of the gov ernment fixed upon that as the vital point where the issue of the great contest is to be decided, it may still be that, by introducing unity of action and design among the va rious armies of the land, by determining the courses to be pursued by the various commanders under one general plan, transferring from the other armies their superfluous strength, and thus re-enforcing this main army, whose des tiny it is to decide the controversy, we may yet be able to move with a reasonable prospect of success before the winter is fairly upon us." "The advance should not be

Condition of the army in October.




postponed beyond the 25th of November, if possible to avoid it."

The strength of the Potomac Army, on the morning of October 27th, had risen to 168,318 officers and men of all grades and all arms. This included the sick, the absent, troops at Baltimore, Annapolis, and on the Upper and Lower Potomac. The force present for duty was 147,695, but of these 13,410 were unarmed or unequipped. The infantry regiments, to a considerable extent, were armed with unserviceable weapons. The general farther stated that quite a large number of good arms, which had been intended for this army, had been ordered elsewhere, leav ing the Army of the Potomac insufficiently, and, in some instances, badly armed. On September 30th there were with the army 228 field guns. The strength of the army increased until the following February, as shown in the subjoined table:

Its subsequent strength.

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These numbers represent the total, present and absent. The troops in Maryland and Delaware are included.


In consolidating this army and preparing it for the Organization of the field, the first step taken was to organize the infantry into brigades of four regiments each, retaining the newly-arrived regiments on the Maryland side until their armament and equipments were issued, and they had obtained some little elementary instruction, before assigning them permanently to brigades. When the organization of the brigades was well established, and the troops somewhat disciplined and instructed, divisions of three brigades each were gradually formed. It was



intended eventually to introduce a higher unit-the army



When new batteries of artillery arrived, they also were retained in Washington until their armament and equipment were completed, and their instruction sufficiently advanced to justify their being assigned to divisions. The same course was pursued with regard to the and of the cavalry, cavalry. As rapidly as circumstances permitted, every cavalry soldier was armed with a sabre and revolver, and at least two squadrons in every regiment with carbines. It was intended to assign at least one regiment of cavalry to each division of the active army, besides forming a cavalry reserve of the regular regiments and some picked regiments of volunteer cavalry. It was determined to collect the regular infantry to form the nucleus of a reserve.

With respect to the artillery, the following principles were observed in its organization:

The artillery should be in the proportion and of the artillery. of 21 pieces to 1000 men, to be expanded, if possible, to 3 pieces. Each field battery was to have, if possible, six guns, none less than four, and in all cases the guns to be of uniform calibre. The field batteries were to be assigned to divisions, not to brigades, four to each division. In the event of several divisions constituting an army corps, at least one half of the divisional artillery was to constitute the reserve artillery of the corps. The reserve artillery of the whole army was to be one hundred guns. The ammunition to accompany field batteries was not to be less than four hundred rounds per gun. The siege train to be of fifty pieces. This was subsequently expanded at the siege of Yorktown to very nearly one hundred pieces, and comprised the unusual calibres and heavy weight of metal of two 200-pounders, five 100-pounders, and ten 13-inch sea-coast mortars.

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