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in the artillery.
In March, 1862, the artillery of the Army of the PoImmense increase tomac had risen from the 30 guns, 650 men, and 400 horses which had composed it in the preceding July, to 520 guns, 12,500 men, and 11,000 horses, fully equipped, and in readiness for active field service. During the short period of seven months all this immense amount of material had been issued by the Ordnance Department, and placed in the hands of the artillery troops after their arrival in Washington.
ORGANIZATION OF THE ARMY.
On the 8th of March, 1862, the President directed the Formation of corps organization of the active portion of the Army of the Potomac into four army corps, and the formation of a fifth from the divisions of Banks and Shields.
The entire system of defenses for the protection of Organization of oth- Washington was carried into execution, ener departments. gineer and bridge trains were organized, the latter upon the French model, the topographical, medical, quartermaster's, subsistence, ordnance, provost-marshal's departments were established, signal and telegraphic corps were instituted; the latter of which had constructed upward of 1200 miles of telegraphic line before the close of 1862. The air-balloon was not infrequently used, and often furnished very valuable information.
Considering the military condition of the nation when General McClellan undertook the formation
The time consumed
in these prepara- and organization of the great Army of the Potomac, the time consumed in bringing that force into a satisfactory condition was far from being too long. The preceding paragraphs show how much was necessary to be done and how much was actually ac complished. From the resources furnished without stint by Congress McClellan created that army. Events showed that his mental constitution was such that he could not use it on the battle-field.
Events also showed that McClellan's solution of the Problem of the Form of the War was incoras to the Form of rect. He did not recognize the importance of the Mississippi Valley, and looked upon military operations there as of secondary importance. Though the force he had accumulated was already unmanageable in his hands, he unceasingly importuned the government to strip the Western armies of whatever they could for the sake of adding to his already unwieldy mass. There probably never was an army the Potomac army. in the world so lavishly supplied as that of the Potomac before the Peninsular expedition. General McDowell, who knew the state of things well, declared, in his testimony before the Congressional Committee on the Conduct of the War, "There never was an army in the world supplied as well as ours. I believe a French army of half the size could be supplied with what we waste."
Lavish provision for
THE POTOMAC AND WESTERN ARMIES.
While these things were lavished on the Army of the East, no superfluities were given to the Army of the West. In his examination before the same Congressional Committee, General Pope testified that the Western army had labored under a great many disadvantages, but it had always pursued an aggressive policy from the beginning. So far as material was concerned, it was indifferently supplied compared with the Army of the East: he added, "We had nothing, you might say; I have seen men go into action there with the locks of their muskets tied on with strings. I have seen them wearing overcoats to hide their nakedness, as they had no pantaloons. When I left there there were some troops that had been there over a year, and yet had but two or three ambulances to a regiment of a thousand men." To the question, " Was it all appropri ated for the Army of the Potomac ?" he replied, "I do not
Imperfect provision for the Western armies.
say what became of it. I do not know that it had an existence; at least we never saw it. Our troops suffered very much, and I must say that it was understood by them to have been from neglect on the part of the government."
ACTUAL STRENGTH OF THE ARMY.
It was the man in the overcoat, with the lock of his rifle tied on with a string, who won victories-not the pampered, neatly-uniformed soldier.
I shall close this chapter by quoting some instructive remarks on the national armies of the Civil War. They occur in a communication made to me by one of the greatest and most suc cessful of the generals. "Our paper armies were very large, while the officers and men for actual duty were small in comparison. As a rule, in a well-ordered army, if sixty-six per cent. of the men 'present' can be brought into battle, it is a good average; the other thirty-three per cent. are employed as cooks, teamsters, nurses, serv ants, etc., etc.—are sick, on furlough, detached. Then the men reported as 'absent' to guard rivers, dépôts, prisons, railroad stations, escorts, etc., etc., make fearful blanks in every regiment and subdivision of the army. During our war, at no time do I think one half of the men receiv ing pay were engaged with the fighting armies at the front, and this half was subjected to the farther diminu tion of the thirty-three per cent. before mentioned, so that in an army whose muster-rolls would give 100,000 men 'present' and 'absent' for pay, no general could expect to bring into battle, at any distance from his base of supplies, more than 35,000 men. By way of illustration, I take the case at the close of the war, when for the first time we got at the real facts and figures. 1,050,000 men were then on the muster-rolls to be paid off and discharged.
Actual working strength of the armies during the war.
ACTUAL STRENGTH OF THE ARMY.
"The active fighting armies then were:
Grant at Richmond.
Sherman at Raleigh.
Schofield in North Carolina
Canby at Mobile and in the Southwest
Where were all the rest?
"Guarding thousands of miles of sea-coast, rivers, and roads, guarding prisoners, and acting as provost guards, or loafing about the country. I do not mention this in criticism, but to show how in war such vast expenses do arise, and how often the country overestimates the exact strength of armies from the official returns.
"At no single time during the late Civil War-not even in 1864, the time of the greatest pressure, do I believe that fifty per cent. of the men drawing pay as soldiers were actually within striking distance of the enemy. To this cause may be traced some of the worst failures, when the government and people behind pushed their officers 'on,' supposing that figures could handle muskets and fight battles."
CREATION OF THE NATIONAL NAVY.
Immediately after the proclamation of the blockade, the National Government commenced the building of war-ships suitable for that purpose, and for defense against Confederate and foreign attack.
It found that the navy, consisting of about forty ships, had been purposely dispersed, the dock-yards shamefully neglected, and that many of the officers had been unfaithful.
It built many different classes of sea-ships, both wooden and armored, and especially developed Ericsson's invention, the Monitor.
It constructed, with great energy, a fleet of river-ships, armored and unarmored, for duty in the West.
Peculiarities of American naval artillery. Guns in service and reserve at the beginning and the end of the war.
The navy eventually numbered nearly seven hundred ships.
For the overthrow of the Confederate power, it was abDuties of the Navy Solutely necessary, as we have seen (Chapter XLI., p. 137), that the foreign commerce of e South should be prohibited. To accomplish this, it had been determined to establish a blockade.
But providing for an effective blockade was by no means the only duty of the Navy Department; it had to protect the sea-board also, to recover the forts that had been seized, to prepare expeditions against strategic points on the coast, to pursue Confederate cruisers on the sea, to force open and patrol the rivers, to be in readiness for a contingency apparently at one time imminent—a foreign war-and to meet the vast demands of the army for transportation of troops and supplies.
To accomplish these objects, it must have ships of many different kinds—some powerful and swift for ocean service, some of light draught to penetrate through shallow waters, some iron-clad to en
Various kinds of ships required.