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stood in an open field surrounded by woods. Here he received orders to remain. He had about 650 men, and a re-enforcement was promised. About noon, the Confederates, having occupied the woods on three sides of him, began to attack him, compelling him to fall back toward the edge of the bluff. At length re-enforcements under Colonel Baker arrived. They had orders either to support Devins or to withdraw, as Baker, who outranked Devins, might judge best. But at once it was plain that there was no option. Devins was in the act of being assaulted, and there was nothing to do but to support him. Baker accordingly took that course. The entire national force was now about 1900 men. They were in an open field; their assailants in the surrounding woods; the bluff down which they must retreat was steep and slippery, and only two wretched scows were there to carry them across to Harrison's Island. Colonel Baker, while bravely holding his ground at the head of his troops, was killed. The fire was becoming momentarily more and more severe, and the enemy receiving re-enforcements. The national troops were forced over the edge of the bluff, The national troops and the Confederates getting possession of
forced over the bluff.
it, a massacre ensued among the struggling men below. Of the boats, one had disappeared; the other was quickly swamped. Some tried to reach the isl and by swimming, some by floating on logs; they were de A massacre of them liberately shot by their antagonists above. Colonel Coggswell, who had succeeded to the command, tried to force his way to Edwards's Ferry, but was driven back by a Mississippi regiment. The loss was in killed, either by shooting or drowning, 300; in wounded and prisoners, more than 700.
Stone had thrown a small force across the river at Edwards's Ferry. They advanced about three miles toward
It is enveloped by the Confederates.
Colonel Baker is killed.
Leesburg and returned. He then threw over General Gorman's entire brigade. Had this been done earlier, the movements of the Confederates would have been arrested, and the tragedy at Ball's Bluff would not have occurred.
CAMPAIGNS FOR OPENING THE MISSISSIPPI, AND PIERCING THE GREAT EAST AND WEST LINE OF THE CONFEDERACY.
FORCING OF THE FIRST CONFEDERATE LINE. CAPTURE OF FORTS HENRY AND DONELSON, AND OPENING OF THE MISSISSIPPI TO MEMPHIS.
The President issued a general War Order, directing all the armies to advance on the 22d of February, 1862.
The Tennessee River was selected by General Halleck as the correct line of operation for the armies of the central region. Under his orders, Fort Henry was captured by Foote, and Fort Donelson by Grant.
The Confederate line being thus broken at its centre, Nashville was evacuated on its right, and Columbus on its left. Island No. 10 and Fort Pillow were surrendered, and the Mississippi opened to Memphis, the Confederate fleet at that place being destroyed.
THE battle of Bull Run manifested to the Northern
of Bull Run.
Effect of the battle people the real nature of the struggle in which they were engaged-that they must accept a wasting war, or consent to the destruction of representative government in the land.
They did not delay in making their choice. It was evident that more vigor must be infused into their movements. Lieutenant General Scott, who was at the head of the army, and who thus far had directed all the mili tary operations, was, in consideration of his age and great bodily infirmities, relieved (July 15th) from the more active portion of his duties. A new military department,
to be known as that of Washington and
McClellan in com
mand at Washing- Northeastern Virginia, was formed, and General McClellan was placed in command of it. As has been already related in detail (Chapter XLIV.), Army of the Poto- General McClellan at once commenced the organization of the great army authorized by Congress. His views of the military position and appropriate military conduct were, for the most part, accepted, and such was the patriotism of the people, the resolution of Congress, the energy of the executive, that the Army of the Potomac had reached (p. 195), on October 27th, a strength of nearly one hundred and seventy thousand men (168,318). It was the general's opinion that the advance upon the enemy at Manassas should not be postponed beyond the 25th of November. It was his desire that all the other armies should be stripped of their superfluous strength, and, as far as possible, every thing concentrated in the force under his command.
On the 31st of October, General Scott, having found his bodily infirmities increasing, addressed a letter to the Secretary of War requesting to be placed on the retired list. With every cir cumstance that could indicate an appreciation of the bril liant services which the aged chief had rendered the republic, his desire was granted. An order was simultaneously issued appointing General McClellan commanderin-chief under the President.
General Scott retires from command.
This change in his position at once produced a change Change in General in General McClellan's views. Hitherto he McClellan's views. had undervalued the importance of what was to be done in the West. He had desired the Western armies to act on the defensive. Now he wished to institute an advance on East Tennessee, and capture Nashville contemporaneously with Richmond. This, in his military administration, implied another long delay to
bring up the organization of the armies of the West to an equality with that of the Army of the Potomac.
In preparation for this, the Department of the West was reorganized. On the day following that of McClellan's promotion, Fremont was removed from his command (p. 234). His department was subdivided into three: (1.) New Mexico, which was assigned to Colonel Canby; (2.) Kansas, to General Hunter; (3.) Missouri, to General Halleck. To General Buell was assigned the Department of the Ohio, and to General Rosecrans that of West Virginia. The end of November approached, and still the Army of the Potomac had not moved. The weather was magnificent, the roads excellent. One excuse after another was alleged. The Confederate army in front was magnified to thrice its actual strength. Expenses were accumulating frightfully. Winter at last came, and nothing had been done.
satisfaction with McClellan.
So wore away day after day and month after month. The clicking telegraph in the War Office Commencing dis had nothing to say but "all quiet on the Potomac." Not alone among the people, who had only imperfect information, but even among officials in prominent positions, the inquiry became more and more urgent, "When will McClellan move? What is he going to do?" "Sir," said an eminent statesman, to whom Lincoln addressed that now painful interrogatory, "I declare to you my firm belief that to this day he has no plan." It seemed as if the army he had organized was a coat of mail he could not carry. The sword he had caused to be forged was too heavy for him to lift.
Mr. Stanton had succeeded Mr. Cameron as Secretary of War (January 13th, 1862). He had been attorney general in the latter part of Bu chanan's administration, and had acted with conspicuous
Command of the departments reorganized.
Immobility of the
STANTON SECRETARY OF WAR.
Stanton made Secretary of War.