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military talent, and these talents had been drawn out in a lifetime of camp duty; but very few, if any, of the lieutenants ever arrived at the necessary ability to manage an independent corps of fifty thousand men in the field. Without the master-mind, the vast power of France ceased to be formidable to the overwhelming numbers brought against her. In the early days of the French Revolution, vast numbers of men were sent to the frontiers to defend the country, and these gradually became.veteran soldiers of the best description. From their ranks rose the celebrated marshals who were the instruments of Napoleon's glory. But the draft was too great upon the male population of France, and as the struggle was prolonged through the life of a generation, although the genius of the emperor remaired, the material of execution began to fail, and disaster closed the wars of the empire.

The United States have now reached a position where not only have armies and military abi ity become necessary to the safety of the na tion in its integrity, but Europe has been brought nearer to us by steam, and other empires are becoming consolidated to the continent, in such a manner as to make a foreign policy necessary, as well in regard to Canada, Mexico, and South America, as to Europe. The great conflict between the North and the South, like the revolution of France, has had the effect of calling over a million of men from peaceful pursuits to the camps, and experienced foreigners agree that no nation ever presented finer material for soldiers. The difficulty at the outset was not a want of officers who had studied the mil ary theory, but of those who had so constantly applied the principles of science to actual warfare, as to have them all at command to apply with prompt energy at the critical moment. It is evident that a man who, twenty years ago, read medicine for a few months only, and then went into some other pursuit, is not a physician to be compared to him who has employed his life in continual practice at the bedside. The military science, equally with all o hers, requires practical experience. The greatest writers on the science in Europe were very indifferent commanders in the field. It is for these reasons that with such unequalled material for troops, and such lavish resources, patience be came the chiefest of public virtues. General Scott, it is true, performed a brilliant, short, and effective campaign in Mexico, but it will be remembered that he was a life-long commander, of considerable natural skill, and that his command, composed of regular troops mostly, was, after all, but a trifle in numbers as compared with any of the corps now in the field. In relation to the "tactical aspects" of the contest, it will be observed that the Union troops at the commencement of the war occupied an immense line, running from the Potomac to the Mississippi, and another running on the Atlantic coast down to the Gulf of Mexico; while the enemy held the centre of the region enclosed by these lines, which, as we have seen of France in respect to Eu ope, is the strong position. The law of strategy in this case re quires the party occupying the circumference to close his circle, and gradually contract it. But no commander or nation ever before had so vast a circle to close. The enemy, in accordance with the same

laws, was required to concentrate his force, remain on the defensive at all points, keeping his internal communications always clear, and prepared to direct his condensed columns against the first opposing army that should approach. He held what is known in military parlance as "interior lines; that is to say, a greater number of Confederate troops could reach a given point at a given time than of Federal troops, unless the latter should be so enormously superior in numbers as to make any resistance to them hopeless. This, however, was by no means the case at that stage of the war of which we are now writing, and it will be seen in the course of this narrative how the rebels, by a skilful use of their interior lines, for years baffled the efforts of the best Federal generals to penetrate to the heart of the revolted territory.

In the following pages we shall observe expeditions sent to hold each of the Atlantic cities, thus forming a chain on that line; and on the northern line a surcession of armies, which have to perform a leftwheel movement, turning on the army of McClellan in front of Washington. The whole, in so moving, must preserve the line like the simple left-wheel of a single platoon, because the army which outmarches the others so as to lose their support, will be crushed by a vigilant enemy. The whole line will then be broken.

In resuming the thread of military events from the defeat of Manassas, it may be considered that preparations for the war were but fairly commenced with the recovery of the public mind from the effects of that disaster. The whole movement, from the attempt to re-enforce Fort Sumter in the beginning of April, had been irregular and spasmodic. It was impelled by the first impatient burst of popular enthusiasm, and had not been prepared or directed by the sagacious foresight which important movements require. If the secession movement at the South had been long planned and deliberately considered, with all the contingencies foreseen and the necessities of the case provided for, such had not been the case at the North. The last session of the thirty-seventh Congress had passed away amidst vain attempts at compromise on the part of the minority, to which the majority only opposed a "masterly inactivity," while the impression was disseminated that no outbreak would take place. The fall of Sumter, the sudden activity of the Executive, the calling out of the militia, the hasty assembling of troops, the hurried marches, and the premature attacks, were all apparently impulsive, without any deliberately considered policy, and, as was but natural, the result was by no means encouraging. All the armies that were forming, and which composed the aggregate of two hundred and forty thousand men reported by the Secretary of War on the meeting of Congress, felt the paralyzing influence of the defeat at Bull Run. The force at Fortress Monroe, under General Butler, was diminished in order hastily to re-enforce Washington. General Banks evacuated Harper's Ferry, and concentrated nearer to Washington, at Point of Rocks, where he was anxiously watching Western Maryland.

The Army of the Potomac was now massed for the protection of Washington, and General Wool, appointed on the 20th of August to the command of Fortress Monroe, found little beside Newport News

and the fortress itself in his possession. In Western Virginia, Rosecrans, the successor of McClellan, held his position and commanded the key of the mountain passes. The seventy-five thousand militia, or what was left of them, who had been called out for three months, had returned to their homes, and their places were more than filled by a body of stalwart volunteers, who had enlisted for three years or the war, but who, though furnishing the best material for soldiers in the world, were as yet utterly undisciplined. The Confederate force was scarcely so strong as ours; had it been, the Capital would have been in serious danger. The brilliant victories of Rich Mountain and Beverly had given a prestige to the name of General McClellan, which seemed to justify the Government in calling him to the work of organizing this rapidly increasing mass of volunteers into a well-ordered, well-dis-" ciplined army. There was no lack of money, and the munitions of war were becoming abundant; but the formation of an army required time and patience, and the people, convinced of this by the sad disaster of Bull Run, were disposed to grant both. They felt that henceforth it was no holiday work in which they were engaged. The Southern volunteers, inflamed to hate of the North by the artful proclamations and appeals of their leaders, were a more formidable foe than they had been supposed, and though not the equals of the Northern soldiery in steady, persistent valor, they were brave, and under able and efficient leaders.

It was felt, indeed, that there was some danger of European interference, which the desire for cotton, the eagerness for free trade, and the misrepresentations of the agents of the Confederacy, combined with the disaster of Bull Run, seemed likely to provoke. Such an interference the aristocratic element in Great Britain and the friends of despotism in France would have rejoiced to see; but, fortunately, the scanty and insufficient crops of England and France, and the necessity of procuring breadstuffs from us, bound these two great powers to keep the peace; and thus, enormous as was the expenditure, there was time for the needful delay.

When the Army of the Potomac retired upon Washington, many regiments were in a state of demoralization. Military duties were, to a considerable extent, abandoned, and disorderly troops, with the remains of their equipments, crowded the streets. The bars and hotels. were filled with officers whose commands were scattered and disorganized. The citizens were uneasy, and the small shop-keepers trembled for their little stores. There was no efficient head to enforce obedience or restore order. In the midst of this condition of affairs, General McClellan was called nom Western Virginia to take command, the extent of which was designated in the following order:


"There will be added to the Department of the Shenandoah the counties of Washington, Alleghany, in Maryland, and such other parts of Virginia as may be covered by the army in its operations. And there will be added to the Department of Washington the counties of Prince George, Montgomery, and Frederick. The remainder of Maryland, and of ali Pennsylvania and Delaware, will constitute the Department of

Pennsylvania; head-quarters, Baltimore. The Department of Washington and the Department of North-eastern Virginia will constitute a geographical division under Major-General McClellan, United States Army, head-quarters, Washington."

On the following day, July 26th, General McClellan arrived in Washington, and immediately set about the work of reform. On the 30th of July, amidst the prevailing confusion, the following order appeared :


"The General commanding the division has with much regret observed that large numbers of officers and men stationed in the vicinity of Washington are in the habit of frequenting the streets and hotels of the city. This practice is eminently prejudicial to good order and military discipline, and must at once be discontinued.

The time and services of all persons connected with this division should be devoted to their appropriate duties with their respective commands. It is therefore directed that hereafter no officer or soldier be allowed to absent himself from his camp and visit Washington, except for the performance of some public duty, or the transaction of important private business, for which purposes written permits will be given by the commanders of brigades. The permit will state the object of the visit. Brigade commanders will be held responsible for the strict execution of this order.

"Colonel Andrew Porter, of the Sixteenth United States Infantry, is detailed for temporary duty as provost-marshal in Washington, and will be obeyed and respected accordingly. Colonel Porter will report in person at these head-quarters for instructions. By command of

"S. WILLIAMS, Assistant Adjutant-General.”


Colonel Porter, an active officer of the regular army, and a man of great determination and vigor, at once organized his patrols, and, while the guard-houses were speedily filled, the streets were emptied. Washington, which went to bed in very poor spirits one night, found that the evil had vanished in twenty-four hours, and that the next night she could sleep in peace. Another order, issued in support of the former, followed, by which the evil was entirely remedied, and the troops, confined to their quarters, began to bend to the force of discipline. The insubordination had previously reached to the extent of open mutiny in a part of one or two regiments. The enforcement of rigid discipline was as first distasteful to numbers, but the great intelligence of the men came in aid of the efforts of the General, and they were not slow in acknowledging the necessity and in submitting to it cheerfully. Some discontented spirits required rooting out, but the whole came gradually to feel the master's hand. The Spanish General Lana, who had been at Washington on a visit, thus describes the state of affairs in a letter of the same date as the order of General McClellan, to an Havana journal:

"It is necessary to see this place to be convinced of what is occurring, and to form an idea of what an army is, composed of men without any military habits, and led by officers-chiefs and generals-who are for the most part devoid of the necessary knowledge. Excepting the war material in the transportation department, such as wagons, gun-carriages, ambulances, &c., &c., which is magnificent, all else is a confusion of ill-clad men without any military instruction, and, what is worse, without trying to acquire it, according to appearances, since during the time I remained there I have seen them pass days and nights in the camps without doing any thing, with

the exception of battalion drill for a short while in the morning and again in the evening."

Mortifying to our national pride as was such a state of things, announced by a foreigner, it was nevertheless not exaggerated, and afforded evidence of the task that was to be accomplished. The new general exerted himself to the utmost in urging forward troops, and in one case a senator was so much impressed by his statements, that he telegraphed, on his own responsibility, to the Governor of his State, to send at once every regiment he could muster to Washington. These exertions, added to those of the Administration, were soon followed by a stream of military setting into Washington to replace the three-months' men departed, and the broken bands that had fallen back from Manassas. These new troops were untainted by the demoralization that marked the old ones. The material of some of the Northern regiments could not be excelled. Splendid men, young, tall, robust, intelligent, and accustomed to adventure, filled the ranks. These, as they arrived, were sent over the river and put to incessant drilling and the construction of field-works. At first they were employed in the construction of a great abattis from Fort Ellsworth, at Alexandria, across the front of the position, and gradually in the formation of numerous camps. By the 1st of September there were upwards of seventy-five thousand troops of all arms in the neighborhood of Washington, not including Banks's column at Harper's Ferry, or the command of General Dix, at Baltimore. General McDowell remained in command of the troops at Arlington. The head-quarters of General McClellan were in Washington. Thus gradually, an army was formed, and Washington encircled with defences. The men were drilled and inured to camp duties, while the Government was using every exertion to supply them with arms.

The laws which had passed Congress provided for two branches of service the volunteer and the regular army. The number of volunteers was to be five hundred thousand, though, by the passage of two bills, authority was inadvertently given for raising one million. They were to serve for three years or during the war, and to be organized into regiments of ten companies, each having from seventy-seven to one hundred and one men, the maximum number of officers and men in the regiment being one thousand and forty-six. From three to five regiments formed a brigade, under a brigadier-general, and two or more brigades a division, under a major-general. At first the most experienced colonels served as acting brigadiers, and in some instances as acting major-generals; but very soon a considerable number of brigadier-generals and the requisite number of major-generals were nominated by the President, and most of them confirmed by Congress. The whole number of brigadier-generals thus confirmed, to the close of the session of Congress in July, 1862, was one hundred and eighty. In some instances these appointments were made as a reward for services rendered in raising recruits, &c., but for the most part the officers appointed proved skilful and efficient commanders.

The pay of the volunteers was the same as that of the regular army, but in order to encourage the re-enlistment of the three-months' men,

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