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cient for the operations of this army-merely as advanced guards, and to carry reports and messages.
Question. Is that your opinion now?
. Yes, sir. I consider the cavalry in this army worse than nothing at all, and it will be so for the next three years, until you get rid of two-thirds of the men.
It is the poorest arm in the service unless it is well drilled and disciplined.
Question. Has there been, in your judgment, within the last two months, any insurmountable obstacle to a successful attack upon their lines to relieve this city and the Potomac from the blockade?
Answer. I could not state as to that.
Question. I only ask your opinion as a military man; that is all I want. If you know of any insurmountable obstacle to any such advance, please state it.
Answer. I think we ought to have at least three to one when we make an attack on the enemy's intrenchments at least three to one to make an attack on common field-works. Because I do not think they could come in here with less than three to one; and to reverse it would require the same proportion. They are about as strong as we are, possibly.
Question. From the shape of the ground, and from the situation of the two armies, is there any such thing as turning the enemy's intrenchments, or batteries, in your judgment ?
Answer. I think that if an attack was made on Leesburg they would fall back from Leesburg on Manassas. And to turn that flank successfully there must be two or three roads leading around within supporting distance in the rear. And whether there are as many roads as that I do not know, because I am not acquainted with the country. You cannot move on an ordinary road more than 20,000 men so that the head of the column could be supported in the same day by the rear. And to turn the enemy's flank 20,000 men would not be enough. You must have two or three roads to move on.
Question. Are the roads in such a condition now that troops could be moved to advantage?
Answer. Yes, sir; I think so. But whether a movement could be made successfully is more than I can tell, because I do not know how many the enemy have.
Question. Neither do we know. I do not ask whether a movement can be made successfully, but only your opinion; that is all. How many aides should the general-in-chief of a great army like this have? Can you give an idea of the number of staff officers that would be useful to him ?
Answer. General Scott's number of aides in Mexico were much less than the number here.
Question. So was his army, you know.
Answer. Yes, sir, I know; but I should think it would require a large staff for such an army as this.
Question. What do you call a large one, for the general-in-chief, I mean? for I suppose you all have them.
Answer. Perhaps others would want more than I would. I got along very well without much of any staff at Bull Run. Perhaps others would like a great deal larger one than I should.
Question. Would thirty be too many, should you think—more than would be useful ? Answer. No, sir; I think not, for so large an army as 180,000 men.
There are 180,000 men here, as near as I can get at it.
Question. You think thirty would not be too many?
Answer. No, sir; I should think not. A commander of a division has four or five, and the commander of a brigade has three or four.
Question. You said that you thought the regular cavalry would be sufficient for the army here. How many regiments of the regular cavalry are there?
Answer. I thought four regiments of regular cavalry would be enough.
Answer. Yes, sir. I think if the horses of this cavalry could be sold at auction, and
put the men on foot as infantry, it would be better, for you could make good troops of them, whereas they are now good for nothing. We know that one regiment of cavalry costs about the same as two regiments of infantry to keep it up; and the horses are getting poor and in bad condition, and unless you have good horses and good riders you can do nothing.
By Mr. Chandler : Question. I want to know whether you think it feasible to capture these batteries on the Potomac with a force, as you say, of 180,000 men? These batteries have been there now for two months and a half. I think your division was ordered on a reconnoissance in that direction. Did
any reason to prevent your getting in their rear and capturing their guns?
Answer. I went only to Occoquan river.
Question. Is there any insuperable obstacle to throwing a force in the rear and capturing those batteries?
Answer. Unless they have more force than we have ?
Answer. I do not consider their troops better than ours. If we could bring one and a half times their number on the open field, we should have the advantage. In attacking intrenchments, I think we should have three to one, as I think they should have against us.
By the chairman: Question. Have you any means of knowing about what the strength of their army is now? Answer. No, sir; I have no idea, more than I had at Bull Run; not a bit.
By Mr. Chandler : Question. You were stationed for a long time in front of Munson's Hill, were you not?
Answer. Yes, sir.
Answer. No, sir. We took it without any trouble after they left it. I was commanding my brigade near Fort Albany, and the telegraph communicated from headquarters to my office. I telegraphed once or twice that I had sent men over there to look at the country, and that I had found that by approaching a ridge of hills, which we have found since to be Upton's Hill, by getting on Upton's Hill and coming down that way we could easily drive them from Munson's Hill without any loss. I telegraphed that, but there was no attention given to it. Then when we found that the enemy had probably left Munson's Hill, I telegraphed to General McClellan that our pickets reported that the enemy were leaving. He ordered me to move on cautiously and take possession of the hill, and communicate with General McDowell on our right. I accordingly went up, and threw forward pickets as far forward to Bailey's Cross Roads as we could, and approaching cautiously we took the hill. Question. Did you, a few weeks ago—say a month or two ago, I do not know
how long-discover a detached party of the enemy off in this direction guarding some forage ?
Answer. We discovered a large amount of forage at Windsor's, two miles in advance of my present position, and some six miles from Fort Lyon. Ir proposed taking possession of that forage, and telegraphed to General Heintzelman, commanding the division, then in the city, for permission to move the brigade and take possession of that forage. I got permission from him, and had my brigade under arms about daylight to go down and bring up that forage.
. Question. Were not some of the enemy there?
Answer. They had been there some days before to negotiate for the forage, and perhaps had got a great deal of it. After I had got my troops ready, an order came to my division suspending the movement, and saying that no reconnoissance in force could be made in this army without the consent of the commanding general. A short time after that, General Heintzelman applied again, and we got permission to go down after the forage ; and we have made two or three reconnoissances since that.
By the chairman: Question. I will ask you this question, for I want your opinion as a military
Do you suppose the army is as large as could be handled to advantage over the Potomac, or do you want more men?
Answer. I think we have got as many as we can bring into action.
Question. I understand you to have already said that the roads are pretty good, and that there are no obstructions to movements.
Answer. I think we can move artillery in that country now.
Question. Well, what advantage is there gained by delay? Can you think of any reason—if we are ever going to make a movement-why we should not make it soon, or why we should not have made it before?
Answer. If we conclude to move on these, lines I can see no advantage in waiting; for, as far as we can learn, the enemy are adding to their number by re-enforcements, and have been for some time; at least that is what I have heard, but I do not know whether it is true.
Question. What is the condition and discipline of our troops ?
By Mr. Chandler:
By the chairman:
By Mr. Johnson: Question. Take the condition of the troops now, and suppose you go into winter quarters and remain there until spring, would the troops be in better condition in the spring after simply lying in winter quarters till then?
Answer. No, sir; I think not. There is another thing I do not know about, and that is, whether the amount of transportation is sufficient to move the army
A great deal depends upon that. Question. What I want to know is this: with their present advancement in discipline, would they improve any by lying inactive in winter quarters until spring?
Answer. No, sir. Still it is my opinion that if we could get the seaports of the south-get Savannah and Charleston-it would be preferable to getting the whole State of Virginia. I think Charleston and Savannah would be worth to
us more than the whole State of Virginia, because, if we had them, we could stop anything getting in or going out of their country. And then, again, an expedition landed at the mouth of Sabine river could cross over to the rear of New Orleans, and in that way fifty thousand men could take New Orleans, and the two forts, Jackson and St. Philip, which we cannot take in front. We will then have the Mississippi open as high up as Memphis. Then move our army down the Mississippi, and we have it open all the way to its mouth. The Mississippi is the most important strategical line in the country, for you can concentrate troops on any part of the Mississippi faster than they can.
By Mr. Chandler: Question. You stated awhile ago that we wanted three men to one to attack intrenchments—either on their side or ours. Now, if that is so, and there is to be no advance here, how many men would be wanted to defend Washington ?
Answer. I have always thought that forty thousand men in the intrenchments were sufficient; and then a corps of sixty thousand men could stop any movement across the river above, towards Baltimore, if they should attempt it. I have always thought that eighty thousand men could be moved from here to other points, if the object was only to keep Washington.
WASHINGTON, D. C., December 24, 1861. General SAMUEL P. HEINTZELMAN sworn and examined.
By the chairman : Question. We have inquired a little about the past: now we want to inquire a little about the present and the future, which is perhaps more important. . As you are a military man of great experience, we want some of your opinions on some matters. You are in command of a division, as I understand.
Answer. Yes, sir.
Question. I would inquire whether there has been any council of war among you officers and the general-in-chief?
Answer. I have never been consulted upon any military subject.
Question. Do you know anything of any military plan of operations that he has in view ?
Answer. No, sir; I have not the slightest idea—not the slightest. I have been very careful not to make any movement or demonstration on the left for fear I might interfere with some plan.
Question. I will ask you whether it is usual for a general-in-chief to conceal his great plans from commanders of divisions, &c.; or, in other words, is it not necessary that they should know something of his plans?
Answer. When General McDowell was in command I saw him a number of tiines, and we had long and free conversations about the plans and operations of the campaign.
Question. I will inquire whether, if a demonstration was to be made, say next week, whereby 180,000 men were to be moved, it would not be absolutely necessary that the generals of division should know something of the plans, in order that they might each play his part in what was to be done?
Answer. I should think that it would be advisable. It is not necessarily so, for they can have specific instructions and carry them out.
By Mr. Chandler: Question. In your military experience and reading, has it not been customary, in monæuvring a large army, even for the most eminent generals to take the opinions of his generals of division ?
Answer. Yes, sir; we very frequently find that that is the case—that they do take their opinions.
By the chairman : Question. You know something, I suppose, of the number of the army here under General McClellan ? Do you suppose he has as many now as could be used to advantage against the enemy here?
Answer. I have not any idea of the number of men that are here. I do not think I could guess within 50,000 of the number of troops around Washington.
Question. How many have you an idea that there are here?
Question. I will put a hypothetical case. Suppose that there are now here 160,000 men fit to move, to bear arms—throw out of the calculation all your sick list and all your non-combatants—do you want a larger army than that here, and if you had it, could you work it to advantage ?
Answer. T'he roads are such that it is almost impossible to operate with a large army here.
Question. At any time of the year ?
answer. Yes, sir. The roads are very narrow and contracted; very few of them are broad turnpikes.
Question. You intend to answer, then, that you could not work more to advantage, if you had them?
Answer. Napoleon was of the opinion that he and the Archduke Charles were the only men in Europe who could maneuvre 100,000 men; he considered it a very difficult thing. I think 150,000 or 160,000 men are as many as one inan can get along with, and they should be divided into different corps to afford facilities to move them.
Question. What are the condition of the roads now?
Answer. They were very good until yesterday. But the rain muddied them exceedingly, and a little use would have made them impassable. I suppose now that the frost has made them bard again.
Question. In your judgment, is there anything gained by the delay in the movement of the army; and if so, in what particular is the gain?
Answer. I think that when the enemy fell back from Munson's Hill, thus virtually giving up the idea of taking Washington, we should have followed them up; just kept close after them, and as they abandoned a position we should have taken possession of it.
Question. It seems now to be a mere question of longevity with us. The idea is, whether, if we ever are going to attempt to dislodge the enemy from besieging our capital and blockading the Potomac, there is any reason why the delay of the last six weeks should have been made, or why we should longer delay?
Answer. I presume we could attack Centreville and take it, but it would be at a heavy sacrifice. And we would probably accomplish the same thing by remaining in our present position, with perhaps a small advance. The operations in the west and south must carry off a portion of this army, and then an opportunity would occur of cutting off their retreat by cutting the railroad beyond Brentsville. I think if we could take possession of the Virginia and Tennessee railway they could not supply their army, and it would have to disperse.
Question. Is it necessary to keep 160,000 men here to hold this position, if offensive operations are not contemplated ?
Answer. No, sir; I do not think it is. I think a much smaller force could safely hold the position.