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Gradual change in
The quality of the force thus arising changed with the changes of its origin. To the experienced the morale of the military eye, the troops in the national serv ice up to the epoch of the battle of Bull. Run constituted an armed multitude, but not an army. Then it became evident that something more effective was necessary. Many months were consumed, and the skill of a trained officer, General McClellan, was exhausted; unstinted supplies were lavished; but, though a great improvement was accomplished, perfection was very far from being reached. Not without the utmost difficulty, and after many disasters, were the political aspirations of officers and men extinguished. It was in the West that the army first became what an army ought to be—a mere centre of human force, capable of being di ought to be. rected with mathematical precision along any given line, and brought to bear irresistibly on any given point. In the judgment of a very high military authority, this degree of perfection was first manifested in General Grant's campaign from Grand Gulf to Vicksburg.
What an army
THE NATIONAL ARMY.
To attain to this, an army must have lost all outward political thought; it must have implicit reliance on the mind which is guiding it. It must have complete cohesion in all its parts-from that tenacity results. Each soldier must thoroughly feel that, no matter how insig nificant he as a single individual may be, he is absolutely sustained in what he is about to do by the unswerving and unfailing power of the whole force. The highest excellence is reached when the converse of this conception is attained, and the individual soldier considers that on him personally the safety and honor of the whole army may be depending. In the wars of Napoleon the Imperial Guard had been brought to this state. It is not by the pageantry of reviews that this grand ideal is reached;
the perfect soldier, like his own weapon, must have passed through the ordeal of fire.
Congress at its extra session more than complied with the call of the President. He asked for 400,000 men-he was authorized to accept
PROGRESS OF ENLISTMENTS.
Army legislation of
In a report to the President (December 1st, 1861), the Report on the prog. Secretary of War, Mr. Cameron, states that, ress of enlistments, at the commencement of this rebellion, inaugurated by the attack upon Fort Sumter, the active military force at the disposal of the government was 16,006 regulars, principally employed in the West to hold in check marauding Indians. In April 75,000 volunteers were called upon to enlist for three months' service. The people responded with such alacrity that 77,875 were immediately obtained. Under the authority of the act of Congress of July 22d, 1861, the states were asked to furnish 500,000 volunteers to serve for three years or during the war, and by the act approved on the 29th of the same month, the addition of 25,000 men to the regular army was authorized, the result being an army of 600,000 men. If to this be added the number of discharged threemonths' volunteers, the aggregate force furnished to the government between April and December exceeded 700,000 men.
At first the government found itself deficient in arms and on the provi- and munitions of war through the bad faith sion of arms. of those intrusted with their control during the preceding administration. The armory at Harper's Ferry had been destroyed. The only reliance was on the single armory at Springfield and upon private establishments. Measures had promptly been taken to increase the capacity of the Springfield establishment until it was expected to produce in the ensuing year 200,000 rifles. A special agent had been sent to Europe, with two mill
ions of dollars, to obtain an immediate supply, part of which had been already received.
REGULARS AND VOLUNTEERS.
Regular officers may
By a very important provision of the law enacted in July (1861), it was permitted to detach regserve in the volun- ular officers to serve in the volunteer force. Special provision was also made permitting the appointment of general officers from any grade in the regular army, the officers not forfeiting their positions in the old army. This proved to be one of the most judicious laws in reference to the army passed by Congress at the inception of the war. In a great measure it broke down all distinction between regulars and volunteers. Regulars were commanding volunteers, and volunteers quickly became as well disciplined as regulars.
The bounties by states, and counties, and cities were given to volunteer troops, and not enjoyed by regular troops. It therefore became difficult to fill the regular regiments. In actual operations, all distinctions between them practically disappeared. If jealousy did exist, it was little more than in name—not more, perhaps, than occasioned wholesome rivalry.
In the early period of the war, it was supposed by The Academy at many political demagogues that service in the army would prove to be the quickest and most effectual method of creating political capital for themselves. The battle of Bull Run, to some extent, dispelled that illusion. However, while it lasted, they, and the newspapers acting in their interest, spared no pains to depreciate those officers who had been professionally educated at West Point, and whom they considered as standing in their way. They not only derided all preparatory military study, but openly accused that national institution of inculcating aristocratic sentiments, and, what is worse, of a tendency to disloyalty. They pointed
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.
"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 Washing. ton 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
The form he thinks it should have.
CHAP. XLIV.] PROPOSED COMPOSITION OF THE ARMY.
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 composition:
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