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The Grand Army.
ten of cavalry and twentytwo batteries all field forces, exclusive of those manning the defenses of Washington, which were numerous and
near the head of the army would be highly encouraging to the enemies and depressing to the friends of the Union. Hence my long forbearance, and continuing (though but nominally) in duty. I shall try to hold out till the arrival of Major-General Hal-powerful erections, more or less elaborate in
leck, when, as his presence will give me increased confidence in the safety of the Union and, as I am unable to ride in the saddle or walk, by reason of dropsy in my feet and legs and paralysis in the small of the back, I shall definitively retire from the army."
construction and occupying an arc stretching from Great Falls, ten miles above Washington, to the Accotink Creek, fifteen miles below the city.* As the regiments were all then very nearly up to the standard, (1010) the force ready for the advance was above one hun
There is a volume of history in this paragraph. If McClellan was named to the posi-dred thousand. In this estimate it will be tion after the citations of a superior officer charging him with insubordination, all authority over him was at an end. He was
III. General Fitz-John Porter, with lines from Miner's Hill to Falls Church: thirteen regiments of infantry; two of cavalry; three batteries.
IV. General Irvin McDowell, from Falls Church to Munson's Hill: eleven regiments of infantry; one of cavalry; three batteries.
V. General Louis Blenker, from Munson's Hill to one mile south of Mason's Hill: eleven regiments of infantry; one regiment of mounted riflemen; two batteries.
VI. General Wm. B. Franklin, from Blenker's lines to Springfield: twelve regiments of infantry; one of cavalry; three batteries.
perceived the troops of Banks, Dix, Lander, Wool, &c., are not included, although each of these commands performed its part of the programme for pressing back the enemy. These figures only represent the strength of the divisions represented in the first grand review, Nov. 20th, in which seventy thousand splendidly equipped men participated. Not a day passed up to the 28th of January, 1862, that accessions were not made to the arms of all kinds above enumerated, until McClellan confronted the Confederate seventy thousan? in and around Manassas with twice seventy thousand of as superb soldiers as the world
A reference to the Summary, No. VI., will advise the reader of the several reconnoissances and advances made during November, December any January by McClellan's force. Slowly as his troops pressed outwardly, by the very weight of numbers, the Confederates withdrew
first from Munson's Hill, then from Vienna, then from Fairfax C. H. The advance from the northern wing of the army was, however, less marked. Up to Dec. 20th, when the heavy skirmish at Dranesville occurred, the division of McCall had not permanently ad
VII. General Sam'l P. Heintzelman, from Spring-vanced from the camp in front of the Falls. field to the Accotink and Alexandria road: seven regiments of infantry; one of cavalry; two batte
VIII. General Edwin V. Sumner, west bank of Potomac below Alexandria: twelve regiments of infantry; one of cavalry; three batteries.
IX. General Erasmus D. Keyes, at and around Springfield (on the Orange and Alexandria railroad): seven regiments of infantry; one of cavalry; two batteries.
That skirmish proved the enemy to be on the alert. Although the rebel force then engaged was but a foraging party under Stuart, from Centreville, the intervening fifteen miles of country was daily scouted by them, while beyond, in the "Valley of Virginia," their possession was almost undisputed. They cannonaded Dam No. 5 at their pleasure, and,
*See pages 342-43 for list of separate works con
Here were ninety-six regiments of infantry, stituting these defenses.
OCCUPATION OF THE EASTERN COUNTIES.
was one of those marked defects of the campaign which no good authority has yet ac
The "eastern counties"
Occupation of the
on the 20th, shelled it with great fury in
of Virginia, lying east of "Eastern Counties"
The forces above Williamsport were of Lander's command. This gallant officer was placed in charge of the "Department of Harper's Ferry and Cumberland," created by General Order 91, October 24th, with the design of covering working parties on the Baltimore and Ohio railroad between these points. His troops were composed of Maryland and Virginia volunteers-raw levies, but effective, for under his vigilant eye they soon became skilful soldiers. Protecting their own property they were doubly interested and so secured the line of that road around Cumberland as to render that point safe, though the general want of energy in crowding the enemy back from the line of the river, from Williamsport to Leesburg, really left Lander only a post occupation at Cumberland. The failure to occupy Leesburg, Harper's Ferry and the neck opposite Williamsport, in November,
"The military forces of the United States are about to enter your counties as a part of the Union. They
will go among you as friends, and with the earnest hope that they may not, by your own acts, be forced to become your enemies. They will invade no rights of person or property; on the contrary, your laws, your institutions, your usages will be scrupulously respected. There need be no fear that the quietude of any fireside will be disturbed, unless the disturbance is caused by yourselves. Special directions have been given not to interfere with the condition of any persons held to domestic service, and, in order that there may be no ground for mistake or pretext for misrepresentation, commanders of regiments and corps have been instructed not to permit any
such persons to come within their lines."
The most effective reassurance appeared to be in proclaiming that runaway negroes should be bayonetted back to their masters. As Henry A. Wise's plantation was thus pro tected in its "property" the "invasion," even to that arch enemy of the Republic, was not so serious a matter, after all. The malignant return made for such clemency [see Letcher's Message, Appendix, page 524,] placed the Federal authorities, viewed with reference to succeeding events, in a very absurd predica ment; but, that was the policy then prevailing, East and West; the status of the negro was not to be disturbed even though his bondage gave the greatest possible "aid and comfort to the enemy." There were nine thousand slaves in the two counties to a white population, before the rebellion, of about thirty-three thousand; but many of the whites were then in arms against the Union. Those remaining outwardly welcomed the advent of the Federal forces: covered by the ægis
Occupation of the "Fastern Counties."
of such a proclamation, | offices-State, county and municipal-by alleged what had they to complain authority from the Commonwealth of Virginia, in of or to fear? Lockwood disregard and violation of the declaration of the landed at Newtown, Maryland; then march-people of Virginia, represented in Convetion at the through to Horntown, then to Drummond- city of Wheeling, on Thursday, June 13, 1861, and
town, where the United States flag was found flying before the Court House. The militia, organized under Letcher's orders, voluntarily disbanded; every Confederate flag and symbol of rebellion disappeared, and the occupation proved a source of prosperity to the people. To the rebels it was a sore affliction, since they drew from those two counties immense supplies of cereals and forage. All
commerce with the western shore was suspended; the light-houses along the river were relit; the Courts and County offices were reopened; and, generally, affairs assumed a pleasant face. Lockwood, in his sub-proclamation, dated Drummondtown, Nov. 23d, authorised the "judges, magistrates, and other civil officers to continue in their several offices and perform all and every function of the same conformably to the Constitution of the United States, the law of Virginia, previous to the ordinance of secession,' except so far as modified or changed by any subsequent act of the Legislature sitting in Western Virginia, and the laws passed by said Legislature, sitting in Western Virginia, subsequent to the passage of said act of secession." The only additional requirement was for the office holders to take the oath of allegiance to the United States.
of the ordinances of said Convention, and of the acts of the General Assembly, held by authority of said Convention. It is therefore ordered, by direction of the President, that if any person shall hereafter attempt within the State of Virginia, under the alleged authority of said Commonwealth, to exercise any official powers of a civil nature, within the limits of any of the commands of the occupying forces of the United States, unless in pursuance of the declarations and ordinances of the Convention
assembled at Wheeling on the 13th day of June, 1861, and the acts of the General Assembly, held by authority of said Convention, such attempt shall be treated as an act of hostility against the United States, and such persons shall be taken into military custody. Commanding officers are directed to enforce this order within their respective commands. By command of
Major-General MCCLELLAN. "L. THOMAS, Adjutant-General."
It is to be regretted that partizan "politics" with its baleful breath for power, ere long came forward to create a new State of West
ern Virginia, whose limits only extended on
"New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the jurisdiction of any other State, nor any State be formed by the junction of two or more States--without the consent of the Legisla tures of the States concerned as well as of the Con. gress."
This acknowledgement, ment of the Western by the Federal officers, of Vriginia Government. the authority of the Western Virginia Legislature, was in furtherance of the Executive policy in the treatment of the case. It was a sound procedure, which only had to be adhered to, to cloak all of The wiser-nay, the shrewder-policy was Virginia with the vestment of loyalty when to recognize the Western Virginia Governthe State should all be redeemed. Generalment as the State Government de facto of Order 99, dated Nov. 14th, and issued from Virginia, as was done in the above orders. headquarters, made public the administrative The subdivision of the State is another of the policy adopted. It read: sins of commission for which the Federal Congress and President must answer.
"HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, ADJUTANT-GENERAL'S OFFICE, Nov. 14, 1861. "Complaint has been made to the President of the United States that certain persons within the State of Virginia, in places occupied by the forces of the United States, claim to be incumbents of civil
It is well here to look over the lines to see how the enemy regarded affairs, in a military sense, at the close of the year 1861. That they were both jubilant and depressed the
Rebel Views of "The Situation."
REBEL VIEWS OF "THE SITUATION."
Rebel Views of "The Situation."
tone of their journals prove | produce a total loss of con-jubilant over their mili- fidence in the Lincoln adtary successes but depress-ministration among its own ed at the formidable attitude of the Federal people; and that would most probably be Government and the failure of all their the real effect. Both the North itself, and schemes for a foreign recognition. Their more particularly the administration in powsuceesses were conceived to have been deci- er, are impelled to offer battle at this moment sive, east and west-were so avowed by Da- | by necessities which seem to us as imperative vis in his message of Nov. 18th, as well as by as irresistible. They must fight, and we are the press generally. There was complaint ready for the fray. The defiant cry of the at the want of greater success. Those oppos- whole South is, 'Lay on, Macduff.' If uted to the "defensive" policy adopted by Da- tered by an enemy this was prophetic. None vis, conceived it possible to have winter- so well as the rebels themselves knew the quartered their armies on Northern soil; and best policy to pursue for their "subjugation :" their organs, while accepting the general re- it would have been well to have profited by sults of victories won, still declared the past their apprehensions. Earlier than this the campaign but a comparative success. [See rebel chiefs considered the advance against the article quoted in Appendix, page 523.] Manassas as a failure; and though they preThere was no fear of McClellan's approach. pared to run, if such a necessity should arise The Richmond Dispatch of Dec. 23d, said: by McClellan's springing upon them some "It is the warm sun that brings out the ad- unlooked-for strategy or energy, they still der. The splendid season of dry weather regarded the Army of the Potomac as harmthat we have had for three weeks has hard- less, for the winter at least. The Richmond ened the earth, restored the roads, prepared Examiner of November 14th, reviewing their the way for a grand advance of the enemy successes, said: wherever he is in force. It is almost incredible that he will refuse to avail himself of the auspices which thus smooth his path. The untoward affair on Friday last at Dranesville, will probably inspire his soldiers with some confidence in themselves, and conspire with the excellent roads to invite an advance." The expectation of an advance against Manassas was as generally entertained in Richmond as in the Northern cities. The rebel Congress had prepared for such a contingency by resolving Nashville, Tennessee, as the future capital of the Confederacy; Government and State archives were put in order for immediate shipment to the interior-all in expectation of the march of the vast army around Washington upon Richmond. So certain were the Confederates of this advance that the press construed any further delay on the part of the Federals as an evidence of want of pluck, and of confidence in their cause. Said the Dispatch: "To refuse to fight under the influences now pressing upon it, would argue an imbecility in the North, its generals, and its armies, which could not fail to be interpreted most unfavorably against that section. Such a failure ought to
"In the Peninsula Magruder holds the enemy securely in check. In the single battle there fought the enemy was ignominiously routed. At Manassas our army has held its ground firmly, proudly and defiantly. It awaited with confidence the onset of the finest army that had been hitherto organized on this continent, and drove it back with a loss, not so much of numbers as of honor, that never will be forgotten. In its old stand point it defies the advance of the enemy. It is a standing menace and insult to the enemy. It is within twenty miles of his capital, and it means to stay there or to advance
-not to fall back. Meantime McClellan has let the best
period for an attack go by. We still believe he will assail General Johnston in this position, but we have no apprehension about the result."
The enemy thus indicated the "situation" in Virginia, where was gathered the mightiest army this continent is likely ever to behold; and if this freely confessed scorn of Federal pluck and sagacity now has the significance of historic truth, it is not the historian's place to suppress this evidence of their prescience for fear of injury to the memory of those wholly responsible for it. The people of the North writhed under this scorn of their army; but, what could the people do? The chief in command, having adopted the
Rebel Views of "The Situation."
injunction of the veteran, | announced by firing on the
Scott-to "permit no interference in his plans" was deaf to the public voice that besought him to strike! and, as the weary months waned, the dissatisfaction became so deep that the President himself was constrained to assume the authority delegated to him by the Constitution to compel an advance of his armies.
In viewing the fruits of that winter's lethargy the patriot's voice must ever be raised in condemnation—not in spite, but in righteous indignation; and, if any behold in it a deeply laid political plan to prolong the war for partisan purposes, they may be forgiven their evident misconstruction of causes from the magnitude of sad effects. The key to the want of success is, we conceive, to be found in the want of capacity to grapple the magnitude of the situation—a want of confidence in himself felt by the Commanding-General: his loyalty, his devotion to duty, his desire for success, we are sure are not to be questioned by any attentive student.
The Battle of Dranes
The "untoward affair at Dranesville," referred to by the Richmond Dispatch, we have already adverted to, as having occurred on Friday, December 20th. On the morning of that day, the brigade of McCall's division commanded by General O. C. Ord, was ordered out on a foraging and scouting expedition toward Dranesville, to the north of its position. The force detailed consisted of the Bucktail rifles, Lieutenant-Colonel Thos. L. Kane; Sixth Pennsylvania reserve corps, Lieutenant-Colonel W. M. Penrose; Ninth, Colonel C. F. Jackson; Tenth, Colonel John G. McCalmont; Twelfth, Colonel John H. Taggart; and Captain H. Easton's battery A, of the Thirteenth, and two squadrons cavalry, Lieutenant-Colonel Higgins. McCall, apprehending an attack, ordered the brigade of General Reynolds forward to Difficult Run, where it awaited orders under arms. With his staff and escort the Division-Commander followed in the track of General Ord, to be personally present in case of emergency.
Marching by the Leesburg pike, the Federal advance, Bucktail rifles, had entered Dranesville, where the enemy's presence was
The Battle of Dranesville.
left, up the Centreville road,
The discovery of each party proved simultaneous, and the disposition for battle at once took place. The rebels deployed to the right and left of the road in the thick woods-the Eleventh Virginia and Tenth Alabama on the right, the Sixth South Carolina and First Kentucky on the left. These were pushed forward to within three hundred yards of the Leesburg pike, to the edge of the clearing. The Kentuckians first showed themselves, when the fiery Bucktails advanced upon them, and after a sharp round at short distance pressed the enemy back. The Pennsylvania reserves, after an hour's skirmishing and sharpshooting, advanced to the attack. Easton's battery, in the meanwhile, had made sad work with the rebel battery, killing all its horses, exploding two caissons, destroying one limber and killing twelve artillerists. After the advance, the conflict was short and severe, ending in the enemy's retreat and pursuit. McCall coming up at the moment of victory, ordered the pursuit to be discontinued, fearing a flank movement from Centreville, where the enemy was in permanent force. That evening, the forage having been secured, McCall returned the whole force to his camp quarters near the Falls, taking advantage of which, the rebels again moved forward and occupied Dranesville.
The loss of the rebels in this affair never was made known. It was severe. Ninety dead and wounded were left on the field. Seven prisoners only were taken. The enemy fought with great obstinacy-the First Kentucky particularly so. It was opposed by Colonel Jackson's regiment, whose wounded exceeded