Aller en hautAller en bas


Vous êtes le Visiteurs
 
PortailPortail  AccueilAccueil  GalerieGalerie  FAQFAQ  S'enregistrerS'enregistrer  MembresMembres  GroupesGroupes  ConnexionConnexion  

Partagez | 
 

 IL Y A 150 ANS...........AVRIL 1862

Voir le sujet précédent Voir le sujet suivant Aller en bas 
Aller à la page : Précédent  1, 2
AuteurMessage
Censeur
Administrateurs
Administrateurs


Nombre de messages : 3908
Age : 58
Localisation : LYON
Points : 3103
Date d'inscription : 29/06/2006

MessageSujet: Re: IL Y A 150 ANS...........AVRIL 1862   Lun 14 Mai - 13:18

General McClellan and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
April 5, 1862 (Saturday)

The previous day had been a good one for George Briton McClellan, commander of the Union Army of the Potomac. The Rebels to his front gave up ground quickly as he advanced two columns up the Virginia Peninsula. Though a division had been withheld from him a few days ago, he quickly recovered, taking less than two days to get his entire army of 66,700 on the road.

As the dawn drove out the night, he must have felt a renewed optimism. He was certain that Confederate commander General John Magruder had left his back door open wide enough for one wing of the Army of the Potomac to slip around behind Yorktown, the Confederate stronghold. He was also certain that General McDowell’s First Corps, 10,000-strong, would be joining him in the next couple of days.1


But his day went from good to bad possibly even before he left his tent. General Erasmus Keyes, heading up the army’s left column, reported early, saying that the back door was blocked by a “large force with three guns in position and strong breastworks.” McClellan had expected Keyes to face little or no resistance, but it was now Keyes’ opinion “that we shall encounter very serious resistance.” There was no way that he was going to be able to best the Rebels with the force he had, so he called for reinforcements. Though they had done no fighting, his artillery was inexplicably low on ammunition. The same was true for the infantry. Also, he wanted some more artillery, and the roads were bad.

A little while later, Keyes checked in again with more bad news. All of his troops were at Warfield Court House and two escaped slaves confirmed that the Rebels were seriously entrenched. He gave further details about how bad the roads were and even delayed sending the message “in the hope that I might get some positive information, but I as yet have not succeeded.”2

To McClellan this was shocking news. He assumed that the roads would be clear of Rebels and would somehow be impervious to the foul weather. But these supernatural roads apparently would have been impassible, even if the Rebels hadn’t been there.3

By afternoon, Keyes was seeing the enemy everywhere and trying to figure out what it meant. First, he saw them filing out of their works and going down the Warwick River, which ran between the Rebels fortifications and Keyes’ men. Then, they were seen on the opposite side of the river. To Keyes it seemed that wherever he moved, there was the enemy. He told McClellan the next day that wherever the Rebels had shown themselves, “I have shown a force to confront him, and I think he must suppose that I have an immense army.” 4

Almost the opposite was true. General “Prince” John Magruder was well aware how many Federals were in his front and was doing all he could to make sure that the Yankees thought that it was he who had the immense army. For twenty-four hours, much of Magruder’s small force of 13,000 marched in circles, showing themselves to the Union forces as many times and in as many places as possible. Some units marched from the York River to the James River, the width of the Peninsula, six times.

But that was not all. Other regiments were hidden behind hills and would march by specific locations several times throughout the day, adding a more random, natural feel to the charade. When woods were too thick to be peered into by the Federals, drummer boys and buglers were ordered to beat and bleat while officers loudly shouted orders to nobody. Some regiments even fired to create the illusion of sporadic skirmishes up and down the line.5

This sneaky little ruse worked. Convinced that his 66,700 could not carry the Rebel fortifications, held by what he now believed to be many more than Magruder’s 13,000, his day was almost certainly ruined. Still, McClellan saw a small sliver of hope.

He didn’t expect to find Magruder’s force still stretched across the Peninsula. Probing for a weakness could expend more troops than he cared to lose. And so he prepared to lay siege to Yorktown, ordering up the siege train from Fortress Monroe. He was rightly confident that, given the time, the siege would be successful. The day had not gone as he had hoped, but all was not lost. Besides, he must have mused, General McDowell’s First Corps would be along any time now.

It was then that he received word that General McDowell’s First Corps wouldn’t be joining him on the Peninsula. McClellan was enraged. He could not believe that Lincoln would do such a thing. He wrote to his wife, telling her that this was “the most infamous thing that history has recorded.”6

The President had promised him that no further troops would be plucked from his army. “I beg that you will reconsider the order detaching the First Corps from my command,” he wrote Lincoln that night. But Lincoln would not reconsider.7


__________________

How Could They Not Know?


There had been signs. Increased skirmishing along the Union outposts near Pittsburg Landing should have been some indication. But sharp cavalry scraps and the calls for infantry reinforcements were not enough to convince Generals William Tecumseh Sherman and Ulysses S. Grant that the Confederates were heading towards them. In fact, Grant was still certain that they had not even left their camps around Corinth, twenty-five miles south.8

Though the march had been filled with pointless strife, somehow or another, over 44,000 Confederate troops under Generals Albert Sidney Johnston and P.G.T. Beauregard were arrayed before the Union troops by 4pm. That the Federal troops seemed not to suspect a thing was surprising.

What started as a discussion between Generals Beauregard and Braxton Bragg, devolved into a screaming match that dragged in several other generals, including Polk, Breckinridge, Gilmer and the army’s commander, General Johnston. The march had taken three days. There had been steady musket and artillery fire only the day before. Beauregard was convinced that the Federals were well aware of their presence and demanded that the army turn back to Corinth.

Johnston then took control of his army. They would attack the Yankees at Shiloh Church at dawn the next day.9




1.George B. McClellan; The Young Napoleon by Stephen W. Sears, Da Capo Press, 1988. [↩]
2.Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 11, Part 3, p69-70. [↩]
3.To the Gates of Richmond by Stephen W. Sears, Mariner Books, 1992. [↩]
4.Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 11, Part 3, p75. [↩]
5.To the Gates of Richmond by Stephen W. Sears, Mariner Books, 1992. [↩]
6.To the Gates of Richmond by Stephen W. Sears, Mariner Books, 1992. [↩]
7.Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 11, Part 3, p71. [↩]
8.Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 10, p95. [↩]
9.Army of the Heartland; The Army of Tennessee 1861-1862 by Thomas Lawrence Connelly, Louisiana State University, 1967. [↩]

Related posts:
General Fremont and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day; Mutiny and Death; The Cold War in Western Virginia
Lincoln Says Good-Bye to Scott; McClellan Takes Command
The Immaculate Recovery of General George B. McClellan
Rebels Prepare to Attack Grant; McClellan Loses His First Corps
McClellan’s First Good Day is Also His Last
Revenir en haut Aller en bas
Voir le profil de l'utilisateur http://14-virginia-cavalry.myrealboard.com
Censeur
Administrateurs
Administrateurs


Nombre de messages : 3908
Age : 58
Localisation : LYON
Points : 3103
Date d'inscription : 29/06/2006

MessageSujet: Re: IL Y A 150 ANS...........AVRIL 1862   Lun 14 Mai - 13:15

McClellan’s First Good Day is Also His Last
April 4, 1862 (Friday)

Though the Confederates in the Shenandoah Valley and south of Washington had fallen back, Lincoln was still apprehensive over covering the capital. The Rebels had fallen back to Fredericksburg, Orange Court House and Mount Jackson (in the Valley), but Washington wasn’t fully aware of how many were where. So worried and so in the dark were Lincoln and most of his Cabinet that he ordered the First Corps of the Army of the Potomac to remain in Washington, while the rest of the Army (sans Fifth Corps in the Valley) marched out from Fortress Monroe on the Virginia Peninsula.

The order was specific and condemning. “The President, deeming the force to be left in front of Washington insufficient to insure its safety,” wrote Adjutant-General Thomas to McClellan, “has directed that McDowell’s army corps should be detached from the forces operating under your immediate direction.”

While not an outright claim that McClellan had disobeyed the President’s order to ensure Washington’s security, it made it clear that he wasn’t happy with McClellan and that McDowell’s Corps was no longer under his (McClellan’s) “immediate direction.”

But perhaps “immediate direction” wasn’t sufficient. If McDowell wasn’t under McClellan’s immediate direction, did it then mean that McDowell would soon be released to once again fall under McClellan’s direction?

To answer this question, Lincoln and Secretary of War Edwin Stanton took it a step farther by carving out two new departments, focusing McClellan’s command to the Virginia Peninsula. First, the Department of the Shenandoah, comprised of the Shenandoah Valley, would be commanded by General Nathaniel Banks, retaining the Fifth Corps of the Army of the Potomac as an independent command. While McClellan wasn’t expecting to have Banks with him on the Peninsula, neither was he expecting to to lose him entirely.

Second, and most importantly, the Department of the Rappahannock was to be commanded by General Irvin McDowell. Not only was McDowell and his First Corps plucked away from McClellan, the Army of the Potomac and the Peninsula Campaign, it was now also an independent command covering the capital and the ground south.1

Meanwhile, General McClellan was busy readying his men to strike out towards Yorktown. Just thirty-six hours after he personally arrived at Fortress Monroe, his Army of the Potomac, now 66,700-strong, was on the move.

Opposing this Federal horde was the small Confederate Army of the Peninsula, under General “Prince” John Bankhead Magruder. Magruder was charged with stalling the largest army ever assembled on the continent with only 13,000 men.

On this day, everything seemed to be working well for General McClellan. He had not yet received the news that General McDowell would not be joining him and on the Peninsula, Magruder’s advance troops were giving up ground that he (McClellan) thought they would hotly contest. Confederate prisoners had related that Magruder had but 8,000 troops. McClellan’s own intelligence, usually bizarrely inaccurate, was as close as it would ever be to reality, giving the enemy figure at 15,000. Either way, McClellan was certain that he could do as he pleased in front of Yorktown.2


All of this great fortunate had bloomed from what seemed like a rocky start. When McClellan arrived at Fortress Monroe, his original plan was to have the Navy support his advance along the James and York Rivers, and finally help in the bombardment of Yorktown and the Rebel fort at Gloucester, across the river.

The Navy, however, was worried about the CSS Virginia, still at large, so could not commit to the joint Army-Navy plan that McClellan originally had in mind. But no matter, the focus of the plan was Yorktown. If the fort at Gloucester could be taken out, Yorktown would undoubtedly fall.3

Blissfully ignorant of the goings on in Washington, McClellan wired General McDowell and the division commanders of the First Corps of his plans to sack Gloucester. He fully expected to see McDowell himself either this evening or the next morning. As for the First Corps, McClellan wanted it to land up the York River from Gloucester cutting the town off from its line of supply.4

On the first day of campaigning, all seemed to be going very well for General McClellan.


__________________

Bad Roads, Bad Weather and Bad Marching Plague the Rebels Before Shiloh

Such good fortune did not extend to the Confederates trying to march upon General Grant at Pittsburg Landing, along the Tennessee River. Generals Johnston and Beauregard, commanding the Army of Mississippi, had wished to march on the 3rd and attack on the 4th. As early as the previous evening, it was clear that such a plan was unrealistic. Marching would have to continue on this date (the 4th) and an attack could be made on the 5th.

The problems of the previous day continued. General Bragg, commanding a corps, found the roads that he was to use to be impassible and so used the roads that General Hardee and his corps were to occupy. Hardee agreed to wait for Bragg, but somehow General Polk’s Corps got ahead of Bragg, which had to stop to let Bragg’s Corps march by.5

Somehow or another, the entire Confederate Army of Mississippi was where it was supposed to be by midnight. The various corps and divisions, being but eight miles from the Union position, were poised to attack the next morning.


Methodist Shiloh Meeting House, surrounded by Sherman's tents.
The soldiers, who would probably be back on the march before dawn, did what they could to rest as the dark heavens rained down upon them in torrents. They had few blankets, fewer tents and scant rations. They were muddy, soaked, freezing and hungry. If they could sleep at all, they’d have to get up and do it all over again the next day.6

Union General Grant, at his headquarters in Savannah, ten miles north of Pittsburg Landing, seemed to suspect little. True, there was word of a Confederate advance possibly trying to get around the position at Pittsburg Landing to attack the relatively light troops across the river from Savannah, but Grant paid it little mind. Just to be safe, he ordered additional troops to that location. In a message to General Sherman, commanding at Pittsburg Landing, Grant revealed that he “looked for nothing of the kind” when it came to a Confederate attack. Still, he cautioned Sherman to be on the look out.

In fact, Grant had no idea that Johnston and Beauregard had left their base at Corinth, twenty-five miles to the south.7




1.Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 11, Part 3, p66; 67-68. [↩]
2.To the Gates of Richmond by Stephen W. Sears, Mariner Books, 1992. [↩]
3.The Peninsula Campaign of 1862; A Military Analysis by Kevin Dougherty, University Press of Missouri, 2005. [↩]
4.Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 11, Part 3, p68. [↩]
5.Army of the Heartland; The Army of Tennessee 1861-1862 by Thomas Lawrence Connelly, Louisiana State University, 1967. [↩]
6.Shiloh and the Western Campaign of 1862 by O Edward Cunningham, Savas Beatie, 2007. [↩]
7.Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 10, p91; 93. [↩]

Related posts:
Lincoln Says Good-Bye to Scott; McClellan Takes Command
Turner Ashby Takes the Yankees for a Ride; Grant Consolidates
Lincoln Bows to Political Pressure, Depletes Mac’s Army
George B. McClellan’s Fuzzy Math and Opportune Egress
Rebels Prepare to Attack Grant; McClellan Loses His First Corps
Revenir en haut Aller en bas
Voir le profil de l'utilisateur http://14-virginia-cavalry.myrealboard.com
Censeur
Administrateurs
Administrateurs


Nombre de messages : 3908
Age : 58
Localisation : LYON
Points : 3103
Date d'inscription : 29/06/2006

MessageSujet: Re: IL Y A 150 ANS...........AVRIL 1862   Lun 14 Mai - 13:13

Rebels Prepare to Attack Grant; McClellan Loses His First Corps
April 3, 1862 (Thursday)

“There is no need of haste,” wrote General Ulysses S. Grant to the vanguard of his reinforcements, “come on by easy marches.” The Union armies of Generals Grant and Buell were about to unite after weeks of waiting. Grant and his command occupied Pittsburg Landing, along the Tennessee River, while Buell’s forces were on the march from Columbia, a distance of nearly 100 miles.

Grant had addressed this dispatch to the “Officer in Command of the Advance of Buell’s Army.” That officer was General William Nelson, commanding a division two days’ out from Savannah, where he expected to meet Grant.1 Nelson had been hurrying his men night and day since crossing the Duck River at Columbia. This dispatch from Grant must have seemed otherworldly. If there was no need for haste, why had he rushed at all?

It was strange for Grant to even write such a thing. Just four days prior, he had written his wife that “a big fight may be looked for some place before a great while which it appears to me will be the last in the West.”2


The Confederate Army of Mississippi, commanded by Generals Albert Sidney Johnston and P.G.T. Beauregard, by this time, was fully consolidated. Johnston had retreated from Nashville, while Beauregard, along with General Braxton Bragg, readied their troops in and around Corinth, Mississippi, twenty-five miles up the Tennessee River from Grant at Pittsburg Landing.

Before dawn on this date, Beauregard received a telegram from an advance division in Bethel. When he read it, he learned two things. First, Grant had apparently divided his forces and was planning on striking towards Memphis. Second, Buell’s army was quickly coming to reinforce him. Passing the message along to Johnston, he added “Now is the moment to advance and strike the enemy at Pittsburg Landing.”3

Beauregard did not accompany the message, and when Johnston read it, he was unsure what to do, so he took it to General Bragg to get his opinion. Bragg agreed with Beauregard, if Grant was divided and if Buell was not yet up, now was indeed time to attack. Waiting even a day might bring less than glorious results. At first, Johnston disagreed, believing the Army of Mississippi unready to engage the foe. With some coaxing, however, he caved. By 1:30am (that is, technically, on the 3rd), orders went out to the various corps commanders.4


For clarification, around 10am, Johnston and Beauregard called the corps commanders together and divulged the entire plan. The 40,000 troops were supposed to be on the move by noon. First, General Hardee’s Corps was to march along Ridge Road, north to a farm owned by the Michie Family, where they would camp for the night. General Bragg was to take his corps along a different road, also arriving at Michie’s by nightfall. Polk, whose corps was divided, was to follow an hour after Hardee with one division, allowing the other division (at Bethel) to meet them on the field of battle.

The Union position at Pittsburg Landing was eight or so miles away from Michie’s, so, if all went according to plan, they would fall upon Grant in the evening of the 4th. Things, however, did not go according to plan.5

Getting through Corinth was a nightmare, its streets clogged with wagons and troops trying to find their commands. Beauregard blamed General Polk, whose troops were sitting in front of Hardee’s, but Polk blamed Hardee, who was supposed to move first. To make matters worse, both Beauregard and Johnston had different ideas on the plan of attack. Johnston wanted to line the corps up, three abreast, while Beauregard wanted to stack two corps up, one behind the other, with another corps on the left and a division of reserves on the right. Later, President Davis would accuse Beauregard of changing Johnston’s plans. For now, however, due to the delay, Beauregard pushed everything back by twenty-four hours.6

__________________

Lincoln Finds No Need for McClellan’s Mathematical Fuzziness, Keeps a Corps for his Own

President Lincoln had added up General McClellan’s fuzzy math, which left less than 30,000 troops in the vicinity of Washington (and Manassas), even though he (McClellan) assured him that there were over twice that number.

Most of McClellan’s Army of the Potomac was already in the vicinity of Fortress Monroe on the Virginia Peninsula. Still in the Washington area were General Irvin McDowell’s First Corps and General Edwin Sumner’s Second Corps. Before leaving Washington, McClellan had ordered Sumner’s Corps to leave first and for McDowell’s not to leave the capital until the rest of the army was before Richmond.

Lincoln’s main fear was that without the Army of the Potomac at its gates, Washington could easily fall to a Rebel attack. McDowell assured Lincoln that he and his corps would still be around until it was certain that the Confederates had pulled back all the way to Richmond.

When McDowell called his division commanders together, informing them that they would pull out of Washington around the 8th or the 9th. Pulling longtime confidant, General William Franklin, aside, he revealed that he suspected Lincoln was about to make some big changes to McClellan’s plans.

Secretary of War Edwin Stanton wished to speak to McDowell, which probably tipped off the latter that something was up. When he finally met with him, it was clear that Lincoln wasn’t the only one worried about Washington.


General James Wadsworth, in command of the garrison troops about the city, had complained about McClellan’s fuzzy math. Other officers even stated that McClellan had disobeyed Presidential orders by not leaving Washington secure.7 Disregarding the logic that if the Rebel army was protecting Richmond, it couldn’t possibly attack Washington, Lincoln charged Secretary Stanton with picking either McDowell’s First Corps or Sumner’s Second Corps to be plucked from the Army of the Potomac and stationed near Washington.8

Stanton selected McDowell’s Corps. The specific orders, and perhaps a few changes here and there, would be made out the following day.




1.A Narrative of Military Service by William Babcock Hazen, 1885. [↩]
2.Shiloh and the Western Campaign of 1862 by O. Edward Cunningham, Savas Beatie, 2007. [↩]
3.P.G.T. Beauregard; Napoleon in Gray by T. Harry Williams, Louisiana State University, 1955. [↩]
4.Army of the Heartland; The Army of Tennessee 1861-1862 by Thomas Lawrence Connelly, Louisiana State University, 1967. [↩]
5.The Army of Tennessee by Stanley F. Horn, University of Oklahoma Press, 1941. [↩]
6.P.G.T. Beauregard; Napoleon in Gray by T. Harry Williams, Louisiana State University, 1955. [↩]
7.Army of the Potomac; McClellan’s First Campaign by Russel Beatie, Savas Beatie, 2007. [↩]
8.Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, Volume 5. p179. [↩]

Related posts:
Rebels in Missouri Decide to Attack; Rebels in Western Virginia Think Twice
Running Out Of Time, Halleck Orders Grant to Take Fort Henry
Henry Halleck and His Growing German Problem; Grant Steps Off
McClellan Finally Submits an Official Plan, Counters Lincoln
Turner Ashby Takes the Yankees for a Ride; Grant Consolidates
Revenir en haut Aller en bas
Voir le profil de l'utilisateur http://14-virginia-cavalry.myrealboard.com
Censeur
Administrateurs
Administrateurs


Nombre de messages : 3908
Age : 58
Localisation : LYON
Points : 3103
Date d'inscription : 29/06/2006

MessageSujet: Re: IL Y A 150 ANS...........AVRIL 1862   Lun 14 Mai - 13:08

Stonewall Jackson Rounds Up Pacisfists and Unionists
April 2, 1862 (Wednesday)


General Stonewall Jackson was rebuilding his army near Rude’s Hill, just north of New Market, in the Shenandoah Valley. Through this rebuilding, he received an influx of new conscripts, drafted into the Virginia militia and filtered into his Confederate army.

Many of these boys had no desire to fight and so Jackson had a slight mutiny on his hands. The conscription of Virginia men brought into Jackson’s family a wide variety of individuals. Mennonites, Quakers and adherents to other pacifistic religious orders were among them. A few days before the Battle of Kernstown, they had flatly refused to fight. Jackson solved this problem by making those adverse to killing their fellow man teamsters, cooks and laborers.


During this time after the battle, another group (or possibly a similar group) flatly refused to answer Jackson’s call. These men came from Rockingham County in the Upper Valley. Rather than fighting, they decided to go into hiding, taking off towards the remoteness of Swift Run Gap.1

This is where the story becomes fuzzy. Some historians, like James I. Robertson, claim that it was merely sixty mutineers. Others, like Peter Cozzens, in his book Shenandoah 1862, claim it to be 200. Cozzens also states that it was an “armed resistance.” Not only was it armed, but they supposedly put a levy on neighboring farms. These men apparently opposed the draft due to their Unionist views.


However, Jonas Smucker Hartzler, author of the 1905 book Mennonite Church History, seems to offer a different take (and perhaps an entirely different story). Hartzler relates that a group of seventy Mennonite men from Rockingham County gathered together with plans to cross the mountains into West Virginia [then western Virginia] and Ohio. There, they hoped to wait out the war and return to their homes after it was over.

Hartzler records that these seventy men were captured near Petersburg, [West Virginia] and taken to Staunton and then to Richmond, where they were confined in Libby Prison. Two were able to make their escape and fled back to the Valley to tell their story.2


It’s completely possible that Hartzler is talking about a different group of dissenters. His seventy Mennonites were captured at Petersburg, which is northwest of Swift Run Gap, where the participants in the “Rockbridge Rebellion” were reportedly captured.

There was also a smaller group of pacifists, numbering eighteen, who were captured in Moorefield, ten miles north of Petersburg. They were taken first to Mount Jackson and put to work as laborers. Finally, they marched them to Harrisonburg, the Rockingham County seat, and jailed them at the courthouse.

The book The Olive Branch of Peace and Good Will to Men by S. F. Sanger and D. Hays, published in 1907, tells the stories of both Mennonite parties using recollections of those who were captured.3


__________________

The Tale of Gillespie, Who Adored Jackson as Well as the Union

Jackson dispatched several companies to sniff out as many as 500 Unionists and pacifists, who had no desire to fight, most taking refuge in the mountains. Similar actions seemed to happen throughout the army’s time at Rude’s Hill.4



In many of the tales, histories, and accounts of the roundups, the name “Gillespie” crops up again and again. This man, who seemed to be everywhere and only go by one name, was the supposed leader of the deserters.

Gillespie was actually Captain William Henry Gillespie, of Jackson’s staff. He had just graduated the Virginia Military Institute and was a favorite of his instructor, Major Jackson (later to become Stonewall Jackson). When Jackson and his army were headquartered in Winchester, Jackson called upon William, who had not yet joined the war effort. William’s father, Dr. James Lee Gillespie, was a Unionist and so it’s probable that his seventeen year old son was as well. When William reported to Jackson, he was told that he would be commissioned a lieutenant of engineers.

As time went by, as the army retreated from Winchester, advanced upon Kernstown and retreated again, the commission never came through. William inquired time and again, and finally, when they reached Rude’s Hill, Jackson, probably tired of the boy asking the same question over and over, said that it was being withheld due to his father’s Unionist leanings.

By this time, Dr. Gillespie had been arrested for being a Unionist, been released and then arrested again and was currently held in Orange Court House, from which he would soon escape into Union lines. Later, President Lincoln would personally request that the doctor, William’s father, be taken to his home in the Shenandoah Valley and protected.

The way that William describes it, he simply went home and, being the good son, listened to his mother, who told him to “hide at home until the Union troops could occupy the Valley.” After his desertion, his commission to lieutenancy finally came through.5

Though Gillespie claimed after the war that he just went home, another soldier, Harry Gilmor, of Turner Ashby’s Cavalry, wrote just a year after the war (from notes taken in 1862) that the deserters were headed by “a man named Gillespie.” They were “armed with shotguns and squirrel rifles.” Gilmor’s company pursued Gillespie’s band, who fled to the mountains where the cavalry could not go, and took pot shots at the cavaliers until they left.

Unable to capture them, the cavalry returned to General Jackson, who then dispatched Lt. Col. John R. Jones of the 33rd Virginia, to capture whichever group made up the mutiny. Being from Rockingham County, Jones knew the area quite well. He took with him four companies of sharpshooters and two pieces of artillery.6

“The deserters had mortified in the Blue Ridge,” related an elderly woman living nearby, “but that General Jackson sent a foot company and a critter company to ramshag the Blue Ridge and capture them.”

And ramshagged they were. Unable to coax them out with infantry or cavalry (the apparent “critters”), Lt. Col. Jones ordered the woods to be shelled with artillery. This “greatly increased the panic among the simple mountaineers.” Unable to further resist, many surrendered immediately.7

William Gillespie, called by Jackson’s topographer, Jedediah Hotchkiss, “a tigrous looking fellow,” evaded capture for another two weeks.8




1.Stonewall Jackson by James I. Robertson, MacMillan Press, 1997. [↩]
2.Mennonite Church History by Jonas Smucker Hartzler, 1905. [↩]
3.If you are interested, the book is fully titled: The Olive Branch of Peace and Good Will to Men; Anti-War History of the Brethren and Mennonites, the Peace People of the South, During the Civil War, 1861-1865. This obscure little tome can be found online, here. The recollections of these two groups begin on page 61. [↩]
4.Greene County, Virginia: A Brief History by Donald D. Covey, History Press, 2007. [↩]
5.The Military History of the Virginia Military Institute from 1839 to 1865 by Jennings Cropper Wise, J. P. Bell, 1915. This is Gillespie’s entry in the VMI Roster Database. Also, you can read a bit more about William’s father here. [↩]
6.Four Years in the Saddle by Harry Gilmor, Harper & Bros., 1866. [↩]
7.Four Years in the Stonewall Brigade by John Overton Casler, 1906. [↩]
8.Make Me a Map of the Valley by Jedediah Hotchkiss, edited by Archie P. MacDonald, Southern Methodist University Press, 1973. [↩]

Related posts:
Stonewall Jackson Grasps at Straws While Lander Oversteps His Command
Stonewall Jackson Resigns! Lincoln Borrows the Army for a Little While
Fort Henry Falls to the US Navy; Stonewall Jackson Un-Resigns
Stonewall Jackson and the Mennonites Who Could Not Be Made to Aim
Stonewall Jackson and the Confederate Draft
Revenir en haut Aller en bas
Voir le profil de l'utilisateur http://14-virginia-cavalry.myrealboard.com
Censeur
Administrateurs
Administrateurs


Nombre de messages : 3908
Age : 58
Localisation : LYON
Points : 3103
Date d'inscription : 29/06/2006

MessageSujet: IL Y A 150 ANS...........AVRIL 1862   Lun 14 Mai - 13:04

George B. McClellan’s Fuzzy Math and Opportune Egress
April 1, 1862 (Tuesday – All Fool’s Day)


George McClellan looking hard for those extra troops.
Washington was growing too hot for General George McClellan. The War Department were still meddling and just the previous day, Lincoln had bowed to political pressures and reduced McClellan’s Army of the Potomac by transferring General Blenker’s entire division, roughly 10,000 men, to Western Virginia. McClellan was determined to join the bulk of his army, gathered at Fortress Monroe, on the tip of the Virginia Peninsula.

Prior to leaving, he had one job to do. When Lincoln gave McClellan permission to haul his entire army to the Peninsula, he did so with the stipulation that Washington be left “secure.” McClellan had to inform the War Department exactly how many men he had left in and around the capital for its defense.

This he quickly did and then quickly boarded the Commodore before he could be asked the details of his memorandum, even before the memorandum was received at the War Department. To his wife, he wrote that he was “very glad to get away from that sink iniquity.”1

Earlier, McClellan had told Secretary of War Stanton that there would be around 50,000 troops left in Washington. This wasn’t quite true.

In the dispatch he wrote before leaving, he stated that he left behind 55,500 men from his Army of the Potomac, which, when combined with the 18,000 of the regular Washington garrison, would give the capital a total 73,500 troops. This figure should have been more than enough to satisfy Lincoln and Stanton.


The figures, however, didn’t match reality. McClellan assured the President that there were 11,000 left at Manassas, 7,800 at Warrenton, 35,000 in the Shenandoah Valley , 1,400 on the lower Potomac and 22,000 in the forts around Washington.

To make these figures work, McClellan issued several orders, sending troops to places like Manassas, which was scarcely defended when he left on the Commodore. Here’s where the math got interesting. McClellan ordered 4,000 troops from Washington’s 22,000 to go to Manassas. And though the new figure at Washington was now 18,000, he still counted it at 22,000. The 4,000 en route to Manassas were counted as being at Manassas and were thus counted twice.

The 4,000 from Washington still didn’t match his total of 11,000 for Manassas, so he called upon 6,000 from Maryland and Pennsylvania. These troops, however, were still forming. To bring the number in Washington back to 22,000, he called up 4,000 from New York. But this summons was only a recommendation, and not an order.

To make mathematics even worse, McClellan counted the 7,800 at Warrenton twice. Once under the Warrenton column, and once under Manassas. He also counted Blenker’s division as part of the Shenandoah troops under General Banks.2 This was only temporarily true, as Stanton gave McClellan permission to place Blenker anywhere he saw fit, but only for as long as his (McClellan’s) “dispositions will permit.”3


Around 11pm, as the rain fell in the darkness, the 100 men boarded five lifeboats and rowed with muffled oars across the Mississippi to the Confederate island. They would have been completely undetected by the Confederate pickets had a bolt of lightening not illuminated their presence. As they splashed through eighteen inches of water, the sentinels fired and retreated back into the island.

These were all the Confederates Roberts’ raiding party encountered. Quick as the lightening, they were on land, up over the parapets and spiking the guns, driving metal rods into the firing vents, disabling the artillery.

In thirty minutes, Roberts’ troops spiked six guns. They were back on land just as the storm came to ferocious life. Before dawn, a tornado twisted through the town of New Madrid and cut a swath along the river. It hit both the Confederate and Union camps, killing and wounding several.6




1.To The Gates of Richmond by Stephen W. Sears, Mariner Books, 1992. [↩]
If McClellan practiced honest mathematics, and discounted Blenker and the second counting of the Warrenton troops, it would leave Washington with the figure that he originally gave to Stanton: 50,000. This figure, too, is potentially misleading. When Lincoln told McClellan to “leave Washington secure,” what was meant? If by “Washington” Lincoln inferred Baltimore, Washington, Manassas and the entire Shenandoah Valley, then McClellan did little more than bomb a fairly important arithmetic exam. If, on the other hand, by “Washington” Lincoln meant Washington (and Manassas, which he specifically mentioned), McClellan was padding is figures.

Discounting Baltimore and the Shenandoah Valley, McClellan left but 22,000 in Washington and 7,800 in the Manassas area. This figure of less than 30,000 is a far cry from the total of 73,500 he tossed around in the report he filed right before boarding the Commodore. It was an even farther cry from the figure he gave in his memoirs after the war. “The administration actually retained about 134,000 for the defence of Washington,” wrote McClellan nearly a quarter century after the campaign, “leaving me but 85,000 for operations.”4 In reality, and by his own report of April 13, McClellan had nearly 110,000 fit for battle.5


__________________

Foote Plays a Dirty Trick on the Rebels at Island No. 10

Union Flag Officer Andrew Foote had determined to steam his gunships past the heavily-defended Island No. 10 during next foggy or stormy night. However, he was incredibly uncomfortable with this idea since it would most certainly be deadly for his fleet. The night of April 1 would prove to be stormy, but even before the tempest blew in, Foote had made arrangements for a sly bit of All Fool’s Day trickery of his own.


He had decided to raid the island under the cover of darkness, and hoped to take out a few guns, giving his fleet an advantage. He selected fifty infantrymen from the 42nd Indiana and fifty sailors to make the raid. Col. George W. Roberts of the 42nd would lead them.

2.Mostly, I used the concise The Peninsula Campaign of 1862; A Military Analysis by Kevin Dougherty with J. Michael Moore, University Press of Mississippi, 2005. Also, Beatie’s Army of the Potomac; McClellan’s First Campaign was used, but the way he arranges his figures is not incredibly understandable. However, Beatie tells the story behind the figures very well and his chapter “The Safety of Washington” is well worth the read. [↩]
3.Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 5, p62. [↩]
4.McClellan’s Own Story by George B. McClellan, C.L. Webster, 1887. [↩]
5.Abraham Lincoln: A History by John George Nicolay and John Hay, 1914. [↩]
6.Island No. 10 by Larry J. Daniel and Lynn N. Bock, Alabama University Press, 1996. [↩]

Related posts:
George McClellan Goes National; Scott’s Anaconda Plan; More Troops
The Immaculate Recovery of General George B. McClellan
McClellan Finally Submits an Official Plan, Counters Lincoln
Union Navy Begins Fruitless Bombardment of Island No. 10
Confederates Gather at Corinth as Federals Struggle Along
Revenir en haut Aller en bas
Voir le profil de l'utilisateur http://14-virginia-cavalry.myrealboard.com
Contenu sponsorisé




MessageSujet: Re: IL Y A 150 ANS...........AVRIL 1862   Aujourd'hui à 15:19

Revenir en haut Aller en bas
 
IL Y A 150 ANS...........AVRIL 1862
Voir le sujet précédent Voir le sujet suivant Revenir en haut 
Page 2 sur 2Aller à la page : Précédent  1, 2
 Sujets similaires
-
» Le 20 avril 1792
» En 1990, le 1er avril à 01 h 05 heure locale, Ramillies
» sortie théâtre à Paris en avril : des idées ?
» 29 avril : Sainte Catherine de Sienne
» 19 avril : Fête de la Miséricorde Divine

Permission de ce forum:Vous ne pouvez pas répondre aux sujets dans ce forum
 :: CIVIL WAR DAILY GAZETTE : Relais français-
Sauter vers: