xt759z908r39 https://nyx.uky.edu/dips/xt759z908r39/data/mets.xml Military Historical Society of Massachusetts. 1881  books b92-264-31852156 English J.R. Osgood, : Boston : Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Peninsular Campaign, 1862. McClellan, George Brinton, 1826-1885. Peninsular campaign of General McClellan in 1862  / papers read before the Military Historical Society of Massachusetts in 1876, 1877, 1878, and 1880 ; printed by the Society. text Peninsular campaign of General McClellan in 1862  / papers read before the Military Historical Society of Massachusetts in 1876, 1877, 1878, and 1880 ; printed by the Society. 1881 2002 true xt759z908r39 section xt759z908r39 



THE



PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN

                OF


    GENERAL McCLELLAN

                 IN


              I862



PAPERS READ BEFORE THE MILITARY HISTORICAL
     SOCIETY OF MASSACHUSETTS. IN
         i876, i877, 1878, AND i88o



       PRINTED BY THE SOCIETY




             VOLUME I.




             BOSTON
     JAMES R. OSGOOD AND COMPANY
               i88i

 





























  COPYRIGHT, 1881,

BY JOHN C. ROPES.



Stereotyhed and Printed by Rand, Avery, &   Co.,
               liosion, Mass.

 


PREFACE.



T  HE following papers, all of which relate to the Penin-
    sular Campaign of Gen. McClellan in 1862, were
prepared for the Military Historical Society of AMassa-
chusetts, and have been read at its meetings.
  This Society was formed in January, 1876. Its chief
object is the investigation of questions relating to the late
War of the Rebellion. Papers (or reports) are prepared
by committees appointed to investigate given questions,
and are read before the Society; after which they may be-
come the subject of discussion and of criticism.
  The papers thus furnished are, of course, written from
different standpoints; and it is hardly necessary to say
that no one but the writer is responsible for the state-
ments in his own productions.
  Besides the present volume, the Society hopes to pub-
lish soon a series of papers on the Campaign of Gen. Pope
in Virginia in 1862.
  Of the other papers prepared for the Society, a few
have already been, or soon will be, published, or privately
printed.
                                              iii

 


PREFACE.



  The work of the late Commodore Foxhall A. Parker,
on the Battle - of Mobile Bay, was originally, as his
preface states, read before this Society on Dec. 10, 1877.
  A paper read before the Society by Col. Benjamin
WV. Crowninshield, on the Battle of Cedar Creek, was
privately printed in 1879.
  A paper read before the Society on Oct. 8, 1877, by
Joliii C. Ropes, Esq., oil the Campaign of Waterloo, will
appear in the Atlantic MIonthly in June of the present
year.
  And the forthconing work of Col. Theodore A. Dodge,
oin the Campaign of Chancellorsville, consists of papers
which were read before the Society in 1880 and 1881.
  A list of the members of the Society, and of the papers
which have been prepared for it and read at its meetings,
is added.
                         JOHN C. ROPES.
                         THEODORE LYMAN.
                         FRANCIS WV. PALFREY.
                                      Executive Committee.
BOSTON, April 11, 1881.



WV

 




       OFFICERS.






           PRESIDENT.

BVT. MAJOB-GEN. GEORGE H. GORDON.



           SECRETARY.

  BVT. CAPT. EDWARD B. ROBINS.
      POST-OFFICE Box 2&55, BOSTON.



      EXECUTIVE CO-nFlT TEE.

JOHN C. ROPES, ESQ.
COL. THEODORE LYMAN.
BVT. BRIG.-GEN. FRANCIS W. PALFREY.

 This page in the original text is blank.

 



                     M E M B E RS.




Lieut. C. W. AMoRY,
       Late Second Massachusetts Cavalry.

Bvt. Capt. NATHAN APPLETON, U.S.V.,
       Late Second Lieutenant, Fifth Massachusetts Battery.

Bvt. Major-Gexn. WILLIAM F. BARTLETT,' U.S.V.,
       Late Brigadier-General, U.S. V.

Major HENRY P. BOWDITCII,
       Late Fifth Massachusetts Cavalry.

Bvt. Col. BENJAMIN W. CROWNINSHIELD, U.S.X.,
       Late Major, First 3assachusetts Cavalry.

Bvt. Brig. -Gen. CASPA  CHOWNINSHIELD, U.S.V.,
       Late Colonel, Second Massachusetts Cavalry.

Bvt. Brig.-Gen. GREELY S. CURTIS, U.S.V.,
       Late Lieutenant-Colonel, Frst Massachusetts Cavalry.

Bvt. Major-Gell. CHARLES DEVENS, U.S.V.,
       Late Brigadier-General, U.S. V.

BVt. Col. THEODORE A. DODGE, U.S.V.,
       Captain, U.S.A., Retired; Brevet Lieutenant Colonel, U.S.A.

Dvt. Lieut.-Col. WILLIAm R. DRIVER, U.S.V.,
       Late Major and A. A. G., U.S. V.

                      Deceased Dec. 17,1876.
                                                 il

 

viii                     MEMBERS.


Bvt. Col. THOMAS F. EDMANDS, U.S.V.,
       Late Lieutenant-Colonel, Twenty-fourth .lfassachusetts Infantry.

Ass' t. Paymaster CHARLES FAIRCHILD,
       Late U.S.N.

Bvt. Col. CHARLES W. FOLSOM, U.S.V.,
       Late Captain and A. Q. Jr., US. V.

Brt. Major-Gen. GEORGE H. GORDON, U.S.V.,
       Late Brigadier-General, U.S. V.

Major JoHns C. GRAY,
       Late Judge-Advocate, U. S. V.

Lieut.-Col. FRANKLIN HAVEN, Jun.,
       Late Second California Cavalry.

Capt. FRAN-CIS L. HIGGINSON,
       Late Fifth Massachusetts Cavalry.

Bvt. Lieut.-Col. HENRY L. HIGGINSON, U.S.V.,
       Late Major, First Massachusetts Cavalry.

Ass' t-Surgeon JOHN HROMANS,
       Late U.S.N. and U.S.A.

Bvt. Lieut.-Col. CHARLES P. HORTON, U.S.V.,
       Late Captain and A. D. C., U.S. V.

Capt. JoiN LATIHROP,
       Late Thirty-fifth Massachusetts Infantry.

Co]. THOMIAS L. LIVERMORE,
       Late Eighteenth New Hampshire Infantry.

Lieut.-CoI. GEORGE H. LYMAN,
       Medical Inspector, U.S.A.

Col. THiEODORE LYMAN,
       Late Volunteer A. D. C. to M21ajor-Gen. George G. Meade.



Bvt. Col. AUGUSTUS P. MARTIN, U.S.V.,
      Late Captain, Third Massachusetts Battery.

 

MEMBERS.



Bvt. Major HERBERT C. MASON, U.S.V.,
       Late Captain, Twentieth Massachusetts Infantry.

Capt. RICHARD S. MILTON,
       Late Ninth Massachusetts Battery.

Bvt. Brig.-Gen. FRANCiS A. OsnoRN, U.S.V.,
       Late Colonel, Twenty-foutr th Massachusetts Infantry.

Bvt. Brig.-Geni. FRANCIS WV. PALFREY, u.S.V.,
       Late Colonel, Twventieth Massachusetts Infantry.

Bvt. Brig.-Gen. JoaN C. PALFREY, U.S.A.,
       Late Captain, Corps o( Engineers, U.S.A. ; Chief Engineer,
         Thirteenth Army Corps.

BVt. Brig.-Gen. CHARLES L. PEIRSON, U.S.V.,
       Late Lieutenant-Colonel, Thirty-ninth Massachusetts Infantry.

Capt. WILLIAM E. PERKIN.S,'
       Late Second Ml assachusetts Infantry.

Capt. CHARLES H. PORTER,
       Late Thirty-ninth Massachusetts Infantry.

Bvt. Brig.-Gen. SAM1UEL A. PORTER,2 U.S.V.,
       Captain U.S.A., Retired. Brt. Major, U.S.A.

Bvt. Brig.-Gen. SAMtUEL 31. Qui-Ncy, U.S.V.,
       Late Colonel, Seconjd Massachusetts Infantry.

Bvt. Capt. EDWAr.D B. RworiN-s, U.S.V.,
       Late First Lieutenant, Twentieth Massachusetts Infantry.

Bvt. Brig.-Gen. ALFRED P. ROCKWELL, U.S.V.,
       Late Colonel, Sixth Connecticut Infantry.

JOHN C. ROPES, Esq.

Lieut. AN-DREW 11. RUSSELL,
       Ordnance Corps, U.S.A.



2 Deceased April 21, 1850.



1X



I Deceased Jan. 18, 1879.

 


x



3MEMUBER S.



Bvt. Brig.-Gen. HENRY S. RUSSELL, U.S.V.,
       Late Colonel, Fifth Massachusetts Cavalry.

Bvt. Major WILLIAM P. SHREVE, U.S.V.,
       Late Fir.t Lieutenant. Second Sharpshooters, IJ.S. F.

Bvt. Lieut.-Col. J. LEVwS STACKPOLE, U.S.V.,
       Late Mfajor, U. S. V., Judge A drocate.

Bvt. Bri.-Gen. ROBERT H. STEVEENSON', U.S.V.,
       Late Colonel, Twenty-fourth M1assachusetts Infantry.

Bvt. Capt. HOWARD STOCKTON, U.S.A.,
       Late First Lieutenant, Ordnance Corps, U.S.A.; Captain and
         A. A. D. C., U.S.V.

Bv'. Lieut.-Col. WILLIA1 WV. SWAN, U.S.A.,
       Late Captain, Seventeenth Infantry, U.S.A.

Capt. GEORGE A. THAYER,
       Late Second Mlassachusetts Infantry.

Bvt. Brig.-Gen. CHARLES F. WALCOTT, U.S.V.,
       Late Colonel, Sixty-first ilassachusetts Infantry.

Brev. Brig.-Gen. STEPHEN 31. WELD, U.S.V.,
       Late Colonel, Fifty-sixth M1assachusetts Infantry.

Bvt. Brig.-Gen. CHARLES A. WHITTIER, U.S.V.,
       Late Lieutenant-Colonel and A. A. G., U.S. V.; Captain, Nine-
         teenth Infantry, U.S.A.

Major-Gen. JAMEs H. WILSON, U.S.V.,
       Late Lieutenant-Colonel, Thirty-fifth Infantry, U.S.A.; Brer.
         .lM(jor-General, U. S.A.

 





      CORRESPONDING MEMBERS.





Col. ARCHER ANDERSON,
      Late A.A.G., C.S.A.

Major-Gen. FRANCIS C. BARLOW, U.S.V.

HENRY ARMITT BROWN,' Esq.

Bvt. Major-Gen. JOHIN M. CORSE, U.S.V.,
      Late Brigadier-General, U.S. V.

Commander GEORGE DEWEY, U.S.N.

Capt. OSWALD H. ERNST,
      Corps of Engineers, U.S.A.

Brig.-Gen. Lucius FAiRCHILD, U.S.V,
      Late Captain, Sixteenth Infantry, U.S.A.

Capt. GUSTAVUS V. Fox, U.S.N.,
      Late Assistant Secretary of the Navy.

Capt. GEORGE R. GAITHER,
      Late First Virginia Caralry.

Bvt. Major-Gen. GEORGE S. GREENE, U.S.V.,
      Late Brigadier-General, U.S. V.

Major-Gen. WINFIELD S. HANcocx, U.S.A.

                    1 Deceased Aug. 21, 187d.
                                             xi

 


xii



CORRESPONDING MIEM1BERS.



Capt. JED. HOTCHKISS,
       Late Captain of Engineers, C.S.A.

First Lieut. MCIIENRY HOwARD,
       Late A. D. C. and A. L G., C.S.A.

First Lieut. HENRY W. IhUBBELL,
       First Artillery, U.S.A.; Late Second Lieutenant Fortieth New
         York Infantry.

Bvt. Major-Gen. A. A. HIUMPHREYS, U.S.A.,
       Late Chief of Engineers, U.S.A.

Rev. J. WILLIAMI JONES, D.D.,
       Late Chaplain, C.S.A.; Secretary Southern Historical Society.

J. W. KIRKLEY, Esq.

Lient.-Gen. JAM IES LONGSTREET, C.S.A.

Major-Gen. WILLIAM MAHONE, C.S.A.

Capt. W. GORDON MCCABE,
       Late Captain of Artillery, C. S.A.

Major-Gen. IrtvIN McDOWELL, U.S.A.

Bvt. Major-Gen. M. C. MEIGS, U.S.A.,
       Late Quartermaster-General, U.S.A.

Bm. Col. FRED. C. NEWHALL, U.S.V.,
       Late M1ajor and A. D. C., U.S.A.; Lieutenant-Colonel and
       A. A. G., U.S.V.

Bvt. Lieut.-Col. JoHN P. NICHOLSON, U.S.V.,
       Late First Lieutenant, Twenty-eighth Pennsylvania Infantry.

Le COMTE DE PARIS.

Bvt. Major-Gen. JOHN G. PARKE, U.S.A.,
      M1ajor, Corps of Engineers, (2S.A.

Commodore FOXHIALL A. PARKER,1 U.S.N.

                      I Deceased June 10, 1879.

 


CORRESPONDIG JME3MBERS.



xiii



Bvt. Brig.-Gen. L. H. PELOUZE,1 U.S.A.,
       M1fajor and A.A. G., U.s. A.

Bvt. Lieut.-Col. WILLIA M BROOKE RA.WLE, U.S.V.,
       Late Captain, Third Pennsylvania Cavalry.

Capt. RICHARD ROBINS,
       Late Thirty-Ninth Infantry, U.S.A.

Bvt. Lieut.-Col. ROBERT N. SCOTT, U.S.A.,
       Mfajor, Third Artillery, U.S.A.

Capt. N. S. SIALER,
      Late Independent Kentucky Battery, Field Artillery.

Bit. Brig.-Gen. JAMES SHAW, Jun., U.S.V.,
      Late Colonel, Tenth Rhode-Island Infantry.

Gen. WILLTAM T. SHERmIAN, U.S.A.

Bvt. Major-Gen. E. D. TOWNSEND, U.S.A.,
       Late Adjutant-General, U.S.A.

Lieut.-Col. CHARLES S. VENABLE,
       Late A. A. G., C.S.A.

Bvt. Brig.-Gen. FRANCIS A. WALKER, U.S.V.,
       Late Lieutenant-Colonel and A. A. G., U.S. V.

Bvt. Major-Gen. G. K. WARREN, U.S.A.

Bvt. Mlajor-Gen. ALEXANDER S. WEBB, U.S.A.,
       Late Brigadier-General, U.S. V.; Brevet Major-General, U.S. V.

Lieut. SKIPWITH WILMER,
       Late A. D. C., C.S.A.

First Lieut. EDMUND L. ZALINSHI,
       Fifth Artillery, U.S.A.; Late Second Lieutenant, Second
       N. Y.H.A.
                      I Deceased June 2, 1878.

 This page in the original text is blank.

 


                    REPORTS.


                             


 SLNCE its organization, papers have been read before the Society on the
followine subjects: -


        THE PENINSULAR CAM lPAIGN         OF 1862.

1. GE:N. MCCLELLAN'S PLANS FOR THE CA-MPAIGN OF 1862, AND THE AL-
    LEGED INTERFERENCE OF TIIE GOVERNMENT WITH THEM.
             JOHN C. ROPES, ESQ.

2. THE SIEGE OF YORKTOWN.
             GEN. JOIN C. PALFREY.

3. TEE SEVEN-DAYS BATTLES:-
    Mechanicsville,
    Gaines's Mill,
    White Oak Swamp,
    Glendale,
             GEN. FRANCIS W. PALFREY.

4. THE SEVEN-DAYS BATTLES: -
    Malvern Hill.
             GEN. FRANCIS w. PALFREY.

5. THE PERIOD WHICH ]ELAPSED BETWEEN THE FALL OF YORKTOW1N AND
    THE SEVEN DAYS' BATTLES.
             GEN. FRANlCIS W. PALFREY.

6. COMMENTS ON THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN.
             GEN. CHARLES A. WHITTIER.
                                               xv

 


xvi



REPORTS.



  GEN. POPE'S CAMPAIGN IN         VIRGINIA IN 1862.

1. THE CONDUCT OF GEN. MCCLELLAN AT ALEXANDRIA IN AUGUST, 1862;
    THE NATURE AND EXTENT OF HIS COMMAND; AND His ALLEGED
    NEGLECT TO SUPPORT THE AItmiM OF GEN. POPE.
            LIEUTr.OL. FRANKLIN HAVEN, JUN.

2. THE SnIE SUBJECT.
            GO. STEPHEN M. WELD.

3. THE CHARACTER OF GEN. HALLECK'S MIILITARY ADDMINISTRLTION IN
    THE SUMMER OF 1862; WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO T1lE REMIOVAL,
    BY HIS ORDER, OF THE ARMY OF THE POTOM1AC FROM1 THE PENINSULA,
    AND TO THE SHARE WHICH BELONGS TO HIM IN THE CAMPAIGN OF
    GEN. POPE.
            GEX. SAMUEL M. QUINCY.

 THE OBJECTS AND GENERAL PLAN OF THE CAM1PAIGN.
 4. FIRST PART, TO THE CROSSING OF THE RAPPAHANNOCK RiVER.
            LiEuT.-COL. CHARLES P. HORTON.

5. SECOND PART, TO THE 28TH OF AUGUST.
            JOHN C. ROPES, ESQ.

6. THIRD PART, TO THE END OF THE CAMPAIGN.
            JOHN C. ROPES, EsQ.

7. THEc CASE OF FITZ JOHN PORTER.
             Gnx. STEPHEN M. WELD.

8. REVIEW OF THE ABOVE REPORTS.
             COL. THEODORE LYMANT.

9. THE SAME SUBJECT.
            COL. THOMAS L. LIVERMORE.

10. THE TWENTY-SEVENTH DAY OF AUGUST, 1862.
             GOn. GEORGE II. GORDON.

11. THE HEARING IN THE CASE OF FITZ JOHN PORTER.
            JOHN C. ROPES, Esq.


      THE CAMPAIGN OF CHANCELLORSVILLE.

1. THEI DISASTER TO THE ELEVENTH CORPS AT CHANCELLOBSVILLE.
            COL. THEODORE A. DODGE.

 


REPOR TS.



xvii



2. THE FIGHT OF SUNDAY, MIAY 3, 1863, AT CHANCELLORSVTLLE.
            COL. THEODORE A. DODGE.

3. SEDGWICK AT CHANCELLORSVILLE.
            COL. THEODORE A. DODGE.


            TlHE ANTIETAM     CAMPAIGN.

  THE ALLEGED DELAY IN THE CONCENTRATION OF THE ARMY OF THE
  POTOMAC, AND THE REASON-S WHY THE SECOND CORPS DID NOT ENTER
  INTO THE ACTION EARLIER ON THE DAY OF THE BATTLE.
            MlzoR JOHN C. GRAY.


            THE BATTLE OF GETTYSBURG.

1. THE NUMBERS OF THE Two ARMIES.
            GEN. GREELY S. CURTIS.

2. THE CAUSES OF THE CONFEDERATE FAILURE.
            GEN. GREELY S. CURTIS.

3. PICKETT'S CHARGE.
            LIEtIT.-COL. WILLAIMl R. DRIVER.


              THE CAMIPAIGN OF 1864.

1. THE USELESSNESS OF THE MAPS FURNISHED TO THE STAFF OF THE ARMnY
   OF THE POTuXAC PREVIOUS TO THE CAMPAIGN OF MAY, 1864.
            COL. THEODORE LYMAN.

2. TEE BATTLE OF THE WILDERNESS.
            COL. WILLIAM W. SWAN.

3. THE SAME SUBJECT.
            COL. THEODORE LYMAN.

4. THE OPERATIONS OF TEE ARMY OF THE POTOMAC FROM THE SEVENTH
   TO THE ELEVENTH DAYS OF 'MAY, INCLUSIVE.
            GEN. CHARLES L. PIERSON.

5. THE CAPTURE OF THE SALIENT AT SPOTTSYLVANL., MAY 12.
            GEN. FRANCIS C. BARLOW.

6. THE SAME SUBJECT.
            Cs. McHENRY HOWARD, C.S.A.

7. REVIEW OF GEN. BARLOW'S PAPER ON THE CAPTURE OF THE SAXIENT.
            GEN. LEWIS A. GRANT.

 


xviii                  REPORTS.


8. Tnz OPERATIONS OF THE ARMY OF THE POTOMAC FROM MAY 13 TO
    JUNE 2, INCLUSIVE.
            MAson WILLIAM P. SHREVE.

9. THE FAILURE TO TAKE PETERSBURG ON JUNE 15.
            COL. THEODORE LYMAN.

10. THE SAmE SUBJECT.
             COL. THOMAS L. LIVERMORE.

11. THEI FAILURE TO TAKE PETERSBURG ON THE SIXTEENTH, SEVENTEENTH,
    AND EIGHTEENTH DAYS OF JUN-E.
            JOHN C. ROPES, ESQ.

12. THE OPERATIONS AT BERMUDA HUNXDRED ON THE SIXTEENTH, SEVEN
    TEENTH, AND EIGHTEEN:TH DAYs OF JXNE.
            GEN. FRA XCIS A. OSBORN.

13. THE OPERATIONS AGAINST THE WELDON RAILROAD IN AUGUST.
            CAP. CHARLES H. PORTER.

14. THE OPERATIONS OF THE CAVALRY OF THE ARMY OF THE POTOMAC IN
    1864.
            GEN. JAMES H. WILSON.

15. THE SAME SUBJECT,
            GE-N. JAES H. WILSON.

16. THE ]BATTLE OF CEDAR CREEK.
            COL. BENJ. W. CROWNINSHIELD.


    THE BA TTLE OF M1OBILE BA Y, A UG. 5, 1864.

            COYXODoB1! FOXHALL A. PARKER.


               THE CAM.lPAIGN OF 1865.

  THE NUMBERS OF GEN. LEE'S ARMY AT THE OPENING OF THE CAM-
    PAIGN, MWARcH 25.
            COL. THEODORE LYMAN.


            THE CGAM.1PATIGV OF WATERLOO.

  TE GROUCHY CONTROVERSY.
            JOHN C. ROPES, Esq.

 


         TABLE OF CONTENTS.






1. G EN. MCCLELLAN'S PLAN-S FOR THE CAMPAIGN OF 1862. AND THE
     ALLEGED INTERFERENCE OF T11E GOVERN-MEN-T WITHT THEM.
     By JOHN C. ROPES, ESQ.


2. THE SIEGE OF YORKTOWN.
      By Brr. BRi..-GFN. JOHN C. PALFREY, U.S.A.


3. THE PERIOD WHICH ELAPSED BETWEEN THE FALL OF YORKTOWN
     AND THE BEGIN-NING OF THE SEVEN-DAtYS BATTLES.
     By BvT BRIG-GEN. FRANCIS W. PALFREY, U.S.V.


4. THE SEVEN-I)DAYS BATTLES. -To MALVEBN HILL.
      B Brr. BRIG-GEN-. FRANCIS V. PALFREY, U.S.V.


5. THE BATTLE OF MALVERN HILL.
      By BVT. BRIG.-GEN. FRANCIS W. PALFREY, U.S.V.



6. COMMEN-TS ON TIHE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN.
      By BvT. BRIG.-GEN. CHARLES A. WHITTIER, U.S.V.

 This page in the original text is blank.

 



                        I.

GENERAL McCLELLAN'S PLANS FOR THE CAMPAIGN
    OF 1862, AND THE ALLEGED INTERFERENCE
        OF THE GOVERNMENT WITH THEM.

              BY JOHN C. ROPES, EsQ.



                    COMXrITTEE.
            JOHN C. ROPES, Esq.
            Bvt. Brig.-Gen. JoHN C. PALFBEY.
            Capt. WILLIAm E. PERKINS.



   Bead before the Society on Monday evening, Norv. 1S, 1876.

 This page in the original text is blank.

 

   THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN.




         GEN. McCLELLAN'S PLANS.

T HE committee to whom wvas referred the follow-
   ing subject of inquiry, namely, "Gen. McClellan's
plans for the campaign of 1862, and the alleged interfer-
ence of the Government with them," have the honor to
report as follows: -
  Late in the autumn of 1861, Gen. McClellan seems to
have definitely renounced whatever plan he had before
entertained of an advance upon the enemy's positions at
and near.Manassas Junction, and to have begun to enter-
tain the plan of a movement of the bulk of the Army
of the Potomac down Chesapeake Bay, and of operating
upon the communications of the rebels with Richmond.
Your committee will consider, -
  1. What his plans actually were;
  2. What, in the judgment of your committee, were
their merits and defects;
  3. What authority Gen. McClellan bad to carry them
out; and
  4. The alleged interference of the Government with
them.

 
THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN.



  First, then, what were his plans for opening the cam-
paign of 1862
  On Feb. 3, 1862, Gen. McClellan addressed a letter
to President Lincoln, in which he advocates landing at
Urbana on the Lower Rappahannock,' which is, he says,
"-but one march from West Point, the key of that region,
and thence but two marches to Richmond. A rapid
movement from   Urbana," he goes on to state, "would
probably cut off Mlagruder in the Peninsula, and enable
us to occupy Richmond before it could be strongly re-
enforced.  Should we fail in that, we could, with the
co-operation of the navy, cross the James, and throw our-
selves in rear of Richmond, thus forcing the enemy to
come out and attack us.'
  In this plan we observe two things:-
  1. That Gen. McClellan expected to strike the enemy's
communications with Richmond. Not only was Magruder
to be cut off, but Richmond itself was to be occupied
before the army at Manassas Junction could fall back to
cover it.
  2. That crossing the James was a contingency regarded
as possible.2
  In this letter of Feb. 3, 1862, he also says, "The worst

  1 Gen. McClellan's Report, p. 47, Gov. ed.; N.Y. ed., p. 105.
  2 It is reasonable to suppose that this possibility would have entered
into and formed a part of his subsequent plan, had not the rebel iron-clad
Merrimac closed the James River to our forces at the time his second
plan was formed.
  Crossing the James is, however, suggested in Gen. IMcClellan's letter to
Mr. Stanton of March 19, 1862, after the Merrimac had come oat. (Rep.,
p. G3, Gov. ed.; N. Y. ed., p. 133.)



4

 

GE-. McCLELLAN'S PLANS.



coming to the worst, we can take Fort Monroe as a base,
and operate with complete security, although with less
celerity and brilliancy of results, up the Peninsula."
  For reasons not stated in his Report, but which Mr.
Swinton I considers satisfactory, and due entirely to the
falling-back of the rebel army behind the Rappahannock,
the plan of going to Urbana was abandoned, and the plan
of taking Fort Monroe as a base was definitely adopted.
  This plan was stated in some detail in a letter from
Gen. McClellan to the Secretary of War.2

                  HEADQUARTERs ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
                      THEoLOGICAL SEXARt, VA., March 19, 1862.

  SIR, -I have the honor to submit the following notes on the
proposed operations of the active portion of the Army of the
Potomac.
  The proposed plan of campaign is to assume Fort Monroe as
the first base of operations, taking the line of Yorktown and
West Point upon Richmond as the line of operations, Richmond
being the objective point. It is assumed that the fall of Rich-
mond involves that of Norfolk and the whole of Virginia; also,
that we shall fight a decisive battle between West Point and
Richmond, to give which battle the rebels will concentrate all
their available forces, understanding, as they will, that it
involves the fate of their cause.
  It therefore follows, -
  1st, That we should collect all our available forces, and
operate upon adjacent lines, maintaining perfect communication
between our columns.



1 Army of the Potomac, pp. 90, 91.
2 Report, Gov. ed., p. 62; N.Y. ed., p. 132.



5

 

THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN.



  2d, That no time should be lost in reaching the field of
battle.
  The advantages of the peninsula between York and James
Rivers are too obvious to need explanation: it is also clear that
Vest Point should as soon as possible be reached, and used as
our main d6p6t, that we may have the shortest line of land
transportation for our supplies, and the use of the York River.
  There are two methods of reaching this point:-
  1st, By moving directly from Fort Monroe as a base, and
trusting to the roads for our supplies, at the same time landing
a strong corps as near Yorktown as possible, in order to turn
the rebel lines of defence south of Yorktown; then to reduce
Yorktown and Gloucester by a siege, in all probability involving
a delay of weeks perhaps.
  2d, To make a combined naval and land attack upon York-
town the first object of the campaign.  This leads to the
most rapid and decisive results. To accomplish this the navy
should at once concentrate upon the York River all their availa-
ble and most powerful batteries: its reduction should not, in
that case, require many hours. A strong corps would be pushed
up the York under cover of the navy, directly upon West Point,
immediately upon the fall of Yorktown; and we could at once
establish our new base of operations at a distance of some
twenty-five miles from Richmond, with every facility for devel-
oping and bringing into play the whole of our available force
on either or both banks of the James.
  It is impossible to urge too strongly the absolute necessity of
the full co-operation of the navy as a part of this programme.
Without it the operations may be prolonged for many weeks,
and we may be forced to carry in front several strong positions,
which, by their aid, could be tuned without serious loss of
either time or men.



6

 

GEN. McCLELLAN'S PLANS.



  It is also of first importance to bear in mind the fact already
alluded to, that the capture of Richmond necessarily involves
the prompt fall of Norfolk; while an operation against Nor-
folk, if successful, as the beginning of the campaign, facili-
tates the reduction of Richmond merely by the demoralization
of the rebel troops involved: and that, after the fall of Norfolk,
we should be obliged to undertake the capture of Richmond by
the same means which would have accomplished it in the begin-
ning, having, meanwhile, afforded the rebels ample time to per-
fect their defensive arrangements; for they would well know,
from the moment the Army of the Potomac changed its base to
Fort Monroe, that Richmond must be its ultimate object.
  It may be summed up in a few words, that, for the prompt
success of this campaign, it is absolutely necessary that the
uavy should at once throw its whole available force, its most
powerful vessels, against Yorktown. There is the most impor-
tant point, - there the knot to be cut. An immediate decision
upon the subject-matter of this communication is highly desir-
able, and seems called for by the exigencies of the occasion.
                   I am, sir, very respectfully,
                             Your obedient servant,
                               GEORGE B. MCCLELLAN,
                                             Major-General.
HON. E. M. STANTON,
  Secretary of War.


  Three things are to be especially noted in this letter:-
  1. That the principal idea of this campaign was not
that of operating on the enemy's communications. The
rebels will concentrate all their available forces between
West Point and Richmond, where the decisive battle will
be fought.



7

 
THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN.



  2. That the plan would, in Gen. MIcClellan's judgment,
require in all probability many weeks for its accomplish-
ment, and great and unnecessary loss of life, unless the
co-operation of the navy was to be made in great force.
The danger of a delay before Yorktown, if no combined
operations should be attempted against it, seems to have
been foreseen.
  3. That Gen. McClellan expected altogether too much
from the efforts of the navy. Your committee are of
opinion, that, while the ships of war might have run past
the enemy's works at Yorktown and Gloucester, they
could not have assisted materially in reducing thew.

  Second, what were the merits and defects of these
plans 
  For a masterly sketch of the situation in which the
young officer, who then commanded the armies of the
United States (Gen. McClellan was only thirty-five years
of age in December, 1861), found himself in the spring
of the year 1862, your committee would refer to Mr.
Swinton's chapter entitled "Plans of Campaigns," in his
excellent work on the Army of the Potomac.' Nothing
can be added to what is there said of the peculiar diffi-
culties of an army-commander under a popular govern-
ment; of the necessity of his recognizing the need of a
perfect understanding with his political superiors; of his
being something, at any rate, of a statesman; of the folly
of his not accepting the situation heartily, and making
the best of it. Nor can your committee do otherwise
                        1 Page 68.



8

 

GEN. McCLELLAN'S PLANS.



than concur in Mr. Swinton's estimate of Gen. McClel-
lan's character and capacity in these respects.
  Passing, then, from this aspect of the subject before us,
let us consider the plans in themselves. We need not
dwell on the first, or Urbana, plan (for it was never car-
ried out), further than to say, that in the opinion of your
committee it would have been a very hazardous under-
taking to land an army of a hundred thousand men or
more on such an entirely unprepared place as Urbana
was. So large an army could not have been transported
there in less than two or three weeks, and great difficulty
would have been experienced in providing for the troops
which arrived first. Moreover, the Comte de Paris re-
marks1 on the difficulty of crossing the Dragon Swamp
between Urbana and the York River, and, what is more
important, on the impossibility, while Yorktown remained
in possession of the enemy, of getting a new base of
supplies at West Point. Gen. Barnard2 also remarks,
that between Urbana and Richmond are the Tlattapony
and Pamunkey Rivers, besides the Dragon Swamp; and
furthermore, that Urbana is fifty miles from Richmond,
while Fredericksburg is in a straight line hardly more,
and Manassas Junction only eighty miles in a straight
line, and only a hundred and twenty by rail. From
these considerations Gen. Barnard deems it highly im-
probable that Gen. McClellan could have succeeded in
reaching Richmond or its vicinity before the army of
Gen. Johnston could have covered it; and in this opinion

   1 Histoire de la Guerre Civile en Amerique, vol. ii., p. 473, Paris ed.
   2 Peninsular Campaign, p. 94, n. 23.



9

 

THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN.



your committee, having in mind the three weeks at least
(Gen. McClellan I says six weeks) which were required
for the transportation of the aimy from Washington to
Fort Monroe, and the peculiar difficulties of marching on
the Peninsula, are entirely disposed to concur. It is true
that Gen. McClellan himself, in his testimony before the
Committee on the Conduct of the War,2 was of a dif-
ferent opinion. He "hoped," he says, "if proper secrecy
was observed, to reach the vicinity of Richmond before
they could concentrate all their troops there; that they
could not get all their troops down from Manassas, etc.,
before we got there." No doubt this idea of striking the
communications, and capturing the base of supplies, of
the rebel army which was quietly observing Washington,
was a fascinating idea, and quite in accordance with the
laws of strategy, so far as concerned the object of the
movement. But strategy is concerned only with possible
things; and your committee are entirely of the opinion,
that to suppose that Gen. Johnston would have been
ignorant of the transportation of the army to Urbana, or,
knowing it, would have so delayed falling back that Gen.
McClellan could have got between him and Richmond,
was absurd.
  The second plan, which took Fort Monroe for the base
of operations, did not hold out any hope of operating on
the enemy's communications. Gen. McClellan's language
on this point is quite plain; and we shall quote it again,
for we believe that an opposite idea has widely prevailed.



1 Report, Gov. ed., p. 162; N.Y. ed., p. 310.
2 Vol. i., p. 425, First Series.



10

 

GEN. McCLELLAN'S PLANS.



Ile says in his official letter to Mr. Stanton, of March 19,
1862,1 "It is assumed . . . that we shall fight a decisive
battle between West Point and Richmond, to give which
battle the rebels will concentrate all their available forces,
understanding, as they will, that it involves the fate of
their cause."
  In this opinion Gen. McClellan was perfectly correct, no
doubt. In reading Gen. Johnston's Narrative,2 we find
no suggestion of the existence of any difficulty in bring-
ing his army from the Rapidan to Richonwid in time for
the defence of the capital. Gen. Johnston, in fact, urged
upon Mr. Davis the desirability of bringing up from the
Carolinas all the troops of the Confederacy, in order that
the army of Gen. McClellan might be attacked by an
overwhelming force; thereby showing that he had no
doubt of his ability to delay for a considerable time the
advance of our forces up the Peninsula.
  Now, bearing this in mind, that the plan of the Penin-
sular campaign of Gen. McClellan, as conceived by himself,
embraced a conflict with the entire rebel army before Rich-
mond, or somewhere on the Peninsula, your committee
are unable to find any great advantage in this plan over
that of a campaign on the Rapidan or Rappahannock,
except such as may perhaps result from the nature of the
ground. It being, in round numbers, as far from Fort
Monroe to Richmond as it is from Fredericksburg to Rich-
mond; and it being admitted, that, although the enemy
may be on the Rappahannock when our army is landing
at Fort Monroe, they can get back to Richmond before a



11



I See ante, p. 5.



2 Page 108, et seq.

 

THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN.



force marching from Fort Monroe can get there, -where
is the advantage of starting from one place rather than
from the other The facility for communication possessed
by the enemy in the Virginia Central, Orange and Alex-
andria, and Richmond and Fredericksburg Railroads,
taken in connection with the length of time required to
carry our army to the Peninsula, rendered the military
situation, for all practical purposes, precisely the same as
if the rebel army had been encamped in the vicinity of
Richmond, where it could of course have formed line on
the northern or on the eastern side of the city with equal
facility, - unless, we repeat, the