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604

HARRISON'S LANDING

- CITY POINT.

army of the Potomac produced a return of the feeling of safety.

On the night after this battle, Gen. McClellan removed his army to Harrison's Landing, four or five miles below on the James river, as a more suitable position for defence and receiving supplies.

There has never been any official report of the losses in this series of battles, but the estimates which seem to approximate most nearly to the truth, make the Union losses in killed, wounded, and prisoners, about fourteen thousand, of whom somewhat more than half were prisoners, - many of them wounded. The rebel loss was stated by their best informed officers at about sixteen thousand in killed, wounded and missing, a larger proportion of them among the killed than was the case with the Union troops.

After reaching Harrison's Bar, or Harrison's Landing, the army were so completely exhausted that for two days nothing was done toward putting their new position in a state of defence, and their preservation from an attack which must have proved utterly destructive, was due only to the demoralized and shattered condition of the enemy, and to a heavy rain which rendered the roads from Richmond impassable for artillery.

On the third of July, a small body of troops crossed the James, and destroyed City Point, which the rebel sharp-shooters had made their cover for annoying our forces; and on the 4th, a small party discovered and captured three small rebel batteries, pear Malvern Hill, and took some prisoners. A reconnoitering force was thrown forward on the 7th, and occupied, for a single day, a position seven miles in advance of the main army, but were soon re-called. On the 9th, President Lincoln visited the camp at Harrison's Landing, and held a consultation with reference to the removal of the army from the Peninsula, but nothing was decided upon. The day pre

FORCE UNDER GEN, MC CLELLAN.

605

vious, Gen. Burnside, with seven thousand men, had landed at Fortress Monroe to re-enforce Gen. McClellan, and had been joined there by four thousand men from the Department of the South, -Gen. Hunter's. These troops were retained at Hampton, and did not go up to Harrison's Landing, though under Gen. McClellan's command. A few days later, Gen. Dix's force of eleven thousand seven hundred and seventy-eight men, was also placed under McClellan's orders. Op the 20th of July, according to the returns sent to the Adjutant General's office, by Gen. McClellan, the army of the Potomac under his command, was as follows: Present for duty, one hundred and one thousand six hundred and ninety-one; special duty, sick and in arrest, seventeen thousand eight hundred and twenty eight ; absent, thirty-eight thousand seven hundred and ninety-five; total, one hundred and fifty-eight thousand three hundred and fourteen.

On the 10th of July, Lee's army, which had been lying in front of the Union forces and between them and Richmond, suddenly disappeared,- having, as it was afterwards ascertained, become convinced that the army of the Potomac was powerless to injure them while at Harrison's Landing, -and proceeded gradually to re-enforce the army which was intended to crush Pope's force and capture Washington.

The position at Harrison's Landing proved as sickly as that on the Chickahominy; a deadly malaria rose every night from the James river, and the number of the sick was daily increased, while the wounded sunk under the depressing influence of fever, and their wounds manifested no disposition to heal. On the 25th of July, Gen. Halleck, who, on the 11th inst., had been summoned to Washington from the west, to take the post of Commander-in-Chief, visited Harrison's Landing, and held a council of officers, on the question of withdrawing the army from the Peninsula. A majority of the officers were in favor of withdrawing, but Gen. McClellan, supported by

606

DISCUSSION CHANGE OF BASE.

.

Sumner and Heintzelman, objected, and Gen. McClellan de manded fifty thousand men to enable him to take Richmond. Gen. Halleck told him that not more than twenty thousand, in addition to the troops he then had, could possibly be spared. He then said that he would endeavor to take it with twenty thousand more troops, and Gen. Halleck left, with that understanding; two days later, Gen. McClellan telegraphed Gen. Halleck that he must have thirty-five thousand men, and as this number could not be furnished, Gen. Halleck adopted the only other alternative, and on the third of August, sent him an order to withdraw the army from Harrison's Landing, transfer it at once to Acquia Creek, and take possession of Falmouth, opposite Fredericksburg. Gen. McClellan replied, protesting against the withdrawal, and urging that more troops could be sent him, from Pope's command, (which was even then beginning to feel the pressure of Lee's forces) or from the west, and insisting that the true defence of Washington was there, at Harrison's Landing, and in the approach to Richmond from that direction. Gen. Halleck replied on the 6th of August, meeting and answering his objections, and explaining that by a transfer to Acquia Creek, the whole army could be united and could move with irresistible force on the enemy, driving him back and capturing Richmond, while they would at the same time cover the National Capital ; and repeating his order for the immediate withdrawal of the army from the Peninsula. Gen. McClellan did not reply, but no movement was made for withdrawal, till the 14th of August, and a considerable portion of the army did not reach Alexandria, to which point it had subsequently been ordered, until the 23d of August. The different army corps of which it was composed, were absorbed for the time, one after another, in the Army of Virginia.

A review of the campaign of the Peninsula excites many sad thoughts. An army of one hundred and fifty thousand

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men, composed of the best fighting material ever collected, magnificently appointed, with arms of the best quality, artillery of greater power and range, and in larger quantity than any army of modern times had ever possessed, and with abundant supplies, led by men of decided military ability and skill, after a campaign of three months, in which they have fought but nine battles, and five of those within seven days, opposed most of the time by a force considerably smaller than their own, retire by a retreat of six days to a position whose greatest merit is, that it is safe from attack, while it does not even hold the enemy in check; and there, for seven weeks, remain idle and useless to the cause they were sworn to defend. About fifteen thousand of their number are killed in battle or die of their wounds, while more than sixty thousand are slain by the pestilential miasm of the swamp, or fall victims to the intemperance which is so universally the bane of the unemployed soldier. The officers and soldiers had resolutely endured wonderful toils and sufferings. Their courage and daring had been admired and praised, yet the object of the expedition was unattained,—the rebel capital was stronger than ever before. Three times during the campaign it had been clearly within our reach, and three times had the opportunity been unimproved. All the sacrifices and privations nad been unavailing, and the capture of Richmond was, for the present, abandoned.

CHAPTER XXIII.

THE CAMPAIGN IN THE SHENANDOAH VALLEYBANKS' RETREAT AND FREMONT AND SHIELDS PURSUIT OF JACKSON-THE REPULSE AT

DREWRY'S BLUFF. The Mountain Department - Department of the Rappahannock-Gen. Banks'

Corps — Pursuit of the Enemy-Gen. Fremont's Movement - the Railroad District — Gen. Milroy Attacked - The Result — Fremont's Head-Quarters at Franklin - Gen. Shields' Division taken from Gen. Banks' Corps, and an. nexed to McDowell's - Banks Falls Back to Strasburg - Jackson in PursuitAttack on Front Royal — Gen. Banks Retreat from Strasburg to Winchester, Martinsburg, and Williamsport-Jackson's Attack on Harper's Ferry – He Ro treats to Winchester and Strasburg - Fremont and McDowell Ordered to Sup port Banks and Attack Jackson - Fremont's March Across the Mountains - He does not go by Harrisonburg as Ordered - His Reasons — He Reaches Strasburg, Pursues Jackson, Skirmishes with his Rear Guard - The PursuitShields Attempts to Intercept Jackson at Port Republic -Battle of Cross Keys— Battle of Port Republic— Jackson Escapes — Fremont Falls Back to Mt. Jackson, and Winchester - Shields to New Market - Jackson's More ments — Consolidation of the Three Corps into the Army of Virginia — Fre mont Asks to be Relieved of His Command - The President Accedes to his Request - Repulse of the Iron-Clads at Drewry's Bluff.

The necessity of giving unity to our narrative of the campaign of the Peninsula, has rendered it advisable to pass unnoticed, till the present time, the movements of the three army corps, or parts of corps, which were separated from Gen. McClellan's command, when the army of the Potomac moved to the Peninsula. Our readers will remember that a new Department was created, lying between that of Gen. Halleck on the west, and that of Gen. McClellan on the east, with the title of "the Mountain Department," and the command of it assigned to Major Gen. J. C. Fremont.

Of the five army corps which, up to March 8th, had consti

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