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Page 437 of Battles and leaders of the Civil War (vol. 2)... : being for the most part contributions by Union and Confederate officers : based upon "The Century War series" / edited by R.U. Johnson and C.C. Clough Buel.

THE ADMINISTRATION IN THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN. ordered to the Peninsula, in response to General McClellan's earnest renewal of his request. General McClellan estimates his force before Franklin's arrival at 83,000, apparently meaning fighting men, since the returns show 105,235 pres- ent for duty on the 13th of April. On the 30th, including Fraiikliii, this number was increased to 112,392. General McClellan also estimated the Confederate forces at "probably not less than 100,000 men, and possibly more," "probably greater a good deal than my own." \ We now know that their total effective strength on the :30th of April was 55,633 of all arms. When the Army of the Potomac halted before the lines of the Warwick, Magruler's whole force was but 11,0)00. General McClellan estimated it at only 1.,,000, and his own, confronting it, at the same period, at 53,000. The plan of a rapid movement up the Peninsula having resolved itself into an endeavor to take Yorktown by regular approaches in front, leaving its rear necessarily open, General McClellan thus describes the result: - Our batteries would have been ready to open on the morning of the 6th of May at latest; but on the morn- ilg of the 4th It was discovered that the enemy had already been compelled to evacuate his position dung the night." The effect of these delays on Mr. Lincoln's mind is curiously indicated by his telegram of May 1st: "- Your call for Parrott guns from Washington alarms me, chiefly because it argues Indefinite procrastination. Il anything to be done I " Then followed the confused and unduly dis- couraging battle of Williamsburg; the attempt to cut off the Confederate retreat bya landing at West Point came to nothing; and on the 20th of May, the Army of the Potomac, having moved forward 52 miles in 16 days, reached the banks of the Chickahominy. There it lay, astride of that slug- gish stream, imbedded in its pestilential swamps, for thirty-nine days. On the 31st of May, at Fair Oaks, Johnston failed, though narrowly missing success, in a well- meant attempt to crush McClellan's forces on the right bank of the swollen stream before they could be reenforced. On the 1st of June the Confederate forces were driven back in disorder upon the defenses of Richmond, but the damage suffered by the Union forces on the first day being over-estimated, and their success on the second day insufficiently appreciated, or inadequately represented, and no apparent advantage being taken of them, the general effect was to add to the discouragement already prevailing. Redoforcements continuing to be urgently called for, Fort Monroe, with its dependencies, reporting 9277 for duty, was placed under General McClel- lan's orders; McCall's division, with 22 guns, was detached from McDowell, and arrived by water 9514 strong on the 12th and 13th of June; while McDowell, with the rest of his command, was ordered to march to join McClellan by land: this movement was, however, promptly brought to I Telegram to Stanton, April 7th, 16L naught by Jackson's sudden incursion against Banks in the Shenandoah. Meanwhile, the flow of telegrams indicated an ever-increasing tension, the Executive urging to action, the General promising to act soon, not acting, yet criticising and objecting to the Presi- dent's orders to him and to others. On the 2Wth of May the President said: " I think the time is near when you must either attack Richmond or give up the job and come to the defense of Washington." McClellan replied: " The time is very near whe n I shall attack Richmond.' Then, Juute 10th, he -ay-: "1 shall be in perfect readiness to move forward to take Richmond the moment that NlcCall reaches here and the ground will admit the passage of artillery." Julie 14th: "If I cannot control all his (McDowell's) troops I want none of them, but would prefer to fight the battle with what I have, and let others be responsible for the rsults.' On the 18th: "After to-morrow we shall fight the rebel army as soon as Providence will permit. We shall await only a favorable condition of the earth and sky and the completion of some necessary prelimi- naries." While appealing to the President when some of his telegrams to the Secretary remained for a time unanswered, General McClellan allowed Mr. Stanton's cordial assurances of friendship and support to pass unnoticed. At last, on the 25th, General McClellan advanced his picket lines on the left to within four miles of Richmond, and was apparently preparing for a fur- ther movement, though none was ordered, and the next day, as at Manassas and Yorktown and Fair Oaks, his adversary once more took the initiative out of his hands. Jackson had come from the Valley. As soon as this was known, on the evening of the 25th, General McClellan reported it to Mr. Stanton, added that he thought Jackson would at- tack his right and rear, that the Confederate force was stated at 200,000, that he regretted his great inferiority in numbers, but was in no way respon- sible for it, and concluded: -1 will do all that a general can do with the splendid army I have the honor to command, and if it Is dte- strayed by overwhelming numbers can at least die with it and share its fate. But if the result of the action. which will probably oecur to-morrow, or within a short tinme, Is a disaster, the respons.bility cannot be thrown on my shoulders; it must rest where it belongs." The battle of Gaines's Mill followed, where, on the 27th, one-fifth of the Union forces contended against the whole Confederate army, save Magru- der's corps and Huger's division; then the retreat, or " change of base," to the James, crowned by the splendid yet unfruitful victory of Malvern ; thenr a month of inaction and discussion at Harrison's Landing. At 12:20A.M., on the 28th of Juute, General McClellan sent a long telegram, of which these sentences strike the key-note: "Our men Eat Gainess Milli did all that men could do but they were overwhelmed by vastly superior numbers, even after I brought my last reserves into action. . . . X have lost this battle because my force is too small. . . . The Goverument must not and can- tI- Telegram to Stanton, Ma 5th, 1S6. 437

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