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the treason of Twiggs, it had fallen an unresisting victim into the toils of the traitors. Lincoln early determined to restore this city to the National government.
In the Autumn of 1861, a great expedition, under the command of Captain Farragut and General B. F. Butler, was organized. To Captain Farragut has been assigned, by the common consent of his gallant and able comrades, the first position among the naval heroes of the war. A native of Tennessee, he is a hearty, bluff, honest, downright sailor, who knows no such word as fail. Full of resources, confident in himself and in those he knew how to command, he is one of those men who command success. General Butler's forces landed at Ship Island in December, 1861, and January, 1862.
Captain Farragut sailed with his fleet to attack the forts on the 3d of February. After bombarding Forts St. Philip and Jackson, which guarded the mouth of the Mississippi, for six days without reducing them, with the inspiration of genius, he determined to pass these forts, and sail up the Mississippi. The difficulty, and the apparent temerity of this will appear, when it is recollected that the Forts St. Philip and Jackson mounted 126 guns, many of them of very heavy caliber; that the river was obstructed by sunken hulks and an iron chain of immense strength was stretched across the channel; that he would encounter thirteen gun-boats, in addition to the powerful iron-clad battery Louisiana. The authorities of New Orleans were perfectly confident. “ Our only fear,” said the city press, “is that the Northern invaders may not appear.” If they had known Farragut, they would not have expressed any such apprehension. If they did in fact entertain such fears, he soon relieved them. On the 24th of April, amidst a storm of shot and shell, the night illuminated by the mingled fires of ships, and forts, and burning vessels, he passed Forts Jackson and St. Philip; he crushed through the boom, he destroyed the rams and gun-boats sent down to oppose him, and steaming past the batteries, he ascended the majestic Mississippi, and squared his yards, and opened his broadsides upon the proud city of the Southwest.
The city of 150,000 surrendered, and the stars and stripes once more floated over the Custom-House, Post Office and other public buildings of the crescent city. The flag never again to be hauled down from 'hat position, for, as it was grimly said by a Confederate General on the fall of Richmond, “it had never been the policy of the rebels to retake the cities and posts captured by the Union forces.”
THE PRESIDENT AND GENERAL MCCLELLAN-THE CAMPAIGN
THE ARMY OF THE POTOMAC- MOCLELLAN'S INACTION PLAN OF THE CAMPAIGN—THE MONITOR AND THE MERRIMA-YORKTOWN
-WILLIAMSBURGTHE CHICKAHOMINY—THE PRESIDENT URGES ACTION — NORFOLK TAKEN - MODOWELL AT FREDERICKSBURG STONEWALL JACKSON'S CAMPAIGN DOWN THE VALLEY - BATTLE OF FAIR OAKS—LEE IN COMMAND-MECHANICSVILLE-GAINE'S MILLS, ETC.—TO THE JAMES — MalVERN HILL - HARRISON'S LANDING.
will be remembered, that the President, on the 27th of
January, 1862, had issued an order that active operations, and a general advance of all the armies should begin on the 22d of February. That order contemplated active movements, and in concert, by all the forces in the field. Lincoln appreciated and anticipated the common-sense views subsequently acted upon by Grant, of attacking the enemy at all points at the same time.
On the 31st of January, he had ordered that all the disposable forces should be organized into an expedition for the immediate object of seizing and occupying a point on the railroad southwest of Manassas Junction.
Early in March, McClellan, with his splendid army, marched on Centerville, to find it evacuated, and wooden guns in position on the works, behind which the rebels had so long remained unassailed. Addressing his vast army at Fairfax Court House, the young general said: “The Army of the Potomac is now a real army. Magnificent in material, admirable in discipline and instruction, excellently equipped and armed, your commanders are all that I could wish.” The
last division of the Confederates left Centreville on the 9th of March. On the 10th, McClellan started for the already abandoned position. The army of McClellan was over 100,000 strong, with 350 pieces of artillery. Great dissatisfaction had prevailed throughout the country at the long continued inactivity and tardy movements of this General. President Lincoln was very slow to withdraw his confidence when it had been once given, and was noted for the unflinching fidelity with which he stood by those in whom he trusted. He had long stood by McClellan, and sustained him against a very large majority of the most earnest Union men of the Nation. The Committee on the Conduct of the War, the stern and fiery War Secretary, Mr. Stanton, and many others chafed and struggled during the long Winter of 1862, against McClellan's inactivity. They were not satisfied, and the confidence of the President began to be seriously shaken. It is clear that McClellan was a good organizer. He was an admirable engineer, and he had performed the great work of organizing and drilling a magnificent army-an army equal to any which had ever met an enemy. Could that magnificent army, at the moment it struck its tents around Washington, have been transferred to the command of the impetuous, rapid, indefatigable, elastic Sheridan, or to the brilliant hero of Atlanta and “the grand march,” or the imperturbable, unflinching, iron will of Grant, it would have marched into Richmond long before McClellan reached the Chickahominy. It is now but too clear that McClellan lacked the energy, decision and boldness for aggressive movements. It is not clear but that his inactivity was, to some extent attributable to an indisposition to inflict great injury upon the rebels; and it is believed that he indulged the hope of a restoration of the Union by a show of power, rather than by the exercise of it in inflicting hard blows.
Celerity formed no part in the military movements of McClellan. The Prince de Joinville, attached to his staff during his campaign, has made a criticism upon the American character, which was as true of General McClellan, as it was mistaken in regard to the Anierican people. “I here
point out,” says he, “a characteristic trait of the American people— delay.”
General McClellan and his army were always encumbered with the most enormous quantity of luggage. In the Winter of 1862, members of Congress and others were astonished to see drawn up before the door of the young general, six immense four-horse wagons, marked “Head-quarters of the Army of the Potomac,” They knew little of military affairs, but were curious to learn what was the camp equipage which required twenty-four horses to draw, and subsequently, observed the difference, and drew comparisons, when they learned that Grant started on his wonderful campaign against Vicksburg with a clean shirt and a tooth-brush.
During the long Winter of inactivy of 1862, the impatience of Mr. Lincoln at McClellan's inactivity became at times unendurable. On one occasion, he said to one of his military friends, who was also a friend of McClellan, “If General McClellan does not want to use the army for some days, I should like to borrow it, and see if it cannot be made to do something."
The political and personal associations of the General were with those who, in political stations, and in the army, had been most friendly with the South, and some of whom professed to believe that the Union could not be preserved by coercion.
General McClellan had estimated the number of troops necessary to be left to defend the Capital at 35,000, and 23,000 for the Potomac, Baltimore and Annapolis. The President had long before urged upon the General the raising of the blockade of the Potomac, and an early movement on land towards Richmond.
On the 8th of March, the President directed that Washington should be left entirely secure, and that any movement to be made should begin as early as the 18th of March, and that the General-in-Chief should be held responsible that it was as early as that day. It was also ordered that the army and navy coöperate in an immediate effort to capture the enemy's batteries upon the Potomac, between Washington and the Chesapeake Bay.