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placed under the command of General Pope. The consolidation would in effect, deprive General McClellan of a command in the field, and place General Burnside under the orders of his inferior in rank. But General Burnside knew no duty but obedience to the Government when his country was in peril, and cheerfully waived his own rank to assist General Pope in the extremely arduous campaign that was now opening before him.

Congress, in the last days of the session of 1861-'62, had passed a law authorizing the President “ to establish and organize army corps at his discretion,” and prescribing that the staff of the commander of each army corps should be “one assistant adjutant general, one quartermaster, one commissary of subsistence, and one assistant inspector general who should bear respectively the rank of lieutenant colonel ; also three aides de camp-one to bear the rank of major and two to bear the rank of captain." This act was approved by the President and became a law, July 17, 1862. General Burnside on the 18th of July received authority to organize his command upon such a basis, and on the 22nd the organization was made and the Ninth ARMY CORPS took its place in the history of the war—a place unsullied by a single' act of dishonor! Of the staff, Captain already promoted to Major Richmond, Captains Goodrich and Biggs were advanced to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Captain Loring was appointed Assistant Inspector General with the same rank, and Captain Cutting was appointed Aide de Camp, with the rank of Major, their commissions dating from the day of the organization of the Corps. Three divisions were formed, under the command respectively of Generals Reno, Parke and Stevens. On the 26th General Burnside again visited General McClellan in company with General Halleck, and on his return made a flying journey to New York, where he remained for a single day and received most cordial and enthusiastic reception. On the 30th he was at Washington, and on the next day he returned to Newport News, prepared to carry out his part of the contemplated move

ments with all needful promptitude. On the 2d of August, the Ninth Corps, numbering now nearly .thirteen thousand men, embarked at Newport News, and on the night of the 3d landed at A quia Creek, and proceeded immediately to Fredericksburg. General King's division of General McDowell's corps, that had been stationed there, was at once relieved and joined the Army of Virginia in the field. The Ninth Corps was engaged in holding Fredericksburg, and guarding the line of the Rappahannock, while General Pope was operating in the neighborhood of Culpepper Court House, and in the direction of Gordonsville. General Burnside's transports were immediately returned to the James River, to facilitate the removal of the Army of the Potomac. In the course of the ensuing week, five batteries of artillery and one regiment of cavalry were sent to Aquia Creek, as reënforcements to the troops on the Rappahannock, where the enemy was beginning to appear in force.

On the 3d of August, General Halleck ordered General McClellan to withdraw from the Peninsula. But the latter officer now began to make excuses and protests and to find occasions for delay. At one time there was no sufficient transportation. At another time there were great difficulties in removing the sick and wounded. Again, the army was not in condition to

General Halleck became impatient, and at the same time somewhat alarmed. His dispatches breathed an acrimonious spirit, which vexed General McClellan and did not certainly dispose him to any extraordinary exertions. Meanwhile General Pope was embarrassed by the rapid movements of General Jackson's corps, and pressed by the constantly accumulating forces of the enemy. The timely arrival of the Ninth Corps at Fredericksburg doubtless saved his left flank from being turned and his entire army from being cut off from its communications with the Potomac.

General Burnside returned to the Peninsula to assist General McClellan in expediting matters, and, by the night of the 15th, two corps were on the march for Yorktown, while other troops were embarking at Harrison's Landing. On the afternoon of


the 16th, " the last man had disappeared from the deserted camps, "** and the Army of the Potomac had left the scene of its unavailing struggles and its patient endurance. On the 20th, the army was ready to embark at Yorktown, Newport News and Fortress Monroe. General Keyes's Corps was left at Yorktown to garrison that point. It was not however till the 28th that General Sumner's corps, which had been the last to embark, was landed at Alexandria. General Burnside was stationed at Fredericksburg, to direct the movements of troops in that quarter and to hasten them forward to General Pope, who was now sorely pressed by the enemy. General McClellan repaired to Alexandria.

The month of August was the gloomiest month of the gloomy summer of 1862. The campaigns that had been so brilliantly commenced by Grant and Foote in the West, Burnside and Goldsborough in the East, and Butler and Farragut in the South, seemed in danger of ending in disaster and defeat. The interest of the country centered upon the movements that were making in Virginia. General Lee, released from the necessity of defending Richmond, was hurling his entire army upon General Pope, who with forty thousand men was endeavoring to hold the line of the Rappahannock. With the aid of the Ninth Corps, he succeeded, with admirable

persistence, in sustaining himself until reënforcements began to arrive from the Peninsula.

Perhaps there has not been, in the history of the war, such confused, and, at the same time, such sanguinary fighting as marked the retreat of General Pope from the Rapidan to the defences of Washington. On the part of the enemy, General Jackson seemed ubiquitous, and harassed our troops almost beyond measure. On our own side, some of the officers of the Army of the Potomac, somewhat sore from their failure on the Peninsula and in a measure dispirited, appeared to be content with doggedly preventing an utter defeat, without any de

*McClellan's Report, p. 165.

sire to achieve a victory. General Pope, in his report, particularly complains of the want of zeal and even of subordination on the part of General Fitz John Porter, whom he accuses of “flagrant disregard of orders.”*

General Heintzelman's corps rendered very efficient service. The corps of Generals Franklin and Sumner reached the scene of operations only in time to cover the retreat and receive the broken and defeated remains of the Army of Virginia.

But whatever may be said of other parts of General Pope's command, that portion of the Ninth Corps which came under his direction did its whole duty, in the most gallant and praiseworthy manner. General Reno, who commanded the corps in the field, is warmly eulogized by General Pope. “I cannot express myself too highly,” says the commander of the army, “of the zealous, gallant and cheerful manner in which General Reno deported himself from the beginning to the end of the operations. Ever prompt, earnest, and soldierly, he was the model of an accomplished soldier, and a gallant gentleman.”+ The Ninth Corps, under his command, had most important tasks to perform. In the early part of the movement, it was the guard of the left flank of General Pope's army, and watched the fords of the Rappahannock above Fredericksburg with the utmost vigilance. At the last, it was the guard of the right flank as the army fell back, and fought a sharp and sanguinary battle, scattering the enemy and forcing him away from the line of retreat.

On the 12th of August, General Reno, with his command, joined General McDowell near Cedar Mountain, and on the north bank of the Rapidan, holding the high ground on this side of that river and watching the fords below. On the 18th, information was received to the effect that the enemy was massing his forces below the ridge upon the south bank, with a view to crossing the Rapidan at Raccoon Ford, and getting between our main body and the Potomac. It be

* Pope's Report, p. 27. Ibid., p. 28.

came necessary for our army to fall back to the north bank of the Rappahannock. The Ninth Corps was to return by the road up which it had marched a few days before. The movement was executed with entire success, during the night of the 18th and through the day of the 19th. The enemy crossed the Rapidan, but was too late. When he arrived at the Rappahannock, and attempted a crossing, he found that Kelly's Ford, his most available crossing-place, wis guarded by the Ninth Corps, which was ready to dispute his passage. Compelled by this manæuvre to give up his scheme of cutting our communications, the enemy seemed disposed to change the plan of his operations. He could do nothing upon our left. He decided to attempt the turning of our right. Almost the entire force of his army, which had been concentrated below and had been baffled, traversed our front behind the woods upon the south bank of the Rappahannock. His heavy columns were plainly to be discovered by our lookouts, and clouds of dust rising above the trees of the forest indicated his line of march towards our right. General Pope resolved to attack this moving column on the morning of the 23d, and gave orders to that effect to General McDowell, in command at the river. But much rain had fallen on the night previous, the river became suddenly swollen, the fords were rendered impracticable, the trestle bridge, which had been built for the passage of the troops, was swept away and the railroad bridge was threatened with destruction. The attack could not be made, and the forces under General McDowell were moved up the north bank of the river to intercept the enemy as he crossed at Sulphur Springs. But the enemy had been too rapid in his movements, and our army, leaving the river, marched in the direction of Warrenton and on the 24th occupied that town. On the 25th the line of the entire army was formed, reaching from Warrenton to Kelly's Ford. At the latter place, upon the extreme left was stationed General Reno with the Ninth Corps, who was ordered to keep open the communication with the forces below him on the river. On the 26th, however, General

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