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were abandoned. All the vessels, with the exception of two or three barges which had been got close in to the shore, were got off
. Question. Were you with the army after “ the change of base” to the James river, as it is called?
Answer. Yes, sir; I was in charge of the White House, and abandoned it on the 28th of June, while the general was making his change. I abandoned that depot, took the shipping down the York river and up the James, and arrived there about two hours before the general himself reached the James. From that time I was with him all the time until he was relieved. I succeeded General Van Vliet immediately after I reached the James river.
Question. Were you present with him at the time of the battle of Malvern?
Answer. He was, a part of the time, on shore and present with his troops. A part of the time he was on board a vessel-of-war. There were two fights at Malvern; it commenced the evening of one day and continued the next day. The first evening, as soon as the general came upon the river, he went on board Captain Rogers's vessel, the Galena, and with three or four other vessels that Captain Rogers had, we passed up the river some little distance into a bend, within reach of Malvern, and the vessels engaged the enemy at the same time that our troops on land did. The next day, on which was the great battle of Malvern, but at which I was not present, the same thing occurred: the general at some times was with his troops and at other times was on board the vessel, as was reported at the time.
Question. How far was that vessel from where the main fight was going on, during the great fight?
Answer. It was a mile or a mile and a half, I should suppose.
Answer. We had most of the artillery that was left of the army of the Potomac, (which was an immense amount, some 200 or 300 guns,) in position upon the hills. The enemy, without much artillery, attempted to attack us by infantry charges, and they were repulsed all the time by the heavy fire of our artillery. The artillery fight on our side was most successful. I saw the columns of the enemy moving up, and, of course, saw the effect of our artillery fire. I also saw it on the first day.
Question. Were our arms victorious there?
Answer. At Malvern decidedly so. I do not know how it was on the previous days. It was more victorious, of course, than we were led to suppose at the time.
Question. Do you know of any reason why our army, after so victorious a fight as that, were ordered to retreat to Harrison's Landing?
Answer. At that time it was considered that the army would have to go into some place of safety. They were wearied with the previous days' fighting, and were out of supplies. They had taken a certain amount with them at the commencement of the seven days' fighting, and could get nothing more until our vessels could get around to the James river. It was understood that the army was out of supplies. I know that at Harrison's Landing I had the landings constructed as rapidly as possible, and commenced issuing supplies to them with great haste. Some portions of the army had still some rations left. I do not believe that we then knew we were as victorious as we now know that we were. I heard the matter discussed there, and Captain Rogers himself advised the place of Harrison's Landing, which is some seven or eight miles below Malvern.
Question. He, of course, did not know how decided our victory was there?
Answer. He did not know. Even if the army had held its position at Malvern, it could not have been supplied without considerable difficulty, inasmuch as every transport would have had to pass by the mouth of the Appomattox-by City
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Point-and would have had to go in so close there that the enemy could have broken up our system of supplies, or have harassed us so as to make it very risky work. They even fired at our shipping where it was later.
Question. Did you return with the army?
Question. Were the heights at Harrison's Landing, and about there, seized by our men at once, or were they at first occupied by the enemy?
Answer. The line of intrenchments was laid out almost immediately after our reaching Harrison's Landing, and after we had been there three days it was considered that the army was safe against any attack of the enemy. They could have bombarded our army, as it lay at Harrison's Landing, at almost any time, from the opposite shore, until we took possession of it, with what effect I do not know. I know they tried it one night, and I know if they had kept it up and bombarded us all the time, it would have been a serious affair. But I do not think they could have done us any damage upon our own side of the river.
Question. We finally seized those heights from which they bombarded us, and took possession of them ourselves ?
Answer. Yes, sir; just before the army came away. We got down to Harrison's Landing about the 2d of July; but we did not cross the river at once and occupy the other side.
Question. Do you know anything about the attempted junction of the army of the Potomac with the army of Virginia ? Answer. I know, as a matter of course, that a good portion of the
did reach Aquia and Alexandria, and march out to join General Pope.
Question. Do you know what corps or divisions of the army of the Potomac joined General Pope ?
Answer. Porter's corps was the first, landing at Aquia and Alexandria, mostly at Aquia, I think. Franklin and Sumner joined from Alexandria.
By Mr. Chandler: Question. Can you state on what day or days of the week the corps of Franklin and Sumner landed at Alexandria ?
Answer. I do not think I could without reference to my notes. I was with General McClellan, at the time in Alexandria, and superintended the embarkation of the troops from Fortress Monroe and Yorktown, at those places.
By the chairman : Question. Do you know anything about General Pope sending requisitions to General McClellan for provisions for his army?
Answer. Yes, sir.
Answer. I think he did. Those things would affect me; I was the officer who gave the orders to forward supplies, and in the Maryland campaign all the supplies of the army came through me.
Question. You know, I suppose, that General Pope sent for provisions, as he says, and id not get them; that ord was sent to him by General McClellan that he could have them if he sent guards for his trains, &c.
Answer. I think it is true, as reported, that he sent that answer to General Pope. I do not think General NcClellan on that day had any troops with him ; he hardly had an aide-de-camp with him. It was reported in Alexandria that it would be very unsafe to send anything to the front." I suppose that was the reason that General McClellan sent that reply, thinking, perhaps, that General Pope could protect the trains, while he himself could not. I know it was the
impression in Alexandria that if stores were put upon the trains and sent to the front, the chances were that they would be captured.
Question. Then you do not intend to state that you always did supply General Pope when he made requisitions for provisions ?
Answer. No, sir; there was very little done towards supplying General Pope at that time. And very shortly afterwards General Pope's trains commenced coming into Alexandria.
By Mr. Chandler : Question. Do you
know what force there was in and about Alexandria at that time that might have been sent with the trains out to General Pope ?
Answer. I do not know that there was any. I know that I was under the impression at the time, from what I heard the general and others about him say, that he had not the means of furnishing any protection for the trains.
Question. Had Sumner's and Franklin's corps then left?
Answer. They were out of Alexandria, and were presumed to be present with General Pope, or near him. The small cavalry force that the general usually had at his headquarters for an escort had also been sent to the front. At that time our cavalry, and a great deal of our artillery, had not reached Alexandria from the Peninsula.
WASHINGʻION, March 7, 1863. General HENRY W. HALLECK sworn and examined.
By the chairman : Question. There are some portions of the evidence taken by this committee, in relation to the operations of the army of the Potomac, which they deem it due to make known to you; and then to permit you to make such statements upon the subject as you may desire.
[The stenographer then read to General Halleck the testimony of General McClellan, in relation to the withdrawal of the army of the Potomac from the Peninsula, the reassumption of the command by General McClellan, just previous to the Maryland campaign, and the movements at the beginning of that campaign.]
Answer. I would make this suggestion : either the Senate or the House of Representatives—perhaps both—made a call upon the department for all instructions, telegrams, orders, &c., in relation to the army of the Potomac. They will furnish the most satisfactory evidence upon these subjects.
The chairman: Those papers were not received by Congress before the close of its last session, and cannot now be obtained by Congress unless another call is made.
The witness : I know that copies of them all have been made, and it was the intention to send them to Congress. I do not know the reason why they were not sent. This committee, having power from Congress to send for papers, as well as persons, can call upon the executive for those copies.
In regard to one or two points in the testimony which has been read to me I would say this : First. The assignment of General McClellan to the command of the army in the field, just prior to the Maryland campaign, was made verbally by the President at General McClellan's own house, in my presence. He said to him, “General, you will take command of the forces in the field.” Until that moment I did not know who was to take command.
In respect to General McClellan going too fast or too far from Washington, there can be found no such telegram from me to him. He has mistaken the
meaning of the telegrams I sent him. I telegraphed him that he was going too far, not from Washington, but from the Potomac, leaving General Lee the opportunity to come down the Potomac and get between him and Washington. I thought General McClellan should keep more upon the Potomac, and press forward his left rather than his right, so as the more readily to relieve Harper's Ferry, which was the point then in most immediate danger; that he was pushing forward his right too fast relatively to the movements of his left—not that the army was moving too fast or too far from Washington.
The chairman: The committee will call upon the President for the copies of those papers to which you refer, but they will need your assistance in arranging properly the more important ones at such time as you may find it convenient to
The witness : If the committee will find it convenient, I will endeavor to appear before them at one o'clock on Monday next.
[The further examination of this witness was postponed until Monday next, at 10 o'clock.)
WASHINGTON, March 10, 1863. The chairman informed the committee that he had seen the large package of papers referred to in the testimony of General Halleck as having been prepared for transmission to Congress. Many of the papers there copied were of no special importance. He (the chairman) had requested General Halleck to select such as he deemed important relating to the points to which his attention had been called by the committee, and to lay them before the committee to-morrow at one o'clock.
WASHINGTON, March 11, 1863. Major General H. W. HALLECK-examination resumed.
Question. Have you selected those papers from the copies prepared for Congress, as requested by me?
Answer. I have, and have brought them with me.
Question. What statement have you to submit to the committee in relation to the re-enforcements required by General McClellan while at Harrison's Landing ?
Answer. In answer to that question, I submit a memorandum (see Appendix A) in relation to my interview with General McClellan, on the 25th and 26th of July, at Harrison's Landing. I wrote the memorandum on the 27th, and submitted it to the Secretary of War on the 28th of July. The 20,000 troops therein referred to, as proposed re-enforcements to General McClellan, consisted of the troops under General Burnside, and those expected from South Carolina. Both, as near as we could estimate, would amount to about 20,000. After I left General McClellan, on the 26th of July, he sent me a despatch of that date, which I received on the 27th, after I had written the memorandum herewith submitted, urging that, in addition to the re-enforcements previously proposed to be given to him, 15,000 or 20,000 should be brought from the west, and also assigned to him; that would make the whole number of re-enforcements asked by him from 35,000 to 40,000. As that number could not be given to him, measures were taken for the withdrawal of that army from the Peninsula. The copy of General McClellan's despatch is herewith submitted. (Appendix B.)
Question. What was the position of General McClellan in regard to the troops of the army of the Potomac as they landed at Aquia creek and Alexandria ? Were they under his command; and if so, how long did they remain under his command ?
Answer. General McClellan retained the command of the army of the Potomac, as it landed at those two points, except such portions of it as were sent into the field under General Pope. Those portions were considered as temporarily detached from his command, but still belonging to his army, and he was directed that all orders sent from him to the troops so detached, while under General Pope's immediate command, must be sent through the headquarters at Washington. He retained command of all the troops of his army as they landed at those places, until sent into the field and reported to General Pope; and they continued to remain under his command, with the exception of the detachments, until General Pope's army fell back on Washington, when all came under General McClellan's command. On his arrival at Alexandria, he was told to take immediate command of all the troops in and about Washington, in addition to those which properly belonged to the army of the Potomac. Some days after he had been verbally directed to take such command, he asked for a formal order, which was issued from the Adjutant General's office. The order issued from the Adjutant General's office was after General Pope's army commenced falling back, and was dated September 2; but General McClellan had been in command ever since his arrival in Alexandria.
Question. At what time did he arrive in Alexandria ?
Answer. He arrived at Alexandria on the 26th of August. The formal order was issued that he might have no difficulty with General Pope's forces ; that they might not question his authority.
Question. Who ordered the troops of the army of the Potomac, as they landed, to join the army under General Pope ? And were such orders given directly to the troops, or through General McClellan ?
Answer. In regard to the first troops that landed at Aquia creek, the orders were given through General Burnside. Those troops that came to Alexandria before General McClellan's arrival received their orders direct from me to go out. After General McClellan arrived they received their orders through him, with the exception of one or two orders that were issued while he was in Washington city, or coming to or returning from Washington to Alexandria.
Question. Who ordered General Franklin's corps to join General Pope's command? When were such orders given, and what was the cause of the delay, if there was any delay, in obeying those orders ?
Answer. 'The general instructions to General McClellan were to send out the troops as fast as they landed. On the 27th of August I telegraphed to him that Franklin's corps should march in the direction of Manassas as soon as possible. I submit herewith the copies of the telegrams which passed between myself and General McClellan in regard to the movements of General Franklin. It will be seen that General McClellan assumed the responsibility of stopping General Franklin after he had started. (Appendix C.)
Question. By whose orders was General McClellan placed in command of the army that left Washington to operate in Maryland, and were those orders verbal or in writing?
Answer. As I stated the other day, the order was given verbally to General McClellan by the President, at General McClellan's house, about 9 o'clock in the morning, previous to General McClellan leaving the city for Rockville. I will add that General McClellan, in virtue of his being placed in command of the fortifications of Washington, and the troops for defence within them, was really in command of all the troops here at that time. The question was discussed by the President for two or three days as to who should take command of the troops that were to go into the field. The decision was made by himself, and announced to General McClellan in my presence. I did not know what the decision was until I heard it thus announced.