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necessity of something being done. But he thought that some expression of opinion should be made by the committee to the authorities here, and the committee should use all its influence to effect this object at once.

After further discussion, Mr. Chandler moved that this committee go in a body to the Secretary of War and represent to him the condition of the Potomac at the present time, and urge that steps be taken at the earliest moment to break the blockade.

The chairman said that he believed the Secretary of War was doing all in his power to effect not only that, but every other necessary object at this time. The chairman did not desire to adopt this resolution for fear it might be considered in some sense a reflection upon the Secretary, and was of the opinion that the committee better meet the Secretary in a less formal way.

Mr. Gooch moved, as a substitute, that the committee wait upon the Secretary of War and congratulate him upon the recent victories achieved under his administration.

Mr. Chandler accepted the substitute; which was then adopted.
After discussion,

The chairman was instructed to inform the Secretary of War that this committee will wait upon him on Thursday next, if agreeable to him.

Adjourned to 11 a. m. tomorrow.

WEDNESDAY, February 19, 1862. The committee met pursuant to adjournment; all the members present. Mr. Odell said he felt constrained to again call the attention of the committee to the importance of immediate action in relation to the blockade of the Potomac. He referred to representations which had been made to hiin by some of the leading merchants of New York city as to the importance of raising the blockade of the Potomac at once, they representing that it would have a far more beneficial effect upon our relations with foreign nations than many victories gained elsewhere.

Mr. Odell concluded by offering the following resolution, which was agreed to unanimously:

Resolved, That a sub-committee, to consist of the chairman and Mr. Johnson, be hereby appointed, with instructions to wait upon the Secretary of War at once, for the purpose of enjoining upon his consideration the necessity of immediately raising the blockade of the Potomac, inasmuch as it has come to the knowledge of this committee that that is the most significant and important thing to be done in view of our relations with foreign nations.

The committee then took a recess, to enable the sub-committee to perform the duty assigned to them.

Subsequently, the committee resumed its session, and, at the request of the chairman,

Mr. Johnson reported as follows:

That the sub-committee, as instructed, had waited upon the Secretary of War, and the chairman made known to him the object of their visit, viz: the importance and necessity of at once wiping out that disgrace to the nationthe blockade of the Potomac and the siege of our capital. The chairman also laid before the Secretary the substance of the statements made by Mr. Odell to the committee in reference to the importance attached to this step by the merchants of the country, and also the feelings of American citizens abroad, as shown in letters which Mr. Covode had received and read to this committee.

To which the Secretary replied that the committee could not feel more keenly upon this subject than he did; that he did not go to his bed at night without his cheek burning with shame at this disgrace upon the nation; that the subject had received his earnest consideration since he had been in the War Department, but as yet he had not been able to accomplish his wishes in that respect, as he was not the head and could not control the matter. The Secretary said that General McClellan was then in the building, and he would bring him into the room.

Whereupon the Secretary left the room and shortly returned with General McClellan, to whom he stated the object of our visit.

At the request of the Secretary, the chairman then repeated to General McClellan what he had already stated to the Secretary in reference to the necessity of raising the blockade of the Potomac, the rebuilding the Baltimore and Ohio railroad, &c.

General McClellan stated that the subject had been considered by him, that he had just then been seeing what could be done, and in a short time expected to be able to inform us what steps could be taken. When asked how soon something would be done, be replied that it was not a question of weeks but of days, and proceeded to state what had been done. The inference from what he said was, that some steps were now being taken, and the delay simply depended upon procuring the necessary means. He said he could not give his consent to take men over on the other side of the river without having their rear protected, and having all precautions taken to secure their retreat, if necessary; that he designed first throwing a temporary bridge across the Potomac over which to cross his troops, and immediately proceeding to erect a permanent bridge.

To which the chairman promptly replied that with 150,000 of the most effective troops in the world upon the other side of the Potomac there was do need of a bridge; they could beat any force the enemy could bring against them, and if any of them came back, let them come back in their coffins. To which General McClellan made no reply.

Mr. Johnson stated that the interview with the Secretary had been a very satisfactory one; that the Secretary listened attentively to all that the chairman said, and although the chairman sometimes made his statements to General McClellan in pretty strong and emphatic language, the Secretary indorsed every sentiment he uttered. The Secretary feels as strongly upon this subject as this committee does.

The chairman laid before the committee a communication from the War Department, in response to a call of this committee, enclosing the original orders from General Stone to Colonel Baker, as taken from the dead body of Colonel Baker upon the field of the battle of Ball's Bluff.

Adjourned to 11 a. m. to-morrow.

WASHINGTON, February 20, 1862. The committee met pursuant to adjournment; all the members present. The session was devoted to the consideration of various subjects. Adjourned to 11 a. m. to-morrow.

WASHINGTON, February 21, 1862. The committee met pursuant to adjournment; all the members present. The following entry was ordered to be made upon the journal:

In accordance with previous arrangement, the committee, with the exception of Mr. Johnson, waited upon the Secretary of War last evening at his private residence. Among other things, the committee urged upon the Secretary the importance and necessity of raising the blockade of the Potomac and the siege of this capital, expressing it as the judgment of this committee that the longer existence of them would still further disgrace us abroad and bring us into contempt with our brave troops at home. The Secretary fully coincided with the committee in the necessity of this being done, both in reference to our relations abroad and our affairs at home.

The interview was a very satisfactory one. The committee found the Secretary anxious, willing, and eager to co-operate with them in every respect. He said that he should be glad to see the committee at any and all times, and requested that they would meet him at least once a week.

Mr. Johnson stated that the reason of his absence from the interview with the Secretary was that he had been called upon to confer with his colleagues from Tennessee in reference to matters of pressing importance and necessity relating to the affairs of that State.

Adjourned to 11 a. m. on Monday next.

WASHINGTON, February 24, 1862. The committee met pursuant to adjournment; all the members present.

The following witnesses were examined: Major Charles Zagoni, Alfred Spates, A. K. Stake, Major James W. Savage, and Colonel J. C. Woods.

On motion of Mr. Gooch, Resolved, That this committee request an interview with the President to-morrow evening, if agreeable to him, and that they again urge upon him the necessity of dividing the army of the Potomac into corps d'armée.

The chairman stated that the committee room would be required by the Senate Committee on Territories to-morrow.

Adjourned to 11 a. m. on Wednesday next.

WASHINGTON, February 26, 1862. The committee met pursuant to adjournment; Mr. Johnson absent. The following witness was examined: Dr. Ira Tripp. The following was directed to be entered upon the journal:

Pursuant to previous arrangement, the committee waited upon the President at 8 o'clock on Tuesday evening, February 25. They made known to the President that having examined many of the highest military officers of the army, their statements of the necessity of dividing the great army of the Potomac into corps d'armée had impressed the committee with the belief that it was essential that such a division of that army should be made; that it would be dangerous to move upon a formidable enemy with the present organization of the army. The application was enforced by many arguments drawn from the usages in France and every other military nation in Europe, and the fact that, so far as the committee could learn, all our military officers agreed that our army would not be efficient unless such an organization was had The President observed that he had never considered the organization of this army into army corps so es sential as the committee seemed to represent it to be; still he had long been in favor of such an organization. General McClellan, however, did not seem to think it so essential, though he bad at times expressed himself as favorable to it. The committee informed the President that the Secretary of War had authorized them to say to him that he deemed such an organization necessary.

The committee left without any conclusion having been reached in regard to the matter.

Mr. Gooch laid before the committee resolutions of the legislature of Ohio, relative to the opening of the Baltimore and Ohio railroad, referred to this committee by the House of Representatives.

On motion, it was Ordered, That said resolutions be referred to a sub-committee, to consist of Messrs. Odell and Gooch, with instructions to lay the same before the Secretary of War.

Mr. Gooch also laid before the committee the following resolution from the House of Representatives:

"FEBRUARY 24, 1862. "On motion of Mr. Stevens, " Resolved, That the joint committee on the conduct of the war be requested to furnish to this house, or publish, the evidence taken by said committee relative to the conduct of Major General John C. Frémont, while in command of the western department, if, in their opinion, it is not inconsistent with the public interest. " Attest:

EM. ETHERIDGE, Clerk.The consideration of the resolution was postponed for the present.

On motion of Mr. Chandler, The chairman was instructed to request the Secretary of War to direct Major General Halleck to send here, for the use of the committee, the orderbook of Major General John C. Frémont.

Adjourned to 11 a. m. to-morrow.

WASHINGTON, February 27, 1862. The committee met pursuant to adjournment; Mr. Johnson absent.

The following witnesses were examined: Colonel William Raymond Lee, Major Paul J. Renore, General S. D. Sturgis.

Adjourned to 11 a. m. to-morrow.

WASHINGTON, February 28, 1862. The committee met pursuant to adjournment; all the members present. The chairman was instructed to call upon the Secretary of War for copies of General McClellan's report upon Ball's Bluff; General Thomas's report upon the western department, and the order discharging General Frémont's bodyguard under Major Zagoni.

Adjourned to 11 a. m. tomorrow.

WASHINGTON, March 1, 1862. The committee met pursuant to adjournment. Absent: Messrs. Johnson and Gooch. The following witness was examined: Horace A. Conant.

On motion of Mr. Covode, it was Ordered, That this committee will proceed to examine witnesses now in this city in relation to the military administration of General John C. Frémont.

Adjourned to 11 a. m. on Monday next.

WASHINGTON, March 3, 1862. The committee met pursuant to adjournment; Mr. Odell absent. The following witness was examined: General S. D. Sturgis re-examined.

On motion of Mr. Chandler, The chairman was instructed, unanimously, to notify the President that this committee desire an interview with him and his cabinet to-morrow evening at 7 o'clock, at which tinie this committee will again urge upon their consideration the absolute necessity of dividing the army of the Potomac into army corps.

Adjourned to 11 a. m. to-morrow.

WASHINGTON, March 4, 1862. The committee met pursuant to adjournment; all the members present, The following witness was examined: Colonel Frank S. Fiske. Adjourned to 11 a. m. to-morrow.

WASHINGTON, March 5, 1862. The committee met pursuant to adjournment; Mr. Johnson absent.

Ordered to be entered upon the journal that the committee met the President, according to previous arrangement, last evening at 7 o'clock committee urged earnestly upon the President the propriety, if not the absolute necessity, of reorganizing the army of the Potomac upon the principle of army corps, as advised by the leading generals in our army. The committee enforced their proposition with various arguments. The President informed the committee that he would take the matter into earnest and serious consideration, and the following morning have a conference thereupon with the Secretary of War.

The following witnesses were examined: Major William H. Russell and General David Hunter.

Adjourned to 11 a. m. to-morrow.

WASHINGTON, March 6, 1862. The committee met pursuant to adjournment; Mr. Johnson absent. No witnesses were examined. Adjourned to 11 a. m. to-morrow.

WASHINGTON, March 7, 1862.

The committee met; Mr. Johnson absent.
Adjourned to 11 a. m. to-morrow.

WASHINGTON, March 8, 1862. The committee met pursuant to adjournment. The following witness was examined: Captain Chauncey McKeever. Adjourned to 11 a. m. to-morrow.

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