I write this for fear something should detain me here, but I hope to leave here to join you to-morrow. My health is much improved.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
B. S. ALEXANDER,
Brigadier General J. G. BARNARD,
Chief Engineer, Army of the Potomac.
I may be permitted also to mention that the plans (also unexecuted by my successor) indicated in my letter of instructions to General Banks, dated March 16, 1862, for entrenching Chester Gap and the point where the Manassas Railroad crosses the Shenandoah, were for the purpose of preventing even the attempt of such a raid as that of Jackson in the month of May following.
MILITARY INCIDENTS OF THE FIRST PERIOD.
Before taking up the history of the embarkation and Peninsula campaign, I should remark that during the fall and winter of 1861 -'62, while the Army of the Potomac was in position in front of Washington, reconnaissances were made from time to time, and skirmishes frequently occurred, which were of great importance to the education of the troops, accustoming them to the presence of the enemy, and giving them confidence under fire. There were many instances of individual gallantry displayed in these affairs. The reports of them will be found among the documents which accompany this report..
One of the most brilliant of these affairs was that which took place at Dranesville, on December 20, 1861, when the third brigade of McCall's division, under Brigadier General E. O. C. Ord, with Easton's battery, routed and pursued four regiments of infantry, one of cavalry, and a battery of six pieces.
The operations of Brigadier General F. W. Lander, on the Upper Potomac, during the months of January and February, 1862, frustrated the attempts of General Jackson against the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, Cumberland, & c., and obliged him to fall back to Winchester. His constitution was impaired by the hardships he had experienced, and on the 2nd March the fearless General Lander expired, a victim to the excessive fatigue of the campaign.
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I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
GEO. B. MCCLELLAN,
Major-General, U. S. Army.
Brigadier General L. THOMAS,
Adjutant-General, U. S. Army.
Report of Brigadier General William F. Barry, Chief of Artillery, Army of the Potomac, of the organization and operations of the artillery of that army from July 25, 1861, to September 1, 1862.
WASHINGTON, September 1, 1862.
GENERAL: In compliance with the orders of Major-General McClellan, I have the honor to give some account of the history, organization, and operations of the artillery of the Army of the Potomac from July, 1861, to September, 1862, the period during which I was its chief.