War of the Rebellion: Serial 015 Page 0277 Chapter XXIV. GENERAL REPORTS.

Search Civil War Official Records

modore, to General Banks, concerning the latter's duties in the Shenandoah Valley, is new to me.*

At the time of General McClellan's embarkation I knew but little, if anything, of the character of the troops that were to be left behind. I did not see the returns nor the reports of these troops, and, as I have before stated, beyond and expression of opinion as to the amount that should be left, I never took any action in the matter nor had any occasion to do so.


As to the causes which led the Executive to order my corps to be left in front of Washington, and as to my having procured its being so left, I think there can be no reasonable doubt in any one's mind after the statements of General McClellan himself, General Wadsworth, and General Hitchcock. The latter was at the time on duty in the War Department and in close relations with the Secretary of War and the President; General Wadsworth was military governor of the District, and General McClellan the person said to have been the most injured.

They are, therefore, those whose evidence should have the most influence. They are, moreover, uncontradicted, and agree in freeing me from having had any part in the act.

General McClellan states (in his evidence of December 10):

I do not hold General McDowell responsible in my own mind for the failure to join me.

He further says that he received a telegram from General Franklin, whilst the latter was still with me as one of my division commanders, to the effect that General Franklin, from his knowledge of the case, was of the opinion I had nothing to do with the separation of my corps from the Army of the Potomac, and that General Franklin brought him word from the President as to the causes for the separation of my corps. The President told me he had sent for General Franklin at the time he was under orders to leave me to join General McClellan, and had charged him to acquaint General McClellan with the reasons, which were purely of a public character, that had caused my being kept in front of Washington.

The President, in his letter to General McClellan of April 9 (see proceedings of January 16), states fully his reasons for ordering this separation.

General Hitchcock (see his evidence of January 16) was asked as follows by General McDowell:

State if your official position and connection with the Government were such at the time as to enable you to know or to give you good grounds for judging as to General McDowell's having or not in April last sought, induced, or procured the separation of his army corps from the Army of the Potomac, with a view to having a separate command for himself; and, if so, whether or not the retention of the corps was, to the best of your knowledge and belief, sought, induced, or procured by him, or was made by the Government for public reasons, based on the representations of others? State fully what you know of this matter.

Answer. I was on duty in the War Office, under the immediate orders of the Secretary of War, from the middle of March until the middle of May last. That period embraces the time referred to in this question. The circumstances which led to the detention of General McDowell's army corps in the early part of April, as a covering army for the city of Washington, were, I believe, very fully known to me, and I am very sure that personally General McDowell had nothing whatever to do in procuring the


*See p. 234.