War of the Rebellion: Serial 015 Page 0278 OPERATIONS IN N. VA.,W. VA.,AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

Search Civil War Official Records

orders which detained him in front of Washington. I am very sure that his first information on the subject was derived from the order itself, directing his detention here, &c.

The general then recites the circumstances under which the order was given, supporting it by official papers; all of which seem to leave no further doubt in the matter, and show the act of the President to have been prompted by considerations of a public character, based on the representations of others than myself.

Lieutenant Colonel B. S. Alexander, Corps of Engineers, introduced by the court, I suppose, because it had been informed he was acquainted with some facts which might tend to give a different impression from that produced by the other witnesses, on this point was asked:

In any conversation of General McDowell, heard by you at any time, did he admit or state in substance that he proposed to take, or had taken, any measures to separate his corps from the Army of the Potomac at the time referred to in the last question?

Answer. In no conversation that I have had with General McDowell, or heard from him, did I learn that he had ever taken, or ever intended to take, any measures to have his command separated from the Army of the Potomac at the time referred to in the last question.

GENERAL M'DOWELL'S CONDUCT AT FREDERICKSBURG AND HIS NOT GOING FROM THERE TO JOIN GENERAL M'CLELLAN BEFORE RICHMOND.

Another charge intimately connected with the foregoing is that of my conduct at Fredericksburg, in not going from that place to re-enforce General McClellan before Richmond.

There is hardly a form of reproach that was not used toward me for this. Every possible way my feelings could be hurt seemed to be taken not only by those who opposed the Government under whose very eye I was serving, but the friends and supporters of the Government as well. Those who different about most matters seemed to agree in this. In addition to the charge of failing, neglecting, or avoiding going to General McClellan's relief, it was also said of me I was idling away the time, doing nothing, on the banks of the Rappahannock; "flitting back and forth between Fredericksburg and Washington for mere personal purposes;" "fearing to cross the river when there was opposed to me not more than the fourth of my force;" "clamoring for re-enforcements to guard against imaginary dangers;" "protecting rebel property for the sake of the rebels instead of using my troops to go against the enemy;" "employing them only to guard the enemy's houses, fences, and fields," and "then, when in hearing of the sound of the cannon of General McClellan at Hanover Court-House, making no sign, but, on the contrary, leaving Fredericksburg to go to the Shenandoah to avoid moving on Richmond and coming under General McClellan.

This and much more was said of me week after week and month after month.

The Army seldom saw my name that it was not coupled with some disparaging remark in connection with the above matters, if indeed not with some denunciation or discreditable charge.

The difficulty of accounting for the Government permitting such neglect, such unprofitable and bad conduct in a general who was within a few hours of the War Department, and with whom instant communication by telegraph was constantly kept up, was sought to be explained by charging that these things were covered up or allowed through the influence of two members of the Cabinet who were General McDowell's