War of the Rebellion: Serial 015 Page 0324 OPERATIONS IN N.VA., W.VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

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conduct of General McDowell since he was assigned to the command of division in the Army of the Potomac, under General McClellan, on the 24th day of August, 1861.

It is not deemed necessary to furnish an abstract of the testimony in this report except in a few instances, where it appears desirable for an intelligent understanding of the whole subject.

For convenient analysis of the case the court present it in chronological order as nearly as practicable.

GENERAL M'DOWELL AS DIVISION AND CORPS COMMANDER UNDER GENERAL M'CLELLAN.

General McDowell entered on the command of a division in the Army of the Potomac on the 24th day of August, 1861, in which he continued until the 13th day of March, 1862, when he was assigned to the command of the First Corps of the same army, in which he continued until his detention to form part of the force for the defense of Washington, on the 4th day of April, 1862.

During all this period he was under the command of General McClellan, and it appears by the concurrent testimony of every officer who has testified on the subject, and the court report the fact to be, that he was energetic, intelligent, faithful, and without reproach in the performance of the duties of his station.

THE SEPARATION OF GENERAL M'DOWELL'S CORPS FROM THE ARMY OF THE POTOMAC AND FORMATION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE RAPPAHANNOCK.

The cause of the detention of General McDowell and the separation of his corps from the Army of the Potomac, when that army proceeded to Fort Monroe to commence the campaign of the Peninsula, has been carefully and thoroughly investigated. The object proposed for that army was the capture of Richmond. The minds of officers and men were deeply imbued with it. It had all the importance and brilliancy of expectation to awaken ambition and a soldier's thirst for glory. The Army of the Potomac contemplated the achievement as one to be accomplished by their united efforts, and for which they had required numerical strength, discipline, and equipment.

It was to be expected, and it was the fact, that the portion of it which, in the necessary distribution of force, was left behind regarded their separation from their more fortunate comrades with feelings of bitter disappointment.

Public attention had been strongly attracted to the fact that the separation of General McDowell's corps occurred when the Army of the Potomac was taking its position before Yorktown, and a presumption followed, from a want of information as to all the circumstances of the case, that such separation interrupted the plans formed for that army and was the primary cause of the failure of the campaign against Richmond.

It is not difficult to understand how that presumption, when adopted as the real state of the case by officers and men in the Army of the Potomac, would affect their opinions of General McDowell.

That officer immediately succeeded to the command of an independent army and department, known as the Department of the Rappahannock. When the public mind planted itself on the fact that the disruption of the Army of the Potomac, by the detention of General McDowell's