War of the Rebellion: Serial 016 Page 0008 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

Search Civil War Official Records

moved with becoming activity, but the delays of others were neither creditable nor excusable.

Our losses in these battles were very heavy both in life and materials, but as no official reports have been received, except a brief sketch from General Pope, marked Exhibit Numbers 4,* I have no means of ascertaining their extent. General Pope was transferred to another department before the reports of his subordinates could be received. Probably they will soon be handed in. Most of the troops actually engaged in these battles fought with great bravery, but some of them could not be brought into action at all. Many thousand straggled away from their commands, and it is said that not a few voluntarily surrendered to the enemy, so as to be paroled as prisoners of war.

In order to reorganize the different corps, get the stragglers back into their ranks, and to supply deficiencies of ammunition, clothing, & c., caused by recent losses, General Pope requested and received directions to bring his army within the defenses of Washington, which were then under the command of General McClellan. This movement was executed on the night of the 3rd without loss. General Pope, being now second in command of the united forces, applied to be relieved, and was transferred to another department.

Although this short and active campaign was, from causes already referred to, less successful than we had reason to expect, it had accomplished the great and important object of covering the capital till troops could be collected for its defense. Had the Army of the Potomac arrived a few days earlier, the rebel army could have been easily defeated, and perhaps destroyed.

Seeing that an attack upon Washington would now be futile, Lee pushed his main army across the Potomac for a raid into Maryland and Pennsylvania. General McClellan was directed to pursue him with all the troops which were not required for the defense of Washington. Several corps were immediately thrown out in observation at Darnestown, Rockville, and Leesburg, and most of his army was in motion by the 5th of September. A portion of it entered Frederick on the 12th.

* * * * * * *

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,



Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War.

[Exhibit Numbers a.]

BERKELEY, VA., August 4 - 12 m

Major-General HALLECK,


Your telegram of last evening is received. I must confess that it has caused me the greatest pain I ever experienced, for I am convinced that the order to withdraw this army to Aquia Creek will prove disastrous in the extreme to our cause. I fear it will be a fatal blow. Several days are necessary to complete the preparations for so important a movement as this, and while they are in progress I beg that careful consideration may be given to my statement. This army is now in


* See report of September 3, p.12.