Obrázky stránek
PDF
ePub

37TH CONGRESS, , HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.

3d Session.

Ex. Doc.
No. 1.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

In The House of REPRESENTATIVES, December 5, 1862. On motion of Mr. CLARK, from the Committee on Printing, Resolved, That twenty thousand copies of the President's message and the foreign correspondence be published in one volume; that ten thousand copies of the President's Message and the reports of the Secretaries of the various departments proper be published in a separate volume; and that five thousand copies of the Message and accompanying documents be published. Attest:

EM. ETHERIDGE, Clerk.

REPORT

OF,

THE SECRETARY OF WAR.

WAR DEPARTMENT, December 1, 1862. · Sir: That portion of the United States which is now, or has been during the last year, the scene of military operations, is comprised within ten military departments. The armies operating in these departments, according to recent official refurns, constitute a force of (775,336) seven hundred and seventy-five thousand three hundred and thirty-six officers and privates, fully armed and equipped. Since the date of the returns, this number has been increased to over eight hundred thousand men. When the quotas are filled up, the force will number a million of men, and the estimates for next year are based upon that number.

The middle department, comprising the States of Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, and Delaware, and the department of Virginia have been the scene of important military operations, concerning which detailed reports have not been made by the commanding generals to this department. Your knowledge of the character and result of these operations dispenses with the necessity for any review until the final reports are made. The preliminary reports of Major General McClellan of the battles before Richmond, and of the battles of Antietam and South Mountain, and the report of the general.in. chief, are submitted. The communications between this department and the respective commanders were prepared under a resolution of the Senate at the last session, and will be transmitted to Congress whenever you shall be pleased to give your sanction). • The report of General Halleck, the general-in-chief, exhibits the operations in these departments since the 23d of July, the date at which, under your order, he assumed command of all the armies of - the United States. If the campaigns of the armies in these depart.

ments have not equalled in their results the expectations of the gov. .ernment and the public hope, still they have not been unproductive

of good result. The valor of our troops has been displayed upon many occasions, and the skill and gallantry of their officers have been distinguished at Yorktown, Williamsburg, Fair Oaks, Gaines's Mill, Malvern Hill, Cross Keys, Cedar Mountain, Chantilly, and other places, enumerated in the reports herewith submitted. The invading army which recently threatened the capital and the borders of Maryland and Pennsylvania has been driven back beyond the Rap

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

Vampelled Pler Genway to join my wer

pahannock; Norfolk, captured by Major General Wool, is in our possion; Suffolk and Yorktown are held; a strong army corps, under its vigilant and efficient commander, Major General Dix, at Fortress Monroe, threatens and harasses the enemy; and, what is especially gratifying, it has been proved that the loyalty of the State of Maryland cannot be shaken even by the presence of a rebel army.

The official reports received at this department show that the military operations in the west, during the past year, have been both active and successful. The beginning of last winter found the rebel armies of Price and McCullough in possession of all the northwestern portion of Missouri, while many of the counties north of the Missouri river were in a state of insurrection. Our forces were concentrated at Rolla and Sedalia. As soon as the rebels could be driven from the northern counties and our armies reorganized, active operations were commenced, notwithstanding the inclemency of the season and the bad condition of the roads. On the 18th of December a considerable number of the enemy were cut off and captured at Milford, while on their way to join Price on the Osage river. The forces at Rolla, under General Curtis, moved toward Springfield, which compelled Price to fall back into Arkansas, where he was joined by Van Dorn. A severe battle was fought at Pea Ridge, Arkansas, on the 6th, 7th and 8th of March, between the combined armies of the enemy and General Curtis's force, in which the latter gained a complete and decisive victory.

The gunboats, under Flag-Officer Foote, and the troops at Cairo, under General Grant, moved up the Tennessee river for the reduction of Forts Henry and Donelson. While Grant's troops were marching to surround the former place, it was attacked by the gun. boats, and reduced on the 6th of February, after a short but severe engagement. General Grant then marched across the peninsula and attacked Fort Donelson. After several days' hard fighting, that place also capitulated on the 16th, with its armament and garrison, except the small force which crossed the Cumberland in the night and effected their escape. This victory caused the immediate evacuation of Bowling Green and Nashville, and, soon after, of Columbus and the greater part of Middle Tennessee.

While Grant and Buell were concentrating their armies on the Tennessee river, near the head of navigation and great lines of railroad communication, General Pope moved down the west bank of the Mississippi, captured New Madrid, and, crossing the river below the enemy's batteries on and near Island No. 10, compelled the garrison to capitulate on the 7th and 8th of April.

General Grant had crossed the Tennessee and taking position at . Pittsburg Landing in anticipation of the arrival of Buell. The enemy advanced from Corinth and attacked Grant on the morning of the 6th of April. A severe battle ensued, which continued till dark—the left of our line being driven back nearly to the river. A portion of Buell's forces arrived in the afternoon and during the night, and the battle was renewed at daylight on the morning of the 7th. The

enemy was driven back at every point, and, in the afternoon, fled from the field, leaving their dead and many of their wounded in our hands.

Finding that the armies of Price and Van Dorn had been withdrawn from Arkansas to Corinth, and all the available troops of the southwest concentrated at that place, orders were sent for General Pope and a part of General Curtis's troops to re-enforce our army on the Tennessee. The latter had long and difficult marches to make, and did not reach their destination till the latter part of May. As the enemy's position at Corinth was strongly fortified and very difficult of attack at that season of the year, on account of the deep marshes by which it was surrounded, General Halleck, while awaiting the arrival of re-enforcements from Missouri, approached the front by means of trenches, and movable forces were sent out to cut the railroads on the flanks. By the 29th of May three of the four railroads running from Corinth had been destroyed, and heavy batteries established within breaching distance of the enemy's works, ready to open their fire next morning. The enemy evacuated the place in the night, destroying the bridges and breaking up the roads in his rear. As all the streams were bordered by deep and impassable marshes, the enemy could not be pursued without rebuilding the bridges and reopening the roads. The corps of Buell and Pope followed the enemy about fifty miles into the swamps of Mississippi, capturing a considerable number of stragglers and deserters, when the want of supplies compelled them to discontinue the pursuit. The reduction of Corinth caused the immediate evacuation of Forts Pillow and Randolph, and the city of Memphis. The flotilla and ram-fleet attacked and destroyed the enemy's gunboats, opening the Mississippi river to Vicksburg.

Meanwhile General Curtis, with the remainder of his army, marched through the northeast part of Arkansas, and after several successful engagements reached Helena, where he established a depot of supplies for future operations.

General Buell had, during the autumn of 1861, collected a large force at Louisville and in other parts of Kentucky. While his main army advanced towards Bowling Green, General Thomas's command was pushed forward to the Upper Cumberland. On the 19th of January he encountered the forces of Zollicoffer, and, after a severe battle at Mill Springs, defeated and utterly routed them. On the evacuation of Bowling Green and Nashville, General Buell's army pursued the enemy to Murfreesboro' and Columbia, and from the latter place the main body was marched to Savannah and Pittsburg Landing.

The great mass of the enemy's forces in the southwest being at this time concentrated in the vicinity of Corinth, the division of General Mitchell advanced to Decatur, in Alabama, and afterwards occupied most of the country in the direction of Chattanooga. The column of General G. W. Morgan, after several engagements with the enemy, in the vicinity of Cumberland Gap, took possession of that important place. The later operations in the west are described in the report of the general-in-chief.

« PředchozíPokračovat »