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much anxious and laborious attention to this vital subject; and, though his troops consisted almost wholly of twelve months' volunteers, officered by the vicious system and demoralizing method of election, it may be safely asserted that he soon succeeded in making them, if not as efficient as regulars, yet a more thoroughly disciplined and efficient army of volunteers than had ever been seen before. The truth ought not to be invidious; and therefore it should give no offense to state the fact, that the discipline of the Confederate army was never afterwards so good as it was during the months of 1861 succeeding the conflict of Manassas. During the same important months, McClellan was creating by thorough organization and instructions that army of the United States which subsequently conquered the Mississippi Valley, conquered Lee, and conquered the Confederacy; and General Meade more than once remarked with truth, “that if there had been no McClellan, there would have been no Grant." The same remark can be applied to Johnston ; who had the more difficult task of using volunteers as material. The officers whose names afterwards became most renowned in the Confederacy, learned the art and trade of war from this able captain. McClellan did not command at many victories; but the officers and soldiers whom he had trained, and educated, and formed into an army, all continued until the end to ascribe to him a large share of the success that attended them on every theatre of the war. So it is with the officers and soldiers who were educated in warfare by Johnston. He was much removed from command; but his genius remained with the veterans he had formed, and those who best knew his service award to him a share in all the glories that attended in its resplendent career the Army of Northern Virginia.
Johnston succeeded in his purpose of preventing any attempted advance from the line of the lower Potomac. He expected the intended advance to be made by the way of Edward's Ferry and Leesburg on his left; and posted General Evans in that quarter with a force of 2,300 men. He intentionally made it too small for effectual resistance against an advance in force. But he desired that a large portion of the Federal army making the movement should succeed in effecting a crossing of the Potomac; and intended, when as many should have crossed as he
should think proper to permit, to throw his army upon them in flank and rear, making an easy prey of those who should have passed on the march, and seizing positions to prevent reinforcements from the other side of the river.
Accordingly, when the affair of Ball's Bluff took place, on the 21st October, just after a strong reconnoissance by McCall on Drainesville the day before, General Johnston was well prepared to believe, what is now denied by writers on the Federal side, that the crossing of the river by Stone's command on that occasion was the initiation of an advance in force upon Manassas and Richmond ;-and this impression derived strength from the known presence of McClellan in person, at the time, in that vicinity. Truth to say, Gen. Johnston found the inactivity of his adversary as difficult of divination as President Lincoln did himself. He supposed that McClellan then had, as it turns out that he did have, at least seventy-five thousand men available for another advance upon Richmond, after sparing full as many more for the protection of the capital. So, expecting an early movement in force, and himself believing that the route by Edward's Ferry, Leesburg and Ball's Bluff was the most advisable one for the enemy to select, he was full ready to expect an early advance on that line. It is true, as he knew very well, that the opinion then prevailed and was inculcated in Washington, that the advance would be made by the Occoquan; but he was for that reason the more confident that the real design was to move by his left. He therefore had purposely placed in the neighbourhood of the Bluff so small a force as to encourage the belief in his adversary that he could be surprised on that side; and when Gen. Evans made the gallant defence which inflicted so heavy a loss upon McClellan and so great a mortification upon the whole North-a defence which effected a complete check of the expected movement-Gen. Johnston could not help remarking to a confidential friend who was with him, that he had made a capital mistake in placing so gallant an officer and determined a fighter as Gen. Evans in a position which he did not desire to be seriously defended at the beginning of McClellan's movement; for he considered that the splendid conduct of Evans and his brigade had forestalled the Confederacy of another brilliant victory, more decisive than that which had been won just three months before.
Disappointed of an advance on the part of McClellan, and forbidden, by the great strength of that General in his front, from engaging himself in offensive measures, Gen. Johnston was obliged to remain for some time as inactive, in all outward appearance, as his adversary. The inactivity was not his own, but that of his triply-stronger opponent. His effective strength during this period scarcely reached fifty thousand men of all arms, though his muster-roll numbers were generally thirty-three per cent. greater. As already intimated, both Generals were bending their foremost attention to the instruction and perfection of their armies, content to amuse the public with light affairs in the field; so that this period, though exhibiting no important ostensible events, was made busy with preparations that were destined to exert a profound influence upon all the succeeding operations of the war.
Thus affairs went on in North Virginia until late in the winter of 1862; chequered only by subordinate affairs at arms, more appropriate for detailed mention by the circumstatial historian, than in these pages. Having withdrawn from Centreville to Manassas, Gen. Johnston had become aware, by midwinter, that an advance by the Piedmont route of Virginia was no longer intended at Washington. The batteries on the Potomac had therefore lost their principal importance. His own position, even at Manassas, was found too far advanced for convenience of supplies, and his opponent's force was growing, fearfully disproportioned to his own. As it became more probable that the advance upon Richmond would be made from the lower waters of the Chesapeake, it became more important that his own army should be placed in supporting distance of that in the Peninsula. He therefore began quietly to remove the cannon that could be spared, and to fill their places with blackened logs shaped into simulation. The enemy had advanced to Centreville, but quite failed to discover his proceedings. His plan was to place his army, when all valuable property had been removed from Manassas, on the line of the Rapidan, in position to move as events might determine. These preparations began as early as the middle of February, 1862. By March it had become positively known that Yorktown was McClellan's destination;
and Gen. Johnston went personally to the Peninsula to observe the ground, and to confer with Gen. Magruder.
On his return through Richmond, he held a council of war with the principal officers of the government, at which were present, by his request, Gen. Longstreet, and probably Gen. G. W. Smith. In that council he earnestly advocated the policy of a general concentration of forces. He thought the Army of Northern Virginia ought not to be taken to the Peninsula, but placed in position to be able, at the proper moment, to throw itself before Richmond. He recommended that every available regiment of the Confederacy within reach of Richmond should be ordered to that vicinity without delay. And he was of opinion that McClellan should not be seriously opposed in his landing at Yorktown and progress up the Peninsula, but that he should be allowed to separate himself by a considerable distance from his shipping, and then strike a decisive blow with all the power of the Confederacy. His counsels did not prevail, both Mr. Davis and Gen. Lee dissenting; and, accordingly, he received orders which left him no choice but to march his army from the Rapidan to Yorktown. Thus again was the policy of concentration discarded-only to be forced at last upon the government by the pressure of events.
The evacuation of Manassas, which had been effected on the 8th March, had been executed in a masterly manner. The enemy's first intelligence of the event was the smoke which arose from the burning huts of the soldiers. All the material, baggage and stores properly appertaining to the army had been removed. Property was indeed left, but it was of the sort that had been accumulated either without Gen. Johnston's knowledge or consent, or was in the form of irregular and volunteer donations of the people to the soldiers. A large meat-curing establishment, which had been erected by the government in the vicinity, was left, with a considerable supply of the meat which it contained; and this, with some of the stores that had been sent by States and friends to the soldiers, and much baggage of the soldiers (the privates then had trunks), was abandoned, but everything was removed that belonged to the jurisdiction of the Chief Quartermaster of the army. Even these classes of property would have been carried away but for a deficiency of railroad transportation,
The breaking up at Manassas, after so long an occupation, was of advantage. After it, the army was thoroughly mobilized, and became like the athlete when stripped for combat.
The Army of Northern Virginia went to the rear of the Rapidan; Gen. Ewell's division being sent to the aid of Jackson, who commanded another portion of it in the Valley. McClellan was soon engaged in transporting his army of 150,000 men to the Peninsula. He arrived at Fortress Monroe in person on the 2d April; on hearing of which event Gen. Johnston marched his army into the Peninsula and took position in Magruder's lines. Here he expected an attack from the formidable army which vast fleets were landing in his front; but no attack was made. McClellan began to ditch, and resolved to carry the works of Magruder by “regular approaches." McClellan's army, on the spot and within call, numbered three or four to one more than that of Johnston. The latter had been directed to take command of the armies of the Peninsula, and of the seaboard at Norfolk. The march into the Peninsula, he was instructed, was for the purpose of affording time to Gen. Huger to dismantle the fortifications of the latter place, destroy the naval establishment, and evacuate the seaboard.
On the night of the 3d May, Johnston abandoned Magruder's lines in consequence of ascertaining that batteries for about one hundred 200-pounder Parrott guns and thirty heavy mortars were ready to be opened upon them ;-batteries which commanded Yorktown, but were out of reach of Magruder's inferiour guns. Gen. Huger had now also effected all that had been contemplated at Norfolk. The evacuation of Yorktown was thorough, all valuable property being removed. The disappointment of the enemy's engineers in being cheated of an interesting and successful cannonade on an unusually grand scale, was excessive.
Except the incidents of the action of the Confederate rearguard at Williamsburg, and the affair of Barhamsville, the retreat of Johnston towards Richmond was uninterrupted. The leisurely deliberation with which he was allowed to march his army to the Confederate capital was the subject of severe animadversion upon McClellan; the Committee of Congress on the Conduct of the War remarking censoriously—“The distance between Williamsburg and the line of operations on the Chicka