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Why Did Mcclellan Go To The Peninsula?

Why Did Mcclellan Go To The Peninsula? image
Parent Issue
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Fiorn the New York Qerald, TJiiu qucs'.iou is t'requently askod. - T'::it rouie was ehoseu beoauso it presöütcd the shortest and most sacare baso ut' opcraïioös, ar:e every ablo military mau regards it üs the best way to tbo rebel capital ; and liad tilo Navy Di-part ment done its duty by destrojing the Merriinac in time, tlie James liiver would have been s lectod as the base insteaii of the Pununky. And this is (he answer lo thoso wbo aak, it' t!ie James River was better than the Pamunky, why did nat MuClelluii adopt it at tiv.-l ? He was beyoud Yorktown biforo the eonimandcr of the Mirrimao ordered her des tructiou to prevent capture ; and, hif supplies haviug been sent up the York River tu Üví Pamunky, it was not pos sibie to make the chango in ihe face of the enemy til) hc was driven further baek. Jlud Jaokgon been suflitiently engaged in the Valley of the Shenandoah hy Frcmont, or had McDjwell, on the ltapp ibunnock, c operati'd vigorously anu prerented the rtipid ilank and rear movement of Jaek.son upoc MoOL'llan, or bad sulficient reinforcements been sent to MeClellun to proteet bis line of operationa l'rom bis baso at White IIouso to his advance position at Fair Oaks and Meehanicsviile - a distauee of twentmiles - therc woald buve been nu neoessity for cbanging his base; but bad he not doue so, and clono so skillfully, his wbole anny would bave been captured, Jackson having beeu permitted by the other Union Genera! uot ander the com mand ot' McClellau to turn his right flank and cut him off from bis base. - The robel troops would bave presscd him by ajpeiior numbeis against the James liiver, above tbc point where the gunboats could bave reudered bim assistance, ind eitlier surrender or destiuction must havo bLOn the consequence The skill ol MeCiellan enableil liim to escape the diegraoe planned for him by the radicáis, and Bftvéd our írmy to 'capture Uiubinond at a future day But it bas been asked, why MeCiellan did uot make Washington bis base of operatioiis, and proceed overlaud by way of (Jentervillo and Mauassas to Ilich ! mond? Those wl:o ask 'u3 question are eitlier entirely ignoran t ot' tho art of war, or they malieiously indulge in claptrup to ticklo the ears of tlie multitude. In tlu first place, in a march fron Washington to liiehinoiid McUlellan eould have no Datara] piotectiun uf a sea or greut river fur either of bis flanks, and the lii.e of operatious is 80 extremcly long, bting One buudred and sevetiteen miles as a bird wyuld fly, that it would have reijuired an arijy of doublé bis uuiubur to protec his eomiunniuatioDB wuh liis base. Ilis nrmy would havo had to be supplied entirely by wagons, and be would have lieedud about seveu tbousjiid of theiu ; and they would have been Hable to bo eut off eoutinually by an enterprising énemy like that led by Jackson. Thcti along tbat route fortiGcations werc crected and batteriea establiabod whirb would have rendercd it impracticable, uulcss to a luucb largjr anuy thau was placed at the disposal of lcClellan. His furce would have had to be spread over a great width of country, f'rom the Potoinac to tbtí mountains, in order to prevent his flank being turnod or lus liuea penetrated ; so that while he was marching on llichmond ha inight have discovered, when it was too late to prevent it, that lbo cuemy was on his way to Washington, md that t must incvitably fall uto bis hands. These considerations will show the ignoratic or wiiful wantonness of the flippant criticisms which have been wriUcn and uitered igainst the military operatioug ou the l'eninsulu.


Old News
Michigan Argus