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The Army Of The Potomac

The Army Of The Potomac image
Parent Issue
Day
27
Month
February
Year
1863
Copyright
Public Domain
OCR Text

From the National liitelligeucer. Tho St. Louis Democrats the, organ of tho most extreme anti slavery opiniens. It liever has anything that giTiaoka cf tl óonservatisrii n its columns, and in tH oomments on military affairs has never lost an opportimily of dispurttglng tho Arrrïy of the Putomac wliile uiidur the t.be oommand of Gen. MeCleüan. Wo may, théreFofe, nfer thïit the cOtlspibUoüB poition which it gives, in its imiiiber of the 6.h instant, to thu foüowiri'; letter irom a correspondent in this city, is iivarded sjcnply to the histoiical value of ihe communieations which tho writer tnakes. It is lor this reason, as also for thu intimalion wifb wl.ichthe letter eiuses that we reproduce its esseniial portions, au foilows : " Less than threo inonths figo, when General Burrcside took cotnmand of the irmy.he found it tho rrost thorouffhly organinod, compact, and wieldy body of' men the World hns ever neen. No man kribwing its then condition noiv preMi'iies or dusires to quescion the fact that no such magnificent and perfectly machinery-lik-o army of volanteer men ever itiarchod fonh to battlo as was that - its officers thoToagkly imbued wiüi the pint and heartily acquieseing in the plans of iheir leader, the soldier.s ulniost worshiping their commandei', and enthüsiustiu for aetion bevond a parallel in hjatury. Less thiin ninety days havo pttused, and General Btirnside, a galiant soldier, whom everybody loves and honors, attempta to move that splendid anny of bul yesterday, and it absolutely falls lo pieeea in lus hands, and only tho stor:::s of heaven saved it from destructiou. It is not that the góUiiers are waQting either in courago, enduranee, or patience. - l'tiese i wo latter atiributes of' tho true so'dier tiiey have exemplilied amid disaster und defeat as no army of voluneers ever exempl -fied thein befcre. - Theii courage was attested in iheir last, encounter vvith the enomv. when alnjpüt evei'y man of thosö who crosed that fated river believed ho wan marohing into the verv jaws of diuth. Tlien whatis it V Why is this grand army of noblu man nd gallant soldiere so utteily demorulized in lese Uian linéty days that it it absèlutely powerless to lüuich against the enemy? " The f'.cts I have stated no man in all this broad land attempts to (jiicstion; and tiie reasons and causes will t'orce thernselves upon us whether we likè hem or not. (urn where wo vv il!, suek to avoid them as we may, reluse lo look at thorn, the facs staro us in the face, and the canses uunool lm put ftside, hovvever mach thev inay attempt it. The schJisrs clamor for the leadership of McClrllan. That -hort sen tunco tel! the wliole story I am pur focily a.vare of the tender poim I 'ouch liere ; I knmv (uil vyel! ihfl opioiona ui tho {jeople of Ihe, West, and also yf tnany here pon this stlKje t, and to a very great exteni l s'iare ïhom tnyselfj hut Iiiin giving you sirwply the feelings, the animas ol tho Army of the Poloinac - uliat wvry titan who has Been and converfed with the men, who has mingled with ihe B.pJdiers in iheir oanips, visited the i.iaimed in their hostiitids, knows beyond peradventure to be tho indisputable facts. I Ihinkmysull that tnueh of their confidente is misi lacnd ; that the ;anipaigns of Gen McClellan have n:t been such as to in spire liis soldiers vvilh such unqiestion able fait h in hls Genoralship ; but thev view it in a different li(fht ; it is no debatable ques'ion vvith them. Thev cliiiin overy firh t upon the Península a bril iant vio'orv for them; everv Hrguujnment to tho eontrary is offensive and insul ing to triem, and thev assert that Antiotam confirma their position ; and since that memorable and well-lought and won battle they idolize him more tlian ever. " 'í he entire army, excepting snnie of Uui'nside's original eorps, were dissatish'ed and agt;ravated bevond expressjon at the chango whicfi took McClellan fi-om thorn, and only the ir.telliyrent patriotiáin of the men w&thheld tlieui IVom opnn iriiitiny. Noboily knaw this botter than Burusido, and it was the ground of his liesitotion, and, iudeed, repeated refusals to at-sumo the command f the iirmv. But, is patrióte, knowin{ and foelinaf the irnporlanoe of the stake for wliich they fought, the soldiers determinad to do their duty. - Had Burnside been successful, much of their fonner aMnchment for andcoi;. fidence in their forrner commander would have f)eentransferred to him,and the army would not been in its present condition Uut, after his first lailnre to tako Fredei icksbnrg, tho former distrust of the soldiers returned with increuped forcé and extended to officers of every grade, who had been silent before, and at the time of the last offort at a movoment, such was the want of conlidence co-oporation 1 bat of división, brigade and regiment-d commanders rushed to the President to protest against the movement. Ts caused the pereiiiptory order of tho Presiden', and resul ted in the rosignation of Burnside. - The tinasked-for relief from his oom mand of Gen. Pranklin shows that he was one ol the protcsting offictrs, and shows also that this vv;int of confidence extended even to grand división commanders. Major General John Cochrane was another. and is supposed to be the officer put under arrest by Gen. ]urnside. "I knd'v it is our duiy to stand by every cominander placed over tho army, ' hope for the best and sp;ak assuritlgly lor success. But the present chango will be tinpi-oductivo of good regultg. Nobody undei'rates the gallant J. IJooker sa t fighling Genera!, and I bfoüevp, that if the rmr co"j!] pinco implioit confidenua in him, h would givo tliem victory and our cause succuss. But they have not that eoofidenco; they believo him leas competent tü hiindle that vast anny than was Burnside; and tho additional changos ollowing the reaignation of thu latter havo onlv increased their distrust and diiSHtmtwctloo. Fraiikliii'n grand división had the highest postiblo estimation of their coinmander, and his reinoval has liad a d!sastious elltet upon them. öumner's resignation points unaiistakably to his distrust of Hookur and his unwillingnesa to serve under himj )i)d the troupa of Lis o!d división, Corps, and grand división, who fullowed him whh the pride and dovotion vvith kbich a noble umstiff followg hia inaster, have their distrust, fortifhtd, and their disáatísíaotion is i o tenue. " It 18 wel' Ihat the tiettinji in of winter in iis worst fonn preoludes all attemps at military movemenU for ïorne timo to come ; for, in the present temper of the Anny of the Potomno, I should foar t ho worst constquenees to our anus. It has rained for a week past, iiiitl juut closed up vvith tux or eight incht'8 oí snnw. Mud, almost bottomltss mud, reigns supreme, and the roads aro utteily impiissablo lor troops :.nd artillery. Now has come upon the anny at last what all, both soldiei'H and people, most dreaded - winter quarters. Some will hopa thut this inay teud lo w.ear off their present griövaijces, ansi, baing uil paid ofl and reclothed, they inay come t'oith invigorated and cheerful, ready to folio w any chief' chosen by the government to lead tliem to victory. But 1 must confess that thts is a more hopelul view than I fet'l warranted in takiilgj sueh i.s not the result of experience as to winter quartüi-8. This has elvyays been the b.aiie of the goldier's lile, and is ever protifio of' iucreased dissatisf'aolion. 1 fear it will bo so in this case. Such is the blind infatuation oí these men for MeClellan that 1 ain fully convinced that no other cotninaoder can accomplish anything against a powerful and wary föe with that army. So that the future wHb it i.s rcduced to this: either their choice of commander must be given tliem, or this armv must be detttched and sent to diff-ient fields of duty; and of the two I think the government will ehoose the lattor alteruative. 1 believu the breach is irreparalile betwoen the admin;strati()n and McClellan. By suflering hitnsell to be made the pet, if' not thu tooi tf th democratie opponenta of thu war, he has broken down the last bridge over ivhich ha might have oïherwise returned to Ihe liead o! tho army. 8iowuens inay have been bis error as a commander, but his present poeition, in view ol the state of thu eountrv, is his critnr. - Consequenlly, I think Ihe Army of the Pttomuc will et ase lo (Xsf, and wilt be tranxfemd to new and, diffi-rent poütions. The most probable disposilion of it seems to be tl, is : to inuke WTi,-li mgton secure by an impregnable garrison, and trausler the reinainder to North Carolina, and reu líe it tho active invading army of the Southern A'Jantiu States; anil it is believud bv in any that Gen. Fiemont will the head of the latter dupnrtment. I confess that I uttaoh 'n:'!'o than rdniary crodence to tiiis muf.hdiscussed and wurmly urged progranirne. "' I have given you my last and onlv installment upon the uiteet; unless, indeed, tjome now unlookedior movement should be made ly Gen. iïooker, which, notwithstanding what may be said by many correspondents, nobodv untioipates. But I have sotight to give your readers und thu people of the West what T know to be the present military morae of thut once splendid Grand Army f the Pntomao.

Article

Subjects
Old News
Michigan Argus