Scott Communicates with McClellan on Possible Movements, and Calls Him to Washington

12 11 2020

CORRESPONDENCE, ORDERS, AND RETURNS RELATING TO OPERATIONS IN MARYLAND, PENNSYLVANIA, VIRGINIA, AND WEST VIRGINIA FROM APRIL 16 TO JULY 31, 1861

CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. – UNION

O. R. – Series I – VOLUME 2 [S #2] CHAPTER IX, pp. 752-753

Beverly, Va., July 22 [?], 1861

General Winfield Scott:

Your telegraph of 8 p. m. received. I am much pained at its contents. My three-months’ men are homesick and discontented with their officers, and determined to return at once. When I suggested the Staunton movement I expected these regiments to unite in it. I should be compelled to fight the enemy now ascertained in force at Monterey, and should reach Staunton without men enough to accomplish much. McDowell’s check would greatly increase my difficulties and render numerous detachments necessary to keep open my communications and protect my flanks. How would it meet your views were I to leave, say, four regiments at Huttonsville and in the strong position of Cheat Mountain, one at Beverly, one at Bulltown, and send two or three and a better general to re-enforce Cox, then move with the rest by railroad to New Creek, on Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, find effect a junction with Pattterson near Jamesburg, on the road from New Creek to Charlestown? With this force, in addition to such State troops as Pennsylvania can furnish, we should be able either to defeat Johnston or separate him from Beauregard, and, connecting with McDowell, fight them in detail. I shall know early to morrow the exact condition of the three-years’ regiments now in Ohio and Indiana. Depending upon that information, I can join Patterson with probably fifteen thousand men besides such as Pennsylvania can furnish. The time required would be about seven days, perhaps six, from the day on which I receive your orders until the junction with Patterson at Jamesburg. This, though not so brilliant a plan as a movement on Staunton, appears to me the sounder and safer one. Whatever your instructions may be, I will do my best to carry them out. I will suspend all further preparations for my projected movement on Kanawha until I hear from you. Please reply by telegraph at once.

Geo. B. McClellan,
Major-General, U. S. Army.


Headquarters, July 22,1861—1 a. m.

General McClellan, Beverly, Va.:

After fairly beating the enemy, and taking three of his batteries, a panic seized McDowell’s army, and it is in full retreat on the Potomac. A most unaccountable transformation into a mob of a finely-appointed and admirably-led army. Five regiments have been ordered to join you from Ohio. Brigadier-General Reynolds has been commissioned and ordered to report to you. Remain in your present command instead of going to the Valley of the Shenandoah.

WINFIELD SCOTT.


Adjutant-General’s Office,
Washington, D. C., July 22, 1861.

General George B. McClellan, Beverly, Va.:

Circumstances make your presence here necessary. Charge Rosecrans or some other general with your present department and come hither without delay.

L. THOMAS,
Adjutant- General.


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