A NOVEL OF TRAVEL BACK IN TIME
The Union Army, since dubbed the Army of the Atlantic, had not progressed any further in the East since McClellan had gotten chewed up in North Carolina.
He refused to move without more reinforcements, horses, mules, rations and equipment. Lincoln and Stanton grew so sick of his complaints that they relieved him of command and sent General Burnside to take his place.
On August 15th, Burnside arrived with 2 Corps of reinforcements; about 20,000 men, 42 cannon, 600 horses/mules, plus much needed supplies and equipment. It seemed sort of asinine that Lincoln and Stanton would not send reinforcements and equipment to McClellan, but did convey them with his replacement, Burnside.
McClellan, no doubt, was in a rage. He didn’t even greet Burnside, but just got on his personal boat and set out for Washington City.
Burnside apparently had been told to meld the additional reinforcements into what was left of McClellan’s force and attack as soon as possible. Needless to say, Burnside did not have the organizational acumen that McClellan did. However, he did have good Corps commanders. The new 1st Corps was under General Joe Hooker, and the new 2nd Corps was under General Bull Sumner. The 5th Corps was still commanded by General Jacob Cox, and 12th Corps was still under General Alpheus Williams.
McClellan had already been working on refitting the equipment from the mauled 5th and 12th Corps. He had completed the reorganization of the Corps with two divisions each. Thanks to McClellan’s reorganization efforts, Burnside didn’t have to do too much to bring his Army of the Atlantic up to speed. They were still in the process of getting all the new equipment issued, the men drilled, and the horses/mules distributed.
The Union Army out West, dubbed the Army of Tennessee, had been taken away from General Grant after his debacle at Savannah, TN. Lincoln offered the position to General Sherman, who refused it. It was then given to General Rosecrans, who had refitted the Army at Camden and was marching his men down the west side of the Tennessee River toward Savannah – the Confederate stronghold in southwest Tennessee.
I had finally collected all the information I needed.
Thanking Mr. Matthews, the newspaper editor, for access to his files, I asked if there was a good place to bed down for the night. He recommended the Stephen’s Hotel on Shenandoah Street, a few doors down from the newspaper office.
I thanked him again and proceeded toward the hotel.