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Full text of "How Bull Run battle was lost ; The Ball's Bluff massacre ; Department of the West-- Fremont"

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^> {^ \thbaTIiibune wae tracts, 

' HOW BULL EUN BATTLE WAS LOST. 
THE BALL'S BLUFF MASSACRE. 

DEPAETMENT OF THE WEST-FEEMONT. 



BUIili RUN. 

The Joint Committee on the Condact of the War 
Buhmit the following report, with accompanying tes- 
timony, in relation to the Battle of Bull Eun, in 
July, 1861: 

So long a time has elapsed, and so many impor- 
tant events have occurred in the progress of tbe 
war, since tbe campaign which ended with the bat- 
tle of Bull Run, in July, 1861, that your Committee 
do not deem it necessary to go very much into detail 
in their report. The testimony they submit here- 
with is very voluminous, and fully covers all the 
points of interest connected with that campaign. 
They therefore sobmit a brief report, confining tlieir 
attention principally to the causes which kd to the 
defeat of our army in that battle. 

That which now appears to have been tbe great 
error of that campaign was the failure to occupy 
Ceatreville and Manassas at the time Alexandria 
was occupied, in May. The position at Manassas 
controlled tbe railroad communication in all that 
section of country. The forces which were opposed 
to us at the battle of Bull Run were mostly collect- 
ed and brought to Manassas during the months of 
June and July. The three months men could have 
made the place eas)ly defensible against j^ny force 
tbe enemy could have brought against it; and it is 
not at all probable that the Rebel forces would have 
advanced beyond the line of the Rappahannock had 
Manassas been occupied by our troops. 

The next cause of disaster was the delay ia pro- 
ceeding against the enemy until the time of the 
three months' men was so nearly expired. In that 
respect the movement was made too late rather tbaa 
loo soon, and the enemy were a lowed lime to col- 
lect thiir forces at Manassas and to strengthen the 
position by defensive works. The reason why 
the movement was so long delayed is shown, to 
Bome extent, by the testimony, to which 7our Com- 
mittee would direct the attention of those who de- 
sire to examine that point. 

And when the movement was finally decided upon, 
much was needed to render the troops efficient. 
There had been but little time devoted to discipin- 
ing the troops and instructing them, even as regi- 
'ments; hardly any instruction had been given them 
in reference lo brigade movement, and none at all 
as divisions. When Gen. McDowell reviewed eight 
regiments together — the only instance previous to 
the battle, as the evidence shows, that even that 
number ot troops were maneuvered in one body — lie 
was charged witi deeiring to make a show. 

Gen. AlcDowell was iustrucled, verbally, by Gen. 
Scott, to prepare and submit a plan of opeiaiions 
against tbe enemy at Manassas. This plan was con- 
siuered in Cabinet meeting, and agreed to; and the 
9th of July was fixed upon by Gen. Scott as the day 
whentne army should move. 

The plan of Geu. McDowell was to move out ia 
the direction of Centreville, and endeavor to turn 
the enemy's right with a portion of his force, and 
destroy bis communicaoion by railroad with Rich- 
mond. He asked that a certain number of troops be 
giv«a itiia, to ojperate against the force wbica it was 



estimated that EeatiTCgard had nnrleT his comttand. 
He was assuied that the enemy below should be 
kept occupied by Gen. Butler, wno was ia command 
at Fortress Monroe; and that the enemy under 
Jobnstoa, in the Winchester Valley, should be held 
there by Gen. Patterson. Some cays before the 
battle, upon expreesing some fears in regard to the 
force under Jollnston being detiiiued by Patterson, 
be was assured by Gen. iScott tliut " \f Johnston 
joined Beauregard', he slioald nave Patterson on hia 
iieels." 

The movement did not commence until the 16tli of 
July, a week later tban the- time first decided upon. 
The transportation was deficient, and Gen. Mc- 
Dowell bad to depend upon others to see that sup- 
plies were forwarded to him in time. Tlie marcii 
was slow, one reason being that, tince the afi'airat 
Vienna, near Alexandiia, and at Big Bsthel, near 
Fortress Monroe, a fear of f masked batteries " 
caused hesitation in regard to advancing upon points 
concerning which there was a want of inibrmation. 
There was some delay, on the march, m cousequtnce 
of the want of comyiete discipJine among some of 
the troops. They were not suiiicieutly under con- 
trol of olfieers to be pte»euted from leaving the raake 
ami straggling. 

The arfair at Blackburn's Ford on Tbnrsdny, the 
18th, being more extem-ive than Gen. JUcDowell 
had ordered, drew the atteution of the enemy to 
tliat point; and, in consequence of the preparilions 
they made there to meet any attempt of Gen. Me-j 
Doweil to turn their position in that direciion, it 
became necessary to adopt another line of opera- 
tions. Gen. McDowell oeterujiued to make the at- 
tempt to turn their risiht;, and steps were taken to 
secure the necessary information. It was not until 
Saturday that tbe information which Geu. McDow- 
ell desired was obtained. 

He then issued orders for the troops to move the 
next morning, the 21st. some at 2 o'clock and 80m» 
at half-past is. Tbe division of Gen. Tyler was itt 
the advance, and was ordered to proceed directly 
out to Stone Bridge, and take up position there. 
Geu. Hunter's and Gen. Ileintzeluiau's divisions 
were to follow, and when they reached a road lead- 
ing to tbe rifebt, aljout a mile in advance of Gen. 
T^ler s camp, they wtre to lurn otf and proceed in 
the direction of fciudlKy s Church, and eujeavor to 
tarn the enemy's leit. The movement to the right 
was intended to be m^.ile under cover of Gen. 'A'y- 
iei's force at Si one Biiuge. 

But there was mncii delay in tbe movements of 
the troops that mornirjg. Tj;ler's (livjiiiou did m't 
pass the poiut, whera Hunter's ana Keintzp'-" 
divisions w^re to turn otf, until after th'- 
nated. Some of the trooris were de^ - 
hours, affording time to the enemygg^.- 
moveaieiit and make preparaiioCs Iv-nUitti 
Notwithstanding these disauvantagts, 
were sufcjssfal curing the fore part ot ' 
though Beauregard bad bee i re-cniorcer 
Johnston's forces from Winchester, 
were very muca fatigued. Tha cay wf 
warm, the roads were daety, and 1 
8ome hours longer on the march tba 
ticipated. lu the afternoou additir 



mentB arrived from Jolmeton's army, and enddeoly 
Attacked our right and threw it into disorder. 

About the eame time two of our batteries (Eick- 
ett'8 and Griffin's) were captured by the enemy, and 
our entire force began to fall back in great confus- 
ion. In regard to the capture of the batteries, it 
appeals by the testimony that they were ordered to 
take an advanced and exposed position, and were 
not sufficiently supported. Not long after they 
were placed in position, a Rebel regiment appeared 
in their immediate vicinity. Capt. Griffin slates 
that he took them to be Rebels from the first, and 
directed one of his lieutenants to open upon them 
\Fith canister. But Major Barry, Chief of Artillery, 
coming up just at the time, told him that they were 
some of oar own troops coming to the support of the 
batteries, find directed him not to fire upon- them. 
The battery was accordingly turned in another di- 
rection, an3, almost immediately after, this regiment 
of the enemy opened fire upon it, disabling the 
horses, and killing and wounding most of the men 
at the guns. That completed the discomfiture of our 
troops, and the day which bad opened upon our buc- 
GOSB closed upon a defeated and retreating army. 

A division, under Col. Miles, had been stationed 
Bt Centreville, partly for the purpose of a reserve, 
and partlj»to guard against any flank attack. The 
enemy did attempt a movement upon our left, but 
■were promptly met and checkad by our forces there. 

The principal cauee of the defeat on that day was 
the failure of Gen. Patterson to hold the forces of 
Johnston in the valley of the Shenandoah. He had 
a force of about 23,000 men ; while the force of the 
enemy opposed to him, according to the beet evi- 
dence your Committee could obtain, did not exceed 
from 12,000 to i,'i,<'iOO men. Gen. Patterson testifial 
that he -w»t satisfied thiwit, Johnston had from 35,000 
to 40,000 men, and over tO ^i uns. He also states 
that a large number of his troops wGre anxious to 
return home; that their time had about expired, ar"l 
he could not persuade tbem to remain. There is 
considerable testimony to show that the troops be- 
came dissatisfied, and refused to remain, only when 
they learned that their movement' from Bunker Hill 
on the 17th of July was a retreat, and not an ad- 
vance upon the enemy; that while they supposed 
they were beiug led to the attack, little, if 'any, 
complaint was mcide, and they were in excellent 
^ upiritB, 

In reference to the orders given to Gen. Patter- 
son, and the obiect to be accoaiphshed by his opera- 
tions, there seems to be no question. That object 
was to prevent Johnston from joining Beauregard 
before Gen. McDowell could have an opportunity to 
attack the forces under the latter. The character of 
the orders is indicated by the following telegram of 
the 13th of July (Satnrdayj from Gen. Scott to Gen. 
Patt^aon : 

I telegraphed yon yesterday, if Jiot strong enough to beat 
the enemy oaily uoxt week, make demonatiationa 60 as to de- 
tain him ia the valley of VViiichestor. But if he retreais in 
force toward Mauassas, and it be liazaraouB to follow liim, then 
consider the route via Keyes's Ferry, Leesburg, tc. 

Gen. Scott had, the day before, conveyed to Gen. 
Patterson the intimation that Gen. McDowell would 
commence hia movement on the 16th ol July, and on 
the 15th Gen. Patterson advanced from Martinabtirg 
to Bunker Hill, remaining there the 16th. 

On the 17tJi Gen. Scott telegraphs to Gen. Patter- 
sou: 

I have nothiD? official from yon since Sunday, but am glad 
to lesm from Philadelphia papers that you have advanced. Do 
jjoHet the enemy amuse and delay yoa with a small force iu 
"bije he re-enforces the Junction with Ms main body. 
first day's work has driven the enemy beyond 
•House. The Junction will probably be carried 

is no evidence at what time that dispatch 

ved. Bui, it could not have been received 

movement from Bunker Hill to Charles- 

nade by Gen. Patterson, for that move- 

'mced very early in tne morning of the 

e of the dispatch: 

h Gen. Scott telegraphs: 

'y been expecting you to beat the enemy. If 

i felt him :itron2ly, or at least had occupied 

d domonetratious. You have been at least 

ippp8», bis sgpetjor in numbsj. H»» be pot 



(tolen a march, and sent r«-enforcementi toward MaUMsaa 
Junction? A week is euough to win a victory. 

To this Gen. Patterson repUes on the same day: 

The enemy has stolen no march upon me. I have kept him 
actively employed, and, by threats and reconnoissanco in 
force, caused him to be le-euforced. 

Gen Patterson testifies as follows: 

Qneetion. During all this time you knew that Gen. Scott 
expected of you that you should either engage and beat John- 
ston, or detain him in the valley of Winchester ; or in the 
event that he should come down by a route where you conld 
not foUo w him, that you sbouid toilow him via Keyes's Ferry 
and Leesburg ? 

Answer. Yes, Sir. 

Question. And yet, when yon were at Cbarlestown, yon 
found yourself not in a condition to do either. Now, my 
question la: Why did vou not communicate that fact to Oen. 
Scott? 

Answer. There was no occasion for it, in my judgment. He 
knew my condition, and to have added to the information he 
already had would have been a waste of time and paper. I 
had informed him of my condition, and it was his business 
to order me what to do. I had asked him : " Shall I attack V 
It was not my business to say anything beyond that. 

When asked if the telegram of the 18th, Irom Gen. 
Scott, did not show tbat he still deemed it waa of 
the first importance that he (Patterson) should de- 
tain Johnston there, Gen. Patterson replies: 

I looked upon that telegraph, and so did every gentleman 
npon my staff, as nothing more nor less than an exhibition of 
bad temper. ^. 

Gen. Patterson also testifies: 

Question. You say you could have attacked on the 18tb if 
ordered to do so. You knew the necessity of detaining John- 
ston, and you must have inferred from the telegraph of Gen. 
Scott that he expected or required of you that you should do 
something in that direction. Why did you not do all that 
you could to detain him without an order ? 

Answer. Because 1 coul<i not go up there without fighting, 
as I could not fall back asrain. 1 had no reason to believe that 
that telegram was uot written in the morning in reply to mine 
of that morning, [1.3J a. m., asking " Sliall 1 attack ?"J Gen. 
Scott ^id not light that day. and there was no more occasion 
for my going up and periling my men without an order, than 
of doing anything entirely uncalled for — not the slightest oc- 
casion for it. * * * * * * * 
If Gen. Scott did not fiK^t, and saw the necessity for m J act- 
ing 1 repeat it was hia business to give the order. 

Ill ai^tilier place he testifies: 

Question, ''."hen you found y-u were in condition to de- 
tain Johnston, was it vnt aU impcrfitiit that that fact should 
have been communicated to Gen. Soctt ; uot the '""M that you 
could not fight Johnson, but that you could not detain him. 
that your strength was ins-jfiacient for that, and that he could 
not rely upon his being kept back? 

Answer. I never supposed, for a moment, -that Gen. Scott 
believed for the filty-fiith part of « eecoud that I could hold 
faim. 

Gen. Patterson farther testifies: 

Question. You were not threatening Johnston at Charlas- 
town so as to prevent his joininz Beauregard at Manassas? 

Answer. No, Sir. I remained there because I was ordered 
to remain in front of him until he left. 

Question. You knew at that time that yon were not oGTering 
any obstacl* to his going down to Manassas? 

Answer. Perfectly: I knew I had not the means to do It. 

Question. Why did you not communicate that fact to Oen 
Scott immediately ? 

Answer. I did communicate my condition, and where I Wai. 

Question. When ? 

Answer. On the 16th I wrote him in detail from Bunker 
Hill. On the 17th I wrote again. And on the lath I gave him 
all the information necessary. And it was his b»sine;s to or- 
der me, and uot my business to make any further sugge^stiona 
to him. 

Question. Did you communicate to him by telegraph ? 

Answer. Certainly, I eeut three telegrams to him on the 
«ame day. 

Question. On what day ? 

Answer. On the lilth, at IJ in the morning, I telegraphed 
him my condition, and asked him if I should attack. To have 
sentluither information to hira would have been rather im- 
pertinent, and ho would have so considered it. * * * * 

Question. Why did you not inform hira that you were not 
then in a condition to oifer any obstacle to Johnston's joining 
Beauregard ? 

Answer. I would have considered it rather o reflection on 
him to have told him so. Ue knew my condition. 
Gen. Scott testifies: 

But, although Gen. Patterson was never specially ordered 
to attack the enemy, he was certainly told and expected, even 
if with inferior numbers, to hold the Kebel army iu his front 
on the alert, and to prevent it from re-enforcing Manassas 
Junction, by means bf threatening maneuvers and demon- 
strations — results often attained in war with balf numbers. 

instead of doing this, however. Gen. Patterson 
came down to Bunker Hill, remained there over the 
day when he had been given to understand the ad- 
vance would be commenced by Gen. McDowell; 
and early the next morning, without waiting to hear 
how far Gen. McDowell had advanced, or whether 
he had advanced at all, left tho neighborhood of 



\\ iucbester, where the enemy was, and turned off 
to Cbai'Iestown, where, as be bimeolf says, he had 
no means to offer any oostiicle to Johnston's joining 
Beauregard whenever he chose. Jobnstou at once 
took advantage of the opportunity thus afforded 
him, and re-enforced Beauregard in season to inliict 
defeat upon our forces at Bull Hun. 

Johnston started the greater portion of his forces 
from Winchester on the 18th; some of the testimony 
stiows that a portion started on the afternoon of the 
17tb. Gen. Patterson, though only some twenty 
miles distant from Winchester, and nnder orders to 
prevent the enemy from re-enforcing Beauregard, did 
not discover tbat Johnston had left Winchester until 
two days afterward, when he telegraphed, on the 
20ih, to Geu. Scotc, that re-enforcciueutB had left 
there. 

In reference ta deferring the attack upon Beaure- 
gard, when the arrival of Johnston's forces had be- 
come known, Gen. McDowell says that the infor- 
mation tbat be received was too indefinite, mere ra- 
mor, and he could not tell hQW mu(;h credit to give 
to it. The arrival of the cars duiiog tbe night pre- 
ceding tbe battle was not certain evidence of the ar- 
rival of Johnston's forces; for it was expected that 
regnforcements would be hurried up to the enemy 
from every direction possible. And he had been as- 
sured that "if Johnson joined Beauiegaid, Patlersoa 
should be on his heels." 

Gen. Scott testifies on that point: 

As connected with this subject, I Cope I may b« permitted 
to notice the charge m ide agamst me on the floors of Congress, 
that I did not stop Brig.-Gea. McDowell's movement apon 
Manassas Junction after 1 had been iufotmf;d of the re-eu- 
Ibrcementa sent thither from Wiache»t8r, tiiough urged to do 
60 by one or more members of the Cabiuet. i^■iow, it was, at 
the reception of tbat news, too late to call off the troops from 
the attack. And. beside, though opposed to the luoveuient at 
first, we liad all become animated and eauguiue of success. 
And it is not true that 1 was urged by anjbociy iu aiUhoiicy to 
stop the attack which was commenced as early, I thinii, as tbs 
18th of July. E. F. WADE, Chairaian. 



The Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War 
submit the following report, with tbe accompany- 
ing testimony, in relation to the battle of Ball's 
Bluff: 

On tbs momlDg of Satnrday, the 19tli of October, 
1S61, Gen. McUall, commandius a divieion in ibe vi- 
cinity of Wasbington, moved his entire command, 
under orders fi'ona Gen. McClellan, to Drainesville 
and its immediate neighborbood. A portion of his 
force was moved some miles beyond Drainesville 
and within eight or ten miles of Leesburgi but was 
recalled to Drainesville, by order of Gen. McClellan, 
about sunset of tbat day. 'rhe entire division of Gen, 
Wm. F. Smith was also sent out within Bupporting 
distance of Gen. McCall. 

Gin. McCall testifies that he was directed to mako 
reconnoisiances in _ all directions for three or four 
miles from Drainesville, noting particularly the cbnr- 
acter of the country. About 10 o'clock on Sunday 
moriiing, he informed Gen, McClellan that he should 
not be able to get through his work tbat day, and 
received in reply, " If you finish iu the morninij;, re- 
turn." 

On Sunday, the 20tb, Gen. McClellan directed a 
telegram to be sent to Gen. Stone, at Poolesville, of 
which the following is a copy furnished your Com- 
mittee: 

Rpceivea Oct. 20, 1861, from Camp Griffin. 

Gen. McCleliai: desires me to inform you tljat Gen. MoCaU 
occupied Drainesville yesterday, and is still there; will send 
ont lieavy reconnoissacces to-day in all directions from that 
point. The General desires thut you keep a good lookout 
npon Leesburc, to see if this movement has tha effect to drive 
them away. Perhaps a sligiit demonbtration on your part 
would have the effect to prove them. 

A. V. COLB0RN, iUsistant Adjutant-GeueraL 

Brig.-Gen. Stone, Poolesville. 

On Sunday afteruoon Gen. Stone moved some 
forces to the banK of the river at Edwards's Perry, 
and crossed over one or two companies to the Vir- 
ginia side, but very soon recalled them. 

Col. Dovens of the 15th Massi^chugettB testifies 
• hat he leceived from Gen. stone, about 1 o'clock on 

mday, the following order: 



Hbadquarters Corps op Obskrvatiow, ) 

PooLESViLiK, October 20, 18fil. 5 
CotosKI.: You will please send orders to the canal to h«r» 
the two new flat-boats no .V there opposite the island (Hoi- 
riaon's) transferred to the river ; and will, at 3 o'clock, p. m., 
have the island re-enforced by all of your regiment now on 
duty at the canal and at the New-York battery. Tbe picketn 
will be J oplaoed by the companies of the 19cb Massachusetts 
there. Very respectfully, your ob8di6;.,t servant, 

CHAS. P. STONE, Brigadier-General. 
Col. Crarlfs Devsns, Commanding 15th Eegimeut Masaa- 
chusetts Volunteers. 

About dark a verbal order was eent to Col. 
Devens to send Capt. Philbrick, of his regiment, 
with a small party, across the river &om 
Harrison's Island, with directions to push out to 
within a mile of Leesburg, if possible, without 
being discovered, and then return and report. Capt. 
Philbrick accordingly crossed, with, perhaps, 15 or 
20 men, at a place where he had crossed some time 
previously, when he bad discovered that the river 
at that point was not picketed by the enemy. He 
landed at the foot of the bluff, opposite Harrison's 
Island, known as Ball's Bluff, ascended by a path 
that led to the top, and proceeded to reconaoiter as 
directed. 

Before Capt, Philbrick returned, Gen. Stone sent 
the following; dispatch to Gen. McClellan, a copy of 
which was furnished your Committee: 

Heabquaktkrj Akmt op the Potomac, i 
Received Washington, Oct. 20, 1861, from Poolesville. 5 

Made a feint of crossiug at this place this afternbon. and at 
the same [time] started areconnoitering party towards Leei- 
burg from Harrison s Island. Enemy's pickets retired to In- 
trenchments. Report of reconnoitering party not yet received. 
I have means of ciossing 12^ men over in 10 minutes at eacb of 
two points, Kiver falling slowly. 

C. P. STONE, Brlg.-GeB. 

Maj.-Oen. McClellan. 

Capt, Philbrick pushed ont some distance from the 
bluff, and then returned and reported that they had 
discovered a email camp of the enemy that did not 
appear to be very well guarded. This rejjort was 
sent to Gen. Stone. 

Col, Devens reports that about midnight he re- 
ceived the following order from Gen. Stone: 

Heaeqcarters Corps op Observation, > 
Poolesville, Oct. 20, 1861— 10§ p. m. 5 

Special Order, No. — .—Col. Devens will land opposite 
Harrison's Island with five companies of his regiment, and 
proceed to surprise the eamp of the enemy discovered by 
Capt. Philbrick, in the direction of Leesburg. The l&cding 
and march will be effoctsd with silence and rapidity. 

Col. Lee, 20th Massachusetts Volunteers will, immediataly 
after Col. Devens's departure, occupy Harrison's Island wit^ 
four companies of his regiment, and will cause the four-oareS^ 
boat to ba taken across the island to the point of departure of 
Col. Dsvens. One company will be thrown across to occnpy 
the hights on the Virginia shore, afier Col. Deveos'i depart. 
ure, to cover his return. 

Two mountain howitzers will he taken silently up the tow- 
path and carried to the opposite aids of tbe island, under the 
orders of Col. Lee, 

Col. Devens will attack the camp of th« enemy at daybreak, 
and, having routed, will pursue them as far as he deems pru- 
dent, and will destroy tlie camp, if practicable, before 
returning. He will make all the observations possible on the 
country ; will, under all circnmstances, keep his command 
well in band. »ud not saciifice tbam to any supposed advant. 
age of rapid pursuit. 

Having accomplished this duty. Col. Devens will rfttnm to 
his present position, unless he shall see one on the Virginia 
side, near the river, which he can undoubtedly hold until 
le-enforced, and one which can be successfully held against 
largely superior numbers. In such case he will hold on and 
report. CHAS. P. STONE, Brigadier-GeneraL 

Great care will be used by Col. Devens to prevent any 
unnecessary injury of private property; and any officer or 
soldier straggling from the command for curiosity or plunder 
' will bs iuitautly shot. 

OH AS. P. STONE, Brigadier-General. 

Col. Devens commenced crossing bis force between 
12 and 1 o'clock at night, and about 4 o'clock J 
morning had crossed his five companiea. He pro- 
ceeded up the bluff and formed his command on the 
top of the bluff and remained there until it was light 
enough to find his way. Col. Lee also crossed with 
about 100 men, and took position upon the bluff. 
Col. Devens sent out scouts to the right and left, 
who reported that they could find no enemy. 

At the first dawn of" light. Col. Devens moved hia 
command out in the direction of the supposed c^mp. 
Upon reaching the pohit to which the reconnoiterinfif 
party of the nigbt before had proceeded, it was dis- 
covered tbat wliat bad bceo faben for a camp was a 
single low of trees, the dim li^ht of the moou ehining 



between tbem, below the branches, presenting the 
appearance of a row of tenta. ''^ 

Col. Devens had advanced with his force to within 
about a mile of Leesburg; he halted his men there, 
and proceeded to examine the coantry about his 
positioa as far as practicable. He eent word to 
Gen. Stone that there had been a mistake about the 
camp of the enemy ; that he was well posted in a 
wood and concealed, and waited further orders. 

Not far from 7 o'clock in the moruing a body of 
Kebel riflemen was discovered to the right of Col. 
Devens's position, in the direction of Conrad's 
Ferry; Capt. Pbilbrick with his company advanced 
toward tbciii, when they fell back until they reached 
a ditch, under cover of which they halted and 
openfed fire upon our men; they were soon driven 
out of the ditch into a corn-field where they ob- 
tained cover behind some stacks of corn. Another 
company was ordered by Col. Devens to the support 
of Capt. Philbrick; but before they reached mm 
some of the enemy's cavalry made their appearance 
from the direction of Leesburg. The two com- 
panies were then ordered to fail back to the main 
body. 

About 8 o'clock Col. Devena determined to fall 
back to the bluff, where Col. Lee was, which was 
done in perfect order. He then reconnoitered the 
woods to his right and left, and discovering no ap- 
pearance of the enemy, moved forward to hjs 
former position. 

Between 8 and 9 o'clock the messenger of Col. 
Devens returned from Gen. Stone with lustruct'ons 
to him to remain where he was, and he would be 
supported. Col. Devens testifies that it was either 
' then or soon after that he was told that Col. Baker 
was to come over and take command. He sent 
word to Gen. Stone that he was discovered by the 
enemy, but could still hold his old jiosition. About 
10 o'clock the messenger returned with this message: 
*' Very well; Col. Baker will come and lake coja- 
mand." 

Col. Devens states that while awaiting^urther in- 
strnctions he directed his adjutant to abcertuin tbe 
amount of the force with him ; the report was 28 
officers and 625 men. He eent once or twice to the 
river to ascertain if re-enfoicemeuts were coming, 
and what he was to do, but he received no further 
order or message. 
About 12 or 1 o'clock an attack was made upon 
ffuoh Devenb's rforce, which las'.ed some 10 or 15 
minutes. Receiving no orders or message from the 
river, he fell back about 60 yards, reformed his line 
and made dispositions to retire still fui ther if ueces- 
eary. And in perhaps an hour he fell back to the 
field just in front of tue bluff, where the main action 
afterward took place. There he met Col. Baker, 
who congralulated him upon the manner in whicli 
bis men had conducted themselves. 

In relation to the orders to Col. Baker, Gen, 
Stone testifies: 

I can give you all the early orders to Col. Bater. I sent him 
•n order, about midnight on the 2CUi, to seijd the California 
Regiaieut to Conind's Ferry, aud have tliem there at day- 
break, to awult orders there ; to have the re- 
mainder of his brigade roused early ; have a 
comiurcable hreakfaat, and be in readiness 
to move at 7 o'clock in the moniiD?. Late in the night — it 
might have been between 2 and J o'clock in toe morLi^g — I 
Bent a cautionary order to Col. Baker, knowing that voluntsers 
make too much uoibr sometimes, to have that regiment niarcti 
with silence and vvitU unloaded guus. i<'i'om that time I ieot 
him no order. • 

Gen. Stone testifies that between 8 and Oj o'clock, 
when Col. Baker was with him, and they had dis- 
cuEseci the whole matter for some time, he save him 
s written order to take the entire command of the 
jight at Ball's Bluff. That order, witli a communi- 
cation from Gen. Stone to Col. Baker, sent some 
lime later, was found upon his body after he was 
killed. The two papers are as follows: 

" HEABQUAKTERS COKPS OP Observatiost. \ . 

•• Edwabds's Fkkey. Oct. 2i. 1851. J 
" Cot-ONEL: In Cise ol^eavy iijins; in front of Harrison's 
Island you v.ill advacce the Cahfornia regiment of your 
brigade, or retire the rtgimenls under Cols. Lee and Devena 
now on the Virciaia side of the river, at your diacietioa, as- 
•liming command on arrival. 
" Verv respec'fnl'V, Comoei, your most obedient servant, 
"'CHaKLES p. STOXlL, Bii^r.Geo. <;omiaaudiug. 
" Ccl. £. D. BaksKi CofiuuouiUug jBrisade." 



" Ebadqtjartbxr CoBPg OF Obskrvahow, > 
" liDWARDs'g Fbrrt, Oct. 22. 1861—11:50. 5 
" CotoNEl: I am informed that the force of the enemy ll 
about 4.000, all told. If you can push them you may do so, 
BS far ea to have a strong position near Leesburg. if you can 
keep them before you, avoiding their batteries. If they pass 
Leesburg, and take the Gum Spring Road, you will not follo<7 
far, but seize the first jood position to cover that road. Their 
design is to draw us ou, if ttey are oblieed to retreat, as far as 
Goose Creek, where they can be re-enforced from Maneaaas 
and have a strong position. 

" Report frequently, so that when they are pushed Oorman 
can come in on their flank. 

" Yours respectfully and truly, 
" CHARLES p. STONE. Brig.-Gen. Commanding. 
" Col. £. D. Bakeb, Commanding Brigade." 

Col. Baker proceeded to Harrison's Island, and 
finally concluded to send over troops to re-enforce 
Col. Devens and Col. Lee. One of the witnesses 
states that Col. Baker was in doubt for a time 
whether to recall the troops already over, or to re- 
enforce them; but, upon hearing some one on the 
Virginia shore call out that they needed assistance, 
as the enemy were coming, he determined to re- 
enforce tbem, and proceeded himself to the Virgjinia 
side, and assumed command. Col. Baker directed 
the forces to cross at the point where Col. Devens 
and Col. Lse had crossed with their forces. 

The means of transporting troops at Ball's Bluff 
was exceedingly limited. Between the Maryland 
shore and Harrison's Island were only thr<.e flat- 
boats or scows, all together capable of cross^ing about 
125 men at a time. On the Virginia si^e of the island 
there were at first only a Francis metallic life-boat 
and two small skiffs, together incapable of carrymg 
from 25 to 30 men at a time. Alter a time, one of 
the scows, or flatboats, was takeu from the Marj« 
land to tbe Virginia side of the island. 

The landing on the Virginia side was at the foot 
of a very steep bluff, up which a narrow path, wid- 
ening toward the top, wound its way; and on the 
top of the bluff was a cleared space or field, bor- 
dered by woods, which afforded a cover to tbe enemy 
until within a short distance of where our troops 
were formed. 

Col. Baker, according to the testimony, arrived on 
the field betw^een 1 and 2 o'clock, and proceeded at 
once to form a line of battle upon the field at the 
top of the bluff. Tbe amount of the force engaged 
upon our side was between 1,700 and 1,800 men, 
consisting of about one half of the 15th Massachu- 
setts Eegiment, under Col. Devens; a portion (317 
men) of toe 20th Maesachusetts, under Col. Lee; the 
Tammany Refiiment, under Col. Cogswell; and the 
California llegiment, under Lient.-Col. Wiatar. The 
enemy's forces were about 4,000 men. 

The enemy began the attack — some of the wit- 
nesses say between 2 and 3 o'clock, others at 3 
o'clock — at first heavily, on the right of our line, 
then moving along toward the center and left, 
where tbe hardest fighting took place. 

Your Committee do not deem it necessary to go 
into tbe details of the action. It continued for over 
two hours, our troops contending most bravely 
a.eainst greatly superior numbers. Col. Baker fell 
between 4 and 5 o clock, having been most couspic- 
nous for his bravery aud almost recKless daring. 
When he fell the line began to waver, and some por- 
tions of it gave way before the destructive fiie of 
the enemv. 

After the death of Col. Baker, the command de- 
volved upon Col. Cogswell of the Tammany K«rgi- 
ment, who proposed to attempt to cut through to 
Edwards's Ferry, which was assented to by the 
other regimental commanders. Upon attempting a 
movement in that direction, they were met by a 
Mississippi regiment coming from below, which 
opened a must destructive fire upon them. Our 
troops gave way, and retreated down tbe bluff 
toward the river. This was about dusk, so that oiur 
troops were somewhat concealed by the bushes on 
the side of tbe bluff. The enemy continued to fire 
upon them from the top of the bluff. The men at- 
tempted to escape to the island in the boats and by 
ewimming, being exposed all the time to the fire of 
the enemy. The flat-boat was soon riddled and 
sunk, th« life-boat drifted down the stream, and the 
skiffs were lost. Many were shot while in the 
water; others suceeededinswimoiingto the island; 



■ome few, under cover of the darkness, siicceeded in 
esoaping aloDg the bank of the river, and finally 
reached our lines. But the greater portion were 
killed or taken prisoners. 

In relation to the operations at Edwards's Ferry, 
under the supervisiou of Gen, Stone and the imme- 
diate command of Gen. Gorman, as there was no 
serious fighting there, it may not be necessary to go 
much into detail. The crossing was commenced 
abont daybreak by the forces under Col. Dana of 
the 1st Minnesota Regiment, and was continued 
until some 2,500 men were crossed over that day. 
The means of crossing were very limited, a6 at Har- 
rison's Landing, consisting of tbreo or four flat-boats 
or Bcows, propelled acroes by poles. The place of 
lauding was very good, and covered by our artillery 
on the Maryland side. There were no important 
demonstrations made by our forces on tbe Virginia 
side of Edwards's Ferry. Some rebonnoiseances 
were made tor a short distance, and one regiment of 
the enemy seen, probably the Mississippi regiment 
that arrived on the field at Ball's Bluff, near the 
close of the action there. 

Gen. McCall's division had remained at Draines- 
ville all ot Sunday and Sunday night. Gen. Mc- 
Call testifies : 

" At 6 o'clock on Monday morning I reported to him (Gen. 
McClellan) that the engineers whom I haa consulted reported 
to me that they would finish their work in two hours. I Bent 
that express to Gen. McCleildU at 6 o'clock, and got his reply, 
dated 8 o'cIock, telling me to return aa soon as the work was 
finished. I got bis answer between 9 and 10 o'clock. I oi- 
dercd the troops then to be ready to move, and as aoon as the 
work was hoished 1 returned to my camp under ordere." 

Both Gen. McClellan and Gen. McCall testify 
that tbe movement to Drainesville was for the pur- 
pose of reconnoitering the country in that direction. 
But Gen. Stone received no intimation of the object 
of the movement. On the contrary, the language of 
the dispatch of Sunday might well lead him to be- 
lieve that the movement had reference to driving 
the enemy from Leesburg. The dispatch contained 
no intimation that Gen. McCall was to be soon 
withdrawn from Drainesville. He was directed 
" to keep a good lookout upon Leesburg to see if 
this movement has the effect to drive them (the ene- 
my) away. Perhaps a slight demonstration on your 
part would have the effecc to move them." Gen. 
Stone made demonstrations both at Edwards's Ferry 
and at Ball's Bluff, and promptly notified Gen. Mc- 
Clellan of what he had done. He sent that inform- 
ation on Sunday night, and he testifies that he re- 
ceived no ifltiuiation from Gen. McClellan as to 
what he should do, whether to continue the demon- 
strations or not; and received no intimation that 
Gen. McCall was not close at hand to come to his 
assistance until about 11 o'clock on Monday night. 
It was a very general impression ayiong the officers 
and men at Edwards's Ferry during Monday 'that 
Gen. McCall would come to their assistance; and 
Gen. Stone testifies that he cautioned his artillery 
about firing upon any troops that might show them- 
selves in that direction, lest they might lire upon 
our ovrn forces. 

lu regard to that matter, Gen. McClellan testifies 
as follows: 

•' Question. Do you remember whether or not you informed 
bim (Gen. Stone) of the withdrawal of Smith and McCall to 
their former positions? 

" AusW'-r. 1 tnink I did," 

Gen. Stone (FeD. '27, 1863), after stating that upon 
hearing of the death of Col. Bviker he proceeded to 
Bali's Bluff, where he learned the full extent of the 
disaster, and at once determined to withdraw the 
troops at Edwards's Ferry, testifies as follows: 

" And then, kDowicg that 1 could go niyf elf quicker than 
anybody I could send, I turned ray horse and galloped down 
to withdraw my troops at Edwards's Kerry Duck to me Mary- 
land ehoie. I supposed at that time that I had about 2,5U0 
njen across the river; and tiie reports 1 had heard oppasito 
Ball's Biutf were that the enemy had been lari^ely re-enforced, 
and they were then about 10,0(10 strong. I saw that there was 
great dauger of Gorman bolne overwhelmed at Edwards's 
Ferry. I did not know whether McCall would be there to as- 
bist him or not. 1 was in utter ignorance iu reference to him 
or bis position. 

" 1 at cnco commenced retiring my troops as quietly but as 
rapidly as 1 could, taking the precaution to have my artillery. 
on the Maryland side so placed as to cover the troops on the 
Vii'giiiia side. The ground on tbo Maryland shore comicjinii* 



perfectly the ground on tbe Virginia shore, >nd it would be aa 

exceedingly dangerouB thing for troops to advance and attac): 
any body of men on the Virginia shore, directly at Edwards'* 
Ferry, wljile the Maryland shore was well held by artillery. 

Tiie moment 1 had given the order for the retiring of those 
troops, I reported by telegitfph to Gen. McClellao, at Wash- 
ington that we had met with a repuUe on our right but I 
was doing the best I could to secure the left, and to retrieve. 
I am not quite sure now whether 1 telegraphed to Gen. Mc- 
Clellan, before I went up to Harriiou's Island, that Col, Ba- 
ker had been killed, or whether I put thit in the same dis- 
patch in which I informed him of the reunlse. 

Having sent that information to Gen. McClellan, I con- 
tinued withdrawing the troops, watching caretuUy, so aa 
to use the artillery for their protection if necrssary. After 
some time— I cannot tell hotv long, for one takes but little 
note of time under such circumstances, but apparently aa 
socn as a mesiage coald go to Washington and an answer be 
returned (being carried by a courier on horseback four milea 
each way from the telegraph station to Edwards's Ferry)— I 
received orders from Gen. McClellan to this effect; "Hold 
all the ground you now have on the Virginia shore if your 
men will fight, intrenching, if n»ce^sary. You will be re- 
enforced." Perhaps the words "if your men will fight" 
came before the rest of the dispatch; and my impression is, 
though I will not be positive, that the words " at all hazards" 
were used in the dlrecUon to hold all the ground on the Vir* 
ginia shore. 

I am sorry that I have not possession of a single paper, tel- 
egraph or otherwise, of the records connected with my di- 
vision. You know the way in which I was removed from my 
command. I was ordered to report myself here, in Wash- 
ington, at once ; and having not the slightest suspicion of why 
I was required here. I left all my papers as I would have done 
had I been going out for a two nour»' ride; and from that 
time to this I have never seen a single paper of any kind I 
then left behind me. I make this explanation to show why 
it is that I cannot speak posirively about the language of dis- 
patches received and sent ; why I canuot, perhaps, give their 
exact words. 

I saw all the danger in which my troops were on the Vir- 
ginia side, but 1 supposed at that time that Gen. McCall was 
very near there, and I took it for granted when Gen. McClel- 
lan telegraphed me to hold my position on the Virginia side at 
'all liaziir is, and that I should be re-enforced, that be had the 
means of immediatelv securing me. 

I cannot state positively when it was that I telegraphed to 
Gen. Banks. F.ut my impression now is that just as 1 started 
to go up to Ball's Bluff, when the news of Col. Baker's death 
reached me, I telegraphed to Gen. Banks, requesting him to 
send up a brigade. When I got to Harrison's Island, and be- 
fore I returned to Edwards's Ferry, I dispatched a messenger 
to meet whatever brigade Gen. Banks might send, and con- 
duct it to Conrad's Ferry, instead of to Edwards's Ferry, from 
which my dispatch to Gen. Banks was sent. 

And my lnip_re6sion is that when 1 returned to Edwards's 
Ferry, and ti-legranhed to Gen. McClellan the fact of the re- 
pulse at Ball's Bluff, I sent another telegram to Gen, Banks 
that he had better brins up his whole division. I know 1 sent 
Gen. Banks such a telegram ; but at what time X will not be 
positive. 

Some time was lost in communicating with Gen. McClel- 
lan, by my receiving a dispatch, in cipher, of which I had not 
the key, from him or from his Chief of Staff. What the con- 
tents of that dispatch were, I have never learned. I iaime- 
diately responded to it : "I have received the box, but have 
no key." What that dispatch was, I have no knowledge of 
whatever; but I presume that the dispatches which came af- 
terward covered the same ground. 

I cannot sate now. after so long 6fn interval of time, at 
what hour I telegraphed to Gen. McClellan. urging that the re- 
enfurcements should be sent to Goose Creek, on the Virginia 
side, supposing all the time that Gen. McCall was not far off. 
The response to tliat, which I thick I received about 11 
o'clock on Monday night, was the first intimation I ever re- 
ceived toat McCall had not all the time been near me. That 
dispatch informed me that no reenforcemeuts could reach ma 
from the Virginia side, but that Gen. BmjkB would reeuforce 
me from the Maryland side. 

Question. Uow far was Gen. Banks from you ? 

Answer. He was about 14 miles in my rear. 

Question. Did that first dispatch from Gen. McClellan, 
promising you reeuforcements, contemplate that they should 
come from Gen. Banks'? 

Answer. Yes, Sir, I suppose so; but at the time my idea 
was that McCall was close by me. And I was led into sa 
error, late in the evening, by receiving a dispatch frem 
Gen. McClellau's headquarters, whether signed by him or 
his chief of staff, I do not now recollect, asking me if there 
was a road from " Darnesville " to Edwards's Ferry. Now, 
there is no snch place as " Darnesville;" but ther2_Ja_^ 
" Drainesville." And havinj in my mind that McCiilwas at 
Diainesville, I took it for granted that the operator had made 
a mistake, and had meant Drainesville instead of "Darnes- 
town," which was the name of a place in Maryland, and 
which proved to bo the place meant. I replied to that dis- 
patch to tbe best of my rwcollection, that there was a good 
road from Drainesville to Edwards's Ferry. I presume that 
that caused some misconception at Iieridquarters, because 
they undoubtedly had "Darnestown" in their minds when 
they telegraphed "Darnesville;" just as I had " Draiues- 
yille" in my mind when 1 saw " Darnesville" in the dis- 
patch. But that is not very important, only to show how 
errors will creep in. 

1 think that by this statement I must remove any unpleas- 
ant impression with retard to my improperly exposing troops 
to disaster at Edwards's Fert^, since I acced under the in- 



BttnctioBfof my inperioroffieer; andalaoundei: the Impres- 
eion that oar force* under Geo. McCall were near us on the 
Vir£inia side of Edwards's Ferry. 

Question. How happened it that you failed to make this 
■tatement, concerning those orders, on your former examina- 
tion? 

Answer. Because I did not deem it proper to give any of 
the orders of my superior officer which he had not himself 
previously published or authorized me to use. The morning 
that I came before your Committee I was inatrncted at Gen. 
McClellau's headquarters that it was the desire of the General 
that officers giving testimony before the Committee should 
not state, without his authority, anything regarding his plans, 
his orders for the movements of troops, or his orders concern- 
ing the position of troops. That covered this case. 

Question. Did you understand that to apply to past orders 
and tranaactions as well as those to be executed in the future ? 

Answer. I did ; because I could not know, and did not 
know, what orders to others were given coteojporaneous 
with those I received, and I might create wrong impressions 
by giving the orders I had received from my commanding 
General, unless there were at the same time produced cotem- 
poraneous orders given to other Generals. And 1 presume 
that the Chairman will remember that I stited, when giving 
my testimony^before, that I could not give any orders from 
my commanding General except such as he himself had made 
public. 

Question. Did Gen. McClellan approve of the crossing at 
Edwards's Ferry end Ball's Bluft', on the 2l6t of October, 
1861 ? 

Answer. I received a dispatch from Gen. McClellan in 
reply to onn which I had sent him, informing him of the 
crossing of Gen. Gorman and Col. £ater. That dispatch to 
me commeuced with these words: " I congratulate you and 
your command." I took that congratulation, on the fact of 
lay having ciossed. as an approval of the crossing; and as I 
had received no information whatever concerning Gen. Mc- 
Call, iu my own mind I supposed tiiat it was but a simple 
thiug of Gen. McClellan in connection with any other move- 
ments he might be making. 

Question Was Gen. McClellan informed of your means of 
traueportation for crossing troops ? 

Answer. Some time during the day— and I think it was in 
the same dispatch in which he atfced me for inlormatiou of 
the enemy, and 1 shonld think that that dispatch must have* 
reached nie about noon — Gen. McClellan asked what means 
of transportation I had. I replied to him by telegraph, slat- 
ing the number and character of the boats at each crossing — 
at Edwards's Ferry and at Harrison's Island. 

Gen. McClellan testifies ia reference to the cross- 
ing of Gea. Stone's forces into Virginia: 

I have no recollection of any order which justified the pas- 
sage uf the tiTer in force. I am sare that I had no inten- 
tion that he should do that. , 

The events that occnrred subsequently to the 
operations of Monday— the arrival of Gen. Banks 
with hia forces, the arrival of Gen. McClellan, 
and the final withdrawal of all our forces to the 
Maryland side of the river — are fully set forth in the 
teetioiouy herewith submitted, and your Com'Jiittee 
do not deem any comments by them to be necessary. 
In connection with the battle of Ball's Bluff, two 
points remain to be considered: I'irst, whether a 
croesiog was jusiifiable nnder any circumstances, 
considering the very insufficient means of transporta- 
tion at the command of Gen. Stone. Second, whether 
the forces under Col. Baker could, and should, have 
been, reenforced from the Virginia side of Euward'a 
Ferry, when it was known tbat the troops under his 
command were engaged with the enemy. 

In regard to tbe first point, all tbe testimony goes 
t© prove that the means of transportation were very 
inadequate. The testimony of Gen. Stone would 
eeem to indicate that, while he was inclined to deem 
it suflicient, under what he nnderetood to be the cir- 
cumstances under which tbe movement was made, 
he left much to tbe judgment of others; and this 
much can be said for him, that he received no inti- 
mation that a movement across the river would be 
expected from him, or would be justified, until the 
day before (Sunday) it was actually made. And the 
' "TgSSDirt-iuai he had for supposing that other forces 
were within a short distance to render him assistance 
are set forth in the previous portion of this report. 

In reference to re-enforcing Col. Baker, the testi- 
mony is very conflicting. There is no question that 
it was known that the forces at Ball's Blulf were 
engaged with the enemy. The firing or musketry 
was distinctly heard »t Edward.s's Ferry, on both 
sides of the river. The only question is wneiher re- 
enforcements should have been sent under the cir- 
cumstances, and wnether there was any sufiicient 
reason whv they were not eent. Gen. Stoue testi- 
fies tliat he received no intimation irom Col. Baker 
that he needed re-enforcemeals; that he received lit- 



tle, if any, information from Col. Baker in refer- 
ence to the condition and progress of afFaira at BaU'B 
Blufi'; and he also testifies that, even if re-enforce- 
ments had been needed, they could not have been 
sent up on tbe Virginia side; that the enemy had 
earthworks and batteries between Edwards's Perry 
and Ball's Bluff, which would have made- it ex- 
tremely hazardous, if not impossible, to have sent any 
re -enforcements by that route. Some of the other 
witnesses testify to the same effect. Others testify 
most positively that, so far as they were able to 
judge, there was no obstacle whatever in the way of 
ourtroope passing up on the Virginia side from Ed- 
wards's Ferry. 

It cannot be denied that had re-enforcements 
promptly arrived at Ball's Blviff from Edwards's 
Perry, the result of the battle there would, in all 
probability, have been greatly to our advanta£;e, 
instead 'of being a most melancholy disaster. The 
evidence is so veiy contradictory that your Commit- 
tee retrain from expressing any positive opinion 
upon that point, but allow each one to form his own 
conclui-ion from the testimony they have been able 
to obtain. 

One other subject remains to be considered before 
closing this report — the arrest and imprisonment of 
Gen. Stone. Your Comroittee would bave made no 
reference to that subject, but have submitted the 
testimony without comment upon their part, had it 
not been for tbe efforts that have been made by 
many to hold them responsible for all that has taken 
place in reference to the arrest of Gen. Stone. 

In the course of their investigation concerning the 
causes of tbe disaster at Ball's BluiF they obtained 
•testimony, most unexpectedly to them all, which,' 
without explanation, seemed to impeach the military 
capacity and the loyalty of Gen. Stone. That testi- 
mony, as in every other instance that they deemed 
of iniDorlance, was brought to the attention of the 
proper authorities here, and the War Department 
was informed that, in the opinion of the Committee, 
a prompt investigation should be instituted. First, 
Secretary Cameron, and afterward Secretary Stan- 
ton, were informed that the testimony before your 
Committee was of such a character that some ex- 
planation by Gen. Stone was required. 

Gen. Stoue was called to this city, and on the 3lBt 
of Janudry, 1862, appeared :hefore your Committee, 
at thj instance of Gfen. McClellan, and stated that 
he had been informed that certain testimony before 
this Committee affected him in such a way as to 
require his explanation. He was informed that 
tbere was testimony which might appear 
to impeach his conduct in the Ball's Bluff 
■ affair ; to show that he had had undue inter- 
course with the enemy, both by letter and by per- 
sonal intercourse with their officers; and also that 
he had permitted the enemy to erect formidable for- 
tifications and batteries within reach of his guns, 
and which he could have prevented. The statement 
was made in general terms to Gen. Stone, and with- 
out ir.dicatmg who were the witnesses who had tes- 
tified, in order that they should not be called to ac- 
count by their commanding general for statements 
made before a commit; ee of Congress. 

In reply to this general statement upon the part 
of your Committee Gen. Stone proceeded to make an 
explanation in general terms. ' They then reported 
to the Secretary of War that the testimony upon the 
points to which his attention had been called was 
conflicting. They made no recommendation as to 
what should be done, one way or the other; merely 
reported to him that tbe testimony was conflicting. 

Not long afterward they learned through the press 
that Gen. Stone had been arrested, and sent to Fort 
Lafayette. The immediate cause of his arrest they 
did not know. Thev were satisfieid that tbe informa- 
tion which they had furnished to the department had 
in all probability furnished some of the grounds upon 
which his arrest had been made; but they did not 
learn until more than a year afteward what was the 
immediate cause of his arrest at the time it was 
made. 

Gen. Stone was arrested on the 8th of February, 
1862. On the 28th of February, 1863, Gen. Mc- 
Clellan testified before your Committee as follows; 



About ten days or two weeks before Gen. Stone was actually 
arrested, the Secretary of War gave me a written order to ar- 
rest Gen. Stone, for the reason that he had heen informed by 
the members of the Committee pa the Conduct of the War 
that they had taken testimony /iJ'jiiig to show that Gen. Stone 
had been guilty of conduct iiot'consistent with loj-alty. Gea. 
Stone was removed from hii> Command, and, I uudecetood, ap- 
peared before this Committee. 

Finally, on the very oay of his arrest, a written report was 
made to me of the cxamiuation of a refugee from Leeaburg, 
which, so far as e jch a thing could, tended to corroborate some 
of the charges made against Gen. Stone. I satisfied my own 
mind of the sincerity of this refugee by personal examination, 
and then showed the statement to the Secretary of War, upon 
which he directed me to give the order to arrest Gen. Stone 
immediately, and to send him under guard to' Fort Lafay- 
ette. The order was carried into execution the saine even- 
ing. 

Since the release of Gen. Stone he has been per- 
mitted by your Committee, in consideration of the 
peculiar circumstances attending his arrest, to exam- 
ine all the -testimony -which your Committee have 
taken in reference to the administration of his de- 
partment, and to make as full a statement to the 
Committee as he considered necessary. That state- 
ment, togethel" with all the testimony, is herewith 
submitted. 

It is due to Gen. Stone that your Committee 
should state that it appears, from the documents be- 
fore your Committee, that immediately upon his ar- 
rest be demanded that he should be furnished -with a 
copy of the charges against him, and be allowed the 
opportunity of promptly meeting them; -why his 
request was not granted your Committee have 
never been informed. B. F. Wade, Chairman. 



SEPARTiarENT OF TW.M TVE»T. 

The Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War 
submit the following report, with the accompanying 
testimony in relation to the Department of the West: 

Your Committee have been unable to take all the 
testimony necessary to enable them to present a com- 
prehensive report in relation to the administration of 
a.fairs in the Department of the West, more partica- 
lurly while under the command of Gen. John C. 
Fremont. Compelled to remain in attendance upon 
Congress during its sessions, they were unable to 
visitthe Department in order to take the teatiniony 
of witnesses there. And they did not feel willing 
to call from so great a distance the witnesses whose 
testimony was , necessary to fully elucidate all the 
facts, as their services were constantly required in 
the field. Throughout their investigations your 
Committee have strictly adhered to the rule adopted 
by them from the first, to ask the attendance of 
those in the military service only when no detri- 
ment to the public interests would result from a 
temporary absence from their command. When 
Congress closed its session last Summer, 
many of those who had been most 
actively engaged in the operations to which 
your Committee desired to direct their attention had 
been ordered to other parts of the country; some 
were in Tennessee and Mississippi, some in Arkansas, ' 
some in the Army of the Potomac, and others in the 
Department of the South under Gen. Hunter. Such 
testimony as was within reach your Committe, have 
taken. Bat they are fully aware that their investi- 
gation upon that subject has been far trom complete ; 
and they, therefore, present bdt a brief report, 
toi^ether with siicU testimony as they have obt-aiaed. 

When the R-?b«llion commenced Missouri was one 
of the most turbulent among those States which tbe 
itebel leaders sought to gain over to their cause by 
the connivance and treachery of the State authori- 
ties, and by the presence of armed forces to operate 
upon the fears of the people. The number of Fed- 
eral troops in that regiou was very small ; a great 
portion of our troops, siutioned in the Territories and 
at oar military posts upon the Western frontier, had 
been basely surrentiered by Twiggs to the Rebpis in 
Texas. St. Louin, the great commercial "emporium 
of the State, was preserved from falliug into Rebel 
control only by 'Jie prompt and fearless course pur- 
sued by General, then Captain, Lyon, who, not 
waiting for orders or authority, occupied th'^ United 



States arsenal, 'when threatened by the traitor Gov- 
ernor of the Ctate, and dispersed the Rebel troops 
who were collected under the specious name of State 
Guards, in a camp of iustruction near SI. Louis. 

The difficulty under which our commanders there 
labored in obtaining supplies of arms, clothing, &.c., 
for volunteers, was far greater than was telt in any 
other part of the country. Distant from all the 
principal depots, at a time when the ability of the 
Government was taxed to the utmost to arm and 
equip the large number of volunteers called into the 
field, those who were, from time to time, placed in 
charge of that department, were compelled to act 
under the greatest disadvantages. 

Just previous to the appointment of Gen. Fremont 
to th^ command of that Department, the state of 
affairs in Missouri had become very alarming. In 
every portion of the State the Rebel forces had ap- 
peared and assumed the offensive; all through the 
State they were committing their depredations, and 
Jackson, the Governor, had appeared with a large 
force of troops furnished by the Rebel aathorities 
from Arkansas and Texas, in addition to those he 
had been able to collect in Missouri. Pillow and 
other Rebel Generals had collected a large force 
from Tennessee, Kentucky, &c., and were threaten- 
ing the south-western portion of the State and Cairo 
at the mouth ot the Ohio. Gen. Lyon, who was the 
highest oflicer in command after the removal of Gen. 
Harney, had, with his limited means, been most ac- 
tive, and had taken the field for the purpose of p?e- 
ventiug Jackson, with his superior forces, from get- 
ting possession of the northern portion of the State. 

In July, Gen. Fremont was assigned to that com- 
mand. He proceeded to New- York City, wbere he 
spent some days, endeavoring to arrange for supply- 
ing his Department with the arms, &c., which were 
absolutely requisite. He reached St. Louis on the 25tb 
of July. Gen. Pope, who had been assigned the 
command in Northern Missouri, was calling for 
troops to enable him to take the field ; Gen, Lyon, 
In the south-western portion of the State, had been 
calling for re-enforcements for some time; Gen. 
Prentiss, at Cairo, was also asking for re-enforce- 
ments. Gen. Fremont first re-enforced Cairo, as 
being the most imDortant point, situated, as it was 
at the junction of the Ohio and Mississippi, and con- 
trolling the navigation of those two rivers. The 
number of troops that he could obtain for that pur- 
pose was small ; but the enemy were led to believe, 
by the large number of steamboats that went down 
from St. Louis that the re-enl'orcement was far 
greater than it really was; and PiUow, who 
had 'a force estimated at 12,000 men, was de- 
terred from making the attack he had contemplated. 

Cairo being re-enforced, Gen. Fremont at once 
took steps to send troops to Gen. Lyon. The num- 
ber of the enemy opposed to Gen. Lyon was almost 
overwhelmmg. It was supposed by many that he 
would retire before them until he should meet sup- 
ports. He himself seems to have contemplated such 
a movement, for, after the affair of Dug iJpriugs, he 
retired to Springfield ; and Gen. Sturgts testifies that 
at that time. Gen. Lyon expressed his convictions 
that re-enforcements could not be sent to him. 

Upon reaching Springfield, Gen. Lyon halted his 
forces, and, alter waiiiug there some four or five 
days, announced his intention to march out and at- 
tack the enemy. What reasons influenced him in 
forming that determination are not well establiished 
by the testimony. Some of the officers liave ex- 
pressed their conviction that he apprehended that 
the enemy, should ho retire further from them, 
would fall upon bis rear and cripple him, or foi(^\r^ 
him to fight a battle under great disadvantages, iiia 
brave spirit, doubtless, led him to meet the jemy he 
had gone so far to reach, and endeavor to inflict such 
a blow as would lead them not to press very closely 
upon him. Whatever his reasons msy have been, 
he determined upon the attack. The battle was 
fought at Wilson's Creek, on the 10th of August, 
and, though the enemy outnumbered our forces four 
to one, our army was eminently successful. 

Gen. Lyon fell leading on a regiment to the attack. 
His loss at that tipae was most deeply felt. Dying 



a< a brave soldier wonld wish to die, fighting for the 
cause of hiB country against those who were seeking 
-its destruction, his example has exercised its influence 
upon those who have since won the glorious victories 
Which have made onr armies in the West so iUus- 
tnons. 

After that battle our forces retired to Rolla, the 
enemy beiug so severely punished that they followed 
only at a distance. At Rolla they were joined by 
the troops that had been started to their relief, but 
had been delayed for want of transportation. 

In September, Col. Mulligan, who had been npon 
an expedition ia the northern part of the State, was 
obliged to fall back before the forces of the enemy 
advuncing against him under Gen. Price. Col. Mul- 
ligan made a stand at Lexington, and prepared to 
resist them, sending for re-enforcements. Gen. 
Fremont, upon hearing of Col. Mulligan's situation, 
made arrangements to send troops to his assistance; 
but from various causes they were unable to reach 
him, and the enemy succeeding in cutting off hie 
supply of water, he "was compelled to surrender. 

Snortly after this, Gen. Fremont determined to 
take the 'field m person, with all the forces he could 
collect together. He was deficient in transporta- 
tion; BO much 80 that the Adjutant-General of the 
army reported to the Secretary of War that Gen. 
Fremont would be unable to move. He did move, 
however, and by Nov. 1 succeeded in reaching 
Springfield. The enemy, some 2,000 strong, had 
been driven from Ihatjplace by Major Zagonyi, who, 
with barely 100 cavalry, made the most brilaant 
charge of ttie war. 

Preparations were made to engage the enemy, 
who were understood to be in force in the immediate 
neighborhood of Springfield. The day was fixed, 
and the order of the attack determined npon. Just 
then Gen. Fremont was removed from the com- 
mand, and Gen. Hunter appointed as his successor. 

Gen. Hunter testifies that he became satisfied that 
the enemy were not bo near as Gen. Fremont had 
supposed. He determined, therefore, to withdraw 
to St. Louis, which was done, and active operations 
in the State were suspended for some time. 

In relation to the administration of Gen. Fremont, 
much has been said about the high prices paid by 
him for arms and other supplies; the unnecessary 
fortification of St. Louis; "delay in re-enforcing 
points threatened by the enemy; undue assumption 
of authority, &.c. Year Committee can but briefly 
notice those dtflferent points, on account of their ina- 
bility to obtain full evidence in relation to them. 

This much, at least, appears to be established: 
.Gen. Fremont, upon takiug the command, was 
clothed with the most ample authority, and the ex- 
igencies of the Department were such that much 
ehould be pardoned in one comoelled to act so 
promptly, and with so little ai bis command. 
Whether that authority was exercieed, in all re- 
spects, as it should have been — whether Gen. Fre- 
mont was justifieii ia all that he did by the circuin- 
Btanbes UDder which he was called upon to act — 
your Committee do not undertake to express a pos- 
itive opinion. 

In relation to the purchase of arms, ' &.C., it ap- 
pears that the Department was very destitute of 
BOpplies of all kinds;. the demand was most pres-ing, 
and the Government was unable to supply it. Some 
■ of the arms engaged by Gen. Fremont for the sol- 
diers in his department were diverted to the Army 
of the Potomac — the primary object of the Govern- 
inept then being to collect and equip an army at 
Washington as soon as could possibly be doue. This 
^"■"jendered it the more important tbat other arms 
8h\)iJcl be '"btaiiied. Yet with all that Gen. Fre- 
mont deemed it proper to do, his department long 
felt the want of adequate supplies. 

In reference to the fortifications about St. Louis, 
Gen. Fremont but carried out what Gen. Lyon be- 
fore him had deemed nece<jsary. In reference to 
the manner in which it was doue — as the Govern- 
ment has had its agents to examine the contracts 
for that work, as well as other contracts, your Com- 
mittee forbear expressing an opmion. 

In regard to re-enforcing promptly those points 
threatened by the enemy, ao far as your Committee 



have the evidence berore them, they believe thai- 
Gen. Fremont acted with energy and promptness. 
He was peculiarly situated. The first call — that of 
Gen. Lyon — was pressed upon him so soon after 
he took command of the department, and 
he was compelled to act so hastily, without 
time for fully surveying the 3eld berore him, and 
ascertaining the extent of the re?'>nrces at his com- 
mand, that even if he failed to do all ."lat one under 
other circumstances might have done, still yoni 
Committee can discover no cause of censure against 
him. But in regard to both Gen. Lyon and Col. Mulli- 
gan, your Commitree have discovered no evidence 
of any disregard for the public interest, or want ol 
energy or inclination npon the part of Gen. Fre- 
mont. Troops were collected by him as soon aa 
could be done, and they were promptly sent where 
the exigencies of the 8er\'ice demanded. Some ol 
them were diverted to other purposes than those for 
which Gen. Fremont desittned them. The Govern- 
ment Citiiod upon him lor troops to be sent to the 
east, at a time when he was most earnestly engaged 
in procuring forces for »,;•»• assistance rff Col. Mulli- 
gan. Thqfie that were left were sent promptly, and 
only failed to render the assistance needed from 
causes over which Gen. Fremont had no control. 

Gen. Fremont early turned his attention to the 
building of gunboats tor oar Western rivers. Who- 
ever is entitled to the credit o'' originating the idea 
of employing such means of warfare in that section 
of country, it is not to be denied that Gen. Fremont 
perceived the advantage to result from them. Our 
brilhant victories in tuo West will bear enduring 
testimony to the correctness of his judgment in that 
respect. _ 

Bat that feature of Gen. Fremont's administration 
which attracted the most attention at the time, and 
which will ever be most prominent among ihe many 
points of interest connected with the history of that 
Department, is his Proclamation of Emancipation. 
Wiiatever opinion may be entertained in relerence 
to the time when the po icy of Emancipation should 
have been inaugurated, or by whose authority it 
should have been promulgated, there can be no doui>t 
that Gen. Fremont at that early day rightly judged 
in regard to the most effective means of subdumg 
this lie hellion. In proof of that it is only necessary 
to reter to the fact that his successor, when trans- 
ferred to another department, issued a proclamation 
embodying the same principle. And the President, 
as Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy, has 
applied the same principle to all the rebellions 
States, and few will deny that it must be adhered 
to until the last vesiige of treason and rebellion is 
destroyed. 

Tne administration of Gen. Fremont was eminent- 
ly characterized by earnestness, ability, and the 
most unquestionable loyalty. In the exercise ol 
the almost unlimited power delegated to him. there 
was no evidence of any tenderness toward treason, 
<sr any faduie to fully assert the dignity and power 
of the Government ox which he was the represent- 
* alive. 

The manner in which that power was exercised 
was to be judged by the resul s, and the policy of 
continuing him in command wa3 a matter for the 
authorities above him to determine. 

In order to pronounce a final judgment upon all 
the affairs in the Western Department, much more 
information is necessary than is in the possession of 
your Committee. They have undertaken merely to 
state what seems to be borne out by such testimony 
as they have been able to obtain. 

B. F. WADE, Chairmtn. 
Z. CHANDLER, 
JOHN COVOUK, 
GEO. W. J LILIAN* 

As the testimony which the Committee submit in 
relation to the Western Department is so incom- 
plete, the testimony of so many witnesses, deemed 
material by the wtiole Committee, _ being wanting, 
the undersigned decline to concur in th«» above re- 
port, and, for themselves, prefer to submit the testi- 
mony without comment. 

D. W. GCOCH, 
M. F. ODb:.LL. 



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