Franz Sigel Untangles the Mess he Made

March 6, 1862 (Thursday)

Through the swirling March snow of the previous day, an Arkansas Unionist fell in with a regiment of Texas cavalry moving north on Telegraph Road. He asked them what they were doing so far north of their camps. The Confederate Army of the West, 16,000-strong, commanded by General Earl Van Dorn and composed of Missourians under Sterling Price, and (mostly) Texans under Ben McCulloch, was making good time in its advance upon what was believed to be a divided Union army.

The Texas cavalier told as much to the Arkansas Unionist, who, upon the first chance he got, high-tailed it to the tent of Union General Samuel Curtis, commanding the divided Army of the Southwest, totalling 10,500. Curtis wanted to fall back upon Little Sugar Creek, where he found a splendid defensive position. On the 5th, however, the two wings of Curtis’s army were at Cross Hollow, ten miles south, and McKissick’s Creek, five miles southwest. Upon the word of this Unionist, as well as an additional spy, Curtis ordered his army to make their stand at Little Sugar Creek.1

On the morning of this date, General Curtis arrived and ordered the bluffs above the creek to be fortified. He figured that the Rebels would be coming up Telegraph Road, and paid specific attention to the crossing. West of the Union position along the creek was Elm Springs Road, which led through Bentonville. General Franz Sigel, commanding the other wing of the army, sent most of his wing towards the main Union line, but tarried with his rear guard in town.

To the south, he could see Confederates marching on Bentonville along the Elm Springs Road. What he saw was the brigade of General James McIntosh, who believed he could bag Sigel’s command by surrounding them north of town. This plan nearly worked. Though Sigel had poked around much of the previous day and in the morning of this date, he had just slipped out of Bentonville in time. McIntosh’s men had nearly surrounded the Union rear guard, but Sigel was determined to break through and make it to General Curtis.

While most of Sigel’s troops marched back towards the main line, he deployed a heavy skirmish line and artillery to delay the Rebels. The artillery did the trick, causing the Confederates to melt away. Sigel and his rear guard rejoined his main force on the road to Little Sugar Creek.

The road, however, grew narrow, with steep bluffs on either side.¬†As Sigel’s force, which was unable to keep its skirmishers and flankers deployed due to the terrain, picked its way through the gorge, Rebel artillery began to fire down upon it. Sigel sent a small force up the bluff, which was outlandish enough to distract and confuse the Rebels long enough for Sigel to make his escape.

Once out of the gorge, Sigel turned his artillery around and fired back on the advancing Rebels. This dispersed them and, again, Sigel was on his way. Not too long later, a separate wing of McIntosh’s Cavalry made an appearance. Sigel quickly found a solid defensive position and sent forward some cavalry to lure McIntosh towards it. The trap worked, as the Rebels stumbled blindly into the Union artillery, which sent cannister into the gray ranks. Sigel made it back to Little Sugar Creek with no further botheration from McIntosh. Though he displayed a bit of genius (or luck) upon the battlefield, it was Sigel’s own fault that he was caught in the first place.

When General Van Dorn made his appearance near dusk, he met with Generals Price and McCulloch. Both of the typically feuding officers agreed – the Union position was too solid to be broken by a frontal assault. Also, the men needed rest. McCulloch proposed to move the next morning along the Bentonville Detour Road, which would get around the right flank of the Union army. This would compel Curtis to abandon his position and probably fall back into Missouri. Price agreed, but Van Dorn did not.

He loved the idea of getting around the Union right flank, but disagreed on two parts. First, the men should move now, no matter how worn out and hungry they were. Second, since the Bentonville Detour Road connected to Telegraph Road behind the Union line, why not follow it to its terminus and cut off the Union retreat? He would bag the whole lot of them!

Van Dorn mistakenly believed that Curtis was planning to retreat anyway. In reality, Curtis was there, with his 10,500 men, to fight. Curtis, however, had no idea what Van Dorn was up to. He anticipated McCulloch’s flanking idea, but never suspected Van Dorn would move to his rear. The Confederate Army of the West would make it to Telegraph Road, behind the Union position, by dawn. The men of that army, however, were completely exhausted. In addition, when they arrived, Van Dorn decided to divide his force, sending Price down Telegraph Road, and McCulloch down a smaller road to the west. Van Dorn assured them that they would be reunited before the fighting began.2

  1. Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 8, p592. []
  2. Pea Ridge by William L. Shea & Earl J. Hess. Battles are too big and complex to be given their proper justice in a short blog entry. I strongly suggest this book when it comes to the Battle of Pea Ridge. []

Grant Pleads His Case; Beauregard Gets an Army; Rebs Advance in New Mexico

March 5, 1862 (Wednesday)

Union General Ulysses Grant, shockingly removed from field command by General Halleck only the day before, must have awoken to a very strange new day. Before receiving the news, he was planning a two-pronged advance up the Tennessee River. General C.F. Smith would command one wing, while Grant commanded the other. Forced to remain at Fort Henry, he could do nothing but turn over command to Smith (as directed to by Halleck) and hope for some clarity.

After Smith was on his way, Grant wrote to Halleck to try and explain his case, though he was given scant details as to why he was being removed. General Halleck had accused Grant of not keeping him updated as to the numbers and whereabouts of his troops. Grant countered that he reported by telegraph almost every day. Grant did admit that he wasn’t able to get the returns from all his troops, specifically General Smith’s. He reasoned that Smith was probably unable to send them, due to being ordered to Nashville by General Buell, who commanded the adjoining department.

Grant restated that he had made daily reports to General Cullum, Halleck’s chief of staff, and that, perhaps, Cullum deemed them too unimportant to forward.1


Beauregard Gets an Army

While the Union Army of the Tennessee, now commanded in the field by General C.F. Smith, gathered at Fort Henry to pursue the Confederates under General Albert Sidney Johnston, Johnston’s Army of Tennessee was headed towards Corinth and Decatur, Mississippi, which were to be reached in three days. To cover Chattanooga, Tennessee, he sent General John Floyd with 2,500 troops.

Farther to the west, along the Mississippi River, General P.G.T. Beauregard took command of the Confederate Army of the Mississippi (often the “the” is left off, but Beauregard used it), formerly under General Polk, at New Madrid, Missouri (though Beauregard was still in Jackson, Tennessee). In a message to his new troops, Beauregard assured them that the Confederate losses thus far in the war were “now about the same as those of the enemy.” There had been some reverses, it was true, but, urged Beauregard, the hero of Fort Sumter and Manassas, “those reverses, far from disheartening, must nerve us to new deeps of valor and patriotism, and should inspire us with unconquerable determination to drive back our invaders.”2

Before taking command, Beauregard had called upon Richmond for reinforcements. In response, they sent General Braxton Bragg from Pensacola, Florida and Mobile, Alabama with a force of 10,000 well-trained soldiers. Additionally, 5,000 from New Orleans, under General Ruggles, had been sent north, weakening the port city. Bragg and his men currently held Corinth.

Braxton Bragg was an officer of high moral character and a West Point education. He had served with Ulysses Grant in the Mexican War, and under Albert Sidney Johnston during the Mormon uprisings of mid 1850s. Beauregard wanted him in Tennessee badly enough to offer to serve below him. In turn, Bragg was given allowance to issue orders in Beauregard’s name. When all was said and done, with the exception of the troops at New Madrid and Island No. 10, Beauregard had roughly 23,000 men under his command.3

Near New Madrid and Island No. 10, Union General Pope’s Army of the Mississippi was gathering its strength to take the town, while a detachment moved farther south to capture the Rebel town of Point Pleasant, effectively choking New Madrid. It had been hoped that Commodore Foote would provide several gunboats to assist Pope, but Foote refused and the operation was at a stand-still. Pope would have nearly 18,000 men poised to take the scantily-defended town and island, both of which were constantly being reinforced by the Rebels.4


Four New Mexican Rebels Storm a Union Supply Depot

Before the war, any armory or depot in the west had been filled with ammunition and supplies to fight the Indians. Sixty miles west of Albuquerque, recently taken by General Henry Sibley’s Confederate Army of New Mexico, was the small village of Cubero, home of roughly 500 Mexicans and a Union Army depot.

The depot was held by Captain Francisco Aragon and about forty-five men, including only three regulars. When Albuquerque was abandoned, its supplies set ablaze, and the Union troops moved north to Santa Fe, Cubero seems to have been forgotten.

Aside from the 500 Mexican inhabitants, and the small detachment of the Union army, four staunchly pro-Southern white people lived in Cubero. Realizing that the native Mexicans didn’t really care one way or the other which flag flew over their town, the four Secessionists made a plan to seize the depot for the South. They had, no doubt, heard of Sibley’s campaign and wished to help.

On March 3, the four Secessionists stormed into the quiet depot and demanded Captain Aragon to surrender. Aragon, like his neighbors, also cared little for the cause of the Union. He turned over the depot without giving it a second thought.

Before Cubero’s Secessionists executed their plan, they sent word to Albuquerque, informing the Confederate commander of the depot. He sent Captain Alfred Thurmond with twenty-five men to the village. They arrived on this date, finding sixty small arms and 3,000 rounds of ammunition. More importantly, they acquired medical and camp supplies, which filled twenty-five wagons.

The Union troops were given guns and ammunition for the sixty-mile journey back to Albuquerque. Upon arrival, they were to surrender their arms.5

  1. Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 11, p4-5. []
  2. Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 10, Part 2, p297. []
  3. The Army of Tennessee by Stanley F. Horn. []
  4. Island No. 10 by Larry J. Daniel and Lynn N. Bock. []
  5. Sibley’s New Mexico Campaign by Martin Hardwick Hall. I have visited the tiny town of Cubero and fell in love with it. It’s an old Route 66 town that is often stated to be a ghost town, but it still has life within it. Here’s a random fact: Author, Ernest Hemingway lived in Cubero for a time. It’s where he wrote his novella The Old Man and the Sea. []

General Grant Removed from Command for Insubordination!

March 4, 1862 (Tuesday)

Union General Henry Halleck, commander of the Department of Missouri and General Ulysses S. Grant’s superior, was in an especially foul mood. Soon after the Federals took Nashville, Grant had visited the city without orders to do so. While he was merely meeting with the senior General in the field, Don Carlos Buell, Halleck blew it out of proportion.

On the 1st of March, Grant was ordered by Halleck to return to Fort Henry and, from there, to launch an expedition up the Tennessee River to the state of Mississippi. The objective was the destruction of several key railroad bridges. Grant was to “avoid any general engagement with strong forces,” and was told that it was “better to retreat than to risk a general battle.” Halleck suggested that General C.F. Smith’s brigade make the expedition, which would turn on Paris, Tennessee after the Mississippi bridges were taken care of.1

An unfortunate series of events culminated in Halleck turning just plain mean. It probably began when General Buell ordered General C.F. Smith’s brigade (from Grant’s army) to occupy Nashville. Halleck, who ultimately held rule over the brigade, was surprised that it wasn’t with Grant. When he heard no word from Grant for a week and then received a message stating that Grant himself was in Nashville, he decided to wire General-in-Chief George McClellan in Washington to shake things up.2

He reported to McClellan Grant’s unauthorized visit to Nashville, his lack of communication, and that “his army seems to be as much demoralized by the victory of Fort Donelson as was that of the Potomac by the defeat of Bull Run.”

It should be remembered that Grant and his army had just come off of two great victories at Fort Henry and Donelson. Halleck had this well in mind, telling McClellan that it was “hard to censure a successful general immediately after a victory,” but added that Grant “richly deserves it.” In closing, he made a recommendation of who should take Grant’s place with the sour comment of “C.F. Smith is almost the only officer equal to the emergency.”3

General McClellan immediately sided with Halleck. “Grant should at once be checked,” he replied, as if Grant was some mutual enemy. “Do not hesitate to arrest him at once if the good of the service requires it,” boldly wrote McClellan.4

Halleck had the night to think it over, but by the next morning (this date), another rumor touched his ear. He wired McClellan that Grant, once dismissed from the old army for drinking, “has resumed his former bad habits.” However, Halleck didn’t believe that Grant needed to be arrested. Placing C.F. Smith in command over the troops, to “restore order and discipline,” for a move up the Tennessee River, was enough.5

To Grant, Halleck had little to say but a direct order: “You will place Maj. Gen. C. F. Smith in command of expedition, and remain yourself at Fort Henry.” Setting aside the myriad things that must have been bugging him, Halleck focused upon one, the lack of communication. “Why do you not obey my orders to report strength and positions of your command?”6

When he received the dispatch from Halleck, removing him from command, Grant was surprised. He could not remember ever being asked by Halleck to report the strength or position of his army7, and yet he remembered doing all that he could to get the returns of the strength of his (Grant’s) command, reporting his every move to Halleck’s chief of staff.8

“Thus in less than two weeks after the victory at Donelson,” Grant later summarized in his Memoirs, “the two leading generals [Halleck and McClellan] in the army were in correspondence as to what disposition should be made of me, and in less than three weeks I was virtually in arrest and without a command.”9

After a night of whatever rest he could get, Grant would order Smith to command and reply to Halleck.

  1. Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 7, p674. []
  2. Grant Rises in the West; The First Year by Kenneth P. Williams. []
  3. Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 7, p679-680. []
  4. Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 7, p680. Halleck sent his message on March 2nd and McClellan replied on the 3rd. This catches us up nicely. []
  5. Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 7, p682. []
  6. Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 11, p3. Hey! It’s a new volume of the OR! []
  7. Memoirs by Ulysses Grant, p326. []
  8. Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 11, p15. []
  9. Memoirs by Ulysses Grant, p328. []

Arkansas Rebels Hope to Destroy Divided Union Army Near Pea Ridge

March 3, 1862 (Monday)

Telegraph Road ran from St. Louis, Missouri to Fort Smith, Arkansas. Like its name implied, telegraph wires were strung along its length. Before that, it was part of the Ozark Trail and the Trail of Tears. It connected St. Louis with the west via the Butterfield Overland Mail Route. It was along this route that two armies were poised.

Union General Samuel Curtis had spread out his 10,500-strong Union Army of the Southwest along the Telegraph Road and another road to the west. Roughly twenty miles to the south, the Confederate Army of the West, commanded by General Earl Van Dorn, was positioned along Telegraph Road, nuzzled in the Boston Mountains, south of Fayetteville.

Van Dorn’s army of 16,000 was divided into two wings, one under General Ben McCulloch, the other under General Sterling Price. Until this date, they were acting as separate commands, as McCulloch and Price couldn’t get along. General Van Dorn, who arrived on the scene the previous evening, quickly took in the situation, meeting with McCulloch and Price on this date at nearby Strickler’s Station on Telegraph Road.

When he learned how spread out Curtis’ Federals were, he saw an opportunity. Separating the two wings of the Union Army was the town of Bentonville. There, he would march his army and throw it wholly upon each strung out wing, destroying the entire Army of the Southwest in detail.

The plan was simple, but elegant. He had caught the Yankees in a classic military mistake; they had divided their force in the face of an enemy. He resolved to march the next morning to teach General Curtis a valuable lesson.

Though the plan seemed fool-proof, there were some issues. To begin with, Van Dorn had been ill with a severe fever and could only travel by ambulance. Even though his mind was sharp, he failed to take into account certain details. Though he, no doubt, knew of the unfriendly past between Generals McCulloch and Price, he seemed not to understand that their respective soldiers shared their leaders’ dispositions. He wanted the army to travel dangerously light, not taking into account the harshness of late winter on the Ozark Plateau.

Light marching meant that the troops carried only their rifles, forty rounds of ammunition, three days’ rations and one blanket. Tents and camp equipment, extra clothes, even pans for cooking had to be left behind. Van Dorn knew that his men would be campaigning longer than three days, so allowed each Division to carry an extra day’s ration in a supply wagon. For the remainder of the days, they would have to subsist off of whatever was left behind by the retreating Yankees. The Confederate Army of the West had to be victorious or risk starvation.

There was also another hitch in Van Dorn’s plan. It required General Curtis’ Army of the Southwest to remain divided. As fortune would have it, Van Dorn was not very fortunate. Also on this date, Curtis decided that it was too difficult to manage such a divided force. He ordered his scattered brigades to abandon their forward positions and fall back to the bluffs overlooking Little Sugar Creek, a fine defensive position.1


Both Jackson and Johnston Prepare to Retreat

News of the brash Union movement across the Potomac at Harpers Ferry had been filtering into Stonewall Jackson’s headquarters in Winchester. Information was skinny, but he had gathered that there were 4,500 Union infantry at Martinsburg, a mere twenty miles north, along the Valley Turnpike. He had also heard of a large cavalry force at Williamsport, fifteen miles farther.

Knowing that he couldn’t know everything, Jackson mused on his possible choices to his commander, General Joe Johnston, with the Confederate Army of the Potomac, at Centreville, near the Manassas battlefield. It being the tail end of winter, Jackson was concerned about the conditions of the roads. If pressed, he could make it to New Market and his depot at Mt. Jackson, fifty miles south of Winchester. From there, he would have his choice upon how to attack the invading Union army.

From there, he could also reinforce Johnston’s Army at Centreville, leaving the Shenandoah Valley in the hands of the Union. Jackson was learning just how difficult it would be for his small force of 5,000 to keep whatever force the Yankees were throwing at him inside the valley, on the west side of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It seemed that no matter where he moved, he could easily be bypassed, enabling the Federals to come in on Johnston’s left flank or even his rear.2

General Joe Johnston already had this in mind, along with nearly every other way the Federals could attack him. His army was in Centreville, not even twenty miles away from the Union Army of the Potomac, three times his number. A couple of weeks had passed since he and President Davis met about what to do. This was before the Union surge into Harpers Ferry, but still there was a sense of urgency. Davis realized that the Centreville position was precarious and agreed that, in order to defend Richmond, Johnston’s army would have to move closer to the city.

By the end of the meeting, Johnston and Davis believed they were in agreement about what to do next. Johnston thought that Davis gave him permission to abandon Centreville as soon as practicable. Meanwhile, Davis thought that Johnston had agreed to hold on as long as possible.3

On this date, Johnston wrote what must have been a somewhat surprising letter to Davis, telling him that his “orders for moving cannot be executed now on account of the condition of the roads and streams.” Nevertheless, when Davis received it, he checked to see if any trains could be spared for such a move.4

Both Jackson and Johnston were making plans to pull back. Johnston believed that the spring would bring a Union offensive against him and he was trying his best to prepare for the worst. In the Shenandoah Valley, the offensive had already begun. What Jackson believed to be 4,500 and some cavalry, was actually over 38,000 troops under Union General Nathaniel Banks, at Harpers Ferry, Charlestown and Martinsburg. Jackson’s force consisted of no more than 5,000 present and able for duty. These eight-to-one odds did not bode well for the Virginian.5

  1. Pea Ridge by William L. Shea & Earl J. Hess. []
  2. Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 5, p1087-1088. []
  3. Joseph E. Johnston by Craig L. Symonds. []
  4. Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 5, p1088. []
  5. Stonewall Jackson by James I. Robertson. []

The Death of a General, but Move of an Army; Rebels Take Albuquerque

March 2, 1862 (Sunday)

It would be easy to believe, even fitting, that the Union advance into the Shenandoah Valley could be quickly ground to a halt by such an obscure thing as a too-small lift-lock. But that was not the case. It was true, the semi-permanent floating bridge, constructed of canal barges, that General McClellan wanted to construct across the Potomac at Harpers Ferry could not be built. It was also true that to reconstruct the railroad bridge, destroyed by retreating Confederates at the start of the war, would take weeks. Still, this did not stem the flow of Union troops crossing to the Virginia shore.

The rickety pontoon bridge hastily strung across the river would not hold, but there were other ways to reach the Confederacy. General McClellan stayed at Harpers Ferry long enough to oversee General Banks’ initial crossing at Harpers Ferry, and to issue orders for nearby divisions to cross the Potomac.

Four divisions in all would be called upon. Banks’ Division of 16,000 were already across and encamped at Charlestown [or Charles Town, as it’s called these days] and Bolivar Heights, as were the 11,000 men of General John Sedgewick’s Division (except for the six regiments under General Alpheus Williams, who were to en route from Hancock and crossing at Williamsport, and ordered to move on Martinsburg, which they would take on this date). This left the division of General Frederick Lander.

Lander’s Division had been in Virginia on and off throughout the winter, as he followed orders to evacuate Romney, and nipped at Stonewall Jackson’s heels throughout February. It’s possible that this whole forward thrust into the lower Shenandoah Valley was happening due to Lander’s unceasing insistence to attack Stonewall Jackson, currently holding Winchester.

The 15,000 men of Lander’s Division had been holed up at Paw Paw Tunnel [now part of West Virginia]. As the snow whipped and slashed the faces of the men, they marched east to meet up with William’s Brigade at Martinsburg. Lander ordered the 39th Illinois to open the railroad to Martinsburg, entrusting its commander, “If the rebels come on you in force, fight under any circumstances, and if you are taken prisoner, I will release you tomorrow morning.”

General Lander, however, had been seriously ill for weeks. Being the tough and stubborn man that he was, he usually worked around it or through it, but all of this action, the cold and the snow, was finally taking its final toll. Early on this date, Lander was unconscious, sleeping under the heavy cloud of morphine, administered by surgeons who claimed he was too ill to lead an army in the field. Major Simon Barstow, his aide-de-camp, by his side kept General McClellan appraised of the illness’s progress. Though Lander’s Division was on the move, seeing that its leader was probably not going to make it another day, Barstow ordered the men back to Paw Paw.

As the winter sun sank quickly into the valley of the Potomac River, General Frederick Lander, railroad surveyor, trailblazer and poet, spoke his last words through his haze of delirium and passing: “Don’t sound the bugle.”

At 5pm, Major Barstow wired General McClellan, telling him that Lander had died, and that he turned over command of the division to Col. Nathan Kimball. McClellan would agree with Barstow’s choice, as Kimball was the senior-most brigade commander, but had another officer in mind.

General Frederick Lander was a crass, angry, and largely unlikable man who, even immediately following word of his death, would have few pleasant things said about him. Personally, he would be little missed, but it was he who had a firm grasp of the roads, terrain and abilities of the forces, Union and Confederate, arrayed in the lower Shenandoah Valley.1


The Rebels Take Albuquerque and Take Nothing

While the North was on the move south in the Shenandoah Valley, the South was on the move north in the Rio Grande Valley. On February 26, Confederate General Henry Sibley captured the town of Socorro, New Mexico, seventy-five miles south of Albuquerque. There, General Sibley reorganized his 2,500-man Army of New Mexico, redistributed the healthy horses among his men, and tried to figure out what to do next.

Following the Battle of Valverde, Sibley had left Union Col. Edward Canby and his 3,500 Yankees behind at Fort Craig, licking their wounds, but not at all whipped. Fort Craig and Col. Canby were left behind on the Confederate supply line. While they had captured provisions in Socorro, it wouldn’t be long until his men had eaten through them.

He could either go south to destroy Canby or keep pushing north towards Albuquerque, where supplies were supposedly in abundance. Moving north, however, would place Sibley between two large Union forces. Canby would be to the south, while Fort Union, north of Las Vegas, New Mexico, was to the north. Sibley’s beautiful dream of taking all of New Mexico had the inceptive stirrings of a nightmare.

Still, on February 28th, Sibley left Socorro, heading north towards Albuquerque. This move surprised many of his men, who thought it folly to leave Canby to their rear, and figured that they’d meet him soon again. But Albuquerque held provisions and supplies needed to subsist off this desolate ground.2

While the main body’s march was slow, the vanguard of the army, 200 men, most of the 2nd Texas Mounted Rifles, were ordered to ride quickly ahead to secure the Union depot in Albuquerque before word of their advance reached the city.

This was an idea that was late in coming. The several days Sibley spent resting after the Battle of Valverde, along with the several days spent deciding what to do at Socorro, were about to haunt him.

On March 1, As the 2nd Texas was storming north, a messenger had already arrived at the Federal depot, informing its commander that part of Sibley’s army was but thirty-five miles south. He immediately took action, ordering whatever supplies could be saved to be loaded onto wagons and taken to Santa Fe. The rest would have to be put to the torch.

By the evening of the first, the Rebels were reported to be fifteen miles away, but there was no sign of them through the night. At 6:30 in the morning of this date, the Union depot was set ablaze. During the start of the fire, the natives of Albuquerque rushed forward, not to save the building, but to scoop up whatever provisions they could carry, risking their lives for the essentials of life, and maybe a bit extra for comfort.

As the Texans reached the city, they saw large, black pillars of smoke and realized they were too late.3

  1. As this was mostly a “catch up” post, I used a variety of sources. Mostly, Russel H. Beatie’s Army of the Potomac; McClellan’s First Campaign and Army of the Potomac; McClellan Takes Command (the third and second volumes, respectively) were used. Also, the Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 5, p732 provided the divisional strengths of the commands involved. Vol. 51, Part 1, p545 contained wires from McClellan and Barstow. Lastly, Shenandoah 1862 by Peter Cozzens shed light on the Confederate reaction, but I’ll be getting to that tomorrow or the next day. []
  2. Blood & Treasure by Donald S. Frazier. []
  3. Sibley’s New Mexico Campaign by Martin Hardwick Hall. []