—After McClellan’s “success” at getting a pontoon bridge across the Potomac the day before, on this date he receives delivery of canal barges, which are to be used to construct a more permanent bridge, as the pontoon one is threatening to give way. However, after having spent hunderds of thousands of dollars on them, the Union engineers find that the boats have been made the wrong size, and will not fit. McClellan concludes that the advance on Winchester cannot be made, and that his entire timetable for invading Virginia is set back. Incensed, Pres. Lincoln rages at the equally wroth Sec. of War Stanton: “Why in the damn nation… couldn’t the general have known whether a boat could go through that lock before spending a million of dollars getting them there. I am no engineer but it seems to me that, if I wished to know whether a boat would go through a hole or a lock, common sense would teach me to go and measure it. I am almost despairing at these results. Everything seems to fail.”
—Bugler Oliver Willcox Norton, a Union soldier in the Army of the Potomac, writes home to his cousin:
—The New York Times publishes this poignant letter from a young Army officer to his father back home in Illinois, telling of his horrifying experiences at the Battle of Fort Donelson:
My company was the color company, at which the rebels took particular aim; as fast as one man who carried it would be shot another would take his place; but the flag was brought through. Only one hundred and sixteen remain in the Eleventh Regiment uninjured.
Do not wonder, dear father, that I am downhearted. My boys all loved me, and need I say that, in looking at the poor remnant of my company — the men that I have taken so much pains to drill, the men that I thought so much of — now nearly all in their graves — I feel melancholy. But I do not complain; God spared my life, and for what, the future must tell. I will write you soon again. The Eleventh Regiment will, I think, (what is remaining,) be left to guard the prisoners at Cairo or Alton, whilst they recruit. Whether I shall attempt to raise another company, I do not know at present. Good bye. Let the folks at home know I am safe.
L.D. WADDELL, Captain Co. E. Eleventh
Regiment Ill. Vol., (what is left of it.)