Monday, October 29, 2012

October 27, 1862

October 27, 1862:  Gen. John McClernand has arrived in Illinois to recruit his new army for his proposed Vicksburg expedition.  Grant is likewise proposing his own Vicksburg move, and has already put matters into motion, but still lacks clear approval or support from Washington.  Grant is unaware that McClernand is now asking for some of Grant’s army to be re-assigned to him, once he begins his move down the river. 

---In answer to Pres. Lincoln’s rather sarcastic quip about why McClellan’s horses might be too fatigued for the Army of the Potomac to pursue the Rebels, Little Mac replies with some touchy, offended sense of outrage.  So the President answers with some mollifying comments and a tone of support---and Mac comes back with more reasons why he is not ready to go, namely the filling up of worn regiments with replacements---and Lincoln, savvy to McClellan’s procrastinating ways, is sure to ask if this new project is something that must be done before (once again) he will able to go after General Lee:

EXECUTIVE MANSION, Washington, October 27, 1862.
(Sent 12.10 p. m.)
Major-General McCLELLAN:
    Yours of yesterday received. Most certainly I intend no injustice to any, and if I have done any I deeply regret it. To be told, after more than five weeks' total inaction of the army, and during which period we have sent to the army every fresh horse we possibly could, amounting in the whole to 7,918, that the cavalry horses were too much fatigued to move, presents a very cheerless, almost hopeless, prospect for the future, and it may have forced something of impatience in my dispatch. If not recruited and rested then, when could they ever be? I suppose the river is rising, and I am glad to believe you are crossing.


HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, October 27, 1862-3 p. m.
His Excellency the PRESIDENT:
    Your Excellency is aware of the very great reduction of numbers that has taken place in most of the old regiments of this command, and how necessary it is to fill up these skeletons before taking them again into action. I have the honor, therefore, to request that the order to fill up the old regiments with drafted men may at once be issued.

Major-General, Commanding.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, Washington, October 27, 1862. (Sent 3.25 p. m.)
Major-General McCLELLAN:
    Your dispatch of 3 p. m. to-day, in regard to filling up old regiments with drafted men, is received, and the request therein shall be complied with as far as practicable.
    And now I ask a distinct answer to the question, Is it your purpose not to go into action again until the men now being drafted in the States are incorporated into the old regiments?


---The Columbus (Ga.) Times publishes an editorial that offers descriptions of the leading Confederate generals in the East:

Gen. Lee has, I believe, won his way to everybody’s confidence. In appearance he is tall, portly, and commanding. His dress is usually a plain Brigadier’s uniform, a black felt hat, with the brim turned down, and he wears a short grizzled beard all round his face. He has much of the Washingtonian dignity about him, and is much respected by all with whom he is thrown. At Sharpsburg I saw him on the field during the heat of the action. He was surrounded by his staff and a perfect squadron of couriers. He was engaged in calmly viewing the storm of battle, and giving orders in a manner of cool reliance. Aids and couriers were hurrying to and from the right, left and centre, and the whole disposition of forces seemed under his perfect control.
Gen. Robert E. Lee

Gen. Longstreet is stout and fleshy, and of good height, and has a quiet, courageous look. He seems full of thought and of decision, and his face makes an agreeable impression alike on new and old acquaintances. He is characteristically a fighting man — none can equal him in forcing a strong and well fortified position, and Gen, Lee showed his appreciation of an old tried soldier, when he patted him on the shoulder after the late battle and said, “My old war horse!” In this engagement he was second in command of the army, and his old corps keenly felt the need of his able handling.
Maj. Gen. James "Pete" Longstreet

I was surprised at Stonewall Jackson’s appearance. He has been described as a sort of clown. I never yet saw him riding with his knees drawn up like a monkey, and his head resting upon his breast. He has a first-rate face, and seems a plainly dressed Captain of Cavalry, with an unpretending Staff. His uniform is fine enough, certainly, for the hard life he leads. But the imagination is piqued, you know, by the absence of pretension, as “a King in gray clothes,”Stonewall don’t like to come about the army much. The boys keep him bareheaded all the time. When they begin to cheer him be usually pulls off his hat, spurs his fine horse, and runs through the howls which meet him at every step (for some five miles) as hard as he can go.
Maj. Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson

---The steamer Anglia, under British colors, attempts to run the blockade near Charleston.  It is captured just offshore by the USS Restless and the USS Flag.

---Battle of Georgia Landing (Labadieville), Louisiana: Gen. Benjamin Butler, in command of Union troops in southern Louisiana, orders Gen. Godfrey Weitzel to take 4,000 troops into the Bayou Lafourche area, west of New Orleans in Cajun country, to secure it for the Union.  Opposing them was a Confederate reinforced brigade under Brig. Gen. Alfred Mouton, with four infantry regiments, some cavalry, and two batteries of artillery, numbering about 1,392 men.  Weitzel advances his brigade along the east side of the bayou, and encounters half of Mouton’s force there; after a brief skirmish, the Rebels retreat.  Then the Union forces use boats to cross to the west bank, and they engage the other half of Mouton’s graybacks there, who put up a stiff fight, and keep the Federals at bay.  But the Rebels run out of ammunition, and are forced to retreat.  Union Victory.

Losses:  U.S.  86; C.S. 229

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