Major-General John C. Fremont

MAJOR-GENERAL JOHN C. FREMONT was born in Savannah, Georgia, January, 1815, entered the Junior class of Charleston College, South Carolina, at the age of fifteen, and was remarkable for proficiency in mathematics. He taught this branch on board the United States sloop of war Natchez, in 1833, and held the position for two years. He then was engaged in surveying the route from Charleston to Cincinnati, In 1838-39, he explored the country between the river Mis­souri and the British line, during which period he was made lieutenant of topographical engineers. Next year he sur­veyed the head waters of the Missouri and the Pacific, and in 1845 explored the regions of Oregon, California, and the Sierra Nevada. He was made colonel of a regiment of mounted riflemen in 1846, and in 1847, commanded a battalion in the Mexican war. Some misunderstanding arose between him and General Kearney, and he resigned. He made another expedition to the Rocky mountains in 1848, and in 1849, was one of the United States Commis sioners to run the boundary line between the United States and Mexico. He was soon after chosen United States Sen­ator for California, and in 1856, was the candidate of the Republican party for President, receiving one hundred and fourteen electoral votes, which failed to elect him. For proficiency in the sciences, Fremont received a gold medal from the King of Prussia, and the praises of Humboldt. He was in Paris at the outbreak of the rebellion, but quickly returned home to the aid of his country, and on the 9th of July, 1861, was put in command of the Western Depart­ment, with the rank of major-general, head-quarters at St. Louis. His services in Missouri were very important, but political enemies caused him to be superseded by General Hunter, in November, 1861. Fremont was afterward in command of the Mountain Department, and followed Jackson in hot pursuit, through the Shenandoah valley. He meas­ured swords with him at the battle of Cross Keys, in June, 1862, and after a severe action Jackson escaped. When General Pope was appointed to command the Army of Virginia, Fremont, declining to serve under one who in Missouri had been his subordinate, resigned, and retired from the army.

From A Complete History of the Rebellion

The Invasion of Maryland: New York Tribune, September 12, 1862, page 1

The Invasion of Maryland.

Our Army Advancing Slowly.

The Soldiers Gaining Needed Strength.

True Position of the Rebel Army Unknown.

Contradictory Reports as to their Strength

Farmers Stripped of all their Produce.

Supposition that the Rebels will Escape.

General Wool Commands in Pennsylvania.

The People Rushing to Arms.

Special Dispatch to The N. Y. Tribune.
Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 1862. 

One of your special correspondents in the front, writing from the camp beyond Middlebrook yesterday evening, says that the army is advancing so slowly that the soldiers have ample time to recover their strength, worn out by the Peninsula and Rappahannock campaigns.

There is little news to communicate. In the skirmish on Tuesday, Farnsworth’s Illinois Cavalry charged and broke two Rebel regiments of horse, and took Poolesville for the third time, at least according to authentic accounts.

Franklin was reported to have used his artillery in front at Barnesville, and there were indications that the Rebels were in force a few miles beyond Middlebrook. Your correspondent expresses the opinion that the Rebel strength will be found between Sugar Loaf Mountain and Monocacy Bridge. Their mask is so complete, he says, that it is literally true that our Generals know neither the position, strength, nor purpose of the Rebel leaders.

In high quarters, it is said, theories entirely irreconcilable and equally plausible are advanced with equal confidence. They agree, however, in regarding a movement by the Rebels on Baltimore as improbable under the rules of military strategy. The Rebels can fight or retreat as they prefer, since they hold the Upper Potomac fords.

The Frederick army had but 500 wagons last Saturday, which were all filled with green corn to be used as food for men and horses. If Maryland ever held out inducements to invasion, and promises of assistance, she has not kept her word to the Rebels, who find little active sympathy and no real cooperation.

Your correspondent estimates the force at and about Frederick at 80,000, and we understand that some at least of our Generals set the whole of the enemy’s force in Maryland at not less than 140,000 or 150,000. Per contra, a clever, active officer, who was within four miles of Frederick day before yesterday, estimates the Rebel strength at less than 10,000.

His testimony is rendered unusually valuable by the fact that he has been stationed near Poolesville for the past seven months, and is acquainted with many farmers in that neighborhood and on the roads towards Frederick. A Union man with whom he had been acquainted for months, and whom he considers entirely trustworthy, assured him that the column which marched past his house to Frederick from the river was not more than 8,00 strong, and that it consisted entirely of cavalry and artillery.

Persons from Frederick with whom this scout conversed made a similar statement as to the force there.

Some farmers on the road, whose testimony he regarded as of little value with our Generals, say that there were from 140,000 to 150,000 Rebels in the State.

This scout also says, that from all he could learn, Jackson has not been in Maryland at all, the whole army of invasion being under the command of Gen. Fitzhugh Lee. The main force of the Rebels, he believes, to be several miles back of Leesburg, and to be between 100,000 and 150,000 strong.

He regards Fitzhugh Lee’s force as a foraging party, with the farther design of occupying the attention of as many of our troops as possible. On the farms along the roads over which it had passed neither cattle, grain, nor vegetables remained. Every farmer had been stripped of all his portable property, the Rebels paying for it not in green backs, as is falsely reported, but Confederate notes, if the seller would take them, otherwise not at all.

The scout expressed the belief that after delaying our advancing army as long as possible, and making its campaign as ridiculous as possible in the eyes of the world, Fitzhugh Lee would make good his retreat, with all the supplies he has gathered, going by way of Hagerstown and Williamsport.

The report that the Rebels have occupied Hagerstown, which is positively asserted to-night, favors this supposition, and it is not inconsistent with it that the Rebels give signs of an intention to hold, for a time, the line of the Monocacy, on which there has been skirmishing to-day. The scout saw one or two Rebel ragged and barefoot soldiers.

He says that Lee had, when he entered Maryland, 30 or 40 12-pounders, but a very small amount of ammunition, and that he hopes to supply this want in Maryland as well as the necessities of his men and horses for food.

Scouting parties of Rebels have recently been within 40 miles of Baltimore, on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, and have carried away telegraph instruments from several stations.

Special Dispatch to The N. Y. Tribune.
Harrisburg, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 1862. 

At 9 o’clock this morning, 50 Rebel cavalry entered Hagerstown. The telegraph operator withdrew, and established his office at the State line, five miles north, on a rock, in the rain.

The inhabitants are flying north. At latest accounts 200 rebels occupied Hagerstown, and their cavalry are moving toward Greencastle.

The authorities here have information that Jackson’s immediate force is 20,000 strong, and believe the aggregate Rebel force in Maryland is over 150,000.

That they first propose to capture our forces at Martinsburg and Harper’s Ferry, and then strike Washington and Baltimore in detail.

Gentlemen from Frederickstown report the free admission of all Marylanders to and from the Rebel lines. A company of 60 Rebel recruits were raised in Emmettsburg immediately on receiving Bradley Johnson’s proclamation.

The Rebels are all well armed, but utterly undisciplined, and when turned into the corfields [sic] seized and devoured the ears like hungry cattle.

Gen. Wool arrives to-day to take command of the State forces. The people are responding en masse to Gov. Curtin’s proclamation. There will be forty or fifty thousand here within three days. Arms are plenty here for all. The railroad to Baltimore is unbroken.

Correspondence of the Associated Press.
Rockville, Wednesday, Sept. 10—evening. 

Poolesville, about ten miles from here, is the furthest point up the river we now occupy; but as to movements generally, it would be improper to speak.

No word has recently been received of Col. Miles, who has been occupying Harper’s Ferry. The impression is that he has left that point by this time, as it would be impossible for him to hold that position while the enemy occupy Frederick, and may march upon Hagerstown, which is anticipated.

No one seems to have any definite knowledge of the numerical force now in Maryland.

There is no doubt the enemy are throwing all their available force into Maryland. Two deserters from the 24th North Carolina regiment arrived here to-day. They state that two of their brigades marched directly from Richmond to Frederick.

The supply trains of the Rebels continue to cross into Maryland, but none are known to return.

Our troops advanced this morning.

The Position: Washington National Republican, October 25, 1862, page 2

The Position.

It is understood that an order was issued last evening, removing General Buell from his command, and appointing Gen. Rosecrans in his place. We suppose that we ought to say, better late than never, but this removal is very late. It has been apparent to the country, for nearly a year, that Gen. Buell was either incompetent for his place by reason of lack of force, or of capacity, or that he belonged to that clique in the army whose programme is an indecisive war, to end in a Democratic compromise, was betrayed by Major Key, and did not need that betrayal in order to be understood. Gen. Buell refused, during long months last winter, to advance against the rebels at Bowling Green, whom he outnumbered three to one, and would not have advanced to this day, if Gen. Grant had not cleared the road by the capture of Fort Donelson.

At the head of magnificent armies ever since, Gen. Buell has done nothing but return fugitive slaves, and has now closed his career by permitting the escape from Kentucky of General Bragg’s army, loaded with the spoils of a protracted and substantially uninterrupted raid. Let others take warning by this removal (although tardy) of Gen. Buell, that if the President is long suffering, he will strike at last.

The Star of last evening makes the following admission of the falsity of the statements of its political friends, by which it has been attempted to shift the responsibility of the non-advance of Gen. McClellan upon certain parties here:

“After diligent inquiry, we have satisfied ourself that no requisition for shoes or clothing for the army of the Potomac upon the department of the depot quartermaster here, Colonel Rucker, has failed to be complied with promptly. We are also now satisfied that the quartermaster of the army of the Potomac has at no time lacked an ample supply of those articles: and that the failure of Gen. McClellan’s troops to receive them as required up to this hour, is likely to turn out to be the want of energetic and business like management on the part of those charged with the duty of their prompt distribution after their arrival there.”

The World, and other New York papers of that stamp, are now urging men to vote the Seymour ticket, upon the special ground that Gen. McClellan is disabled from advancing because the Secretary of War will not send him shoes and blankets! They will continue to make this point until after the election is over.

The Star, which is an organ of a certain clique and of certain views in the army, had an elaborate and very significant article last evening, advising against any advance by General McClellan for thirty days, and that then, if an advance upon Richmond be made, it should be by the way of James river, or from Fredericksburg. The Star wants delay, in order that our army may be filled up by the continued arrivals of the 600,000 men last called for, while it affects to believe that the rebel army cannot be further recruited, or even kept together, by reason of the want of supplies and clothing. In this connection, we remember but too well that the non-advance of General McClellan a year ago upon Manassas was justified by the theory that the enemy was in such a condition that he must either make an attack upon us, and at a disadvantage, or disperse. That theory answered for the tools, until the event disproved it, and that was long enough.

However, our purpose was not to combat the Star’s views, but to state what they are. That paper is the organ of the men in the army of the Major Key school, and this article foreshadows what they intend to do, if the President does not peremptorily overrule them. There is no sort of doubt that there has been from the outset a conspiracy, in high uarter sin the army, to baffle the purposes of this war, and there are indications that the President now sees it and will defeat it.

The Richmond Examiner, of the 18th instant, says:

“We notice that in Texas, and in some portions of the Mississippi Valley, the proposition is urged to make a conscription or forced levy of slaves where their labor is necessary for the army. Since the invasion of the South, the Yankees have stolen tens of thousands of negroes, and made them useful as teamsters, laborers in camp, &c. It appears that slaveholders are averse for some reason, to hire their negroes to the Confederate army. The prejudice is certainly an ignorant and mean one. As the war originated and is carried out in great part for the defence of the slaveholder in his property rights, and the perpetuation of the institution, it is reasonable to suppose that he ought to be the first and foremost in aiding and assisting, by every means in his power, the triumph and success of our arms. Good wages are offered, and proper care and attention will be given every negro hired to the army, and the slaveholder ought to remember that for every negro he thus furnishes he puts a soldier in the ranks

Two points will strike the reader:

First. The admission that, on the part of the rebels, “the war originated and is carried on in great part for the defence of the slaveholder in his property rights, and the perpetuation of the institution.”

Second. The statement that every negro employed as “teamsters, laborers in camps,” &c., puts a soldier in the ranks.” If that is true on the rebel side, it is none the less true on our side, but we have been fettered by scruples about using the negro, which the more sensible rebels do not trouble themselves with.

It is gravely announced, in correspondence from North Carolina, that Gov. Vance, whose election was hailed as a wonderful Union triumph, proves to be a rebel of the first water. This ought not to surprise anybody. He was an ultra pro-slavery demagogue when he was in Congress here, and was a colonel in the rebel army when he was elected governor. The (so-called) Unionism of North Carolina has never been anything but a dull hoax. That State has furnished more troops for the rebels, in proportion to population, than South Carolina, and is quite as deeply committed to the rebellion, in every respect. The New York Tribune has had faith in North Carolina, because it was “an old Whig State.” It if would take a look at Virginia, it would find that it is precisely in the “old Whig” districts that rebellion is most virulent, and we believe it to be so all over the South. We can remember very well when South Carolina was a banner “Whig” State.

Enlistment in the United States: Quebec Morning Chronicle, October 1, 1861, page 2

Enlistment in the United States.—The Rochester (N.Y.) Express gives a discouraging report in regard to the enlistments throughout that State. It learns from sources of information beyond question, that of the 25,000 troops called for under the last requisition, less than 7000 have yet been enrolled. Moreover, it is believed by the military authorities at Elmira, that unless a vast improvement is witnessed in the recruiting service during the ensuing fortnight the Governor will resort to drafting.

Tyler-McDowell: New-York Daily Tribune, July 22, 1861, page 4


As some censure has been visited upon Brig.-Gen. Tyler of the Connecticut Volunteers for the initial repulse at Bull’s Run, it should be understood that his friends consider his course in the premises entirely right. He suspected, or knew, that masked batteries would be encountered at that point, and believed that scouts could neither approach them so as to discover their exact position nor draw their fire; and a reconnoissance in force was his only resort. This he made; and thus fixed the position of every battery; he suffering some loss and inflicting perhaps as much on the enemy. He did not expect to capture the batteries by that reconnoissance, but simply to get the hang of them.

It has been remarked that Gen. McDowell was eleven miles distant when the collision took place; whence it is concluded that Gen. Tyler transcended his orders. But an army of Fifty Thousand men is not a mathematical point; its front facing an enemy must have an extent of miles, and its commander can only be in one place at a time. Could Gen. McDowell have seen precisely where resistance would first be encountered, he would probably have been just there. But an army advancing through a wooded, broken country, cautiously feeling for the enemy, is liable to encounter them on any part of its front, and can neither choose nor foresee the point of initial collision.