Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Thursday, March 13, 1862

The goods for the hospital clothing did not come last night as we expected.  We sent George out to the station to inquire about them.  Mr. Tuttle said he sent them by train as directed.  There has been some mistake.  I hope they are not lost.  We are anxious to get them as some of the neighbors are coming Saturday to assist in making up the articles.  
The rebels after leaving Manassas are rendezvousing at Gordonville where there is a junction of the Orange and Alexandria with the Virginia Central Railroad.  Some fears are expressed lest Burnside be overpowered but if  [smudged out and unreadable] by himself [unreadable] it now is the time of [unreadable] in God's [unreadable] he is safe but if as he himself [unreadable].

The United States army has been divided into three distinct departments, the Department of the Potomac, under Gen. M'Clellan, the Department of the Mississippi, under Gen. Halleck, and a Department lying between that of the Potomac and the Mississippi, sometimes called the Department of the Mountains which is under Fremont.  If war visits we must look to Fremont as our defender.  There has been a great clamor against McClellan on account of the "masterly inactivity" of the Army of the Potomac upon which millions have been expended in drilling and equipping, while the raw recruits of the west do the fighting and gain the victories.  But I must believe that Lincoln and Stanton have faith in him or he would be removed from the very important command he holds.

Peggy's comments:
This entry is a fascinating because it combines Julia's comments about her everyday concerns, information about the war news, a passage that has been partially erased, and her speculation about the reconfiguration of the war departments.
In regard to the three distinct war departments, Lincoln along with many others, was frustrated by General McClellan's constant drilling.  McClellan planned to have one major battle and wanted to be completely prepared.  He did have a plan in mind, but had been ill and had also been overly cautious.  Lincoln wrote the President's Special War Order Number 3 and sent it to his General-in-Chief McClellan by way of Governor Dennison of Ohio. Unfortunately, the contents of the order were leaked to the press and printed.   Colleagues of McClellan read them and reported to McClellan before the Governor arrived.

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