Today in History:

5 Series I Volume V- Serial 5 - West Virginia



Numbers 1.-Major General George B. McClellan, U. S. Army, of the operations of the Army of the Potomac from July 27, 1861, to March 17, 1862.

Numbers 2.-Brigadier General William F. Barry, Chief of Artillery, Army of the Potomac, of the organization and operations of the artillery of that army from July 25, 1861, to September 1, 1862.

Numbers 3.-Major Albert J. Myer, Chief Signal Officer U. S. Army, of the signal service in the Army of the Potomac from August 14,.1861, to March 23, 1862, and of signal detachments in other


Numbers 4.-Surg. Charles S. Tripler, Medical Director Army of the Potomac, of the operations of the medical department of that army from August 12, 1861, to March 17, 1862.

Numbers 1.

Extract, embracing the "First Period," from Major General George B. McClellan's report of the operations of the Army of the Potomac from July 27, 1861, to November 9, 1862.


NEW YORK, August 4, 1863.

SIR: I have the honor to submit herein the official report of the operations of the Army of the Potomac while under my charge. Accompanying it are the reports of the corps, division, and subordinate commanders pertaining to the various engagements, battles, and occurrences of the campaigns, and important documents connected with its organization, supply, and movements. These, with lists of maps and memoranda submitted, will be found appended, duly arranged, and marked for convenient reference.*

Charged in the spring of 1861 with the operations in the Department of the Ohio, which included the States of Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and battery Western Virginia, it had become my duty to counteract the hostile designs of the enemy in Western Virginia, which were immediately directed to the destruction of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and the possession of the Kanawha Valley, with the ultimate object of gaining Wheeling and the control of the Ohio River.

The successful affairs of Philippi, Rich Mountain, Carrick's Ford, &c., had been fought, and I had acquired possession of all Western Virginia north of the Kanawha Valley, as well as of the lower portion of that valley.

I had determined to proceed to the relief of the Upper Kanawha Valley as soon as provision was made for the permanent defense of the mountain passes leading from the east into the region under our control, when I received at Beverly, in Randolph County, on the 21st of July, 1861, intelligence of the unfortunate result of the battle of Manassas, fought on that day.


*Only such of the subordinate reports, &c., as relate more particularly to operations from August 1, 1861, to March 17, 1862, will be found in this volume. The others will appear in the chapters embracing the operations covered by the second and third and by the fourth periods of General McClellan's report, viz, the Peninsular and the first Maryland campaigns.