“Here is a paper with which, if I cannot whip Bobbie Lee, I will be willing to go home.” George B. McClellan September 13, 1862

Special Order 191

Voices from September 13, 1862

 

“Here is a paper with which, if I cannot whip Bobbie Lee, I will be willing to go home.  I will not show the writing-here is the signature, and it gives the movement of every division of Lee’s army.  Tomorrow we will pitch into his center, and if you people will only do two good, hard days’ marching I will put Lee in a position he will find it hard to get out of.”

George B. McClellan, September 13 1862

McClellat to John Gibbon upon discover of SO 191. From Mr. Lincoln’s Army by Bruce Catton.  New York: Anchor Books 1990. page 217

 

“I have all the plans of the rebels…My respects to Mrs. Lincoln…Will send you trophies.”

George B. McClellan September 13 1862

Noon telegraph to President Lincoln announcing the discovery of Special Order 191.  From Taken at the Flood Robert E. Lee & Confederate Strategy in the Maryland Campaign of 1862 by Joseph L. Harsh.  Kent:  The Kent State University Press, 1999. page 237

 

“Please do not let him get off without being hurt.”

Abraham Lincoln,September 13 1862

Lincoln to McClellan. From The Battle of South Mountain by John David Hoptak.  Charleston:  The History Press, 2011.  page 30

 

“My general idea is to cut the enemy in two and beat him in detail.  I believe I have sufficiently explained my intentions.  I as of you, at this important moment, all your intellect and the utmost activity that a general can exercise.” George B. McClellan September 13 1862

McClellan’s orders to Franklin to rescue Harpers Ferry

From The Maryland Campaign of September 1862 Vol. 1 South Mountain. Edited by Tom Clemens. New York:  Savas Beatie, 2010. page 287

 

“I think Lee has made a gross mistake and that he will be severely punished for it…I have all the plans of the Rebels and will catch them in their own trap if my men are equal to the emergency.”

George B. McClellan

September 13 1862

McClellan’s telegraph to Lincoln upon discovery of the lost order

From Cavalryman of the Lost Cause by Jeffry D. Wert.  New York:  Simon and Schuster, 2008. page 146

 

“we will pitch into his center [and] put Lee in a position he will find it hard to get out of.”

George B. McClellan, September 13 1862

McClellan to John Gibbon upon receipt of Special Order 191.  Gibbon Personal Recollections, 73; From Sealed With Their Lives The Battle for Crampton’s Gap by Timothy J. Reese.  Baltimore:  Butternut and Blue,  1998.

page 12

 

“but I am hopeful-and have been so lucky that I do not think I shall suffer except it may be a slight wound- No one can tell if it be my fate to fall-My body will be sent to you.” Edward S. Bragg, September 13 1862

Bragg from the 6th Wisconsin in a letter to his wife. From  “I Dread the Thought of the Place.” by Scott D. Hartwig. Giants in Their Tall Black Hats – Essays on the Iron Brigade. Ed. Alan T. Nolan and Sharon Eggleston Vipond. Bloomington:  Indiana University Press, 1998.  page 31

 

“Doubleday exhibited the greatest gallantry in leading on his brigade under a terrible fire on the night of the 29th, and, with his aide-de-camp, Maj. U. Doubleday, and Capt. E.P. Halstead, assistant adjutant general, did much by reckless daring toward keeping this brigade from giving way when hard-pressed.”

John Hatch, September 13 1862

Division Commander John Hatch decribing Doubleday’s actions at Second Bull Run in his official report

From Abner Doubleday A Civil War Biography by Thomas Barthel. Jefferson:  McFarland & Co., 2010. page 106

 

“on his bob-tailed horse, with a single orderly, and when fairly recognized, was greeted with a cheer as uproarious and as hearty as to McClellan.  He was dressed so as to be almost unrecognizable as a general officer; wore a rough blouse, on the collar of which a close look revealed two much-battered and faded stars, indicating his rank of major-general.”

Frederick L. Hitchcock September 13 1862 Hitchcock describes the passing on the road of Ambrose Burnside.  From Unfurl Those Colors! McClellan, Sumner, & The Second Army Corps in the Antietam Campaign by Marion Armstrong. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2008. page 107

 

“this meant that we were to be ready to cheer ‘Little Mac’ when he came along, which of course, we all did. He came, preceded by a squadron of cavalry and accompanied by a very large and brilliantly caparisoned staff, followed by more cavalry. He was dressed in the full uniform of a major general and rode a superb horse, upon which he sat faultlessly.”

Frederick L. Hitchcock, September 13 1862

Hitchcock describes the passing of George McClellan. From Unfurl Those Colors! McClellan, Sumner, & The Second Army Corps in the Antietam Campaign by Marion Armstrong. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2008. page 107

“as we entered the main street the drums sounded attention, and the troops marched in regular order, with bands playing and colors flying….This was the first real opportunity we have had of showing off to our grateful countrywomen, and we made the most of it, displaying our horsemanship to the best advantage.””

Josiah Marshall Favill September 13 1862. Favill describes the entry of the 57th NY into Frederick. From Unfurl Those Colors! McClellan, Sumner, & The Second Army Corps in the Antietam Campaign by Marion Armstrong. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2008. page 107

 

“as the full ranks of Sumner’s brigades, in perfect order and with all the pomp of war, passed through the quaint and beautiful town, their proud commanders and glittering staffs, and General Sumner at the head, the inhabitants responded with applause, and, from balcony and windows fair faces smiled and handkerchiefs and scarf’s waved to greet the army of the Union, as they passed along the streets from which, only the day before, the Confederates had been driven.”

John H. Rhodes, September 13 1862

Sgt John Rhodes of Franks battery describes the entry of the Union Army into Frederick. From Unfurl Those Colors! McClellan, Sumner, & The Second Army Corps in the Antietam Campaign by Marion Armstrong. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2008. page 108.

 

“My eyes could hardly believe what they beheld there. The ‘Stars and Stripes’ were flying from every house and the people could not do enough for us, the were so overjoyed to be delivered from the rebel hordes that occupied the place.” Thomas M. Aldrich, September 13 1862

Thomas Aldrich of Tompkins Battery describes the entry into Frederick. From Unfurl Those Colors! McClellan, Sumner, & The Second Army Corps in the Antietam Campaign by Marion Armstrong. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2008. page 108

 

“We may never meet again.”

Joseph K. F. Mansfield September 13 1862

Joseph Mansfield bidding farewell to fellow Connecticut native Gideon Welles as he departs to assume command of 12th Corps

From Lincoln’s Darkest Year The War in 1862 by William Marvel. Boston: Houghtin Mifflin Company Company, 2008.

page 188

 

 

“we forget home [,] friends [,] in fact [,] everything but our duties as soldiers….You ask what you should do if I should be killed.  It is a hard question, but I have seen so many men killed and die in the last few weeks that I will give you the best advice I can. If I should be killed in battle or die while in the service, you as the wife of a 1st Lieutenant will draw from the government, seventeen dollars per month for five years.  “

Henry B. Young September 13 1862

Lt Young in a letter to his wife Delia

From  “I Dread the Thought of the Place.” by Scott D. Hartwig. Giants in Their Tall Black Hats – Essays on the Iron Brigade. Ed. Alan T. Nolan and Sharon Eggleston Vipond. Bloomington:  Indiana University Press, 1998.  page 31

 

“but let me tell you I believe Stonewall Jackson, if he is not very careful, will get his ass in a sling while he is so far away from Richmond anyway”

Thomas B. Keen September 13 1862

Keen, a private in the 3rd NJ in a letter to his father, Jeremiah day before Battle for Cramptons Gap. From Sealed With Their Lives The Battle for Crampton’s Gap by Timothy J. Reese.  Baltimore:  Butternut and Blue, 1998.page 32.

 

“bold, prompt, energetic, and sagacious”

William Nelson Pendleton September 13 1862

Pendleton in a letter to President Davis who had asked Pendleton for “occasional confidential memoranda of the positions, doings &c of the army”

From Taken at the Flood Robert E. Lee & Confederate Strategy in the Maryland Campaign of 1862 by Joseph L. Harsh.  Kent:  The Kent State University Press, 1999. page 222

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