Sunday, July 17, 2011

July 22, 1861 (Monday): Aftermath

General W. T. Sherman
                                                            FORT CORCORAN, July 22, 1861—10.11.

    I have this moment ridden in (with), I hope, the rear men of my brigade, which, in common with our whole Army, has sustained a terrible defeat and has degenerated into an armed mob.
   I know not if I command, but at this moment I will act as such and shall consider as addressed to me the dispatch of the Secretary of this date.
   I propose to strengthen the garrisons of Fort Corcoran, Fort Bennett, the redoubt on the Arlington road, and the block-houses; and to aid me in stopping the flight, I ask you to order the ferry to transport no one across without my orders or those of some superior.
   I am, &c.,
                                                            W. T. SHERMAN,
                                                            Colonel, Commanding.

Official Records, Series I., Vol. 2, Page 755

Sherman’s summation of the state of his command could well apply to most of McDowell’s Army.  Sherman’s troops were among the first to arrive in any particular cohesive mass within the lines of the capital and here he assumes responsibility for the defenses of the city.

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