Friday, November 30, 2012

Monday, December 1, 1862 (Monday): The Expedition Departs

WASHINGTON, D. C., December 1, 1862.
Major-General BANKS,
Astor House, New York:
    The President has determined to send the Fort Monroe expedition forward without any further delay. It will be ordered to-morrow. Answer whether you will join it personally or not.

    H. W. HALLECK,
Banks' Exedition Off Cape Hatteras  (

NEW YORK, December 1, 1862.
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
Your dispatch received 8.30. I have made arrangements to sail in North Star from this port Wednesday, but can go to Fort Monroe if necessary. Departure from this port I think most expeditious. Sailing orders were sent to General Emory from here yesterday.

    N. P. BANKS,
    Major-General, Commanding.

NEW YORK, N. Y., December 1, 1862.
Honorable E. M. STANTON:
    The wester to-day has been most unfavorable for embarking troops. Most of the officers are inexperienced, and the consequent delays are most vexatious. Still, a large number of vessels are in the stream ready to sail, and if we have fair weather it will be inexcusable if the fleet does not leave on Wednesday.

   Assistant Secretary of War.

Official Records, Series III., Vol. 2, Part 1, Page 913.

The reach of the Union armies is illustrated by the Banks expedition to New Orleans.  At a time when Burnside was moving on Fredericksburg Banks was taking 20,000 men to a point which was not under any pressing danger.  It would, ultimately, extend the reach of occupying armies in the region and help open a threat to Texas, but the expedition was far from a necessity.  Unlike McClellan, to whom every man taken to another point was an affront, Burnside made no remark upon the loss of troops from Northern Virginia. 

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