Friday, January 21, 2011

McClellan’s Advance – Erroneous Reports – A Grand Review

White House Cor. (14th) N. Y. World.

There is grave reason to complain of some of the statements of the Associated Press, which cause incorrect and prejudicial opinions to be formed in regard to the doings and advance of the army.  For instance, the dispatch published on the 12th, dated New Kent Court House, May 10, leads the public to believe that our army was then within twenty-two miles of Richmond, whereas, even now, the 14th, the advance guard is still twenty-seven miles distant form that city, and the main body five or six miles farther – New Kent Court House is likewise thirty miles from Richmond, instead of twenty-seven; and the reconnaissance alluded to as having taken place on Saturday by the Eighth Illinois cavalry did not occur until Sunday afternoon, and was in a direction Southeast, toward the Chickahominy, distant at that point eight miles, and resulted in finding Jones’ Bridge destroyed, and the enemy on the opposite side in considerable force.  Stoneman pushes the advance with great vigor, but the Associated Press, in reporting progress more rapidly than is actually the case, does great injury; for people set it down that the army was then and there at such a time, and wonder and grumble at what they conceive to be a delay, when the army is actually performing the work they have been informed was long ago accomplished.

Correspondence same, Cumberland 15th.

A ride down here (to Cumberland Landing) through the rain yesterday afternoon, brought me in just at the close of a grand review of the “Reserve,” under command of Gen. Fitz John Porter, in presence of Secretary Seward and Gen. McClellan.  The honorable Secretary rode with Gen. Porter along the solid and unwavering columns, and was greeted with terrific cheers.  He expressed his admiration of the high discipline and excellent spirits of the men, and paid a marked compliment to this corps, which holds the issue of the coming contest in its hands. – They and their commander are worthy of their trust.

This place is now made a depot of supplies, and will probably be the main point on the Pamunky [sic] for this purpose.  There is a good landing and plenty of room in the channel, with ample water.  The river bears fourteen feet of water at White House, but the channel is narrow and crooked.  The Quartermaster’s depot will be established here, the express office arrived to-night, and the Old Point boats leave daily at seven A.M., Stopping at West Point and Yorktown.  Ship Point and Cheeseman’s are once more sunk in their original obscurity.

– Published in The Burlington Weekly Hawk-Eye, Burlington, Iowa, Saturday, May 24, 1862, p. 2

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