The History of the Ninth Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, June, 1861-June, 1864

By Daniel George Macnamara | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XV.
GENERAL HOOKER SUPERSEDES GENERAL BURNSIDE.

ONE VIEW OF THE SOUTHERN CAUSE—STRATEGY OF GENERAL LEE—
GENERAL MEADE COMMANDS THE FIFTH CORPS—ON A RECONNOIS-
SANCE—REVIEW OF THE FIFTH CORPS—THE “MUD MARCH” —
GENERAL BURNSIDE COMMUNICATES WITH THE PRESIDENT AND IS
RELIEVED—GENERAL HOOKER PLACED IN COMMAND OF THE ARMY
—THE PRESIDENT’S LETTER TO GENERAL HOOKER— THE ARMY
REORGANIZED—THE NINTH MASSACHUSETTS CELEBRATES ST. PAT-
RICK’S DAY—HORSE RACING AND OTHER SPORTS—QUARTERMASTER
MOONEY’s FATAL ACCIDENT—CORPS BADGES—THE PRESIDENT
REVIEWS THE ARMY—FATHER TISSOT ACTING CHAPLAIN OF THE
NINTH REGIMENT—GENERAL MEAGHER PRESENTS A GREEN FLAG TO
THE NINTH MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS—BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH
OF MA J. GEO. W. DUTTON.

“Thy father’s merit sets thee up to view,
And shows thee in the fairest point of light,
To make thy virtues, or thy faults conspicuous.”

ADDISON.

CHRISTMAS time in 1862 was a gloomy period, not only in the Army of the Potomac but throughout the homes of the Union States. The disasters through which our army had passed were causes for rejoicing in the Confederacy. The monarchical friends of the “Southern Cause” across the Atlantic, particularly in England, likewise rejoiced with them as they learned with composure of the heavy blows that they believed were leading to the looked-for downfall of Democracy and of Republican institutions in America.

The prestige gained by the Confederacy in defeating a so-called large army of the Union was a moral influence in their favor. It confirmed in the minds of their friends everywhere the belief of the final triumph of the Confederacy. It never occurred to their biased judgments that both armies, as to numbers, were fighting on very nearly equal terms. It was not taken into consideration then that the drudgery of army life, in all its avenues of labor, was performed in the Union army by enlisted men detailed from the ranks for that purpose, thereby reducing, by a large percentage, the effective fighting force which was

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