Advance of General McClellan

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Advance of General McClellan


Union Army movements in Arlington


A news report from Washington describing General George McClellan and the Union Army's advances unto Munson and Upton hills after the withdrawal of Confederate forces.


The Sunbury Gazette


October 5, 1861


Public Domain

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The Advance of Gen. McClellan.

Washington, Sept 29, 1861.

General McClellan went over the river yesterday afternoon, accompanied by his staff. Immediately on arriving, at Fort Corcoran the centre and right wing of the army was put in motion and marched forward toward Munson's Hill, with batteries, cavalry, &c. Brigadier - General Wadsworth's division was in advance, supported by General Keyes command. The main body of the army advanced on the road to Ball's Cross Roads.- All the avenues were filled with solid columns of cavalry and infantry,

The men were in a joyful mood, and those who had been left as invalids in camp, were up, and with their rifles following the army. Upton's Hill, where fortifications had been commenced by the rebels, had been evacuated. The army passed on and took possession of Munson's Hill, the enemy having beat a retreat. Our men took possession of the hill, and will bold it, together with all the advanced possessions of the Rebels.

A detachment of the Fourteenth New York Volunteers, Colonel McQuade, by a flank movement in the rear of Munson's Hill, cut off and captured a mounted officer, a lieutenant and six privates. The officers and men were brought in to Fort Corcoran, and one of them, being wounded, was brought to the Capital.

There has been a great retreat from Munson's Hill to Fairfax Court House. Munson's Hill, Upton's Hill, Mason's Hill, Perkins' Hill, and Falls Church, are all now in the possession of the Federal troops, and the American flags are flying from Munson's Hill, Mason's Hill and Fort Perkins. Upton's Hill is occupied by Gen. McDowell's Division ; a part of Keyes' Brigade occupy Mason's Hill: Gen. Smith's Division is within a mile and a half of Falls Church; the New York Thirty-fifth Regiment is picketing at: Falls Church, and Gen. Porter s Division has been thrown forward as far as the Loudon and Hampshire Railroad.

I was up on Munson's Hill to-day. There were -no cannon upon it, nor any signs of them having been there. The hill, on the inside is encircled by a rifle pit. This is the only fortification there. From the hill nothing can be seen of the Capitol but the dome. General Wadsworth and Major Judd of the New York 'Thirty-ninth; Regiment, were the first to stand upon Perkins Hill. Previous to their arriving there, six Rebels were seen within the fort. General Wadsworth riding up to the fort and placing the feet of his horse against its sides, said, as he rose, "charge on them boys," as though calling to the men behind him to advance. Not a Rebel, however, was to be seen. In the stable adjoining the fort, a lot ot corn was discovered. The houses in the vicinity of the Rebel fortifications had the appearance of having been vacated in a hurry.

Occupation of Nutt's Hill

Nutt's Hill is also occupied by our troops. McDowell s Division, which advanced from Arlington Heights on to Upton Hill, is now strengthened by Captain Plait's Battery, Second Artillery, regulars, and also by Captain Edmunds Battery; A strong fort will be erected en the hill It is the opinion of military men that the Rebel retreat from Munson's Hill commenced on Friday afternoon. On none of the hills were any ordnance found.

Melancholy .Catastrophe.

The advance of General Smith on Falls Church from the Chain Bridge was attended by events of-the most deplorable character. Having passes .Vanderwercken's and Vanderberge's houses, on their way to the former place, and when about half a mile from it, by some unaccountable blunder, Colonel Owen's Philadelphia Irish Regiment, in the darkness of the night, mistaking for the; Rebels Captain Mott's battery, which was in the advance, sustained by General Baker s California Regiment, led by Baxter's Philadelphia Fire Zouaves and Colonel Friendmann's cavalry, fired a full volley into the troops last mentioned, killing and wounding a large number. The California Regiment,not knowing whence the firing came, returned it with marked effect. The horses attached to Mott's battery became unmanageable, and the tongues of the caissons were broken, owing to the narrowness of the road. , Lieutenant Bryant having command of the first section, ordered the guns to loaded with grape and canister, and soon had them in range to rake the supposed enemy, when word was sent him that he was in the company of friends. All was excitement, and a longtime elapsed before the actual condition of affair was ascertained and confidence reestablished. Many; confused stories prevail as to the parties on whom the blame should rest.



“Advance of General McClellan,” Mapping the Civil War in Arlington, accessed June 15, 2024,

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