Zachariah Chandler (, R-MI)John Covode (House, R-PA); replaced by Benjamin Loan (R-MO)Daniel Gooch (House, R-MA)Andrew Johnson (, D-TN); changed by Joseph light (Unionist-IN); changed by Benjamin Harding (D-OR)George Julian (House, R-IN)Moses Odell (House, D-NY)

Chapter 1: OriginsChapter 2: ProcessChapter 3: windy RelationsChapter 4: InvestigationChapter 5: Outcome

OriginsOn Sunday, July 21, 1861, several members of congress journeyed native Washington, D.C., come Centreville, Virginia, to clock the Union military march right into battle. ~ above a hill overlooking Bull run Creek, lawmakers, joined by journalists and also other curious civilians, ate picnic lunches as they watched the fight (thus known as the "Picnic Battle"). Together journalist Benjamin Perley Poore commented, spectators gathered "as they would have actually gone to view a horse-race or come witness a fourth of July procession." The Union army performed well in the morning, but by beforehand afternoon the Confederates had turned the tide through reinforcements. As soon as Union generals finally dubbed retreat roughly 4:00 p.m., the scared soldiers fled for their lives, sweeping up civilians in your retreat ago to Washington.

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Near the battlefield, a team of senators heard a according to noise and looked about to watch the roadway filled with retreating soldiers, horses, and wagons. "Turn back, turn back, we"re whipped," Union soldiers cried as they ran past the spectators. Startled, Michigan senator Zachariah Chandler tried come block the roadway to stop the retreat. City council Benjamin wade of Ohio, sensing a humiliating defeat, choose up a discarded rifle and threatened to shoot any soldier that ran. While Senator Henry Wilson of Massachusetts spread sandwiches, a Confederate shell ruined his buggy, forcing him come escape ~ above a stray mule. Iowa senator James Grimes barely avoided capture and also vowed never to walk near another battlefield. Dismayed, senators returned to Washington to deliver eyewitness account to a stunned president Lincoln.

ProcessTo the dismay of countless northerners, the loss at Bull run was the very first in a series of Union army disasters. Casualties mounted and in October senator Edward D. Baker the Oregon, a close friend to president Lincoln, died at the battle of Ball"s Bluff. In the opening days the the 37th conference (1861-1863), the public and also elected officials dubbed for an inspection into occasions surrounding the dramatic defeats endured by the Union Army. Senator wilhelm Pitt Fessenden that Maine articulated the thoughts of countless when he said, "We see many things excellent which perform not satisfy the windy approbation. We see some things done i beg your pardon we execute not grant ourselves, and also which evidently contact for one investigation, or, at any rate, contact for together an explanation as shall satisfy the people." In the spirit, senator Chandler presented a resolution on December 5, 1861, to investigate the battles at Bull Run and Ball"s Bluff, while other senators demanded a broad inquiry into the conduct of the war. Consequently, senator Grimes amended the resolution, calling because that a joint committee to examine all elements of the war. The concurrent resolution, pass on December 10, 1861, produced a joint committee comprised of 3 senators and also four representatives and granted that is members the strength to "inquire right into the command of the current war and also to send because that persons and also papers." 5 Republicans and also two Democrats offered on the committee, showing Republican manage of the Civil war era Congress. Traditionally, the senator who proposed the resolution chaired the committee, yet Chandler deferred to his nearby friend and colleague councilor Wade, believing the the Ohioan"s legitimate background made him an especially well suited for directing the investigation.

Public RelationsMembers of the share committee i agree to keep their deliberations secret. Conference in a committee room, the share committee hosted no public hearings and also forbade those that testified indigenous speaking through the press. Committee members regularly damaged their very own rules, however, leaking information to newspapers to create public support for your efforts. In march of 1862, because that example, committee members leaked the created statement of general John C. Frémont, commander of the west Department and also a favourite of the committee, to the brand-new York day-to-day Tribune. They hoped to enlist publicly opinion behind basic Frémont"s controversial action in the field, and also to draw upon this fine of public assistance to lobby Lincoln for Frémont"s reappointment.

Committee investigations were driven, in part, through allegations released in popular newspapers about the performance of commanders and also conditions in the field. Complying with newspaper accounts that basic William R. Montgomery treated soldiers "inhumanely and disloyal men and women an extremely leniently," the share Committee dubbed on Montgomery to testify to the charges.

InvestigationAbolitionists recognized as "Radical Republicans" conquered the committee and also frequently criticize the president"s war strategy as no being aggressive enough. Councilor Wade, excited by the president"s gradual method to emancipation and equality because that African Americans, dismissed Lincoln as "a fool." The share committee itself confronted criticism native Washington insiders who decried its work-related as misguided and ill-informed. Critics detailed that the joint committee to be well-intentioned, but that that is members had no armed forces experience and also seemed unqualified to analysis war-related decisions and commanders who made them. Some army leaders dismissed the inquiry together partisan or ideological and also not in the nation"s finest interest. Benjamin Perley Poore denounced the committee together "a naughty organization, which assumed dictatorial powers."

Regardless of such criticism, the joint Committee top top the command of the War sought a broad investigatory agenda. In addition to assessing failed armed forces campaigns, the committee scrutinized a number of wide-ranging issues, including corruption in armed forces supply contracts, the mistreatment the Union detainees by Confederate forces, the massacre the Cheyenne Indians, Union trade activities, and also gunboat construction, to name simply a few. The joint committee functioned through 2 Congresses, conference 272 times over 4 years. Subcommittees were created to maximize time and resources and meet with as plenty of witnesses together possible. Members generally traveled outside of Washington, D.C., recording testimony from witnesses and also making first-hand assessments that the battle effort. One inquiry contained a visit to a surrounding army convalescent center in Alexandria, Virginia, to file the therapy of Union soldiers by medical teams.

Despite city council Wade"s withering assessment of Lincoln, the share committee preserved friendly relations with the executive branch. President Lincoln and his follower Andrew Johnson (a previous member the the joint committee), and also their cabinets, followed committee requests for meetings and access to information. Members the the joint committee frequently blamed military commanders for Union losses, regularly accusing them of disloyalty come the government, and they pressed for changes in military command. Castle strongly urged Lincoln to remove major General George McClellan native his command of the army of the grape max after successive losses at an early stage in the war. The president eventually relieved McClellan in November the 1862, however he did so on his own terms, mainly disregarding the joint committee"s recommendations. The share committee proved much more convincing in one more case, however, and the chairman acquiesced come its demands that he provide the arrest and imprisonment of Brigadier general Charles Pomeroy Stone. The committee had long doubted Stone"s loyalty, and blamed him for Union defeats.

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OutcomeThe joint Committee top top the command of the War developed volumes of copious reports based on its field work and also the testimony that dozens that witnesses. Published periodically transparent the committee"s four-year tenure, these reports were regularly summarized in newspapers. Nevertheless, in compare to various other congressional investigations, the work of the share Committee top top the conduct of the war remained greatly unknown come the American public. In spite of this low-profile status, the committee"s investigate fulfilled the congressional duty for oversight during a time of national crisis. Committee members feeling satisfied that their inquiry prompted President Lincoln to much more carefully think about the strategy and evaluate the performance of his top ar commanders. Interviews with military commanders provided detailed account of activity in the field, while developing a record of wartime events which otherwise would certainly not have actually been preserved.