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communicated to General Halleck, with a request that he shall conform to them. At last advice he contemplated sending a column to operate with Mitchell against Chattanooga, and thence upon East Tennessee. Buel reports Kentucky and Tennessee to be in a critical condition, demanding immediate attention. Halleck says the main body of Beauregard's force is with him at (9kolona. McCall's force was reported yesterday as having embarked, and on its way to join you. It is intended to send the residue of McDowell's force also to join you as speedily as possible. .
“Frémont had a hard fight, day before yesterday, with Jackson's force at Union church, eight miles from Harrisonburg. He claims the victory, but was pretty badly handled. It is clear that a strong force is operating with Jackson for the purpose of detaining the forces here from you. I am urging, as fast as possible, the new levies.
“Be assured, general, that there never has been a moment when my desire has been otherwise than to aid you with my whole heart, mind, and strength, since the hour we first met; and whatever others may say for their own purposes, you have never had, and never can have, any one more truly your friend, or more anxious to support you, or more joyful than I shall be at the success which I have no doubt will soon be achieved by your arms.
“EDWIN M. STANTON,
* “Secretary of War. “Major General G. B. McCLELLAN.”
On the 12th and 13th General McCall's division arrived. On the 13th of June two squadrons of the 5th United States cavalry, under the command of Captain Royall, stationed near Hanover old church, were attacked and overpowered by a force of the enemy's cavalry, numbering about fifteen hundred men, with four guns. They pushed on towards our depots, but at some distance from our main body, and, though pursued very cleverly, made the circuit of the army, repassing the Chickahominy at Long bridge. The burning of two schooners laden with forage, and fourteen government wagons, the destruction of some sutlers' stores, the killing of several of the guard and teamsters at Garlick's landing, some little damage done at Tunstall's station, and a little eclat, were the precise results of this expedition. On the 14th I sent the following to the Secretary of War: “HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, - “Camp Lincoln, June 14, 1862—midnight. “All quiet in every direction. The stampede of last night has passed away. Weather now very favorable. I hope two days more will make the ground practicable. I shall advance as soon as the bridges are completed and the ground fit for artillery to move. At the same time I would be glad to have whatever troops can be sent to me. I can use several new regiments to advantage. “It ought to be distinctly understood that McDowell and his troops are completely under my control. I received a telegram from him requesting that McCall's division might be placed so as to join him immediately on his arrival. “That request does not breathe the proper spirit. Whatever troops come to me must to: so as to do the most good. I do not feel that, in such circumstances as those in which I am now placed, General McDowell should wish the general interests to be sacrificed for the purpose of increasing his command. “If I cannot fully control all his troops, I want none of them, but would prefer to fight the battle with what I have, and let others be responsible for the results.
“The department lines should not be allowed to interfere with me; but General McD., and all other troops sent to me, should be placed completely at my disposal, to do with them as I think best. In no other way can they be of assistance to me. I therefore request that I may have entire and full control. The stake at issue is too great to allow personal considerations to be entertained; you know that I have none. “The indications are, from our balloon reconnoissances and from all other sources, that the enemy are intrenching, daily increasing in numbers, and deter
mined to fight desperately.
“Major General, Commanding.
“Hon. E. M. STANTON, *
On the 20th the following was communicated to the President:
“HEADQUARTERS ARMY of THE PotomAC,
S “Your excellency's despatch of (11) eleven a.m. received, also that of General igel.
“I have no doubt that Jackson has been re-enforced from here. There is reason to believe that General R. S. Ripley has recently joined Lee's army, with a brigade or division from Charleston. Troops have arrived recently from Goldsboro’. There is not the slightest reason to suppose that the enemy intends evacuating Richmond; he is daily increasing his defences. I find him everywhere in force, and every reconnoissance costs many lives, yet I am obliged to feel my way, foot by foot, at whatever cost, so great are the difficulties of the country; by to-morrow night the defensive works, covering our position on this side of the Chickahominy, should be completed. I am forced to this by my inferiority in numbers, so that I may bring the greatest possible numbers into action, and secure the army against the consequences of unforeseen disaster. I would be glad to have permission to lay before your excellency, by letter or telegraph, my views as to the present state of military affairs throughout the whole country. In the mean time I would be pleased to learn the disposition, as to numbers and position, of the troops not under my command, in Virginia
To which I received this reply:
“Your despatch of yesterday, two (2) p. m., was received this morning. If it would not divert too much of your time and attention from the army under your immediate command, I would be glad to have your views as to the present state of military affairs throughout the whole country, as you say you would be glad to give them. I would rather it should be by letter than by telegraph, because of the better chance of secrecy. As to the numbers and positions of the troops not under your command, in Virginia and elsewhere, even if I could do it with accuracy, which I cannot, I would rather not transmit either by telegraph or letter, because of the chances of its reaching the enemy. I would be very glad to talk with you, but you cannot leave your camp, and I cannot well
leave here. “A. LINCOLN, President.
“Major General GEoage B. McCLELLAN.”
i “I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your telegram of 8 p.m. yesterday. Under the circumstances, as stated in your despatch, I perceive that it will be better at least to defer, for the present, the communication I desired to make. “G. B. McCLELLAN, “Major General, Commanding. “His Excellency the PRESIDENT.”
All the information I could obtain, previous to the 24th of June, regarding the movements of General Jackson, led to the belief that he was at Gordonsville, where he was receiving re-enforcements from Richmond via Lynchburg and Staunton; but what his purposes were did not appear until the date specified, when a young man, very intelligent, but of suspicious appearance, was brought in by our scouts from the direction of Hanover Court House. He at first stated that he was an escaped prisoner, from Colonel Kenley's Maryland regiment, captured at Front Royal, but finally confessed himself to be a deserter from Jackson's command, which he left near Gordonsville on the 21st. Jackson's troops were then, as he said, moving to Frederickshall, along the Virginia Central railroad, for the purpose of attacking my rear on the 28th. I immediately despatched two trusty negroes to proceed along the railroad and ascertain the truth of the statement. They were unable, however, to get beyond Hanover Court House, where they encountered the enemy's pickets, and were forced to turn back without obtaining the desired information. On that day I sent the following despatch:
“HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POToMAG,
“A very peculiar case of desertion has just occurred from the enemy. The party states that he left Jackson, Whiting and Ewell, (fifteen brigades,) at Gordonsville on the 21st; that they were moving to Frederickshall, and that it was intended to attack my rear on the 28th. I would be glad to learn, at your earliest convenience, the most exact information you have as to the position and movements of Jackson, as well as the sources from which your information is derived, that I may the better compare it with what I have.
“G. B. McCLELLAN, .
The following is his reply:
“WASHINGTON, June 25, 1862.
“We have no definite information as to the numbers or position of Jackson's force. General King yesterday reported a deserter's statement that Jackson's force was, nine days ago, forty thousand men. Some reports place ten thousand rebels under Jackson, at Gordonsville; others, that his force is at Port Republic, Harrisonburg, and Luray. Frémont yesterday reported rumors that Western Virginia was threatened; and General Kelly, that Ewell was advancing to New creek, where Frémont has his depots. The last telegram from Frémont contradicts this rumor. The last telegram from Banks says the enemy's pickets are strong in advance at Luray; the people decline to give any information of his whereabouts. Within the last two (2) days the evidence is strong that for some purpose the enemy is circulating rumors of Jackson's advance in various directions, with a view to conceal the real point of attack. Neither McDowell, who is at Manassas, nor Banks and Frémont, who are at Middletown, appear to have any accurate knowledge of the subject. A letter transmitted to the de
partment yesterday, purported to be dated Gordonsville on the fourteenth (14th) instant, stated that the actual attack was designed for Washington and Baltimore as soon as you attacked Richmond, but that the report was to be circulated that Jackson had gone to Richmond, in order to mislead. This letter looked very much like a blind, and induces me to suspect that Jackson's real movement now is towards Richmond. It came from Alexandria, and is certainly designed, like the numerous rumors put afloat, to mislead. I think, therefore, that while the warning of the deserter to you may also be a blind, that it could not safely be disregarded. I will transmit to you any further information on this subject that may be received here. “EDWIN M. STANTON,
“Secretary of War. “Major General McCLELLAN.”
On the 25th, our bridges and intrenchments being at last completed, an advance of our picket line of the left was ordered, preparatory to a general forward movement. Immediately in front of the most advanced redoubt on the Williamsburg road was a large open field; beyond that, a swampy belt of timber, some five hundred yards wide, which had been disputed ground for many days. Further in advance was an open field, crossed by the Williamsburg road and the railroad, and commanded by a redoubt and rifle-pits of the enemy. It was decided to push our lines to the other side of these woods, in order to enable us to ascertain the nature of the ground, and to place Generals Heintzelman and Sumner in position to support the attack intended to be made on the Old Tavern, on the 26th or 27th, by General Franklin, by assailing that position in the rear. Between 8 and 9 o'clock, on the morning of the 25th, the advance was begun by General Heintzelman's corps. The enemy were found to be in strong force all along the line, and contested the advance stubbornly, but by sunset our object was accomplished. The troops engaged in this affair were the whole of Heintzelman's corps, Palmer's brigade of Couch's division of Keyes's corps, and a part of Richardson's division of Sumner's corps. For the details I refer to the report of General Heintzelman. The casualties (not including those in Palmer's brigade, which have not been reported) were as follows: officers killed, 1; wounded, 14; missing, 1; enlisted men killed, 50; wounded, 387; missing, 63; total, 516. The following telegrams were sent to the Secretary of War, during the day, from the field of operations:
“We have advanced our pickets on the left considerably, under sharp resistance. Our men behaved very handsomely. Some firing still continues. “G. B. McCLELLAN, “Major General, Commanding. * Hon. E. M. STANTON.”
“REDoubt No. 3, June 25, 1862—3.15 p.m.
“The enemy are making a desperate resistance to the advance of our picket's lines. Kearney’s and one-half of Hooker's are where I want them.
“I have this moment re-enforced Hooker's right with a brigade and a couple of guns, and hope in a few minutes to finish the work intended for to-day. Our men are behaving splendidly. The enemy are fighting well also. This is not a battle; merely an affair of Heintzelman's corps, supported by Keyes, and thus far all goes well. We hold every foot we have gained.
“If we succeed in what we have undertaken, it will be a very important advantage gained. Loss not large thus far. The fighting up to this time has been done by General Hooker's division, which has behaved as usual—that is, most splendidly. “On our right, Porter has silenced the enemy's batteries in his front. “G. B. McCLELLAN,
“Major General, Commanding. “Hon. E. M. STANTON,
“Secretary of War.”
“REDoubt No. 3, June 25, 1862–5 p.m. “The affair is over, and we have gained our point fully, and with but little loss, notwithstanding the strong opposition. Our men have done all that could be desired. The affair was partially decided by two guns that Captain De Russey brought gallantly into action under very difficult circumstances. The enemy was driven from the camps in front of this place, and is now quiet. “G. B. McCLELLAN,
“Major General, Commanding. “Hon. E. M. STANTON,
“Secretary of War.”
“HEADQUARTERS ARMY of THE PoToMAC,
“I have just returned from the field, and find your despatch in regard to Jackson.
“Several contrabands, just in, give information confirming the supposition that Jackson's advance is at or near Hanover Court House, and that Beauregard arrived, with strong re-enforcements, in Richmond, yesterday.
“I incline to think that Jackson will attack my right and rear. The rebel force is stated at two hundred thousand (200,000,) including Jackson and Beauregard. I shall have to contend against vastly superior odds if these reports be true. But this army will do all in the power of men to hold their position, and repulse any attack.
“I regret my great inferiority in numbers, but feel that I am in no way responsible for it, as I have not failed to represent repeatedly the necessity of re-enforcements, that this was the decisive point, and that all the available means of the government should be concentrated here. I will do all that a general can do with the splendid army I have the honor to command and, if it
is destroyed by overwhelming numbers, can at least die with it and share its fate. But if the result of the action which will probably occur to-morrow, or within a short time, is a disaster, the responsibility cannot be thrown on my shoulders; it must rest where it belongs.
“Since I commenced this I have received additional intelligence confirming the supposition in regard to Jackson's movements and Beauregard’s arrival. I shall probably be attacked to-morrow, and now go to the other side of the Chickahominy to arrange for the defence on that side. I feel that there is no use in again asking for re-enforcements.
- “Major General. “Hon. E. M. STANTON, “Secretary of War.”
The report of the chief of the “secret service corps,” herewith forwarded, and dated the 26th of June, shows the estimated strength of the enemy, at the time of the evacuation of Yorktown, to have been from 100,000 to 120,000. The