Raftsman's journal. (Clearfield, Pa.) 1854-1948, April 22, 1863, Image 1

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VOL. 31-
, t '. . . . . .. . . . .. ; ' ...... ' 1 ,T' 1 7 ' " .. ' - -
Report of the Joint Committee. '
Oeo. Heinttelmsn, who commanded the first
troops ot tbe army of tbe Potomac that land
Id od tbe peninsula, arriTed at Fortress Mon
roe on tbe 23d of March, two weeka after the
evscuAtion ol Manassas. He bad orders to en
camp aa near Fortreaa Monroe as possible, in
'orcrr that the enemy shoo Id have no Idea ot
ibe direction in which tbe army was to move
whether toward York town or Norfolk. Gen.
Hsintzelman atates that atiortly after land ins;
be obtained information that the enemy bad
not more than 1C,000 troops at Yorktown and
n the Peninsula, and is satisSed tbst he could
Lave advai.ced and isolated Yorktown, in
which case there would have been no serious
obstacle in the way of proceed ins; directly to
Richmond. On tbe 27th of March he sent out
tt-connoitering part lea as far aa Biz Bethel and
Watt's Creek, and went near the Half way
House, where about 400 of the enemy, and a
little artillery were seen. Lie telegraphed to
(Jen. McClellan what he was doing, and re
ceived a dispatch, in reply, that he (Gen. Mc
Clellan) hopedthat nothing had been done to
gT9 tbe enemy information of the line of op
erations of The army. Tbe rrconnoUssoce
was then withdrawn.
. Troops continued to arrive at Fortress Mon
roe, and on the 2d of April Gen. MoClellaa
Mmaelf arrived. On the 4th of April the ar
my commenced ita movement in tbe direction
o'f Yorktown, and on the 6th appeared before
the enemy's lines. Gen. McClellan states that
he moved from Fortress Monroe sooner than
hs otherwise would have done, upon bearing
that the enemy were sending down re-enforcements.
Alt the testimony goes to prove that when
our troops first landed on the PeninsuU tbe
force of tbe enemy there constated of Magrn
der's command, variously estimated at from
7,000 to 12.000 men, except by Gen. McClel
lan, who estimates it from 15,000 to 20.000.
The Hon. Lemuel J. Bowden, United States
Senator from Virginia then living within the
Rebel lines, near Williamsburg testifies that
the Rtbels did not determine to re-enforce Ma
gruder until it was apparent that our forces in
tendtd to stop befort Yorktown and commence a
regular Miege of the place. It is now evident,
whatever may have been tbe opinion of onr
officers at' the time, that our forcts, when they
first appeared before Yorktown, could have pier
ced the line of works across the Peninsula there
without much difficulty, isolating Yorktown, and
cutting off re-enforcements, when the place must
hare fallen in a very short time. Some of our
Generals exprcted and desired that that should
b done. Gen. Ileintzelman forwarded to
Gen. McClellan tbe application to Gen Ham
ilton, commanding a division, for permission
to force the enemy's linea. So answer was
received to tbe application.
Instead of that, however, a siege was de
termined upon, contrary to the desire of tbe
President, who, aa early as the 9th of April,
wiote to Gen. ycClellan asrpllows t
"There ia a curious mystery ahont tbe num.
fcr ot troops now with you.. I telegraphed
you on the 6ih, urging that yon had over 100,
000 with yen. I had just obtained from the
Secretary of War a statement, taken, as he
said, from your own returns, making 103,000
tUen with you and en route to you. You now
'say that you will bave not 85,000. when all en
route to you shall bave reached you. How
can this discrepancy of 25,000 beaceounted
f-r J Aa to Gen. Wool's command, I under
stand it is doing for you precisely what a like
number of your own' would have to do it that
command away.
I suppose tbe whole force which has gone
forward to you is with you by this time, and
if so, I think It is tbe precise time for you to
strike a blow. By delay the enemy will stead
ily gs'.a on you that js, be will gain faster by
fortifications and ie-enforcements than you
can by re enforcements alone.
"And, once more, let me tell yon It Is Indis
pensable to you that you strike a blow. I am
powerless to help this. You will do jne the
Justice to remember I always wished not go
in down the bay in seircb of a field, instead
I fighting at or near Manassas, as only shift
ing and not surmounting a difficulty ; that we
should find the same enemy and the same or
equal Intrenchments at either place. The
country will not fail to note is noting now
that the present hesitation to move upon an in
trtuchtd poution is but the story of Manassas re
ptaitd." And the repetition, was made complete near
!.T a month later, when the enemy, in the face
a superior force, evacuated their works
:thut loss and without the knowledge of the
sreral commanding our army.
m'clellan wants mors, troops.
Oeo. McClellan, however, did not deem his
forces sufficient, and objected very strongly
o the order of the President detaching Mc
Dowell's corps for the defense of Washington,
"imperilling the auccess or our cause."
" called again and again for re-enforcements,
asking for Franklin's and McCall'a Divisions
McDowell's corps, to be under command of
franklins insisting that Franklin's Division,
t least, should be sent to him. On the Illh
) April Franklin's Division was ordered to
Alexandria to embark for Fort Monroe. On
hs 14th, Gen. Fianklin reported to Gen. Mc
Uellan near Yorktown, but bis troops remain
aon board the transports until af er the ene
"y evacnafed tbe place, when they were or
ated to West Point.
On the 6th of April Gen. McClellan tele
rphed to tbe President, -I have by no
ens the ttansportation I must have to move
y army even a few miles ; and asks that all
"isonjera for wagon trains, &c, may at once
complied with. All was sent to him aa de
rI, until even Gen. McDowell found him
se.t so stripped otthe transportation designed
Jf hia corps, that when be moved to Freder-
e ii rg St WM with ,be r,'t difficulty he
uid mOT0 BuppUe, hj, force trom
eqaja to Falmouth until the railroad was
month w,s BPnt fon Yorktown, our
"J.in tbe opinion ofsomo of our ablest of
fers, becoming mora demoralized by the la
ws of a, long siege than it would have been
en by M nnsucceaaful assault.
toe retnrna in th
Adjutant-General's of-
' signed bv Gen.
McCtellsn and bis Adju
tant-General, ahow that on the 30th of April,
1862, the forces oh tbe Peninsula under Gen.
McClellan amounted to 182,392 present for duty
i , . .. . , as wants gins.,
L. On the 1st of May tbe President telegraphs
to Gen. McClellan : "lour call for Parrott
guna from Washington alarms me, chiefly be
cause it arguea indefinite procrastination.' Is
anything to be done ?" ' - '
On the nigbt of the 3d and the morning of
the 4tb of May, the enemy evacuated York
town without loss. One ol the witnesses tes
tifies that Gen. McClellan waa very much cha
grined and mortified at the evacuation, as he
bad made his preparations to open from his
batteries oo Monday, tbe 6th of May. . ; ,
The evacuation was discovered by dsytight
on the morniog of tbe 4th. Between 10 and
11 o'clock, Gen. Stonrman, with the cavalry
and toaiH light hoi so artillery, started in pur
suit. About 1 o'cltck. Gen. Hooker, with
his division, left Yorktown. with orders to
support Gen. Sroneman. Gens. Sumner, Heint
Zeltnan and Keyes also moved out inrin; the
day, with the whole or portions of their corps.
About five mile.t from Yorktown the division
of Gen . Hooker was delayed tor some time in
consequence of other troops, coming from an
other direction, gettiDg into tbe road before
him. i - - - ; . "
In the meantime Gen. Stoneman had over
taken the rear of the enemy with bis cavalry,
and followed them up closely, keeping np a
running fire nil tbe time, until ; the enemy
reached their works in the neighborhood of
Williamsburg, wbeu the pursuit was checked.
Gov. Sprague was sent back to hurry up the
.infantry support under Gen. Hooker. After
considerable delay, , finding it impossible to
pass . tbe troops ahead of him. Gen. Hooker
turned off and proceeded by another road, of
which be had obtained intoimation from some
of the inhabitants; marched till 11 o'clock
that night, renewed the march at day light,
and came up to the advanced works ot the
enemy a little after 7 o'clock, about half a
mile from Fort Mgruder,and at once engagfd
tbe enemy. , . ' '
' There seems fa have been great misappre-.
bension and confusion in relation to the man
agement of the troops at Williamsburg. When
the pursuit first commenced on Sunday, Gen.
Hemtzelman was instructed by Gen. McClel
lan to take charge of operations in front.
On the morning of Monday orders were sent
to Gen. Sumner to take the command ; Gen.
McClellan remained behind in Yorktown to su
perintend the sending of two divisions up the
York River to West Point: A havy fain set
in on Sunday; rendering tbe roads almost im
practicable for the passage of troops. Tbe
troops of the different commands became roin
gled divisions and brigades, to some extent,
were separated from each other and it seems
to have beep difficult to get tbe troops up in
time. ' ' ' ,; ;
During Monday forenoon Gen. Hooker.flnd
ing himself - hard pressed by the enemy, and
understanding that Gen Sumner bad 80,000
troops Sriib htm, sent tepeatediy forreenforce
ments.. So did Gen. Stoneman and Gen.
Hrintzelman, but no'reenforcments srrived.
Gn.t(imnr states that, having sent Gen.'
Hancock to the right, he had at the center
only about 3,000 infantry the cavalry thre
not being fitted tor operations against the en
emy, on account of the country being so wood
ed. .Upon receiving the call for re-enforcements
to be sent to the leff to Gen. Hooker,
he sent staff" officers to hurry np troops from
the rear, bis own corps being some ten miles
off, and ordered Kearney to re-enforce Hook-'
er. , Re-enforcements not coming up to Gen.'
Hooker as soon as needed, or perhaps expect
ed, the Prince de Joinville and Gov. Sprsgne
went to Yorktowu to urge Gen. McClellan to
come up to the front, and take charge of mat
ters there. Glv. Sprague arrived at York
town about 1 o'clock, ' having been about an
hour in going down. He testifies that when
Gen. McClellan was told the condition of affairs
at the front, he. remarked that he had supposed
"those xn front could attend to that little matter."
After some time Gen. McClellan started from
Yorktown, and reached the vicinity of Wil
liamsburg about 5 o'clock in tho afternoon.
By that time Gen. Kearney had reached the
field and re enforced Gen. . Hooker, taking
command, being the senior in rank to Gener
al Hooker. Gen. Hancock bad been engaged
on the right, bi.t, upon being re-enforced, had
succeeded in repulsing the enemy, losing a
bout forty men. The principal fighting was
done by the troops under Gen. Hooker, his di
vision sustaining a loss of about 1,700 men.
Before he was te-eniorced, bis troops were
obliged toehold their po-ltion with, the bayo.
net and such ammunition as the men could
obtain from the bodies of those who had fal
len, the roads being so muddy that it was im
possible to bting up fresh ammunition. .
That night the enemy evacuated their posi
tion at Williamsburg. Gen. McClellan states
that after he arrived on the field he was so
satisfied that tbe enemy bad been beaten and
would be compelled to evacuate their position
that night or be taken at a gteat disadvantage,
that be countermanded orders to the divisions
of Richardson and Sedgwick aud sent them
back to Yorktown.
Tbe next day tbe pursuit was continued for
a short distance by Gen. Stoneman and tbe
cavalry, with a small body of infantry. Sever
al of the Generals testify that, had the enemy
been promptly followed tip after the battle of
Williamsburg, they could have been followed
right into Richmond one ot them says without
firing a gun. Gen. McClellan saya that tbe
roads were so bad, in consequence of tbe
rains, that it waa impracticable to make a
vigorous pursuit.
- Tbe battle of Williamsburg appears to have
been fought under many and serious disadvan
tages. Nothing waa known of the nature of
the country or the defensive works of the en
emy nntil our troops arrived before - ibera ;
there was no controlling mind in charge of
tbe movements ; there was uncertainty in re
gard to who waa in command ; each General
fought as he considered best ; and, by the time
the General Commanding appeared on the field,
the principal part of the fighting was over.
Some three or four days were spent at Wil
liamsburg for the purpoM of bringing up sup
plies, &c, and then the line of march was ta
ker, up for I be Cblckabomioy,; K wss.abpat.tho
time that the army left Williamsburg hat Nor
folk' was taken and the M err i mac destroyed.
But preparations had been made before those
events occurred to have supplies sent up York
River instead of the Jamea. and the line after
warda followed was adopted.' The consequence
was that the gunboats were of little or no ser
vice in the operations against Richmond, and
remalued entirely inactive, except in some op
erations against Fort Darling, nnitl they wxe
called upon to protect the army when, in July,
it fell back to tbe James river.
The distance between Williamsburg and the
line of operations on the Chickahominy waa
from forty to fifty miles, and the army was
most two weeks in moving (bat distance. Tbe
first troops that .crossed the Cfiickahominy
was the corps of Gen. Keyes, which crossed
on the 24tb of May,-followed by the corps of
Gen. Ueintzelman on the 25th. The rest ot our
army remained on the left bank of the Chick
ahominy until lh battle of Fair Oaks, when
the corps of Gen. Sumner crossed to the as
sistance of Gens. Heiotzelman and Keyes.'
Gen. MCIellan continued c tiling for re in
forcements, representing that the force id tbe
enemy in hia tront waa superior to bis own.
and that tbe force under Geo. M'Dwe!l would
do more for the protection of Wasbinxton, if
sent to his army, than In any other pom Iron in
which it could be Dlaced. In a letter written
Win the 21st of May he asks that Gen. McDow
ell s corps be sent htm by water, rather than
by land, as the more expeditious mode, and
that he and his forces be explicitly pUce-i un
der his orders, in the ordinary way." He
closes his letter by saying :
1 believe there is a great struggle before
this army, but I am neither dismayed nor dis
couraged. I wish to strengthen its force as
much as I can ; bnt, in sny event, I shall fight
It with all the skill, and caution, and determi
nation that " I possess. And I trust that the
result may either obtain for me the perma
nent confidence of my Government, or that it
may close my career." - ' '
- In reply to tbe request of Gen. M'Clellan
that Gen. M'Dowell should join his forces by
water, the President states, on the 21st of May:
Gen-M'Dowell cae reach you by land sooner
than he could get aboard of boats if the boats
were . ready at Fredericksburg, unless his
march shaH be resisted, in which case the
force resisting him will not be confronting you
at Richmond. By land he will reach you in
five daya after starting ; whereas, by water, he
Iwonld not reach yon in two weeks, judging by
past experience, frank no 'a single aivistonaid
not reacb you in ten days after 1 ordered it."
, Preparations were accordingly made for Gen
eral M'Dowell to leave Fredericksburg on the
2-5th of May to join Gen. M'Clellan. - Just at
that time, however, Jackson commenced bta
expedition down' the Shenandoah Valley, and
Gen. M'Dowell, tsptrier with Gen.FreTnont,
Irora Western Virginia, was sent to the assist
ance of Gen. Banks, and to. intercept Jackson
in bis retreat. Upon being informed of this,
Gen. M'Clellan replied Ifcat the movement of
Jackson was probably intended to prevent re
inforcements being sent to him. The Presi
dent replied, giving him full information as
to the condition of affairs in the Valley, and
Closed by saying : : -. .
'If M'Dowe'Ws force was now beyond our
rrach we should be utterly helpless . Apprehen
sions ot something like this, and no. unwilling
ness to sustain yon, has always beerswny rea
son for withholding-M'Dowell's force from
you. Please understand this, and do the best
you can with trie forces you now have." . .
. On the 81st of May and the 1st of June the
battles of Seven Pines and Fair Oaks were
fought. As there has been so much -controversy
in regsrd to the conduct of some of the
troops engaged in that battle, your Committee
will refer more particularly to the? testimony
of Gen. Casey, who commanded the advanced
division, upon which the attack was first made.
Gen. Casey states that, when the campaign of
the Peninsula commenced, bis division con
sisted principally of raw and-inexperienced
troops. They had suffered greatly from the
labors and exposures incident upon the siege
of Yorktown and the advauce of the troops tip
the Peninsula. Some of them bad been tor
weeks without shelter, being compelled to
leave their camp equipage behind when order
ed on the pursuit ol the enemy after the evac
uation of Yorktown. That division took the
lead across tbe Chickahominy, taking np a
high position at Seven Pines, where it stab
lished itself ly throwing: np intrenchments
and. cutting abatis. A few days before the
battle of Seven Pines, contrary to the advice
and opinion of Gen. Keyea apd Gen. Casey,
the division was ordered tbre-qnarters ot a
mile to the front, within six miles of Rich
mond, his pickets extending within five miles.
They bad no support upon tbeir.rigbt or their
left, tbe remainder of. the corps to which they
belonged (Keyes') being in their, rear. Tbey
at once commenced digging rifle-pits and cut
ting abatis, the pickets at nigbt being. attack
ed by tbe enemy who were repulied. - About
11 o'clock on the morning of the 31t tbe
pickets reported the .enemy approaching-, and
an aid of General Johnson waa captured and
brought in with, important papers upon him.
Gen. Casey, with this aid and his general offi
cer of the day, went to General Keyes and re
ported tbe circumstances to bim. Gen. Keyes
testifies, that for some days before the attack
he sent to Gen. M'Clellan report of bis con
dition, the threatening attitude of the enemy
in bis immediate vicinity ,and urged that Gen.
Sumner be sent across to his support. . This
was not done, however, until after the attack
commenced. Reports .continued to come in
of the approach of the enemy.. The division
was called out and formed, the working men
called in, and preparations made to meet the
coming attack. Two lines of battle were? form
edone in tbe rifle-pits, and another about
oneahird of a mile in advance composed of
five or six regiments and tour pieces of artil
lery. A regiment had previously been , sent
out to support the pickets. About 20 minutes
to 1 o'clock the enemy commencad the attack
in force, supposed to amount to about 35,000
men, attacking in front and . on both flanks.
After fighting for some time, the enemy con
tinning to come in force, the forces in front
fell back to the rifle-pits, and fought there un
til nearly surrounded. . Re-enforcements had
been promised , and Geo. Casey had selected
the position to which they were to be assign
ed ; but no re-enforcements came up to bis
position until just before he was forced to fall
beck from bis second line,, when a single reg-.
iment arrfvjtd.' After .about three boars' 8jM-
fng tbe division fell back from ita second line
with a loss of 1.433 in killed, wounded and
n f . l. . . . . j . j". T
lulling, iu mc course ui an oour suer jw
sey's division bad been driven back, the re
mainder of our forces were swept back from a
rail and a bait to two miles from Casey's first
line, when tbe enemy were checked, and the
fighting ceased for tbe day.
; During tbe battle Gen. Snmner,whose corps
was on tbe left bank of the Chickahominy, was
ordered by Gen. M'Clellan to bold hia forces
in readiness to cross. Gen. Sumner not only
did that, but at once called out hia forces and
moved them until the headaof the columns
were at the bridges ready to cross, thereby
saving between one and two hours. When
the order came to cross he immediately mov
ed hia forces in the direction of the field
of butle,ctme up with and engaged the ene
my, and relieved the pressure upon tbe troops
engaged upon his l?ft. ' - .,
The next day, the 1st of June. the enemr
attacked Gen. Sumner at Fair Oaks. General
Hookor, who had been ordered forward the
day before by Gen. Ileintzelman with one half
of his division, bearing the firing of the ene
my upon Gen. Sumner's forces, .proceeded at
once in mat direction ana engaged the ene
my. In a short time the enemy were repula
d, and fell back iu confusion. There waa no
communication between the forces under Gen.
Sumner and those under General Hetmzelman
(Hooker's), but each fought as he deemed bet
under the circumstances. - Gen. M'Clellan was
with the main part of the -army on the left bank
of the Chickahominy. Jfler the fighting was over
ni came across to the right bank oj the niter,
On the morning of Monday Gen. ileintzel
man ordered Gen. Hooker to make a recon
noissance in force, which he did, advancing to
within tour miles of Richmond, meeting with
no resistance except a littlo from the enemy 'a
pickets. Upon being informed by Gen. Ileint
zelman of what he had done, Gen. M"Clel!an
ordered the troops to be rf called and ocenpy the
position that had been held by Casey's division
Tho officers engaged in that battle, who have
been examined, testify that tbe army could
hare pitshed right on to the City of Richmond
with little resistance ; that the enemy were very
much broken and demoralized, throwing away
arms, clothing. &c, that might impede their
flight.:. Gen. M'Clellan seems to have contem
plated an immediate movement upon Rich
mond, for, the day after the battle, June 2d,
lie writes to the Secretary of War : ,
The enemy attacked in force, and ' with
great apirit yesterday morning, but are every
where moat signally repulsed with great loss.
Our troops charged frequently on both daya,
and uniformly broke the enemy. The result
is, that our , left is within tour miles of Rich
mond. I only wsit for the river to fall to cross
with the rest ot the force,-and make a general
attack. Should I find them holding firm in a
very - strong- pesition; 1 may wait for' what
troops 1 can bring up from Fort Monroe. But
the morale of my troops is now such that I can
venture much.. 1 do not fear tbe odds against
me. Tbe victory is complete, and all credit is
due to tbe gallantry ot our officers and men."
. The movement was not made, however, aa
General M'Clellan states, because of tbe high
stage of tbe water and tbe bad roads.
On tbe 6tbofJune, M'Call'a division of
Geii. M'Dowell'a corps was ordered to join the
arm .n the peninsula. On the 8th of June
Gen. M 'Cleilao telegrapha t "1 shall be in per.
feet readiness to move forward and take Rich-mond-the
moment that M 'Call reaches here
and tbe ground will permit the passage ol ar
tillery." On the 10th and lltb of June Gen.
eral M Call's Iroops commenced arriving at
the White House.
Preparations continued to be made at Wash
ington to send dawn by land from Fredericks
burg tiie remainder of Gen. M'Dowell's corps,
he being directed to co-operate, fully with Gen.
M'Clellan, bnt retaining an independant com
mand. This does not appear to have been in
accordance with General . M'Clellan's wish
es; for., on the 16th of June, he telegraphs
to the Secretary of War:
'It ought Ip he distinctly understood that
M'Dowell anor his .troops are completely udder
my control. I received a telegram from him
requesting that M'Call'a division might be
placed so as to join him Immediately upon his
arrival. That request does not breathe tbe
proper spirit; whatever troops come tome
mast be disposed of so as to do tbe most good.
I do not feel that in such circumstances as
thoso in which I am now placed Gen. M'Dow
ell should wish tbe general interest to be sac
rificed for tbe purpose of increasing hia com
mand. If I cannot fdlly control all bis troops
I want none of them, but would prefer to fight
the battle with what 1 have, aud let others be
responsible for tbe results. " ..
On the 18th of June, Gen. M'Clellan tele
graphs to the Secretary ot War that he has
received information from deserters to the ef
feet that troops have left Richmond to re en
force Jackson ; that tbe movement commenc
ed on the 8th ; and .bat, it ; re-enforcements
bave gone to Jackson, they, are probably not
less than 10,000 men ; that he cannot voucb
for the truth of the statement, but that it
seems pretty certain that it is believed in
Richmond and among, the Rebel troops... To
this the President replies, on the same day.
tbat the information is corroborated by a dis
patch from Gen. King at Fredericksburg, and
remat ks : "If this is true, it is as good as a re-
enforcement to you of an equal force
On the aame day General M'Clellao tele-
graphs to the President :
"A general engagement may take place at
any hour. An advance by ua involves a bat
tie more or less decisive. The enemy exhibit
at every point a readiness to meet ns. Tbey
cJrtainly bave great numbers and extensive
works. If ten or. fifteen thousand, men have
left Richmond to' re-enforce Jackson, it illus
trates their strength and confidence. After
to-morrow we; shall fight the Rebel army as
soon as Providence will permit. We shall
await only a favorable condition of the earth
and sky, and tbe completion of some neces
sary preliminaries." . '
The return t of Gen. M'Clellao to the Ad-
jntant-Gencral'a ' office give tbe following a
on the 20tb of Jane, Present for duty; 115,
102; special duty, sick and In arrest, 11,225
-h im en . ',. cos ... ... ..,
abeeirt, 29,511 total, 156,838., ,
'V ' ' 8T0akt itp. - I
Abopt tbls tUne' ibe Rebel. Genera), Stuart,
with bis cavalry, iade his celebrated raid,
making. the entire circuit of tbe army unharm
ed, and. discovering the nature of our com
munications with the York River.
. . , - .... i. ; . .'
On the 24th and 25th ot June, Gen. McClel
lan telegraphs the Secretary of the War that
he is informed by deserters and contrabands
tbat Jackson is contemplating an attack upon
his right and rear. . As this dispatch of Gen.
McClellan, and the oue of the President in re
ply, are dafod immediately previous to the
"seven days' battle," they are given here tn
f nil. ; . w .-,:. i-;-v -i t.t !...:;
, Received 8.50 p. m. 4 , 7
1 McClellan's, June 25 6.15 p.m.
"I have just returned from the field, and
find your dispatch tn regard to Jaekson. Sev
eral contrabands, just in, give information
confirming the supposition that Jacksou'a adt
vance is at or near Hanover Court House, and
that Beauregard : arrived,' with strong re en
forcements, in Richmond yeaterdsy. I incline
to tbink that Jackson will attack my right
and rear. Tbe Rebel force is stated at 200,
000, including Jackson and Beauregard. I
shll have to contend against vastly superior
odda if these reports be true ; but this army
will do all in the power of man to bold their
position and repulse an attack. J regret my
great Inferiority ot numbers, but feel that I
am in no way responsible for it, as have not
failed to represent repeatedly the necessity of
re-enforcetuenia j that thia waa . tbe decisive
point; and tbat all the available, means of the
Government should be concentrated here."
will do all that a general can' do with ' the
splendid army I have tbe honor 10 command ;
and if it is destroyed by overwhelming num
bers, can at least die . with it, and share ita
fate. But if the result of the action which
will 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 commeuced this, I have -received
additional intelligence confirming the snppo,
sition in regard to Jackson's movements and
Beauregard's. I shall probably be attacked
to-morrow, and now go to, the. other side of
the Chickahominy to arrange for the defense
on that side 1 feel th it there is no ue in my
again asking for re-enforcements. - ,
Geo. B. McClellan, Major General.
' "Hon. E. M. Stanton, Sec'y or War." '
The answer of the President la as follows :
"Washington, Jnne 26, 1862. '
. ."Your three dispatches of . yesterday iu re
lation to too afiair, euding with the statement
that you completely succeeded, is making
yonr point, are very gratifying.
. The later one of 6 p. iu., noggesting the
probability , of your being -,ovrw he lined by
200,000 men, and talking of whom tbe respon
sibility will belong, pains me very much. I
give you all 1 can, and act on tbe presumption
that you will do the best ' you can with what
you have; while you continue, aiagenerously.
I think, to assume that I could give you more
Jf I would. I have omitted, I shall omit, no
ppportunity to send you re-enforcements when
ever I possibly can. . ' "A. Lincoln.
, Major-General McClelland" .... ;i.
. ; - ; battle of mechanicsvillc. '
On the afternoon of the, 26th ol Jnne, be
tween 2 and 3 o'clock, tbe enemy, in consid
erable force, made a vigorous attack upon the
troops of Gen. McCaM's Division, stationed at
Mechauicsvihe, consisting of tbe two brigades
of Seymour and liejuolds. The action lasted
until nightfall, when the enemy were repuls
ed. "Troops were sent up by Gen. Porter to
the assistance of those engaged ; bnt they
were not in the battle, though some of them
were in positi n to support the right of the line.
About 12 o clock that night the troops were
ordered to fall back to Gaines s Mill, which
was accomplislred withont loss. i r -
On the 27ib the battle of Gaine's Mill was
fought, principally by the troops under Gen.
Porter. Our forces there engaged were from
27,000 to 30,000; the force ot the enemy being
from two to three times that number. L The
enemy were to such superior foree that, al
though our. troops fought, with, exceeding
bravery, they were driven back with . a loss
ol about 9,000 men) in killed, wounded and
missing. '
Gen. McClellan was questioned as to the
policy of leaving the right , wing, consisting
of only about 30.000 men, to meet the attack
of the superior force of the enemy, instead of
withdrawing it to the right bank of tbe Chick
ahominy before the battle of Gaine's Mill.
His testimony on tbat point is as follows:
Question. Whatever might have been the
intentions of the enemy, as the attack was to
bave been made by bim, would it not have
been better to have placed both wings of our
army on tbe same side of the 'Chickahominy
prior to the battle of Gaine's Mill 7
'"Answer. I do not think they ought to
have been brought to the' same side of the
rlver-before they actually were. - - a :
"Question. What advantage, was gained
by leaving the right wing of onr army to be
attacked by a greatly superior force "
. "Answer.; It prevented- the enemy from
getting on our flank and rear, and, in my
opinion, enabled us to withdraw the army and
its material. '
"Question. Will you explain what was
done by the right wing of our ' army - at or
about tbe time the left was engaged which
saved onr flank from attack and enabled; the
army and its material to be withdrawn 1
'"Answer.' By desperate figUljng they in-
Ajete.1 o great loss on tbeenemy " to
uec u" i""
river, and gave us time , to get our . material
out of tbe way."
' During the nigbt after the battle of Gaine's
Mill, all our forces were concentrated on tbe
Fight bank of tbe Chickat.ominy, and the next
day the movement to the James River waa
determined upon. Gen Ueintzelman testi
fied that the night after' that battle be waa
sent for" by Gen McClellan r that'- be found
everything packed, ready to leave ; tbat Gen.
McClellan said there were two; things to be
done to concentrate his forces and risk all on
a battle, or to withdraw to the James River)
tbat if be risked a battle there, and waa "beat
en the army waa destroyed. Gen. Heintzelman
advis.-d bim not to risk, a . battle under such
lZ""'iVZL 7' .. V". tVi.L "V
lost tbe.
; f ,7,,. : ,T ... , , V V '
goto the James Klver and await remforce-
ow, McClllao ..Hti,..
of tbat opinion himself, and that was . doter-
mined opon Thai sight, at 2,20ca, tn., Gen-.;
McClellan telegraphs to the Secretsrr rf war
thst he (Gen. McClellan) is not responsible for.
the result , bnt he feeTs tbat tfier Government -baa
not sustained bis army'" : v-:-l
To this the Presideut. replies, on the 28tb I
;. "if you bave had a drawn battle. ora re
pnlse, it is the price we pay : for. the enemy
nt being in Washington. : We protected
.Washington and the enemy concentrated on
you. : Had we stripped Washington h wonld
have been npon us- before tbe troops sent
could have gut toyonv--- '' '
, "Save your army at all events, ..Will send
re-enforcements as fast as we can. Of. course
they cannot reach you to day, to-morrow t. 6f
next day.";,.-- - : " . . .,'.;--
f .The 2t$tli ot June passed without Any serf,
ous lighting.' Col b. S." Alrtandoi testifies
that on the afternoon ot that day he was , sent
for by Gen. McClellstt, ant went to bis head
quarters, at Savage's Station, ' arriving then
about dark.k He roceived instructions to pro
ceed with an escort to the Jamoa Kive,r,. send,
backs sufficient numb r of; men to act as
guides for the diflureut cplumos. .of . the army,
communicate with. 1 the gun boats, and . order,
supplies to be brought up the. river,; to exam
ine both shores of, tbe James to the mouth of,
the Chickahominy. and ascertain, the Undi&j:
places; proceed up the Cbickahomuiy to .the,
bead of navigation and ascertain ,tli places, .
where the army could cross, jucase. yf nvCeiU
ty, and then return to ieadqnarletf$ and report
He left Savage's station, that njght aud reach--ed
the James river the next afteruoon.. By tbe
time be had completed his examination thaar.-,
my had reached Him James River at Malvern.;.
m'clsllan rRorosEs to destroy his BAOOAaR.i l
: While at head quarters receiving bis -instructions,
be waa shown, as he testified, u- printed
order, not then issued, directing the dttstrne'
tion ot the baggage of officers and men, and'
the tents, camps, equipage, aud things oC that
kind ; appealing to the army to submit to this
privation, as it would be only temporary-
only for a few days." He remonstrated ,witb'
Gen. McClellan against issuing such an orders
that it would bava a bad effect, would demoraf.
ize the army, as 'it would be telling them
more plainly than they contd be' tojd ;in. any
other way that tby were defeated- and run
ning for their lives. Tbe order was not is
sued, and Gen. McClellan testifies that he baa
no recollection of any such order.
The retreat to James River having be a de
cided upon, the army took up Its march, being
attacked by tbe enemy in the day time, and
however successful is repelling those attacks,
evacuating their positions daring tbe night.
: Tbe actions of Savage's Station, Giecdale and
: Malvern were fought during the movement of
; the arwiy to tbe James, th nmr being re
pulsed in each day's fighting, and onr army
falling back, under orders, daring the night.
it would appear, irom all the Information
your Committee can obtain, that the battles
were foughlt the troops handled, -new disposi
tions made and old ones changed entirely by Ike
torps comtnandersicithout directions, from the
Commanding General.. , He., would place tin
troops in the morning, then letr.e the field and
seek the petition for the next day, giving no di
rections until the rlose of the ' day's- fighting,
when the troops would be or dered to fall badtdu.
ring the night to the ntw position selected by Aim
In that manner the army reached thi James river.
The battle of Malvern H III, of the first of Jn
ly, was the most fiercely contested of any ap-"
on the Peninsula. - The troop were placed
in the morning, und-r tbe direction .of Geo.;
McClellan iro then hft the field,, returning . fe,
it again in the aflernovi the first actiou uu
the day commenced about 10 e.clocV 1n 'the'
forenoon, bnt did not' continue long'.' ; The!
principal action, wbtn the eomj attacked:
most vigorously and persistently, commencvd
late in the afternoon and continued till after
dark, the enemy being repulsed and beaten at
every pnint. Many of the officers examraed
by your commiitee are of . the opinion that)
the enemy were so severely punished on that
day that tbey could of been' followed 'Into
Richmond had our army followed tben up!
vigorously, : - : .' , h . ' ad
It is true that our army had , been, severely
tried during the preceding week, . fighting' as
they did, nearly every day, and retreating'
every night. The corps commanders and' tbe'
troops tinder them fought most bravely no
troops better. However, disheartened -they,
may have become by what all must bave re
garded as a precipitate retreat durihg"the"
night, they still fongbt with the' most ohsCi-o
nate bravery wbn attacked in the day time;
by an exultant and successful enemy
. m'clbllan still krtbeats,,, ...
The commanding general, however,. defer-
mined to fall back trom Malvern to Harrison's
Bar, notwithstanding the victory won' there'
by oar army- He seems to bave regarded bf
army as entirely . unfitted to meet tbe enemy ,
lor on. the aay or the battle at Malvern, evi
dently before that battle took place, be writes
to the Adjutant General of the artny front
Uaxall s plantation. . v : . . ; .;.
"My men are completely exhausted, ajno l.
dread the result if we are attacked, te-day by
fresh troops. If possible I shall' retire to-
night to Harrison's Bar; where tbe ' runboats'
can render more aid in covering our position.!
Permit me to urge that not an hour should be
lost in sending me fresh troops. More iun-
boatf are mucb needed." ' r "
On tbe 2d ot July the President te!eTarbs 1
to Gen. McClellan t - , t ; sA ,..r ,-;,
Your dispatch of yesterday mornin in-.
daces me to hope your army, ie having some ,
rest. e In this hope, allow me to ' reason wit b
yon for a moment. When you ask -for 50 ,000-'
men to be promptly seat yon, -yon must ; sursV j
iv jaoor uouer soma cross mistake, of fact..
Recently you sent papers showjng, yopr . dis
posal 01 forces msde last spring lor the de.
tense or Washington, and advising a return to '
that plan. I Bud inclnded inaactatwBt Wasb. j
ington 75,000 men. 1 Aow . please . ba assured
that I have- not .men enough to fill that, verv
plan by 15,000. : All of General ' FreTn6ntsYrf,
the valley t all ef General Banks' f air of Gea J
McDowell's oot wit you ; and all La. Wah
outside of yUtr anriy, 75,000 etc 6&'ct tbp.:
mountains,. Tbos the IdeaofawndBg yoo5,
000. men, or any other considerable force,
promptly, IS simply absurd. ' if, in yorir fre-"
qnent meatfoa of ; responsibility 'yen' had tbV
impression 1 that I Name yoa or ootdeiatt"'
wtore bsa job cao, plf asa be, relieved of anch
tngton, lasen togettier ao not eleeejn. if Ihjjv t
reach, 60,000," with, General "Wovl'apd Gen.
Dlx added to' tbose mentioned.'' ' t have WoV