War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0075 Chapter XXIII. GENERAL REPORTS.

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Nothing else of interest since last dispatch. Rain ceased, and everything quiet. Men resting well, but beginning to be impatient for another fight.

I am more and more convinced that this army ought not to be withdrawn from here but promptly again upon Richmond. If we have little more than half a chance we can take it.

I dread the effects of any retreat upon the morale of the men.

GEO. B. McCLELLAN.

Major-General, Commanding.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, President.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC.

Berkeley, July 17, 1862-8 a.m.

I have consulted fully with General Burnside, and would commend to your favorable consideration the general's plan for bringing seven additional regiments from North Carolina by leaving New Berne to the care of the gunboats. It appears manifestly to be our policy to concentrate here everything we can possibly spare from less important points to make sure of crushing the enemy at Richmond, which seems clearly to be the most important point in rebeldom. Nothing should be left to chance here. I would recommend that General Burnside, with all his troops, be ordered to this army, to enable it to assume the offensive as soon as possible.

GEO. B. McCLELLAN,

Major-General, Commanding.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, President:

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC.

Berkeley, July 18, 1862-8 a.m.

No change worth reporting in the state of affairs. Some 20,000 to 25,000 of the enemy at Petersburg, and others thence to Richmond.

Those at Petersburg say they are part of Beauregard's army. New troops arriving via Petersburg. Am anxious to have determination of Government, that no time may be lost in preparing for it. Hours are very precious now and perfect unity of action necessary.

GEO. B. McCLELLAN,

Major-General, Commanding.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, President.

The following was telegraphed to General Halleck on the 28th:

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

Berkeley, July 28, 1862-8 a.m.

Nothing especially new except corroboration of reports that re-enforcements are reaching Richmond from south. It is not confirmed that any of Bragg's troops are yet here. My opinion is more and more firm that here is the defense of Washington, and that I should be at once re-enforced by all available troops to enable me to advance. Retreat would be disastrous to the army and the cause. I am confident of that.

GEO. B. McCLELLAN,

Major-General.

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

Commanding U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.

On the 30th I sent the following to the General-in-Chief:*

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC.

Berkeley, July 30, 1862-7 a.m.

* * * * * * *

I hope that it may soon be decided what is to be done by this army, and that the decision may be to re-enforce it at once. We are losing much valuable time, and that at a moment when energy and decision are sadly needed.

GEO. B. McCLELLAN.

Major-General.

Major General H. W. HALLECK.

Commanding U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.,

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*Entire dispatch, with another to Halleck of same date, appears in "Correspondence, etc., " Part III.

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