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The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies

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OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 11, Part 1 (Peninsular Campaign)
Page 45 Chapter XXIII. GENERAL REPORTS.

To which I replied as follows:


HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, New Bridge, June 3, 1862.

Your dispatch of 5 p. m. just received. As the Chickahominy has been almost the only obstacle in my way for several days Your Excellency may rest assured that it has not been overlooked. Every effort has been made, and will continue to be, to perfect the communications across it. Nothing of importance, except that it is again raining.

GEO. B. McCLELLAN,
Major-General, Commanding.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, President, Washington.

My views of the condition of our army on the 4th are explained in the following dispatch to the President:


HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, New Bridge, June 4, 1862.

Terrible rain-storm during the night and morning; not yet cleared off. Chickahominy flooded; bridges in bad condition. Are still hard at work at them. I have taken every possible step to insure the security of the corps on the right bank, but I cannot re-enforce them here until my bridges are all safe, as my force is too small to insure my right and rear, should the enemy attack in that direction, as they may probably attempt. I have to be very cautious now. Our loss in the late battle will probably exceed 5,000. I have not yet full returns. On account of the effect it might have on our own men and the enemy I request that you will regard this information as confidential for a few days. I am satisfied that the loss of the enemy was very considerably greater; they were terribly punished. I mention these facts now merely to show you that the Army of the Potomac has had serious work, and that no child's play is before it.

You must make your calculations on the supposition that I have been correct from the beginning in asserting that the serious opposition was to be made here.

GEO. B. McCLELLAN,
Major-General, Commanding.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, President.

And in the following to the Secretary of War on the same day:


HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, New Bridge, June 4, 1862.

Please inform me at once what re-enforcements, if any, I can count upon having at Fortress Monroe or White House within the next three days, and when each regiment may be expected to arrive. It is of the utmost importance that I should know this immediately. The losses in the battle of the 31st and 1st will amount to 7,000. Regard this as confidential for the present.

If I can have five new regiments for Fort Monroe and its dependencies I can draw three more old regiments from there safely. I can well dispose of four more raw regiments on my communications. I can well dispose of from fifteen to twenty well-drilled regiments amount the old brigades in bringing them up to their original effective strength. Recruits are especially necessary for the regular and volunteer batteries of artillery as well as for the regular and volunteer regiments of infantry. After the losses in our last battle I trust that I will no longer be regarded as an alarmist. I believe we have at least one more desperate battle to fight.*

GEO. B. McCLELLAN,
Major-General, Commanding.

Honorable E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War.

Also in my dispatch to the Secretary of War on the 5th:

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, New Bridge, June 5, 1862.

Rained most of the night. Has now ceased, but is not clear. The river is still very high and troublesome. Enemy opened with several batteries on our bridges

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*This dispatch, as received, continues as follows:

"Our loss has been greater than I had first supposed. The publication of this at this particular time might have an unfavorable effect upon the spirits of our army and give confidence to the enemy, although they undoubtedly suffered much more than we did. I therefore submit it to your judgment whether it will be policy to make it public until after the next battle."

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Page 45 Chapter XXIII. GENERAL REPORTS.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 11, Part 1 (Peninsular Campaign)
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