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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 51 Chapter XXIII. GENERAL REPORTS.

Also, on the same day, the following:


HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Camp Lincoln, June 25, 1862-6.15 p. m.

I have just returned from the field, and find your dispatch in regard to Jackson.

Several contrabands just in give information confirming the supposition that Jackson's advance is at or near Hanower 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 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 i 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 defense on that side. I feel that there is no use in again asking for re-enforcements.*

GEO. B. McCLELLAN,
Major-General.

Honorable 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 same report put his numbers on the 26th of June at about 180,000, and the specific information obtained regarding their organization warrants the belief that this estimate did not exceed his actual strength. It will be observed that the evidence contained in the report shows the following organizations, viz: Two hundred regiments of infantry and cavalry, including the forces of Jackson and Ewell, just arrived; eight battalions of independent troops; five battalions of artillery; twelve companies of infantry and independent cavalry, besides forty-six companies of artillery; amounting in all to from forty to fifty brigades. There were undoubtedly many others, whose designations we did not learn.

The report also shows that numerous and heavy earthworks had been completed for the defense of Richmond, and that in thirty-six of these were mounted some two hundred guns.

On the 26th, the day upon which I had decided as the time for our final advance, the enemy attacked our right in strong force, and turned my attention to the protection of our communications and depots of supply. The event was a bitter confirmation of the military judgment which had been reiterated to my superiors from the inception and through the progress of the Peninsular Campaign.

I notified the Secretary of War in the following dispatch:

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Camp Lincoln, June 26, 1862-12 m.

I have just heard that our advanced cavalry pickets on the left bank of Chickahominy are being driven in. It is probably Jackson's advance guard. If this be true, you may not hear from me for some days, as my communications will probably be cut off. The case is perhaps a difficult one, but I shall resort to desperate measures, and

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*See Lincoln to McClellan, Part III, p. 259.

+See p. 269.

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Page 51 Chapter XXIII. GENERAL REPORTS.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 11, Part 1 (Peninsular Campaign)
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