War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0036 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN,VA. Chapter XXIII.

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The objects of the expedition having been accomplished and it being certain that the First Corps would not join us at once, General Porter withdrew his command to their camps with the main army on the evening of the 29th.

On the night of the 27th and 28th I sent the following dispatch to the Secretary of War:

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Camp near New Bridge, May

28-12.30 a.m.

Porter has gained two complete victories over superior forces, yet I feel obliged to move in the morning with re-enforcements to secure the complete destruction of the rebels in that quarter. In doing so I run some risk here, but I cannot help it. The enemy are even in greater force than I had supposed. I will do all that quick movements can accomplish, but you must send me all the troops you can, and leave to me full latitude as to choice of commanders. It is absolutely necessary to destroy the rebels near Hanover Court-House before I can advance.

GEO. B. McCLELLAN,

Major-General.

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War.

In reply to which I received the following from the President:

WASHINGTON, May 28, 1862.

I am very glad to General F. J. Porter's victory. Still, if it was a total rout of the enemy, I am puzzled to know why the Richmond and Fredericksburg Railroad was not seized again, as you say have all the railroads but the Richmond and Fredericksburg. I am puzzled to see how, lacking that, you can have any, except the scrap from Richmond to West Point. The scrap of the Virginia Central from Richmond to Hanover Junction without more is simply nothing. That the whole of the enemy is concentrating on Richmond I think cannot be certainly known to you or me. Saxton, at Harper's Ferry, informs us that large forces supposed to be Jackson's and Ewell's, forced his advance from Charlestown to-day. General King telegraphs us from Fredericksburg that contrabands give certain information that 15,000 left Hanover Junction Monday morning to re-enforce Jackson. I am painfully impressed with the importance of the struggle before you, and shall aid you all I can consistently with my view of due regard to all points.

A. LINCOLN.

Major-General McCLELLAN.

At 6 p.m. of the 29th I sent the Secretary of War the following dispatch:

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, May 29, 1862-6 p.m.

General Porter has gained information that General Anderson left his position in vicinity of Fredericksburg at 4 a.m. Sunday with the following troops: First South Carolina, Colonel Hamilton; one battalion South Carolina Rifles; Thirty-fourth and Thirty-eighth North Carolina; Forty-fifth Georgia; Twelfth, Thirteenth, and Fourteenth South Carolina; Third Louisiana; two batteries, of four guns each-namely, Letcher's Virginia and McIntosh's South Carolina batteries. General Anderson and his command passed Ashland yesterday evening en route for Richmond, leaving men behind to destroy bridges over the Telegraph road, which they traveled. This information is reliable. It is also positively certain that Branch's command was from Gordonsville, bound for Richmond, whither they have now gone.

It may be regarded as positive, I think, that there is no rebel force between Fredericksburg and Junction.

GEO. B. McCLELLAN,

Major-General.

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War.

The following was also sent on the same day:

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, May 29, 1862.

A detachment from General F. J. Porter's command, under Major Williams, Sixth