War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0052 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

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will do my best to outmaneuver, outwit, and outfight the enemy. Do not believe reports of disaster, and do not be discouraged if you learn that my communications are cut off, and even Yorktown in possession of the enemy. Hope for the best, and I will not deceive the hopes you formerly placed in me.

GEO. B. McCLELLAN,

Major-General.

Honorable E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Camp Lincoln, June 26, 1862-2.30 p. m.

Your dispatch and that of the President received. Jackson is driving in my pickets, &c., on the other side of the Chickahominy. It is impossible to tell where re-enforcements ought to go, as I am yet unable to predict result of approaching battle. It will probably be better that they should go to Fort Monroe, and thence according to state of affairs when they arrive.

It is not probable that I can maintain telegraphic communication more than an hour or two longer.

GEO. B. McCLELLAN,

Major-General.

Honorable E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War.

On the same day I received the following dispatches from the Secretary of War:

WASHINGTON, June 25, 1862-11.20 p. m.

Your telegram of 6.15 has just been received. The circumstances that have hitherto rendered it impossible for the Government to send you any more re-enforcements than has been done have been so distinctly stated to you by the President, that it is needless for me to repeat them.

Every effort has been made by the President and myself to strengthen you. King's division has reached Falmouth; Shields' division and Ricketts' division are at Manassas. The President designs to send a part of that force to aid you as speedily as it can be done.

EDWIN M. STANTON,

Secretary of War.

Major General GEORGE B. McCLELLAN.

WASHINGTON, June 26, 1862-6 p. m.

Arrangements are being made as rapidly as possible to send you 5,000 men as fast as they can be brought from Manassas to Alexandria and embarked, which can be done sooner than to wait for transportation at Fredericksburg. They will be followed by more, if needed. McDowell's, Banks', and Fremont's force will be consolidated as the Army of Virginia, and will operate promptly in your aid by land. Nothing will be spared to sustain you, and I have undoubting faith in your success. Keep me advised fully of your condition.

EDWIN M. STANTON,

Secretary of War.

Major General GEORGE B. McCLELLAN.

But 5,000 of the re-enforcements spoken of in these communications came to the Army of the Potomac, and these reached us at Harrison's Bar after the seven days.

In anticipation of a speedy advance on Richmond, to provide for the contingency of our communications with the depot at the White House being severed by the enemy, and at the same time to be prepared for a change of the base of our operations to James River if circumstances should render it advisable, I had made arrangements more than a week previous (on the 18th) to have transport with supplies of provisions and forage under a convoy of gunboats sent up James River. They reached Harrison's Landing in time to be available for the army on its arrival at that point. Events soon proved this change of base to be, though most hazardous and difficult, the only prudent course.

In order to relieve the troops of the Sixth Corps, on the 19th of June General Reynolds' and General Seymour's brigades, of General McCall's