War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0061 Chapter XXIII. GENERAL REPORTS.

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afterwards two Georgia regiments attempted to carry the works about to be vacated, but this attack was repulsed by the Thirty-Third New Your and the Forty-Ninth Pennsylvania Volunteers on picket and a section of Mott's battery.

Porter's corps was moved across White Oak Swamp during the day and night, and took up positions covering the roads leading from Richmond toward White Oak Swamp and Long Bridge. McCall's division was ordered on the night of the 28t to move across the swamp and take a proper position to assist in covering the remaining troops and trains.

During the same night the corps of Sumner and Heintzelman and the division of Smith were ordered to an interior line, the left resting on Keye's old intrenchments and curving to the right, so as to cover Savage Station.

General Slocum's division, of Franklin's corps, was ordered to Savage Station, in reserve.

They were ordered to hold this position until dark of the 29th, in order to cover the withdrawal of the trains, and then to fall back across the swamp and unite with the remainder of the army.

On the 28th I sent the following to the Secretary of War:


Savage Station, June 28, 1862-12.20 a.m.

I now know the full history of the day. On this side of the river (the right bank) we repulsed several strong attacks. On the left bank our men did all that men could do, all that soldiers could accomplish, but they were overwhelmed by vastly superior numbers, even after I brought my last reserves into action. The loss on both side is terrible. I believe it will prove to be the most desperate battle of the war.

The sad remnants of my men behave as men. Those battalions who fought most bravely and suffered most are still in the best order. My regulars were superb, and I count upon what are left to turn another battle, in company with their gallant comrades of the volunteers. Had I 20,000 or even 10,000 fresh troops to use to-morrow I could and save the material and personnel of the army.

If we have lost the day we have yet preserved our honor, and no one need blush for the Army of the Potomac. I have lost this battle because my force was too small.

I again repeat that I am not responsible for this, and I say it with the earnestness of a general who feels in his heart the loss of every brave man who has been needlessly sacrificed to-day. I still hope to retrieve our fortunes, but to do this the Government must view the matter in the same earnest light that I do. You must send me very large re-enforcements, and send them at once. I shall draw back to this side of Chickahominy, and think I can withdraw all our material. Please understand that in this battle we have lost nothing but men, those the best we have.

In addition to what I have already said, I only wish to say to the President that I think he is wrong in regarding me as ungenerous when I said that my force was too weak. I merely intimated a truth which to-day has been too plainly proved. If, at this instant, I could dispose of 10,000 fresh men, I could gain a victory to-morrow. I know that a few thousand more men would have changed this battle from a defeat to a victory. As it is the Government must not and cannot hold me responsible for the result.

I feel too earnestly to-night. I have seen too many dead and wounded comrades to feel otherwise than that the Government has not sustained this army. If you do not do so now the game is lost.

If I save this army now, I tell you plainly that I owe no thanks to you or to any other persons in Washington.

You have done your best to sacrifice this army.


Honorable E. M. STANTON.

The headquarters camp at Savage Station was broken up early on the morning of the 29th, and moved across White Oak Swamp. As the essential part of this day's operations was the passage of the trains across the swamp and their protection against attack from the direction of