War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0077 Chapter XXIII. GENERAL REPORTS.

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sick. The Surgeon-General has therefore been directed to make arrangements for them at other places, and the Quartermaster-General to provide transportation. I hope you will send them away as quickly as possible, and advise me of their removal.



Major General GEORGE B. McCLELLAN.

It is clear that the General-in-Chief attached some weight to the report received from General Pope, and I was justified in supposing that the order in regard to the removing the sick contemplated an offensive movement rather than a retreat, as I had no other data than telegrams just given from which to form an opinion as to the intentions of the Government.

The following telegram strengthened me in that belief:

WASHINGTON, July 31, 1862-10 a.m.

General Pope again telegraphs that the enemy is reported to be evacuating Richmond and falling back on Danville and Lynchburg.



Major General GEORGE B. McCLELLAN.

In occupying Coggins' Point, as already described, I was influenced by the necessity of possessing a secure debouche on the south of the James, in order to enable me to move on the communications of Richmond in that direction as well as to prevent a repetition of midnight cannonades.

To carry out General Halleck's first order of July 30 it was necessary first to gain possession of Malvern Hill, which was occupied by the enemy, apparently in some little force, and controlled the direct approach to Richmond. Its temporary occupation, at least, was equally necessary in the event of a movement upon Petersburg or even the abandonment of the Peninsula. General Hooker, with his own division and Pleasonton's cavalry, was therefore directed to gain possession of Malvern Hill on the night of the 2nd of August. He failed to do so, as the following dispatch recites:


Berkeley, August 3, 1862-10.20 p.m.

The movement undertaken up the river last night failed on account of the incompetency of guides. The proper steps have been taken to-day to remedy this evil, and I hope to be ready to-morrow night to carry out your suggestions as to pressing, at least to accomplish the first indispensable step.


Major-General, Commanding.

Major-General HALLECK.

Commanding U. S. Army.

On the 4th General Hooker was re-enforced by General Sedgwick's division, and having obtained a knowledge of the roads, he succeeded in turning Malvern Hill and driving the enemy back toward Richmond.

The following is my report of this affair at the time:

MALVERN HILL, August 5, 1862-1 p.m.

General Hooker, at 5.30 this morning, attacked a very considerable force of infantry and artillery stationed at this place and carried it handsomely, driving the enemy toward New Market which is 4 miles distant, and where it is said they have a large force. We have captured 100 prisoners killed and wounded several, with a loss on our part of only 3 killed and 11 wounded-among the latter 2 officers.

I shall probably remain here to-night, ready to act as circumstances may require,