War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0078 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

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after the return of my cavalry reconnaissances. The mass of the enemy escaped under the cover of a dense fog, but our cavalry are still in pursuit, and I trust may succeed in capturing many more. This is a very advantageous position to cover an advance on Richmond and only 14 3/4 miles distant, and I feel confident that with re-enforcements I could march this army there in five days.

I this instant learn that several brigades of the enemy are 4 miles from here, on the Quaker road, and I have taken steps to prepare to meet them.

General Hooker's dispositions were admirable, and his officers and men displayed their usual gallantry.

GEO. B. McCLELLAN.

Major-General, Commanding.

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

Commanding U. S. Army.

MALVERN HILL, August 5, 1862-8 p.m.

Since my last dispatch Colonel Averell has returned from a reconnaissance in the direction of Savage Station toward Richmond. He encountered the Tenth Virginia Cavalry near White Oak Swamp Bridge, charged and drove them some distance toward Richmond, capturing 28 men and horses, killing and wounding several.

Our troops have advanced 12 miles in one direction and 17 in another toward Richmond.

To-day we have secured a strong position at Coggins Point, opposite our quarter-master's depot, which will effectually prevent the rebels from using artillery hereafter against our camps.

I learn this evening that there is a force of 20,000 men about 6 men miles back from this point, on the south bank of the river. What their object is I do not know, but will keep a sharp lookout on their movements.

I am sending off sick as rapidly as our transports will take them. I am also doing everything in my power to carry out your orders to push reconnaissances toward the rebel capital and hope soon to find out whether the reports regarding the abandonment of that place are true.

GEO. B. McCLELLAN.

Major-General

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

Commanding U. S. Army.

To the dispatch of 1 p.m., August 5, the following answer was received:

WASHINGTON, August 6, 1862-3 a.m.

I have no re-enforcements to send you.

H. W. HALLECK,

Major-General.

Major General GEORGE B. McCLELLAN.

And soon after the following:

WASHINGTON, August 6, 1862.

You will immediately send a regiment of cavalry and several batteries of artillery to Burnside's command at Aquia Creek. It is reported that Jackson is moving north with a very large force.

H. W. HALLECK,

Major-General.

Major General GEORGE B. McCLELLAN.

On the 4th I had received General Halleck's order of the 3rd (which appears below), directing me to withdraw the army to Aquia, and on the same day sent an earnest protest against it. A few hours before this General Hooker had informed me that his cavalry pickets reported large bodies of the enemy advancing and driving them in, and that he would probably be attacked at daybreak.

Under these circumstances I had determined to support him; but as I could not get the whole army in position until the next afternoon I concluded, upon the receipt of the above telegram from the General-in-Chief, to withdraw General Hooker, that there might be the least