War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0102 THE PENINSULAR CAPTAIN, VA Chapter XXIII.

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I cannot express to you the pain and mortification I have experienced to-day in listening to the distant sound of the firing of my men. As I can be of no further use here, I respectfully ask that if there is a probability of the conflict being renewed to-morrow, I may be permitted to go to the scene of battle with my staff, merely to be with my own men, if nothing more; they will fight none the worse for my being with them. If it is not deemed best to intrust me with me command even of my own army, I simply ask to be permitted to share their fate on the field of battle. Please reply to this to-night.

I have been engaged for the last few hours in doing what I can to make arrangements for the wounded. I have started out all the ambulances now landed. As I have sent my escort to the front, I would be glad to take some of Gregg's cavalry with me, if allowed to go.

GEO. B. McLELLAN,

Major-General.

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

Commanding U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.

To which, on the following day, I received this answer:

Washington, August 31, 1862-9.18 a. m.

I have just seen your telegram of 11.5 last night. The substance was stated to me when received, but I did not know that you asked for a reply immediately. I cannot answer without seeing the President, as General Pope is in command, by his orders, of the department.

I think Couch's division should go forward as rapidly as possible and find the battlefield.

H. W. HALLECK,

General-in-Chief.

Major-General McLELLAN.

On the same day the following was received:

Washington, August 31, 1862-12.45 p. m.

The Subsistence Department are making Fairfax Station their principal depot. It should be well guarded. The officer in charge should be directed to secure the depot by abatis against cavalry. As many as possible of the new regiment should be prepared to take the field. Perhaps some more should be sent to the vicinity of Chain Bridge.

H. W. HALLECK,

General-in Chief.

Major-General McLELLAN.

At 2.30 p. m. the following dispatch was telegraphed:

CAMP NEAR ALEXANDRIA, August 31, 1862-2.30 p. m.

Major Haller is at Fairfax Station with my provost and headquarters guard and other troops. I have requested four more companies to be sent at once and the precautions you direct to be taken.

Under the War Department order of yesterday I have no control over anything except my staff, some 100 men in my camp here, and the few remaining near Fort Monroe. I have no control over the new regiments-do not know where they are, on anything about them, except those near here. Their commanding officers and those of the works are not under me.

Where I have seen evils existing under my eye, I have corrected them. I think it is the business of General Casey to prepare the new regiments for the field, and a matter between him and General Barnard to order others to the vicinity of Chain Bridge. Neither of them is under my command, and by the War Department order I have no right to give them orders.

GEO. B. McLELLAN,

Major-General.

General HALLECK,

Washington.

To which the following is an answer:

Washington, August 31, 1862-10.7 p. m.

Since receiving your dispatch, relating to command, I have not been able to answer any not of absolute necessity. I have not seen the order as published, but will write