War of the Rebellion: Serial 014 Page 0076 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF VIRGINIA,

Fort Monroe, April 7, 1862. (Received 7.20 p.m.)

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War, Washington, D. C.:

In reply to your dispatch of the 6th, just received, I would remark that I am not sufficiently informed to answer it definitely. I directed the commanding officers, before the arrival of Major-General McClellan, to make a field return of their troops, but, belonging to the Army of the Potomac, they did not consider themselves bound to obey the order, and no returns were made. Consequently I have no means of ascertaining accurately the strength of the Army of the Potomac.

From a conversation with General McClellan I am induced to believe that with General Sumner's corps he must have over 100,000 men, with a large train of artillery. He informs me that the enemy has in and about Yorktown 30,000 men. If the enemy is no stronger I should think he had a sufficient force to overcome it. He complains, however, of taking from him 45,000 men under McDowell, which he says compels him to change his plan of operations. What these were he has not informed me.

In the course of the day I may be able to inform you whether more troops are needed. I would remark, however, that his rear and left flank are protected by my troops. This morning a regiment of infantry and a section of artillery occupies Young's Mill. (See the map I send you.)* I have ordered a regiment of infantry, Nims' battery (still here), and five companies of Colonel Harlan's cavalry to be ready to move to guard the left flank as soon as Brigadier-General Casey's division moves on to join the troops at Yorktown.

JOHN E. WOOL,

Major-General.

FORT MONROE, VA., April 7, 1862.

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War:

I have not heard from General McClellan since yesterday. Baron Vegesack,by whom I sent dispatches to the general, returned last evening at 8 o'clock. Informed me that a strong reconnaissance would be made to-day. Yesterday and the day before considerable firing took place between the contending parties, when some 12 or 15 were killed. How many were wounded was not stated. Some confusion has been caused for want of transportation. A great deal of property has been left at various places without a guard, and is being picked up by my troops. This is in consequence of the commanding officers of divisions and brigades neglecting to obtain the requisite transportation and staff officers neglecting to take care of their property. I find that the troops have an immense quantity of useless baggage.

JOHN E. WOOL,

Major-General.

NEAR YORKTOWN, VA., April [7?], 1862.

Major General JOHN E. WOOL,

Commanding Department of Virginia:

MY DEAR GENERAL: Your dispatch of the 6th* was duly received through Major Von Herrmann, whom I invited to remain here yesterday,

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*Not found.

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