War of the Rebellion: Serial 014 Page 0174 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

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CUMBERLAND, May 15, 1862.

(Received May 17, 3 p. m.)

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War:

Rain commenced again yesterday and continued last night and to-day. With utmost difficulty I have moved two divisions in advance this day and moved forward those in rear. We have to do much road-making as we go, but are continually advancing.

Nothing new from the front to-day.

I have heard nothing from James River gunboats. Very cool, wet, and dreary to-day.

Secretaries Seward, Bates, and Welles left last night.

GEO. B. McCLELLAN,

Major-General, Commanding.

CUMBERLAND, May 15, 1862.

(Received May 17, 3 p. m.)

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War:

Rain has continued all day, making the roads horrible. With great difficulty I have moved two divisions to White House and closed up the rear pretty well. On this plan headquarters move to White House to-morrow.

Nothing of interest to-day. We are advancing as rapidly as is possible, but it is slow work. I, however, have everything well in hand.

GEO. B. McCLELLAN,

Major-General.

FORT MONROE, VA., May 16, 1862.

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War:

I am here in command of the two most important positions in the possession of the Federal Government. If any disaster should befall General McClellan I am wholly unable with the force I have to defend these two positions. The calls made upon me by General McClellan to take care of his sick, wounded, and prisoners of every description take from me a considerable number of men. I have sent to Norfolk about 8,000 men, and will send over another thousand, making in all about 9,000 rank and file. With this force I have ten pieces of light artillery. This force would be wholly inadequate to defend Norfolk in case General McClellan should be defeated. At the same time Newport News and Fort Monroe would be exposed to capture by a victorious army, they having but 3,000 men effective to defend both places. I want ten regiments and 300 horses to put myself in a condition to resist the force that might be brought against me in case of General McClellan's defeat. It is said he intends to intrench his army some 10 miles from the position occupied by the rebels 10 miles in front of Richmond. The horses I want are requisite for three light or field batteries.

JOHN E. WOOL,

Major-General.