War of the Rebellion: Serial 014 Page 0177 Chapter XXIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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except that you are to judge, and are not to allow your force to be disposed otherwise than so as to give the greates protection to this capital which may be possible from that distance.



The President having shown this to me, I suggested that it is dangerous to direct a subordinate not to obey the orders of his superior in any case, and that to give instructions to General McClellan to this same end and furnish General McDowell with a copy thereof would effect the object desired by the President. He desired me to say that the sketch of instructions to General McClellan herewith he thought made this addition unnecessary.


M. C. M.

WILLIAMSBURG, May 17, 1862.

(Received May 17, 9.40 p. m.)

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War:

The gunboats Galena, Monitor, Aroostook, Naugatuck, and Port Royal were repulsed from Fort Darling, 7 miles below Richmond, yesterday. A portion of them have returned to Jamestown Island, near this place, in James River.

Lieutenant Morris, commanding the Port Royal, sent overland to me this morning for intelligence regarding the condition of the forts below the island, and also to assist in burying the dead which he brought down with him. Seventeen of wounded on board, including Morris. The 100-pounder gun of the Naugatuck exploded at the first fire.


Colonel Fifth Pennsylvania Cavalry.

By authority of General McClellan.

WHITE HOUSE, May 17, 1862 - 10.45 p. m.

(Received May 18, 7.35 a. m.)

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War:

After a careful consideration of the meager accounts I have just received of the gunboats' operations on the James River I am inclined to think that we ought not to be discouraged. They were caught in very adverse circumstances, and I think their repulse will prove to be due to the fact that they were subject to a close musketry fire they could not reply to. I would urge the necessity of perfect co-operation between all the Army and Navy forces in Western [Eastern] Virginia. I have not one word of official information as to the objects to be attained by any of them.