War of the Rebellion: Serial 014 Page 0180 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

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mile of Bottom's Bridge. Enemy there in force. I am moving on several roads, and will soon be in condition to ascertain the strength of their line. The information we get still tends to the conclusion that they intend fighting in front of Richmond. I would be glad to learn something about McDowell's position and the forces in front of him. It interests me as affecting my right thank. What are Banks and Fremont and Wool doing?


Major-General, Commanding.

McCLELLAN'S, May 18, 1862.

(Received 8.40 p. m.)

Honorable WM. H. SEWARD:

Dispatch received. My pickets are within a mile of Bottom's Bridge and scouts have been within a quarter of a mile. Am advancing on the other roads. Indications that enemy intend fighting at Richmond. Policy seems to be to concentrate everything there. They hold central position, and will seek to meet us while divided. I think we are committing a great military error first be fought by our troops in mass; then divide of necessary. I do not think gunboats can do much without assistance of land forces. I am getting on well.


Major-General, Commanding.

FORT MONROE, May 18, 1862.

(Received 12.35.)

Honorable E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

As you may have already been informed, the Navy was repulsed within 8 miles of Richmond on Thursday, after four hours' fighting. The Galena was hit twenty-eight times, perforated eighteen times; 13 men killed and 11 wounded. The gun of the Stevens busted, killing 1 man. Lieutenant Morris injured in the leg. Monitor hit three times; uninjured. She and the Galena are at City Point. Port Royal and Stevens are at Harden's Bluff. All quiet here and at Norfolk. I am preparing for coming events. I hope you will send ten regiments over; if they should not be required to defend Norfolk they would be ready for the onward march. I thank you again and again for your kind and friendly messages. I will take care that you have no cause to regret your confidence or appreciation of myself.


Major-General, Commanding.

WASHINGTON CITY, May 18, 1862.

Major General JOHN E. WOOL:

It will be impossible at this time to send you more troops. Five generals in the field are asking for troops, and there are none to give them. You will have to hold fast with the force you have.

I had the pleasure of singing your new commission to-day.


Secretary of War.