War of the Rebellion: Serial 014 Page 0185 Chapter XXIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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WASHINGTON, May 21, 1862.

Major-General McCLELLAN:

I have just been waited on by a large committee, who present a petition signed by twenty-three Senators and eighty-four Representatives, asking me to restore General Hamilton to his division. I wish to do this, and yet I do not wish to be understood as rebuking you.

Please answer at once.

A. LINCOLN.

McCLELLAN'S, May 21, 1862.

(Received 9 p. m.)

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War:

Have just returned from Bottom's Bridge; was a mile on other side. Reconnaissance on heels of enemy, who probably did not like the skirmish of yesterday. Bridge will be repaired by to-morrow morning and others constructed. All the corps have advanced to-day.

GEO. B. McCLELLAN,

Major-General, Commanding.

FORT MONROE, May 21, 1862.

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War:

All quiet, and nothing of importance to communicate, except at City Point. The chief engineer of the steamer massachusetts, doctor, and signal officer went on shore, leaving the master's mate with 6 of the crew in the boat. About fifteen minutes after landing the boat was fired into by a party of rebels, killing the master's mate and 1 man and severely wounding 3 others, one of whom has since died, leaving but 1 man in the boat unharmed, who escaped with the boat. The chief engineer, doctor, signal officer, and 2 men were taken prisoners and sent to Petersburg. The Navy is unfortunate.

JOHN E. WOOL,

Major-General.

The operator at Fort Monroe thinks the general means Wachusett instead of Massachusetts.

W. D., Op.

COLD HARBOR, May 22, 1862 - 12.30 p. m.

His Excellency ABRAHAM LINCOLN, President:

Your dispatch just received. The discipline of the Army will not permit the restoration of General Hamilton to his division. Since the matter is pressed as it is I feel obliged to state what I did not care to before, viz, that General Hamilton is not fit to command a division. The task before me is too serious to permit me to hesitate when called upon to express an opinion. The cause of his removal from this army was ample to justify me in the course pursued. You cannot do anything bet-