War of the Rebellion: Serial 014 Page 0233 Chapter XXIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

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If this is true it is as good as a re-enforcement to you of an equal force. I could better dispose of things if I could know about what day you can attack Richmond, and would be glad to be informed, if you think you can inform me with safety.

A. LINCOLN.

McCLELLAN'S, June 18, 1862.

The PRESIDENT:

I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of your dispatch of to-day. Our army is well over the Chickahominy, except the very considerable forces necessary to protect our flanks and communications. Our whole line of pickets in front runs within 6 miles of Richmond. The rebel line runs within musket-range of ours. Each has heavy support at hand. A general engagement may take place any hour. An advance by us involves a battle more or less decisive. The enemy exhibit at every point a readiness to meet us. They certainly have great numbers and extensive works. If 10,000 or 15,000 men have left Richmond to re-enforce Jackson it illustrates their strength and confidence. After to-morrow we shall fight the rebel army as soon as Providence will permit. We shall await only a favorable condition of the earth and sky and the completion of some necessary preliminaries.

GEO. B. McCLELLAN,

Major-General.

McCLELLAN'S, June 18, 1862-11.30 a.m.

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War:

Colonel Averell has just returned from a scout to the Mattapony. A band of guerrillas he was in search of had left the day before. He destroyed the bridge, took a number of wagons and carts loaded with supplies for Richmond, destroyed a large amount of rebel grain, and took some important prisoners. As usual, he conducted the expedition most handsomely.

Colonel Gregg made a handsome reconnaissance to Charles City Court-House and recovered some of the mules driven off by Stuart. I think we are about even with Stuart now. Am at a loss to understand the reported re-enforcements to Jackson, unless the enemy are in very great strength here. We will probably know more of the truth to-morrow.

GEO. B. McCLELLAN,

Major-General.

HDQRS. HOOKER'S DIVISION, THIRD ARMY CORPS,

Camp near Fair Oaks Station, Va., June 18, 1862.

Captain CHAUNCEY McKEEVER,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Third Army Corps:

The duty of obtaining the information desired by the major-general commanding in his communication of yesterday was assigned the Sixteenth Massachusetts Regiment by General Grover. It was executed in fine style. A heavy picket was run against and they attempted to make a stand, but were driven from the forest. Colonel Wyman reports