War of the Rebellion: Serial 014 Page 0281 Chapter XXIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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hausted with constant and desperate fighting against fearful odds. If his army be not speedily re-enforced the results may prove disastrous.

Our department has the means of providing stores in abundance. McClellan wants men now more than anything else.



Turkey Island, July 1, 1862-2.45 a.m.

Brigadier General LORENZO THOMAS,

Adjutant-General U. S. Army.

GENERAL: Another desperate combat to-day. Our troops repulsed the enemy. I was sending orders to renew the combat to-morrow, fearing the consequences of farther retreat in the exhausted condition of the troops and being as willing to stake the last chance of battle in that position as any other under the circumstances, when I learned that the right had fallen back after dark and that the center was following.

I have taken steps to adopt a new line, the left resting on Turkey Island, and thence along a ridge parallel to James River as far as I have the force to hold it. Rodgers will do all that can be done to cover my flanks. I will probably be obliged to change this line in a few days, when I have rested the men, for one lower down, and extending from the Chickahominy to the James.

If it is the intention of the Government to re-enforce me largely it should be done promptly and in mass. I need 50,000 more men, and with them I will retrieve our fortunes. More would be well, but that number sent at once will, I think, enable me to assume the offensive. I cannot too strongly urge the necessity of prompt action in this matter. Even a few thousand fresh men within the next twenty-four or forty-eight hours will do much toward relieving and encouraging this wearied army, which has been engaged in constant combat for the last five or six days.

I must apologize for the probable incoherence of this letter. I am exhausted by want of sleep and constant anxiety for many days.

Very respectfully, yours,


Major-General, Commanding.


Washington, D. C. July 1, 1862.

Major-General McCLELLAN:

Your telegram of last night, has been received and will be answered by the President. We have sent you 5,000 from McDowell's corps since Saturday that have reached Fort Monroe already, and I hope will be of use to you. Halleck has been ordered to send a corps of his army, 25,000 infantry, [and answered] that he will do so. Tucker is on the road to Corinth to arrange the transportation. I hope to have the within two weeks. Hold your ground and you will be in Richmond before the month is over.


Secretary of War.