FORT MONROE, July 2, 1862-2 p.m.
Honorable GIDEON WELLES,
Secretary of the Navy:
I have just received, under date of yesterday, the following dispatch from General McClellan, addressed to me:
I would most earnestly request that every gunboat or other armed vessels suitable for action in the James River be sent at once to this vicinity, headquarters, and placed under the orders of Commodore Rodgers, for the purpose of covering the camps and communication of this army. May I urge that not an hour be lost, and that you telegraph the Navy Department respecting the request I make. If this is immediate, I must offer as an excuse the extreme exhaustion under which I am laboring.
GEO. B. McCLELLAN,
Also the following is the substance of dispatch from Commander Rodgers, bearing same date and sent by same opportunity:
The army is in a bad way. To save it, as far as we can, demands immediately all our disposable force. Fort Powhatan is a very important point. It should be immediately guarded. City Point commands the upper part, and that demands a strong force of gunboats to----
(Here telegraph line failed.)
Fort Powhatan is a most important point. It should be strongly guarded. City Point commands the channel past it. That demands a strong force of gunboats. To insure the passage of supplies each end of the encampment on the river banks demands a force of gunboats. We shelled the enemy with good effect, I hear, yesterday. Please send ammunition immediately-8-inch and 9-inch shells, 100-pounder rifled projectiles, with cartridges for them and the 9-inch shells. Position of gunboats Delaware and Satellite in Chickahominy. Port Royal sent yesterday, with Colonel Alexander, of Engineers, to select a base for operations. Not returned. Aroostook and Mahaska near Turkey Creek, protecting flank. Maratanza protecting passage of supplies convoying them. Monitor off City Point guarding it. Southfield aground below City Point. Galena's position near Turkey Creek, at headquarters. Port Royal is to come here.
I scarcely need add that I am doing everything in my power to afford the assistance required, and am here for the purpose of expediting matters. The Jacob Bell, Morse, Barney, and Yankee have already gone up the same river. The Currituck leaves immediately, and so, too, with the Sebago. The Baltimore goes up in an hour or two with ordnance stores. I wish the Department to rest assured that nothing shall be wanting on my part.
BERKELEY, HARRISON'S BAR, July 2, 1862-5.30 p.m.
(Via Fort Monroe, June 3, 10.40 a.m.)
Honorable ABRAHAM LINCOLN,
President of the United States:
I have succeeded in getting this army to this place on the banks of the James River. I have lost but one gun, which had to be abandoned last night because it broke down. An hour and a half ago the rear of the wagons train was within a mile of camp, and only one wagon abandoned. As usual, we had a severe battle yesterday and beat the enemy badly, the men fighting even better than before. We fell back to this position during the night and morning. Officers and men thoroughly worn-out by fighting every day and working every night for a week. They are in good spirits, and after a little rest will fight better than