War of the Rebellion: Serial 014 Page 0343 Chapter XXIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

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FORT MONROE, July 30, 1862


Secretary of the Navy:

I do not consider it very important to have some of the mortar vessels in the Gulf sent here at this time. They could not possibly reach, here in season to assist General McClellan. If they were already here they might perhaps be used to advantage.

No news have reached me from McClellan or Commodore Rodgers since I telegraphed you yesterday from Fort Monroe.


WASHINGTON, July 30, 1862.

Major General GEORGE B. McCLELLAN,

Commanding, &c., Army of the Potomac.:

MY DEAR GENERAL: You are probably aware that I hold my present position contrary to my own wishes, and that I did everything in my power to avoid coming to Washington; but after declining several invitations from the President I received the order of the 11th instant, which left me no option.

I have always had strong personal objections to mingling in the politico-military affairs of Washington. I never liked the place, and like it still less at the present time. But aside from personal feeling, I really believed I could be much more useful in the West than here. I had acquired some reputation there, but here I could hope for none, and I greatly feared that whatever I might do I should receive more abuse than thanks. There seemed to be a disposition in the public press to cry down any one who attempted to serve the country instead of party. This was particularly the case with you, as I understood, and I could not doubt that it would be in a few weeks the case with me. Under these circumstances I could not see how I could be of much use here. Nevertheless, being ordered, I was obliged to come.

In whatever has occurred heretofore you have had my full approbation and cordial support. There was no one in the Army under whom I could serve with greater pleasure, and I now ask from you that same support and co-operation and that same free interchange of opinions as in former days. If we disagree in opinion, I know that we will do so honestly and without unkind feelings. The country demands of us that we act together and with cordiality. I believe we can and will do so. Indeed we must do so if we expect to put down the rebellion. If we permit personal jealousies to interfere for a single moment with our operations we shall not only injure the cause but ruin ourselves. But I am satisfied that neither of us will do this, and that we will work together with all our might and bring the war to an early termination.

I have written to you frankly, assuring you of my friendship and confidence, believing that my letter would be received with the same kind feelings in which it is written.

Yours, truly,