War of the Rebellion: Serial 016 Page 0017 Chapter XXIV. GENERAL REPORTS.

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rison's Landing; that they had no spirit and no disposition to fight. This latter statement their conduct in the various actions fully contradicted; but the straggling in those corps was distressing. The full facts having been reported to you, I received on Tuesday afternoon the order to retire to the entrenchments near Washington, which was accordingly done on that day and the next in good order and without the slightest loss. Banks, who had been left with the railroad train cut off at Bristoe by the burning of the bridge, was ordered to join me on Monday at Centreville, which he did on the afternoon of that day.

This brief summary will explain sufficiently in detail the whole of the operations of the forces under my command during sixteen days of continuous fighting by day and marching by night. To confront a powerful enemy with greatly inferior forces; to fight him day by day without losing your army; to delay and embarrass his movement, and to force him by persistent resistance to adopt long and circuitous routes to his destination are the duties which have been imposed upon me. They are of all military operations the most difficult and the most harassing, both to the commander and to his troops. How far we have been successful I leave to the judgment of my countrymen. The Armies of Virginia and of the Potomac have been united in the presence and against the efforts of a wary and vigorous enemy, in greatly superior force to either, with no loss for which they did not exact full retribution.

Among the officers whom I feel bound to mention with special gratitude for their most hearty, cordial, and untiring zeal and energy are Generals McDowell, Banks, Reno, Heintzelman, Hooker, and Kearny, and many others of inferior rank, whom I shall take great satisfaction in bringing to the notice of the Government.

The troops have exhibited wonderful patience and courage, and I cannot say too much for them.

Our losses have been very heavy, but so far I have been unable to get accurate returns. I am informed by Generals Kearny and Hooker, who examined the field of battle on Friday, that the enemy's dead and wounded were at least double our own.

I am, general, respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major-General, Commanding.

General H. W. HALLECK,


[Inclosure A.]

AUGUST 29, 1862 - 8 p. m.


Centreville, Va.:

I have been instructed by General McClellan to inform you that he will have all the available wagons at Alexandria loaded with rations for your troops, and all of the cars also, as soon as you will send in a cavalry escort to Alexandria as a guard to the trains.



Major-General, Commanding Sixth Corps.