War of the Rebellion: Serial 018 Page 0825 Chapter XXIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

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SAINT PAUL, November 20, 1862.

Major General H. W. HALLECK:

DEAR GENERAL: Your letter of the 7th received a few days since. I will wait the action of the Government with all the patience that in my nature. I have the firm conviction that in any report you make of the operations in the East since you assumed command you will do me justice.

I neither seek popularity nor do i especially desire it, having a consciousness that i my duty zealously and earnestly. You have yourself pronounced upon the degree of ability and energy with which the Virginia Campaign was conducted. At the same time you will agree that it is beyond measure hard that the silence of the Government my reputation as a soldier, and in some respects my character as a man, should be blasted in the public mind by the studious, unscrupulous, and vindictive publications against me which have been sowed broadcast over the country. These atrocious slanders, iterated and reiterated without contradiction and in the midst of the profound silence maintained by the Government for so long a time, cannot fail greatly to prejudice the public mind against me, and to make during this long period an impression which it will be next to impossible to eradicate.

One of the great points made against me and in favor of McClellan is that he took an army which had bead defeated and demoralized under my command and immediately marched against the same enemy and defeated him at South Mountain and Antietam. I presume it is unnecessary to tell you that the only troops of the Potomac Army which ever drew triggers under my command were the army corps of Heintzelman and Porter, and the "Reserves" under Reynolds, number ing, all told, about 21,000 men. Of these one-half was commanded by Porter, who did nothing. Heintzelman, Sigel, and Banks were left in the entrenchments at Washington. McDowell's corps, numbering about 11,000, and Porter's corps, unhurt by any actions or operations under my command, were the only portions of the force ever engaged with me that McClellan took with him. They did not number over 21,000 all told, of whom Poeter's whole corps was kept carefully out of action in Maryland.

Of a piece this falsehood is the one stating that I had lost numbers of wagons, &c.: utterly and wholly false. My wagon trains were always out of the way and the enemy at no time pressed upon me. No wagons were reported lost to me except some 20 or 30 broken-down, between Centreville and Fairfax Court-House, which I sent back for on Tuesday morning whilst my whole force was at Fairfax Court-House. A report of the quartermaster in charge will exhibit this, and ought to accompany the official reports of corps commanders.

I say to you, in all views, that unless the Government would have great embarrassment in the future the whole of McClellan's careen should be laid bare. The overt act at Alexandria, during the engagements near Centreville, can be fully substantiated by letters from many officers since I have been here, it is quite certain that my defeat was predetermined, and I think you must now be conscious of it. You remember that I expressed to you before I entered Virginia my firm conviction that McClellan would not co-operate with me, nor in fact with any other man, under such circumstances. I had before said the same thing to the President and Secretary of War.

It is not unnatural that the mere fact of my being called from the West, a stranger, and placed in command of three corps, each com