I think under the circumstances the Chattanooga expedition better be abandoned or at least be diminished. If not, I doubt our ability to hold West Tennessee after detaching so large a force as that called for. I will telegraph more in detail as soon as your telegram is repeated, as I cannot understand parts of it.
H. W. HALLECK,
WAR DEPARTMENT, June 30, 1862-3 p.m.
Your telegram of this date just received. The Chattanooga expedition must not on any account be given up. The President regards that and the movement against East Tennessee as one of the most important movements of the war, and its occupation nearly as important as the capture of Richmond. He is not pleased with the tardiness of the movement toward Chattanooga, and directs that no force be sent here if you cannot do it without breaking up the operations against that point and East Tennessee. Infantry only are needed; our cavalry and artillery are strong enough.
The first reports from Richmond were more discouraging than the truth warranted. If the advantage is not on our side it is balanced. General McClellan has moved his whole force on to the line of the James River, and is supported there by our gunboats. But he must be largely strengthened before advancing, and hence the call on you, which I am glad you have answered so promptly. Let me know to what point on the river you will sent your forces, so as to provide immediately for transportation.
EDWIN M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.
WASHINGTON, D. C., June 30, 1862.
Would be very glad of 25,000 infantry-no artillery or cavalry; but please do not send a man if it endangers any place you deem important to hold or if it forces you to give up or weaken or delay the expedition against Chattanooga. To take and hold the railroad at or east of Cleveland, in East Tennessee, I think fully as important as the taking and holding of Richmond.
CORINTH, June 30, 1862.
The defeat of General McClellan before Richmond and the orders to send troops from here to Washington may render it impossible to hold the railroad to Decatur. You will therefore make preparations as soon as possible to get your supplies from Nashville. No time must be lost.
H. W. HALLECK,