EXECUTIVE MANSION, Washington, October 27, 1862. (Sent 3.25 p. m.)
Your dispatch of 3 p. m. to-day, in regard to filling up old regiments with drafted men, is received, and the request therein shall be complied with as far as practicable.
And now I ask a distinct answer to the question, Is it your purpose not to go into action again until the men now being drafted in the States are incorporated into the old regiments?
WASHINGTON, D. C., October 27, 1862. (Sent 3.25 p. m.)
Major-General McCLELLAN, Knoxville, Md.:
General Banks leaves this evening for the North. During his absence General Heintzelman will exercise his command. Please communicate to him your orders about the movement of troops designated for re-enforcing your army.
H. W. HALLECK,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, October 27, 1862-7.15 p. m.
(Received 8.30 p. m.)
His Excellency the PRESIDENT:
I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your dispatch of 5.10 [3.25] p. m. to-day. Feeling deeply impressed with the importance of filling up the old regiments at the earliest practicable moment, I have, upon several different occasions, urged this measure upon the War Department, as well as upon Your Excellency, as the most speedy and effectual method of giving us effective troops for future operations. Some time ago an agent of the Governor of Pennsylvania informed me that an order from the War Department was necessary to authorize the transfer of drafted men to the old regiments. On the 11th instant I requested General Halleck to have the necessary order given. I received no reply to this, and learned this afternoon that no such order had been issued. In the press of business I then called an aide, and telling him that I had conversed with you upon the subject, I directed him to write for me a dispatch asking Your Excellency to have the necessary order given. I regret to say that this officer, after writing the dispatch, finding me still engaged, sent it to the telegraph office without first submitting it to me, under the impression that he had communicated my views. He, however, unfortunately added "before taking them into action again." This phrase was not authorized or intended by me. It has conveyed altogether an erroneous impression as to my plans and intentions. To Your Excellency's question I answer distinctly that I have not had any idea of postponing the advance until the old regiments are filled by drafted men. I commenced crossing the army into Virginia yesterday, and shall push forward as rapidly as possible to endeavor to me the enemy. Burnside's corps, and part of Slocum's, have been crossing yesterday and to-day, and Reynolds' corps is ready to follow. Pleasonton, with the cavalry, is at Purcellville this evening.
32 R R-VOL XIX, PT II