War of the Rebellion: Serial 043 Page 0106 N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.

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I think it would be best to hold for the present the upper line of the Rappahannock without farther pursuit of Lee. I will telegraph you as soon as I can get a decision in regard to the Eleventh Corps.

H. W. HALLECK,

General-in-Chief.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

July 29, 1863.

Major-General Halleck,

General-in-Chief:

GENERAL: Since my dispatch of this morning, I have had a consultation with Major-General Schurz, who has presented views to me which may in some measure modify your action. I have, therefore, authorized General Schurz to see you on the manner of effecting the change proposed in such way as to be least offensive to the officers and men concerned, and I shall be very glad if the propositions of General Schurz should meet with your approval, as it is my desire to render this change as agreeable to this officer and those under his.

Respectfully, yours,

GEO. G. MEADE,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

July 30, 1863 -l p. m. {Received 3 p. m, .

Major-General HALLECK,

General-in-Chief: Your telegrams of yesterday of 10. 30 a. m. and 2 p. m. were duly received. The impression of the President is correct. I have been acting under the belief, from your telegrams, that it was his and your wish, that I should pursue Lee and bring him to a general engagement, if practicable. The President, however, labors under two misapprehensions: First, I did not fail to attack Lee at Williamsport because I could not do so safely; I simply delayed the attack until, by examination of his position, I could do so with some reasonable degree of probability that the attack would be successful. He withdrew before that information could be obtained. Secondly, my army at this moment is about equal in strength to what it was at Williamsport, the re-enforcements, principally Gordon's division, from the Peninsula, which reached me at Berlin, being about equal to the losses sustained by the discharge of the nine months' men. By nine months' men, I mean those who were with the army at Gettysburg and before, and do not refer to several regiments that reported at Hagerstown, but from their disorganization were never brought to the front. With this preliminary explanation, and the fact that my army is now in a condition to move, it becomes necessary that the question of an advance should be definitely settled at the earliest possible moment. The solution of this question will depend in a measure on data not in my possession, such, for instance, as is referred to by you in your telegram of 2. 30 p. m., viz, the withdrawal of a part of this army. So far as the question is a military one, dependent on the relative condition of the two armies, I am of the opinion that, even if Lee has been re-enforced by 10, 000 men, owing to the losses sustained by him in his recent campaign, I ought still to be able to cope